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9-15 August 2013

Vol. 2 No. 51  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Happy Independence Day

FG Wishes Its Readers


As FG completes its 2nd year, we would like your views on FG coverage and content. Write to us at


9-15 August 2013



9-15 August 2013

Vol. 2 No. 51  Pages 24  ` 7

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

The State as Pied Piper Residents Beware

{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at


he covert attempt by the State to dilute the Haryana Apartment Ownership Act (HAOA) 1983, which regulates the ownership and interest of apartment buyers, seems to have met with more than reasonable ‘success’. As expected, the move by the State government has led to confusion in the Millennium City, about the future role, powers and management of the RWAs - which till now have proved to be an important pivot in safeguarding the interests of the apartment owners. It may be recalled that HAOA gives prime importance in the management and control of condominiums to the Associations of Owners (popularly known as RWAs), after the builder exits the project – although that (latter) happens rarely in Gurgaon. In a surprising move last

year the State government had included certain sections of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act into the ‘new’ Societies Registration Act 2012, and asked all the RWAs to get re-registered under this ‘new’ Act. This move, insiders say, was a direct fallout of the numerous battles being fought by the City-based RWAs against many entrenched builders, who refuse to follow the norms and rules underlined by HAOA 1983. In fact, Gurgaon-based activists who have been involved in several legal battles with builders, assert that making the Registrar of Societies an all-powerful body, and just inserting certain sections of the Apartment Act, has been aimed at nixing the rights of apartment owners. They also allege that this move is meant to ensure that builders can continue their hold on apartment complexes and common areas – to reap the FSI, Com-

mon Area, Modifications and Maintenance benefits – almost in perpetuity. While a year ago only fears had been expressed about how the ‘new’ Societies Act would dilute the interests of apartment owners, recent


Bringing Up Bobby

developments in Valley View Apartments on GurgaonFaridabad Expressway point to the fact that damage has already been done. The Valley View Estates RWA was registered under the Societies Act 1860 in 2009, and since then it

has been functioning as the representative of the apartment owners. However, there were numerous differences among the apartment owners as well as the builder, over maintenance, Contd on p 8 

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }

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arenting has never been so difficult in urban India. The dynamics of the family system has undergone a serious change – especially in this ‘modern’ Millennium City. A nuclear family and ‘closed-door living’ has become the trend. Parents are not able to find ‘enough’ time to spend with their children, and some often don’t know where they are – or maybe even who they are... In exceptional cases they find out from the police - the recent ‘sex-and-smoke’ birthday party at a pub being a case in point! Many say that such parties are ‘routine’. The participants are mainly children from affluent homes, studying in reputed schools. The concern is that ‘splurge drinking’ seems to have become the preferred way to spend weekends, for these youngsters. Most of them partake without knowing the risks of alcohol abuse. Do parents today know what their teenage sons or daughters are doing? If no, is it that they do not really care? If yes, is it that they have no problem, even with deviant behaviour? When asked, most of the parents clearly say that they would not find it acceptable if their son or daughter were caught doing anything illegal – leaving a fairly wide scope in between. A resident of Sun City, Sobha, is happy to speak openly on the issue. She says, “I was wild when I was younger and I turned out ok. My son too will be fine, even if he takes a peg occasionally.” But what if he does not follow her footsteps – what if it gets worse at a young age? There are no easy or ready answers. Contd on p 9 

04 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–51  9-15 August 2013


C oming U p

9-15 August 2013


Theatre Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Mera Bharat Pareshaan

Vikalp Panwar


Snr. Executive Ad. Sales:

Abhishek Gautam

Independence Day World is a Village

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 15 Time: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

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


mega show by Ankur Cultural Society, showcasing international culture, art and craft, and cuisines from across the world. Performing artists from Britain, Canada, Hungary, Korea, Israel and India will present their respective cultural traditions.




Tikka Festival

@ Grill & Wok, Shop No. 6, Nathupur Road, DLF City Phase 3 Date: Up to August 15 Time: 11:00 am to 3:30 pm; 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm 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.

Twice Upon A Time

@ Kingdom of Dreams, Auditorium Complex, Sector 29 Date: August 10 Time: 11:00 am to 1:30 pm

@ Park Plaza, B Block, Sushant Lok, Phase I Date: August 17 & 18 Time: 10:30 am onwards


airy tales with a twist, which will rekindle your interest in stories, and encourage you to imagine. The Play is presented by The Unreal Academy.
Age Group: 5 to 15 years.


n Exhibition offering a wide variety of apparel, accessories, bags, jewellery, wedding decor, Rakhi gifts, footwear and home furnishings. Also on offer are astrology sessions, free mehndi and designer bangles for ladies.



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.

To Advertise Please Contact

7838003874 9999444818

osted by Rajneesh Kapoor, this is a bitter-sweet, hilarious standup comedy, featuring Aditi Mittal and Varun Grover. Suitable for 16 years and above

his Festival is a treat for all tikka lovers. The food fiesta is sure to leave you satiated. Enjoy a variety of sumptuous tikkas – including tandoori chicken, creamy Afghani chicken and chicken malai tikka.

Savya Fashion Extravaganza (Rakhi Special)

Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh



@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 13 Time: 7:30 pm

My Business

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 10 Time: 9:00 am

The 4th Gurgaon Running & Living Town & Country Half Marathon @ Navkriti Arcade - Sector 55 Date: August 11 Time: 5:30 am


he popular runs, organised by runners for runners, are back! Experience the thrill of the sport that includes some cross country running on a not-so-flat course. Select your run – from 21 km, 10 km or 5 km. A few last minute registrations are being accepted at the mini-expo at Navkriti Arcade, between 8 to 10 am on August 10.


Healing Through Present & Past Lives

@ Radisson Blu Suites, B Block, Sushant Lok, Phase 1 Date: August 15 & 16 Time: 9:00 am onwards


two-day Workshop by Dr. Adrian Finkelstein, on Inducing Rapid Deep Hypnosis, Special or Selective Amnesia Induction, Dual Hypnosis performed on two subjects sharing a present and past life, Biometric and Personality Quantification in Present-Past Lives Research and Therapy and Electromagnetic DNA as tools of reincarnation research and therapy.

or all the women running a business or interested in starting one, this Workshop by Mums At Work will help you connect, learn, network and have fun. The Event features a discussion on, 'From a Start-up to a successful business', conducted by expert speaker Alda Dhingra. This will be followed by a networking session with new entrepreneurs, and fun activities.
Contact Archana Sharma at 9958405024

C oming U p

9-15 August 2013



Performing Arts


Music & Dance

Desi Friday


@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 16 to 18 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm


Group Art Show that gives the participants the freedom of creative expressions. The results of the artists' expressions are on display, featuring the works of Sita Rattan, Anjul Johri, Rajani Pothineni, Surbhi Rathi, Shan P. Singh, Ruchi Mansaa, Kirti Raj, Rashim Gupta and others. The Show is conceptualised and curated by Jitendra Padam Jain.

@ Buzz, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 53 Date: Up to September 27 (Fridays) Time: 9:00 pm onwards


o desi with your gang and groove to the eclectic performances of DJs Prashant and Rahul. Enjoy the party mixes belted out by the duo and make all your desi moves to the beats.

A Tribute to Jagjit Singh

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 14 Time: 7:30 pm


he Show is a musical tribute to the King of ghazals. The first performance is a classical solo sarangi recital by Ahsan Ali from Kirana Gharana, with Rasheed Niyazi on Tabla. This will be followed by a ghazal performance by Moinuddin Khan, with Shawab Ali on Tabla,Tahir Hussain on Harmonium and Ghulam Ali on Sarangi.

Chaand Raat Jashn

@ Zorba The Buddha, MG Road Date: August 9 Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm


elebrate 'Chaand Raat' this Eid amidst Sufi stories, soul-soothing music and dance. Listen to the folktales narrated through dance and music by Damini, in a candle-lit ambience. End the 'Chaand Raat Jashn' with lavish servings of a variety of authentic delectables, including the traditional sweet -'Shahenshah-e-Saiwayyan'.

Giggling Girls Night Art For Life

@ Aapsa Studio, K-3/15, Basement, DLF, Phase 2 Date: August 13 Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm


fundraiser for the Utttarakhand victims, presented by Dharmendra Rathore and AAPSA ART. The Show features the works of M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, F.N.Souza, Dharmendra Rathore, Bose Krishnamachari, Pratul Dash, Aditti Marwah and others.

@ Turquoise Cottage, JMD Regent Square Mall, MG Road Date: Up to October 28 (Mondays) Time: 8:00 pm


t's the perfect way to enjoy a girls' night out. Get dressed to kill and get ready to party! DJ Vinod spins some amazing beats for you to dance the night away. And if you've got the giggles, it's a bonus!

Face to Face Caferati

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 10 Time: 6:30 pm


nother instalment of the Open Mike Series, moderated by Nicky Chandam. Perform your own work, in any of the languages of the National Capital Region. Poetry, fiction, diatribes, songs – all are good. You get two minutes, and the microphone.

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 16 Time: 7:30 pm


dance theatre dialogue between Sita and Draupadi. The Show blends the Bharatnatyam dance form with English dialogues, drawing inspiration from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Show, choreographed by Jyotsna Shourie, follows the lives of Sita and Draupadi from their births till their deaths – through dance, dialogue and music.

Blend With Gond

@ Beanstalk, Galaxy Hotel Shopping & Spa, NH 8, Sector 15 Date: Up to August 12 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Masterchef Vijaylaxmi’s Cooking Classes


n Exhibition of contemporary Gond paintings by Bhajju Shyam, Ramsingh Urveti, Narmada Prasad Tekam, Japani Shyam, Gariba Tekam & Rajendra Kumar Shyam.


John Mpamei Live

@ Attitude Alive, Building No. C 002, Super Mart 1, DLF City Phase 4 Date: Up to September 28 (Wed. Thurs, Fri Sat) Time: 8:00 pm onwards

Ladies Night

@ Howzatt, Galaxy Hotel, NH 8, Sector 15, Part II Date: Up to August 27 (Tuesdays)


t's time you girls took a break! Get your pals and head for an evening of unlimited fun. DJ Ana spins out some of the best commercial and funky music to make sure you don't leave the dance floor in a hurry. When you take

Learn how to make delicious dishes that you get in the best Restaurants. Make them at home at low costs, as and when you want. Treat your family and guests with tasty home cooked food.

R a breather, indulge in mouth-watering delicacies and refreshing beverages.

ecording artist, singer, songwriter and musician John Mpamei performs live. Enjoy a relaxed evening as John sings and plays scintillating love songs and original compositions from his albums.

This Class includes five dishes. Cost per person – Rs. 1,000/Call for more info at - 9818165820


9-15 August 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Principal Secretary, Haryana Urban Local Bodies, P. Raghavendra Rao, visits City and reviews various matters with MCG Commissioner – including capacity and running Bandhwari Waste Treatment Plant, as well as proposals and approvals for underpasses, flyovers, FOBs, City Bus queue shelters, MCG new office location, 101m hydraulic lift/platform and takeover from HUDA of Sectors 1 to 23 - for maintenance of civic facilities.  Haryana has the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 state in the country in Cyber Crime.  Haryana introduces a 4-year integrated B. Ed. Course at the new Prarambh School of Teacher Education, Jhajjar. The State has almost 50 lakhs students in govt. schools.  An Affordable Housing Scheme is launched by the State – with a promise of 1.25 lakhs housing units for EWS and LIG families. Over 50,000 units are to be constructed in Gurgaon District. Flexibilities have been given to builders.  Amity University is deemed a public authority by the State Information Commission (SIC) - and therefore would come under RTI (Act).  Haryana sets up E-waste (Management & handling) Rules.  Haryana sets up a process for the online registration of FIRs for power theft.  Friendship Day is celebrated on August 4th; Organ Donation Day celebrated on August 5th.  FIR in CJM’s wife’s death case is finally filed, by the CBI. Gurgaon residents turn up in the hundreds to support Geetanjali’s family, for a fair trial.  Geetanjali, the wife of the CJM Gurgaon, died in suspicious circumstances recently – it is alleged that she was killed.  The High Court accepts the plea of Ruchi Bhuttan’s family to call a material witness - earlier denied by a lower court.  A 6-year-old girl slips into a well and dies, near Dundahera Village  A guard working in an Apra Auto facility dies of electrocution. The family is given Rs 11 lakhs compensation, and a family member is offered a job.

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I like the month of August. Manne Saman ka mheena aacha laage hai. 2. There are many festivals in this month. Is mheena me ghannaye tyauhar hoye se. 3. I get many holidays from office too. Manne daftar tayin bhi chhutti mile se. 4. My brother comes to visit me on Rakhi. Maara bhai manne salone tey milan aawe. 5. I hoist the flag on Independence Day. Main aazadi aale din jhanda pheraoun su. 6. I celebrate Teej with my friends and eat a lot. Main apne dostan ke saath Teej manaun su ar ghannayi khaun su. 7. My neighbour sends me sweets on Eid. Eid pe mhaara padosi manne mithai bheje se. 8. August is a month of many celebrations. Saman ke mheene me ghanna tyauhar maney se.

 A 14-year-old is raped by her neighbour, in Manesar.  A Class XI student from Sector 5 goes missing.  Baby Roona, a child having a very large skull, is operated on for multiple surgeries – successfully.  Bharti Arora has been promoted as the Joint CP, Traffic.  A brave family helps nab thieves and is recognized and rewarded by the Police Commissioner.  Ion Club, a pub on MG Road is raided, for serving liquor to under-age youth. The manager is held. The nightclub and pub in Bristol Hotel is also similarly raided, and the owner and manager are booked.  Burglars strike at a house in Sushant Lok II and decamp with jewellery worth lakhs.  Posing as a GM of a bank (on phone), a man dupes the local bank (manager) of Rs 3 lakhs, by asking for a fund transfer; a GM, Railways is duped of Rs 35,000. Only 1 agenda item is passed, out of 17 items (most not even discussed), during the 4 hours MCG Meeting on the 7th.  Sector 10A residents protest and block a road, lamenting lack of civic amenities for months.  RWA of DLF Park Place agrees to withdraw its petition in the High Court against a new project, DLF The Crest, provided the plaint is taken up by COMPAT.  Palm Grove Heights investors agitate at not getting possession of their apartments even after 8 years, and after almost paying in full.  It is recorded that there are thousands of water connections without meters in the City.  CCTVs are to be installed at Sadar Bazaar.  5 new AC Buses join the City Bus fleet.  Charges against Maruti workers allegedly involved in last year’s violence will be framed on the 22nd.  After being served notices for payment of increased compensation (to be paid to farmers as per Court directive) from HSIIDC, 34 local companies have now been given resumption letters. 



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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:

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9-15 August 2013

SRK Express


hah Rukh Khan is sparing no efforts in the promotion of his film, Chennai Express. He was spotted at iSkate Rink & Cafe with leading lady Deepika Padukone and Director Rohit Shetty. True to his form, SRK kept the audience (and Deepika) in splits.

Active Cycling


ASSCOM’s NMT (Non-Motorized Transport) Cell held a Campaign “Active Commuting”, spearheaded by Nagarro Software. Around 50 IT companies took a pledge to help the uncontrollably increasing traffic in the Millennium City. About 60 employees of Nagarro Software participated in a cycle rally— from Leisure Valley Park to Qutub Minar—to generate awareness on the usage of a cycle as a form of transportation. Dr. Manas Fuloria, co-founder and MD Europe, for Nagarro Software, and an active member of NASSCOM Regional Council, Gurgaon, said, “The Campaign intends to generate awareness amongst people and to incline them towards using more modes of sustainable transportation.”

Shraddhanjali To the Begum


musical evening in the memory of late Shamshad Begum was held at Epicentre. The Event was organised by Amarjit Singh Kohli and Sakha. Sakha Awards were given to renowned personalities like Dr. D.R Saini, the Principal of DPS School, Dr. Rawail Singh, Secretary of Punjab Academy and composers Mohinder Sarin and Chhote Lal. Singer Simrat Chabbra paid a musical homage to Shamshad Begum by performing on her famous songs, “Kabhi aar kabhi paar”, “Kahin pe nigaahen kahin pe nishana”, “Saiyyan dil mein aana re” and many more. Noted singers Deepak Kumar, Arun Goela, Tejpal Singh, Parminder Chaddha, Ragini Mathur, Jitendra Shrivastava and Shailja Madhvan also performed and delighted the audience.

H appenings




BS, a top-ranked B-School launched IBSAT 2013 Kit, as an aid for admission into MBA/ PGPM programmes. The Kit, released by Dr. O.P Gupta, Director, IBS, Gurgaon, contained general and detailed information about all IBS campuses. IBSAT is a computer-based test that gives applicants a single window opportunity to apply to 9 IBS campuses.


very year, parents find it difficult to hunt for a good school for their children. Amit Sachdev was one those worried parents. In 2009, he had to face a lot of problems to find out a good school for his child. He therefore decided to make a difference and came up with a unique idea to conduct Schooloex, a unique platform where reputed schools and admission seeking parents come together. Amit received an overwhelming response in the last four years. “Now parents wait for it. Schoolex has become one of the most important school admission fair in the City,” says Amit, who looks forward to have a mega event this year as well. Country’s finest K-12 schools, play schools, boarding schools, and residential schools are going to participate in the event. Top schools including Ryan International, GD Goenka, Scottish High, Pathways, Chiranjeev Bharti, American Public, and Manav Rachna International have participated in the fair in the past. “This year many schools are participating. The event has always been as a success in the City, as it provides a one-stop-destination for search for good educational institutes,” says

Amit, CEO, Liveweek Business and Editor, CSR Good Book. The event eases out the process of admission. Not only parents get guidance and assistance in choosing the right school for their kids, they also get an opportunity to evaluate the school curriculum, know about infrastructure and facilities offered by the school, and avail brochures and admission forms. Many parents take registrations on- the-spot. Sheela Agarwal, mother of a four-year-old boy, is looking forward to the weekend, as she plans to spend whole day at the fair. “I had visited Schoolex last year, when I was seeking admission for my daughter. It helped me to know about facilities and curriculum offered by various schools. Besides, you can interact with teachers and other parents,” she says. Despite the fact that parents today are spoilt for choice regarding educational institution, choosing the right school is not the child’s play. Parents need to carry out good research. They need to understand the philosophy of a school and then make a match between their child and the school best suited to their needs. Schoolex, undoubtedly, provides a great opportunity for parents to have an open and healthy interaction with schools. The event will take place at Epicentre this weekend – 10th and 11th August (Saturday and Sunday).


9-15 August 2013

C over S tory

The State as Pied Piper

 Contd from p  facilities, power bills, and most importantly common areas, says Praveen Garg, Secretary of the RWA. Today it stands suspended, by none other than the District Registrar, Gurgaon. What is surprising is that based on a representation made by some apartment owners, the District Registrar suspended an elected RWA and appointed an Administrator for a period of three months on May 24. The newly appointed Administrator is now in-charge of all the activities that were being conducted by the RWA. Garg says that the Administrator, in a surprising move, increased the maintenance charges from Rs 1.55 psf to Rs 2 psf, by holding a General Body Meeting in which only a few people were present. What is more astonishing is that, under the control of the Administrator, work has been started on the construction of a school in the common area of the Valley View Complex, alleges Garg. He says that the football ground, which was part of the common areas, has now been sold to a third party for the construction of the school. All of this is allegedly happening with the connivance of the government authorities. An election is proposed to be held on August 18, but the list of members of the RWA has not been published, even though the last date of nomination of the candidates was August 5. “We don’t know who are the members and what is their stand on the management of the condominium,” says Garg. It is feared that what has happened in this residential complex could be easily repeated across RWAs in Gurgaon, particularly those where the RWAs are not compliant to the authorities as well as the builders. As per the ‘new’ Societies Act, RWAs that are fighting numerous court cases against builders, the DTCP and even the State, are not allowed to approach a court of law to seek justice. The Gurgaon District Registrar, Hardayal Sehrawat, however insists that this novel move has been made by the State government to ensure that needless litigation does not take place, and justice is delivered under the auspices of the State itself. However, what is paradoxical is that government authorities and

Residents Beware

officials, who till now have not been able to monitor and implement the Apartments Act (HAOA), would now preside over disputes between the colonizers/builders and apartment owners. Under the new norms the sole judge will be the Department of Registrar of Societies and Firms. The Act states that this State body can dispense justice as it wants, without offering any scope of appeal to any independent agency under Sec 88 & 89, in any court of law or any law enforced. B.K Dhawan, President emeritus of the Silver Oaks Residents Welfare Association, says that the appointees of the politicians will continue to work under their care and directions, for their own benefit, as we have been experiencing to date. They will be obliged to continue to please the Govt. - builder nexus, since they control the 3Ps (Postings, Promotions and Pay – official and otherwise). Hearings, if any, will be merely to fulfill the stipulated formality. Sehrawat however maintains that the sole purpose of the Act is to create a platform where RWAs can register and their matters can be resolved. Prior to the ‘new’ Act there was no specific authority for registration of RWAs under the 1983 Apartment Act, he informs. Till now the Department has registered 825 societies (of all types) in Gurgaon under the ‘new’ Act - which include old societies as well. Referring to the developments in Valley View Estates in the broader context of the dilution of the Haryana

Apartment Owners Act 1983, Amit Jain, Director General of Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FAOA), categorically states that the appointment of Administrator has been orchestrated on behalf of the builder. “The removal of the elected governing body, imposition of an Administrator without any locus standi, construction of a school while there is no RWA - all these events lead to the understanding that it is the handiwork of some forces that are powerful and have an extraneous stake,” says Jain. “We have been warning residents of Group Housing Societies about the real intent behind this ‘new’ Act - which is to dilute HAOA, a complete law in itself. “ The builders don’t want to give up common areas and this is the reason that a backdoor entry is being given to them,” he adds. The Gurgaon-based activists make an interesting observation, saying that the idea of having a Societies Act to control the functioning of condominiums was conceived by a top builder in the late ‘90s, when he was the head of an industry chamber. Amit Jain says that the recommendations made by the builder were summarily rejected by the DG, DTCP at that point of time. The recommendations were that builders should be allowed to sell the common areas; and that different towers in a complex, shopping areas, and even parking areas should have separate identities and representations, like an RWA. Surprisingly, those recommendations have

found their way into the new Societies Registration Act, points Jain. They have come back to roost now – and the builder is still right on top. “So, in this ‘collegiums’ arrangement in your society, under the ‘new’ Act, there shall be multiple societies of residents (300 max. in one society), 1 society of club owners, 1 society of shop owners, 1 society of school owners, 1 society of Service Personnel Apartment owners, 1 society of parking owners - and there will be a collegium of all these societies! This is going to create havoc in a residential complex,” predicts Jain. Another pertinent question being asked by residents is, how can the District Registrar impose anything on a society under the ‘new’ Act, when it has not even been registered under that Act? The Valley View RWA still operates under the 1860 Act, as the State government has extended the last date of registration under the ‘new’ Societies Act to March 31, 2014. “If this is not stopped now the interventions by the Registrar are going to be a norm,” says Garg. Dhawan further says that the government, by pushing for the ‘new’ Societies Act, had made it clear that it was on the side of the builders. “This Act may make the Apartments Act and apartment owners hostage to the Govt. – builder nexus. It will promote corrosive corruption,” he asserts. FAOA is soon going to file a PIL against this alleged dilution of the Apartment Owners

Act by the State government. The Gurgaon Citizens Council (GCC) had also organized a protest against the implementation of this Act on July 4, in front of Haryana Bhawan. R S Rathee, President of GCC, said that the concept of collegiums should be done away with, as it takes away the democratic rights of the apartment owners. “This Act gives excessive power to a handful of people, which is wrong,” he asserted. Meanwhile, the fears expressed about the confusing nature of the ‘new’ Societies Act - which has unrelated excerpts of the Apartment Act - are also proving to be true. Malibu Towne RWA, which registered the society under the ‘new’ Act, says that the new framework is too complicated and can be easily misused by vested interests. Sarika Bhatt, Secretary of the RWA, says that the provision of a Board of Managers, setting up of collegiums and a proposal to have multiple RWAs in a colony is likely to create a lot of problems, as the majority of people running RWAs are volunteers. “If running of an RWA is made very complicated then some good people may shun this responsibility,” she says. Bhatt is particularly confused about the setting up of sub-committees that are to be supervised by experts. Where will we get a horticulture expert, a security expert, an expert on sports in addition to others, to run the RWA? In her opinion the State government, instead of making new regulations and Acts, should look into the implementation and monitoring of current rules and laws by the builders. She says that there are multiple issues in Malibu Towne related to maintenance and facilities, but the builder does not listen, and authorities do not seem be interested in bring him/ them to book. Citing another instance of how the ‘new’ Act makes it difficult for an RWA to operate, Bhatt says that to call a General Body Meeting a notice period of 14 days has been made mandatory, unlike the previous Act. The Act also allows an RWA to have a tenure from 1 to 3 years, which was not the case earlier. The profile of the office bearers and their role has also not been clearly defined, thus giving scope for misrepresentation. Bhatt further says that under the new law a 40 per cent quorum of Contd on p 9 

9-15 August 2013

The State as Pied Piper Residents Beware  Contd from p 8 residents is needed for a General Body Meeting, which is almost impossible to get. In comparison to the private builder colonies, RWAs in HUDA sectors are less scared by the implications of the ‘new’ Act, but they are also confused nonetheless. Ashok Rana, President Sector 23 RWA, says that they had hoped that the ‘new’ Act would ensure that the people who get RWAs registered against all norms, and with vested interests, would be stopped from doing so. “The ‘new’ Act instead has made it easier for any seven people to register an RWA, which is a recipe for disaster,” says Rana, who got his RWA reregistered recently. The new Act is going to do nothing but add more corruption in the system, he feels. The prognosis is bleak. However, sustained opposition by the civil society has forced the State government to make some changes – even though the basic blocks have remained intact. Sources reveal that to ensure some semblance of harmony between HAOA 1983 and the ‘new’ Society Registration Act, it has been decided that the ‘new’ Act would be applicable only after the filing of the Deed of Declaration and Deed of Apartment. This means that, once the builder has filed the 2 Deeds under HAOA 1983, the respective societies would have to register under the ‘new’ Registration of Society Act 2012. Therefore, the collegium and other ‘nuances’ of the ‘new’ Act shall remain. It has also been decided to accord one vote per family, and the Act will require proof of ownership in the form of Allotment letter or Possession letter or Conveyance Deed or Deed of Apartment. Colonel B.K Dhawan however maintains that all these changes would not prevent the backdoor entry of builders into the domain of RWAs. Others in the know say that until the owners of apartments (and as per HAOA owners of common areas also) unite and present a formidable challenge to the alleged nexus of politicians, builders and babus, the State will continue to sacrifice the interests of the common man.u

 Contd from p  Perhaps the ‘fault’ lies in the ‘modern’ understanding of ‘parenting’. Unlike what many of today’s parents (especially in cities) tend to think, parenting is – and has been - a regular, full-time job. The very basis of good parenting is that children should be brought up under the guidance, supervision and care of mature adults, who can make them understand the consequences of their actions. However, when parents relinquish this responsibility of ‘proper upbringing’, they put their kids - as well as others around them - at risk, if not trouble. “It is not about being liberal or strict. It is about having a good relationship with your children, so that they communicate at ease with you – and have no problem in sharing where they are or at they are up to. Remember, you as a responsible parent need to do this to also ensure their safety,” says Rupa Wattal, a Counsellor at St. Michael School. She feels that besides the parents, teachers too have a big responsibility. “Even though the recent incident took place outside school premises, the schools and teachers cannot escape the blame; they probably failed in inculcating the right moral values, at the right time, among their students,” she says. Raksha Thakur, a worried parent, seconds the view and says, “How do we just accept that no one at school(s) knows about such things? If many students have planned to go to a pub or some such joint, there surely would be whispers. This is serious stuff. We are talking of illegal activities and also a path that can lead young children to self-destruction.” Some parents plead helplessness, citing the ‘modern’ times, when partying and drinking have become an integral part of the young social order. Neha (name changed), whose daughter is studying in 11th class, says, “Sometimes I feel helpless, as booze has become an ‘essential’ part of their culture. Your daughter may assure you that she will not drink, and she may not also; however, in many instances some boy ‘sneaks in’ liquor into her glass, or she takes it under ‘peer pressure’. On my part, I make sure that wherever my daughter is going to a pub or a farmhouse, I should know the hosts and the friends who are accompanying her - and have their contact details. My driver drops and picks her up. Also, I consciously make her read articles on stuff like ‘date rape drugs’, so that she is aware and alert. I don’t think I can do anything more than this.” Most of the irresponsible

C over S tory


Bringing Up Bobby

“The problems arise when a parent, almost like an outsider, just peeps into the lives of his/her children. We can’t make guest appearances in our children’s lives. When we do that, they in turn put on their best behaviour - till our backs are turned”. behaviour and alcoholism is taking place during adolescence. There is clearly an increasing acceptance – a social sanction - of alcohol drinking even by the underage youth. Today they also reach out for a drink in order to relax or de-stress. Ashok Bedwal, CEO of Orange Consultancy, puts forth his personal example. “For the first few years I enjoyed it. It was a boost, especially in the company of my friends; but soon, it was downhill all the way. Though I was not so fortunate, I have shared with my children what alcohol addiction can do to a person,” he says. Ashok also blames the pub owners. “They don’t feel the need to have any kind of check on people coming to the bar. Would they let their own children have alcohol and smoke, or do drugs, so freely?” he questions.

The Age debate

Many people often point out that if a young adult is old enough to go to vote and drive, s/he should have the power to imbibe alcoholic beverages. However, Dr. Hema in Park Hospital says that the human brain is underdeveloped until the age of 25, and exposure to alcohol earlier than that can

change a person’s addictive potential. “Even though the current legal age for drinking in the US is 21 years, experts are raising similar concerns and asking for it to be increased to 25,” she says. She is particularly worried about the trend of increase in drinking among girls and young women. “Most young working women start to drink due to peer pressure. It is not only wrong, but extremely unhealthy for a female body,” she says.

What Can Be Done?

Simply blaming the child, the parent or the school/teacher cannot be the answer. Co-ordination between the different people working with the youth would be an effective way to curb alcoholism or any other addiction. Besides, parents need to spend ‘time’ with their children. “The problems arise when a parent, almost like an outsider, just peeps into the lives of his/ her children. We can’t make guest appearances in our children’s lives. When we do that, they in turn put on their best behaviour - till our backs are turned. The ‘best’ way is to develop a good rapport with your children. They should feel free to talk to us about any matter,” says Ashok. It is important for parents to realize that it is not enough to engage ‘top’ tutors to teach their wards, or drivers and caretakers to take them for sports and dance classes. Talk, discuss and understand your childrens’ views about various issues. Don’t emphasize social face, acceptance and standing as a necessity or even a virtue; especially don’t tell them that this is more important

Worried parents want the authorities to act more stringently against errant bars and pubs. There is a need to learn from states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, where alcohol is not available so easily. Police officials here seem to conduct surprise checks only after the fact(s) – till the next one happens, again without their knowledge. than being good. Be forthright, not agitated, in discussing peer pressure, as well as the ill-effects of drugs, under-age drinking, under-age driving and physical and sexual abuse. Rupa also blames the stress and anxiety among the parents, which arises due to their being overburdened at the workplace. She says, “When parents are in a good mood, they spend time with their kids and fulfil their wishes; but when they are preoccupied with work – and this is more often - they just refuse to listen to them. This is the dilemma of today’s working generation. The children soon begin to understand the ‘pattern’ and learn how to ‘manipulate’ situations to their own advantage.” Some ‘answers’ can also be found in our traditions. Local communities can help keep a watch. In traditional Punjabi culture, still very much alive, children are generally termed ‘sanjhe’, which means they belong to everyone in the community – and so everybody feels an obligation to take care of them. Worth a try in Millennium City – time to open those closed windows (if not doors yet). u

10 { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

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t all started when Ravi Kalra, a Martial Arts instructor to the Army and the Delhi Police, was walking on a footpath. His children called on his mobile phone but he couldn’t hear what they were saying, due to the noise from the honking of cars all around. Frustrated, and determined, he decided to do something about noise pollution. He got over 5 lakhs ‘Don’t Honk’ stickers printed and stuck them on the backs of cars, buses, autos and trucks. This gave birth to a unique ‘Don’t Honk’ drive in the Capital in 2008. The initiative soon turned into a campaign and led to the formation of an NGO called “The Earth Saviours Foundation”. Today the Foundation is an internationally recognised NGO. It is making every possible effort to protect the environment. “In India, unnecessary vehicular honking is the main reason for noise pollution. The problem is the worst at traffic signals, where drivers start honking even before the signal has turned green. They show no respect for the law, which prohibits the use of horns at traffic signals and silent zones - such as areas near hospitals, schools and residential areas,” says Kalra. Many people, including the City Traffic Police and the President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), Rohit Baluja, appreciate the efforts undertaken by The Earth Saviours Foundation. Rohit says, “Volunteers of the Foundation not only stick posters on the vehicles, but also talk to auto rickshaw and bus drivers. Volunteers ask interesting questions to drivers, like, “Dear uncle, can’t you drive without honking?” or plead, “For God’s sake, please stop honking”. And then there is the campaign’s most effective slogan – “Even a dog does not

On An Earth Mission

by the police to the electric cremation centre, where Kalra’s team performs their cremation with prayers and dignity.

Working for the less privileged

bark for no reason; why must you (an intelligent human) just honk?” The Foundation also spreads awareness about the methods used by other countries to tackle this honking menace. Ayushi Mudgal, a volunteer, informs that in France drivers switch their lights from high to low beam to signal their annoyance - rather than honking. The Foundation also worked for the conservation of the Rajokri Forest, near the City. 10 years ago it was a 600-acre forest with rich flora and fauna. Residents recall spotting nilgai, deer and wild hare. But today there are just mounds of construction rubble and garbage – and traffic. “What was once a dirt track through the forest is now a 10-foot wide short cut for vehicles between Delhi and Gurgaon. Some animals just stand there; they are at high risk of being run over. So we have demanded to that a fence be built around the forest – it will also stop the trespassing,” explains Kalra. He has also filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, to try and save the forest cover and wildlife in the Rajokri Forest. Another unique initiative taken by The Earth Saviours Foundation is the promotion of electric cremation. The Foundation believes that over-

The Gene Lab { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

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S ocial

9-15 August 2013

ver the last decade DNA technology has evolved as the most effective crime-fighting tool. It also helps in tracing missing persons and disaster victims’ identification. But the absence of standard practices, quality checks and regulation has resulted in irresponsible and inaccurate application of the technology. The use of outdated technology and the lack of expertise to competently collect and analyse DNA samples from the crime scene has many times compromised investigation and led to cases where courts have rejected the DNA evidence. Recently, in the case of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who have been charged with the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, the Court instructed the Police to conduct a more advanced DNA test. However, it was unsuccessful due to the poor state of forensic labs; the country clearly lacks modern DNA Forensic Labs. Presently there are just 28 laboratories dedicated to Forensic DNA investigation. The City saw the launch of India’s first private DNA Forensic Lab, called Life Forensics Laboratory, last week. “The recent launch of a Forensic Lab in Gurgaon is a big development, as government forensic labs across the country seem

consumption of wood is one of the main causes for the destruction of the ecosystem. “Cremating a human corpse consumes a minimum of 300 kg of wood. Moreover, the burning releases smoke that contains harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The government has installed CNG and electric cremation machines at many cremation centres in the country, but most of them remain unused - people do not still opt to use them. We believe it is important to promote the use of an electric cremation system,” says Kalra, who is a firm believer in the Hindu religion. He feels that the same religious prayers, mantras and traditional rituals can be performed even while cremating a body by the CNG or electric cremation system. Kalra has cremated over 2,500 unidentified and unclaimed bodies at electric cremation centres. These are the bodies of people who die during road accidents, or are found floating in the Yamuna River, or lie half-eaten by animals in forests and drains. These unidentified people are brought

to be overworked and suffer from lack of facilities. We have just 28 labs in a country with around 1.2 billion population, while China with slightly more population has in excess of 300 Forensic DNA Labs,” says Devashish Ohri, Managing Director, Global Life Technology, South Asia. Talking about the importance of private DNA labs, Dr. Ram Mahapatra, DNA analyst at Centre For DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics says, “Today we are very much behind the rest of the world in the upgradation of technology. Further, the backlog of cases is quite large in each of the DNA labs in India. We still face problems in obtaining data.” He puts forth the example of the Bhanwari Devi case, where the CBI had to send the victim’s bones to FBI in the US, for identification. “With the emergence of private companies we can definitely improve the state of forensic labs in India” The Lab is therefore expected to be a huge hit and help in encouraging other private companies to enter the Indian market, he feels. Located in DLF Phase II, the Lab has been set up by an international firm, Global Life Technologies. It is equipped with the most advanced DNA testing systems and qualified experienced staff, to facilitate a broad range of DNA testing - including paternity testing, kinship testing, DNA profiling for database generation and forensic DNA analysis. Global Life Technologies is credited with bringing in a revolution in the global DNA research community with its product called ION Torrent Genome Machine. It makes the sequencing system simpler, faster and less expensive. “Given the low cost and speed of analysis of the ION, it is expected to revolutionise DNA sequencing in India. Today,

Along with a drive to protect the environment, The Earth Saviours Foundation runs a school for underprivileged children, a rehabilitation centre for destitute women, an old age home for the abandoned elderly and a rehabilitation centre for mentallychallenged people. This composite initiative is a first-of-its-kind in India, as it offers free accommodation, food, medical treatment and day-to-day facilities round the clock. “It is painful to come across a large number of street children who eat garbage, and abandoned elderly and mentally challenged people who roam on the roads. Most of them have no shelter and they can be seen on the streets walking barefoot in torn clothes - or sometimes naked. Rescue centres of The Earth Saviours Foundation help these people find a home,” Kalra says. Kalra, who is known as the “No Honking Man of India”, is working hard to save the environment. He feeds 250 underprivileged people every day and works tirelessly for seven days a week. He believes that he is the most fortunate man in the world, as God has given him an opportunity to serve the poor, destitute and abandoned people. All he hopes for is better support from the society. “The major roadblock in taking up any project is obviously a lack of funds. We don’t have any corporate tie-up. We don’t get any help from the government. We therefore depend on funds coming from individuals. We provide shelter to more than 2,000 people. We just seek better support from the society,” he concludes.u

in India, this is a very expensive, time-consuming technique and restricted to a few hi-tech labs,” says Dr. Mahapatra. The technology can also be used in cancer research. Talking about the need for training staff, Dr. Mahapatra says, “The most crucial issue in India is that there are no special crime case investigators. It is only in some states that special teams collect samples for DNA testing and then hand it over to the police. Otherwise, generally the police collect the initial data for forensic tests. Global Life Technologies will not only offer services of trained staff but it also plans to provide sample collection kits to police stations and other investigating agencies.”

The Way Forward

Apart from the state-of-art technologies, the country needs to have a legislation to regulate the collection and usage of DNA samples for forensic purposes. Experts feel that, like western countries, the country should also have a DNA database of its citizens. The UK has a DNA collection database for the last 18 years. It has become an instant crime fighter there. However, there are those who oppose the idea of creating a DNA database with the help of private company. “We can’t let private companies, especially a foreign company, access personal information of the people of our country. This can get to the wrong hands. Of course we should invite private players to train our staff in the government labs so that they become more efficient and remain up to date as far as technology is concerned,” says Dr. Mahapatra. u

9-15 August 2013

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he Millennium City Bus service, a year old, will soon have bus route numbers. This process, along with the identification of bus stops, is almost complete, says Surinder Singh, General Manager, Haryana Transport. The City will also witness the arrival of 50 low-floor AC buses soon, and this should appeal more to commuters in ‘new’ Gurgaon. Singh says that while the rates of the AC buses would be slightly higher, they should help in reducing the number of cars on the roads. Presently, the City Bus service caters to almost one lakh commuters, and the numbers are on the rise. Singh says that some of the most popular routes on the network generate good revenue for the Department – though the recent move by the Gurgaon Railway authorities to ban the entry of buses within the Station premises has badly hit the service on the most popular route. “The railway authorities have banned entry on the plea that some boards had been damaged by the buses. Since the buses cannot turn near the Station, the commuters are having to alight at the Sector 4/5 circle, which is almost one and half kilometers from the Station,” says Singh. The Department has taken up the matter with Northern Railway authorities. Insiders, however, believe that this is the handiwork of a powerful clique of auto owners, who were impacted by the City Buses plying on this route. The role of the Railway Police has also been questioned, as they had begun to aggressively turn away the buses. As a consequence of all this, the traffic on this route has almost halved and the authorities have been forced to reduce the number of buses. On facilities for the public, Singh says that, “We are in discussion with the Municipal Corporation for the setting up of bus shelters. Initially we will fix boards to mark the stops, but the bus queue shelters are being expedited,” he says. To ensure that no part of the City is deprived of the Bus service, Singh promises that surveys will be conducted and representations from RWAs will be most welcome. Recently the Department added a new route, based on the popular demand to run a bus service from Gurgaon to Khandsa via JBM, and then back to MG Road Metro station. When asked why people of Sector 21, 22 and 23 have been deprived of the Bus service, despite a large population living in this area, Singh said he will take this matter up urgently. “I will check the ground

No Stops For This Bus

Prakhar PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

position with my people who manage the routes and plans, and we will (re)introduce the service in case there is adequate demand/traffic,” he says. The officials present say that they had tried to run buses from Palam Vihar to Jwala Mill twice, but the lack of traffic and the small turning radius for vehicles on the ‘old’ Delhi-Gurgaon Road was an impediment. However, a visit to this road and area anytime would seem to tell a different story. There are a large number of commuters waiting for public transport on this important stretch throughout the day – and the only option they have currently is autos. Referring to the challenges faced by the Transport department, Singh says that narrow roads and heavy traffic is a bane for the City Bus drivers. “There is a need to brake very often, and there is diverse traffic on the road, which makes the entire commute slower,” he says. The Transport department is also short on drivers, and this puts additional pressure on the ground staff. Singh praises the drivers and conductors of Haryana Roadways for being hardworking and dedicated to their duty. “We are recruiting new drivers on a contract basis, since we will need to increase the bus strength as more routes are added,” he says. The shortage of drivers is also impacting the ability of the Department to run

While the City Bus service is generating average revenue, it is the daily Volvo service to/ from Chandigarh that is earning good revenue - as well as kudos from the large set of travellers. late night services. The Department is planning to have three Bus Stands in the City. The form belief is that these facilities, and the AC Bus Service, will change the way people commute in the City. Singh says that the Bus Stand in Sector 29 will be stateof-the-art and air-conditioned. It will cater to local transport as well as inter-state Volvo Bus operations. Another Bus Stand will come up at Rajiv Chowk, which will cater to intra-city and intra-state operations. Finally, there are plans to modernize the existing Bus Stand in ‘old’ Gurgaon. The map and the technical details of the Sector 29 Bus Stand have been finalized, and the work is likely to be awarded soon, says Singh. “Parts of the old Bus Stand would need to be demolished. We will send a proposal to the State authorities and necessary action will be taken soon,” he says. Regarding security, Singh says that there is a proposal to set up CCTV cameras at the Bus Stands first, and later the buses might also be covered

- depending on the feasibility. The Department has also called for bids to instal a Vehicle Tracking System, which will track the location, speed and movement of the buses in real time. Driver Speak: Most of the drivers running the City Bus service have come from the long-route operations, and find it a bit difficult to adjust to the choc-a-bloc traffic of City roads. The chances of earning overtime are also less, and this is a major heartburn. Man Singh, who drives the bus on the Palam Vihar to Bus Stand route, says that frequent traffic jams make it difficult for them to operate. Every day he makes 6 to 7 trips, from 6am to 11pm. “Due to the lack of bus stands we are forced to make frequent adhoc stops. The conductors also find it difficult to manage the commuters,” he says. However, more than the roads, the staff is concerned about the lack of accommodation and facilities, which has forced many of them to sleep inside the buses. “Some of us have rented rooms, but the rates are beyond the capacity of a driver or conductor. The salaries are not high, and Gurgaon is a very expensive city,” says Singh. Manish, who works as a conductor, says it would be great if the Department builds dormitories for the employees. “This will help


us become more efficient and productive,” he adds. His experience on the road so far has been good, though there have been instances when commuters entered into brawls and threatened the Bus staff. Most people have realized the importance of this Bus service to the City. Happy but want More: Gurgaon denizens express  satisfaction that a good start has been made by the City Bus service, but they want the operation to expand and cover more routes. Sarika Panda Bhatt, an architect and resident of Malibu Towne, told Friday Gurgaon that an analysis of the commuter traffic should be done and routes planned accordingly. She adds, “We should learn from the experience of Delhi and set up a dedicated corridor for buses.” The residents on the important Badshahpur route, which covers many condominiums, demand more frequent service. Rajesh Kumar, who works in Omaxe Mall, says that since buses are not frequently available on this stretch, people still have to depend on autos. “Unless more buses are added the existing auto users will not feel comfortable switching to buses,” he says. The residents in the ‘old’ City are happy. Poonam, a satisfied commuter who lives in Sector 5, is all praise for the service. She says that commuting to MG Road and DLF areas has become easy, as the availability of buses is good, and the fares are low. “There is no need to change buses, as we sometimes have to with autos. The buses are safer as well,” she says. Ashok Rana, President of the Sector 23 RWA, says that the Transport department has left a large population to fend for themselves. He says that the Department needs to ensure that it does not buckle under pressure from auto owners or because of any other extraneous reasons. “We had proposed that buses could move from Palam Vihar to Jwala Mill and cover Anand Farm, Sector 21, Sector 22, and then get back to Palam Vihar. This would have helped many people,” he asserts. The RWA is even ready to set up a bus stand and a queue shelter at its own expense, if the authorities cooperate. In fact Rana believes that it is time to plan for the connection of the area with the Rapid Metro network. S.N Yadav, Vice President, Jafra, asks that if social service is the goal of the Department, then why did it stop the Palam Vihar - Jwala Mill service thrice? The Transport Department has begun well with the City Bus service, and it needs to ensure that society across the City is well-served. u


.id &orner

9-15 August 2013

Literary Flourish The Days Go By

Kids Brainticklers

Monday is our first day of school. I go to class and take my pass. The next day is Tuesday, it's skating class. We skate on the floor and ask for more. On Wednesday we have P.E. We go for basketball and then leaves start to fall. Today is Thursday,we have arts. And for lunch we will eat chocolate tarts. Guess what, it is Friday and I love to play today. Saturday starts the weekend, and I am going to shop and spend. Woohoo, Sunday is here! It is the last day of the week and the week was such a treat! Mira Bhutani, 2nd grade Suncity World School

Artistic Strokes


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?

Shivani Ahuja, Class 6, The Shri Ram School, Aravali

K id C orner

9-15 August 2013


Blue Bells Public School

Laugh N Learn


Hasya Kavi Sammelan was held at the School to educate the students of Class 1 on the art of creative humour and oration. The theme of the Sammelan was ‘The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables’, wherein the students presented their ideas effectively. It was a fun-filled way to teach the students about the benefits of healthy eating.

Ryan Green Friends


Eid Mubarak


he School celebrated the festival of Eid with great zest. A special Morning Assembly was organised to mark the occasion. The School’s Resource Parents, Mr. & Mrs. Ansari, were present at the occasion. Mrs. Ansari chanted a part of the Namaz along with a Sufi prayer.

yan Global School introduced the chapter, “My Green Friend”, to Grade 1 students. The Chapter had concepts like herbs, shrubs, climbers and buds, which were explained in the Class by the teachers. To clear the concept further, the students were taken to the School Park to see the plants. The little ones identified and classified the plants into different categories of shrubs, herbs etc. They felt the woody stems of shrubs, the soft stems of herbs and the weak stems of climbers. The tour of the garden ended with a fifteen minute play-break for the children.

, Sohna Road

Ryan International School

The Ryan Confluence

R Rain, Rain, Do Stay


he children of Classes MI and MII of the American Public School celebrated “Rainy Day’ at the School, with great excitement. They thoroughly enjoyed the rain whilst they sported their colourful umbrellas and raincoats. Besides splashing around, the little ones also made paper boats and floated them in the splash pool.

yan International School, Vasant Kunj, hosted their inaugural Humanities Fiesta, ‘Confluence 2013’, for the students of Humanities from Classes XI to XII. The Fiesta was held to motivate and encourage the students to apply theory to real world practices. Students from Ryan International School, Sohna Road participated in large numbers. A number of events were held, that helped students test their abilities in various subjects associated with humanities. The Events held were Sociology (Symposium), Golden Words (English), Politicization (Political Science), Inquizitive Minds (GK), Why so Serious (Psychology), Messy Masti (Fine Arts) and Mama’s Proud Chefs (Home Science). Vaibhav Gupta of Class XII A and Advit Kulkarni of Class XII B secured the First position in Messy Masti.

The Banyan Talent


he students of Banyan Tree World School participated enthusiastically in the Talent Show 2013, held at the School premises. The students displayed their various talents; performances ranged from classical and western dance to playing of instruments and stand-up shows. The talented kids put up a great show.

Cyber Safe Practices


he School conducted a Workshop on the hazards of cyber usage, for students of Classes XI and XIII. Rakshit Tandon, a renowned Cyber Security expert and Advisor to the Crime Branch, addressed the Ryanites about Cyber safe practices. He updated the students about safe surfing and on avoiding the pitfalls that are associated with the Internet. He also highlighted the perils of posting personal information on social networking sites and discussed the various forms of cyber crime―cyber hacking, cyber stalking and cyber bullying―where the victims are usually teens. School Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta thanked Tandon for sharing the safety measures against Cyber Crime with the students.


9-15 August 2013

, Sector 40

Ryan International School

Waste Not

K id C orner

The Green Brigade


he Montessori branch of the School conducted a Tree Plantation Activity in Sector-14. Students planted around 50 healthy saplings of Neem, Mango, Guava, Ashoka and Tulsi – and ornamental saplings like Mogra and Rose. Guests present at the occasion were Hari Singh Raghav, President Zone, Sector-14, Dinesh Aggarwal, Secretary, RWA Sec-14, Anurag Bakshi, President Lions Club, Ashok Gaura and Jagdish Nagpal.


Workshop on ‘Cleaning up India’s e-waste for a sustainable future’ was organised at the School premises. The Workshop was hosted by Gaurav Gupta, a member of the Attero Group, which aims to formalise the informal recycling sector. Gaurav discussed the importance of e-waste and the process of recycling. The students were active throughout the session and shared their knowledge about e-waste with Gupta.

A Quality Excuse?

I 3..2..1..Blast Off


o enhance the knowledge of astronomy and space sciences amongst the students, the School conducted a Workshop on Space. The Workshop gauged the scientific temperament of the young learners through several fun-filled activities. It emphasised on Communicating Science, wherein the students were made aware of the science behind space. Straw spinning and blowing the balloon (with the help of the model rocket) activities were held to understand the movements of rockets.

I want to share my Summer Experience with Friday Gurgaon readers 


n my summer vacations, I had visited Nainital with my parents. Nainital is situated in Uttarakhand. It is a very popular and beautiful hill station. Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles long and 190 ft deep, and surrounded by mountains. The next day after reaching Nainital, we went to see Lake Naini. It is situated in the heart of city. It is the main attraction of city. The northern end of the lake is called Mallital, while the southern one is called Tallital. One side of the lake is surrounded by mountains and the other side by the Mall road. We bought tickets for the boat ride in the lake. I was very excited and enjoyed a lot during boat ride. The cool breeze made me more excited. After the boat ride, we came to the Mall road that is parallel to Naini Lake. Many hotels, shops and restaurants are situated on the Mall road. The route to the Zoo and the Ropeway is also from the Mall road. We had lunch in one of the good restaurants there. Afterwards, we bought many things for me and my friends. In the evening we came back to our hotel for rest. That day was wonderful and a memorable day during my whole vacation at Nainital. Aayush Garg

n these modern times life is very fast and people hardly have any time to stop and think about where they are heading, and what they want in life. The end result of a hectic lifestyle is a dire dearth of time, for any and everyone; some people don’t even have the time to listen – and have completely forgotten how it is to talk at a leisurely pace. It is shocking and very depressing to know that even couples are becoming indifferent, not only to each other but also to their kids and family. To overcome their sense of guilt the modern parents have come up with this concept of ‘quality time’, which they claim they spend with their families. For six days a week they ‘work’ like crazy and come back home at odd hours; they have no idea where their kid is and what he/she is doing. When a weekend arrives, the ‘man’ first needs a break! The parents go out for lavish and expensive dinners in posh restaurants, or watch movies. Finally a ‘quality hour’ is spent with the children – in spoiling them, and promising a ‘quality getaway’ sometime during the year. That is the convenient ‘norm’. However, this ‘quality time’ cannot compensate for the ‘lost time’, when and where the children need their parents the most. As it is children today are growing up ‘faster’, and won’t ‘need’ their parents for long; but if they do not get the time when needed, they will be hard to ‘handle’ later. For example, they need to be guided in their various activities with their peers. The recent ‘pub raid’ is a good example of many parents not knowing (or caring) where their kids were. ‘Quality time’ is supposed to mean the time that a person gives solely to another; ‘quantity time’, or just time, refers to being there for a person on an on-going basis – and clearly means that there would be sacrifices to be made. There is of course a good case for the quality of interactions to be better than they are today in many households, and for allowing more ‘space’ to children, but there is a clear worth to time spent with our loved ones. Those who do so will always be satisfied and content with life. To the non-stop careerists, the only advice is that yes, you have the right to take rest and loll around – but why cannot that mean spending some leisurely time with your family? And ‘quality time’ should not be an excuse for indifference the rest of the time, and should also take place regularly. A family life is a daily life, not a weekly sojourn. Live life well and spend it meaningfully, by giving regular ‘quality time’ to your near and dear one; especially young children, as they need it the most, and it would help mould them better for the future. Preeti Rawal

K id C orner

9-15 August 2013


No Horn Please


o generate public awareness about the harmful effects of ‘noise pollution due to unnecessary honking’, the members of the Eco Club of Scottish High International School initiated a public awareness campaign at Rajiv Chowk. The students sensitised the motorists about ‘honking’, at traffic signals and silence zones – such as hospitals, schools, institutes and residential areas.

Public Environmentalists


he children of Classes V-XII of Delhi Public School, Sec 45, were taken for a Plantation Drive to Bio-diversity Park. The Drive, conducted by ‘Million Trees Gurgaon’, provided an excellent opportunity for the children to contribute towards making their City clean and green. It also made them more aware of the importance of trees in preserving the environment. The students planted saplings with much enthusiasm, even under the heat of the scorching sun.

Round Square Path Ways


he Pathways World School led a Collaborative Service Project of Friends of Round Square. Round Square is a worldwide association of more than 90 schools, which promotes personal development and leadership traits beyond academics. The focus of the Service Project was to help build ‘Toilets for Girls’ at two Government Middle School campuses, where Pathways has been working as a part of an ongoing Service programme. The Project began with an interactive session with students of both the schools. The Session also included Educational Workshops in Design and Technology, Visual Art and Drama. The students also learnt the techniques of pottery and pencil-stand making.
It was truly an enriching experience for students of both the Schools.

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

Glorious Bakers


Baking Workshop was held for the tiny tots at Morning Glorie Pre-school. The little ones were taken through the process of mixing the flour and making a batter, with the help of their teachers. The kids were delighted at the end result – rich baked products that they got to take home!


9-15 August 2013

C omment



rom an industrial suburb and town, Gurgaon over time became a BPO/IT City, an MNC HQ City, a City of realtors – and a City of Condos and Malls. It is today a beacon for, and an exposition of, modern India. It is a young city of the young – couples and Kids - from across India. With so many kids in the City, there should surely be a good case for many exclusive play and entertainment options for them. And yet, while we have malls a plenty – including exclusive wedding and gold/jewellery malls – there is none for Kids (say upto 8 years of age). K’maal hai ! The K’Mall would be a godsend for the mothers and Kids (guess big boys and men would be prohibited!). Apart from unique products and experiences, the K’Mall would have specialized staff (mostly women), child-proof facilities (like washrooms and escalators), non-commercial timings (early to open and early to close) and visible security everywhere (24x7x360). The K’Mall would also need to be flexible in services and operations – needing a makeover between weekdays and weekends. The location for the new ‘Kid on the Block’ need not (in fact should not) be among the family of malls - or even in a commercial area.


Apart from the normal Kids’ stores and games, there’s scope for a host of activities – for Kids to learn and/or hone extra-curricular special skills, to discover, to develop a global and inclusive outlook, to get hands-on with hi-tech and mobile-tech; and to have fun while doing it all ! Presenting The K’Mall K’Maal Experience: Krèche(s), with ‘drop-off’ and ‘pick-up’ zones - and home delivery of Kids! A Hi-tech and e-nabled KidCafé Zone An e-KidLibrary A KidScience Museum A KidCinema A KidArt Gallery A KidTalent Corner (continuous skills on display) A KidGym, offering KidYoga too A KidSnacks Restaurant A ‘KidTeach the Teachers’ Video Game Plus: A KidPsych(iatrists’) Panel A ‘slow learners’ area Video-conferencing with Kids of the world Free Hour for under-privileged Kids Note for aspiring K’Mallers: K’Mall is not Kidstuff or Child’s Play. It’s a business…too. Treat it with Kid Gloves. I Kid you not !u

FAMOUS QUOTES People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. John C. Maxwell Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us. Earl Nightingale Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend our time. Elbert Hubbard


Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. Oscar Wilde

I enjoyed Shobha’s poems Heal Thy self and Natural Solitude. Carol, Chicago

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability. Walter Scot

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. Hans Selye Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society. William Makepeace Thackeray

There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. William J. Brennan, Jr.

W ellness

9-15 August 2013



Health & Vitality... Naturally!

by ShahnaZ

A Tale of Two Beets

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.

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


e are one of the few species in the known universe that has been blessed with choice. An interesting example is of how we use Beet. On the one hand, Beetroot is perhaps one of the most exciting super foods of the future. Yet, Beet has unwittingly been an accomplice to the growing global epidemic of obesity - as 20 per cent of sugar in the world (55 per cent in the US) is produced from Sugar Beet. Beet originated in North Africa and later spread to Europe. Ancient cultures used Beet for stopping wounds from bleeding and to cure digestive problems. In Ayurveda, Beetroot is seen as a cleansing agent that detoxifies organs such as the kidney, gall bladder, liver and spleen. It has also been recommended for cough, inflammation, general debility, constipation, flatulence, menstrual problems and vitiated Pitta. In recent years Beetroot has gained attention for its perceived ability to prevent a large array of chronic disorders. It would seem that this colourful vegetable contains powerful nutrients that help protect against heart disease, improve the liver function, prevent birth defects as well as certain cancers. Recent studies have confirmed Beetroot juice reduces blood pressure – thanks to its nitrate content. Earlier studies indicated it increases stamina.

In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Beet is also known as one of the best foods for Folic Acid. Also known as Vitamin B9, Folate is essential for cellular growth, DNA synthesis and repair, red blood cell creation, prevention of birth defects and anaemia. A lack of Folic Acid can lead to dementia and depression. Fortunately, there are many foods that are naturally rich sources of Folic Acid – like spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, lentils and beans. Eating one cup of boiled Beets provides approximately 35-37 per cent of daily Folate needs - just behind organ meats (like liver), dark leafy greens, yeast and asparagus.

Tip of the Week

Raw Beetroots have a crunchy texture. Beet leaves have a lively, bitter taste, similar to chard. The rough-looking exterior of raw Beets can be transformed

Hydrate Yourself


into something wonderfully soft and buttery once they are cooked. To keep its goodness intact, it is recommended that steaming time does not exceed 15 minutes. Of course raw Beet can always be enjoyed as a lively salad, or juiced in a smoothie. In Russia and East Europe, in addition to being pickled, Beets go into making a traditional soup called Borsch. As Beet juice can stain, it is advisable to wear kitchen gloves; alternately, simply rubbing some lemon juice can take care of the stain. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Beet Root, Chukandar or Beta vulgaris The leaves and root of Beet are fibre-rich and also contain iron, calcium, phosphorous, Vitamins A, C and B (especially Folate), magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc. Small amounts of copper, selenium, zinc and manganese are present as well. Beetroots are an excellent support to



Is there any way to get rid of facial hair permanently, besides cosmetic surgery?


Laser therapy is said to be a method of permanent removal of facial hair. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicles. The laser disables the hair follicle’s ability to produce hair. Cooling devices are used to prevent damage to the rest of the skin. Re-growth is known to occur for some time in some cases. It is very important to find a good laser clinic. Find out the number of sessions that will be needed, the costs and chances of re-growth. It is an expensive procedure.

WINNER Shruti Mehra

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

the immune system. What is striking is the unusual mix of antioxidants in Beets; their unique phytonutrients provide antioxidant support in a different way than other vegetables. Beets are a unique source of Betalains and Betaine - the pigments that give Beets their vivid

hen summers are at a peak, heat and humidity can exacerbate joint pain Drink enough water’ is an advice every doctor, or every layman with even a little grasp on health issues, will give you for combating the harsh summer months. Hydration not only prevents summer related ailments like diarrhoea, heat stroke or heat cramps, but also contributes to preventing joint pain. The human body is 75 per cent water. If we deplete this crucial ingredient of our body, changes will occur to compensate for the loss. This can exacerbate pain and increase our problems. Dr Rajeev K Sharma, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Surgeon with Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, says that drinking enough water is also important for the joints, as their surfaces are covered with cartilage. Cartilage, like our body, is naturally full of fluid; and for its surface to remain smooth it has to be kept fluid. Hence the importance of keeping our body hydrated, for preventing or reducing joint pain. 

colour. These phytonutrients mitigate the risk of stroke or heart disease by reducing homocysteine - a significant inflammatory agent. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

TO SUBSCRIBE You would have sampled Friday Gurgaon during the year. Here is your chance to get FG at your doorstep every Friday, at a very attractive rate. 52 issues (1 Year), for ` 200 (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of ` 164 on cover price.

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18 { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at


know of two brothers who were the very picture of brotherhood. However, soon after they were both married, certain differences surfaced between their wives. For more than thirty years the brothers remained estranged; even their family members didn’t talk to each other. Both are grandfathers today. Fortunately, very recently, wisdom dawned on both the families. They finally reconciled. The wife of one of the brothers has already left for her heavenly abode. The grand children of both the families now feel that their grand parents should have lived more responsibly, and should not have created artificial walls between the families. They should have forgiven each other long ago. The brothers and their families could have shared the journey of life in a more constructive, loving and fruitful way. We all carry burdens - resentments, acrimony, childhood difficulties, anger, fear – and sometimes for a lifetime too! Forgiveness allows us to let go of our burdens, which can weigh us down, and even lead to heart attacks and other physiological and mental ailments. The act of forgiveness has great healing powers and medical benefits. Forgiveness is a process that starts with 'me'; it is about 'me' letting others (who have ‘done me wrong’) go. Forgiveness means

S piritual

9-15 August 2013

I Forgive using our vital energy to tame our worries, hatred, chronic anger or fear. Forgiveness is learning to free ourselves, so as to experience the present - and to live in a more serene, loving, healthy and positive relationship with oneself. Meditation helps us develop the habit of forgiveness. Bring to mind somebody you care deeply about. Let yourself be filled with the feeling of love. Imagine love radiating out from you to the other person. You may see it as light rays, or imagine feeling the person in a beneficial manner. You can also bring to mind someone whom you treat as your enemy. This time there may be other feelings present. Do not worry. Smile, and try to cultivate a loving kindness even for your enemy. You will see deep feelings come up within you in response to the awareness of the forms that appear in your mind; and you should gently but effectively contain these feelings in a nurturing way. This practice puts you in touch with your deeper self and strengthens you against the ravages of hate and delusion. You learn to be still in the midst of all that is going on, and learn to master your internal control. A sense of warm radiation will slowly come to you - even for your enemy. Gradually you will learn to be merciful. The emphasis should

Recipe By Master Chef Vijaylaxmi

Filo Pastry Enjoy as a starter, main course or as a dessert Make the filo a day earlier.Put the filo cases into an airtight tin and store in the fridge. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F, until the filo bakes to a golden color. Assemble 20 minutes before serving, and enjoy! Here are some interesting ideas for filo stuffings: 1. Chaat stuffing 2. Salad stuffing 3. Chocolate mousse stuffing 4. Cooked keema with cheese spread on top; bake for 5 minutes 5. Stuffed veggies topped with cheese

The Bible talks of forgiveness such: “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Jesus asked for God’s forgiveness of even those who crucified him, when he said: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our karmas. If we have not forgiven, we keep creating an identity around our pain. That is what is reborn, that is what is suffering. In Jainism, as a matter of ritual, the followers personally greet their friends and relatives and seek their forgiveness. No private quarrel or dispute may be carried beyond Samvatsari. be on letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger, while increasing confidence, hope, happiness and compassion. People who learn to forgive experience significantly fewer symptoms of stress - such as backache, muscle tension, dizziness, headaches and upset stomachs. In addition, such people experience improvements in appetite, sleep patterns, energy and general well-being. By and large, people have the capacity to make peace with their past. They then regain their ability to trust and love, and stop blaming other people for their emotional distress.

They happily count their blessings, rather than complain about what has gone wrong. They understand that they need to look more at who they can become, and less on what has happened; and they look at each day as a fresh start. By forgiving, they begin to heal, in both the body and the mind. We are turning a corner in our consciousness. More of us are realizing that the ways of hate and fear are not necessary; that there is another way, a more loving answer to our seeming problems - whether personal or global. As we learn to accept that our ego consciousness

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

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

Say a Little Prayer A Prayer is simply taking to God And telling Him everything From the good, bad and ugly To what you want in your heart truly Tell Him everything in detail He will listen to your smallest refrain How you hurt and how you pain Tell him how you sometimes hate Your fate, you are always late In reaping awards and rewards Why success is delayed in your destiny cards And why you do not have the art to say The right thing in the right place Lose face sometimes Feel resentment and contempt Which is actually fear and insecurity For I lack authority many times To be myself….my better self After telling Him everything in minutest detail Never fail, to thank him in advance Listen then to God, in your silent heart He will manifest in many ways Through a friend or a neighbour A kith or a stranger A book or poem or song Or presto a thought will come to you Just say a little prayer God will rescue you Shobha Lidder Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

9-15 August 2013

The Healing In Your Stars { Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj }


yurveda is not merely a medical stream, a subtle healing science – it is a sacred science of life. Its detailed information is contained in the Rigveda and Atharveda, it helps human beings lead a healthyhappy life with a pure mind. Ayurveda is also unique because of its synergetic relationship with Astrology. ‘Astrology’ is a Greek term that means ‘Science of the Stars’. Greeks believed that the position of the Sun, and the planets that orbit around it, affects the Earth and its living creatures. They thus believed that future happenings could be predicted based on the planets’ locations at a given time. The Horoscope’s beginning can therefore be traced to the ancient Greeks. Horoscopes are drawn on the basis of the time, date and place of birth. Astrologers believe they can predict the happenings of an individual’s life based on this. Gurgaon-based Dr. Vibha Sharma holds a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B A M S) Degree and has practical experience of 22 years. Her expertise includes Panchkarma treatment. She is an Astrologist and a Horoscope reader, who can detect ailments and describe the personality of a patient by looking at an accurate Horoscope. In the absence of a Horoscope she can draw conclusions on the basis of the time, date and place of birth. Excerpts from an interview with Dr. Vibha Sharma What attracted you to Ayurveda? I grew up in a family of Ayurvedic doctors; this exposure sensitised me to this noble profession. I completed schooling but did not qualify for admission to any college because I was underage. Luckily I was accepted by Gaur Brahmin Ayurvedic College, Rohtak. Thus circumstances have also led me to this career rather than a conscious choice. Any regrets for that? In retrospect; on the contrary, I am very happy with my professional life. I am practicing a ‘perfect’ system of treatment, and as a result helping patients to cure themselves. Could you please explain the salient features of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a very scientific method; its 5,000 years old literature is available even today - although some records have been lost. Its basic theme-aim is: “Swasthasya swasthya rakshnam ch; Aturasya rog prashamanam ch – “To restore the health of a healthy person and cure a diseased person.” My knowledge of Sanskrit, acquired during my early education years, came very handy in pursuing this line of treatment. Ayurveda comprises of the two Sanskrit words āyus, meaning ‘life’ and veda, meaning ’science’. How did you discover the link of Astrology with the diagnosis of disease? Is it indicative of the route of treatment and prescription of medicine and diet? Astrology is a part of the syllabus of the Ayurveda Degree Course. I was fascinated and inquisitive about the link between the two diverse subjects. This fact motivated me to go deeply into it. Interestingly, the diagnosis and treatment

Ayurveda Humors English: The three humors in Ayurveda and the five great elements that thes are composed of. The colors used are arbitrary. Krishnavedala

Basis of Aruveda : Conceived by Krishnavedala, as a result of extensive research. ( He has allowed its use by anyone – in anyway, free from any Copyright) Aruveda and Astrology

(in Astrology) is based upon the Grah (Planet), Time and Nakhshastras (Constellation). For example, Astrologers suggest the use of certain stones to counteract the negative-evil effects of certain Nakhshastras - at a certain time for a particular person. Ayurveda, combined with Astrology, provides a broader and more comprehensive understanding of human energy patterns. In Ayurveda theory, the entire treatment is based on Tridoshas - namely Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. Any imbalance in these causes various ailments. There are different medicines for the same disease for each type of body constitution. A good example of this is the treatment of fever. In Allopathy, an antipyretic would be prescribed for everyone; in Ayurveda the body constitutionpersonality would first be analysed, and depending upon the type, an appropriate medicine be prescribed.

B on V ivant ailments. In Ayurveda, a Bhasma of Metals, Gemstones and Ratnas is given; Bhasma is procured by Shodan (Purification). Bhasma is the purest form of a particular element and it is directly absorbed in the human body; its quick absorption by even the tiniest tissue shows immediate results. What are the crucial factors in this line of treatment? The fundamental rule is to focus on diet and lifestyle - one must live and eat according to the seasons and follow Ritu Charya (Seasonal routine) and Din Charya (Daily routine). Ritu Charya: In the current rainy season, yoghurt and leafy vegetables, - especially bels (creepers) that grow horizontal on the ground, are not recommended; food from cold storage is not to be taken. There is a rationale for everything - e.g. yoghurt is hard to digest and has a tendency to disturb the digestion of other foods eaten along with it. It is important to switch over to seasonal fruits, vegetables and


grains, just like one changes the wardrobe according to the season. Din Charya means to strictly follow the rules of nature. On getting up in the morning, the body needs total cleansing outwardly by cleaning the eyes, teeth etc., and inwardly by visiting the toilet to get rid of the toxins accumulated during the sleep. Ayurveda is most successful in treating which ailments? Chronic ailments are treated very easily. This system does not only treat the disease but cures the cause - and thus the person lives the rest of her/his life free from that particular ailment. I have successfully treated Rheumatoid arthritis and liver and kidney diseases, as also cancer. The pity is that patients turn towards Ayurveda at the last stage, when all other treatments have failed. If the treatment is started at the initial stages, is based on a correct diagnosis and is followed by precise medicine and diet, there is a 100 % surety of recovery. Is this line of treatment effective in the modern life style? The woes of a modern lifestyle, specially of the young, are irregular habits - like sleeping till mid-day and keeping awake up to the wee hours - thus going against the basic principle of Night and Day. Secondly, their food habits are haywire. They eat what they like as opposed to what their body needs, and that also at irregular hours. This phenomenon disturbs the basic rhythm of the body, and the digestive system. This weird, ever-changing eating and sleeping pattern is responsible for many ailments. This is coupled with the high level of all kinds of stress - from studies to social pressures.

In Astrology, Gemstones are recommended to be worn, to counteract the effect of Planets - e.g. Munga (Coral) is advised to reduce the negative effect of Mangal (Mars), for blood-related

The theory of Medicoastrology has evolved, which is a combination of Ayurveda and Astrology. Planets’ position: Taken from a Horoscope drawn in 1930, which has been used by Dr Vibha Sharma to detect a liver ailment. (This finding was supported by a Liver Function Test (LFT) carried out at Dr Lal’s Path Labs, Gurgaon)

What are the limitations of this line-discipline of treatment? Well, in emergencies and acute conditions, Ayurveda does not have instant cures. In ancient times there were facilities for surgery etc., but that knowledge and those techniques have been lost forever. In such cases, Allopathy provides the better answer today. In sum, Ayurveda is a complete science. The person – not a particular disease - is treated. There is need for patience and perseverance.u


9-15 August 2013

B on V ivant

Go Back For Your Future { Bhuvana Shridhar } “Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion”: Gautam Buddha


ast-Life Regression or therapy is a holistic technique that uses hypnosis and what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations. According to our ancient scriptures, Patanjali, the Indian Yoga philosopher, wrote about the soul ‘chitta’ - being burdened with the accumulation of impressions - ‘samskaras’ of karmas from its previous existence(s). He believed that the history of our former lives remains in our memories, and through a past life therapy we can go back to any former existence and time. When we learn how to decode that eternal mystery we will automatically feel more in control of ourselves and the world around us. The objective of Past-Life Regression therapy is to help unlock our past in order to heal our present life and lift our spirits.

How The Mind Works

Our conscious mind learns, processes and filters large amounts of information, enabling us to function

effectively in the world around us. Our subconscious mind absorbs all the thought forms, or energies - however good or bad. We need to learn how to bring the incredible force of the subconscious mind under our control. Emotional baggage from the past, unfulfilled desires and unresolved issues come back oftentimes to haunt us in our present life. If they remain unresolved or unattended, they can lead to serious physical illnesses like tumours, heart disease and cancer.

whether you had a past life? Do you want to feel that sense of déjà vu? A session with a past-life healer would indeed be an interesting

experience. You need to relax and ready yourself for the journey, under hypnosis. Within a space of an hour and a half you may find yourself in 1886.

You may look into the face of a guru and realize that he is your father (in your present birth). Or you may realize that you have always wanted to be a poet but have never expressed the desire. The experience will help you in your journey of becoming a happy and contented soul.

Therapeutic Benefits of Past-Life Regression Therapy

This modality is gaining a lot of popularity, as people have discovered a new way to heal various problems such as:

Discovering our Past

Have you ever wondered

  Getting rid of Phobias   Understanding OCD Disorders n  Removing chronic aches and pains n  Controlling anger n  Controlling anxiety n  Getting rid of bad habits n  Eliminating stress at all levels n  Focusing on behavioural problems and bringing in changes in personality n  Handling internal and external conflicts in relationships n  Discovering and dealing with emotional blocks n  Transforming limiting beliefs n  Moving on to a more fulfilling career n  Feeling empowered n  Feeling more at peace u n n

Case Study Name: Adil Gupta Place: Western India Time Era chosen: around 1850 A.D. Past Life Details ‘I saw myself as a rich zamindar being attacked by a group of Indian freedom fighters, in my village. Despite being an Indian, I was loyal to the British rulers. This had angered some of the local revolutionaries and they were looking for an opportunity to teach me a lesson. One day, finding me alone in my haveli, they attacked me and took away all the wealth stored in the secret safe of my home. They left me to die, with a sharp knife thrust in my throat. It was an untimely and cruel death’. Emotions Released ‘When I was dying I experienced strong emotions of guilt and regret, of having failed my country and its people (by siding with the British). I realized that I was greedy and this had cost me my life’. The Explanation and the Cure ‘After a couple of sessions in Past-Life Regression I was able to get rid of the guilt feelings that had been constantly disturbing me in my current life. I learnt how to focus on my core beliefs, thereby bringing in changes in my personality. I now meet every situation with faith, poise, calmness and balance. My mind is full of peace and joy’.

Tarot Reader

Asli Digestive { Krishan Kalra }


y grandfather was a great one for pithy, funny one-liners and one of his favourites went like this: “Jo kare gheeo, na ma na pyo” – meaning, “What ghee (pure saturated animal fat to the uninitiated) can do (for a young man), neither mother nor father can”. The grand old man lived till his 90s and not once did he break his daily routine of a five-mile morning walk and a breakfast of paranthas, lassi and a big chunk of freshly made white butter. To the end his meals were cooked in desi ghee – while we kids had very early on moved to Postman and Cornolla. And while he merrily imbibed large quantities of shakkar (jaggery) in winter, we had cut down the sugar in the morning cuppa to a half teaspoon. There was also this homeopath friend of mine – a retired colonel – who scoffed at the ‘fashionable’ idea of cholesterol control. This guy regularly added two large spoons of desi ghee (from the village) to his daal and could eat 250 gms of rabri for dessert. For him, all modern day poly-unsaturated oils were ‘poison’. He believed in the maxim that

“one must eat and drink well for a healthy living”. Ghee-shakkar on hot rotis was his idea of a good dinner in the winters. Talking of ghee-shakkar reminds me of my mother’s comment on our ‘modern day’ preparations for entertaining guests. She shocked my wife when she told her that she often served lunch to 20 guests in five minutes flat. Only later were we told that these ‘guests’ were the farmers from our agricultural lands in pre-partition Punjab, and all she had to do was to measure out one seer (about 950g) of atta, half a seer

of shakkar and one pav (235 gms) of ghee for each of them! Some one would carry these provisions to the big shop in the mandi, where one of the guests would light a makeshift firewood stove and cook the gourmet meal on a tawa. These hardy men walked at least ten miles each day and pulled the plough for hours. They could singlehandedly lift heavy bags of wheat and, when posed with a challenge, glug five litres of milk without putting the bucket down. Those were the days when any young man living alone – in a hostel or working in the city – had his mandatory five seer tin of ghee duly locked in the hostel or the neighbourhood dhaba. He would carry the tin to dinner, measure out half a katori of the home-made nectar and pour it into the piping hot daal or subzi. Desi ghee can change an insipid meal into a delicious one. Of course all this was long before the Indian youngsters were introduced to Wimpys and Nirulas. Now ghee is associated with a ‘smell’ and high cholesterol. To each his own. Even today a ruddy overfed young Punjabi buys the latest ‘nonstick pan’ to fry his three-egg, cheese-filled omelette in pure home-made butter! u



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Competition For Sniffer Dogs { Sid Astbury / Blue Mountains, Australia / DPA }

Professor Shari Forbes at a bone site she created in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. She says dogs can detect many faint smells: “There’s no reason why we couldn’t teach dogs to detect the latest drugs being used in sport. It’s very complex. You can’t see it, the offender wouldn’t smell it. It could get us very much ahead of the game.”

Wade Laube

Sid Astbury


hari Forbes is digging up the dead pigs she buried months ago in a secret forest clearing, in the Blue Mountains, north of Sydney. The forensic scientist bottles the odours of rotting flesh and bone to take back to her laboratory, to build a chemical profile of the around 800 active compounds involved in decomposition odours. Professor Forbes is a world expert on the smell of putrefaction, and her regular digs are inching us closer to understanding how sniffer dogs find things. Cadaver-detection dogs help find bodies in police investigations, or after natural disasters. They locate their quarry by homing in on just a few of those 800 compounds from a decomposition scent. If we knew which ones they focused on, we could synthesize them and use them to train sniffer dogs and speed up their work. Ultimately, the data could be fed into what is called an electronic nose and some of the basic functions of a cadaver dog could be automated. “It’s not my intention to put the dogs out of business,” Forbes said. “If we brought in electronic noses, we’d use them as a screening tool; we would still use the dog at the confirmatory tool.” A dog’s sense of smell is a thousand times better than a human’s. And even a human’s

sense of smell is hundreds of times better than the very latest electronic nose. Forbes is still amazed at how good dogs are at smelling death. “I test them and they recognize a decomposition odour,” she said. “I take that same sample back to the lab and my instrument tells me there’s nothing there. So we know the dogs are better. And they will be for a long time to come.” In life, we all smell different; in death, we smell the same. But there are different Pig carcasses are used to collect smells because genetically they are very close to humans.

Senior Sergeant David Wright, a New South Wales policeman, with cadaver-sniffing dog Bertie.

smells at different stages of decomposition. Cadaver dogs surely know this, but what the dogs smell is probably not what we smell. To us, putrefaction smells universally bad; to dogs, there are gradations and distinctions that are still hidden from us. “The other issue with odours is that when you change the ratio of the compounds, it changes the odour,” Forbes said. “So we could have two identical compounds in different ratios giving off two different odours.” Dogs are ‘absolute magic’, because they will not be fooled by different ratios in compounds. Will we ever get instrumentation as good at the job as they are? “Probably nev-

er,” Forbes said. Working on corpses, banned in Australia, is permitted in the United States. Forbes helps train cadaver dogs and is called on to help in criminal investigations. She was drawn to what has become her vocation, by a police request years ago. “They were out looking for a grave and the dogs were trying to locate it,” she explained. “The police said ‘we really don’t know what the dogs are doing’ and I thought I could help with that. I know the chemistry behind the odour. They know the dogs’ behaviour. We can tie this together.’” Her expertise has been called on to help police find drugs, weapons, cash and explosives. She has also helped police find a dead cadaver dog, because they thought it would be too upsetting for all involved to set a live dog to find a fallen comrade. Dogs can be trained to detect anything; all that is needed is the substance. If it were possible to isolate a likely selection of the active compounds that Forbes reckons the dogs home in on, the dogs themselves could be set the task of picking the right ones. “What we can do is improve their success rate by screening away all the interfering background odours and just present them with the target odour and say, ‘Is this what we’re looking for?’ When presented with those odours, they have phenomenal success – and that’s really the aim.”u

Singing Helps In Learning Foreign Language { New York / DPA }


z én kedvesem egy olyan lány akit’... What? The foreign phrase is in Hungarian, a language regarded as very difficult to master, for speakers of other European languages. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music found in a recent study, that singing in a foreign

language can significantly help one learn how to speak it. After listening to short Hungarian phrases, one group sang them back, another repeated them rhythmically and the third spoke them normally. The singers learned twice as well as the normal speakers, the researchers said. Dr. Karen M. Ludke, who conducted the research as part of

her PhD at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, said: “This Study provides the first experimental evidence that a listen-and-repeat singing method can support foreignlanguage learning, and opens the door for future research in this area. “Melody could provide an extra cue to jog people’s memory?” u

Aussie Gorilla To Retire { Sydney / DPA }


fter 17 years as the alpha male of a rowdy gorilla troop, Kibabu, the silverback gorilla at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, is stepping aside for a younger male. A 200-kilogramme western lowlands gorilla, Kibabu moved to Taronga Zoo from the Netherlands in 1996. He turned 36 in May, has sired 14 offspring, and, according to his keepers, it’s now time for him to retire to a peaceful retreat at Mogo Zoo, on the New South Wales South Coast. The silverback’s retire-


MoMA To Exhibits Sounds   

{ New York / DPA }


he Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is planning, for the first time, an exhibition made up only of sounds. The Manhattan Museum said the sounds include field recordings of everything – from bats to abandoned buildings in Chernobyl. Also audible in the recordings are 59 bells in New York City and a factory in Taiwan; on display will be visualizations of otherwise inaudible sounds. The Exhibition, called “Soundings: A Contemporary Score”, runs from August 10 to November 3.u

Pet Gerbils Scare Off Burglars { Basel, Switzerland / DPA }


wiss homeowners might consider trading in watchdogs for gerbils, after police said that burglars were probably scared away by the rodents in St. Gallen. Police investigating an aborted break-in at an empty home heard a loud squeaking noise from an exercise wheel being used by the pets. “We know that burglars only retreat when they are disturbed from within the home,” a police spokesman said. u

Swiss Train Station Shifted { Basel, Switzerland / DPA }


Swiss railway station building has taken a short trip of its own, with engineers lifting it onto rails and moving it 33 metres, the newspaper Tribune de Geneve reported. The 1887 building, weighing 710 tons, was shifted to make space for a new underground station in the Geneva suburb of Chene-Bourg. The Station’s short journey was substantially slower and more expensive than normal rail travel - it took four hours and 1.3 million Swiss francs to reach the new destination. u

ment package will include the company of two of his favourite female gorillas. “He’s a little bit tired of managing a large group,” the Zoo’s Primate Supervisor, Louise Grossfeldt, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Kibabu’s done his job exceptionally well, so it’s time for someone else to come in.” After a worldwide search to find a replacement for Kibabu, Taronga Zoo has chosen Kibali, a 12-yearold silverback brought to the Zoo from La Vallee des Singes, in France, in 2012. The younger male has demonstrated that he has what it takes – good genes, temperament and leadership skills. And, according to Senior Curator Erna Walraven, “He’s also very handsome.” u


Teen Sex Comedy Comes Of Age?

{ Andy Goldberg/ Los Angeles / DPA }


he ‘To Do List’ is hardly the first Hollywood movie to focus on teenagers and their loss of virginity. But it may well be the first to show that nothing much happens after the girl at the centre of the story ‘succeeds’. “I’m fine Dad. I’m OK,” says the young heroine, a 1990s straight-A high school student named Brandy Klark – after her worried father finds out what has happened and rushes to the ‘rescue’. Klark, played by the deadpan Aubrey Plaza of the hit TV show Parks and Recreation, is loosely based on the adolescent adventures of first time writerdirector Maggie Carey – who, like Brandy, graduated top of her class in 1993 in Idaho. The straight-laced but over-achieving Brandy doesn’t want to waste her last summer at home, and so dedicates it to becoming as sexually experienced as possible. There have been plenty of raunchy movies exploring similar ambitions of adolescent young men:

American Pie, Superbad, Can’t Hardly Wait and The Last American Virgin are some of the more recent titles. There have been numerous movies and TV shows that examined young women’s sexual curiosity: Sixteen Candles, Juno, Saved!, Friday Night Lights and even the blockbuster Twilight explored similar themes. But, as The Atlantic’s Ashley Fetter points out, these rite of passage films all stuck to formulaic messages – in which the heroine either decides to wait for Mr. Right or finds herself pregnant or ‘suffers’ some form of karmic retribution. The ‘To Do List’ takes a new approach. With the focus she usually reserves for science fair projects, the bookish Brandy compiles her list of all the things she wants to experience before college, and in her wonkish way sets about achieving them. She makes out with numerous boys before achieving her

Major Diamond Heists { Paris / DPA }

   ollowing is a chronology of some of the biggest diamond heists in recent years: July 2013, Cannes: An armed robber walks into a Jewellery Exhibition at the luxury Carlton Hotel and snatches several cases of rare pieces, worth an estimated 136 million dollars. February 2013, Brussels: Eight men break through a fence at Zaventem airport and snatch 121 parcels containing an estimated 50 million dollars in diamonds, which were being loaded onto a Switzerland-bound plane. Several people were arrested in May. August 2009, London: Two men snatch precious stones and watches worth an estimated 53 million dollars, from the Graff Diamonds store in Central London. December 2008, Paris: Four men in wigs and women’s clothing attack the prestigious Harry Winston jewellery store near the Champs-Elysees in Paris, stealing an estimated 102 million dollars in gems. Police recover most of the loot a year later. February 2005, Amsterdam: Two men in a stolen KLM truck hijack another truck carrying an estimated 77 million dollars in uncut diamonds, at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. February 2003, Antwerp: The Antwerp World Diamond Centre is cleaned out by a group of Italian thieves, who empty more than 120 of 160 cases of gems, without triggering any alarms. The haul is estimated at around 140 million dollars. The Italian ringleader is later caught and convicted. August 1994, Cannes: The Carlton Hotel is targeted by masked gunmen, who burst into its jewellery store, raking the walls with gunfire and make off with an estimated 60 million dollars in jewels. Investigators later revealed that the gunmen had been firing blanks.u


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ultimate goal with a vacuous local hunk - providing play-by-play commentaries to two of her more experienced friends. “She loses her virginity to a guy who doesn’t really know her and definitely doesn’t love her,” Fetter writes. “And then she checks off the ‘intercourse’ box on her eponymous to-do list,

packs up her things and goes to college – untraumatized and unstricken by tragic regret.” Neil Gelzinger of The New York Times see more than just a good idea in the film. “This movie is smarter and better acted, and just plain funnier, than most of its predecessors in the my-first-time genre – no matter which sex is losing what,” he says. While some critics may blast the movie for purportedly encouraging teenage promiscuity, The Washington Post’s Jessica Goldstein sees it as having another message entirely. “The ‘To Do List’ doesn’t smite Brandy for her promiscuous pursuit of happiness,” she argues. “It celebrates her as a pro-choice-T-shirt-wearing, Gloria Steinem-quoting, clever and capable adult who is ultimately empowered – (even) if at times (she is) grossed out and embarrassed by the choices that she

Amsterdam’s Project 1012 { Amsterdam / DPA }


msterdam may move ahead with plans to close 40 per cent of the prostitution windows in its famous De Wallen red-light district, a government advisory body said, following a protracted legal battle. Twenty-six owners of a total of 100 window brothels—in which prostitutes can be seen by prospective clients from the street—had appeared before the Dutch Council of State, the highest administrative body in the Netherlands, to argue against the closures. But the body said that a reduction in these sex establishments and their concentration in a smaller area would allow “better control and monitoring of window prostitution.” The ruling means Amsterdam can now fully implement “Project

1012,” named for the postcode of the district, announced by thenmayor Job Cohen in 2008. The main goal of the project is to “fight against crime and decadence” in the heart of Amsterdam. The city hopes to replace them with more boutiques and art galleries in the picturesque old canal houses. While tolerated for decades, prostitution was legalized in 2000, with the aim to protect women in the trade, amid United Nations concerns that the country was one of the world’s major destinations for human trafficking. Officials complained that crime and violence increased with legalization, as criminal gangs moved in to control the business. The move to close prostitution indoors follows a similar crackdown on the City’s marijuana cafes. u

makes.” Yet not all reviewers are so enamoured by the coming-ofage comedy. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle, which is not known for being a prudish publication, called the film “vile and unfunny ... with an ugliness of spirit that’s unrelenting.” Similar movies about young men are funny because of the ploys they must use to woo their partners, he points out. With a girl it’s different. “She can practically pick a name out of a hat and, barring bad luck, she will have success,” LaSalle argues. This viewpoint may fail to appreciate the challenges Brandy faces and the significance of her and the movie’s unusual choices. “In ‘The To Do List’, girls are confused teenagers grappling with the complex emotional and physical minefield of sex,” writes novelist Michael Landweber on popmatters. com. “It may be that, with ‘The To Do List’, teen sex comedy is also coming of age.” u

Women’s Erotica: The New Money Spinner { Berlin / DPA }


rotica for women has emerged as a major new money spinner for the European porn industry, with German sex products group, Beate Uhse AG, unveiling plans to draw in more female customers. “The market has undergone a complete change in recent years,” Beate Uhse Board Member Erwin Cok told the Group’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Flensburg, on the German border with Denmark. In addition to announcing plans to revamp its catalogue along the lines of a woman’s magazine, the company unveiled a new red-pink logo consisting of swirls and hearts. The moves follow the launch of the group’s new slogan: Sex up your life. “We have talked for months with a lot of women,” said Company spokeswoman Doreen Schink. They want “to be addressed in a loving, tongue-incheek way.” More than 80 per cent of the Group’s products are developed for women, who represent about 60 per cent of its customers. After being badly hit in recent years by the internet sex boom, the Company now expects to post earnings this year of between 2 to 4 million euros. After launching what it claims to be the world’s first sex shop six decades ago in Flensburg, Beate Uhse now has operations in 15 European countries. The Group also became Europe’s first ‘erotic stock’ when it was listed on the German share market in 1999. u

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endy Wagner turns her back to the red-brick building with a sign, “Documentation of Extermination,” hanging over its door at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz. Wagner, who is Jewish and has seen many Auschwitz photos in her preparation for this visit, cannot come face-to-face with confiscated hair and shoes, luggage and personal items of the European Jews murdered here by the Germans. “Today I can’t do this”, the 20-year-old student of political science admits. The slim blonde’s blue eyes look sombre as she recalls what she has seen at the camp so far. “In a way Auschwitz is always present – it is part of our identity. In our prayers we always remember the victims of the Shoah.” She shrugs helplessly: “Yet being here is quite different. Everything feels so real.” Wendy comes from a small town in North Rhine Westfalia in the west of Germany. A private foundation, Making Remembrance Possible, based in that part of the country, funds student visits to Auschwitz and other former Nazi German death camps. Over the last few years, dozens of school classes have travelled to Poland, often after extensive preparation and talks with survivors. “Our home and our future is

Healing The Wounds... in Germany, so learning about the fate of Jews in Nazi Germany is something important for us”, explains Alexander Makarov, 19. Like all the male members of the group he wears a kippa, a traditional Jewish cap worn at religious service. The journey to Auschwitz is not only educational, but also a time to recite a kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead, at the place that became a huge Jewish cemetery without graves during World War II. The young Jews from North Rhine Westfalia did not want a professional guide to lead them through the camp. Every one of them had prepared a short lecture, based on advanced reading. But being at the place where it all happened became a bit too overwhelming for some of them, like Wendy. At the notorious Camp Gate, with its cynical message “Arbeit macht frei” (Work will make you free), a young man has to stop in mid-sentence when talking about the treatment of Auschwitz prisoners. Alexander hugs his friend. “Being here makes it even more impossible to imagine how it really must have been”, he says. “All these millions of people, who were regarded as mere numbers – as human material.” Out of the esti-

mated 6 million victims of the Holocaust, more than a million were murdered in Birkenau, the principal killing site of the Auschwitz complex. More than 4 million recovered names of the dead can be found in the “book of names,” part of the exhibition Shoah, which the Israeli museum Yad Vashem opened in Auschwitz in mid-June. Michelsen scans the entries of names, her finger following a block of her own Michelsen surname. “I have family graves in the Jewish cemetery in Oswiecim,” she says. Oswiecim is the Polish name of the town where


ou really didn’t do that, did you?” the daughter asked her father over the evening dinner table. You really didn’t issue death sentences, did you?” The questions were directed at Hans Filbinger, who gave evasive replies. His oldest daughter, Susanna FilbingerRiggert, has just published a fascinatingly personal book, “Kein weisses Blatt” (No Clean Slate), about how she sought to come to terms with her father’s past as a court-martial judge under the Nazis. Her “father-daughter biography” sheds light on the case of Hans Filbinger, who, after the war rose to become premier of the economic powerhouse state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The work is a belated “father book,” a term given to a genre of writings by authors seeking to deal with the question: What did Daddy do during War and how did he serve the Nazi regime? Many such books appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. The authors, mostly born between 1935 and 1945, came up

with titles that serve to illustrate the mix of fascination and loathing at drilling down into the new-style German’s family history. Controversy surrounded Filbinger-Riggert’s book even before its publication, amid wrangling between her and her four siblings about the father’s diaries. Without the others knowing, she took the diaries from the family home in Freiburg, and used some of the content for her book. One of her sisters, backed by their only brother, Matthias Filbinger, went to court vainly seeking a temporary injunction against the book going on sale. In “Kein weisses Blatt,” Filbinger-Riggert describes how a prominent surname can open doors - but also have them slammed in one’s face, if the name, like her father’s, has been soiled. Hans Filbinger’s downfall began in the spring of 1978, after a German playwright and leftist intellectual, Rolf Hochhuth, published an article in the weekly Die Zeit, describing

illegal today.” At the time, what Hans Filbinger did argue was that his actions were based on “international martial law”, and so could not be retrospectively ruled to be a crime 30 years later. “The inability to discuss his inner feelings, and his conviction that he shouldn’t have to, were part of what resulted in the huge opposition toward him,” Susanna Filbinger-Riggert writes. Nor did the Christian Democratic politician ever utter a word of apology. Rather, he saw himself as a victim and as a prime example of a “vilified generation.” The daughter cites her father, after his resignation from office, as saying that “coming to terms with the past at the cost of one individual is impermissible and leads nowhere.” She has made it a point that in her own family “we bring up and discuss everything that is troubling us. Showing our feelings is just as much a part of it as showing our weaknesses.” Susanna Filbinger-Riggert has not yet closed the chapter on her father’s Nazi past – one that remains a “wound that to this day has not completely healed.” And the wound was broken open again after her father’s death in 2007. u

Alexander (centre, in black shirt) hugs a fellow member of the Jewish youth tour party.

Filbinger as “Hitler’s naval judge” and a “terrifying jurist”, because he had been involved in issuing several death sentences in Nazi Germany’s wartime Navy. Later, the political programme, Panorama, on German television reported that Filbinger had even issued death sentences on naval servicemen in the final days of the War, in contrast to Filbinger’s own version that he had not issued such sentences. After the controversy, the credibility of the Baden-Wuerttemberg politician was in a shambles. For Susanna, then 27 Bernd Weissbrod

Hans Filbinger at age 92, during a Congress of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Stuttgart.

years old, it was a turning point. The image she had held of an upright Christian, if somewhat patriarchal, father figure was shattered. On August 7, 1978, Filbinger stepped down from political office. “Why didn’t he ever talk about it?” the daughter asks in her book. From the father’s diaries, she learns that he did go to confession to a Catholic priest in Freiburg, telling the spiritual adviser about “one particular case that ended in a death.” Yet, otherwise, the daughter did not find in the 60 personal diaries any indication whatsoever that her father had been “a Nazi, possibly an admirer of Hitler, or a sadist or racist,” as his adversaries saw him. “But like many other officers he did let himself be instrumentalized so that the ‘Wehrmacht system’ could function,” she noted. The Wehrmacht was the German armed forces, which had no mercy on deserters or shirkers, trying them in court and executing them. Like the general public, the daughter was particularly shocked by Filbinger’s insistence about the strict legality of his actions. She does conclude that he did not utter a sentence widely attributed to him by the news media, that “what was legal back then can’t be considered

The railway platform at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, with a guard tower in the background.

Wounds That Never Heal... { Julia Giertz / Stuttgart / DPA }

the death camp was built during the Nazi occupation. “Then, in the late 19th century some of my family moved to southern Germany. Many of them were deported back here and murdered in Auschwitz.” In most cases, there is no date of death – just, “murdered in Auschwitz”. Most German schools rou-

tinely teach children about the Nazi era and its evils in history class. For many, the Holocaust experience remains an abstract matter known only from school textbooks and television documentaries. Visiting a camp memorial makes it more real. But for Wagner, the visit to Auschwitz has been quite a different experience from a trip she made as a schoolgirl to a former concentration camp, Neuengamme, near Hamburg. This time she is not the only Jew in the group. “We can support and strengthen each other in this group,” she says. “And there is not this weird moment of embarrassment you often find with German students who don’t have a Jewish background.” While she strongly opposes any tendency to ignore the Nazi past and to refuse reflection on it, Wendy thinks it is wrong if young people of her own age feel guilty and ashamed because of the crimes the generations of their great-grandparents committed. “How can they be guilty of any of this?” she says, looking at the lines of brick buildings that were once army barracks and became hell on earth for thousands of prisoners. Even 70 years later the place feels spooky, Wendy admits. “But Auschwitz is not the end of the German or European Jews,” she says. “Just look - we are the living proof.” u

Eva Krafczyk

{ Eva Krafczyk / Auschwitz / DPA }

Susanna Filbinger-Riggert, author of a book about her father, during a book launch at the Hugendubel bookshop in Berlin.



9-15 August 2013


Friday gurgaon august 9 15, 2013 the change you want to be

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