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3-9 January 2014

Happy New Year

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

Vol. 3 No. 20  Pages 24  ` 7

The CM’s Wonder-lutions Breaking News

Gurgaon - even in condos. They would be permanently stationed always full - in vital spots across the City. Cementing the Badshahpur Nallah so that even garbage can be dumped there and then ‘collected’ (whatever is non-soluble) once a quarter – the accumulating waste at Bandhwari has already seeped many metres down. Ensuring that liquor vends, already named after many Gods, are situated closer to the temples and devotees. Looking for a replacement for his pet ‘Pod Taxi’ project, which has been pod down. Maybe flying saucers would work (like in Appu Ghar, or a new Dream Kingdom); it has to be something that does not need to use the roads. Sanctioning a Hero Honda Plaza at the infamous crossing; the Plaza would house a Toll Club, a Truckers’ Stop and a Water/SewageSuction Station. Renaming all roads and colonies after the Gandhi family – minus the Mahatma, and including all in-laws and outlaws. Keeping Suzuki (Maruti) workers in jail for another few years, till the Haryana part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is completed – funded by the Japanese. Developing a global-first 36-hole Golf Course, in partnership with Suzuki, on the current Maruti factory premises – as an everGreen Indo-Jap friendship project, founded on the core of the City (in return, Suzuki has decided to take the compensation and shift out). Announcing, and then retracting, the Auto Fare Policy, for the tenth time (someone in Chandigarh really needs to explain this one!). And announcing (the tenth time again) the inauguration of the Sector 10 Hospital, Hoodaji, instead of MCG, DCji, PCji and HUDAji doing everything, and therefore nothing, can we just have a City Commissioner (a CC ji)?u

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nspired by AAP (the Aam Aadmi Party), and sensing a rout of the Congress in the elections, CM Hooda has decided to go back to his roots and form KHAP (the KHaas Aadmi Party). He would now like to finish some of the unfinished agenda of his stint with the Congress. On priority for 2014 would be: ‘Developing’ and issuing the ‘Gurgaon Master Plan 2051’ (skipping 2041), on the basis of a 51 lakhs local population – of which 20 lakhs would be migrant labour (of which 10 lakhs would be Bangladeshis). Announcing ‘The Aravalli Disneyland’ – preferably in the middle of the forest. Simultaneously, launching a concept of ‘Farm House Colonies’ – of ½ to 1 acre developed plots – again in the Aravallis (or in the current IAF Ammunition Depot area – of course after ‘approval’; you don’t want a scam blowing up in your face!). The houses will be constructed with wood from the forest. Nothing will go to waste. Giving HUDA Administrator PC Meena (ex-DC, ex-MCG Commissioner) a stint as the Police Chief – after all it is just another Commissioner (PC) role! A new person as MCG Commissioner will make it a (national) record number of Commissioners in a 12-month period. Haryana already has the national record for posting IAS officers for the shortest period – transfers, not postings, are the norm. Keeping AAP at bay, especially in and around Rohtak. Asking the Delhi Congress to keep AAP in humour may not work for long. Giving DLF the charge of the City, for development and maintenance. They already have special facilities not available to HUDA, MCG or the Police. They now even have a Private Highway coming up. MCG would remain the (Isolated) Villages’ Municipality. Placing orders with China for Mega Water Tankers and Mega Diesel Tankers, which would soon be needed on a daily basis all over

{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }

Real Estate Bu(r)st

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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he bubble of Real Estate in Gurgaon might not have burst, but the panic button has clearly been pressed - with little hope of the market seeing a turnaround in 2014. While the Real Estate developers have somehow managed to hold prices, given their deep pockets, the continuing dip in the number of

transactions clearly points to a sustained slowdown. It is a situation that the realtors in Gurgaon have never experienced, and they are clearly struggling as they stare at the unknown. The builders, brokers and land barons in Gurgaon, long used to projects being sold to investors even before their launch, don’t know (or don’t want to believe) what has hit them. They seem confused on why

the market is behaving somewhat rationally, leaving little scope for speculation. The investor community, which made great wealth courtesy the developers, is also caught on the wrong foot. The biggest learning from 2013 is that the fundamentals, the economics, will ultimately prevail - even in Realty. The slowdown started to cast its shadow in the second half of 2012. No one knows

what specifically caused this. Market analysts point out that a combination of - the weakening of the economy, the lack of job creation, no further big ticket investments in Gurgaon, corporates wanting cheaper office space, banks refraining from easy funding of Real Estate assets, tightening of the screws on subvention schemes, and the political flux - dented the Realty sector. Also, importantly,

given the heady increases in earlier years, property prices had already gone beyond the reach of the common man. Manish Bhandari, of Vallum Capital Advisors, says that Indian Real Estate is the most expensive piece of asset in the country vis a vis per capita incomes. He believes that there is irrationality in the pricing of Real Estate, be Contd on p 17 


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3-9 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ASHA PANDEY


3-9 January 2014

C oming U p

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RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–20  03-09 January 2014

Editor:

Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office

Theatre Dara Shikoh @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 5 Time: 7:30 pm n adaptation of M.S Sathyu's classic film, Garam Hawa. The Play dwells on the ideologies of Dara Shikoh, who was a victim of religious bigotry and fundamentalism.

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213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd., Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

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.

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY

SMS NR to 08447355801

Art Parallel Postulates @ Nature Morte, 443, Udyog Vihar Ph-V Date: Up to January 4 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm n Exhibition of the works of four new artists – Anita Dube, Aakash Nihalani, Martand Khosla and Mona Rai. The Artists approach the subjects of geometry, mathematical constructions, diagrammatic structures and abstraction from various directions, in diverse mediums.

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Theatre Bollywood Bandwagon @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 12 Time: 7:30 pm Hindi and English play by Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust. The Play stands on the edge of a film set and then moves to the dynamics of the film industry. The Play is about love, sacrifice, family and revenge and
features interesting characters like the Baadshah of Bollywood Raj Razdan, latest heartthrob Vicky Kapoor, lucky charm Kamini Katyal and reigning King, Jehangir Khan.
Bollywood Bandwagon is Written by Choiti Ghosh and Anurupa Roy
 and Directed by Anurupa Roy.
 Tickets: Rs. 350 - Rs. 500

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Caferati The Open Mike Series @ Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44 Date: January 11 Time: 6:30 pm nother installment 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 – it's all good. You get two minutes, and the microphone.

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Music & Dance Fest NRI Music and Dance Festival @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 9 & 10 Time: 7:30 pm A Cultural evening, presented by Swaranjali. Programme: Jan 9 parna Dey, disciple of Pt. Samaresh Chowdhury (Classical Vocal) Pratap Kumar, disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod, Kolkata)
 Subhash Dhunoohchand (Electronic Tabla from Reunion )
 Jan 10 Deboshree Chakraborty, disciple of Sh. Damodar lal Ghosh
 (Vocal) Prasen Bharadwaj & Rishik Raj, disciples of Sh. Dipankar Biswas
 (Tabla duet) Nehha Bhatnagar (Bharatnatyam, Delhi)
 Shobha Subramaniam & Aishwarya Subramaniam (Mohiniattyam, USA)


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Accompanist Artists - Damodar Lal Ghosh and Lalit Sisodia on Harmonium; Ghanshyam Sisodia on Sarangi ; Tabla Pradip Kumar Sarkar on Tabla

 Contact: 
9910300319

Screening Rainbows Are Real @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 7 Time: 7:30 pm Bengali film (with English subtitles) that revolves around the lives of three transgenders in Kolkata, who get shunned by society and are forced to make their ends meet as sex workers.

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Stand Up Comedy Family Tandoncies @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 11 Time: 7:30 pm mit Tandon takes you through a comical journey – of growing up in an Indian middle-class household. The Show will be opened by Vikramjit Singh. Suitable for 18 years & above. Tickets: Rs.500

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3-9 January 2014

Art

Sculpture Space @ Chawla Art Gallery, Square One Mall, Saket Date: Up to January 25 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Mondays closed) A Group Show of the works of Ankit Patel, KS Radhakrishnan, Mukul Mishra, Prodosh Dasgupta, Satish Gujral and Tapas Sarkar.

Stand-up Comedy

Nightlife Diva Wednesdays @ Zura, SCO No. 40, Leisure Valley Road, Sector 29 Date: Up to January 29 Time: 9:00 pm onwards njoy a night of fun and madness with your girl gang. Dance to foot-tapping music and avail a palmreading session.
There is also a surprise gift for all the ladies!

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Nightlife Ladies Night @ Howzatt, The Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15 Date: January 7 Time: 6:00 pm onwards t's time to let your hair down, ladies. Enjoy an evening of unadulterated fun, with music, dance, food and drinks.

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Heroes Night @ Fork You, 30, 1st Floor, Hauz Khas Village, Hauz Khas Date: January 3 Time: 8:00 pm onwards 'Heroes Night' flags off the 4th Annual Indian Comics Convention. The crazy celebration includes live sketching, and stand-up comedy acts by Nishant 'Joke' Singh. He will be accompanied by popular stand-up artist, Abhijeet Ganguly. Besides unlimited humour, the first 100 participants will also each get a free beer.

Music

Workshop Wordsmith's Workshop @ Panasonic Experience Centre, ABW Tower, IFFCO Chowk Date: January 6 to 8 Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm fun and interactive Workshop to help expand your child's vocabulary, through engaging word-building activities and fun-filled games. Children will learn new words, their pronunciation and usage. The Program will also provide word-learning strategies.

Ages: 6 to 8 years; above 8 years (separate batches)

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Food Suriani Festival @ Zambar, Ambience Mall,
NH8 Date: Up to January 5 unique Food Festival offering Suriani cuisine from the homes of Syrian Christians. Dishes include Potatoes Varathathu, Mushroom Olathiathu, Kurumilagu Chicken, Meen Porichathu, Pineapple Pachadi, Erachi Fry, Tharavu Roast, Puttu With Kadla Kari and Banana Fritters With Ice Cream.

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I am a regular reader of FG. On 22nd Dec 2013 (Sunday) morning I attended an event at RGREP, after reading from the FG Coming Up (Page 5 dated 20-26 Dec 2013), about the Workshop on Energy Conservation  and Organic Farming by Little Conservationist Taksheel Buddhadeo. I was very much impressed by the way the presentation and message on Energy conservation was given by Taksheel Buddhadeo. The most fun was with the Eco-friendly games for kids and parents. My kids, Prachi and Hardik, had a wonderful experience while interacting with Taksheel. The end of the Workshop was the most beautiful. Little Crusader Jaysheel  Buddhadeo (an around 4-year-old boy) had ended the Workshop with a beautiful song, shloka and a slogan – Reduce Reuse Recycle. The message directly touched the hearts of all. I am sure all those who had attended the Workshop will always follow the Reduce Reuse Recycle slogan. I appreciate the information regarding Workshops we readers get from the Coming Up page of FG. Regards Anju Thagela (Nursery Teacher) Mb 9899801822

Silsila-a Musical Evening @ India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road Date: January 4 Time: 7:00 pm An evening to commemorate the 75th year of the legendary classical vocalist of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan. The Programme includes Indian Classical Vocal by Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan and a Sitar recital by Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. This will be followed by a Documentary, screening the Legend’s musical journey over the years.

Workshop

Life In Cold Blood With Gerry Martin @ Leaps and Bounds, B - 35, Kailash Colony Date: January 3 to 5 Time:10:30 am to 12:30 pm Let your child enjoy a unique opportunity to understand reptiles, in this Workshop with National Geographic's Gerry Martin. Get up close with these mysterious creatures and learn from one of India's most experienced herpetologists. For children aged 7 to 14 years.

Screening

History in Bromide @ Auditorium, Media Centre, 3 R.P Road Date: January 10 Time: 5:00 pm onwards Catch the screening of the Film, History in Bromide, Directed by Dr. G. S.Raina. The Film is based on the life of popular photographer, Kulwant Roy, who has captured many iconic images of leaders during the Indian Independence Movement.

C oming U p Delhi's Artscape


H appenings

3-9 January 2014

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Dressy Workshop

Dreamy NYE

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ezalli Pvt. Ltd., a bespoke garment brand from Singapore, held a one-day Workshop on ‘How to dress Clients and Employees for Success’. The Workshop was conducted by Anupama Sachdeva, MD, Pezalli Pvt. Ltd. and Gary Foo, the Bespoke Menswear & Image Consultant, Pezalli and a certified ACTA Trainer from WDA Singapore. The Workshop was a first-of-its-kind, to educate retailers from across the country on the concept of bespoke (a clothing item made to a buyer’s specification) and customised tailoring for men, as well as the most suitable ways to help clients look their best.

ew Year celebrations at Kingdom of Dreams included a Qawwali session, a special performance by Stereo Nation and non-stop Bolly and Western beats by DJ Sunny Sarid. There were also special activities for kids - a puppet show, magic show and a pyramid throw game. Mega fireworks at the midnight hour left the crowd enthralled.

Chetas Mash-up

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he ‘King of Mash-ups’, DJ Chetas, got the crowd at Anarchy grooving to his beats. The crowd kept up with his trendy beats and were thrilled at the performance.

A Rhythmic Launch

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he book, ‘Dancing on the Notes of Life’ by K.B Trehan, was launched in the City. The Chief Guest at the Event was C. Pal Singh, former Inspector General, Police. The Book is a motivational semi-fiction work.

Vindoo Parties

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ilm personality Vindoo Dara Singh was spotted at a nightclub in the City. He had a blast interacting with the guests, posing for pictures and even doing a jig behind the console.

Image Award, Indian Style

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mage Booster Sareeta Sharda was awarded the New Year Award at a ceremony, ‘The Indian Style’, held in Delhi. The Award ceremony was followed by a Kavi Sammelan, which included sessions by Prof. Ashok Chakradhar, Dr. Sarojini Pritam, V.C Mehta and Rekha Vyas. Guests included Dr. K.K Agarwal, Pawan Sinha and Sandeep Marwah.

Partying this New Year's Eve?

Send us photographs of your celebration and we'll publish selected photographs in the forthcoming issue(s). All photographs must be in high resolution

Send us your contributions at: fridaygurgaongallery@gmail.com


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3-9 January 2014

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Satish Chandra Choudhary is the new Chief Secretary of Haryana.  The Centre approves a Rs 1,487 crores Power Plan for 36 towns in Haryana.  A free health scheme is being proposed in Haryana wef January 1.  CNG prices are first hiked by Rs 5.50 per kg, and then frozen, after the AAP protests the hike in Delhi.  Haryana offers a Rs 200 reduction in power bills, and no increase in tariff in 2014-15.
  Chandrachur Singh, actor and a Gurgaon resident, plays Traffic Tau for a day – as part of the Traffic Police initiative.  Some local society ‘leaders’ join AAP party.  City Schools are closed for winter vacation from January 1 – will open on January 13.  The new Property Tax payment deadline is now January 31.  Gurgaon residents declared the most prosperous in India, as per a Survey. MG Road remains trouble free on New Year’s Eve – also seemingly revellers and fun-free.  A 7-year-old girl on a motorcycle is run over by a bus, in an accident near IFFCO Chowk.  A 75-year-old retired Air Force officer dies in a short circuit induced fire in his house in Patel Nagar Colony.  A man and his father are booked for harassment and molestation of a woman, in Sector 10A.  A Sector 10 girl is harassed and molested.

4U 4

Tips

 A woman falls down and breaks her hand when bikers try and snatch her chain.  A husband and his mother are booked for dowry harassment.  Of over 500 persons who went missing in 2013, 137 have still not been traced.  VP of EXL Services is kidnapped, but rescued by police within a day. A newly hired driver is the suspect.  3 are hospitalized after drinking mineral water in Kanhai Village.  Police bust a dacoit gang of 5 persons wanted in multiple cases.  Auto drivers threaten protest over police ‘excesses’.  A woman is threatened outside her house in Sector 15, and her gold bangles stolen.  A driver is assaulted and robbed of Rs 25,000.  A taxi driver is assaulted and robbed of Rs 70,000.  A house in Sector 23 is robbed when the owner is away to Bhopal; jewellery worth lakhs is stolen; a house in Palam Vihar is burgled, when the family is away to Agra.  A property dealer dupes a person of Rs 35 lakhs; a Sonipat resident is cheated of Rs 19 lakhs in a property fraud.  A Pilot training company dupes man of Rs 40 lakhs.  A businessman’s briefcase containing lakhs of cash and valuables is stolen.  The second 22MGD unit of the Chandubudhera Water Treatment Plant is now on stream – a third (22MGD also) is due in a year.  MCG proposes to rent 100 portable toilets for use in ‘old’ Gurgaon.  Footpath traders accused of encroaching in Sadar Bazaar are removed.

For Power Complaints 24x7: Dial 1800-180-1615

by ShahnaZ Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and antiaging treatments. Q. What is the best way to remove make up? SH

The best way to remove make-up is to use a cleansing cream or gel. If you have an oily skin, use a cleansing lotion to remove make-up. However, to remove eye make-up, use the cleansing gel, whatever the skin type. To remove foundation and blush on, apply the cleanser on the face with a light massage and then wipe off with moist cotton wool. The area around eyes should be wiped gently, without pulling or stretching the skin. Apply cleansing gel and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. To remove mascara from upper lashes, put cleanser on moist cotton wool and wrap it around your index finger. Brush the cotton wool through the lashes from underneath. To remove mascara from the lower lashes, use a cotton bud, which has a little cleanser on it. Also clean the corners of the eyes with a cotton bud. To remove lipstick, put cleanser on moist cotton wool and gently wipe in an inward direction, from the corners to the centre..

T PIC OF THE WEEK

Dear Readers, FG wishes you a Happy New Year! 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:

What do you like about Friday Gurgaon? What are the changes you would like to see in the Newspaper?

Arushi Prabhakar

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

Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com


3-9 January 2014

C ivic/S ocial

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Battleground South Haryana { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

G

urgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh has kept his cards close to his chest, but it is likely that this veteran politician will come out with his game plan very soon. The primary focus of Haryana Insaaf Manch, an organisation led by the Rao family, is on winning the political battle in South Haryana, so that he could become the king - or acquire enough numbers to act as the kingmaker. Rao Inderjit Singh told Friday Gurgaon that his focus would be on setting up a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA), which will become the overarching body for the development and maintenance of the entire City. “We want to ensure that the revenue generated in and by Gurgaon is also spent on building and developing this premier City - so that it continues to benefit the entire State. The government will have to keep reinvesting in the City, to ensure that it truly become a Millennium destination,” asserts Rao. He says that the demand for setting up such an Authority has been made repeatedly by him, when in government as well as in (Congress) Party meetings. On his political plans, the Gurgaon MP hints that he would prefer to join a political outfit that has a national perspective. This perhaps is an indication that the veteran Congress leader is all set to join the BJP (Modi), in its campaign to remove the Congress from the Centre. “Haryana Insaaf Manch is not going to be a political party; it is an integral part of my endeavour to bring good governance to the State,” says Singh. Dwelling further on his options, he says that he could fight the upcoming elections on his own, join a national level party or work with the AAP. He feels that right now the more pressing requirement is to help change the present political dispensation. The Haryana Insaaf Manch will focus on the weaker sections of society, equitable development, a corruption-free government, equal distribution of water

As Gurgaon MP

Inderjit Singh says that as Gurgaon MP he was instrumental in bringing the National University to Mahendergarh, despite opposition from the government - which wanted the University to be set up in Rohtak. Singh was also instrumental in bringing the Defence University – the first in the country, which is being set up at Binola (near Gurgaon). Further, his intervention helped in realigning the dedicated Rail Freight, which has come up under the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), to pass through Haryana; it was earlier planned through UP. He even persuaded the Railway Ministry to connect Mewat, a backward region, with the existing rail network - both via Gurgaon as well as Palwal. “I took up the matter with Mamata Banerjee, as well as P.K Bansal, when they were the Railway Ministers,” he says.

of power has forced companies to shift base, says Rao. “There have been so many announcements made by the Chief Minister with respect to Gurgaon, but nothing has been delivered on the ground,” he asserts. It is this lack of response from both the government and the Party that forced him to ask hard questions and demand an equitable development of all the parts of Haryana. This discrimination in development and employment, he says, was the reason he had to finally decide on an independent course of action. Commenting on the AAP victory in Delhi, Singh feels that the Congress was ousted because of the anger of the aam aadmi against the Party’s policies, and it is likely that the same will happen in Haryana also. The opposition, including INLD and BJP, and his own Insaaf Manch, would be in a good position to reap the benefits. He admits that AAP would have an effect on the vote share in urban areas, but since Haryana is a rural State, the winner would primarily be decided by the rural masses, which still are ‘connected’ with ‘traditional’ parties. His own Haryana Insaaf Manch will be focusing on 2 to 3 Parliamentary seats, and around 30 to 40 Legislative

constituencies - as this political platform is in its infancy. The Insaaf Manch workers are going to every village, particularly in South Haryana, taking the message that the time has come to fight against their discrimination, and ask for an equitable distribution of funds and development. “This Election aside, we plan to tap each and every mohalla in the next one year, to make people aware of our political agenda and poli-

cies,” says Singh. South Haryana has been, is, and will be a long-term play for him. He says that he has always done everything possible in his capacity to bring development to the Region. In his view, the political leadership in every Party has to understand that they are leading the entire State, and not just a few ‘personal’ districts. The aam aadmi has begun to understand this well, he warns.u

and equal employment opportunities for all. There will be focus on backward areas, like Mewat, and measures would be taken to develop them. “Right now there is little governance in the State, and both politics and development revolve around Rohtak and the areas around it. This has to end,” he asserts. Another area that needs immediate correction is the manner in which builders have been influencing policy making. The average Gurgaonite has suffered because the City has become the centre of the Real Estate industry in the State; the citizens have suffered from the flagrant violations of rules and the non-development of infrastructure. The road infrastructure is in poor shape, the citizens do not get adequate water, and shortage

Niramaya Charitable Trust

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08 { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

T

he promise and opportunity of Gurgaon, which is today known as the Millennium City, and aspires to be the IT Hub of the country, was first spotted by a large number of retired Indian Army officials. They had preferred to settle here because of the open spaces, the greenery and the relatively less traffic as compared to Delhi. While a number of these settlers belonged to Haryana, over time almost 3 to 4 thousand retired officials from all over the country have made this City their home. These men are highly trained, motivated and disciplined, and any city in the world would be fortunate to have such good quality talent in its midst. Unfortunately, this City seems to care little for any resident. The City is remote controlled by an establishment sitting far away – distanced from reality. Even the local Administrators, posted for the most limited periods, feel no ‘connect’ with the City. In this set up, the residents’ frustration is now slowly turning to anger. It is palpable among the large number of former Army officials living in Gurgaon, who think that they have been sidelined by an Administration that believes in only catering to the demands of the political bosses – or to builders. The lack of infrastructure, poor basic amenities and the evident disrespect for the law even on the roads, does not go down well with the disciplined Army-men, who are used to wearing helmets while riding their bikes even within a cantonment. From where they come, every shrub is cleaned and even the smallest stone ‘whitewashed’. It is also difficult for them to fathom why the Police can't perform its duties properly, and ensure the safety of women in this fairly small area. However, while they are perplexed at the ‘breakdown’ of the official machinery, they admire the cosmopolitan culture and quality of life offered by the Millennium City. They would like the State government as well as the Administration to recognize the presence of their large group, and utilize their expertise in managing people, facilities and security. They are even ready to work as volunteers. Colonel Raj Singla, a resident of Sector 47, says that Gurgaon has the potential to become a great city, but it is being ruined by vested interests. The large number of ex-Army officials can be utilized by the Administration to bring in a sense of purpose and discipline, in how things can be run. “The State government needs to develop a collaborative approach to resolving problems in the City; these could be related to healthcare, management of waste, maintenance or security,” says Singla. In his opinion, though today a large number of very well trained Army men retire relatively young, they get little chance to help the system because no one seems interested. Singla exhorts ex-servicemen to start participating in local politics and stand for elections to the MCG, Panchayats and even the Legislative Assembly. The disenchantment with the current political system is so deep that a large

3-9 January 2014

Still Ready to Serve

number of former Army men, and that includes jawans, are also lining up at the rallies being organized by the Aam Aadmi Party - as they now clearly want a change from the current politician and bureaucrat-heavy ‘system’. Colonel B.K Dhawan, President Emeritus of the Silver Oaks RWA, who has been fighting a long battle with the builders and the City Administration for the rights of the citizens, says that former Army officials have contributed a lot to the evolution of the City. “A majority of the RWAs in Gurgaon are being run by former Defence officials, and they are also leading the fight against injustice and the domination of the builders,” says Dhawan. He opines that the government chooses to ignore former Defence officials, despite them having great expertise in running cantonments and large organisations. Could it be because they walk the straight and narrow path, and would not deviate easily? In Dhawan’s view, the State government needs to create cells in every district, where (ex)officials with their specific expertise could be registered, and their services used whenever needed. “There are many experts in security, construction, engineering and planning within the exArmy folk, and they would be available almost free, provided they are given due respect,” says Dhawan. He is also critical of the way Gurgaon has evolved, and does not mince his words in calling Gurgaon one of the most corrupt cities in the world; Haryana, for him, is fast becoming a banana republic. Commander Dharamvir Yadav, who has been fighting for the cause of the Mayfield Gardens residents, believes that Gurgaon needs to have a single agency that would oversee the City. “The multiplicity of agencies has led to a situation where no one is accountable for anything. I think a single person should be made responsible for the City, and that could be an elected Mayor or a senior bureaucrat – and ex-Army officials should definitely be candidates,” he says. Major General Ashok Sheoran has more positive views, and he likes the options that are available in Gurgaon for a former Army man. “I like the cosmopolitan culture of the City, the diversity, the malls and the

nightlife - which is lacking in a majority of the cities in India,” he says. No Indian city offers so much in so less an area, in terms of education, career, lifestyle and residential options, he opines. Sheoran also appreciates the development that has occurred in the last two years, with respect to the construction of roads, sanitation, arrival of the Rapid Metro, and also initiatives like Raahgiri - which he believes is excellent. His family likes the City because it is young, and throbbing with energy; the culture is not rigid, and there is a mix of people. For him Gurgaon offers everything that is cherished by Army officials in a cantonment; of course some aspects need to be improved. Many serving Army-men who are today resident in Gurgaon, see this City as their ‘final destination’, after their time in the Services. A large number of younger army officials have already settled in Gurgaon, after taking premature retirement, as they preferred the hustle and bustle of the corporate sector rather than the security of the cantonment. Colonel Kanwar Bhardwaj says that this has happened because better salaries and perks are offered by the private companies in Gurgaon. The lack of promotions in the Services has also forced the talented lot to switch to the private sector. However, Bhardwaj says that the talent of ex-servicemen is being wasted in the civilian setting, because no proper system has been set up to harness the potential of these officials. A serving army official says that he will settle in Gurgaon because of the huge opportunities in the City. Currently pursuing an MBA from a premier business school, an option made possible by the Services, he plans to serve his required time there, and then switch to the private sector. He would provide consultancy to large organisations in Supply Chain Management, as this has been his forte in the Army as well as his subject of specialization during his MBA. His family is also looking forward to staying in Gurgaon, as they have heard of the number of good schools, restaurants and clubs in the City. Some family members and children of senior Army officials admit that they find it difficult to adjust

C ivic/S ocial to a civil setting, where even some basic civic and social services and amenities are not assured - unlike in an Army cantonment. The retinue of helpers, the large houses, a regular supply of water and power and no queues for gas or other connections, are often missed by these Army families. However, they also believe that Gurgaon, with its rich cultural and social life – a mix of a western and traditional Indian culture is closest to life in the Army. Soma Majumdar writes in her blog that what makes Army life a charmed one is the abundance of good humour and good cheer. Midnight picnics, an outing to a movie hall, shopping expeditions in groups, rain dances, beach parties, barbeque parties, Dandiya discos, Halloween nights and husbands’ nights are all arranged in a jiffy, to balance the ‘pressures’ of living in a secluded world – and amid constant transfers. Fortunately the Millennium City, with its large number of gated complexes and condominiums, has also been able to create a social life that satisfies such needs. However, on the governance and security fronts, there seems much to be desired – by all. Colonel Kanwar Pratap Singh, who has been an integral part of JAFRA, an organisation mostly run by ex-Servicemen, says that change in the City will come only if both - the Army-men and the civil society - come together to force a change in the political system. “Gurgaon has not been developed in an even manner, as everything is being done in the private builder-controlled ‘new’ Gurgaon. We have been pressing upon the Administration and the political establishment to not treat ‘old’ Gurgaon as a third world country. There is also corruption at all levels, and the government is insensitive to the needs of Army-men,” says Colonel Singh. His view is that the large number of ex-Army officials should stop waiting for the State to respond, and instead work to changing the ‘system’. When asked whether the former Army officials could make a meaningful contribution to the City, Colonel Singh says that Army-men are very motivated, trained and disciplined, and they could help in administration and transformation of Gurgaon. He also wants the system to be brought under the control of a single Administrator. “Empower the DC and bring everything under him, and then see the change,” he asserts. Colonel A.S Hooda says that former Army officials could help the Police in securing the City, organising search operations, manning the 'nakas' as well as streamlining the traffic. “There are only 380 Traffic officials manning the City, and if former Police and Army officials were given the authority to issue challans and manage traffic, it could help to substantially resolve the issues on the roads,” says Colonel Raj Singla. Let the State, which prides itself on its contribution to the Armed Forces, also recognise that the many ex-Servicemen in the State are a rare asset; they can be of immense help in administering and securing the cities that they (have chosen to) reside in. This would also keep the current serving personnel, and future recruits, wellmotivated.u


C ivic/S ocial

3-9 January 2014

{ Alka Gurha }

Where Are the Readers?

F

rom my aunt in Singapore to my nephew in Saharanpur – almost everyone is a writer. Is it because the keyboard is mightier than the pen or we have fallen in love with English Literature? Or that writing is a new ‘cool’ tool of self-expression? The straws in the wind suggest that the number of writers will soon exceed the number of readers. Let’s talk about the ‘real’ writers - of books; not those ‘writing’ on social media or blogs. According to a publisher, the number of child authors publishing their books has gone up by ninety per cent in the last three years. Enthusiastic parents are spending lakhs, taking pride in ‘creating’ books for their children’s birthdays. Some go so far as inviting the likes of Shobha De, to launch their precocious prodigies. If my kid ever writes a book, I am going to invite JK Rowling. Beat that! Like other instruments of

{ Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj}

M

09

ostly begging is perceived as an act of extreme desperation, wherein a person feels helpless and perceives no other avenue for earning his livelihood. There are Beggars in many forms, and the concept of begging as a means of livelihood raises umpteen questions. There are also many methods and ‘styles’ of begging. The most ‘popular’ is at the traffic lights; outside religious places is also a common sight. There is an innovative method, using mobile temples (mounted on cycle platforms), which are moved around the markets; this is specially seen on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, when many Hindus pray to their designated deities. The child beggars are looking for money, more than food. The concept’s history dates back a couple of centuries. It is not a phenomenon of India or the Third World alone. Bampfylde Moore Crew (16931759), an Englishman who was a known rogue, vagabond and imposter, described himself as the ‘King of Beggars’ on the title page of his Memoirs. This practice is also deeply rooted in Indian culture. It is not linked with poverty or disability alone; in fact it is now perceived as a lucrative occupation. Case studies show that many Beggars who are removed from the streets

fame, writing is much more than a badge of honour. When we write for an audience, unlike in our private diary, we give our ‘best’. So yes, writing is chicken soup for the brain. But if you ask me, the only way to ‘be more’ is to ‘know more’ - not necessarily write more. A gifted young raconteur may possess exceptional imagination and a storytelling prowess, but being a writer is more about being a reader of life, of thoughts, of society - and most importantly, a reader of other books. And for this reason alone, the overarching ambition of being a writer needs to be in sync with the languorous rhythm of reading. Remember the bedtime stories so lovingly read to us by our parents? By narrating fables, the idea was to pass on the enthusiasm for reading, as also dole out nuggets of wisdom. ‘A Thirsty Crow’ made clear how ‘necessity is the mother of invention’; a ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ taught us that ‘appearances can be deceptive’; and a ‘One-Eyed Doe’ put in

plain words that ‘trouble can come from the direction we least expect’. I often wonder why we place a writer on a higher intellectual pedestal than a reader. In most middle-class homes having even a pretense to education, being a writer of the English language is considered ‘cool’. Is this because we are unable to exhibit our reading skills as easily as we can ‘show off’ our writing skills? And if you think storywriters are God’s gift to mankind, just wait. Even more ‘powerful’ are those writing for newspapers and magazines. Such is the might of their keyboard that they can make or break reputations at will. Now that you have

come thus far, let me share a story. A few months ago I consulted a renowned doctor, known for his low patience and high consultation fee. On the first visit he brushed me aside with a desultory glance, a mandatory check and a few diagnostic tests. So the next time I casually dropped the bit about my being a freelance writer. Not only did I get preferential treatment, I actually saw admiration in those cold surgical eyes! Reading, Joyce Oates said, is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily - often helplessly - into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul. Creative reading can be exhausting, for a good reader has to fine-tune his/her wavelength with the writer’s pitch. Diving inside the writer’s head, a good reader negotiates every nook and crevice, to explore the writer’s thought process. He/she becomes one with the writer - melting into the pages, savouring the words, latching on to nuances and regurgitat-

Begs the Question

by the authorities (to shift them to Rehabilitation Centres), are quickly released with the help of some lawyers - and the Beggars are soon back on the streets. It seems a Mafia is involved, and the Beggars pay a fee to be allowed to beg at a particular place that is considered lucrative. The ‘methods’ are clearly questionable. We see women, with apparently sleeping babies, begging from motorists while gesturing towards the baby. It has been fairly well established that these babies are often drugged and even change hands among the ‘Beggar-mothers’. A Study carried out at the Signature Tower traffic light has revealed that the Beggars there hailed from other States. One family, consisting of a mother and four children, lived in a jhuggi on the Sector 14 side of the Bridge and begged throughout the day on either side, depending on the flow of traffic. The Beggars from Rajasthan,

although owning land there, migrate to Gurgaon during the winter months, because there is no water at their place of origin; there are also more begging ‘opportunities’ in Gurgaon. The motivation for begging is therefore not only due

to poverty or necessity; it is considered by some as an easy way of earning a livelihood. This fact has been reinforced by a Delhi University Survey, according to which nearly 95% of the Beggars on the City’s streets were found to be from other States -

From a Study (at a prime location in a Metro) The Business Of Alms

Average daily earning - Rs 200 Payment to middlemen – Rs 100 Deposits with local moneylenders - Rs 75 Daily expenses-Rs 25

An Alternative The practice of giving direct alms to Beggars should be discouraged. The following practised in Ottawa, Canada, can be a practical measure, for busy market places in Gurgaon - like Galleria or Sadar Bazaar. A ‘Kindness Meter’, using a former Parking Meter, allows people to donate money for charitable efforts, to discourage them from giving money directly to ‘Panhandlers’ (Beggars). It is apprehended that Panhandlers would spend the money given to them, on alcohol or drugs.

ing (if necessary) at leisure. Edgy, impatient readers are, well, not the kind any writer wants. As a result, much that is exceptional in literature remains unexplored - in search of good readers. That said, it is not difficult to understand why writing is the new age fad. In an age of mercurial ambition and instant fame, the patience to relish gently-cooked wisdom, even in nuggets, no longer exists. Then, there is the all-pervasive social media, where we want everyone to ‘like my picture’, ‘check my status message’ and ‘re-tweet my tweet’ – guess that all is reading and writing of some sort! So, in a world full of selfobsessed young writers, who is going to buy and read books? It will be wonderful, of course, if all budding creators also become consumers. Then they all will perhaps write more – and better? And others will again read more. It’s called the Win-Win (ReadWrite) Cycle.u from nearby Haryana to far-off Orissa. Begging is a criminal offence in India. The Bombay Prevention Of Begging Act, 1959 was Introduced in the Legislative Assembly and passed as the Act X Of 1960. Different States enacted their laws based on this – like the Haryana Prevention Of Beggary Act, 1971. However, laws in our country are practised more in their breach. According to Ashish Goel, Criminal Lawyer, who graduated from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, ‘The causes of Beggary are not the Beggars, but the deep-rooted socio-economic problems that, though clearly identified, are yet to be worked upon.’ He has researched this field for a long time. He emphasises the need to make Beggars self-reliant, by imparting them training in skills that should be based on their inclination and aptitude. He believes that schemes such as Aap Ki Rasoi in New Delhi, which offer free meals to Beggars, need to be expanded, while also being kept under constant check. Finally, the buck must stop at us, the society. While the Police and Social Welfare officials need to be far better sensitized, and realize that even beggars have a right to dignity, we all need to act responsibly and ensure that Beggary no longer remains a social stigma. u


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3-9 January 2014

S ocial

{ Anita Jaswal}

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ecoming a Parent is a life-changing event – and life as a Parent keeps changing too. While Parenting doesn’t necessarily get any easier as time goes by, the experience and perspective does get better. Parents feel like they’re traversing an ever-changing landscape, with modern problems like cyber-bullying and a rising pop culture throwing up new challenges. Who better to check with than Mothers - reflecting on the challenges and achievements, the positives and negatives of Parenting today. They all reiterate the importance of focusing on the positives, keeping up relationships with friends and family and being good role models for their children. However, each Parenting experience is indeed unique and special. On reflection, these Parents realised even more the value of their experiences.

Parenting Today

Bitty Singh

Bitty Singh a mother a college going boy and a pre-teen, feels, “There are lots of myths about Parenting: like, ‘Parenting comes naturally; or, you should be able to cope by yourself’. The truth is that you learn as you go, and as your family changes. And every Parent needs help and support. Raising children in today's uncertain and dangerous world can be a daunting task. Children are susceptible to so many forces around them, and they can be lost in the chaos. They need a strong set of Parents to guide them.” 

Shoana Sharma

Shoana Sharma, a mother of two lovely schoolgoing girls, says, “As a young mother, I feel Parenting is, and has been, a universal feeling across all living entities. What has changed is the approach, especially in this dynamic world where technology is ruling us in every way. The ‘(olden) golden rules’ (that are not much defined anyway) of Parenting are going through a vigorous change. We are now expecting too much and too soon. With the daily pressure against time hanging on our heads, we are losing the essence of being Parents. I wonder how many do really enjoy being Parents nowadays? Couples are increasingly opting for only one child, for fear of losing their position in this self-created competitive world. I see little toddlers being literally raised by hired help. What example are we setting for our children? What wil they think of us when they grow up? How will they see their role as Parents? What we should definitely give our children are ‘moral values’, embedded with quality time spent with them. Children should also enjoy their childhood; and so should Parents enjoy, this beautiful feeling of Parenthood…before the children move on to their own world.”

Gunjan Babbar

A mother of two pre-teen kids, Gunjan Babbar, says, “Parenting brings out a lot of feelings and emotions. For many years our Indian culture has emphasized the influence of a Family Tree, into which a child is born and brought up. Parents have been seen as the agents in the transmission of Family values, leading to the child’s picking up the ‘right’ social values. We are now in the era of ‘New-age Parenting’; it involves a whole range of new thinking, a new approach and a new freedom. This gives the Parents a better connectivity with their children and a sense of personal involvement. They want to be able to influence and make an impression on their child throughout her childhood - giving the child the confidence to take on the world! Parents are there to guide, help and grow with their child, to develop and anchor her, and make her a confident and mature individual. In the process, we are careful of still nurturing the Family values and tradition. There cannot be an ideal book or thesis written for perfect Parenting; it just involves different and several ways and reasons to hone a child’s ability, and influence her in the direction that makes sense to her. Nothing is more difficult, more frustrating or more conflicting - and yet most satisfying and fulfilling - than trying to raise one’s children. With a smile and a heart filled with love and pride I can say that we never truly realize the love of Parents till we become Parents ourselves.”

Nisha Ghai

Nisha Ghai, a mother of two, feels, “Good Parenting is not only about giving birth and raising babies, but a journey and an experience of helping a child grow emotionally, socially and intellectually. It’s about creating a special bond between a child and her parents; a bond that is free, fair and friendly. At times it gets stressful, and may create an imbalance in the personal and professional lives of the Parents, but nothing beats the joy and fun of seeing a child taking big steps, going in the right direction, keeping her values in place and finally finding her own place in the world. This can be achieved with good Parenting only.”

Tarang Rana

Tarang Rana, a mother of a five-year-old boy, says,“Parenting is derived from the Latin word ‘Parentum’ (nominative Parents) - ‘father or mother, ancestor’. Parenting is a boon, a gift from God, which should be carried out in the right manner. Parenting can have a positive or a negative effect on a child, and has a different meaning in the different stages of a child’s growth. Earlier, Parents had a clear demarcation of their duties - a mother would take care of the domestic chores and the children, whereas a father would take care of the ‘outside world’. However, in today’s age, Parenting has become a very challenging and an innovative task for both the mother and father. Both are equally involved as Parents. They prepare a child to face the challenges of the world, and to help her realise her own place and potential in the society.”

Deepali Jain

A mother of 2 teenaged girls, Deepali Jain, strongly asserts, “Parenting is tough in the current scenario – it is a tightrope walk, between being a friend/ mentor/coach…and Parent. I guess the secret is to be open and transparent - be it about puberty, choice of studiess and career, facebook or friends. The mantra is to discuss everything openly and accept and support the choices your child is making. However, it is important to provide guidance on the basis of your experience, knowledge and research. You need to be the 'go to" person for your child. A modern Parent needs to be updated on not just what is happening, but also on technology. As simple as it sounds, it’s the most difficult job in the world! Spending quality time now includes playing sports with your children, going for dance classes together or just chilling at the movies. It is more challenging especially for working mothers... trying to achieve a 100% in both the areas.” There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings. If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. Brian Tracyu


K id C orner

3-9 January 2014


JEE - Strategise & Plan

11

Artistic Strokes

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esides acquiring a fair percentile in the Class XII Board exams, scoring substantially well in Competitive exams has become equally important. Nowadays the IIT JEE Entrance exams are structured to test students’ aptitudes and analytical, logical and reasoning skills. It is imperative that the students plan the right strategy for furthering their performance in the Entrance exams. Even though the syllabus of Class XII and the new IIT JEE are similar, the pattern of the exams is quite different. The Central Board of Secondary Education will be conducting the JEE (Main exam) in two different modes: written and computer based tests. There’s not much change in the syllabus, and it is comparable to AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Exam) in terms of the complexity quotient. Many students get the jitters and goose bumps at the thought of understanding formulae, equations & theorems. Let us brush up a few important topics and some last minute strategies, to make sure you come out with flying colours.

JEE Main

Peehu Singh, American Public School

The JEE Main paper is an apt example of Time Management. It is crucial to optimise your performance by practicing a good number of MCQs. There are 90 questions in all, to be answered in 3 hours. So, on an average, you must be able to answer a question in 2 minutes. Every portion of the syllabus is important, but, there are certain topics that form the basis of their respective subjects, and learning them can serve your purpose of scoring well. These topics can be applied in all other chapters, and therefore having a thorough understanding of them is important. Physics:  You should have a fair understanding of Kinematics and Dynamics, and it is essential to be able to build a strong problem-solving ability. Also, the Theory of Fields (Electromagnetism) is very important. Chemistry: Physical Chemistry can fetch you real good scores and hence all the units in it must be done carefully. Students tend to neglect Inorganic Chemistry, but just a proper understanding of it can prove beneficial. Mathematics: Calculus forms the base for almost every part of Mathematics. Other important and scoring topics are Determinants, Sequences, Permutations and Combinations. The student must be able to relate the complex numbers with Co-ordinate Geometry and Vectors. Three-dimensional Geometry should be practised, to get that additional or compensating score.

Swastik Yadav

JEE Advance

General preparation strategy 

For JEE (Advanced), one should build a strong foundations of concepts and develop skills to tackle numerical problems that need calculations - as well as develop a good aptitude. One needs to be thorough with the theory pertaining to each topic, test its understanding by solving short- answer type and Assertion reason-based questions. Also, the aspirant should be able to solve a good number of subjective type problems. This would certainly help in developing an even deeper understanding of the subject. Finally, a student must practice a good number of MCQs, to build up speed and accuracy.

Topics of Importance

Physics: In addition to Mechanics and Electrodynamics, enough time must be allotted to Heat and Thermodynamics, Optics and Modern Physics. These topics are generally the most neglected, which can prove risky. They are easy topics that can be scored well on, and comprise a good percentage of the total marks. Chemistry: Enough time should be devoted to the general principles of Organic Chemistry, as this will make the remaining part easy to comprehend. Physical Chemistry is important, as numerical problems asked from this section are not too difficult – and one car score easily. Pay special attention to Inorganic Chemistry, as there are many facts and figures to be remembered. One can learn this topic by continuous revision. Mathematics:  One must be able to understand the inter-relationship between various topics, so as to know their importance. The knowledge and skills developed by understanding and preparing the chapter on Co-ordinate Geometry, can be used to solve problems in complex numbers. The knowledge of Vectors is also very helpful in these topics. To solve problems of Probability, the student must be strong in Permutations and Combinations. Formulae and problem-solving skills developed thorough practice of Trigonometry are useful in almost all topics. Finally, the most important for a mathematician is Calculus. Below are some tips that will help students put in their best, for their last minute preparations. You must prepare while keeping in mind the Exam notification, syllabus, patterns and importance of chapters. n  Don’t touch any new topic: This is time to revise and go through already prepared topics. Taking up new topics will only lead to a panicky situation. It’s advisable to be thorough with whatever you know, rather than skim through new concepts and chapters. n  Be well versed with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics: Application-based chapters are very important. It is essential to pay equal weightage to Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. n Refer to NCERT Textbooks:  NCERT textbooks are a godsend. Going through the concepts and key points of these textbooks provides a strong foundation for Entrance exams. The several illustrated examples are very helpful in clearing doubts. n  Take Mock Tests: Run through the past five years’ Mock IIT-JEE Test papers. This will help you understand the pattern and complexity of an Entrance paper.. A student should have taken at least 15-20 full length Tests before taking the actual Exam. n Rest & Relax:    Taking too much stress and getting bogged down by panicky situations is not desirable. It is good to take some time off and do things that rejuvenate you and keep your mind cool. Watching a movie, meditation, jogging or playing football are some of the activities that can help you relax. Be confident, as the IIT- JEE is just like any other exam. Do your bit and keep yourself disciplined & motivated about your preparation. You will succeed. By Aakash Chaudhry, Director, Aakash Educational Services Ltd.

Gayatri Brijesh, DPS Shushant Lok

Chaand Bakshi, Pathways World School Aravale Calling all Education-

The are over... ists,Holidays Administrators, but your creativity isn’t. Co-ordinators, Teachers and Principals – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (400-500 words)

For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com


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3-9 January 2014

K id C orner

A Positive Workshop

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Positive Parenting Workshop was held at The Banyan Tree World School. Nursery and KG students enthralled the parents with their presentation on gender sensitisation, 'Our Girl Our Pride'. The theme of the Workshop was 'Education in Human Values', wherein expert Counsellors discussed the need to inculcate the right values in young students. Other activities at the Session included Storytelling and Art & Craft.

Xcelmas Celebrations

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Special Assembly was held by the students of Grade III of Excelsior American School to celebrate Christmas. The tiny tots enacted a Nativity Play, sang carols and presented a dance performance – in full Christmas spirit!

Origami San

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Gem of a Carnival

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apanese parent volunteers conducted a session on Origami for the children of Nursery, KG and Grades 1 and 2 at Kunskapsskolan. The children learnt the various steps of folding a paper, and saw it transform into a sculpture. The Origami session was followed by a Story-telling session, using picture cards. The usage of Japanese language and the unique facial expressions of the Japanese storytellers, left the kids amazed.

EMS International School held a Winter Carnival for its teachers, students and parents. The theme of the Carnival was 'Global Village', and there were stalls of various countries. There were bouncies, fun games and activities for the children. The students also staged a Christmas presentation, with Santa, reindeer et al.

The Indutsav Bang

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ndus World School celebrated its 4th Annual Day function—Indutsav—at Epicentre. The theme of the Event was 'Particles of Big Bang', wherein discussions were held on the exploratory nature of man, traversing through space and time. The character of Physicist and Cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, took the audience on a journey from India to Mars. There was also a Prize Distribution Ceremony of the ‘Young India Challenge’, under the categories of ‘My India quiz contest’, ‘Spelling Buzz’ and ‘Math Challenge’. ‘The Annual 'ROOHI Championship’ (where the School's most dedicated team member is facilitated for his/her selfless contributions) was won by the School gardener.

The MRIS Xmas Spirit

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anav Rachna International School celebrated Christmas with the children of the Balwadi School and Maharashi Dayanand Public School (a school for the underprivileged), as also the children of the School's nannies. The day was filled with activities that included a friendly cricket match, a dance performance and a games stall. Santa was present to distribute gifts to the delighted students.


K id C orner

3-9 January 2014

13

Ryan International School, Sector 40

Read My Globe

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he final rounds of the Inter-House Globe Reading Competition was conducted at the School. The final round entailed three topics – seas and oceans, continents of the world and the mixed round. Sarojini Naidu House won the Competition. The individual winners were Manya Goyal, Ashmit Bagga,Varun Mehta,Nayan Saini,Haitaishi Sharma, Tanishk Pradhan and Aakash Datta.

Merry Ryans!

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he School celebrated Christmas with enthusiasm, from the beginning of the festival month. Enthusiastic Ryanites made reindeers (Class V), wreaths (Class III) and Christmas stockings (Class IV), using innovative ideas, and decorated their classes. The tiny tots of the Montessori section (M III A) presented the Nativity Play at Ambience Mall. Some Ryanites visited St. Michael’s Orphanage at Badshahpur and presented the Nativity Play for the children there. Christmas celebrations at the School concluded with a Special Assembly. All the students wore Santa caps and sang beautiful carols. The students presented a Nativity Play depicting the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. This was followed by a Bible enactment on mercy and forgiveness. The Chief Guest, Reverend Father Arul Anthony, was full of praise for the young Ryanites.

Best Carolers

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he School organised an Inter-house Carol Singing Competition. The students of every House wore colourful attires with Santa caps. Students came dressed as angels, fairies, Mother Mary, Jesus and Santa Claus, and sang Carols with enthusiasm. The winner was Sarojini Naidu House and the Competition was judged by the School Head, Peeya Sharma.

The Grand Path

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athways School celebrated Grandparents Day with great enthusiasm and the students dedicated this exclusive day to their grandparents. The Primary School students performed the Nativity Play. Various interactive activities like Potter’s Wheel, Fairytola, hoopla, tennis ball and golf-putting were conducted, in which kids and grandparents participated together. It was difficult to say who enjoyed their morning more – the children or the grandparents!

Going Organic

Young Conservationist Taksheel Buddhadeo conducted a Workshop on Conservation of Energy and Organic Farming at Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Park. The Workshop began with Taksheel singing songs on energy conservation. He also gave a demo of recipes using solar power. Several eco-friendly games were conducted. Taksheel spoke about the benefits of Organic Farming and the Organic way of cooking. An interactive session with the kids and parents was also held.

‘Tis XmasTime

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tudents of Classes I and II of American Montessori Public School participated in a musical celebration on Christmas Eve at Epicentre. The students performed a Skit and a beautiful Dance, on Christmas.


14 Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Balance Your Gut ing can be repaired, thanks to the wonderful process of cell regeneration, which can be accelerated by a switch to gutbacteria-friendly foods. Once again, the pointers have come from the traditional wisdom of our forefather, who discovered the benefits of consuming fermented foods in good measure.

Tip of the Week

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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otoriety travels faster and farther than fame. The word ‘bacteria’ immediately evokes a red-alert response. Rightfully so – as the scourge of deadly infectious diseases could not have been brought to heel without hygienic practices like washing up before consuming food. However, a good thing carried too far can become dysfunctional. A case in point is the over-use and irresponsible use of Antibiotics, which can indiscriminately wipe out entire populations of bacteria in our gut - including the critically important ‘good guys.’ 90% of the 100 trillion cells in the human body are nothing but bacteria; and the unique mix of bacteria in each of our genetic make-ups might be responsible for even more than 90% of who we are. Our lives literally depend on these humble single-celled organisms. The human body is now understood to be more like a ‘community’ of cells and micro-organisms, which live in complete harmony and in accordance with our innate nature … giving rise to a new and more appropriate term for the human body – a ‘microbiome’. Most of these bacteria reside in our gut, which is also known as our ‘second brain’, as it governs trillions of physiological interactions that impact our quality-of-life. This is the reason why Hippocrates – the father of early medicine – stated that all diseases begin in the gut. The role played by the health and diversity of the microbial mix in the digestive tract has become a subject of serious study in recent years. Important clues have started emerging as

W ellness

3-9 January 2014

to how, in certain parts of the world, the traditional peoples routinely lived long and diseasefree lives. It is now an accepted fact that the right balance between ‘good’ (probiotics) and ‘bad’ (pathogens) bacteria in our gut can immensely benefit our physical, mental and emotional health. The balance not only protects us from acute infectious diseases, but also helps prevent the onset of the more pervasive chronic lifestyle disorders, which are now swamping urban civilizations. The diversity of our gut-microflora can impact our ability to digest and absorb each ounce of the nutritional content of the food that we ingest – helping delay any early onset of obesity or high blood pressure. The bad news is that modern dietary trends - towards convenience foods high in sugars, empty carbs, artificial colours and chemical preservatives – together with a heavy reliance on drugs, have damaged the gut-health of millions already. Most of these junk foods are in fact craved by the microflora ‘bad guys’ (the virus, fungi, yeasts, worms, protozoa and other pathogenic microbes), leading to ‘Dysbiosis’- a serious bacterial imbalance that encourages yeasts and putrefactive bacteria to flourish, instead of the beneficial bacteria. As a consequence, toxins build up, significantly damaging the sensitive brush-like microvilli that line our intestinal walls and impairing their ‘gatekeeper’ function - which helps assimilate nutrients while preventing toxins from passing through the gut wall into the bloodstream. Modern diets also cause inflammation of the gut and a ‘leaky gut’ syndrome, leading to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease and IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The good news is that our gut lin-

If your stool smells unpleasant, it is a reliable indicator that too much putrefaction is taking place due to an imbalance of the gut microflora. In order to rebuild a healthy balance, our dietary choices must provide for the process of re-lining the intestinal wall and building back the microvilli – thus enabling the beneficial bacteria to outnumber the ‘bad guys’ (by 80:20 or an even better ratio) and taking over the orchestration of the entire metabolic process. Eating at least a quarter to a half cup per day of fermented vegetables, or cultured food such as raw yoghurt, is a good target to aim for. The key is variety - the greater the variety of fermented and cultured foods, the better the chance of a diversity of different micro-organisms being able to inoculate the gut. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Fermented Foods Fermented foods improve our gut health and enhance digestibility and nutrient content. In addition, the beneficial bacteria in fermented foods are very potent detoxifiers, as these are capable of drawing out (chelating) a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. Early civilizations began fermenting foods and drinks in order to keep them from rotting; evidence suggests that Babylonians (5,000 years ago) drank fermented milk. Miso, sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, fish sauce, oyster sauce and many other fermented foods are much revered ancient culinary traditions from around the world. Other examples of fermented foods are pickles, idli, dosa, dhokla, carrot kanji (fermented drink made with carrots and beetroot), beer, wine and lassi (yoghurt drink).u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical

Party Abhi Baaki Hai! { Tripti Tandon }

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r shall we call it ‘The Continued After-Effects of the Party’? Does your stomach feel full, stretched or bloated? Is there any nausea or heartburn? Do you feel short of breath? How are your energy levels? Do you feel sleepy, tired or lethargic? Is your face swollen? What about your eyes? If the answer to most of the above is ‘Yes,’ chances are you have over done it!

What to Do When You Over-Do

First things first, relax. You haven’t done anything ‘bad’. Everybody indulges at times. The difference is that for some the guilt of having gone overboard sets off a chain reaction – “now that I have blown it completely, might as well sin a little more…will get back to my diet tomorrow”. And we all know…’that tomorrow never comes’! ‘Party Time’ is a permanent excuse. People who don’t struggle with food don’t punish themselves like this. They just feel uncomfortable, so they skip/postpone their next meal, eat less and/or take a walk to get the balance back. They are simply listening to their body wisdom and naturally compensating for the overeating. However, for people who struggle with food - or shall we say for those of us for whom partying is a constant it may help to replay all those feelings ...of bloating, nausea and heartburn. You may be less likely to repeat the mistake if you constantly remind yourself of such consequences of overeating. It kind of takes the ‘fun’ out of it, doesn’t it? Overeating is simply eating more than your body needs at that time. It means that you made a mistake - so try not to repeat it. And if you ever do give in to the craving again, at least now you will know what to do ‘the morning after’. There are many reasons why we eat past the point of satisfaction: our habits, past dieting efforts, mindless eating…or no reason at all. Overeating seems to come naturally to some (Punjabis will surely agree)! Fortunately, there are Lessons that can help us get over our overeating habit. Lesson no. 1: Wait to see when you feel hungry again. Rather than continuing to eat by the clock, listen to your body; you may not yet be hungry for your usual snack or even your next meal.

‘After-Party Tips’   Drink two glasses of lukewarm water first thing in the morning. It will help flush out toxins from the body. n   Have a salt-free breakfast – a quarter plate of fruits along with low-fat milk or yoghurt. This will help reduce the water retention in the body. This ‘magic breakfast’ will bring the swollen face; eyes and fingers back to normal. n   Sip green tea mid-morning and during the day. It will make the body feel light and energetic. n   Stick to a light lunch and dinner – like a clear vegetable/ chicken soup with a piece of bread and a small portion of veggies; or a light dal with one/two chapattis and lots of green salad. n   Have an early dinner (by 8 pm) and avoid salt and wheat products, as well as ‘black drinks’ (coffee, colas, tea) after dinner. n

Lesson no. 2: When you get hungry again, notice what you feel like eating. You might be hungry for something small or something light - maybe a bowl of soup or cereal, a piece of fruit, a salad or just a glass of water – we often confuse hunger with thirst. Try drinking a glass of water next time you feel hungry (before or after your usual meal time). Lesson no. 3: Gradually learn to trust and respect what your body tells you. As you become more mindful, you’ll naturally seek balance, variety and moderation. Lesson no. 4: Don’t use exercise as an excuse to ‘punish’ yourself for overeating. Instead, be physically active consistently and use the fuel you consume to live a full and satisfying life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Make small but regular changes to your habits and soon it will become your normal healthy lifestyle. Cheer up... Party abhi baaki hai!u Founder & Chief Nutritionist - ‘Tripti’s Wellness 1’ & ‘I Eat Right’. Expert in the field of Clinical Nutrition, Naturopathy, Child Obesity, Weight Loss management for Men & Women, Karmic and Self Healing.


S piritual

3-9 January 2014

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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e can withstand afflictions and face adversities, but seem to find it very difficult to survive prosperity. Many pass the test of adversity, while a majority fails the test of prosperity. Happiness does not come from an endless supply of pleasures; many people who amassed huge wealth are miserable and leading wretched lives. The misery is caused not by a lack of pleasures or physical comfort, but by degradation of character, resentment and a craving for possessions. Rich and affluent people do not generally accumulate their wealth for pleasure; they do this because they think it will make them respectable. They are like the tiny tots, who get fed up with their toys very soon; the gadgets and cars are charming just upto the next (latest) one. The hustle and bustle and the carnival life are unauthentic realities. In contrast, those who have lived noble lives are clearly happy. They realize early enough that afflictions are a part and parcel of human life, and any attempts to run away from them are but undignified attempts at escape. Nobility is the unaffected inner equipoise - the uninterrupted connect with the basic realities of life. The true monk, sadhu or saint is not ruffled by concerns; he is noble even in his penury and ‘mediocrity’. The Almighty has given a land so large, a sky so high, waters so deep and woods so dark - we can never thank Him enough for all this. We need to realize that if not for the work of Nature, we would have never experienced these abundant blessings. So many good things come our way that we do not work for, earn or achieve. God is very equitable in the distribution of these ‘natural’ gifts to humanity. But when a human being gets hold of some possessions or accumulates wealth, he becomes proud and begins to believe that he deserves them more than the others. The only way we can survive prosperity is to see it as a gift from His hand, and to use it generously to help other people. Nations at the macro level, as well as individuals, grow lax in the times of prosperity and seeming security; and when their earthly comforts are endangered or withdrawn, they feel naked. Comfort and ease are not sins, but they are temptations. With

Surviving Prosperity As per Indian mythology, there are three types of persons in the world: the totally blind, the ones who can see with one eye, and the ones who can see with both eyes. The man who is totally blind is the one who can neither acquire wealth nor discern right from wrong; the one who can see with one eye is the man who can acquire wealth but cannot discern right from wrong; the one who has perfect sight in both eyes is the ideal individual - he can acquire wealth and also discern what is right from wrong. It means that the ideal man is the man who is wealthy and virtuous. We should endeavour to maintain a balanced livelihood. This condition requires one to not be unduly elated or dejected in the face of gain or loss, and learn to live within one’s means.

all the modern amenities at their disposal, this generation must watch themselves with utmost care. Beware the times of prosperity: when it is easy to live, it is also easy to fall. The greatest test in life is how we take our ‘successes’ in life. Many people have stood the tests, trials and heartaches that have confronted them, but could not stand their prosperity or success. Many institutions and nations have withstood the dark hours but could not stand the prosperous ones. Some of course turn to prayer, in times of tribulation; we must remember that our problems are perhaps indicators of a chastisement from Him. Great prosperity is often known as the ‘paradox of plenty’ or the ‘resource curse’. In many countries such abundance often goes hand in hand with poverty, and seems to hinder rather than help sustainable development; despite visible prosperity, there is so much poverty and suffering. The great irony of India’s recent economic stagnation is its juxtaposition with the growing prosperity among the nation’s privileged classes. For most Indians the times remain hard, with little evidence that any improvement is around the corner. Man’s natural desires and propensities are such that wealth provides him ample scope for indulgence. Yet, it appears, his desires can never be fully satisfied. Man has been ever a slave to craving. There is in him an unending insatiability; he cannot feel contentment even under a shower of gold coins. Wealth

should be sought not as an end in itself but as a means to an end - of attaining objectives and fulfilling duties. True happiness lies in sharing one’s wealth. A man should not waste his wealth; it is akin to shaking a fig tree to get one fruit, thereby causing all the fruits on the tree ripe and unripe -to fall on the ground and go waste. Nor is one advised to hoard wealth, or not to enjoy it. One should maintain a balance between material and spiritual progress. Attainment of prosperity and happiness, through the attainment of material wealth in an ethical manner, ensures one’s gradual progress on the path. Morally, an attitude and practice of renunciation is truly the most virtuous – and is not relevant only for the monks. Without such sacrifice, there cannot be harmony in society. Even the simplest of virtues - such as generosity, liberalism and caring - cannot be practised without an element of renunciation or sacrifice. Wealth makes people dictatorial, critical and overbearing towards others. It gives them a false estimate of themselves, by a growing conviction that it was only their skill or wisdom, or righteousness of character that brought it to them. Prosperous people, seemingly led by an unavoidable law of comparison, constantly note the contrast between themselves and the vast multitudes that ‘have fallen by the wayside’. This leads to a host of vices, such as self-conceit, self-righteousness, impatience with the ‘lesser folk’ and a lack of charity towards them. They develop a habit of esteeming people by their material success. This corrupts the very core of their character. This is why prosperity, in a thousand ways, lays the foundation for its own ruin. There is a fascinating

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the ones that require us to care for those less fortunate than ourselves. We have to learn to see our prosperity as a trust from Him, to be used to advance His purposes in the world. The best way to show thankfulness to Nature is to live our life with our eyes and heart wide open, ready to see and feel the needs of others, and looking for ways to help them.u

mist that success brings to the eyes, which blinds people to the very causes that have produced their success. Success causes the soul to forget the very qualities – of humility, perseverance, sobriety, self-denial and consideration for others that have made most people successful. Of course prosperity can be a blessing, but we have to handle it carefully. We have to remember where we have come from; we have to cultivate the habit of thankfulness; we have to live in obedience to His commandments - especially

Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. He can be contacted at rabhola@yahoo.com

This Year… { Shobha Lidder } This Year have desires in plenty & plentiful There are no taboos just some don’ts & dos Desire to be noble, help the less able Desire to be merciful & kind, heal a suffering mind Desire to be brave & strong, right a wrong Desire to be healthy & wealthy, earn with honesty Desire to learn a healing art, work hard Desire to help those in distress, for free or for less Desire for patriotism, do something for nationalism Desire to be a prism, reflect a rainbow of wisdom Desire to be the change, change Change your attitude to gratitude Desire to repay your debts To your elders, pay them respects Desire to restore a friend’s esteem Help someone fulfill his dream Desire to make someone happy Desire to lift someone’s mood Make someone laugh if you could Desire to fulfill your own desires That you require less to depend on others. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY SMS NR to 08447355801


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C omment

3-9 January 2014

India’s 2014 Agenda It’s been a fairly wasted (last) 5 years for the country. Hopefully the New Year will bring in the muchneeded succour. More than anything else, AAP has helped reduce the cynicism, made the public more involved and participative and got the politicians and parties to stop thinking and doing ‘business as usual’. The excuse of a coalition as the excuse for hanging on to power would be more aggressively challenged now. Even with a coalition govt., the Parties should ensure that some strategic decisions are taken – rather than those decisions being ultimately thrust on them.

3) A ‘Rising Sun’ foreign and economic – and perhaps defence - Policy. Yes it’s time to do real business with Japan. We need to strike when the iron is fairly hot on both sides – and not just due to a common ‘foe’ (China). It makes both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sense. Japan would be the ideal partner for a real long term (20 year plus) Infrastructure Development Plan. Japan too needs to invest in manufacturing globally, for the future of its industry; it also needs new markets. In turn, Japan would be a great market for our pharma, IT and Services sectors (they would be better served, and paid, here than in China). There is also a nether Buddhist bond.

Here are FG’s special recommendations for 2014: 1) Recognizing the reality of regional parties in national politics, and the need for coalitions, it would be appropriate to finalize an ‘Empowered States’ Policy, devolving greater powers to the States. People are increasingly going to make Chief Ministers feel accountable, and the CMs should have no further or new excuses. The Commission set up for this purpose should also decide on the need for further States in the Union.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

2) It is the opportune time to go for an Agriculturebased Industrial & Infrastructure Policy - of Agro & Food Processing. Barring middlemen, this should be welcomed by all – from farmers to industrialists… to even politicians. It provides us the comfort of Food security and simultaneously would take us up the (Food) value chain – something that our IT Industry has been trying in its field for some time now. With the largest arable land worldwide, and with farming still in our genes, it is time for GR II (Green Revolution II). It has been very shortsighted to have taken only one ‘lucrative’ part (Food Retail) – rather than the complete Farm to Retail cycle - and announced an FDI policy thereof. No related infrastructure has even been set up (like for industrial zones), and there is not even a plan for that. There would therefore naturally be misgivings and protests by vested interests. The ‘aam (not only mango) farmer’ needs to be kept in central focus, in terms of helping to better his productivity, offering him a remunerative price and spot payment and reducing his wastage. Infrastructure for this Agro & Food Processing Industry – of Transportation, Distribution, Warehousing, Cold Storage and Power - needs to be set up, by either the State (as in highways) or through PPP or even offered as a private model. Most importantly, this Industry and Policy will lead to a flourishing Intra- and InterState Commerce – with its benefits for a better economic (and in turn social) integration of the country.

4) A Power Policy, with key focus on Solar. The time is ripe. Solar Power can be a genuine alternative – in terms of quantum and price - in just a few years. It calls for a Mega shift in our thinking and investment. The payoff could be huge…and eternal. 5) A Youth Employment Policy, alongwith a stringent Retirement Policy (max. 60 years). We owe this to our youth. It’s time for say ITIs, across the nation, to be affiliated with corporates. In fact, the proposed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy should be amended to incorporate investments in skill-development through ITIs. Corporates should be given a choice on whether to spend on CSR or invest their resources on ITIs. 6) The cosmopolitan Mumbai & the neo-cosmo Gurgaon should start to be developed as ‘global cities’ - Mumbai as a Finance/Financial Services Hub, and Gurgaon as an IT/IT Enabled Services Hub. Both should be developed with world-class infrastructure and employ the best from across the world. Mumbai and Gurgaon should be the most ‘connected’ cities – for people and information movement - due to the inherent synergy in their specializations.u

Letter To The Editor It has been a wonderful journey of expressing thoughts You have truly wrought a great publication And given the City food for thought & provocation For motivation in many fields.. Tt is indeed a worthy reading… Rich in content....classy...objective Kudos to a galaxy of writers, readers...and those written about All bowl out the old and ring in the New Year May it bring success & recognition far superior Than expected...be highly read & respected... May it be transforming & transformed Bring in many a reform. Shobha Lidder


3-9 January 2014

 Contd from p 1 cause the products are nonstandardized, there is opaqueness in transactions, regulations are loose and buyers are diverse. In his opinion, the Real Estate bubble in India was created by the exponential acceleration in prices for a few years – on the basis of a ‘positive feedback’, a ‘feel good’ factor among all the stakeholders. Most of the analysts opine that investors had begun to think that Real Estate prices would now only go one way – upwards. So what is the learning from this slowdown? Ramesh Menon, CEO of Certes Realty, says that buyers will have to take a long-term perspective of the market. “This is the right time for end users to get good deals, as the prices have even seen 10 to 15 per cent dips in most areas of Gurgaon”, says Menon. The buyers also need to invest with builders who have a good track record and ability to deliver, rather than those who promise them the moon (who were the firm favourites till 2012). ‘Please invest in reality' is Menon’s message. Analysts are asking buyers to invest in ready-to-move-in properties, rather than continuing to look for ‘deals’ in prelaunches, under construction properties, or those where sanctions have yet to come from the government. Sanjay Sharma, MD Qubrex, says that the trends are already visible on the ground, as the resale of under-construction properties has come to a standstill; the transactions on the famed Dwarka Expressway (NPR) have also virtually stopped. “This points to a very weak market, and also the fact that Gurgaon has now turned into a buyers’ market. The ever-increasing prices in the NCR is probably just going to be a thing of the past, as there is a large inventory of unsold stock lying with builders”, says Sharma. Only if the existing stocks get sold within 2014 could there be some respite for the builders, given that there were hardly any new projects started in 2013. However, the recovery seems unlikely, as the macro picture is not likely to change so fast. Analysts point out that the RBI is most concerned with inflation, and the expansionist, high liquidity policy that helped fan consumption and Real Estate prices, after the 2007-08 ‘recession’, will not return in a hurry. The biggest hit to Realty is going to come from the banking sector, which has already tightened the screws, with RBI banning subvention schemes and builders finding it difficult

C over S tory

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The Real Estate Bu(r)st to get further credit – given the high debt levels in most Real Estate companies, and their ‘land banks’ not seeming so lucrative any longer. It is being predicted that a ‘deleveraging cycle’ (through a squeezing of the flow of their funds) by the Indian scheduled commercial banks is on the anvil, which will ensure a Real Estate price correction, leading to a slowdown in this sector. In such a scenario, Vineet Singh, Business Head of 99 acres, advises builders to tighten their belts, improve their marketing, set up better client-servicing systems and processes and treat their buyers as consumers (not investors). He also feels that the practice of builders selling their projects to shortterm investors, and to large brokers who underwrite the projects, has led to a serious distrust of such builders among the end users. “Take a look at the Dwarka Expressway, where products in resale are available at less than the launch price of new similar projects. Due to no appreciation in prices, the exit for the short-term investors has become extremely difficult”, says Singh, adding that the market has shrunk because the transactions in the last year have reduced by almost 30 to 40 per cent. He feels that builders will have to become more transparent, and accountable, and run the business in a more professional manner. Clearly the mood in the market is that you must first deliver what you have promised, rather than just collect funds and invest in ‘hot land banks’. The major developers are today buried under the expensive ‘land bank’ debt; this was used to buy expensive real estate in all parts of the country, and is now proving to be the undoing of these companies. Their investment in ‘non-core assets’ is also a big drag on the developers. Real Estate broker Pankaj Tomar sits in his Sushant Lok office, poring over the lists of investors who have done business with him in the past couple of years. He is surprised that people who did not think twice before issuing a ‘blank cheque’ are today not interested even if ‘distress deals’ are offered. The housing rates on Sohna Road have remained stagnant between Rs 8,000 to 10,000 psf for the past one year, whereas the rates on Golf Course Road

have come down by 10 to 15 per cent, and stand at Rs 12,500 to Rs 14,000 psf. Sanjay Sharma says that a status quo in rates means that the market has clearly not grown, and is actually negative, when the time value of money and inflation are factored into the calculations. Tomar points out that delays in delivery and slowdowns in construction of the on-going projects have further pushed the buyers into a ‘caution mode’. DLF and other prime builders’ plotted areas have also seen about a 10 per cent fall in prices – something unheard of in Gurgaon, where the brand name was enough to command a premium. While every effort has been made to ‘hold on’ to the prices, and they are holding on precariously, the major issue – that cannot be ignored by any stakeholder - is the low volume of transactions. And with some buyers starting to withdraw their money from Real Estate, it is becoming tough for even the brokers to survive. In fact Singh, of 99 acres, says that brokerage houses, used mainly to dealing in pre-launch sales, will have to develop capabilities to market and sell across a spectrum of services, to survive in these tough conditions No one knows how long the trough is going to stay. The protagonists of the bubble-burst theory point out that the India growth story is now back to the 5 per cent ‘Hindu’ growth rate, and is clearly not helped by the high current account and fiscal deficits. They believe that the political uncertainty, lack of governance, failure of authorities to implement the rule of law, high inflation, poor infrastructure and weakness in manufacturing will continue to hit the Real Estate sector. In fact Manish Bhandari feels that there still may be

a Balance of Payments crisis, with the only solution being to roll back subsidies, investing heavily in infrastructure and putting money into the creation of productive assets - instead of rolling out schemes that boost consumption. Sharma points to the still poor condition of infrastructure in the City, with the major highways – like NPR, SPR and KMP Expressway – inordinately delayed, and nowhere near completion. Another factor that has affected Real Estate in Gurgaon is that no ‘good’ property is available for anything less than Rs 75 lakhs - which is perhaps beyond the reach of 80 per cent of the population of the City. The people who can afford already have their hands full of houses. The tightening of bank loans and the lack of further employment opportunities has further compounded the matter. Perhaps sensing this reality, or offering some sops to its real favourite sons, the government of Haryana has recently in-principle approved the licences of 54 builders for Affordable Housing projects which will lead to an addition of 40,000 to 60,000 houses in the Rs 20 to 30 lakhs price bracket. Ramesh Menon says that such infusion of affordable housing in the City, with revised density guidelines, and plot sizes of 40 to 60 metres, will boost the market and bring the end users back. All this of course will be in late 2014. Before that, politics will rule. There are also indications that foreign Private Equity funds, which proved to be the lifeline of the Real Estate industry, are also likely to soon make an exit - as the average life of these Funds is around 7 to 8 years. India managed to attract a lot of Private Equity, from 2005 to 2012, and close to 20 billion dollars entered Real Estate - which also helped boost prices. Industry insiders say that this money was used to create the land banks, the subsequent Real Estate inventory, and to help support the prices - much to the detriment of end users. Looking at the macro-economic indicators of the country, and the reduced transactions, the PE funds are going to take a major hit, as the steep fall in the value of the Rupee was not factored when the investments were made. This will further tighten liquidity and put builders in a difficult position, avers Ramesh Menon. He believes that builders should urgently deliver the

projects under hand, and focus on creating value for the end users. “Deliver on the promises, as no one except the end users are going to bring back the sense into the market. The days of PE funds, bank loans, and short term investors are not going to come back”, he exhorts. Sam Chopra, CEO, ReMax, a Real Estate brokerage firm, however opines that things are not going to remain as bad as they are, and recovery could be possible after the Elections. “We need a clear mandate at the Centre, and a government that is capitalfriendly. The populist schemes will have to make way for rationality in governance”, says Chopra. For him the learnings from 2013 were that Real Estate is not a short-term phenomenon, and the market is cyclical – it will not always see high growth. “The Real Estate market cannot operate in a vacuum, and has to factor in the economic reality”, he says. Also, there is great distrust among the buyers in some markets; it is being said that a building of brochures is being built in NOIDA! His advice is that builders should deliver their projects on time, and even reduce the prices on their current offerings, as this could help in the long run. Sharma of Qubrex says that price cuts by builders is unlikely, unless the authorities insist on implementing the Haryana Apartment Owners Act, which stipulates that profit cannot be more than 15 per cent. While those looking for ‘deals’ could benefit, buyers need to generally beware. Builders have used the earlier hype to mask the imperfections in the market and to ‘convince’ buyers on the ‘never ending demand’ due to a rising population and scarcity of land. Now the facts are making their way into the Realty business. Both builders and investors are in a bind today, as the lack of genuine buyers is starting to unravel the ‘ponzi’ schemes that depended on a continuous price appreciation by the developers, providing investors an easy exit route, and a neat pile of cash profit to the speculators. A weakening economy, millions of square feet of unsold inventory, and an unobliging banking sector has finally demanded and commanded a Real(i)ty Check. There is now a crack…widening ever so slowly. So wait and watch before plunging into the Gurgaon Real Estate (again); it is still playing out its first cycle of correction after a heady decade. u


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Professional Dance - The Tragedy Unfolds { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }

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ften does one come across articles and reviews eulogizing the positive effects of Dance on the body and mind. While, to a relevant degree, one would tend to agree that Dance has a positive effect on the physical mobility and mental health of a performer, it is important to place in perspective the various health and psychological risks of professional Dance. Dancers have always had their share of body stress, and it is believed that forty percent of the regular Dancers in the West stop performing before the age of forty. However, unlike sportspersons, Dancers do not seem to have a definite ‘shelf life’ - there are Dancers who have performed even till the age of eighty. There are also some less strenuous Dance forms, like Contemporary Dance. However, today, a scrutinizing and critical audience, combined with heavy rehearsal schedules, travel and group co-ordination have made Dancing even more demanding. Many male dancers, especially from India, agree to perform in their bare torso even in the sub-zero temperatures abroad; they are always fearful of being surpassed or replaced by a rival. The average monthly income of Dancers, especially the ones in the process of learning, is very low, and the number of performances also erratic. When public exposure and praise are not forthcoming, and prime events are often poached by senior performers, a Dancer often faces a burn-out situation. External factors, such as a lack of family support and loneliness, only make it worse – leading to a battered self-image and

{ Krishan Kalra }

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n 1952, Calcutta was still very British. Barra-sahibs still had their exclusive clubs, where memsahibs played mahjong every afternoon and later came back, with the menfolk, for a ‘couple of martinis’ and five-course dinners. For them life was a non-stop party. The goras presided over most of the big companies, and even those Indians who had reached senior positions were yet to get over their ‘rulersubject’ phobia. Some, though, did try. Vishwas Verma had just returned from America. The only son of a senior railway official, he had no dearth of job offers. His Engineering degree from Westinghouse made things even better. After much deliberation, the young man chose to join English Electric, the very bastion of the residual Raj in India. It was his first day in office. He had barely settled in his chair − already feeling uncomfortable in the regulation necktie − when the uniformed orderly sauntered up and announced, to no one in particular, “Orange sahib ne salaam bheja hai”. Vishwas at first

B on V ivant

3-9 January 2014

Tragedies Sergei Legat slashed his throat, after being harassed in the Soviet Union during the Revolution of 1905; Emma Livry died on stage, when her costume caught fire during her rehearsal; Giuseppina Bozzachi died of small pox, contracted due to malnutrition and penury. Closer to the present, Patrick Bissel died at the age of 30, from substance overdose; Edward Stierle, winner of the International Prix of Lausanne, was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, and died a year later - aged just 23; Juseph Duell of the New York Ballet jumped from a fifth floor window - he was only 29; Bobby Blankshire died of a heart attack at the age of 42; Charles Ward, a member of the Musical ‘Dancin’, died when he was only 33 - as did David Peregrine, who lived two years more. These are just a few examples in a hugely incomplete list, which should also include Michael Jackson, who died at the age of 49. Stardom, and the prying paparazzi, hastened the end of arguably the greatest Dancer-Singer - who was battling child abuse, skin disorders and personal issues.

Mixed Company couldn’t fathom if the information was meant for him. If indeed it was, he had no clue why the big boss would want to greet him personally. “Perhaps this is the way he welcomes new recruits,” he thought. Aloud, he waved the orderly away with a flourish and said to no one in particular, “Unko hamara bhi salaam bolo”. The elderly orderly jumped, as if touched by a live wire. For a few seconds he was speechless. Then he almost shouted, “Jab Orange sahib salaam bhejta hai to barey manager bhi bhaag kar salami dete hain. Naukri karni hai to ek dum jaake der aane ki maafi mango”! And in the Indian companies the tale, or tail, was quite different. When Kunal Mathur, scion of a rich family of lawyers, joined Jay Engineering Works in 1953 − as a management trainee − he was not ready for the controls-led style of working. Accountants − the ‘eyes and ears’ of the management − virtually ran the place. Office Orders governed everything; nothing moved without these ‘firmans’. And the accountants who

an onset of depression. The upcoming (female) Danseuses, especially in third world countries, are often exposed to exploitation – the ‘casting couch’ syndrome is an accepted fact even here. The established artists face a different challenge; their every performance is analyzed under the constant glare of the arc lights. Health disorders, and even permanent handicaps, have become commonplace, particularly in Ballet Dancers. The constant turning of the hips and the raising of the toes can lead to a puncture of the lower back; and the landings, after every lift, often lead to the dislocation of the shin. The performance stages can be cold, slippery and hard, with rough edges that chap the skin; in some cases, there even have been nails jutting out of Dance floors. Terrible tragedies too have befallen Dancers. Some of them have suffered heart attacks or a permanent loss of immunity, when they have started performing without proper acclimatization, warmup or practice - often in cold climates and at high altitudes. In the Indian context, extra care needs to be taken, as the ‘GuruShishya parampara’ and the notion of Dance as ‘sadhna’ (penance) is fast being replaced by cut-throat competitiveness. Dance would be served well if Dancers are served better. If the present tide continues to plummet the shores of our Dancing culture, it should soon inspire a film on (Indian) Dance – maybe by Madhur Bandharkar. Perhaps the new generation will then ‘get it’.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

drafted them took vicarious pleasure in finding fault with those who veered from the straight and narrow. Kunal never bothered about these penny pinchers and always made fun of them. One Order prohibited the inclusion of ‘alcoholic drinks’ in travel bills. While even young trainees could stay in top hotels, the heavens would fall if anyone made a claim for the forbidden item. That morning, when T.R. Maini, Senior Accountant, sat down to examine Kunal’s bill, he almost jumped with joy. Finally he had caught the smart alec. Now the brat would pay for his sins. The rogue had taken a cocktail, and it was cleverly hidden in the food bill. “Must’ve tipped the waiter extra for this,” thought Maini. The offending item was circled in red, the bill flagged and kept in a plastic folder and a gloating Maini then presented it to the big boss. “I always knew sir, this fellow was cheating. Now I ‘ve caught him red-handed,” he said gleefully, as he pointed out Kunal’s audacity. Sethji suddenly burst out laughing, “Maini, you idiot, when will you learn that a ‘prawn cocktail’ is not an alcoholic drink”!u

Winter is Here { Ashok Lal }

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inter has set in. We are experiencing dense fog for more than half of the forenoon. Some days we do not see the sun at all. The mercury is dipping. For some it’s a season of fun, frolic, feasting and partying; but for others it can be a big challenge. The underprivileged are exposed to icy winds and cold temperatures, and have little or no protection. It is with these thoughts that I have written this week’s poem. Winter has arrived There is fog in the atmosphere Everything appears a bit hazy There is a nip in the air The season has changed Winter is here, Winter is here! For some it is time to eat n enjoy With dry fruits in the pockets They sit around heaters Enjoying tikkas on barbeque With drinks and beer Winter is here, Winter is here! And some…are cursing This chill, this mist, this fog They sit there Shivering Around burning dried leaves Huddled with their faithful dog Days can pass, night they fear Winter is here, Winter is here! The fliers are angry Their flights are diverted As planes cannot land Those who’re used to partying Cannot drive home late In the fog they don’t know Where to steer Winter is here, Winter is here! Urchins who make a living By begging at crossings To whom will they sell The boxes of napkins The bunch of roses The jasmine bands? No one is there To see their wares Nor their tears Winter is here, Winter is here! For some it’s fun n fair For others it’s a nightmare For some it’s time for fancy woolens For others surviving the chilly air For some it’s X’mas, Lohri and feasts For others it’s shivering, hunger n scare Yes, Winter is here, Winter is here! 301A, Hamilton Court, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon 122009 Mob: +919873248847


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3-9 January 2014

Sid Astbury

Sun, Sea and Sculpture

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Boiling Water Faster than ever before { Hamburg/ DPA }

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A boy tries to imitate the pose of the elongated androgynous red figure. The face of an elongated androgynous red figure doing a back-bend on Bondi Beach, Sydney during the Sculpture by the Sea outdoor Art show.

{ Sid Astbury/ Sydney/ DPA }

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ydney’s Sculpture by the Sea brings Art to the people, quite literally. Once a year, big, threedimensional works are placed in their path, along the hugely popular 2-kilometre coastal walk – between the beaches at Bondi and Tamarama. The biggest outdoor Exhibition of sculpture in the world, has inspired spinoff shows in the Australian west coast city of Perth and far away in the Danish port city of Aarhus. At the Sydney original, there were over 100 works in November 2013 – around half by foreign artists, some from firsttimers and others from those with big reputations and big price tags to match. “Perhaps because there’s a lot of it, it makes it quite exciting,” Carole Ashby, an Art teacher visiting from Britain, said. “It gives it that festival feel. The people give it that atmosphere.” Also helping draw half-a-million visitors to the threeweek display every year is the coastal walk itself. “You can wander and it’s a journey through the landscape,” Ashby said. “Those sculptures do best that take advantage of the landscape.” Impresario David Handley came up with the concept 17 years ago. In

A woman stretches out her arms in the shiny interior of this installation on Bondi Beach, while a man captures the moment with his camera. In the background is the Pacific Ocean.

who puts on the In Situ 1997 the sculptures were Sculpture exhibition, held set up for a day and it was annually for two weeks a volunteer effort. Now, every October, along while still a free event, Military Road in Sydney’s corporate sponsorship has northern beaches district. lifted the scale. “Sculpture poses lots of Handley imagined practical problems for Sculpture by the Sea artists,” she said. “But I when he was in Prague, definitely think Sculpture the Czech capital, and by the Sea has helped. It saw a sculpture exhibition has a popular perspective. set against 13th-century It’s of particular appeal ruins. Australia does not to someone who doesn’t have much in the way of access a lot of Art.” antiquity, but what it does Over half the artists in have in super-abundance are splendid seaside With the Pacific Ocean behind Handley’s shows manage backdrops. An idea took him, a boy peers at his mother to sell what they exhibit. That is a high hit-rate for hold. through a hollow sculpture on an Art exhibitions- and Sydney’s Arun Bondi Beach. particularly impressive Sharma, who has had for bulky and sometimes works shown on the coastal walk and at the event in Aarhus, high-priced sculpture. Chinese artist Denmark’s second-biggest city, said Qian Sihua, for example, was asking that getting Art in front of people was 36,000 US dollars for a 2-metre cast of the key to Handley’s success. “I also a head blowing bubble-gum. Danella do a little bit of photography, video Bennett, who puts on an annual Sculpture and installation work. Out of all the exhibition in the vineyards of the Hunter art forms, Sculpture has a definite Valley north of Sydney, said that giving place, but it’s hard to bring it to the fresh talent a start - as Handley has forefront, as most people won’t go done these last 17 years - is enormously to a commercial gallery to acquire challenging. “We’ve over 50 artists sculpture, because they don’t have and 70 artworks and we’re lucky that kind of space in their homes,” that for a few artists this is their first Sharma said in a statement. It was a exhibition,” the curator of Sculpture point taken up by Cassandra Hard Lawrie, in the Vineyards said. u

First Licenses for Marijuana Shops { Los Angeles/ DPA }

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fficials in Denver, Colorado issued the State’s first licences to operate legal marijuana stores, the Denver Post reported. Licensing officials handed out the licences to eight stores, 30 growing facilities and four makers of Marijuana-infused products, the Report said. Under the terms of the State’s voter-approved initiative last year, licensed stores can open their doors on January 1, to sell pot to anyone with a

valid ID showing them to be over the age of 21. The measure will make Colorado the first state in the United States where Marijuana will be legally available to the general population. A legalisation initiative recently passed in Uruguay will not come into force until April. In other US states, Marijuana is only legal to patients with a doctor’s prescription, while in other countries such as the Netherlands it remains illegal, though rarely punished. According to the Report, Denver’s

first licence was handed to Shawn Phillips, the owner of the Strainwise chain of medical Marijuana dispensaries. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Phillips said, of receiving the final approval. “We’ve had so much work to do to get ready for Jan. 1.” Phillips said he would be opening two of his three stores on the first day of the new year, but was unsure what the demand would be initially. “It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “Isn’t it amazing? Police used to arrest you just for holding a joint.” u

cientists have devised a method whereby, in theory at least, minute amounts of water can be boiled in less than a trillionth of a second – making the technique the fastest water-heating method on earth. It won’t help you make a faster cup of tea, but the theoretical concept, which has not yet been demonstrated in practice, may help scientists working on chemistry or biology experiments. Water helps stabilize certain chemical bonds, and is the catalyst for other reactions, says an account in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The concept emerged after 200,000 hours of computer simulations carried out by researchers from the Hamburg Centre for FreeElectron Laser Science (CFEL). They did the work at Germany’s Supercomputer Centre at Juelich, near the Dutch border. “Water is the single most important medium in which chemical and biological processes take place,” explained Dr Oriol Vendrell from the CFEL. The Research predicted that one nanolitre of water could be heated by as much as 600 degrees Celsius in just half a picosecond (a trillionth of a second). The scientists found that terahertz radiation alters the interaction between water molecules in a very short time, causing them to start to vibrate violently. Terahertz radiation is a band of electromagnetic radiation with frequencies between the highfrequency edge of radio waves and the low-frequency edge of the farinfrared light band. u

New York Kids on Course { New York/ DPA }

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laying tennis or a musical instrument were once among the most-preferred talents parents wished their kids to have. But not in the Big Apple today – where learning to programme Internet pages at a young age is taking off. According to the New York Times magazine, demand for Website Programming courses aimed at kids has doubled in the last two years. Teenagers and even younger children are taking part. There are also a few non-profit organisations like code.org and "Girls who Code", which are helping boost interest. "Coding is absolutely a question of literacy," says IT professor Mark Guzidal from the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Those who don’t have access to this kind of education are going to be missing a core skill." u


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3-9 January 2014

Milford Road, New Zealand

The Call of the Highway: World’s Most Spectacular Routes A breath-taking almost 500 km journey across 4 of the highest passes.

The Cleddau Valley, one of the highlights of New Zealand’s 120-kilometre Milford Road, which leads through spectacular mountains to Fjordland and its jewel, Milford Sound.

Tourismus New Zealand

The fairytale-like landscape of narrow, 15-kilometre-long Milford Sound makes it New Zealand’s most scenic fjord. Getting there itself is an experience. The route leads through the Fjordland National Park and along one of the country’s most spectacular roads. Starting from Te Anau, the Milford Road - officially the SH 94 - winds for 120 kilometres through alpine mountains. A highlight along the way is Mirror Lake, perfectly reflecting the tall peaks all around.

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This Highway, winding through the Col de la Bonette in the French Alps, is the world’s highest asphalt-sealed road, topping out at 2,802 metres.

Manali-Leh Highway, India This Highway, through the Himalayas, is literally breath-taking. Starting from the holiday town of Manali, the road winds through the mountains for nearly 500 kilometres, crossing four lofty passes along the way – including Lachulung (5,059 metres) and Tanglang La (5,325). The Highway links Himachal Pradesh, where the people are Hindu, with the Indian Buddhist region of Ladakh.

Manu Molle

Col de la Bonette, France

Garden Route, South Africa The landscape along the southern tip of Africa is so beautiful that the first European explorers and settlers compared it to the Biblical Garden of Eden. That’s how the Garden Route got its name. National Highway 2 runs 770 kilometres, from Capetown to Port Elizabeth. The rich variety and quick changes of scenery are breathtaking. Rugged, steep cliffs along the coast combine with a semi-desert region of white sandy beaches populated by penguins. Further along, vineyards and small colonial-era towns alternate with dense virgin forests, home to hordes of monkeys and rainbow-coloured hummingbirds.

It may not be as high as the Himalayan passes, but this road in the French Alps is spectacular all the same. The Col de la Bonette, at 2,802 metres, holds the record as being the highest-elevation asphalt-paved road. Between Jausier and Saint-Etienne-deTinée the route takes in two passes - the Col des Restefond (2,608 metres) and the Col de la Bonette.

Plettenberg Bay, one of the sights along South Africa’s Garden Route, where the rich variety and quick changes of scenery are breathtaking.

South Africa Tourism


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{ Dietmar Denger/Berlin/ DPA }

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hether it’s a winding mountain road at 5,325 metres’ elevation in India or a highway 86 metres below sea level in the blistering heat of California’s Mojave Desert, wanderlust can take travellers along some pretty spectacular routes. Here are eight of the great:

Karakorum Highway, Pakistan and China

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Christian Heeb

3-9 January 2014

This spectacular road of mountain passes connects Pakistan’s capital Islamabad with Kashgar, one of the ancient oasis towns along the old Silk Road in Western China. The 1,284-kilometre road meanders over the world’s second-highest mountain range and past such spectacular peaks as the Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres), Mustagh Ata and Rakaposhi (over 7,000 metres). The highest point, and border crossing, is Khunjerab Pass (4,693 metres). On the way down, the Highway passes through the western portion of the Taklamakan, the planet’s second-largest sand desert.

One of the many beaches that lines Pacific Highway 101 along the US West Coast. As if designed by landscape architects, it’s a setting of isolated bays, steep cliffs with craggy pines and boulders, and beaches that are a dream for surfers.

Pacific Highway 101, United States Highway 101 runs along the Pacific Coast, connecting Los Angeles with Olympia, Washington, nearly 2,500 kilometres to the North. Along the way to San Francisco, there is the 100-kilometre-long stretch known as Big Sur, considered to be one of the world’s most scenic coastal roads. As if designed by landscape architects, it’s a setting of isolated bays, steep cliffs with craggy pines and boulders, and beaches that are a dream for surfers from around the world. For decades the Region has been a magnet for hippies and beatniks, as also artists and writers.

A brightly decorated bus on the Karakorum Highway, a 1,284-kilometre road that meanders over the world’s second-highest mountain range – from Pakistan to western China.

Death Valley, United States For those who like it hot, Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert is the place to be. This past summer the thermometer hit 54 degrees Celsius, still 3 degrees shy of the all-time record set in 1913. As high as the temperature readings are, the altitude readings are the lowest in North America, at 86 metres below sea level. The statistics alone aren’t the reason for the fascination with this road.The contrasts: a hot, austere desert, and at the end of it, the glitter of Las Vegas – with its water fountains, airDietmar Denger conditioned gambling casinos, hotels, restaurants and noisy entertainment palaces.

Christian Heeb

There is no set route through Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt desert – so hiring a guide is a must. Those who don’t want to drive can book a safari in the small town of Uyuni, and for the next several days witness an unreal landscape. The endless white expanse of sand is punctuated only now and then by small rocky islands, topped by tall cactuses. Although it is 3,653 metres high, the Uyuni is blistering hot by day - only to drop below freezing at night. One can get warm in one of the geothermal springs near the shores of the salt lakes, where the waters are sometimes a shimmering green, and then a deep red. You may not believe your eyes when gigantic flocks of pink flamingos strut through the water.

The eerie landscape the motorist sees on a trip through Death Valley to Las Vegas, one of the world’s great drives.

Dietmar Denger

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

There is no fixed route through Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flat lands. It’s best to take a guide, or let someone else drive you across.


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3-9 January 2014

Football (FIFA) World Cup { Berlin/ DPA } The Match Schedule for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (all times GMT): Day

Date

Group

Country

Country

Time

Location

Thursday

June 12

Group A

Brazil

Croatia

20:00

Sao Paulo

Friday June 13 Group A Group B

Mexico Spain Chile

Cameroon Netherlands Australia

16:00 Natal 19:00 Salvador 22:00 Cuiaba

Saturday June 14 Group C

Colombia Ivory Coast

Greece Japan

16:00 01:00 (Sun)

Group D

Uruguay England

Costa Rica Italy

19:00 Fortaleza 22:00 Manaus

Sunday June 15 Group E Group F

Switzerland France Argentina

Ecuador Honduras Bosnia-Hrzgvna

16:00 19:00 2200

Brasilia Porto Alegre Rio de Janeiro

Monday June 16 Group F Group G

Iran Germany Ghana

Nigeria Portugal United States

19:00 16:00 22:00

Curitiba Salvador Natal

June 17 Group H Tuesday Group A

Belgium Russia Brazil

Algeria South Korea Mexico

16:00 22:00 19:00

Belo Horizonte Cuiaba Fortaleza

Wednesday June 18 Group A Group B

Cameroon Australia Spain

Croatia Netherlands Chile

22:00 16:00 19:00

Manau Porto Alegre Rio de Janeiro

Thursday June 19 Group C Group D

Colombia Japan Uruguay

Ivory Coast Greece England

16:00 Brasilia 22:00 Natal 19:00 Sao Paulo

June 20 Group D Friday Group E

Italy Switzerland Honduras

Costa Rica France Ecuador

16:00 19:00 22:00

June 21 Group F Saturday Group G

Argentina Nigeria Germany

Iran 16:00 Bosnia-Hrzgvna 22:00 Ghana 19:00

Belo Horizonte Cuiaba Fortaleza

Sunday June 22 Group G Group H

United States South Korea Belgium

Portugal Algeria Russia

22:00 19:00 16:00

Manaus Porto Alegre Rio de Janeiro

Monday June 23 Group A Group B

Cameroon Croatia Australia Netherlands

Brazil Mexico Spain Chile

20:00 20:00 16:00 16:00

Brasilia Recife Curitiba Sao Paulo

Tuesday June 24 Group C Group D

Japan Greece Italy Costa Rica

Colombia Ivory Coast Uruguay England

20:00 20:00 16:00 16:00

Cuiaba Fortaleza Natal Belo Horizonte

Wednesday June 25 Group E Group F

Honduras Switzerland Ecuador France Nigeria Argentina Bosnia-Hrzgvna Iran

20:00 Manaus 20:00 Rio de Janeiro 16:00 Porto Alegre 16:00 Salvador

Thursday June 26 Group G Group H

United States Portugal South Korea Algeria

Germany Ghana Belgium Russia

16;00 Recife 16:00 Brasilia 20:00 Sao Paulo 20:00 Curitiba

Saturday June 28 Last 16

1st Group A 1st Group C

2nd Group B 2nd Group D

16:00 20:00

Belo Horizonte Rio de Janeiro

Sunday June 29 Last 16

1st Group B 1st Group D

2nd Group A 2nd Group C

16:00 20:00

Fortaleza Recife

Monday June 30 Last 16

1st Group E 1st Group G

2nd Group F 2nd Group H

16:00 20:00

Brasilia Porto Alegre

Tuesday July 1 Last 16

1st Group F 1st Group H

2nd Group E 2nd Group G

16:00 20:00

Sao Paulo Salvador

Belo Horizonte Recife

Recife Salvador Curitiba

Friday

July 4

Quarter-finals

QF1:E1/F2 QF2:A1/B2

G1/H2 C1/D2

16:00 20:00

Rio de Janeiro Fortaleza

Saturday

July 5

Quarter-finals

QF3:F1/E2 QF4:B1/A2

H1/G2 D1/C2

16:00 20:00

Brasilia Salvador

Tuesday

July 8

Semi-finals

Winner QF2

Winner QF1

20:00

Belo Horizonte

Wednesday

July 9

Semi-finals

Winner QF4

Winner QF3

20:00

Sao Paulo

Saturday

July 12

Match for 3rd place

20:00

Brasilia

Sunday

July 13

Final

19:00

Rio de Janeiro


3-9 January 2014

S pecial

23 prakhar PANDEY

Work in Progress

The DLF-HUDA 'Highway', Rapid Metro Phase II, MG Road, New Sectors, Badshahpur Nallah, Subhash Chowk Flyover and 'Appu Ghar'.


24 Tap on each of these for sub-categories

3-9 January 2014

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