Page 1

19-25 April 2013

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

Vol. 2 No. 35  Pages 24  ` 7

Bride & Prejudice ISO 9001-2008 Certified



0124-2353131/3232, 2352580, 4018944

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


ecades of unchecked sexselective abortions have made the once fertile state of Haryana suffer a drought of brides, making human-trafficking a lucrative and expanding trade. Often projected as a voluntary marriage, every year thousands of young women and girls are lured into the idea of a happy married life with a rich man in the State. Sadly, many ‘purchased brides’ are exploited, denied basic rights, coerced to work as maids, and eventually abandoned. With a skewed sex ratio in the State

(877 females per 1,000 males), it is impossible to find a bride for each man, and so ‘importing a bride’ has become the solution. Further, with the tradition of not marrying within the same village, and eligible girls marrying the wealthier suitors, many men in villages are left unmarried – and often get addicted to drugs. “Haryana has around 6,000 villages, and almost in each of them there are around 6 to 7 such brides from other states. States like Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, West Bengal, Assam – and now even Kerala, have become the source of brides for the men in Haryana. A few of these women may be living a comfortable and peaceful life, but most of their ‘sisters’ are forced to live in inhospitable conditions – with

Amicable Takeover (Palam Vihar)

The tolerance of the residents of Gurgaon is now being severely tested, in almost every colony in the City. The developers (mainly builders really), who have got used to a ‘sellers’ market’ and ‘political patronage’ syndrome, do not really know how to cope with an activist citizenry. Their decades of hold on their ‘properties’, without taking any Completion Certificates, is now being challenged – in the Courts, and even on the road. Some ‘front’ maintenance companies (of the builders) have even been evicted. The politicians, and therefore the Administration, are keeping a close eye, with their hands fairly off, knowing that elections are not far away. The Town and Country Planning Dept., whose silence and acquiescence has been a key reason for this poor state of affairs, is now advising builders to let go. The RWAs who are taking over would be hard-pressed to find the funds for making up the infrastructural deficiencies…or for undertaking any further major investments (even for repair). Development charges (EDC and IDC), paid by buyers for their colonies, have long been eaten up by the State and the builders. The State needs to find a way to fund the RWAs for this deficient infrastructure (against the plans approved by the State itself)) – maybe by encashing some guarantees given by these builders. The courts surely would rule likewise. The Palam Vihar takeover is one of the latest. However, in this case the builder – Ansal – finally saw reason, and was then fairly positive in the negotiations. However, this would not compensate for the decades of poor maintenance of facilities, and poor services, rendered by most builders – despite taking huge deposits, and charging quite a sum monthly. Many builders have not even provided all the facilities and infrastructure as per the original approved plans - on the basis of which people invested their hardSee p 9  earned money.

rampant sexual and mental harassment by the male members of the family. In some of the cases, we have found that the lady is used as a ‘common wife’. There even are cases where their offspring, who are believed to be the main reason for their being brought in, are denied

their rights and proper treatment as heirs of the family,” said Dr. Amrita Yadav, Director, Women Studies Centre (WSC), Maharishi Dayananad University, Rohtak. WSC has done an extensive study in this field. Contd on p 6 


19-25 April 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–35  19-25 April 2013



Stand Up Comedy

Injia – The Many Highly Effective Habits of Indian People @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 20 Time: 7:30 pm

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

C oming U p

Maninder Dabas


Elegant Florals @ House Of Ishatvam, 348-D, MG Road Date: April 25 to May 19 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editor:

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


Living Walls @ Art Alive Gallery, No.120, Sector 44 Date: Up to April 30 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm


n Exhibition that showcases the works of several noted artists – Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Manu Parekh, Anjolie Ela Menon, Jogen Chowdhury, Madhvi Parekh, Paresh Maity, B.Manjunath Kamath, Jayasri Burman and Jagannath Panda, to name a few.

Frozen Music - A symphony in Stone & metal @ Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra, Bhondsi Village Date: Up to May 16 Time: 11:00 am 6:00 pm

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Go Green

Earth Day Celebrations @ Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV Date: April 22 Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and


Shafqat Amanat Ali Live @ Striker Pub & Brewery, Global Foyer Mall,Golf Course Road,Sector 43 Date: April 20 Time: 8:00 pm onwards

Stand Up Comedy

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm



njoy an evening full of laughter with noted stand-up comedians – Jeeveeshu Ahluwalia, Raghav Mandava and Rajneesh Kapur. Come prepared for a riotous evening, and don’t forget to bring your sense of humour along! Contact – 08750916777 / 08750909777

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Standup Comedy routine by Anuvab Pal and Rajneesh Kapoor. The Show, hosted by Vipul Goel, looks at the trivial quirky things that make us uniquely Indian.

Comedy Club @ Cooper’s Grill And Bar, DLF Star Tower, GF, Nh8 Date: April 24 Time: 8:00 pm onwards Entry: Rs. 500 per person

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.

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ig into delectable Thai treats at this exotic Food Festival. The buffet includes Thord Man Kung (Thai shrimp cakes), Larb kai (Spicy mince chicken with roasted rice and fresh herbs), Pla Nueng Manow (Steamed fish with chilli and lemon sauce), Phad Kee Mao Phak (Stir fried vegetables with chilli and Thai herbs) and Khao Mali (Steamed jasmine rice).


The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.


n Exhibition featuring beautiful cushion covers and more in prints, thread works and artificial florals – in ivory lavender and turquoise.


Sculpture Exhibition, “Frozen Music - A symphony in Stone and Metal”, by artists from different regions across India – Dr. Shivanand H. Bantanur - Hampi, Venkatachalpathi - Bangalore, Ashwin Narendra Kadam - Amrawati, Akash Kumar Seth - Azamgarh, Dharmendra Kumar - Gaya, Manoj Singh - Lucknow, Sanjay Singh - Banaras Hindu University and Prabhakar - Bhagalpur.


Songkran Food Festival @ Red Zen, Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard By Marriott, 27, B Block, Sushant Lok 1 Date: Up to April 28


atch noted Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali unplugged, and sway to the beats of his popular tracks – including Bin Tere, Aankhon Ke Sagar, Tu Mile and many more.

emonstrate your support for environmental protection by joining Iamgurgaon and kidsforgurgaon, in their campaign on ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’. The Event will include a Green Parade, a musical performance by Search Years, a Nukkad Natak by the children of Sikanderpur Village, a Coin a Slogan Contest, a Make your Own Bag activity, and much more.



Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page? Write to us at


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19-25 April 2013



ut on your dancing shoes and sway to the beats of the in-house DJ. Kick start your weekend with the best of club and house mixes, through the night. So be there with your gang, and make your Saturdays come live at Club Ion.


Retro Nights @ Route 69, Tower 9B, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase III Date: April 23 Time: 8:00 pm onwards



Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya O Jameya Na @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 21 Time: 7:30 pm

Suryaveer with EHSAAS Live @ LOWEN HOF, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, MG Road Date: April 20 Time: 9:00 pm




reak the mid-week blues with this Retro Night. Get into the classic rock and retro groove, and go down memory lane with great oldies.


Night of Blues+Groove @ Attitude Alive, Supermart I, DLF Phase IV Date: April 19 Time: 8:00 pm onwards


Bollywood Night @ Suburbia, The Empire, MGF Metropolitan Mall, MG Road Date: April 23 Time: 9:00 pm onwards


Summer Loves Psychedelic @ Spiritual Gastro Bar, Hilton Double Tree Hotel, Sector 56, Golf Course Road Date: April 19 Time: 8:00 pm onwards

atch Suryaveer and his band “Ehsaas”, as they perform the best of Rock Sufi and other popular numbers live. The opening set will be by resident DJ Himansh. Get ready for a power-packed evening.


Art Workshop @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Up to April 27 Time: 10:30 am to 1:00 pm Fee: Rs. 2,000


22-28 February 2013

Vol. 2 No. 27  Pages 24  ` 7


o Psychedelic with Fuzzdelica’s line up of trance dance music by Infrared-Goa.

Participate in a weekly contest by renowned jewellery designer, MoNIcA KAPuR and win exciting prizes.

Question of the week is:


WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN DIAMOND JEWELLERY AT HOME? SMS your Answer (along with your name and email Id) to 9810959200 or visit Aum Monica Kapur, Second Floor, Gold Souk Mall, Gurgaon.

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

Coming Of Age 18 & Dreaming

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


fter completing his Class 12, Ankit, a student of St Angels, wants to fly high. He wants to get into Stanford University, to take up Aerospace Engineering. Ranveer, a student of Lancers International, is passionate about Astronomy. He wants to join Harvard, following in the footsteps of his father. Kirti, on the other hand, wants to keep her options open. “My first choice is Fashion Designing. But I will also apply for courses in Architecture and Accounts,” she says. There are more than 7,000 children, from over 250 schools in the City, appearing for the Class 12 Board Examination. There is a heady mix of preferences, plans and passion.

The Foreign Connection




DJ Gaurav & Rapper Maddy @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, Sector 30 Date: April 20 Time: 8:00 pm onwards


he evening promises to be wild! DJ Gaurav Madan belts out futurosonic beats, while Rapper Maddy performs songs from his album. The combination is sure to get you grooving all night long.

Civic/ social



musical evening to look forward to, with The Big Bang Blues & The Incredible Mindfunk. Get into the Blues mode – so you can groove!


o ‘desi’, as the DJs play popular Bollywood tracks that will ensure you don’t leave the dance floor. From old classics to the latest Bolly hits, the music is sure to get you going.

Saturday Night Swagger @Ion Club, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, MG Road Date: April 20 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

articipate in interactive mornings on Art, with contemporary Indian artist Kavita Jaiswal. Kavita will shape each individual’s work, beginning with sketching, drawing, textures and tonal variation – leading to composition and painting.
For 18yrs and above only.


Despite good higher education facilities, and rising job opportunities, in the City, the craze to go abroad still prevails among the students. Anjali, a student of Class 12 in Pathways, says “I am an art lover, and want to go to Italy to pursue my undergraduate studies. This way I can also join my cousins living in Europe, and enjoy my college life.” Most of her family members have studied abroad. While her parents took up post-graduate studies in mainland Europe, her brother has done his schooling in the UK. Most of the students who have siblings or cousins studying abroad, aim for a foreign university. In fact, some of them are sent to IB schools just to ensure that they can easily get into a foreign university. Vanshika, a parent, who chose an international IB school for her

Bon vivant

...Pg 8

Caged Freedom

Looking for liberation for decades, girls and women in this Millennium City are now facing confinement, as they are daily targeted by goons and lumpen elements on the roads and in public transport. Family routines and lifestyles are being impacted. This needs to be stopped aggressively.

...Pg 9

Life Near The Metro

Swanky concourses just 2 years ago, the Metro stations today are engulfed by cesspools and crime dens.

...Pg 24


Lawbreakers @ 16

New Age Security

An area of a thousand acres, in and around DLF Phase V, has been under the spotlight for over a year. 3,000 CCTV cameras capture the picture of what is happening on the roads, and even within. The Control Room, connected to Gurgaon Police, is at the DLF Golf Club.

daughter says, “When we put Sidhi (her daughter) in an international IB school, the aim was to prepare her for study in the US. Most of the schools there follow an IB curriculum. Moreover, US universities give preference to students who have studied in an IB environment.” Payal, a teacher in Blue Bells, says, “Unfortunately, today students are not bothered about the reputation of a college or university. They are only attracted to the tag – “Studying Abroad”. What attracts them is independence, and the perception of a glamorous college life abroad – not studies,” she says. She gives an example of a student who chose a newly-opened university in Australia over Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi University). Some students feel studying abroad does make one more independent. “When my elder sister joined a university in the UK, she had to do all the household chores herself. She at first didn’t even know how much detergent to use in the washing machine! But she learnt it all during her course in the UK,” feels Namrata, a Class 12 student of the Cambridge School. Her mother, however, seems worried about the huge expense involved in sending her daughter to the UK. “We send almost Rs. 50,000 to the elder daughter per month. Now, if Namrata also opts for a course in the UK, the expense will be double,” she says. Due to this high cost of studying in the UK and the US, some students are also considering different destinations – like Singapore and Malaysia. “I am looking at Singapore because it is cheaper and closer to Contd on p 6  India. You can join a medical course

kids corner


Hindi play, directed by Anil Sharma and written by Dr. Asghar Wajahat. The play, set in Lahore around the time of Partition, is about the Mirza family from Lucknow, and their experiences as they flee to Lahore after Partition.


{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


ot so long ago, Vivek (name changed) was sixteen, and used to ride an Atlas bicycle. When he was turning eighteen, he asked his father for a Bajaj Chetak – but instead was admonished. ‘Legally you may soon be permitted, but you are not yet ready to handle a motor vehicle,’ said his father. For the next three years of college, the same bicycle served his purpose. The Bajaj Chetak doesn’t exist today, and nor do those kind of fathers. Today, many sixteen year old boys drive bikes and cars on Gurgaon’s roads. They don’t think twice about not having a driving licence. At markets, malls, theatres, or even at schools, one can find hundreds of under-age kids driving cars and bikes – and tearing down at lightning speeds, even on broken roads. Why do the children, as well as their parents, believe that doing this is fine – or right? Is there no morality, no rationality, no fear? Are they not aware that under-age driving is a crime, and that their sons/daughters could even kill someone – or be killed?


Last year more than 14,000 challans were issued for underage driving. “Machines have been attracting humans for centuries, and the attraction for these kids is not at all abnormal. In older times our parents would keep us away from the motor vehicles till the time we obtained our licence, and even after. But now these kids are exposed to vehicles, and speed, at an early age. The real change has taken place at the level of parenting, and the change in the social and economic status; and that’s why the

Real estate

Contd on p 7 

GURGAON’S OWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER be the change you want to see to advertise

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19-25 April 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ Tremors from earthquake in Iran are felt in the City; some offices are evacuated. ♦ City reels under 40 degrees temperature heat. ♦ Gurgaon Gramin Bank, sponsored by Syndicate Bank, is operating in 7 districts of southern Haryana. As on 31st March, 2013 the Bank has posted a total Business level of Rs. 7,450 crores, registering a growth of 16%. The total Deposits have stood at Rs.4,845 crores, a growth rate of 17 %, and total Advances stood at Rs.2,605 crores - showing a growth of 14%. The Operating Profit of the Bank is Rs.169 crores, delivering a growth of 17.5 %. The Bank has opened 21 new branches during the financial year; and with its total 231 branches, it is providing banking services to 17,98,769 customers. The Advances under Priority sector are 83% of total Advances outstanding. The Bank has opened 667,145 Saral Savings Bank accounts for the under-privileged. It claims to be the first bank to open Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centres at the Block level. ♦ The Bank has helped install 10,395 Solar Home Lights, and 51 branches of the Bank are working on a Solar System. ♦ CMD Devender Singh says that DHBVN has earned Rs 6,388 crores in 2012-13, a growth of over 21%. Gurgaon Circle has grown at almost 24%. ♦ CM Hooda inaugurates a Goshala in Village Bissar-Akbarpur, of District Mewat. The Goshala has been constructed over an area of 2.25 acres, at a cost of Rs 60 lakhs, and initially it has 40 cows. Abandoned and handicapped cows would also be kept here. In Haryana, the per capita milk availability is 708 grams, against the national average of 262 grams. However, out of a total of 90 lakhs 50 thousand livestock in the State, only 15 lakhs are cows. CM appeals to the people to rear and promote the Haryana breed of cows. ♦ Minister Kataria is granted bail, on surety, in the ‘poll rigging’ case. However, he is now summoned by another court. ♦ Haemophilia Treatment Centres to come up in 5 districts of the State – including Gurgaon. ♦ A 17-month-old girl infant from Agartala is being treated in Fortis

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I went to the Fair with my brother. Main apne galle mele mein gaya tha. 2. I lost him there. Manne wo wadde kho diya. 3. The Fair was so crowded. Mele mein bahut ghaniye bheedh thi. 4. People pushed so hard that he left my hand. Logan ne itne dhakke maare ki mera

haath chhut gya.

5.I didn't know what to do. Merey samajh may na aayi ke karna se. 6. I was too scared to go home without him. Manne uke binna ghar ne jaan tey

darun tha.

7. He was eating ice cream in a corner. Wo kone main khada ice cream khaa tha.

Hospital for ‘big head syndrome’. ♦ A boyfriend is accused of rape by a 16 year old; a man is arrested in a dowry case; a woman commits suicide, after a live-in relationship turns sour; a man who stalks and molests a law student is arrested; a man is accused of rape, citing false promise to marry; a youth is held for a bid to rape a 5 year old. ♦ 4 Engineering students, one from Gurgaon, drown in the Ganga at Rishikesh. ♦ An 8-year-old boy goes missing. ♦ A woman in Sector 43 has been booked for child labour and mistreatment. ♦ The Commissioner, Police meets up with senior citizens and assures them of special security measures. A Committee is set up, to keep track. ♦ A cab driver is found dead in his cab near IFFCO Chowk – allegedly due to excess drinking. ♦ Persons take a lift and then steal an Innova at gunpoint. ♦ 3 wanted members of Kaushal gang are held. ♦ A youth who opens fire at a policeman is held; confesses to stealing many bikes; a man thrashes a traffic policeman, on being asked to not park on the roadside. ♦ A couple is duped of Rs 3 lakhs. ♦ A Sohna Road showroom manager commits a Rs 2.5 lakhs fraud. ♦ 6 are held for ‘IPL gambling’ in 2 different cases. ♦ 3 more petrol pumps are sealed by HUDA, for non-payment of rental dues. ♦ DLF Phase I residents block traffic and protest on the road connecting Bristol Chowk to Faridabad Road. Recently some pedestrians have been run over by vehicles and killed, on this road. ♦ Unitech is asked to hand over Close North to the RWA, by T&CP; Park View Residency (Bestech) residents in Palam Vihar are fed up, and wish to take over the maintenance services from the builder. ♦ HUDA issues ultimatum to over 400 ‘illegal’ guesthouses; DLF IV residents protest ‘illegal’ Traffic Tower coming up in their area; an illegal borewell is sealed in Mayfield Gardens. ♦ Maharana Pratap Chowk is to have a flyover on MG Road. ♦ State announces incentives for SC students. ♦ HARTRON to train women and senior citizens from the underprivileged society, on IT. ♦ A Wildlife census is carried out in the Aravallis.

If Streetlights are not working, call: 1000 180 3030 (Toll Free); or 0124 2301616 (9am to 5pm)


be the change you wish to see


Now get your copy of Reading & Riting is the Rithmetic - a compilation of the Editorials and cover stories of Atul Sobti. Get your hard copy at Quill and Canvas, South Point Mall, DLF Phase V, or order it online at Cover Price-Rs. 350

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:

Are current RWAs effective in running condominiums/colonies? Please also give suggestions Write in to us at



C eleb W atch

19-25 April 2013


Dancing For Joy


Bharatnatyam recital, 'Ananda – The Dance of Joy', was presented by Santanu Chakraborty and his disciples, on the occasion of Chaitra and Navaratri. The performance, a manifestation of different gods and goddesses from Indian Mythology, was appreciated by the audience.

Eye Hospitality

Ek Tha Embarrassed Emraan


n Eye Camp, organised by Punjab Optical House, in association with Pullman Hotel, was organised at the hotel. The Camp included complete eye examination and contact lens trials. New products were displayed, and the visitors had a great time trying out new frames and sunglasses.


ead actors of the upcoming horror film, 'Ek Thi Daayan'― Emraan Hashmi, Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin―along with producers Ekta Kapoor and Vishal Bhardwaj, visited a City Mall for the promotion of the film. The ambience at the venue was 'spooky', in keeping with the horror flick. The crowd was in for a surprise when an artist, dressed as a witch, tried to kiss Emraan. A visibly embarrassed Emraan had the crowd in splits when he said, “My wife is watching.” The film is due for release on April 19th.

New Year Sangam


he Tamil New Year was celebrated with great zeal by Gurgaon Tamil Sangam at Shri Siddhi Ganesh Mandir. The festive celebrations included vocal, instrumental and dance performances, a fancy dress show and speeches. An Odissi dance performance was also presented by Mrs. Sudha Bhowmick, along with her disciples (it was also the Odiya New Year). All the participants of the Cultural Programme were honoured by the Chief Guest, Justice M.Karpaga Vinayagam, Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.

Fashionable Fusion


t was a fusion evening, 'Folk Forward', presented by DLF V, where both music and fashion captivated the audience. Noted qawwali singers, the Nizami Brothers―Ghulam Sabir Nizami and Ghulam Waris Nizami―performed mesmerising Sufi and folk songs, and fashion designers Rabani and Rakha showcased their latest collection. It was an entertaining evening, much appreciated by the crowd.

06  Contd from p 1 The young brides, belonging to completely different cultures, are trying hard to come to terms with the traditions of their in-laws in Haryana. Meanwhile, several young men are now past their prime, still waiting for a bride. Understanding this difficulty, local villagers are no longer objecting to matrimonial alliances with girls from other states. In Bhiwani District, several young girls from Tripura and Assam are trying to adjust to an alien world. Over 250 brides from Bengal, Assam and Tripura have been brought to the villages of Kanhra, Kishkandha, Dwarka, Bhandra, Badesra and Dagdauli. Men are more than willing to pay Rs. 25,000-30,000 for the brides. “Yes, the shortage of girls in Haryana, further fuelled by the complex local ‘laws’ of marriage, has forced people to look for brides in other states. In a village that has a hundred bachelors, only 40 are able to get a Haryanvi wife for themselves; the rest are travelling across states in search of brides. In my village, there are more than 8 to 10 such cases – and this is a common story in most of the villages in Haryana,” said Anil Sehrawat, a middle aged man in one of the villages of Gurgaon District. A study by an NGO, which covered 92 villages of Mahendragarh, Sirsa, Karnal, Sonepat, and Mewat districts, stated that most of the people have accepted this as a common practice, though they denied having ‘bought’ a bride. “In every village there are girls that have been bought; some of them are as young as 13. A very small percentage of the ‘sold for marriage’ women are found to be living a married life. Most are untraceable or exploited, or work as domestic servants of the agents or men who marry/buy them. There are also instances of girls being resold to other persons, after having lived a ‘married life’ for a few years,” the study added. Most of the women come from povertyridden villages of Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, because their families need money; and despite the prevalence of the dowry system in the north Indian states, men are ready to pay for a wife. This trading has become a lucrative business for many, as the comparatively rich families in Haryana are ready to pay a good amount for a bride. “Marriage to an ‘imported bride’ makes caste, language and culture irrelevant – as long as a male child is born. Depending on the age, looks and virginity of a girl, the grooms may pay anywhere from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 300,000,” said an official of an NGO. A paper on “Missing brides in rural Haryana: A study of adverse sex ratio, poverty and addiction”, written by Dr. Neerja Ahlawat, Deputy Director, WSC, Rohtak highlights how this phenomenon is not new. As per the study: The phenomenon of inter-region marriages is not new. Such marriages have always taken place, especially in Punjab, Haryana and other adjoining states. For example, Jats from Haryana would marry Jats from neighbouring UP and Rajasthan; or a person from Punjab would look for a bride from the border of Haryana – like from Kaithal, Narwana.

19-25 April 2013

Bride & Prejudice But what is significant now is that a Jat or Chauhan from Haryana is willing to marry a woman of intermediate or low caste, even from Assam, Bengal or Bihar. This study examines the sociocultural and economic dimensions of such marriages, and raises some pertinent questions regarding the acceptance of such marriages in rural Haryana. How can a society, which otherwise places so much value on caste, gotra and village, be willing to accept marriages in which women are brought in from diverse cultural, regional and language backgrounds – and where caste, and sometimes even religion, is different? How do such women adjust to a culturally different environment, which is rigid and patriarchal? The survey was conducted in three villages of Rohtak and Jind districts of Haryana. The study suggests that these unusual marriages are a consequence of a combination of factors – like low sexratio, poverty and unemployment. 

trafficking is a crime. “Actually touts and brokers play their role in providing women for sexual purposes. Marriages are a bigger game, beyond their capabilities. These marriages happen with the help of known people, such as truck drivers, who often travel to these states and know people and families who are poor and interested in marrying their daughters outside their state; or through the women who have come earlier from the same village or area. I have been to various places in Haryana to study these ‘marriages’, and I have seen that people take these alliances seriously, and families respect these women. Not only are they given respect, but their children are also being given proper treatment and education. There is speculation that these brides are purchased from the other states, and in a handful of

Other Reasons

Apart from the skewed sex ratio, are there other reasons that have helped this once ‘taboo practice’ to become one of the fastest spreading phenomena? “Yes, skewed sex ratio is not the only reason. Other reasons were always there, but this skew has helped tip the balance. Unemployment, and the decreasing size of land holdings, are the two other reasons why people in Haryana now don’t want to give their daughters to local boys. To carry on the name of their families, these boys and their families therefore have to look out for girls in other states. Since most of the youth in Haryana is still unaware or uninterested in higher education, the small holdings are the only source of employment – which to a prospective bride’s father is not enough. Another reason behind the increase in such brides is the tough laws of marriage within the State – especially in the majority caste. These laws are extremely rigid, and a handful of ‘fundamentalists’ are not ready to change – which often results in honour killings of the couple who marry in the same gotra. Maybe in a way this import of brides is a nice thing for Haryana, as it would bring different cultures here, which would allow us to become ‘softer’ and more ‘modern’ in our outlook. However, it would reduce the ‘superiority’ of many Haryanvis in terms of pedigree, which they believe they have protected over the centuries by not marrying out of their own caste,” said Jagmati Sangwan, President of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA). She has been fighting a lone battle against these ‘kangaroo courts’ aka Khap Panchayats, and the horrid blasphemy to humanity-the honour killings.

How the Marriages take place

Most Haryanvis don’t go out to other states for work, so how do they get hold of these girls? Touts or brokers could have been a possibility, but their functioning requires great mutual trust – and human

cases this is true; but the majority of the brides come here looking for marriage. The only complexity of this alliance is that the groom’s family has to bear all the expenses of the marriage. Brides from Kerala are doing extremely well here, despite the cultural, social, and (huge) culinary differences. Most of the brides from Kerala have come to Hansi (near Hissar),” said Rekha Lohan, a researcher doing her doctorate from MD University.

The 'Molkis' and 'Paros'

Molki (purchased) and Paro (out of the boundaries of Haryana) are the names that the majority of these brides are known by. Most of them have been brought here to carry forward the name of the family; and once they bear children, their importance in the family sees a sudden decline, and they remain as labourers in the fields. “Yes, their condition is extremely poor. The village doesn’t accept them as its own, and they are always treated as outsiders or Biharis-the name villagers commonly address them with,” added Dr. Amrita Yadav. Since most of them belong to Bihar and Jharkhand, the colour of their skin also plays a role in them being ostracised. “Barring a handful from Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, the condition of the majority of the outside brides is not great. They work as labourers on the fields in the day, and as sex workers at night. Their life becomes a living hell once they are done with bearing a boy, which is all that the family

C over S tory desires from them. They are denied the basic rights of wives, and their living condition is also no different from what it was in their parents’ home. Women of Kerala are educated and have been brought up in matriarchal societies; they are aware of their rights. Most of them even visit their families back in Kerala once a year. They are living here like wives, and not like labourers or sex slaves. They are employed in nursing, in and around the villages. Their families have not only accepted them, but also have given their children proper rights to property. Brides of Himachal Pradesh have also made themselves acceptable, because their skin colour is similar to the majority caste here,” added Sangwan.

Time For Change?

The rigid social rules of Haryana have made it notorious all across the country. Tough marriage laws, which don’t allow intercaste and ‘same gotra’ marriages, have left this State with a large and constantly increasing army of unmarried men. Brides from the other states have come as a blessing in disguise. However, what has raised many eyebrows is that most of the brides coming here belong to lower castes, which later becomes one of the reasons for their exploitation and ill-treatment. Why can’t men in Haryana start marrying intercaste in their own state? “They can’t, because it’s below their dignity. It is pride of being a Jat! Women coming from other states also belong to lower castes, but these ‘fundamentalists and self-proclaimed lords’ don’t think twice before marrying them. I personally support these interstate marriages, as these alliances would reduce our centuries’ old rigidity,” added Sangwan. It’s not only the upper caste Jats who are marrying girls from outside the state; even Brahmins and Rajputs are getting into these alliances. And yet...Haryana still believes that the fundamentals it has been believing in over the centuries need to be protected. “Marrying a woman from a low caste, and that too from some other state, is blasphemy. It is an insult to our great culture, and our race, which we have zealously protected. Since the old times we have set up the rules of marriage, and these should not change, if this race has to remain in existence. We need to improve our sex ratio, and stop killing our daughters, if we want to save our race. Marrying outside our own caste can’t be an alternative. In my village too we have women from other states, but we all know that they will never become the wives and daughters of our dreams. The people, even the families who have brought them, would never accept them as their own, because each time they would step out of the walls the society would look at them as aliens and untouchables,” said Randheer Singh, an old man in Village Asodha near Bahadurgarh. Anil Sehrawat, from Gurgaon District, also believes that improving the sex ratio is the only way Haryanvis can bail out their race from this crisis. “We need to understand that daughters are not burdens. We need to stop female foeticide if we want to have wives from our own community,” he warned.u

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{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


s it possible to find a middle path where both the State government and the corporates could come together to plan for the future of an Indian city, was the basic question around which the entire discussion revolved at the recently held GIREM Conference in Gurgaon. GIREM is the Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management, and it held a conference in Gurgaon on April 14, with a theme of "Planning Forward". It seems that while the State government and the bureaucracy do not mind suggestions and advice from the corporate sector, an equal partnership on planning and execution is still a long way off. This was apparent from the discussions held at GIREM. Top Gurgaon bureaucrats, while welcoming the suggestions and plans, made it clear that the same could not be binding on them, as administrations do not

function in a political vacuum, and have to take into account multiple factors. Divisional Commissioner, Gurgaon, Chander Parkash, was cornered by the corporates, on issues of poor infrastructure, industrial policies and frequent changes in the Master Plan. Shyamsunder  S. Pani, President GIREM, pressed for the participation of GIREM in the planning process of the City. Pani said that they had developed sound expertise on the matter, and could be of great value to the government.   Pani mentioned that GIREM has already signed Memorandums with other cities, to assist them in the planning and development of infrastructure. HUDA Administrator Praveen Kumar, said that the younger generation wants change very quickly, which is almost impossible in a democracy like India. “We do not work in a closed set up, and the plans and policies of the State take into account every section of society. Development and change slows down due to this, but there are few other alternatives,” said Kumar. While welcoming the concept of outsourcing and privatisation, Kumar


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cation channel between the government and the corporates in Gurgaon, apart from maybe CII and NASSCOM. Corporates present in the meeting said that there is a need for more dialogue between the two sides, if cities like Gurgaon have to prosper. They also warned that if the government did not boost the infrastructure, housing, road, transport, water and power network, then the day was not far when people would stop coming to Gurgaon; and in fact some of them may even migrate from the Millennium City to other locations. Commenting on this, HUDA Administrator Praveen Kumar said that continuous efforts are being made, but also pointed that there are some basic flaws which could not be corrected in a jiffy. His suggestion to the corporates was that while the government is open to new ideas and plans, the same should take into account the reality at ground level. u


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Gurgaon today lacks a soul: V. Ravichander There is little governance in Gurgaon locally, and we are still mainly resolving old issues, says V. Ravichander, mentor of GIREM, and a senior urban planner. He was a part of the team that developed the pan India JNNURM, for the Government of India. "Gurgaon is an overgrown village, as are most of the cities in India. Going forward, we should first strengthen the City governance, and bring in more specialists. The time has come for the overpowering dominance of the state governments to recede from the cities. A strong Mayor-in-Council system is needed for Gurgaon, for the rapid transformation of infrastructure, and an improvement in the quality of life," he suggests. Ravichander also calls for improving the livability index of the City. The art, culture and social space should be brimming with life. The urban spaces should be inclusive. There is strong need to integrate the villages and the local population into the urban culture. “I feel that today Gurgaon lacks a soul. People do not identify with the City; there is no pride of being a Gurgaonite,” he says. The business community has to play an important part in resolving the problems, but right now they are behaving like parasites. What are they giving back to the City, asks Ravichander? He wants the industry to ponder, and make a plan to collaborate with the State government, to develop the City holistically – and realise that the 'boom' is over. In his opinion, the political leadership at the State level lacks both the vision as well as the will to delegate power and authority, whereas the Administration lacks specialists. All cities will have to change, and rediscover their strengths, as now there is a city-level competition for resources, within regions and states, he says.

08 { Shilpy Arora/ FG }


hat is the most common method of communicating with friends and family? A Gurgaonite would probably say “via email”, or “using the Internet”. The extensive use of the Internet is obvious in the Millennium City. A large young population, working in big international companies, thrives online. That is why authorities have also been trying to offer many online services; of course it also helps to reduce queues and personal complaints. However, it is important that the organisation should be internally geared up for offering such services. Unfortunately, most of them have failed in this, and so are now criticised for a lot of pending requests, and the malfunctioning of e-services. The Capital, on the other hand, has adopted many innovative ways to make online services work, even in a traditional set up. Friday Gurgaon takes a close look at e-services provided by authorities in both the City and the Capital. The reason why Sushma decided to join a computer class, at the age of 62, was that she wanted to stop standing in queues to pay bills. “When we were retiring, we would joke in our office that all of us colleagues would definitely meet at government offices – while paying off bills, or getting our pension. But now, all this is just a click away,” says the retired bank employee. She uses the online services provided by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG). Her daughter-in-law, Shruti, who moved to the City from a small town of UP, never thought that her short computer course, taken during her college days, would help her file the income tax return of her husband, and pay her electricity bills. Online services provided by the authorities have undoubtedly made a significant change in the life of the residents. The easily maintained, low-on-cost, and high-on-efficiency portals offer everything – from paying off bills, to filing yearly tax returns, to accessing directory services for relevant services in the City. The online portal of MCG offers electronic submission of forms and applications; for issuance or grant of any licence, permit, certificate, sanction or approval; tenders; and receipt or payment of bills. “Of 18 services provided by MCG online, the services for birth and death certificates, e-tenders, and online grievances are widely used by the residents,” says Sanjay

19-25 April 2013

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Govt Still Doesn't Net It! Chugh, PRO, MCG. There has been a marked improvement in the patronage of online services of MCG and HUDA, with nearly six lakhs people using the websites of these civic bodies. E-services have also helped in keeping a check on corruption. Rishabh Pandey, a resident of Sector 4, says, “It is like dealing with a faceless authority. If residents don’t want to grease the palms of officials, and want their work done, an online portal is a big relief. Here, the system will ensure that when a payment is made, the service is delivered within a specified time. Government officials generally demand some basic documents multiple times. They go on long lunch hours, and don’t pick calls for most of the day. People can even file complaints, if they have a request pending for a long

time. I have filed three RTIs, to seek the reason for the delay in resolving my complaints about house tax,” he says. A physically-challenged resident of Shivpuri, Sonu, used the service for sanitation maintenance. “The website delivers services at your doorstep. The best thing is that it is available in Hindi too!” he says. For authorities also, online services have proven to be a boon, as these are low cost and officials have more-control. “Sitting in the office, the officials now know how many birth certificates have been issued for the day, or the status of tender booking etc.,” says Chugh.

How Delhi has done it differently

Over the last four years, the Capital has also rolled out an impressive number of e-services. For those who can’t access the Internet, the Capital has a unique Citizen Service Bureau (CSB), a publicprivate venture, that helps

people access e-facilities in their centre, free of cost. Ravi Hans, for instance, received the death certificate of his father in just five minutes, at a CSB in Pitampura. Apart from the issuance of birth/ death certificates, CSBs deliver many other citizen services of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) – which include park booking, community hall booking, accepting RTI requests, issuance of health trade licences, issuance of veterinary trade licences, issuance of trade/storage licences, issuance of ‘tonga’ cart licences, street vending permits and depositing of fines and penalties. Dr. R.C Patnaik, Director (IT), MCD, says, “We are working on two models – first, by using the website, www.mcdonline.; and then through CSBs, for people who are not

tech-savvy.” There are more than 16 CSBs in the Capital. Payment at CSBs can be made in cash or through cheque, debit/credit card. These centres remain open on all days, except for the three annual national holidays. These centres are a boon for senior citizens, who can make all payments under one roof – they don’t have to pay numerous visits to various government offices. The MCD is also working on a unique electronic Service Level Agreement (e-SLA), for six services – park booking, hall booking, issuance of death/birth certificates, health trade licence, general trade licence and factory licence – to be monitored electronically. Interestingly, the services of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police have been added to the e-SLA framework. Indrani, a resident of Greater Kailash, who has spent over five years in Gurgaon, says, “Online services in Delhi are of course

better. First of all, there is a centralised e-governance platform, to monitor the adherence to service levels by different departments – unlike Gurgaon, where there are three governing bodies, based on your area of residence. I always log on to, that links all the departments of the State government. Secondly, the Capital also offers health and pharmacy services online. Last, but not the least, the implementation and followup are done better by MCD.” Another e-service in the Capital, Geospatial Project, is helping to improve urban governance. The Project digitally maps the underground and over-ground utilities in the Capital, by using geospatial technology. Talking about the future plans of online services, Patnaik says, “The real success of

remains unavailable, due to some technical glitches,” he says. Delay in processing requests is also a matter of concern. Over 10,000 tenders have been transacted through the e-tender system, but people are not satisfied with what they have received from this so called ‘fully automated system’. Arun Kumar, a trader, informs, “Only a part of the system, that concerns tender receipts, has been automated. The procurement again involves officials. Such small factors should be taken into consideration.” Besides, over 14,000 complaints filed at the online grievance cell of MCG are also pending. The major concern in the City relates to the jurisdiction of MCG, HUDA and the DC office. Although HUDA also provides similar online services,

online services will be seen when the authorities implement ‘Green Bill’, a service that will integrate all the bills – water, electricity, phone and mobiles – into one integrated bill.” Besides, the Capital is also working on providing e-FIR for rape cases, as that will ensure mandatory and automatic registration of such cases. Under this initiative, a woman can file an e-FIR on the website of Delhi Police, and the woman’s statement will be considered true as soon as an e-FIR is filed. A probe will follow.

most of the people living in ‘new’ Gurgaon are not aware about these e-services.

What can we learn?

Although MCG takes pride in providing a number of services online, these services have to be evaluated in terms of accessibility, acceptance and integration with the physical facilities. We asked a regular user of MCG’s website, Prashant. This 45-year-old businessman, based in Sadar Bazar, learnt computers just to access the various ITenabled services. He believes that the job by the Corporation is only half done. “Forget about providing users the status of projects, the facility to file RTIs online generally

The Way Ahead

Electronic governance infrastructure can serve as the backbone for delivery of services, but it cannot work in the absence of a few reforms. The Corporation is, therefore, working on a few important issues. Like the Capital, the City also plans to have dedicated centres, where people can access online services. Apart from this, the Corporation is planning to tackle the issue of pending house tax complaints through an online system. Successful e-governance aims to provide maximum information to the residents, and help them participate in decision-making. All this calls for wide access to e-services, not only through websites, but also through special centres – and the integration of the websites of various departments. The Millennium City has to make progress on each of these aspects, if it hopes to offer true benefits of IT revolution to the tech-savvy City residents.u

19-25 April 2013

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ope is floating on the breeze in the posh Palam Vihar Colony, as thousands of residents now expect the livability quotient to rise in the coming months. Ansal, the developer, has decided to hand over the maintenance of the Colony to the Palam Vihar Residents Association (PVRA). This is the first instance of a developer handing over a private plotted colony to the residents' association – although it happened after a long standoff between the residents and the builder. It goes to the credit of both Ansal API and PVRA that this decision was taken amicably. The issue of poor maintenance, services and infrastructure has long plagued Palam Vihar, which was one of the first colonies to be developed by Ansal in the City. The transfer of maintenance will be effective April 1, 2013.   Sunil Yadav, President of PVRA, says that roads in the Colony were in very bad shape, there was regular waterlogging during the monsoon, the electrical systems were inadequate and security was in a shambles. Maintenance was under the aegis of a third party, Profac, that had been appointed by the builder. “Profac failed to provide the basic minimum services, and yet increased the charges, which was opposed by the residents. The poor services forced us to demand the transfer of maintenance to our Association, as we believe that we can do the job more effectively,” asserts Yadav.  To protest against the inefficiency of Profac, many home owners had refused to co-operate  with the Agency, and also stopped paying maintenance charges. Meanwhile PVRA approached  the Court, arguing against the arbitrary appointment by the builder of a third party (for maintenance). Yadav says that this appointment is a violation of the Licence Agreement. He however admits that during the long drawn out standoff, they realised that being in conflict with the builder was not proving  fruitful, and thus PVRA decided to change tack. “I thought it would be easier to make Ansal understand that the assets built by them in the Colony were being compromised, by shoddy maintenance undertaken by the outside agency. The Colony anyway had to be handed over to MCG by the builder, and the assets at that time would need to be in proper order,” says Yadav. To show the builder how the major assets were deteriorating, Yadav started taking pictures of the roads, drains, lanes, electrical infrastructure and pump-houses, and started sending them to the top management of Ansal. Initially, there was no response, but I kept on sending pictures – and waited patiently. The management finally understood the implications. “The Association also made it clear to Ansal that it was not against them. We want to work with the Ansal as a partner, to ensure that the residents can live with comfort and safety here,” says Yadav. The RWA realises that the Colony has been developed by Ansal, and they are important stake holders. In December 2012, Ansal decided to engage with PVRA for negotiations, to find a solution to the impasse. Gagandeep

Amicable Takeover Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Ansal API, who played a key role in the transfer, told Friday Gurgaon that Ansal has always wanted to move out in a planned manner – after developing a colony. “We even approached MCG for handing over to them, but the government agencies are perhaps today not ready for this task,” says Singh. With the government not willing to step in, and Ansal facing the flak over poor maintenance, the builder decided to evaluate the possibility of handing over the maintenance to the residents' association. Several issues were discussed, and differences thrashed out over past payments and the status of infrastructure – including security, power, water, sewerage and electrical facilities. Gagandeep Singh says that as a builder the Company realised that it had not been able to deliver the best of services. “We are spread in several states,

will have to be paid to the builder, but the Agreement stipulates that 85 per cent of this money would be spent on the development of the Colony. Singh of Ansal reiterates that the builder does not see maintenance as a source of profit, and its only objective was to improve the quality of life of the residents. “We are coming up once again in a big way in Gurgaon, and the residents of Palam Vihar are our brand ambassadors. In the past we have delivered good housing options as well as capital appreciation, and we will continue to do the same,” he asserts. Another important stipulation in the Agreement, that often becomes a bone of contention, is that the properties owned and built by

the Company will and maintenance is also have to pay the not a builder’s USP. When asked whether the maintenance fees – Therefore we deagreement between the two which would be at cided to hand over sides could be seen by this half of the normal the Colony to the rate. Yadav says that RWA,” says Singh. correspondent, President this will ensure that However, prior to Yadav declined, saying that everyone, includcoming to this deciit was a private agreement. ing the builder, pays sion, Ansal evaluWhen pressed, saying that charges for using the ated the capacity of this could be used to give infrastructure of the the PVRA to carry Colony. Last, but out this huge task, quality information to other most importantly, its ability to carry Gurgaon residents, Yadav the handing over with it the majorsmiled, but refused to show of the Colony to ity of the residents, the document. government agenand its approach tocies will still be wards development the responsibility and improvement of the Colony. The decision to transfer the of the builder. These decisions were Colony was taken only after the builder taken after long discussions. “As buildwas confident that PVRA had the nec- ers we are serious, and have also essary strengths and systems to handle agreed, that if there is any deficiency this task. Further, the fairly okay condi- in infrastructure, as per the Licence tion of infrastructure in the Colony, and Agreement, then we will fulfill it,” there being not many major deficiencies, says Singh. The major issues that PVRA plans also helped in taking this decision, into take up immediately, include – forms Singh. One of the most significant deci- upgrading the security, sprucing sions of this Agreement was the re- housekeeping, improving horticulduction of the rate of maintenance ture services (as Palam Vihar has a charges, from Rs. 2.90 paisa to 2.50 large number of parks), and repairper square yard. Under the PVRA, ing roads. On an average, the Colony, 40 paisa per sq yard (out of Rs. 2.50 which has 5,500 plots, needs around 100 guards, 78 road paisa) has been earsweepers, 18 persons marked for repair for garbage collection, and maintenance of 8 persons for handling roads.  Another salient sewers, 65 persons for feature of the Agreehorticulture, and a ment is that the secucouple of dozen more rity deposit collected for power and allied from the residents (by services. Prior to the Ansal API) at the time transfer, Yadav alleges of handing over of the that Profac showed more plots would be refundpersons on paper than ed by the builder. This were actually present on is a positive sign. the ground, and charged The outstanding armoney accordingly from rears of the residents Gagandeep Singh

C over S tory


the residents. The monthly collection of maintenance charges is around Rs. 40 lakhs; and keeping aside 10 to 15 per cent as profit for the maintenance agency, the rest, if spent honestly on maintenance, could make this area look real good, claims Ramesh Kumar, a resident. O.P Gulati, Secretary of PVRA, says that the quality of life will most certainly improve in the near future, as all stakeholders will be equally involved in the maintenance effort. The machinery and heavy equipment, which is owned by Ansal API, has been handed over to the Association. An issue that still needs resolution is the payment of arrears, between 2009 and March 2013, when Profac was maintaining the Colony. RWA officials have told the residents that for now they need to pay the arrears till 2009 to Star Facilities Management Limited (SFML). The payment for the intervening period will be decided later, as the issue is being resolved with Profac. Interestingly, even after the transfer of the Colony to PVRA, the same agency (Profac) is still taking care of maintenance. When asked about this, President Yadav says that the takeover is still in its infancy, and they are allowing the maintenance agency to continue the work. Meanwhile, both the builder and the RWA are ensuring that channels of communication remain open, to keep any confusion in check. Gagandeep Singh says that monthly and quarterly meetings will be held between the builder and the Association. “The time has come for builders to realise that their primary job is to build, and then exit a project in due course – instead of lingering on, which often boomerangs,” asserts Singh. He also says that the post-sales service of the builder has become a crucial benchmark for performance, because people no longer are buying houses – they demand a particular lifestyle. In this context, the recent direction of the Department of Town and Country Planning, asking 35 builders in the City to hand over maintenance to RWAs, becomes very relevant, as repeatedly the conflict between the two sides is turning into ugly legal spats. DTCP has sent clear signals with this directive that maintenance will have to be sooner than later handed over to the residents; and builders can no longer just linger on. Meanwhile, even as PVRA gears to take up this tough task, the expectations of the residents is also rising. One of the residents, sitting at the PVRA office, wants immediate removal of the illegal mobile towers, the introduction of buses to Bijwasan, and a stop at guesthouses in the area. The officials of the Association are shocked by his expectations and aggression.  The transformation of the RWA, from a group of concerned citizens into an organisation that now needs to manage crores of revenue and hundreds of tasks, will be closely watched. It would also be interesting to see how successfullly PVRA switches from being a user to a service provider, as it will be setting an example for a large number of RWAs in the City – waiting in the wings, wishing to control their wwown destiny. u


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Delhi Master Plan { Abhishek Behl/ FG }


he Delhi Master Plan is likely to make an impact on Gurgaon as well as the National Capital Region, because real estate growth in this region is interlinked. The fresh supply of real estate, that will be made possible by DMP - 2021, will offer some good and diverse options, feels Vinod Behl, an avid real estate watcher and Editor of Realty Plus. Behl tells Friday Gurgaon about the implications of the Delhi Master Plan, and what Gurgaon could do to meet this competition, and improve the quality of life of its citizens. Do you think Delhi Master Plan will have some impact on Gurgaon real estate market in the near future? Is it likely that investors, who are the primary drivers of realty in Gurgaon today, will shift their focus to Delhi? Delhi Master Plan 2021 will have a definite impact on the NCR (including Gurgaon) real estate development scenario in the coming years. Almost all the real estate development in the NCR (including Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad) has largely happened because of the non-availability of fresh supply in Delhi. Gurgaon today stands out in terms of high

quality and high- end modern residential and commercial complexes. It is a very vibrant and dynamic market, with a high degree of interest b from investors. Gurgaon›s inherent strength is its emergence as a leading corporate (with high concentration of MNCs) and IT City, having great employment potential. It also enjoys a big locational advantage, of being close to the International Airport.  Highway and Metro links have contributed significantly to the City›s connectivity – and there are many more such connections planned. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) has further enhanced the status of Gurgaon as a longterm attractive investment destination. Gurgaon is today a favourite with investors who see a little longer term. In this backdrop, it would be wrong to assume/predict that with the implementation of MPD - 2021, investors will desert Gurgaon and shift to Delhi. But yes, Delhi enjoys a much superior infrastructure both physical as well as social. Therefore the demand for new dwelling units in Delhi will be quite high. If you recall, in 2008, DDA had received 8 lakhs applications for 4500 flats floated by it for sale. The projected demand for housing in Delhi, by 2020, stands at 15-20 lakhs units. MPD - 2021 envisages development/redevelopment of

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ealising that neither the politicians nor the administration in Gurgaon are interested in acting against the powerful and the influential, the residents of Rajendra Park in Old Gurgaon,   particularly the women, are up in arms against a liquor vend that has become a permanent source of nuisance for the people of the area. On March 31, they held a massive protest in front of the vend, located at the entrance of Mahalwara Street,   demanding its removal. The immediate trigger of the people’s anger was an incident on March 30, when a drunk man followed a lady right to her house, and even knocked at her gate. Local residents assert that incidents like these have become commonplace in Mahalwara, and women and children are living in fear of such miscreants. Bimla Yadav, President of the Mahila Morcha Mandal, under whose leadership the protest was held, says that drinking of liquor in the open has become a menace. Drunk men loiter around the vends, and enter the residential area, as there is no police to stop their activities. It is almost impossible for women and children to move out  after 7 pm, as men

60,000 hectares of land, creating a large, mixed supply of lowcost, affordable, mid-segment and high-end housing - besides plotted developments. Just Zone L (in SW Delhi, close to Dwarka and New Gurgaon) and Zone N (adjoining Rohini) will throw up about 18,000 hectares of land, offering 10-12 lakhs residential units. This may well turn out to be the biggest real estate opportunity; even PE funds are eyeing this opportunity. What will be the impact on real estate pricing in Gurgaon? Will there be any correction in prices, as a major subcity under the Delhi Master Plan is coming up adjacent to the new sectors of Gurgaon, on the Palam Vihar - Dwarka side - and it aims to house almost 20 lakhs people? The impact of MPD - 2021

on demand and pricing in NCR, particularly Gurgaon, will depend on the land pricing, CLU charges, approval costs and infrastructural development in the new areas. Already the land prices have shot up in these areas. Unfortunately, there is currently not much clarity, as only the basic land use plans, incorporated in the Zonal Development Plans for different areas, are available. No Local Area Plans (LAPs), or Sectoral Plans, have been notified. But planners are already pointing to the lack of synergy between MPD 2021 development proposals and the proposed Delhi Metro rail network and key road corridors. They also rue that no progress has been made on the plan for the services infrastructure, which will be required to support this future development. How the competition will play will also depend upon the rate at which the new supply comes under MPD - 2021 The maximum demand in the NCR is in the affordable segment, and destinations like Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Kundli, Bhiwadi and Manesar are catering to this by offering affordable homes in the price band of Rs. 2500 per sq. ft. to Rs. 4000. This attractiveness will increase further on account of the planned Metro connectivity. With FAR (Floor Area Ratio) relaxations also being planned, if Delhi manages to offer residential real estate in the price

Dens, Not Vends start drinking from then. They drink on the street, inside cars, and while sitting besides the 'rehris' selling eatables to them, allege residents. The presence of a popular banquet hall and two marriage gardens has further added to the problem, as there are at least 10 functions held in these halls every month. This also leads to traffic jams and altercations, as drunk men often park their cars at the entrance, and refuse to move. If action is not taken soon on shifting the vend, we will launch a stir, Bimla Yadav warns. Anita, a resident, says that the problem becomes more acute during the marriage season, when people from outside also come and start drinking in their cars. “A number of these people are rich, and do not listen to anyone. They not only drink here, but pass lewd comments, and also urinate publicly – which is a very embarrassing,” says Anita. The locals also say that many a times they are scared to confront the offenders, as most of them come in groups and are often aggressive. Ganga Ram Bhardwaj, a resident, says that despite the law clearly stating that such vends should not be opened

close to schools, this vend has been given permission although there are four schools in the vicinity. “This public drinking creates a lot of problems for the families living here. The government, instead of creating model citizens, is setting a very bad example just for the sake of revenue,” says Bhardwaj. Recalling the incident on March 30, Kripa, a resident of the colony, says, “A lady living in the neighbourhood came late from some work, around 9.30 pm. As soon as she crossed the vend a drunk man started following her, and passed lewd comments. Even after she had reached her house, this man did not go back, but knocked at the gate – and only ran away after the whole family

range of Rs. 4000 - 5500 per sq. ft., it should be a big draw, giving stiff competition to Gurgaon and Noida - where the affordable housing is 50 - 60 km away from the Central Business Districts. However, 50 hectares have been earmarked for affordable housing in the Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex Plan 2031, and density norms may well be relaxed by the Haryana government, to give a boost to affordable housing. If so, Gurgaon may well continue to hold the fort. Can Gurgaon learn something from the planning process adopted for the Capital? Gurgaon can take lessons from its own flawed development model, where infrastructure development follows real estate development. In Sectors 1- 57, which have already been developed, trunk sewerage and drainage systems are yet to be laid. In new Sectors 58-115, under Gurgaon’s new Master Plan, again property development is outpacing infrastructure. Gurgaon should take lessons from Greater Noida in this regard. As far as the roll out of MPD 2021 is concerned, the key to it is the Delhi elections, scheduled for next year. One expects that once the revised Master Plan is completed and notified after June (by Diwali), Sectoral plans or LAPs will be rolled out, and project launches may well take place in 2014. Before that, NCR developers, including Gurgaon developers, will have to tackle the problem of the current huge unsold inventory; and then brace up for the competition that lies ahead. u

came out,” says Kripa. The Rajendra Park Police Station, which is just one kilometre from Mahalwara Street, has proved ineffective. What adds to the woes of the residents is that this street has only one entrance and exit point. Vijender Singh, a resident since 1999, says, “We have approached the Deputy Commissioner, the police officials and the excise officials, but nothing happens – as these vends are patronised by the State government itself.” He shows copies of applications that have been submitted to the district officials, demanding action. On March 31, after the women of the area held a strong protest, they were assured by the local Councillor that he would try and persuade the owner to change the location soon. Bimla Yadav says that if this does not happen, they will now block the road and other activities in the area, to force the Administration to act. “We do not want to wait for some untoward incident or gory crime to happen,” she asserts. The local Councillor Yogender Sarwan, Ward No. 7, says that this vend could be easily shifted, as the contract stipulates a flexible location. He says that earning revenue should not be at the cost of residents' security. u

19-25 April 2013

K id C orner



Kids Brainticklers

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

Artistic Strokes

Samiksha Garg, IX A, Swiss Cottage School

Arab Imam, X A, MRIS

Rashi Sharma, IX, Sucheta Memorial School


19-25 April 2013

K id C orner

Heritage Cyclists


ver 250 cyclists—comprising of government officials, students and teachers of The Heritage School, cycling enthusiasts and civic groups— converged at Sector 29, to demonstrate their determination to make Gurgaon a bike-friendly City. Commissioner MCG Ashok Sangwan, Police Commissioner Alok Mittal, and HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar were also present at the occasion, to lend their support to the cause. They lauded the efforts of the students, to create awareness of cycling as an alternative means of transport. The students made a formal presentation of their report, with recommendations, entitled, ‘Making Gurgaon a Bike Friendly City – 2013’.

Euro Junior Stars


prize distribution ceremony was organised by Euro International School, Sector 45, for its Junior Wing. The tiny tots performed cultural and sports programmes with great enthusiasm at the Event. The Chairman of Euro International Group, Satyavir Yadav, the Director of Euro International, Sec-45, Reena Sharma and the Principal of Euro International School, Sec-10, Nidhi Kapoor, were present at the occasion to cheer the juniors.

Black Belters


Karate Black Belt graduation ceremony was organised by Kaishogun Karate Do, India (Shotokan), at Trinity Complex, DLF Phase IV. Instructor, Sensei Sumit K. Virman, examined the grading of the students and assessed them accordingly. The winners of the Black Belt included Niharika Ann Mann (best fighter, girls) Arudra Sen Gupta, Dhananjay Virman, Shubhankar (best fighter, boys), Dhruv, Rishab, Brinda, Kavya, Suvasita, Yoav Vardi and Bhuvan.

Junior Tansens


tudents of Tansen Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (TSM), Sector 14, celebrated the Institute’s Annual Day—AAROH 2013—at Epicentre. There were diverse performances by the students, that included – kathak recitals, western/Bollywood dance performances, vocal as well as instrumental recitals. The Event began with the melodious Saraswati and Ganesh Vandanas. The enthusiasm of the performers was infectious, and the audience cheered the youngsters loudly. Dr. Devendra Modi, industrialist, S.K Verma, Chairman TSM and Sucheta Singh, Director, TSM graced the occasion.

K id C orner

19-25 April 2013


I am a scientist I am a globe trotter


3.5 yrs - 7 yrs

Abhilasha Goenka Neha Bhandari 9811058309 9810199036

The Discovery Lab will help introduce children to varied concepts of science, in a fun and enriching way, conduct scientific experiments @ The Invention Table, innovative cooking @ The Discovery Kitchen, & learn elements of science through a life size board game an a to z vocabulary builder & The Discovery World.


Chiranjiv Bharati School

Sustaining SEARCH


fter successfully reaching out to 170,000 students across the country in 2012, Project SEARCH (Sensitisation, Education and Awareness on Recycling for a Cleaner Habitat), a school education for sustainable development programme promoted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tetra Pak, felicitated students at the launch of the fifth phase. Chiranjeev Bharati School (CBS) grabbed the award for the ‘Best Performing School’, for their sustained dedication and commitment towards protecting the environment (in Phase IV). Project SEARCH Ambassador, and Polar explorer Robert Swan, OBE, was present at the occasion, and lauded the students for their efforts.

CBS Ventures


The Millennium Energy


tudents of The Millennium School visited the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park. Aimed at inculcating a feeling of ownership of the Earth amongst the children, this visit created the awareness for a healthier, greener planet. The students were shown two short films, highlighting various environmental concerns, and the ways to counter them. They also experienced the potential of solar energy in various spheres of life – through rides in solar cars, and food cooked in solar cookers. The children also planted saplings at the Park. On their return to School, the students made bags out of newspapers, to be used as dustbins.

Kinder Graduates


inder Care, a Play School, celebrated its 8th Graduation Ceremony with great enthusiasm. The tiny Kinder Carians dressed as their favourite toon characters. The venue was abuzz with Noddys, Toms, Jerrys and Teletubbies. The kids performed on stage

BS Palam Vihar launched four new ventures – a Language Lab, a Robotics Club, an International Modern Montessori Teacher Training Institute and a Shooting Range. Trustee Archna Luthra, Director CBS, Goldy Malhotra, and the School Principal, Sangeeta Saxena inaugurated these initiatives. The new ventures are a step towards imparting skills of the modern age within the School curriculum.

with great confidence. At the time of the Graduation Ceremony, the little ones donned graduation gowns and caps, and received their mementos with pride. Peeya Sharma, Head, Ryan International School, Sector 40, Gayatri Nangia, Director, Kinder Care and Archana Tandon, Principal Kinder Care, were present at the Event.

If you have a School event that you would like to see published on this page, send in the details at


A Will To Survive...And Thrive { Anita Jaswal }


ho wants to die – everything struggles and desires to live? Look at that tree, growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It’s growing out of sour earth. But it’s strong, because its hard struggle to live is making it so. Shortly after their marriage, Prakruti and Navin moved to Dubai in November 2009. Prakruti had worked in Canada for about 10 years earlier. In Dubai, Prakruti was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer originating from  white blood cells called lymphocytes. “We elected to move back to India for my treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; and upon successful treatment I am glad to be able to lead a normal life now. My parents and husband were extremely supportive throughout the challenging times; they kept my spirits high at all times. Even with all the pain and suffering I was going through, I never felt alone, and never lost hope. The most important thing is to believe in find strength each and every day, to take you to the next day. There is light at the end of the have just got to believe. Cancer tried to knock me down, but my determination to fight... to win... was non-negotiable. Hope and love and the grit were my ammunition to fight this war. People call me brave, but I don’t use that word to describe myself. I just wanted to see a lifetime of sunrises and sunsets and seasons with Navin! As soon as the treatment was complete, Prakruti was ready to begin a new life. She was tired of seeing those blank hospital walls, and wanted to fill some colour into her life – and hence came up

with the concept of Shibori, a brand she and her husband started in August 2010. “We started with digital-printed home furnishings, and were one of the first in India with this idea. We currently supply to Evok Home Furnishings and @ Home stores across the country, in addition to many e-retail outlets. We have also introduced women’s wear. Settled in Gurgaon in BPTP Freedom Park Life, Prakruti manages her business along with Navin, who is also the Press Officer for Ferrari and Maserati India. They were blessed with a PRAKHAR pandey baby boy earlier this year. How does one survive cancer? We need to decide on the day of (cancer) diagnosis, whether we are going to be a victim or a survivor. We should decide how we will handle each day. While there will be good days and bad days, it’s our attitude that determines all days! After surviving cancer, you realise life can be short; you come to know who your true friends and family are. Knowing that life can be very fragile, we should make the best of it while we can. There is nothing in life we should take for granted. We know which battles we can fight, and which ones we don’t need to. We know the difference between important and irrelevant. We know that every second we waste, is a second we’ll never get back. We know the difference between romance and real love. We know that one day we won’t be here– and that we are lucky to be here now! u

The Last Ride


S ocial

19-25 April 2013

ormally Mahmood does not ring the doorbell of the house, when he reports for duty. He has been driving a taxi for almost two decades, on the roads of Delhi. He knows all the places, and all the roads; he also knows the behaviour of different people, whom he has been ferrying for years. But today was different. He had received a phone call from an old person; he could make out from the voice – it was sort of shaky and broken. That was also why Mahmood decided to go up to the front door and ring the bell. After a few minutes he heard a sound, as if someone was dragging something heavy. He waited patiently. The door opened, and a very old man appeared. He looked weak, and was having difficulty in pulling a bag. Mahmood immediately moved forward and offered to lift it. Once the passenger was settled inside the taxi, Mahmood asked for the destination. The old man looked at Mahmood for a long time, and then with a sigh said, “ Take me to Nirmal Chhaya at Mehrauli”. Mahmood knew that it was an old age home, where the residents were mostly those who had nobody to look after them. The old man was silent and thoughtful for a while... and then made a quiet request. He said, “Dear friend, I will be grateful if you could first take me through all the main roads of the City, and then drop me at Nirmal Chhaya. I hope I am not bothering you too

much.” Mahmood was amazed. He could not muster the courage to ask the old man the reason for such an unusual request; but soon curiosity got the better of him. “ Sir, why do you wish to do this?” he asked. The old man coughed a little, cleared his throat, and said in an inspired voice, “ I would like to go around and see all those places where I spent my time-from childhood onwards-before I settle down at Nirmal Chhaya”. As they drove through the City, the old man became very excited, and kept commenting: “ See that ground - that is where I used to play football with my friends; look at that tree around the corner - that is where my friends and I used to sit and chat for hours; just go slow here - that is the restaurant where I met Neelam for the first time. I can’t forget any of this”( Neelam was his wife who had passed away a few year ago). They finally reached the destination. The old man now looked happier, contented and full of energy. He even tried to lift the big bag from the dickey! He asked Mahmood for the fare – he knew they had travelled quite a distance, and that the bill would be substantial. Mahmood moved forward, hugged the old man, and with tears clouding his eyes said, “ No Sir, you have to pay me nothing. Your ride today is on me. I pay you my respect, and wish you all the best for the future”. u Ramakant Gupta

Goodness Goddess She! She is Janani, She is Maitreyi, She is Saraswati, She is Kamalakshi. She is the mother, She is the wife, She is the daughter for all her life. She loves, she cajoles She cries, she scolds; To keep her family together, She gives up herself whole. Yet she is ogled at, beaten and raped, Very often left alone to tide over her fate; All she asks is a little respect, To treat her like a human and not an object. The hand that rocks the cradle,can create havoc too, The Amba in us can become a Durga too. Priyanka Ailahwadi





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19-25 April 2013

Extending Relationships { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


oday very few of the elderly in our localities get to enjoy the company of children. This simple interaction not only helps extend family ties over generations, but also helps reduce the loneliness of the aged. I often reminisce about my childhood days at Chandigarh. Ladies, children and grand parents would spend their evenings together, while strolling in the neighbourhood parks. This also offered a platform for the sharing of family news and concerns; almost everybody knew about the ‘goings-on’ in each house. Whenever needed, the whole locality would stand up as one family. Nowadays, children are often moved from place to place, and lose close contact with the extended family - of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and long-time neighbours. It is important for us to cultivate a sense of belonging in our families; and ensure that whatever may change outside our homes, some fundamental aspects of our relationships would never change. We should encourage our children to know their relatives; in fact talk of them, make an effort to correspond with them, visit them - and join extended family get-togethers. Extending our family is really just a matter of extending our love. The more love we extend, the fuller our life will be - of the things that matter most. Remembering milestones of extended family members is one way to bridge the distance that separates some loved ones today. We should also look around us at the people in our localities who brighten our lives, and whose lives we can brighten. A truly extended family can be created through acts of kindness and service. Making their extended family an important part of their lives is, for some grandparents, one of the great joys of growing old. They look forward to the visits of their grandchildren, and watch over them very attentively, besides showering them with their affection. Such involvement provides a rich opportunity for them to share a lifetime of their accumulated knowledge and wisdom. Keeping the generations close not only delivers emotional rewards, but also provides a valuable added perspective. Sometimes we may need to go the extra mile. An

A Cup of Kindness { Archana Kapoor Nagpal } “Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs, the wise can draw in their senses at will.” - Bhagavad Gita Quotes   “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Mother Teresa I relocated to a new city for work. It was my first day at work, and I was so nervous seeing the list of things to be completed. I was feeling unwell due to the tremendous  change  in the  climatic conditions;

ill-humoured aunt or uncle, a critical grandmother or an overbearing cousin may require extra portions of love. In such cases, we must develop the ability and selfdiscipline to think of their needs ahead of our own. But even when extended family members live relatively close by, there is no escaping the fact that families today do live more privately. While some extended families still give each other day-to-day assistance with shopping, child care and household tasks, more often now each branch of the family wants independence. Like significant rites of passage at every stage of life, becoming a grandparent presents an exciting opportunity to grow and change, and to experience a very special relationship. Many grandparents enjoy the sheer pleasure of being able to spend time with their grandchildren, without being burdened by the responsibilities of being a parent. Many of today’s grandparents are ‘young’, and have active working and social lives of their own. Nevertheless, becoming a grandparent provides a direct link to a whole new world, and the opportunity to stay in touch with another generation - and new ideas. Grandparents can find out first hand about current childcare methods, new toys and games, books, children’s interests and hobbies, education and popular music. Yes, the experience can be very rewarding. Grandchildren can give grandparents a sense of continuity and reassurance. This gives their life an added meaning and purpose, giving them a renewed confidence in their usefulness and value. It even gives them a ‘second chance’. Grandparents can try and do better at some of the things they felt less happy about as parents; and of course they can repeat, or strengthen, what they did well the first time round. In terms of relationships, they can not only form new ones, but also repair and rework some old ones – even with their own children. Developing extended relationships is character-building: it gives us the bliss of love, companionship and togetherness; and provides families a rich inter-generational experience. u

Anchor To The Breath Taking a break is like taking a breath With awareness; Don’t tangle with the thoughts, Don’t mangle with the emotion, Just watch the sensation On the body; In stress or despair, Take a deep breath... Be mindful of the sensation Don’t get ensnared Just be aware; Get back to the anchor, Breathe soft, breathe slow Let go; Thoughts that trigger emotions, Emotions that trigger pain, Don’t waste time untangling them Or engaging with mind games. A smile will soften up your face, And slacken the agitation pace... Amid all the mad race of the mind, You will find your inner space; Time to get back to the rhythm of the breath, And even as you breathe The pain will decrease, or cease... And the mind quieten, And you won’t be frightened Of self or others. Shobha Lidder, Writer journalist,

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.

I had a high fever and a sore throat. I decided to leave early. I took a cab from office, and asked the driver to stop by at the nearest pharmacy. When we reached there, I felt I had no energy to even get out of the car. The cab driver politely told me, “Please tell me the name of your medicine, I will get it for you.” When he returned, I was surprised that he had got me a buttered toast and a cup of hot tea. I offered to pay him, but he refused to take the money. He politely told me, “Please eat the food before you take your medicine. Do not worry, you will be fine. If you need any help, feel free to ask me.” He made me feel relaxed and comfortable. The hot cup of ginger tea provided me some temporary relief. I was touched by his incredible and noble act of kindness. He dropped me at my apartment, and left me his phone number. The very next day he gave me a call to check on my well-being. I was more than thankful to him. A small incident like that taught me an important lesson of life – always be kind to people, and be ever ready to help. “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” - Mark Twain u


Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

Crime, Law And Mercy


rime means any act that violates the universal respect, dignity and equality of a living being. By divine dispensation, none is considered superior or inferior to the other. Any crime has the undercurrent of forcing one’s superiority over another – physically, materially, morally or spiritually. The law should necessarily ensure action that deters crime. Punishment is part of the law that society has overwhelmingly accepted. It may undergo change, depending upon the time and conditions. But once agreed upon, it has to be strictly enforced – otherwise there will be only chaos. Mercy should necessarily be within the power of the aggrieved, and not with any other agency. No outside agency, including the ruling authority, can ever truly understand the grief and pain of the aggrieved, and should never act without the consent of the aggrieved. True repentance is not about asking for mercy, but a will to chastise oneself by accepting the punishment. u Bimal Mohanty


19-25 April 2013

C omment

Sporty @ four-o-forty


th will be a red-letter day, a ruby 40th anniversary of the birth of a Master. Taurean Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is turning four-o-forty. He was always naughty; in fact the bull was a bully at school. No wonder McEnroe was his idol ! The star sign has truly foretold of the Master:

He is of the Earth (element), down to earth and practical - with feet firmly planted on the ground. He has a bull-headed determination and persistence, a no-nonsense approach; concentrating on getting the job done, steadily – and then reaping the rewards. He does not buckle under pressure or adversity. Rather, he provides stability and comfort to his team, and to those who matter to him – and is generous with them. What keeps him going is a strong sense of values.


He is sensitive, and can be sentimental; and does not express his feelings often. Music is his release. And while normally peaceful, calm and quiet…once annoyed, shown a red rag, he can be like a bull in a china shop. To some he would have come across as stubborn, uncompromising, secretive and self-indulgent.

Awarded Padma Vibhushan (an expected Bharat Ratna nominee) Member - Rajya Sabha Awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Rated by Wisden as the 2nd best Test and ODI player of all time Part of the 2011 (One Day) World Cup winning team Scored a Double Century in an ODI – the only cricketer to date Has scored 100 international centuries – 49 in ODIs, 51 in Tests Has scored 15,000 + Test runs Honorary Member of the Order of Australia Played for Yorkshire – the first foreigner to do so

His personal and romantic life should be as interesting…being ruled by Venus. Despite being shy and reserved, is he an admirer of beauty…and of the fine pleasures of life? Does he have the ‘touch’, the gentle charm, the tenderness? Married life promises a happy home.


read today the article that appeared in Friday Gurgaon paper entitled ‘’Moving the with the Times’’. It is really a great work done by an individual. I was highly impressed with your report on such a touching subject. It’s a fact that we need to move ahead with the times and contribute in our own way, to uplift all those who are left out from the main segment of the society. I would like to contribute in my own way. Mohit Bansal



The master has excused himself from International 20/20 matches, and has taken retirement from ODIs The national question is: when would he announce his retirement from Test Cricket? The answer : on the completion of 25 years of Test Cricket, Sir – in late 2014. But who am I to tell a fellow Taurean – to the date? Happy Birthday, and have a blast, Master Sachin.u

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” – Paulo Coelho When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.” – Lily Tomlin Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.” – Jack Welch We see things not as they are, we see them as WE are.” – Morrie Camhi

W ellness

19-25 April 2013

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


ike the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde characters, salt has two contrasting images. On the one hand it occupies a central role in man’s history; and yet, in modern times, the seamier side of salt consumption has come to the fore. It is now associated with raised blood pressure or hypertension, and consequent chronic lifestyle diseases. So what is the reality of salt? For early man, salt provided one of the most effective means of preserving food. It also helped boost the taste of any food to which it was added. It was highly valued, and almost considered a form of currency. Even the word ‘salary’ comes from a period in early Rome when soldiers were paid in kind through salt. In many cultures of the world, the highly respected and reliable people were referred to as the ‘salt of the earth’, or ‘worth their salt’. Ancient healers in various traditions have had a deep respect for salt. Nearly five thousand years ago the Chinese as well as the Ayurvedic systems of medicine extolled the virtues of natural salts. Hippocrates – the ancient Greek physician – favoured the healing of various ailments by the immersion of a person in sea (salty) water. Common Salt is primarily made up of sodium chloride. Among other functions, sodium helps our body maintain a water electrolyte balance, regulates energy production and blood pressure, and assists the muscles and nerves. Being a major component of blood plasma and other bodily fluids, salt helps carry nutrients into and out of our cells, and helps balance acidalkali in our system. Thanks to its flavour enhancing, alkalizing and digestive properties, common salt can stimulate the secretion of saliva, enhance the absorption of nutrients as well as ensure the efficient removal of impurities.



Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Take With A Pinch So what do we need to keep in mind? Firstly, it is a question of quantum. The daily adult intake should ideally not cross one teaspoon of table salt (containing 2,300 milligrams of sodium). In fact, for ‘at-risk’ groups, 1,500 mg would be the limit. For millions of years our forefathers lived on a natural diet containing less than 1,000 mg a day of sodium. Present day averages have virtually exploded to 6,00012,000 mg, or even higher! In developed countries, more than 95 per cent of this comes from over-reliance on processed or fast foods. This has completely turned the tables on an important ratio – the SodiumPotassium Balance. As a result, high blood pressure has now become an epidemic in most cultures around the world; and together with obesity, is often the first step in the steep decline

naturally-occurring trace minerals – including silicon, phosphorous and vanadium. A modern and safe alternative, which is favoured by many Alternate Healing and Homeopathic practitioners, is the system of ‘Tissue Salts’ (also called ‘Biochemics’).

into chronic lifestyle disorders – and premature death. Secondly, not all salts are created equal. ‘Natural Salts’ are highly favoured for everyday use, as these are naturally rich in trace minerals. They include rock salt, lake salt and sea salt. Importantly, these salts contain 16 percent

‘Processed Salts’ include the common table salt, iodized salt, potassium chloride (a common salt substitute), MSG, black salt and liquid seasonings (soya sauce, tamari sauce etc.). Not only are these deficient in trace minerals, but many commercial salts may also contain anti-caking agents, and other additives like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.


be alert to the sodium content of the weaning foods (cereal, bread and crackers). Studies indicate that this is the time when a particular food may trigger a yearning for salt that can last a lifetime.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Natural Foods containing Sodium, and/ or replacing Salt:

Sea vegetables, considered to be among the world’s healthiest foods, can provide a salty flavour without the risk of overloading on sodium. Kelp is not only high in iodine, but also has a vast array of minerals and lignans (plant compounds with cancer-protective properties). Similarly, a variety of herbs, when added to cooking, can add flavour, freshness and zest to food. The benefit of experiencing the full flavour of the food, combined with lower sodium intake, is further enhanced by a whole host of antioxidants that these herbs provide. u

Tip of the Week

When weaning infants from a milk-based diet to solid foods, it is important to

Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

4U 4


by ShahnaZ Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and anti-aging treatments. Q. My skin is very patchy. I use a face wash instead of soap but it

doesn’t seem to help. Please help.

SH You should apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the

sun. Mix ground almonds with curd and use as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, specially on the darker areas. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

WINNER Rinku Wadhwani

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

18 Beat The Heat { Alka Gurha }


ummer is finally here, and so are heat-related illnesses. The most common problems are heat stroke, sun burn, heat cramps and fever. Children and the elderly are vulnerable to muscle cramps, drowsiness and exhaustion. Fortunately our kitchen has several home remedies to beat the heat.


A watermelon has everything you need to beat the heat. Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin-A, essential for healthy vision and immunity against viral fevers. Watermelons are a great source of much-needed hydration and electrolytes. One should not store uncut watermelon in the fridge; storing it at room temperature may double its nutritional value and health benefits. However, if you cut one and want to store it, you should store it in the fridge.

Aloe Vera

Papaya is very helpful when it comes to skin care. Since it has low salt content, it does not lead to water retention; the result is an overall hydrated skin. Papaya is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, that help in boosting the body’s immunity; hence is very good for those who are suffering from fever or heat strokes. Papaya mixed with honey or rose water is an excellent pack for skin burns.


{ Norbert Schnorbach / Berlin / DPA }


Coconut Water

oo big, too crooked or askew when looking in a mirror, many people are very critical when it comes to their nose. Every year, thousands decide to get their noses corrected by surgery. There is no medical reason, but for many it is a matter of self-esteem. Consumer protectionists and experienced surgeons warn against hasty operations. The risks and side effects are in fact high. “The nose is the centre of the face, and of course it’s understandable that people want to correct a very prominent nose,” says Marta Obermeier, a Plastic Surgeon from southern Germany. There can be many reasons why a person decides to have his/her nose corrected; but according to Obermeier, it is mostly about relationships or careers, or sometimes plain vanity.    The ideal is a proportional face with a slender and straight nose - though in real-

Stone Age Man Needed A Dentist { Zurich / DPA }

The water of a tender coconut, technically the liquid endosperm, is the most nutritious wholesome beverage that nature has provided. Coconut water contains electrolytes, including a large amount of potassium, which rehydrate you quickly. It is a perfect drink after any exercise session. Not only is coconut water cool and refreshing, it is also healthy. A glass of coconut water has only 14 grams of sugar. Regular consumption of coconut water helps in blood circulation, prevents heat burn problems, and also controls acidity.


‘Heat rash’ is an itchy inflammation of the skin, caused by obstructed sweat glands. Heat rash results when the skin is not exposed to circulating air, and the sweat cannot evaporate – causing it to accumulate at the surface. Babies are commonly affected, typically in the diaper region, or around the folds of the neck.  Common in hot, humid weather, the rash usually occurs on the covered areas of the body, where perspiration accumulates, or the clothing creates friction. Aloe Vera gel is highly effective at relieving the burning sensation, preventing infection and reducing the visible signs of heat rash.

W ellness

19-25 April 2013

We know that cucumbers have cooling properties, and are extremely good for bringing relief to the eyes in summers. However, they are associated with a number of other health and nutrition benefits too. Raw cucumber, when applied on the skin, can help reduce heat and inflammation. The diuretic, cooling and cleansing property of cucumber makes it good for the skin. Fresh cucumber juice can provide relief from heartburn, acidity and gastritis. u


ven prehistoric man suffered from bad teeth. Examinations of Otzi, the 5,000-year-old ice-bound body discovered in the Alps in 1991, have just discovered that he had caries and periodontitis (gum disease). He had also damaged one of his front teeth, presumably due to an accident, researchers at the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine (ZEM) at the University of Zurich found. ZEM engages in interdisciplinary research into the evolution of significant human diseases. The Otzi body displays “astonishingly numerous” dental problems still widespread today, according to Professor Frank Ruehli, who led the study. Although the ice body has been studied extensively over the last 20 years, the teeth had received relatively little attention. The findings give interesting information on the dietary habits of Neolithic people, and the evolution of dental diseases. ZEM dentist Roger Seiler, and colleagues in the US and Italy, examined CT scan data of Otzi’s teeth. “The loss of the periodontium has always been a very common disease, as the discovery of Stone Age skulls and the examination of Egyptian mummies has shown. Otzi allows us an especially good insight into such an early stage of this disease,” Seiler said. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the teeth and oral cavity show how Otzi was

Nose Surgeries Are Risky ity our faces rarely match up to that. A glance at the long list of medical terms to describe a nose reveals quite a variety: from a balloon to a hammer nose, myriad variations show up in a cosmetic surgeon’s office. Specialists say that a nose correction is among the most frequent, but also challenging, procedures. Under anaesthesia, chisels and rasps are used to reshape the nose’s cartilage and bone. In many cases, surgeons can operate through the nostrils, thus avoiding exterior scars. But side effects and possible risks should not be underestimated. Swelling and bruising are common for all patients, and a bandage is necessary for about one or two weeks. Patients can usually return to work after two or three weeks, but sports are a no-go for a minimum of six weeks. Other risks are that you may still not like your nose, or end up with health issues. Consumer pro-

tectionists recommend getting all necessary information about the risks before an operation. You should be sceptical if your surgeon provides you with very optimistic promises, or tries to play the risks down. Klaus Hebold, a Consultant doctor

suffering from advanced periodontal disease. In the area of the rear molars especially, the researchers found a significant loss of periodontal supporting tissue. While it is unlikely that Otzi would ever have cleaned his teeth, his abrasive diet would have led to a kind of self-cleaning, the experts believe.

Periodontitis is also associated with diseases of the cardiovascular system, and previous studies showed that Otzi suffered from arteriosclerosis. The dental cavities suggest Otzi had a diet of starchy foods such as bread and cereal, which were increasingly consumed in the Neolithic period, as agriculture began to emerge. His teeth also indicate the harshness of life in those times. One front tooth suffered damage, and a molar lost a cusp, probably from chewing something hard. Otzi is the oldest wet mummy in the world. Discovered in the Oetztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy in 1991, it is believed he died from an arrow wound in the back, around 3300 BC. u

from Cologne, and a specialist in nose corrections, lists all the risks and side effects: they include long-term sensory problems at the tip of the nose, uncontrolled bleeding and a dry or overly hydrated nose. He estimates that 10 to 15 per cent of patients need a second operation. “One millimetre is a lot on the nose, and even the slightest mistake may require another correction.” The final result can only be fully judged after a period of one year, as the swelling at the tip of the nose can take a long time to ease. Professor Wolfgang Gubisch, from the German Association of Cosmetic Surgeons (VDAePC), has seen many cases of operations that went wrong. Several of his patients came to him because they looked worse after their procedures. He operates on about 500 patients a year, in his clinic in the city of Stuttgart. Half of them are to fix bungled operations by other doctors. “Professional cosmetic surgeons are seeing a constant rise in cases like this,” Gubisch says. u

B on V ivant

19-25 April 2013

Cultural Hub { Shilpy Arora / FG }


amous TV personality Anup Soni came to the City at the beginning of this year, to present his play, Begum Jaan, at the Aravali Centre for Art & Culture (ACAC). After four months, when the Centre called him for the same play again, he was excited. “The experience in Gurgaon has been fantastic; it is a great atmosphere. It seems that the people in the City understand theatre well, and want more shows to take place. With the help of organisations like ACAC, theatre artists are getting a good response in the Millennium City” says Soni. ACAC seems to have emerged as a pleasant space for artists engaged in the visual and performing arts. Some 10 years ago, when the Millennium City was a cultural wasteland, a few City-based enthusiasts formed the Aravali Centre for Art & Culture (ACAC), to bring cultural programmes to the City. “While there was great physical infrastructure, what was lacking was a cultural centre. Most of us have come from culturally rich places, so

{ Michael Zehender / Vilnius / DPA }


ere is a pop quiz question: Where is the midpoint of Europe? Gintaras Karosas is certain it is 17 kilometres north of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, which is why the Lithuanian sculptor opened Europos Parkas (“Park of Europe”) there in 1991. “I wanted to underscore the fact that this is where the geographic centre of our continent lies,” he said. In this he has succeeded impressively, although not all specialists agree that the spot is indeed Europe’s centre, as the French National Geographic Institute determined in 1989. Europos Parkas has an array of sculptures that make it one of the premier modern-art collections in the Baltic states. What’s more, it represents a symbiosis of art and nature – because all of the sculptures are outdoors. “They only find expression in their interplay with nature,” remarked Karosas, who organized Art exhibitions as a schoolboy. Each sculpture was chosen to harmonize with particular

we, along with a few corporates, helped lay the foundation for this cultural centre,” says Ganguly, a former Secretary of ACAC,and one of the ‘founders’ . A non-profit organisation, which provides a platform for the appreciation and propagation of the visual and performing arts, ACAC invites renowned artists, and organises cultural and art programmes and exhibitions. Having facilitated more than 20 cultural performances, a number of exhibitions, and workshops, the Centre has helped fill some of the cultural void. “When we moved to Gurgaon some 15 years ago, there was no cultural activity here. For any play, music or dance recital, we had to go to Delhi. To fill the gap, we started an organisation, ACAC. Over the years, the Centre has drawn like-minded people,” says Ruby, one of the founding members of ACAC. Along with a few theatre lovers, she has also formed a theatre company, Urban Suburban Productions (USP). An all-women theatre group, USP is making waves across the City. “USP came

about through a need and a passion,” smiles Ruby.


With an aim to bring the best talent and performances to the City, the Centre organises many musical concerts, plays, art exhibitions and workshops through the year. The Centre’s activities are broadly divided into two segments – Exhibition and Education. Performances by eminent artistes in the fields of dance, music, theatre, cinema and fine arts are part of Exhibition; while Education programmes include various art -courses, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. Talent search, scholarships and performance facilitation are

also integral to the Education programme.

Aravali Workshops

Aravali Workshops offer an intensive crash-course, that provides an opportunity to a participant to discover all the aspects related to the theme of the Workshop. “Aravali Theatre Workshop not only guides participants on acting, the basic art of speech and posture, but also covers set designing, narration, props, relevance of music, production and choreography,” says one of the participants.

Aravali Baithaks

Aravali Baithaks are warm, informal interactive

Sculpture Park

places in the Park, characterized by rolling hills, woodlands and grasslands, dotted with natural springs. It all began in 1991, with a single sculpture by Karosas, who was just 19 years old at the time. Titled “Symbol of Europos Parkas”, and serving as the Park’s foundation stone, it is a large, four-sided white block, tapered to a point at the top. The number of sculptures has since risen to more than 100, many from well-known artists – such as Dennis Oppenheim, Magdalena Abakanowicz and

Sol Le Witt. Fourteen of the sculptures are by Karosas himself, chief among them the “Monument of the Centre of Europe,” a series of granite plates set in the ground that point towards the various European capitals, and on which their names and distances from the Park are chiseled. His most spectacular work, however, is the “LNK Infotree,” a tree-shaped, 700-metre maze of some 3,000 television sets, with a toppled statue of Lenin in


gatherings, wherein guests sit on the floor with ‘takiyas’, and the artists perform in their midst. The performers introduce the compositions, giving an explanation on their origin, nuances and changes over time. The audience can also pose questions, and make requests. “It is an unusual experience, especially in Gurgaon. The setting is reminiscent of the grandeur and the opulence of a Nawab’s palace, that we have closely observed in our hometown,” says 60-year-old Prakash, a regular attendant of ACAC shows. She hails from the city of Lucknow. Recently, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, ACAC organised a recital by Shafqat Ali Khan.


Over the years, the Centre has formed a large network of members. Although ACAC generates funds through memberships, grants from corporate bodies, sponsorships and fees, raising funds has been a challenge. “We aim to identify and nurture talent in the society, run scholarship schemes, provide study grants and facilitate performances, shows and exhibitions of artistes; but we always struggle to generate funds,” says Raj, one of the members of ACAC. “We are looking at tapping funds from the corporate sector, but we would like to associate only with those who share our vision,” he says. u the middle. It is meant to symbolize “the absurdity of Soviet propaganda” spread by television. LNK stands for Laisvas Nepriklausomas Kanalas (Lithuanian TV). All of the TV sets were supplied by the people of Lithuania, one of the 15 former Soviet republics. “We were surprised that so many people wanted to get rid of their old TV sets,” said Karosas, who had expected just a few hundred. By doing so, they had shown “their desire to symbolically leave the days of Soviet propaganda behind them.” It is the world’s largest artwork made of TV sets, according to Guinness World Records. The Park covers 55 hectares, and was a wild, neglected woodland before Karosas started to shape it. Today, it is veined with well-tended roads. Not all of the sculptures can be seen from the road, though. Most appear unexpectedly after a short walk into a wood. One of them, by the Polish sculptor Abakanowicz, is titled “Space of Unknown Growth”, and consists of massive boulders and 22 variously-sized forms of concrete. covering an area of 2,012 square metres. u

20 { Bhavana Sharma }

B on V ivant

19-25 April 2013

The Yoga Balance


nderstanding the energy balance of our body is one of the main ways to maintain the health of the body and the life of the spirit. There are 7 energy centres outside the physical body, called ‘Chakras’ – each endowed with certain qualities and associations. Ancient spiritual theories tell us that, with the help of the many yoga postures, we can keep the ‘Chakra’ energy flowing and energised. We take up the first 2 Chakras in this issue.

The Root Chakra ( First Chakra)

This Chakra is located at the base of the spine; in Sanskrit it is known as ‘Muladhara’ – meaning the root. Its element is the Earth, and the verb associated with it–or which is repeatedly chanted during the ‘Chakra’ meditations–is ‘ I have’. The Chakra is supposed to represent our interest and need for survival, and the colours it denotes in its energy fields are Red and Brown.

shoulders, bring your arms under you, and bring your hands together...interlace your hands. Take some of the weight onto your arms and your shoulders. Expand your chest and breathe. When you are ready to release the posture, release your hands and allow your spine to roll down, using the squeeze to control your descent.

Yoga For Root Chakra

The best yoga posture, that helps us to heal the root Chakra, is Setubandhasna – or the ‘Bridge’ yoga asana. This posture helps us to focus on the energy of the first Chakra, which lies dormant within the ethereal layers outside our physical body. It balances the root Chakra, by strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and thighs. This yoga can be practiced by people of all ages, and should be done just once a day – preferably in the early hours of the morning.

Imbalances in this Chakra may result in many physical and mental disturbances. Due to its malfunctioning, one of the manifestations is confusion . We need to feel grounded, and should not lose our support system with the universe. Through this first Chakra, we work to understand and heal our bodies. Eating is a first Chakra activity; when we eat we are nourished, and our physical body is supported.

The Sacral Chakra (Second Chakra)

Chakra is Trikonasana, as this posture is good for trimming and toning the muscles; the spine is stretched, the lungs are expanded and the stomach muscles are strengthened.

This Chakra is also called the Swadhisthana Chakra. It is positioned at the tailbone, two finger-widths above the Muladhara. It has six petals, to match the vrittis (different tendencies, which give scope to the mind to express a variety of feelings and emotions) –  affection, pitilessness, feeling of alldestructiveness, delusion, disdain and  suspicion. Its corresponding point at the front of the body is at the pubic bone.

Yoga For Sacral Chakra

Since this Chakra is powerful, it aids in the self-development of an individual at the soulconscious level. It also is the storehouse of all our personal impressions and habits from past actions. The cobra pose asana is a very good practice to help balance the energies of the Sacral Chakra. This yoga strengthens the spine, while helping it to be more flexible . Blood circulation is improved, as additional blood flows through the ‘nadis’ throughout the vertebrae. But the most powerful asana for the Sacral

{ Krishan Kalra }


indus are great ones for fasting. We do have our difficult one day fasts - the toughest being Janmashtmi, Lord Krishna’s birthday. As if to share Yashodha’s pain, devout Hindus will not even drink water on the day. As a kid I had tried it just once, only to raid the larder at noon, and sheepishly accept what mother had warned all along – that the Janmashtmi fast is not for children. Being a vegetarian on Tuesday is another ritual. I remember the time I landed up at a friend’s place on a Tuesday night. Not being a ‘believer’, all he had arranged for dinner were ‘kababs’. My way out was to drink till the stroke of twelve, and then attack the succulent ‘seekhs’. But the fasts that take the cake are the Navratras. Most homes won’t touch meat and eggs during these nine days. Even the freezers get their annual cleaning, lest any offensive foods are left over. This time my wife ‘suggested’ that I also fast - at least for a day or two. Her orders, plus the promise of a special Navratra dinner at her sister’s place, compelled me to join her in the penance. At six, when my alarm rang, my wife mentioned that since I was fasting, may be I should skip the walk and take it easy. Tea arrived soon, even though I am not addicted to this luxury. ‘Have an extra cup today - you are fasting’, said the dear wife, and also offered some special noncereal biscuits. Come breakfast time, and there was a

Imbalance in Root Chakra

Practicing Setubandhasna

Begin by lying on your back with your arms at your sides, your palms facing downward. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet close to your buttocks. Press down on the soles of your feet – you have a lot of strength there. Squeeze your buttocks, and press your pubic bone upward, allowing you to lift your hips. Once you are up there, with your feet pressing down, your buttocks squeezed, your chest expanded, and your weight shifted to your

Fasting Fiesta

Practicing Trikonasana

You need to stand straight, and keep your legs two feet apart. Next , stretch your arms wide on the sides, in line with the shoulders – the arms will be parallel to the ground. Gradually bend your body to the right. Keep the left knee stiff and erect, and touch the right toe with the fingers of the right hand. Bend the neck slightly to the right – it may touch the right shoulder. Now stretch the left arm above you. Retain the posture for 2 or 3 minutes, and then release your breath slowly.

Imbalance in Sacral Chakra

When this Chakra is imbalanced, you will be lacking in creative drive, optimism, self-confidence, enthusiasm and negotiation skills. This Chakra is primarily associated with creativity and sexuality. This is the powerversus-vulnerability Chakra, and one needs to keep it balanced and energised. u Author, Tarot Reader

huge glass of milk, some ‘khoya pedas’, and half a dozen bananas and apples. Are we starting on a three-day trip, I exclaimed!? ‘Have something, you are fasting all day’, said the lady of the house. Mid-afternoon again we had fruit ‘chaat’, tender coconut and ‘sharbat’; and teatime brought tea and tons of non-cereal ‘aloo pakodas’. By now I had eaten more than two a days’ ration - and I was supposed to be on a fast ! For dinner, the dining table, with a revolving Lazy Susan, had the largest array of vegetables I have ever seen: special preparations, each with a different taste, of ‘aloo, sitaphal, paneer’ and other vegetables - of course all without onions and garlic - and ‘puris and kachoris’ from non-cereal atta (can you believe that !); and ‘rasgullas, gajar ka halwa’, and - hold your breath - ‘kheer’ from non-cereal rice! Every time I cleared my plate, the Susan moved a little, and the next dish came into frontal view, tantalizingly - only to be gobbled up, albeit with a guilty conscience. “This is a real….”, I stopped short of saying “farce”, and instead managed a mumbled “feast”. I have dutifully decided to observe all the Navratra fasts every year. u

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19-25 April 2013

Russia Invests In Space { Wolfgang Jung / Moscow / DPA }


resident Vladimir Putin announced an investment of more than 50 billion dollars for Russia’s space programme, at the anniversary of the world’s first manned space flight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (in 1961). Calling on Russia to take economic advantage of space, Putin said, “The market is growing, and we should grow with it.”     Speaking at the construction site of the future Vostochny launch station in Eastern Russia, Putin called

for reforms, saying that because parts of Russia’s economy remained influenced by Soviet policies, the country had lost ground to the United States, Europe and China. “Our space industry lacks motivation, innovation and talent,” he said. Among the changes mentioned by Putin was the possible formation of a space ministry. The Vostochny launch station is set to be completed in 2015, at a cost of 7.4 billion euros. Russia’s current launch site in Baikonur in Kazakhstan would remain in use, Putin said. Russia pays

Louvre Reopens { Clare Byrne / Paris/ DPA }


he Louvre Museum in Paris reopened to the public under tighter security, a day after being shut by a staff protest over pickpockets. Several officers were deployed around the museum, after about 200 employees walked off the job, complaining of increasingly aggressive behaviour by gangs of pickpockets – who roam the Museum’s vast halls and galleries. The protest forced the world’s most visited Museum–home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo–to close for a day, causing dismay for tourists. The staff complain of being attacked, threatened, insulted and even spat at, by groups of often underage thieves, who take advantage of free entry for people under the age of 26, to slip inside the former royal palace. The Louvre, which attracted 10 million visitors in 2012, has said it is trying to tackle the problem, which has come to plague several tourist attractions – including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Among the measures planned by the Museum are more signs warning visitors about pickpockets, in various languages. u

Kazakhstan about 4 million dollars annually for the site, where Gagarin blasted off 52 years ago. Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Russia’s Roskomos space programme, said Russia was aiming first to put its cosmonauts on the moon, and afterwards build a space station there by 2030 – from which a manned flight to Mars could take place. Since the retirement of the US space shuttle programme, Russia is currently the only country that can pilot astronauts to the International Space Station. u

G lobal


India Could Have Rice, Wheat Stockpile { Peter Janssen / Bangkok / DPA }


ndia’s stockpiles of wheat and rice will reach 90 million tons this year (barring a natural disaster), forcing them to export the surplus, the United Nations predicted. “If present projections are borne out, that could result in 90 million tons of rice and wheat stocks (about 50/50), and they simply don’t have the storage facilities,” said Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Rice Expert Sumiter Broca. “India has never had stocks to this extent,” Broca said. He added that the past peak stockpile had only been 60 million tons of wheat and rice. “I don’t see where it will be stored, so they will have to export.” Barring a bad monsoon season, when the main rice crop is sown in Asia, the FAO anticipates an increase in rice region-wide. Thailand is also anticipating a stockpile of 18 million tons, beyond its storage capacity. Both countries have implemented rice pricesupport schemes, designed to boost farmers’ incomes. The FAO Food Price Index also forecast a 4-per-cent increase in wheat global wheat production this year. u

NASA Plans To Capture, Move Asteroid { Anne Walters / Washington / DPA }


he US space agency NASA hopes to capture and move an asteroid into orbit around the moon, as part of plans to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, NASA said in its budget proposal.    The plan would eventually see a robotic craft capture and move a 500 ton asteroid, and allow astronauts to visit the rock by as early as 2021, to collect samples. Beginning next year, with an initial 78-million-dollar budget request, NASA  would work on identifying possible asteroids for the mission, and develop the technology to capture the asteroid.       The mission would help NASA to better understand near-Earth objects, and find potential hazards in our solar system. “This mission would develop the technologies and

capabilities required, if there is a need to move a hazardous asteroid,” the budget proposal released by the White House said. An asteroid will also serve as an intermediate destination for astronauts, as NASA works to develop plans to send humans to Mars. “This mission represents an unprecedented technological feat that will lead to new scientific discoveries and technological capabilities, and help protect our home

planet,” NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden said. The Obama administration’s plan to send astronauts to an asteroid—and eventually to Mars—has been in the works since 2010, when it jettisoned plans developed under George W Bush of returning to the moon. The recent announcement expands on an earlier planned asteroid visit, that is a crucial part of an effort to develop a rocket with the power to visit a more distant object. u

22 { Matthias Benirschke / RhedaWiedenbrueck, Germany / DPA }


The German Sausage King

Clemens Toennies, 56, boss and half-owner of the Toennies Fleisch meat company in Germany. Bernd Thissen

he pigs’ last journey from the truck to the slaughterhouse is a grim one – hemmed in by concrete walls and steel bars, over a soiled floor. It stinks of animals and their dung. The silence is broken only occasionally by a loud squeal, quickly damped by the sound-absorbing ceiling. If the pigs stop, an abattoir worker prods them on with something that looks like an outsized fly swatter. “Your first time?” a man wearing white rubber boots and a white apron asks. The name ‘Mr Toennies’ is embroidered on his chest. Clemens Toennies is the boss and half-owner of the huge Toennies meat company, based in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in western Germany. Toennies, 56, appears able to sense the feelings of a first-time visitor, even though the work here in one of the country’s largest slaughterhouses has long been routine for him. The pigs proceed down the gangways in small groups. This is intentional, as research has shown that they are then more relaxed. Clemens Toennies started his apprenticeship as a butcher at the age of 15, in his father’s small meat operation in Rheda. “The business was on its last legs,” he says. His brother Bernd, four years older, already had his apprenticeship and training year behind him, and was setting up on his own (in his father’s premises). “And you can join,” Bernd said, and that is what Clemens did. Now the pack of the small group of six or seven pigs is blocked by a grille. Another hydraulic grille closes behind them, and the pigs penned in grow more nervous. One squeals, as another empties its bowels. “I was 20 when I went to college to study meat production,” says Clemens. There is a brief moment of anticipation before the hydraulic grille pushes the seven pigs into a kind of lift. Amid the pushing and shoving, the pigs attempt to remain standing – and then they disappear from view. The two brothers created a business that grew rapidly, even though their relationship was strained at times. “We were brothers. We loved each other and we fought each other - the way it is with brothers,” Toennies says. He is now in conflict with his nephews, on ownership. Once the pigs are in the lift they descend 13 metres. “Under carbon dioxide for 110 seconds they become anaesthetized, and then completely unconscious,” explains Clemens. When they come up again, they are hanging

19-25 April 2013

Eight mince-meat production lines in the pork department at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Germany.

by one leg, on a conveyor belt running along the ceiling. The heads of some of the pigs bang against the structure as they go round a bend, but there is no reaction from them. Bernd died in 1994 at the age of 42. Clemens took over, and the business flourished. Today the Toennies Group is Germany’s largest meat producer – with an annual turnover of 5 billion euros, employing a workforce of 8,000, in seven plants in Germany and one in Denmark. The pigs are carried further, their weight shown on a digital display. They reach a worker standing on a pedestal, wearing a blood-stained plastic apron. He thrusts a hollow stainless steel needle with a draining tube into an inert pig. The pig moves down the conveyor, its lifeblood draining away, as the worker picks up the next tube. “It’s better when the heart is still beating,” Toennies says. “If the pig has lost two and a half litres of blood, then it is fairly certain it’s dead.” Each one is then weighed again, and the display has to show 3 kilograms less, otherwise the conveyor stops. This is because the carcasses would now be immersed in hot water, and this must not be done to a living animal. “Anyone who has ever stepped into an overheated bathtub knows the pain it can cause,” Toennies

says. “While the heart is still beating, it is a pig – but after that, it’s pork,” Toennies says. The pork arrives at the next stop, which is tiled completely in white, and where the butchers stand waiting. The air is moist and warm as the carcasses are carried slowly past, one every 2 metres. They have been cut open from the throat to the hindquarters by a machine. The butchers now cut out the innards with a couple of expert strokes of the knife. The innards fall into a stainless steel

A meat-worker at the Toennies slaughterhouse puts a knife in a pork carcass. 

container that moves along with the carcass. After cutting each animal, the butchers disinfect their knives, and move into position behind their co-workers in a rotating queue. The Toennies slaughterhouses process 16 million pigs a year. The one in RhedaWiedenbrueck has a capacity of 140,000 pigs a week - equivalent to more than 1,700 an hour, or more than 7 million a year - with two shifts, working five days a week. Other Toennies plants have capacities to kill 270,000 head of cattle per week. “We are running at full capacity,” Toennies says with satisfaction, as he strides into the next of the innumerable stairwells, all tiled in white. The Toennies group guarantees that its products are 100-per-cent traceable. Each pig is tattooed with a livestock movement order number before slaughter. Data on each animal is accumulated at every point of the process. A

G lobal chip on the hook from which the pig hangs stores the data, and transmits it to the next point in the process. In the next production hall, there are a dozen conveyors running in parallel, surrounded by hundreds of slaughterhouse workers wearing white aprons and plastic gloves. The individual parts of the carcasses move past in an apparently never-ending flow. Each of the workers is tasked with making one or two cuts before the item reaches the next stage. Finally machines cut the portions into cutlets, to millimetre precision. All the relevant data from the slaughterhouse is transmitted in real time to a government server of the consumer affairs authorities. The farmers supplying the pigs are also able to call up the data on “their” livestock. And Toennies has developed “fTrace” for the consumer. Using an app, Smartphones can read off a dot matrix code on the meat at the point of sale, telling them where the pig was reared, and when it was slaughtered. “A pig produces 200 separate items,” Toennies says. “The trick is to find a buyer for each of them.” Toennies exports more than half the pork produced at his slaughterhouses, currently to 82 countries. Three or four freight trains, owned by the Group, trundle to the ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven every week. The product range extends from half carcasses to ready-to-cook pork cordon bleu. “Despatching a container to China is cheaper than sending to Poland,” Toennies says. Pointing to dozens of crates packed with pig’s heads, he says, “This is our top export to China.” The tails are a hit in the Far East too. The rinds from the back go to the Philippines. “They are dried there and turned into crackers,” he says. u

Monkeys’ Lip-Smacking Is Similar To Human Speech { Washington / DPA }


omeone hearing what sounds like people talking in Ethiopia’s highlands may not have come across locals out for a walk. It could be the vocalizations of a monkey species showing an evolutionary link to human speech, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. The study’s author, Thore Bergman, a biologist at the University of Michigan in the United States, said the speech-like sounds came from lip-smacking by geladas (Theropithecus gelada). Close cousins of baboons,

geladas live only in the high mountain meadows of Ethiopia and are distinguished by a red patch of skin on their chest that has brought them the moniker “bleeding heart baboons.” While studying the monkeys several years ago, Bergman said, “I would find myself frequently looking over my shoulder to see who was talking to me, but it was just the geladas.” Close observations indicated that the geladas’ vocalizations, called a “wobble,” consisted of the simultaneous production of a “moan” - a common vocalization in geladas - and lip-smacking. The rhythm of wobbles, between 6 and 9 hertz, closely

matches that of human speech, and the lip-smacking has a periodicity very similar to the gaps between syllables in many human languages, Bergman reported. The sounds are unusual because primate vocalizations are typically produced without movement of the lips, jaw, and tongue, “resulting in a steady sound that lacks the undulations of human speech,” Bergman wrote. The lip-smacking, mainly used by male geladas to communicate with females, could plausible be linked to the evolutionary step towards human speech, he said. Geladas are highly gregarious. u

'Frozen Music'

Bhuvneshwari Kala Kendra Bhondsi

S pecial

23 PRAKHAR pandey

19-25 April 2013


19-25 April 2013

G -scape PRAKHAR pandey

Ishara International Puppetry Festival


Friday Gurgaon April 19-25, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon April 19-25, 2013

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