Page 1

29 March-4 April 2013

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

Vol. 2 No. 32  Pages 24  ` 7

{Inside} On the Road for You

...Pg 9

Resident (Not Tourist) Hospital

With most private hospitals – even those that have enjoyed subsidy from the State catering increasingly to medical tourism, and a profit-only motive, it is left to the Civil Hospital to provide affordable yet modern healthcare for the ‘normal’ residents of this City and its suburbs. It is trying to cope, and will be aided by a new public hospital coming up soon in the ‘old’ City.

...Pg 10

Drunk on Blood Money

A few concerned and committed citizens have petitioned the court against the State, for the latter’s insensitivity towards the brazen placement and display of liquor vends in the City. The activists feel that this is a clear case of contempt – legally and otherwise. The citizens wholeheartedly agree.

...Pg 11

Holi Celebrations

Holi was celebrated with gaiety, and especially by the youth. See them play and be merry, in our special photo-feature.

...Pg 23

Women’s Helpline at Metro stations changed: 9999981829 (earlier 8130990038). Women’s Helpline, for legal help and assistance: 0124 2221591, from 10am to 4pm, on workdays.

Dear Reader Friday Gurgaon will be moving to an international Tabloid size and format. Apart from being more ‘handy’, that also offers a more standardized version for printing and commercial space. The content, of course, would remain the same. Ed.

Setting The RWA Standard First Independence Anniversary

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Policewomen, on the road in special Women’s PCRs, have made their presence felt in a fairly short time. Eve-teasers and trouble-makers are now wary, while women feel more confident on the road – and have more faith in the police.

I

t was a celebration to rival Independence Day. Residents of the World Spa condominium celebrated the first anniversary of the ‘takeover’ of the complex by the RWA. The World Spa coup has become a symbol of inspiration for Resident Welfare Associations in Gurgaon, many of whom have now raised the banner of revolt against their builders. People living in apartment complexes, in particular, are peeved with the disinterest and non-performance of the builders – who control the common areas, and also have set up their own maintenance agencies to make money on the sly. A condominium complex is almost like an industrial operation, which requires technical and trained manpower to take care of the infrastructure, housekeeping, security and maintenance. To know how the residents of World Spa successfully managed the transition from a builder-maintained complex to a self-regulated society, Friday Gurgaon spoke to a number of key people involved in the entire process – from conception to execution. It is a good lesson for other RWAs in the City. The World Spa is an upscale residential complex of 367 apartments,   in Sectors 30 and 41. It was

launched by Unitech in 2004, and the Company had promised possession in 2006. The residents allege that the project is still not completed. Gautam Gulati, Vice President, World Spa RWA, says that builders use this delay in the completion of a project as a ruse to stay on in the condominium complexes. “The main reason for the delay is to keep a control on maintenance, as that generates a large amount of money; and by not spending much for the upkeep of the complex, they can make a good profit every year”, says Gulati. At World Spa, the primary reason for the residents to want to get rid of the builder, was poor maintenance. The initial Maintenance Agreement, which was signed by the residents, had also come to an end. In February 2011, the World Spa

They come.. they see.. they stay? { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

O

ur City is a melting pot of people from all across India, and the world. Many complain that there is “no culture” in the Millennium City – it has nothing to call its own. A few, on the other side, feel that it is a pulsating and dynamic City, that has welcomed people from various parts of the country to make it their new home. The women are often overlooked, in terms of their view and influence. Friday Gurgaon checks out who will love to stay...and who are ready to move.. See p 5 

RWA spoke to Unitech about the takeover of the complex – which meant that the maintenance agencies of the builder would have to exit. Gulati says that the builder did not outrightly oppose their suggestion, and even allowed them to hire Alpha G Corp as a maintenance agency. However, the builder kept on deferring the decision and the possible date of transfer of the complex; the RWA soon realised that Unitech was not serious on the handover. In the meantime, the poor maintenance of the complex was giving rise to serious issues, and the quality of the assets—such as DG sets, lifts, gas supply system—was deteriorating. “The quality of life was suffering, as the maintenance contracts with the lift management and other ven-

dors had expired; there were gas leaks, and security was at the lowest,” asserts Vipin Kapur, a senior resident of the complex. It was against this backdrop that the RWA members, as well as the residents, started to discuss about the possible takeover of the complex – without the consent of the builder. Making it very clear that it is not practical or desirable to take over a complex without the help of qualified agencies, Gulati reveals that to initiate the process, the RWA hired CBRE, a real estate consultancy, to carry out a detailed audit of the key facilities and areas – to understand the deficiencies. This Audit Report was given to Unitech, and the Company was asked to hand over the technical documents, as well as asset management contracts entered into with different vendors. As the next step, the RWA invited bids from Facility Management companies that were experienced in managing large complexes such as World Spa. The bids were evaluated by a committee of residents— comprising civil engineers, structural experts and telecom professionals—as well as RWA members. “We prefer to involve residents who have an expertise in a particular domain, so that we are able to get the best possible advice,” See p 6 


02

29 March-4 April 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–32  29 March-4 April 2013

Editor:

WORKSHOP  THEATRE NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

Dance

Kathak Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 5 Time: 7:30 pm

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

A

mix of the traditional and the contemporary, a kathak recital by Chandana Agarwal, disciple of Ghansyam Gangani, followed by a performance by Lakshmi Dutta Gupta.

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

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designer:

Virender Kumar

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

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

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

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

Wellness

Yoga @ Aastha Yoga, Plot no - 369, Sector 14 Date: Up to July 31 Time: 6:15 am to 8:50 pm

Grand Masters of Comedy @ GL 204-206, Cross Point, DLF Phase 4 Date: April 3 Time: 8:30 pm Tickets: Rs. 250 Age: 18 years and above

circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

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.

T

he Mind Cafe presents the 28th installment of its Grand Masters of Comedy series. Noted comedian Amit Tandon will be hosting the Show, along with Jeeveshu and Ahmed Shariff, two noted comedians. Enjoy a riotous evening as the threesome bring the house down with their perfect comic timing. Call 9811488830

Workshop

Enamelling Workshop @ Rahul’s Clay Studio, Kendriya Vihar, Sector 56 Date: April 5, 6 & 7 Enamelling Workshops conducted by Kana Lomror. Apr 5: (11:00 am to 4:00 pm)

about civic and social happenings and issues around you? n Are you motivated to do something positive for society? n Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel? If yes, write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s). 2–8 March 2012

7

19

RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

For The Other Half

P3

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

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

T

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

...Pg 16

Tantric Art

W

e feature

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

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey

G

Astrology

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

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

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

...Pg 18

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

Let’s Be Civil

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

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was

...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

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

A

100 – Police Emergency main Police

Line

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

6

A

n audio-visual talk show on the life and times of Pt. Ravi Shankar, by Sujit Sanyal. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

The Kodaly Quartet & Marouan Benabdallah @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 3 Time: 7:30 pm

L

A

group exhibition of paintings, drawings, graphic prints and sculptures by – Manisha Parekh, Manoj Bhramar, Medha Sharma, Sanjeev Verma, Sidharth, Stanley Suresh, Ramananda Bandopadhyay, Rajesh Rana, Vijayata Bhamri and many more.

Exhibition

Venetian Odyssey @ Art Alive Gallery, 120, Institutional Area, Sector 44 Date: Up to March 31 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

roove the night away as guest DJs play some of the most hip & soothing lounge music. Experience the moon, stars, a little bonfire and lounge music – all under one roof.

Charity

Zimova-Dance For Charity @ Delhi Heights Cafe, Crosspoint Mall, DLF Phase IV Date: March 29 Time: 8:00 am onwards

E

njoy a musical evening with the Kodaly quartet—Attila Falvay on violin, Erika Toth on violin, Janos Fejervari on viola and Gyorgy Eder on violoncello—as they play the complete cycles of Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. The evening also features a recital by Marouan Benabdallah, on the Piano. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

I earn all about using silver foil in enamelling on copper, to create beautiful jewellery designs. Apr 6: (11:00 am to 5:00 pm) Learn about cloisonne, one of the oldest techniques in enamelling. Use this technique to create contemporary designs. Apr 7: (11:00 am to 3:00 pm) Kids Special. Introduce your kids to the unique art of enamelling on steel. Watch them become budding designers, as they paint with enamel colours on steel plates. For registration & further details contact : Kana Lomror +91 9920334326

o Sufiana as DJ Ankit spins out popular Sufi numbers. Contact: 9990383131, 4040101

G

Salsa Nights @ Route 69, Building No. 9B, DLF Cyber City, DLF City Phase 3 Date: Every Tuesday Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

n Are you interested and concerned

G

Moonlight Lounge with DJ Vainhav @ The Indian Grill Room, Sector 54 Date: March 30 Time: 7:00 pm onwards

Dance

FG Invites Citizens

Sufi night @ Striker Pub & Brewery, Global Foyer Mall, 23, 1st Floor, Golf Course Road Date: March 31 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

Nightlife

Music

subscription@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.

Group Show @ Gallerie Alternatives, 102 Mega Mall, Golf Club Road, DLF Phase I Date: Up to April 15 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Stand Up Comedy

contributions@fridaygurgaon.com

marketing@fridaygurgaon.com

Remembering Ravi Shankar @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 2 Time: 7:30 pm

Nightlife

Art

pecial yoga classes on correct sitting posture, asanas and more, conducted by Swami Anand and Dr. Sima Sharma.

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

events@fridaygurgaon.com

Talk Show

S

editor@fridaygurgaon.com

` Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24

C oming U p

t’s time to put on your dancing shoes and learn the perfect Salsa moves. There’s also Rock n Roll, Cha Cha, Jive, Salsa, Tango, Rumba and Samba to choose from.

C

heck out artist Paresh Maity’s exclusive photography in the Exhibition – ‘Venetian Odyssey’. The collection includes the images of the romantic Italian city.

A

pay-to-dance session choreographed innovatively. Part proceeds of the Event will go to the children’s charity-Harmony House

WORKSHOP MUSIC NIGHTLIFE ART

EXHIBITION

DANCE

Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page?

Call

7838003874 7827233023


29 March-4 April 2013

C eleb W atch

Ford Goes EcoSport

Spa Singers

T

he residents of World Spa got together for the 3rd Spa Singers event – a platform where the resident musicians come together to sing many melodies. The amazing talent included – Vipen, Abha, Anuradha, Dinesh, Gunjan, Gopal, Jaishree, Ranjeet, Richa, Sanjeev, Sonal, Shalini, Swanzal and Swetal. The participants brought varied genre and sensitivity to the songs. The Show had an audience of over 450.

Rangeeli Shyaam

A

historical musical, Badshah Rangeela, was presented at Epicentre, to commemorate 100 years of Delhi. The musical, based on the life and times of the Mughal ruler, Mohammed Shah Rangeela – comprised a medley of various musical styles and was enacted by 36 member cast.

India Pegged 3rd

I

t was a day of fun and excitement at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, on the final day of The Penta Grand Equestrian Tent-pegging Championship. Team Iraq secured the first position in the overall event. Team Oman was in second place and team India secured the third position. The winners were awarded medals by Haryana's additional DGP, Sheel Madhur.

A

03

s part of its 12-city EcoSport Urban Discoveries campaign roadshow, Ford India launched its urban SUV EcoSport, at a Mall in the City. This was a first-ofits-kind opportunity, for a hundred consumers to drive the urban SUV, and share their product experience with family and friends. Joginder Singh, President and Managing Director of Ford India said, “We are excited to go live with our game changer EcoSport at the EcoSport Urban Hub, as we bring our urban SUV closer to our customers.”


04

29 March-4 April 2013

♦ 7 people, including the Sports Minister, Sukhbir Kataria, are summoned by the court, in the ‘forged documents’ case relating to the 2009 polls. ♦ The State govt. has decided to fast-track 3 projects as part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). They are: ♦ Exhibition cum Convention Centre (ECC) at Pachgaon Chowk, Manesar – total 400 acres (150 acres Phase I), Rs 2500 crores project. ♦ Integrated Multi-Modal Logistics Hub (IMLH) at Rewari. ♦ Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal. ♦ Alternative Dispute Redressal (ADR) centres are to set up in each District Court headquarters. ♦ It is reported that 1448 Corruption cases were filed with the Lokayukta in Haryana, in 2012 – 900 have been actioned. Most cases pertained to the Police, Revenue issues and Food Supply. Any person can file a case, on a normal sheet of paper, alongwith a Rs 1000 fee. ♦ The Divisional Commissioner Chander Prakash inaugurates an enrolment drive, ‘Pravesh Utsav’, for all government schools in Gurgaon Division, from the Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) Farukhnagar. School Management Committees (SMCs) in all government schools have also been constituted for a period of two years. The aim of the drive is to ensure that all children get enrolled in schools. The Principal, or a senior teacher, is the ex-officio member Secretary of the SMC; a member of the Gram Panchayat or municipal committee, and a teacher of children that have special needs are also ex-officio members. Besides, an educationist is also nominated as a member. Two special invitee members are from an NGO or Donor or social worker. The District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), Prem Lata Yadav, is in charge of implementation. ♦ Dronacharya awardee and National Women’s Kabaddi Coach Sunil Dabas is taunted by MLA Rao Dharampal at a college function, on her wearing jeans. She faints and is taken to hospital. There is widespread demonstration and a call for the MLA’s resignation. ♦ Sumit Bhuttan’s plea is rejected for the sixth time. He has been booked for the murder of his wife. ♦ A person kills a ‘friend’ and sets fire to his body, while the wife and child are tied up. ♦ A tractor driver is kidnapped and shot dead. ♦ An IT engineer is booked for creating a fake email id and Facebook profile of a former Miss India (2009). He had taken several favours on the basis of this fraud over the years. ♦ Gurgaon kidney racket kingpins get 7 years jail term and Rs 60 lakhs fine. ♦ 3 notorious criminals are nabbed after an encounter, at Palam Vihar. ♦ A gang of burglars, that targeted Udyog Vihar industries, has been caught. ♦ Policemen are attacked while accosting wrong-doers, in 2 separate cases, during night patrolling. ♦ An IT company is booked for PF fraud worth over Rs 2 crores, on a local premier hotel. ♦ GPS helps track a stolen car that was taken to Kanpur. ♦ The driver of an SUV is sedated and the car stolen. ♦ A driver is held for fleeing with a car. ♦ Rapid Metro Phase II financing finalized – Rs 643 crores equity and a loan of Rs 1,500 crores. ♦ IDBI opens its 7th branch in Gurgaon, in Sector 10A. ♦ Earth Hour is celebrated by the switching off of lights, on Saturday, 8.30 to 9.30pm. ♦ Offices and shops are demolished in the marble market near Sikanderpur. ♦ Oman wins the Equestrian World Tent-Pegging Championship, held at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex. ♦ Jains get minority status in Haryana.

TO SUBSCRIBE You would have sampled Friday Gurgaon during the year. Here is your chance to get FG at your doorstep every Friday, at a very attractive rate. 52 issues (1 Year), for Rs 200 (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of Rs 164 on cover price. To Subscribe SMS FGYES to 08447355801 Send an email to subscription@fridaygurgaon.com Pay Online at www.fridaygurgaon.com Delivery will be through your newspaper vendor. Circulated only in Gurgaon.

w

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. My cousin is coming from the village today. Aaj mera bhai aawega gaam main teh. 2. He wants to work in the City. Wo shair main kaam karna chawe se. 3. He says he wants to earn money fast. Wo kahwe se wo rapiye kamana

chawe se jaldi sik.

4. I tried to make him understand it's not easy. Manne samjaan ki nari kosish kari ki yo

aasan na se.

5. He thinks money grows on trees here. Uski soch se ki yadde pedh pe payse

ugge se.

6. Now he will stay with us. Ibb wo mhaare dhore rhaya karega. 7. We will have to spend on him. Ibb hamne uspey khracha karna padega. 8. They should just work on the farms in the villages. Usene apne kehta main kaam krna chaiye. y 2013

1-7 Februar

To Advertise Please Contact

7838003874 7827233023 9999444818

15-21 February

2013 RNI No.

Vol. 2 No. 26 

Pages 24  `

7

{Inside}

319, Postal Regn.

A Model School

The Govt. Senior School at Sarhaul Secondary is today a great example institution can of how a State be run the right way – and perform. Catering to a student strength of 2,500 from 30 villages, the School and students have achieved commendable results, been well-recognize and have d.

Vol. 2 No.

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39

24  Pages

, Postal

011/39319

HARENG/2

Regn. No.

12-2014

GRG/35/20

24  ` 7

Hoodaji in Wo perty nderl } and ic Pro { Publ No. GRG/35/2012-201

4

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He over the capital. the City has an edge incorpora and fly WHAT IS find says, Payal, needs to like-minded ted in the Pod Taxi With Facebook to be at FGleast Bells, wants Stanfordto our elevator, brings you Special people. popular Facebook For instance, the most 2031 Blue WAY TO CLEAN Y today get into different matter Groups, like-minded and drops in Master up people are just Group in wants to Plan. It Features Gurgaon Moms, us at JEWELLER to take the City, on the: a click away.” that it “Unfortunately, is g. has over 2,600 Plan that DIAMOND University, as compared IndiaaArt Fair be are not bothered Engineerin members will probably may to students deleted AT HOME? in theof Why Groups? Aerospace a student of Likewise, Delhi just 142 in Delhi Moms. 2035 be the reputation issued about al, this ...Pgs 12 & Facebook or university. 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THE WEEK THAT WAS

unique in Lancers members. Not has over of – “Studying Crafts Mela 800 are more to Facebook Pages. only in terms passionate wants to is to the tag and the perceptionShe Groups Gurgaonites of numbers, personal, and . He ce, also seem in change the members can only attracted she says. ed Astronomy to be regularly involved on independen following internal dynamic They are ...Pg 17 the not studies,” them is group conversation World Book Fair join Harvard, of his father. a newly-open attracts of the Mittal, FounderFacebook groups. Shruti abroad – is Fashion – they re What college life student who chose of Gurgaon right to post, first choice of Commerce the footsteps other hand, Club, says, “Members Moms Food of a and comment have the the a glamorous in Architectu open. “My Ram College of other options are so Kirti, on on posts ...Pg 21 an example for courses 7,000 children, Group gets over Shri more keep her over 10 updates active that the of several members. “I am 12 gives also apply in Australia wants to more than make one a day. I think Facebook Groups a member But I will university for the Class . in the There are abroad does – some are Designing. We havefirst s, plans appearing she says. (Delhi University) feel studyingsister joined a university in the City, She at culled some of the Contd on p 5  mix of preference and Accounts,” poignant Some students my elder 250 schools stories and advice is a heady chores herself.the washing t. “When from over n. There to use in from Dr. feels independen to do all the household the UK,” Bhola’s Spiritual Board Examinatio she had much detergent Herthe course in Column job UK, School.over know how year. Do during her and passion. didn’t even she learnt it all and rising n involved of the Cambridgeread, ponder a while, and act. But Connectioeducation facilities, still prevails to 12 student about the huge expense machine! Rs. 50,000 go abroad a Class The Foreign craze to good higher for a ...Pg 18 & 19 12 in Pathways, seems worriedUK. “We send almost my Namrata, City, the Despite also opts of Class to the to pursue s, in the Namrata student mother, however, How much further Due to this her daughter month. Now, if Anjali, a go to Italy cousins living opportunitie she says. do we want to want to students. per in sending my are also HUDA and the divide our City? also join will be double,” among the an art lover, and students members State seem to elder daughter “I way I can this time bifurcating the US, some and be in an Express Malaysia. of her family te studies the UK, the expense and Women’s the says “I am uate studies. This the Most UK in International HelptoDesks start the ‘new’ City life.” hurry to do in the course Singapore and closer HUDA/the State Airport to the so – saving up post-gradua with a new my college of studying destinations – like undergrad can call an Expressway DLF in the UK.  Road Project of and enjoy high cost parents took on p 6stations working on at Metro it is cheaper Contd (only Rs. 500 driving time, for a fraction Golf Course”? Is a 20-minute different integrating the a Sector Road). abroad, in Europe, abroad. While her has done his schooling – crores - and of Gurgaon’s studying considering at Singapore because Rather than City, and its too of the State) counting? Is population, worth course Helpline No.81309900 citizens, new have studied Europe, her brother siblings or cousins are sent to IB Newer Gurgaon seem to be ensuring a am lookingcan join a medical Projects (that that side of the 20-minute saving worth 38 fragmentation. Civic and further ‘controlled in mainland students who have fact, some of them creating a Expressway? Civil are in short India. You In foreign university. Social, Society access’ and Most of the get into a for her supply anyway; and Community And why is foreign university. can easily IB school to-Millennium-i now even this Expressway are becoming aim for a to ensure that they an international there n-a-rush City, alien words in project intersection So say many this get- There no cross-traffic allowed, schools just parent, who chose free? Why is concerned citizens. on a road that are many people a is within City living Vanshika, will want to limits? cross – frequently.on both sides, that today What gives HUDA the right cross, and Are we going public road? to privatize to not learn? repeat the a You would have Will we mess of NH8 sampled Friday On paper the - with jam-packed entries and Security acres, Project is being exits; Gurgaon during a new HUDA-DLF New Age presented as the year. even pedestrian and horrible accidents a thousand and deaths? V, is an Expressway Sector Road. In reality Here is your chance An area of DLF Phase it to get to nowhere For DLF it is in and around the spotlight – except DLF. your doorstep every FG at And in modern, an under global times, high leases and Expressway to high rentals, Friday, at a very attractive CCTV has been forgotten the why have we high property year. 3,000 non-motorized? rate. properties in for over a values – for thought for the picture its 52 issues (1 Year), its / FG } public transport There is even no HUDA to invest Phases. And it has convinced cameras capture on the stands), needed (bus, auto, taxi (Two Hundred) Only for ` 200 { Maninder Dabas at least Rs. 200 happening The by people wishing seemingly public, – a Saving of of what is Vivek crores for this a point within within. ago, to even move ` but 164 from on cover price. the Road to another. surely more to project – worth was roads, and ot so long FOBs and Subways a private, connected In well over Rs. changed) at a time when are supposedly fact even 500 crores. This, Control Room, is at the DLF to ride (name thought (if HUDA has not an afterPolice, thought of even and used SMS FGYES to 08447355801 water, power, was provided even Gurgaon sixteen, the expected sewage, other When he basic infrastructure excessive noise yet). What about bicycle. roads, streetlights and has yet to Golf Club. ...Pg 8 Send an email to well within city (for be removed and air pollution, he asked an Atlas provide detailed etc.) across Gurgaon; – limits? eighteen, from it has answers The in subscription@frid used Chetak front of the the EDC on how turning may not even houses in Phase green belt will also aygurgaon.com for a Bajaj d. the new Gurgaon taken from us over decadesand where and when be good or appreciated I. Yes, this Project his father II sectors (58 Pay Online at - and still taking was admonishebe by current DLF to 115). soon for but instead residents. What is the sanctity www.fridaygurgao ASHA PANDEY Caged Freedom you may are not for Is this a prime n.com liberation of Master Plans? ‘Legally in When was the example of the but you Delivery will be Looking for Where in the decision taken squander of through permitted, to handle a motor girls and women And world public your why, to now make this Road decades, money? and by City are newspaper were issued part of the City, and is there an Expressway yet ready said his father. – in this (and even those whom? A Northern and that cuts through that has more challans vendor. this Millennium , as they are Southern Peripheralform? are not Expressways) attracting Highway? And that years of Circulated 14,000 lanes than a but an Expressway vehicle,’ been just seems to and Road in Gurgaon.kids haveonly facing confinement next three more than bicycle be for the benefit a nearby National by goons within the City?! circling the City make for these keep This is a Project that will For the sense – Last year driving. “Machines of a single builder. the same daily targeted impose a 16 after digging Special offer for on the roads would the attraction The Bajaj college, rest of NCR: lane high-speed up already wide Is this a precedent our Gurgaon’s Family our parents for 6 months purpose. lumpen elements for underagecenturies, and ` 300 Expressway, (Delivery times obtained transport. for that one served his cars on best) road stretch. (wider than NH8), decent wethrough exist today, courier) In older privatization and in public lifestyles are doesn’t bikes and exposed road, when almost of public property wants to set for other a humans all abnormal. Why the priority (arguably till the time Chetak kind of fathers. builders? A to kids are boys drive every other in the garb of not having and urgency routines and is not at motor vehicles do those year old This needs road for this a partnership? now these The real change Was the Vision from the and nor twice about at schools, one sixteen Ps - the State for this Project in Gurgaon is worse? . age. being impacted. us away after. But change don’t think or even Govt needs Today, many as follows: “just – and aggressively and even and the at an early Road, if and roads. They be stopped 20 minutes from malls, theatres, cars and bikes Why licence, ...Pg 9 when completed, to unequivocally state and speed, level of parenting, that’s why the Gurgaon’s that this new At markets, will always remain vehicles, 7 and kids driving broken roads. the licence. Contd on p status; this to on place at a public road. driving of under-age economic speeds, even believe that doingfear? has taken hundreds can find social and lightning , no Contd on p 7  in the down at their parents,no rationality The Metro tearing and that as well as Life Near just 2 no morality, is a crime, do the children, Is there driving Swanky concourses stations – or be killed? or right? the Metro that under-age someone is fine – years ago, by not aware could even kill engulfed Are they ters today are dens. and crime their sons/daugh cesspools ...Pg 24

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'Where should liquor vends be located? Which vends definitely need to be relocated? The Liquor Vends need to be as less as possible and should be in the authorized market area or Malls. The Liquor vends should not be in the residential areas, and should be at least 3KM away from schools/restaurant/hospitals/places of worship/crematoriums. They should not even be on the main roads/highway. All liquor vends that do not adhere to the above should be shut forthwith." Ramakant Gupta


29 March-4 April 2013

They Come... They See... They Stay? { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

M

any feel that small town women are also more committed to the institution of marriage and family. Harish Kotwani, who is married to one, says, “She is a loving wife and a devoted mother. She maintains a perfect balance between her work and personal life. Mind you, she is also conscious of the latest fashion trends, and is social both online and off-line.” His wife, Sudha, had never heard of any social networking sites during her college days. Although she learnt the basics of computers in her home town (Saharanpur), she had no interest in technology. But now she seamlessly works the touch screens of her high-end phone and laptop. “Today when I go back to my home town, the girls in the neighbourhood seem to be impressed with the way I use gadgets. While they seek help from their brothers to download applications, and to use the internet on the mobile phone, I do everything myself. That is the difference. Cities like Gurgaon help a woman become independent.” She remains well-rooted in tradition and culture. It is apparent from the ringtone of a religious song in her phone. “I am a follower of Arya Samaj. So I prefer chanting and listening to ‘Om Buhr Bhuwah Swaha’,” she smiles. Namita, a call centre employee, who hails from Ahmedabad, says, “My ‘cosmopolitan’ friends took up smoking and drinking at an early age. I believe they got into the ‘big city’ lifestyle mainly because they didn’t have good family support. Now some of them are struggling to quit. I am glad that my ‘small-town values’ helped me choose a better ‘lifestyle’. These values still pull me back if I falter.” In a 2-bhk flat in Sector 56, Namita keeps a small Tulsi plant in her balcony. She believes that it is an integral part of Gujarati culture, and also helps in curing several diseases. Divya Chanana, a marketing professional from Nagpur, says that the aspiration to succeed is universal. “As the youngsters in small towns get more exposed to a modern life, via the media, they are becoming ambitious too. Fortunately, they are still grounded in their values, unlike many of the big town city women , who seem to feel more comfortable in being ‘western,” she feels. Tanuja Bhargava, who moved to the City from Bhopal some 10 years ago, still follows a small-town lifestyle. She goes to a temple in the morning, and still does knitting for her three-year-old daughter. Despite working as a VicePresident in an international company, she is very much grounded to her roots. “I am proud of the fact that I hail from a small town. I am 30, and yet my parents play an integral role in all the important decisions of my life. Whenever I am going through a rough patch, I have the leisure of leaning over to my family for support. People in big cities don’t seem to have such strong bonds with their families.”

Meenu Rawat, who used to live in the verdant hills of Nainital, seems to be in love with the City. “I am working as an IT Analyst, and I love the jet-setting life in this City. I opted to leave the ‘piece of heaven’ (Nainital) to make it big in my career.” She feels that there are a lot of positives about urban living. Great job opportunities, entertainment shows, sporting events and dining options are all aspects of life that people living in a small town still crave for. The emergence of multiple industrial hotspots, and improved infrastructure in small towns,is a welcome relief for those who want to leave the City. Shalu Narang, mother of a sevenyear-old girl, wants to leave the City too. Born and brought up in Pune, Shalu turned down an offer for an off-shore assignment to Singapore, as she thinks that there is no better place than Pune. Despite the City having a number of international schools and worldclass infrastructure, she feels it lacks the right culture. “What makes a city worth living is its people and culture. There is nothing in the City except worldclass malls and a handful of jobs. I want my daughter to be brought up in a place where she not only feels safe, but also get the right values. To my mind Pune tops the list,” she says. A third-year student of IILM, Takshika, feels that security in the City is a matter of concern. She says, “In my home town (Salasar, Rajasthan), I used to ride a scooter and roam freely even at night. But this City is extremely unsafe. My parents call me every two hours to ensure that I am safe in this so-called ‘Millennium City’.” Takshika is looking for a job only in Mumbai and Pune, as she feels these cities are far safer than Gurgaon and Delhi. Despite the fact that knowledge of English has little to do with the speaker’s intelligence or capabilities, speaking it fluently helps one in creating a good first impression in the big cities. Sukhdeep, who moved to the City from Patiala some five years ago, says, “I am the firstgeneration of English speakers in my family. When I joined my first job in the City, I noticed that English-speaking is mandatory to qualify for any promotion, or offshore assignment. It was a cultural shock for me, as I had studied in a vernacular school.” Correct pronunciation was also an issue. “We Punjabis have the tendency to remove letters or syllables from certain words. We usually say “he is giving ‘sport’ to his old parents,” she laughs. Her col-

C over S tory

leagues used to laugh at her; but she didn’t let that discourage her; she continued to speak in English. Today, she can ‘pass’ with flying colours! Some women feel that the City lacks a culture of its own. Neetu Bhargava, who hails from Agra, arrived in the City seeking recruitment in an MNC. But now she is planning to go back, because this City is dull! “Sometimes, even during the festive season, the City seems dull as compared to Agra. For example, Holi celebrations are just limited to celebrate within condominiums and offices. You won’t find people dancing on the roads and the whole city getting together to celebrate it. It won’t be difficult for me to leave the City, as it has no culture of its own.” Shikha (name changed), who hails from Lucknow, says that films and television impact small towns far more than the metros. This is leading to over-ambitiousness, and a negative trend to ‘outdo’ their counterparts in the Metros. Talking about her cousin, who moved to the City in 2009, Shikha says, “She was getting a good job in Lucknow. But she took up a job in this City, as she wanted to live an independent

05

small towns. It is also leading to a change of mindset in small towns. Puneeta gives an example of the wedding of an Afghani boy and an Indian girl in Nashik. “One of my friends fell in love with an Afghani entrepreneur who had come to Nashik to open a winery. Despite the difference in culture, nationality and religion, her parents agreed to the marriage. Today they are happily married. There is hardly any difference between a woman in a small town and a big city now,” she feels. Apart from some cultural differences at the workplace, many women have struggled to break the stereotypes that people have about small towns. City-folk believe that small towns are like villages, that lack infrastructure and good education. Recounting her experience, Priyanka Jalan, who comes from a conservative Marwari family in Orissa, says, “I appeared for an interview in Sapient. I was shocked when one of the interviewers told me that hiring a Marwari girl is like wasting a seat, because most of them get married by their early 20s. He therefore turned down my application.” Priyanka decided to prove him wrong. Today she runs her own PR Company in Sector 44. “I am glad that I can provide employment to a

ASHA PANDEY

life, and get exposed to a cosmopolitan culture and a glorious nightlife. For her, partying at night and one-night-stands were not big issues. She wanted to break all the boundaries, and experience the way people live in big cities. Now, she has gone back to her home in Lucknow.” Puneeta, who shifted from Nashik feels that segmenting women on the basis of geography is not important. It is important to segment them by mindset. Putting forth an example, she says, “A homemaker in a small town in Maharashtra, and a homemaker in ‘Old’ Gurgaon may be very similar. On the other side, despite being based in the same city, a homemaker in ‘New’ Gurgaon could be very different from a homemaker in ‘Old’ Gurgaon. I think that it all depends on the amount of ‘exposure’, and not the place you come from.” She also believes that some small towns, such as Nashik and Ahmedabad, are growing even faster than Delhi and NCR, due to the growth of industry and increased access to media. Globalisation is changing the culture in small towns too. Special Economic Zones and factories are willing to hire young women. Engineers and executives from different parts of the world are working in

lot of small town smiles Priyanka.

girls

now,”

“It is time to reverse the trend,” says Ritu Kalia, who plans to set up an Ad. agency in Bareilly, along with her husband. She has been operating an Ad. agency in the City for more than 10 years. She says, “There is a big, young population outside the Metros, that is creative and capable of handling such jobs. For us, Bareilly is an easy choice as we both are from that town.” A theatre artist, Rajni Ahuja was born and brought up in Mussoorie. “There is no dearth of audience for theatre in the Mussoorie-Dehradun belt, and no dearth of auditoriums, due to the presence of world-class schools out there.” Rajni plans to set up a drama academy in Mussoorie. So, to many, it might seem as yet another city caught in the throes of globalisation, without an identity of its own. But those who love it vouch that the City is a place that harbours diverse cultures, subtly changing its nature and people who live in it. u


06  Contd from p 1

29 March-4 April 2013

C over S tory

Setting The RWA Standard PRAKHAR PANDEY

asserts Gulati. The role of a Facility Manager was visualised as a transition manager, who would be able to improve the quality of service in a short period of time. The different parameters on which the vendors were measured, included the price, references and structure of management. The Board of Managers of the World Spa Apartment Owners Association also visited a number of residential complexes maintained by the Facility Management companies, before taking a final decision. “What impressed us most with Alpha G Corp was that they operated in a hybrid mode – with some crucial services managed by their in-house team, while other services were outsourced,” he says. After evaluation, it was decided to give the maintenance contract to Alpha G Corp, and the Company was asked to prepare a transition plan – which normally takes around 2 months. A check list of various services and facilities was also prepared by Alpha G Corp, and handed over to the builder. However, it was apparent that the builder was not serious in ensuring a smooth handover. It was then that the Board of Managers decided to act. Accepting the risk, they took over the Gautam Gulati complex by surprise, on March 11, 2012. The Facility amount, and stopped paying Manager was asked to prepare it to the builder. The builder a contingency plan, to ensure approached the court, asking that the basic minimum services for a stay order, and also for remained available. “The deci- restraint on the RWA. But sion to take over the complex no stay order was granted; a was kept a secret; it was only on caveat had already been filed by the RWA. “We appeared in March 11 that the residents of the complex were told about this the court, and appraised the development. We also told them judges about the problems being about the problems they could faced by the residents, within the face for a couple of weeks, and legal framework as defined by to be ready to handle the same,” the Haryana Apartment Owners informs Gulati. He suggests that Act,” she says. This ensured that it is very important for the RWA the residents could not be denied to keep the channels of commu- their due rights. After the takeover, the nication open, especially with first job of the RWA was the residents. concentrate on the The RWA ensured transpar- to ency, and shared information infrastructure, and to ensure with the residents freely. This that assets such as generators, ensured that the support was lifts and swimming pools were most forthcoming, and the cru- restored. The AMCs of DG sets, cial takeover process was man- lifts, fire system, STP and the aged smoothly. Despite the op- security system were resumed, position from the builder, the after assessing the respective vendors. The overhead tanks RWA managed to get control of the complex. This action was were cleaned, the LPG supply system was revamped and pipes later vindicated in the court of law. So strong was the support replaced, the lighting system for the decision that many was repaired (the RWA had to residents volunteered for se- change about 300 bulbs).  The curity duty at the gate. Each air-conditioning system in the person took his/her job very se- lift lobbies was not working, and riously, says Gulati. “We prom- was replaced. It took almost ised residents that basic services six months to get the system such as garbage removal would back in order and shape. When asked about the take place regularly, but it would take some time to bring back financial aspect of the entire process, Gulati admits that 'normalcy',” he adds. Pooja Aganpal, who was it was because of the strong the advocate of the World support of the residents—who Spa RWA, says that it was an agreed to pay around Rs. 10 excellent learning experience. per square foot maintenance The residents were united, for a couple of months—that and knew what they wanted. the World Spa RWA managed collect an adequate In the first step towards to ‘freedom’, the RWA began amount of money that was to collect the maintenance required for all the identified

In World Spa, there are a number of investor owners; all of them were taken into confidence, and they have supported the RWA to the hilt. “The investors—whether they are looking for appreciation in capital assets, or rentals—realised that our taking over the complex would improve the infrastructure and quality of assets, and boost the image of the condominium. Since the takeover, the prices of the properties, and the rentals, have increased substantially,” asserts Gulati. activities. “Our security deposit of Rs. 14 crores is still lying with the builder – it has not been returned to us. But despite that, the RWA is managing to take care of the complex in a reasonable manner,” he asserts. His advice to different housing societies in the City is that they should decide to take over the complex only if they have resources to generate adequate funds for at least a couple of years. Unless the residents are ready to shell out extra initially, the takeover could result in more problems than benefits, he says. At World Spa, the annual budget for maintaining the complex is around Rs. 4 crores. Since the World Spa RWA had to start from scratch, a four page memorandum was created, describing how the residents would be billed, and what were the various components of the maintenance bill. “We had to explain everything to the residents in a transparent

Lt. General S.K Bahri

manner. The income and expenditure were all outlined and explained – and this was really liked by them,” says Gulati. In fact the takeover has helped them to bond better, and the community life in World Spa has improved manifold, assert many residents. Rajesh Wadhwani tells Friday Gurgaon that the residents feel much more secure, celebrate festivals together and enjoy a healthy camaraderie due to the special efforts of the RWA. Lt. General S.K Bahri, President of the RWA, while speaking on the sidelines of the Event organised to mark ‘Takeover Day’, says that their decision to oust the builder has been vindicated. “The facilities have improved, there is more greenery, security cameras have been installed, and fire extinguishers have been put in place. All this has made the residents feel more secure and happy,” he asserts. To ensure a more effective resolution of problems, the World Spa Apartment Owners Association has asked the Facility Manager to ensure that no complaint remains unattended beyond a period of 24 hours. The RWA says that most of the complaints now are related to minor issues such as housekeeping, and are resolved at the earliest. “We keep on meeting the residents, and hold meetings with the estate management team every Saturday, to give them the feedback,” Gulati says. The RWA says that since this has been a transition year,

the residents also understand the limitations of the Facility Managers. “However, we have told the Facility Managers that the parameters will be more strict next year. There is a process of active consultation and engagement with the estate managers and their corporate office,” says Gulati. There are some procedural aspects that an RWA should take into account before jumping on to the ‘takeover’ bandwagon. On the legal side, the residents need to understand where the RWA stands: the registration of the RWA, the status of the security deposit, the availability of funds, and the RWA membership. The RWA should also know the statutory obligations of the builder, and the status of: pollution clearances, STP, Water Harvesting, Lift Certification, Swimming Pool Certification and Fire Certification. Another crucial document is the Service Estimates, which is available with every builder. It is important that an RWA should have the same if it plans a takeover. Gulati says that it is also crucial to find out in whose name the electricity connection has been taken by the builder; this must be changed to the RWA. “Many times it has been found that the RWA has to pay penalties for excess load, as the sanctioned load was quite less,” he reveals. In addition, an evaluation of the technical systems, as well as infrastructure, should be carried out by professional consultants, so that the actual status is revealed. An analysis of the security requirements of the complex should also be undertaken, to know what actually is required at the ground level. Last, but not the least, effective community management is crucial for any RWA wanting to take over the management of a condominium. There have been a number of times that decisions have been influenced by the feedback from the residents. A Web Portal has been created, to ensure easy interaction with all the residents, and to ask for suggestions regarding the improvement of the complex – aesthetically, or in terms of the facilities. For group housing societies/condominiums, the builders are supposed to stabilise the operations and maintenance, post the construction of a complex, and then exit the project. That is what the Department of Town & Country planning is supposed to ensure. Unfortunately, it does not do so – in almost every case. The residents believe that builders are welcome to stay for some time, but they must behave as guests – and should not try to forcibly become a part of the family (let alone behave as the head of the family). u


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Keeping Builders Honest { Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

PRAKHAR PANDEY

he recent decision of the Haryana government to register the Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) under the new Societies Act could be a ploy to help the builders and other authorities hide their real estate wrongdoings committed over the years, in Gurgaon and other parts of the State. This move could also weaken the Haryana Apartment Owners’ Act (HAOA), as also the recent activism of residents and RWAs, believes Advocate Pooja Aganpal, who has fought a number of successful battles against powerful developers. Whether it is the World Spa case, or the recent Orchid Petals case, Aganpal says that core issues with all the builders are the same; they relate to creation of third party rights, control of the common areas, denial of basic facilities to apartment owners, and poor maintenance (by maintenance agencies of the builders).

document that gives you the lawful ownership of an apartment,” she says. It is the Deed of Apartment that gives a person a title to the property, and also a percentage of the interest in Common Areas and Facilities. The builders, in order to avoid creation of shared rights in common areas, avoid executing the Deed of Apartment, though it has to be mentioned in the Occupation certificate. The first thing that the buyers should do, to avoid hassles later, is to press the builder for a Deed of Apartment; and thereafter, when the builder files the Deed of Declaration, the RWA should ensure that an Association of only genuine apartment owners is mentioned and defined in this document. Aganpal says that within 90 days of the grant of Occupation Certificate, the builder has to handover the maintenance of the complex to the RWA. In case this does not happen, the RWA can approach the DTCP, and later the civil courts, as has been

difficult, Aganpal says that she had to face a battery of lawyers representing the different companies of the builder.  In the case of World Spa as well, a lot of pressure came from different quarters, but Aganpal says that fighting for the common good gave her the strength and resolve to continue the fight. Her husband has also been supportive, and has helped her in building a law career – which she started only after her marriage. Her family is her inspiration, and it was only after her near and dear ones suffered legal setbacks that she decided to pursue law – for her own benefit, and for the common good of society. “By fighting for the apartment owners I feel like I am fighting for myself,” asserts Aganpal, who also advises the RWAs to unite, so that people are able to take on the powerful forces represented by the builders. Her advice to the apartment owners is to elect leaders who are honest, ready to dedicate time and resources, and able to withstand pressure. “I must compliment the World Spa RWA for standing up to the builder. They have an excellent team, that understood why they were fighting, and what they wanted. They also supported me to the hilt, and the result

“How can a person appointed by the government become a sole arbitrator in cases where the government is also a party?” she wants to know.

The problem, she says, begins when the apartment buyers sign a skewed Sale Agreement, which is completely biased in favour of the builder. “At the time of the signing the Sale Agreement, a Maintenance Agreement is also signed, though legally this latter Agreement is null and void, as per Section 4 of the Contract Act,” she says. The HAOA requires that the builder file a Deed of Declaration, and then walk out of the project – which never happens, due to deep vested interests. In a continuation of this farce, the builders then create a ‘fake’ RWA, and hand over the complex to their own employees or henchmen – who are ‘nominated’ as apartment owners in the RWA. “In most of the cases no Deed of Apartment is executed; it is the only valid

happening in Gurgaon in the last one year. Led by the World Spa case, many RWAs have now approached the civil courts to free themselves from the clutches of builders, who have nothing but greed in their mind, asserts Aganpal. Citing the case of Legend Clarion, an upscale condominium, Aganpal says that the residents approached the Civil Court, Gurgaon after the builder started to sell the commercial shops , and other Common Facilities, to third parties. “As per the Apartments Act only the sale of apartments is allowed, and as such the Court granted a stay on transfer of the community centre and a school. Since the shops had already been sold, a stay could not be granted, as third party rights had already been created,” she says. Admitting that fighting against builders is quite

was a victory in the court of law,” she reveals. She adds that it was this case that gave her the confidence to take on the cases of other RWAs as well. The Indian Legal system, she admits, has many loopholes, which are misused to ensure that the common man is not  able to get justice. In addition, many Haryana authorities, judicial officials and even lawyers are not aware of the intricacies of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983, as well as other acts related to apartment complexes and group housing. “It is because of this that many cases are pending for long periods. With an increase in the number of such complaints, it is imperative for the State government to create courts that can specifically handle the Haryana Apartment Owners’ Act,” says Aganpal. She also suggests that the District Judge should organise Janta Durbars, as well as Mega RWA Lok Adalats, on the lines of

Traffic Courts, so that cases pertaining to RWAs could be resolved at the earliest. Citing an interesting instance, Aganpal says that a shop in Legend Clarion has been registered by the Sub-Registrar under the Haryana Shop Owners Act (1985) – which is non-existent. “This clearly shows how laws can be misinterpreted to benefit a certain group of individuals who have the necessary resources and influence,” she states. The latest move by the State, to bring in the new Societies Act, and register all RWAs under it, seems another ploy to ensure that more confusion is created, and the builders get away with brazen violations. By barring any appeal to the Courts, under Section 89 of the new Societies Act, it seeks to prohibit people from appealing against the decision of the Registrar in the Court. This is against the fundamental rights of any citizen. “How can a person appointed by the government become a sole arbitrator in cases where the government is also a party?” she wants to know. Aganpal says that the new Societies Act will help in legalising the ‘illegalities’, and further harm the interests of the hapless apartment owners. She also questions how the Registrar will recognise the official RWA, in case multiple such organisations are formed in a complex. The current Apartments Act clearly stipulates only one RWA for a complex. Advising the apartment owners to shed their hesitation, and approach the courts in cases of abuse of their rights, Aganpal opines that despite their taking time, the courts do offer the best justice for the common man. If an RWA wins a case against a builder, it needs to file a caveat in the higher court, so as not to be taken by surprise – as most of the builders have large resources, and prefer to stretch the cases. “If an order is not implemented, the RWA can file a contempt with the Court, which is mostly taken seriously by the judiciary,” she says. In the recent Orchid

Petals case, she recalls how the police officials misbehaved with the residents, and were made a party to the case. It ultimately resulted in the transfer of one of them, and could result in strictures against more. When asked about the homework she does before taking up the cause of an RWA, Aganpal says that she does a thorough study of the Licence Agreement, Deed of Declaration, Sale Agreement, sanctioned plans and related documents. “I also discuss in detail the grievances of the residents, and suggest them the best possible solution. A number of times the RWAs approach me after negotiations with the builders have broken down,” she says. In her view, the residents should stand united, and when they decide to approach the judiciary, they should hire a lawyer who has knowledge of the intricacies of the Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983, and related land Acts governing the State. The people, she says, must satisfy the courts of their lawful demands, backed by a strong legal team.   The latest trend of residents taking on the builders has unnerved both the government as well as the developer lobby, she quips. “The move by the State to bring in a Real Estate Regulator, at a time when the Central Bill is being debated, is nothing but an eyewash. At the fag end of its tenure, the Haryana government has now realised that something needs to be done to regulate realty. It is comical,” asserts Aganpal. The politicians and the bureaucracy must realise the problems faced by the common people, and help them, otherwise they will have to face many more cases in courts – and finally the wrath of the residents, she states. Ultimately, it is the unity of the people that will ensure the success of the quiet revolution that has started in Gurgaon. The hegemony of builders/developers needs to be broken; as important the State departments need to be ordered to strictly implement the rules and the law. u


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Pioneering Inclusive Education { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

the City,” says Dr. Rama.

A

A focus on suburbs and 'Old' Gurgaon

resident of Mewat, Sabina (name changed) was in class eight when her parents asked her to leave studies. For over two years she sat at home, learning cooking and taking care of her siblings. She says, “Studying with boys is considered inappropriate in our village. Moreover, the prime responsibility of a girl is to manage the family and perform household chores – not to study.” Although she wanted to go back to school, there was nothing she could do about it. However, a ray of hope was shown by Prachi Educational Society (PES), an NGO, that took Sabina, along with her siblings and mother, to school. The NGO has brought many dropouts back to school. It also imparts soft-skills to the mothers, to give them a sense of self-reliance. This noble initiative was started some twenty years ago, when a professor of Delhi University, Dr. Rama Patnayak, visited a slum site near New Delhi Railway Station. Moved by the miserable condition of the women and children, she decided to devote the rest of her life for the welfare of such underprivileged. “Along with a few lecturers from the Delhi University, I started visiting the site regularly, and set up a temporary site near Sheila Theatre, where they were given food, shelter and education. That is when PES was born. One of our founding members, Ajay Kaushik, and the local community, helped a lot. Gradually, the NGO expanded operations to the other parts of

When Dr. Rama shifted to Gurgaon, she noticed that the condition of the poor women and children was even worse in Haryana. She started focussing on the areas of 'old' Gurgaon, and suburbs such as Mewat, Nuh and Sohna. Today, the NGO has identified over 450 women who need help, as also a number of government schools that have high dropout rates. The

NGO provides healthy food, education, soft-skill training and health camps for the underprivileged women and children. “The level of awareness is higher in Delhi, and the urban part of Gurgaon. But if you go to a village located just 10 km away from the Cyber City, the conditions are pathetic. In fact even the old part of the City is still struggling to get its share of development,” says Dr. Rama. “It is pity that today, when we talk about the right to education for all, some students of 12th standard in the government

{ Anita Jaswal }

Today Shweta and Amit will celebrate by spending the day together. This may not sound like much, but with their conflicting schedules it is the best gift they could wish for. Shweta and Amit met in college 19 years ago. They fell in love, and have been married for 12 years. They believe that marriage is about just making each other’s average day better. And above all, giving each other the freedom to soar. “Yes, we are one in spirit and flesh as married partners, but we are also a man and a woman who have God-given talents and gifts to share with the world,” says Amit. “The promises you make on your wedding day–to stick together in sickness and in health, and for better or for worse– have little meaning until life’s adversities strike. And sooner or later they do. It is also most important to keep the candle of romance and tenderness burning,” adds Shweta. Shweta and Amit have been through the joy and work of first raising their family dog, Sir Romeo, and 2 years later their baby. ”It was quite a job helping the first “baby” adjust

Going forward

In spite of two decades of good work and support to the

A Ray Of Sunshine JIT KUMAR

Happy she and happy he They’re both as happy as can be!

schools don’t even know how to write an application. Despite computer education having been made compulsory in all the government schools, the reality is that most of the students learn only about the theoretical part of a computer, and have never got an opportunity to operate it,” says Dr. Rama. With an aim to improve the education, PES has adopted a school in the City. Counselling is a must for all the children and their parents. “Children imbibe values from their parents. As most of the underprivileged

children often see their parents fighting, they tend to become insensitive at a young age. That is why their chances of indulging in crimes and drugabuse are higher. We try to ensure that these children are raised in happy and mature surroundings. Counselling the children and parents is the best way to do it,” says a volunteer. In all the centres, the mothers of the students are given soft-skills training, personality development courses, and most importantly, civic education. PES also encourages students to take up sports. “Today, under-age sex is a big problem, even in the villages. One of the reasons is that children watch television most of the time, and don’t have any platform to release their energy. Encouraging sports is the best way to tackle such issues,” feels Dr. Rama. Recently, the NGO has formed Volleyball Clubs in many villages of Mewat, Nuh and Sohna.

to the new one! Finally the effort has paid off, and son Abeer Agastya, and Sir Romeo, live together safely and happily as one (now larger) family,” beams Shweta. Shweta, a trained designer, has always wanted to work with kids. The passion to provide them quality education led

to the start of Lil Sunshine. As the name suggests, it is a little haven of sunshine for your bundle of joy - a place for fun, a place for knowledge. The curriculum is structured in line with the needs of young growing minds. Special emphasis is given to handson work, recycling, exploring nature

underprivileged, PES has been struggling to get space. “We have a couple of centres in 'Old' Gurgaon and Mewat; but as we are looking at expanding our operations, we find we don’t have enough space for our centres. I think the media can help a lot in helping us overcome such challenges,” says a volunteer. The NGO is looking for space in the DLF area, to open a training centre for underprivileged women – where they can learn skills such as tailoring and block painting. Another major challenge is the mindset of men. Dr. Rama, who has been working closely with the men and women in the villages of Mewat, Sohna and Nuh, believes that “the mindset of a man decides the fate of the family. In certain communities, men don’t allow their daughters to even keep cell phones. They don’t understand that it is also a safety device. For them, it is a symbol of 'power', and a girl can never have it!” To ensure that this mindset changes in future, PES is focussing on imparting the 'right' education and values to young boys. The NGO is also raising its voice against the rising crime against women in the City. “Many times I have witnessed girls being harassed by men on bikes, on the roadside. I want to form a pressure group in the City, that can raise its voice for women,” she says. At present Dr. Rama is working on a campaign to find an alternative to the 'shared autos'. She feels that they are a threat to poor women, who have no choice but to many times travel with drunken men.u

and experiencing. Shweta’s motto is, “I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” If the mornings at Lil Sunshine are all about little ones, the evenings bring joy to the children and adults alike, by way of many fun-filled activities. The performing arts arm, aptly named ‘Volare’ - to fly – offers Jazz, Contemporary, Bollyfit (Bollywood fitness), Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Theatre, and Art and Craft classes. Says Shweta,”I could not have achieved this without the never-ending support of Amit, as I had to put in unearthly hours to get the School on its feet.” “We hope to be walking side by side for years; and if we are available, attentive, aware and appreciative towards each other, we will build a happy relationship that will last a lifetime. There’s no secret recipe for getting through the rough times. I’ve been fortunate to accomplish many things in my life, but being married to Shweta is what I am most proud of. Those that know me well know, without a doubt, that she’s my best friend,” says Amit happily. They both look back on the day they got married as the third happiest day of their lives... the second being the day little Abeer Agastya came into their lives; and the first being the day they met!u


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ecently Delhi resident Neeru Gupta lost her purse and mobile phone on the busy MG Road, and was confused about her future course of action. She was not sure about approaching the police, and instead asked a stranger to help her make a phone call. Then, while waiting for her friend in front of the Metro station, she saw a couple of women in 'khakis' sitting inside a PCR van. Despite some initial hesitation, she decided to approach the Women's PCR. Much to her surprise the lady police officials not only took the case seriously, but also waited for her friend to arrive. Many people have had similar 'good experiences' after the launch of the five Women's PCR vans, one of which patrols the 'notorious' MG Road. In each PCR van, there are three women police personnel, and two men. They keep an eye on a given area. Sharing her experience of the last couple of months, Lady Head Constable Sunita, who is also in charge of the PCR Van during the day shift on MG Road, says that more women are approaching the police to ask for help, and to complain against eve-teasing and sexual harassment. "The presence of a large number of malls, restaurants, and bars in particular, attracts all sorts of crowds from across Haryana as well as the NCR. This has made life more difficult for women, especially in this busy High Street of Gurgaon. The Women's PCRs regularly patrol the roads, and are also assigned cases by the Police Control Room," she says. Sunita says that at least 8 to 9 calls are attended by her PCR Van daily. “We are required to handle cases related to eve-teasing, violence against women, rape, dowry, sexual harassment and other matters in which women are involved. It is far easier for women to talk to us, and tell us the details – which sometimes are gory and intimate. The primary objective is to help women in distress, and handle their matters in a sensitive manner – to make them feel more safe and comfortable,” says Sunita. The positive fallout of the all-Women PCRs being around is that crimes like eve-teasing, passing of lewd comments and drinking in open spaces has substantially declined on MG Road and the area around it. More women are reporting domestic crimes and other issues. Rekha Yadav, a resident who works in one of the many malls on this road, says that prior to the posting of the Women's PCR it was difficult for women to pass the area without hearing lewd comments and being propositioned. “Drinking of liquor in the open, which was once the 'norm' outside of liquor vends, has also been curbed to a great extent. The women police officials are helpful, and take immediate action; this has boosted the

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On The Road For You confidence of the women working here,” she says. A Women's PCR van has been permanently stationed in front of Sahara Mall, which gained notoriety due to numerous incidents of drunken brawls and eve-teasing; the last straw being the gang rape of a girl last year. Two Women's PCRs move under the jurisdiction of DCP West, two under the jurisdiction of DCP East, and one moves in an area under DCP South. “We keep an eye on 'suspicious' cars, and move around in the area under our jurisdiction,” says a woman constable. Head Constable Sunita asserts that the presence of Women's PCRs, as well as an increase in the number of policemen in the area, has ensured that people behave properly, and stay disciplined. Interestingly, she reveals that it is not always the boys who create problems; increasingly they have observed that girls from 'good families' come out drunk. “We often find girls who have drunk so much that they pass out. Sometimes the girls create a nuisance and problems for even their friends,” says Constable Poonam, adding that many a times they have dropped these girls to their homes. Recently the Women's PCR Van had to pick up a girl from the side of MG Road and drop her home at Chattarpur Farms. Constable Neeraj Kumar, who is the driver of the van on MG Road, says that working with women officials is not a difficult job, as the women have been trained to handle every kind of situation. Initially, there was skepticism among the men about the functioning of a women-dominated team, but the past one year has been a good learning experience. Kumar admits that women cops find it easier to relate with the problems of other women, and often action is quicker. On her part, Sunita says that having a couple of men in the PCR van also makes the women more confident, as sometimes they have to operate at night and handle difficult

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl and Maninder Dabas / FG }

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men. “I think the combination of the men and women in this ratio is working fine,” she opines. A Women's PCR operates like any other normal police team, and gets information and direction on the various incidents from the Control Room. Head Constable Sunita says, “If the issue is minor, we resolve it there and then; but in case the matter is serious, we ask the complainant to accompany us to the police station, where a complaint or an FIR is registered. The matter is thereafter transferred to the jurisdiction of the concerned police station.” Her team mostly caters to MG Road, some parts of DLF Phase 1 and Sushant Lok; and if a case involves women, then they are also asked to move beyond their area of operation. The investigation of a case, and it’s proper conclusion thereafter,

Life on the other side Life in ‘khaki’ is tough, but the life beyond is even tougher. The job of being a policewomen is a huge responsibility in itself, but this is not the only thing that Sunita and the other policewomen have to take care of. “We live a dual life. Life is ‘khaki’ is challenging, but the life we live before and after donning this uniform is also crucial. We can’t ignore our responsibilities towards our family. I have two sons, and to them I am first a mother. I get up around five, and finish all my household chores before reaching my job at 8 am. I put in twelve hours here, and after going back I have to cook for my family. Our life is tough because we are always thinking about everybody. For all this labour we get just twenty odd thousand rupees – which is not enough today – and specially in Gurgaon. Even the life of the policemen is not a bed of roses. They have to stand in the gruelling heat throughout the day. People believe we have too much power – but with power also comes responsibility; and believe me, giving the people of this City a sense of security is an extremely difficult task,” adds Sunita, while pondering over her life in the service.

is the task of the police station where it is registered. The Women's PCR on MG Road also handles a number of accident cases, that frequently happen on the busy road and neighbouring areas. Maheshwar Dayal, Joint Commissioner of Police, told Friday Gurgaon that Women's PCRs have helped in checking the crimes against women significantly. “We are constantly making efforts to make Gurgaon more safe for women. A police assistance booth has also been opened close to the MG Road station, and this will help greatly to improve security and safety in this part of the City,” he says. The City residents can also take satisfaction from the fact that the women police officials are trained in handling weapons of all kinds. Lady Constable Poonam, showing her carbine, says that they are not intimidated by criminals, and know how to use a weapon. “We are trained well in the Academy. And our approach towards anti-social elements and criminals is extremely careful,” she asserts. There are daily challenges. “We face constant pressure, as the shifts are long, and the work often involves handling drunk and violent men and women,” says Sunita. Constable Vidyanand, who is part of the PCR team, says that there are a large number of boys and girls who are habitual offenders. These policewomen have been provided a wooden shed (when not sitting in a PCR van). The shed does not even have a fan. To use a rest room, they have to go inside the malls. “We have asked for a bigger room for the women’s patrol; let’s see how long it takes. Life is quite tough here, and in the summer days to come it will become tougher,” rues one of the young constables. “We deal with eve teasing, loot, accidents, burglary, and many other big and small crimes. Sometimes it becomes quite tough to manage the situation, before reinforcements arrive. We believe that we are not getting enough for the service we are delivering. I have been doing this job for the last thirteen years, and I have received only one promotion – with a slight increase in my

In Sunita's opinion, more women police officials should also be posted in police stations as well, to make it easier for the fair sex to approach the police for help. Her suggestion carries weight as the Union Home Ministry has mooted the appointment of at least nine women police officials in every police station in Delhi, in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case. Haryana police too will have to address this issue if it needs to check the crimes against women – particularly in fast growing cities like Gurgaon, Faridabad and Rohtak. salary. At present I am getting around 22 thousand rupees, which I believe is not enough to run a household here. In Haryana the policemen are underpaid; our counterparts in Delhi, Chandigarh and even Punjab are getting much better salaries. Our government neither wants to give us facilities while on duty, nor enough salary – so that we don’t have to look for other ‘options’. To top it all, these rich people who come to these malls misbehave with us; and when we try to act with strictness, they call our superiors, who again slam us for no reason,” rues a senior constable. The women in Gurgaon, says Head Constable Sunita, are educated and intelligent, and should be able to avoid situations where they can fall prey to criminals. “The girls must drink within limits. They should also avoid travelling alone at night, particularly if they are visiting a pub or a disco,” she advises. In her opinion, the parents in Gurgaon too must take responsibility. “The youth in Gurgaon often do not have much guidance. A lot of the crowd at MG Road also comes from Delhi and NCR. Their parents are far away, and they feel freer to do whatever they want. This normally ends in a lot of trouble,” she warns. All the police officials concur that the crime in Gurgaon is high. Constable Poonam says that people in Gurgaon are more aggressive, and are difficult to handle, despite being more educated and affluent. “Many a times girls and boys from rich families behave as if they are above the law; and they also think that we, being women, will be not tough,” she says. The perceptions, however, are changing. Both the offenders, as well as those seeking help, have come to know that these women in 'khaki' mean business. u


10 { Maninder Dabas / FG }

H

oping to ensure an early consultation, Dalbir left his home at six in the morning. However, by the time he reached the Civil Hospital, after a shared auto ride, hundreds of other people were already waiting outside the OPD. The Civil Hospital is buzzing 24x7, with patients from across the District. “Of course Gurgaon has become a medical destination for patients from across the world, but the Civil Hospital still caters to the largest number of patients. This 250-bed Hospital has the biggest OPD among all the hospitals in Gurgaon. It can cater to 1,500 patients per day! In terms of facilities too we are not bad, with many recent improvements. Yes, we are short of doctors and assistants. The Civil Hospital, Gurgaon, is the only civil hospital in the country that has an MRI facility. More than 30 to 40 percent of Gurgaon District’s population still avails the benefits of this Hospital. I believe that despite all the media attention and hype, only two percent go to the big private hospitals; the rest go to small private clinics and nursing homes, which are aplenty (nearly 150) in Gurgaon,” said Dr. Brahmdeep Sindhu, MD, SMO, Mental Health and Senior Psychiatrist, Civil Hospital, Gurgaon. “Another civil hospital is coming up in Sector-10, and it’s likely to start by the end of the next month. Some of the facilities like Dental and Gynaecology have already been started there, at the OPD level.” Gurgaon has around 170 big, medium and small medical establishments, though some don’t have even the basic facilities. The Civil Hospital is the biggest public healthcare facility. “In the last few years we have seen significant improvement in equipment and technology. Presently we have Ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, Radiology, and Colour Doppler. CT Scan facility should come soon. We provide these facilities at a reasonable cost,” added Sindhu. However, it seems that nepotism and corruption has made it difficult for the common person to avail these facilities. “We have been waiting for our turn to get an Ultrasound done, since yesterday. The doctor has recommended an Ultra-sound, but the people here have asked us to get it done from outside. There is a private Ultra-sound lab just outside the hospitals gates, and the majority of the patients are asked to go this

29 March-4 April 2013

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Resident (Not Tourist) Hospital

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Sector 10-A

Crores spent, but yet to start Apart from this Civil Lines Civil Hospital, Gurgaon also has another public hospital that is yet to kick off. The State has made a big hospital in Sector-10 A, which is likely to start in April. The Hospital has been lying vacant for quite some time now, because of ‘political’ issues. The OPD is operational – with departments of dental, paediatric, and gynaecology. “This is a 100-bed hospital, though initially we will start with 50 beds. The process of the allocation of the staff has started, and by the end of the next month doctors from all over the State would be transferred here,” said Dr. D.S Yadav, Senior Paediatrician. place. The facility inside is deliberately working slow,” said Krishan Kumar, while tending to his ill mother. The same is the case with other facilities also; the ward boys and other support staff don’t pay heed to the doctor’s recommendations. “Just like any other Sarkari hospital in the country, this place too understands the language of either palm-greasing or nepotism. If someone doesn’t have any relative or known person inside the Hospital, he or she shouldn’t come here. Tests like Colour Doppler and MRI cost a fortune in private labs and private hospitals, whereas

here they are quite cheap; but it’s very difficult to avail these facilities here,” said Surajbhan, another person accompanying his ill father. The Civil Hospital is crippled by a lack of workforce – both at the level of doctors, as well as the support staff. Currently there are around 55 doctors and 50 nurses in the Hospital. The support staff, like ward boys, are outsourced. “The doctors here are highly qualified, and in no way less accomplished than the doctors working in the big private hospitals. Each doctor daily sees at least 40 to 50 patients in the OPD, and later visits the patients in the wards assigned to him/her. The support staff, though less in number, work hard to provide the patients the best possible services. I am not saying the Civil Hospital is as good as the top private hospitals in the City, but it provides treatment to a lot of people – and it certainly is quite vital for the District. Government hospitals too can provide excellent treatment, but we need to improve on hygiene and accountability,” said a senior doctor in the Hospital. The patients do not seem to agree. “You can yourself look around and see how many patients are lying unattended, and they will continue lying like this for hours. Nobody comes to ask what their problem is. There is inadequate staff to even attend to emergencies and critical cases. I have come here from Manesar, and since I am not financially well-off, I am forced to take treatment here. A private hospital is certainly a better option, provided one has enough money in his pocket,” said Hansraj Yadav. On hygiene, the less said the better. “Yes, I agree that public hospitals, and this one too, lack hygiene – although this Hospital is in a better condition than other public hospitals in the State. If I were in need of sur-

gery, I too would prefer a private hospital. There are two aspects to this problem: one, is that the hospital staff doesn’t want to work; and the second is that we have a great number of patients coming from rural areas. Big government hospitals in Delhi, like Safdarjang and even AIIMS, don’t have great hygiene either. This is one common problem across all government hospitals,” added Sindhu. Support staff like cleaners, however, believe that there are just too many patients coming, and it’s virtually impossible to keep the hospital clean. “Thousands of patients come daily in the OPD and sit in this area. We clean it twice a day. The pressure of patients is the only reason why we

M

can’t keep the hospital clean. In wards too, there is no stopping people,” said an old cleaner. There are still people out there who believe that government hospitals provide good treatment. “We have been coming here for quite a while now. The doctors are as good as any in big private hospitals. I don’t prefer to go to a private hospital until there is some serious ailment that requires special attention,” said Satender Singh, a middle class Gurgaon resident. Doctors too believe this. “We have many cases where the patients came to us after spending even lakhs of rupees in private hospitals. We have cured their ailments at minimum expenses,”
added another senior doctor. u

CITIZEN

y Friend Mohan (name changed) was a happy man, as he was entering a new house that he had built for himself and his wife Meena (name changed). It was a dream come true for the newly-weds. Time passed – days turned to months and months to years. Now it was almost three years since Mohan and Meena had shifted into their own house. That is when problems started to surface, and defects started to crop up in the house. The toilet walls started showing dampness, the water taps were getting loose due to water pressure, the flushing cistern started making funny noises all the time, the electric switches became non-functional at will, and water seepage from the roof was noticed during the rainy season. Their dream house had become a nightmare. Mohan was heartbroken, and consulted some of his friends. They informed him that they were also facing similar problems in their houses. Mohan had by now approached many contractors in the area for the repairs. He slowly realised that the skilled workmen―such as plumbers and electricians―or many times even the contractors, take the house owners for a ride, and then demand exorbitant prices for the repairs. They do not even give sound technical advice. At this stage Mohan approached me, and I was able to offer some economical and technically sound solutions. One of the problems faced by Mohan was seepage in the walls of the toilet and the adjoining room. Complaint of seepage was also reported by the resident who was staying one floor below Mohan’s flat. Mohan summoned the plumber, who said, “Sir, the drainage pipe in your toilet has broken. I will have to break open the floor tiles, take out all the filling, repair the pipes, and then close it up. This will cost you Rs. 12,500, excluding the cost of tiles, which you will have to arrange”. When Mohan told me this, I visited his flat and the flat below. I was sure that the leakage was not from the drain pipe. The site visit by me indicated that the leakage could be from the water supply line, which was running along the wall. There would be no need to break open the tile floor. Mohan deputed another plumber, and got the job done as per my instructions. The work cost him only Rs. 2,500. He is a happy man now. Being a qualified Civil Engineer, I told Mohan that his earlier actions were just like taking self-medication, or getting treated by a quack for his ailments, rather than taking prescription from a qualified doctor. Mohan had learned his lesson. Unfortunately, that is the way now most of us learn. If you would like some advice―for free―on how to build your house, please write to letters@fridaygurgaon.com.

ADVICE

Ramakant Gupta Chartered Engineer


Civic/Social

29 March-4 April 2013

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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strong intuition helped Sidhi, a Metro passenger, trace her stolen jewellery within minutes. She was carrying gold jewellery worth Rs. 3 lakhs in her handbag. At a Metro stop, when her co-passenger de-boarded, Sidhi instinctively checked her bag. She ran after the person and caught her within the Metro Station. The thief bit her hand badly and tried to run away. In the commotion, the matter was brought to the notice of the CISF staff, who immediately arrested the accused. Sidhi was lucky to get back her jewellery. Usha Devi, however, was not that fortunate. Someone had unzipped her bag, and made off with her wallet, probably while she was boarding the train. It was only when she reached home that she realised that her wallet was missing. “When I was boarding the train, a smart woman, dressed in a professional suit, pushed me into the compartment. I am quite certain that she stole my wallet,” alleges Usha Devi. An amount of Rs.50,000 was fraudulently withdrawn from her account, using her debit card. The Metro, though considered a safe mode of transport, has become a hot spot for (women) pick-pockets. The Yellow Line, from Jahangirpuri to HUDA City Centre is the worst hit. According to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), over 40 women have been arrested for attempting to steal the belongings of fellow women

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

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ike East and West Berlin, Gurgaon too has two cities within one. The old one is slow, mildewed and perhaps envious of the rise of the new one. The new one is agile, cosmopolitan and arrogantly cock-a-hoop on its elite stature. But despite their many differences, one thing binds still them – the booze shops. Yes, the ubiquity of liquor vends is perhaps the only aspect that is common between these two flip sides of a coin. As soon as the sun sinks into oblivion (and not even that in some locations), one can see these shops light up like religious shrines, soon fronted by groups of ‘booze lackeys’ creating a nuisance after getting drunk. The citizenry, bugged by this fatal flaw, believes that it’s high time these booze shops are removed from the green belts and other open areas – and are made less visible. A group of three avantgarde citizens has filed a case in a Gurgaon court, declaring the operations of these shops in the green belts and open spaces as a contempt of the honourable High Court’s decision given in May 2012. That order had stated that the liquor vends operational in green belts alongside the roads are illegal, and should be removed elsewhere. “Yes, indeed, they are a nui-

Careful On The Metro

ASHA PANDEY

passengers – in the exclusive women’s compartments.

For a Lavish Lifestyle

Jayanti, a CISF staff at the Guru Dronacharya Metro Station, informs that most of the female pick-pockets are in the age group of 18 to 35 years. She says, “There have been cases when we caught women thieves – who were wearing branded clothes and gold jewellery – stealing money and mobile phones from fellow passengers. They commit these thefts to maintain their lavish lifestyle.” Jayanti gives an example of a 25-year-old student of Delhi University, who was also doing a diploma course

from a reputed private college in Gurgaon. “The interrogation revealed that she was from a well-off family in Saharanpur. But as she used to spend extravagantly on gadgets and clothes, she was always short of money,” says Jayanti. In another case, the CISF had arrested an 18-year-old student, for allegedly stealing more than 10 mobile phones, while riding in the train. Shockingly, she used to rob co-passengers after sedating them. A victim recounts the horrifying experience. “I boarded the Metro from Sikanderpur, and sat on the last seat of the compartment, where only two people can sit. My copassenger took out a small

spray bottle from her bag, and sprayed it near my neck. I thought that it was a perfume spray. After a few minutes I fell asleep, and continued to be in that state till Jahagirpuri, which is the last station of the Yellow Line. A CISF staff woke me up, as I was still feeling very drowsy. The staff then called my father, who came all the way from Saket to pick me up,” says the 27-yearold, who works in a multinational in Gurgaon. The thief fled with her laptop bag, diamond rings, and a watch. Interrogations also reveal that these women pick-pockets usually travel with children, to divert the attention of the passengers. Ruma, who caught a woman pick-pocket redhanded, shares her experience. She says, “During rush hour, a young woman boarded the women’s compartment carrying a small baby. Though a lady offered her a seat, she chose to stand behind an old woman. That is what made me suspicious; and I decided to keep an eye on her. After some time, I noticed this woman putting her shawl around the bag of the old lady, while pretending that she is covering her baby. I shouted out and warned that old woman to check her bag. As I had suspected, her wallet was stolen. Some passengers called the CISF staff, who found the wallet in the bag of this young woman,” says Ruma, who commutes regularly from Malviya Nagar to Gurgaon.

Drunk On Blood Money sance for the masses, especially for women who have to walk past these places. People drink in the open and later create problems; these sort of incidents are quite regular in Gurgaon. It’s high time we did something about it, and that’s why we have filed a petition in a Gurgaon court. One hearing has taken place, where nothing much was discussed. The next hearing is on 30th March. We are committed to have these shops removed from the green belts; and if nothing is done here, we will go to the High Court,” said Col. (retd) Sarvdaman Oberoi, one of the plaintiffs in this case. Unfortunately, the bidding for various liquor outlets has already taken place for the next two years, and the liquor policy for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15 is scheduled to become operational from 1st April. How will this impact the case? Oberoi said, “If they implement this policy for the next two years, it would serve as proof that the Gurgaon Administration, and the State of Haryana, is not abiding by the decision of the honourable High Court; this would be contempt of their order. We have much proof against them, and how these vends have become a hazard for the whole City. This time we will do them nice and proper,”

added Oberoi. “Liquor is a great source of revenue for the State, and as a Commissioner of Gurgaon, it’s my duty to ensure that the target set by the State is achieved,” said Aruna Singh, the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Gurgaon. The consequences, clearly, matter little to her. Citizens, even Council-

lors, think differently. “These shops, operational in open spaces and green belts, have become a hazard for the City and its citizens. People drinking outside these shops misbehave with the women walking on the roads. These vends should be removed from the main chowks and green belts, so that their visibility doesn’t instigate people to drink and create a nuisance. I hope our efforts would yield fruits,” said Nisha Singh, another plaintiff, who also is the Councillor of Ward No. 30. “Yes of course these booze shops are a source of nuisance and trouble; and since Gurgaon has these

shops at every nook and corner, it further becomes worrisome. People who want to drink would anyway know where to go, and hence there is no need for such a blatant presence of these shops,” said Yashpal Batra, Senior Deputy Mayor. Police records too testify that these liquor shops, at every nook and corner, have played a role in the rise of crime, especially against women. And that’s why, under guidance of the new Police Commissioner, Alok Mittal, it has worked hard to stop the gathering of inebriated people outside the liquor shops. “We have registered cases against people for illegally drinking outside the liquor vends, and in the last few weeks we have caught over a hundred people for this offence. No doubt drinking in the open will

I

11

What needs to be done

A woman personnel of CISF at Rajiv Chowk feels that commuters can easily prevent being pick-pocketed if they maintain some discipline, and listen to the announcements carefully. “Overcrowded trains during rush hour are the favourite place and time of female pickpockets. In spite of repeated announcements to maintain a queue at the Metro stations, most people, even women, don’t maintain this basic discipline. As the train approaches, they push each other and enter the train in a mad rush. It is the perfect opportunity for pick-pockets,” she says. She also cautions that most of the women pick-pockets cannot be ‘spotted’ easily – by way of dress or manner. They could pass off as business professionals. To help in their handiwork, they carry newspapers or garment bags, or wear long-sleeved coats. The HUDA City Centre Metro Station and other busy stations in the City, such as MG Road and Sikanderpur, have witnessed several cases of pick-pocketing. Signboards and announcements, warning passengers, don’t seem to work. Having special CISF women-squads conducting surprise checks in the ladies compartment may be one way to curb this menace. Besides, there should be CCTV surveillance in all the trains; but till now they have been installed only in a few trains, mostly in the Purple and Orange Line. The authorities have been planning to introduce a system by which live video footage from inside the Metro coaches can be scanned, even when the trains are running. u not be tolerated, as it instigates crime,” said S.P Singh, DCP, West Gurgaon. “We can’t say anything on their removal. That is a State level decision,” said Maheshwar Dayal, Joint Commissioner, Gurgaon. Women believe that these vends should be confined to commercial buildings, like in Delhi. This not only would limit the shops, but people also won’t sit around in places like 'Ahatas'. “The staring by these drunk men really scares the women; and sometimes this results in eve teasing and molestation. This has happened with several women I know. We always prefer to walk, and so we need to find a better solution than just avoiding such people. Removal of vends from the open spaces, such as green belts, is indeed a good solution. But I doubt if it will happen,” said Anjali Singh, a young professional working in Cyber Park in Sector-39. u

Pubs not Barred

n a strange irony, Sahara Mall, the ‘Pub Mall’, has requested the State govt to not renew the liquor licences of bars and pubs within its premises. Even stranger, despite knowing the background of violence and sexual assault related to pubs in Sahara Mall, the State has renewed the licences of these pubs/bars. At the very least, the State could have told the respective pub owners that the renewal of their licence would be subject to their moving out of Sahara Mall. Obviously, in this City, moolah is more important than the security of citizens.


12

29 March-4 April 2013

K id C orner

Solutions

Kids Brainticklers

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

Artistic Strokes

Pratham Bhutani, Grade VIII

Manisha Sharma, Grade VI B, Kendriya Vidyalaya

Riya, Grade VII, Kendriya Vidyala

Hitesh, Grade V A, Sucheta Memorial School


29 March-4 April 2013

K id C orner

13

CCA Awards

Charting Women Pathways

CA School, Sector 4, celebrated its Annual Awards Ceremony at the School premises. Each year, the Ceremony commemorates the culmination of the academic year and recognises the achievements of its students. The Awards this year were broadly classified and categorised on the basis of academics and varied personality traits – awards for academic excellence, subject highest, full attendance, creativity, discipline, and more. Prior to the Award Ceremony, the students put up scintillating musical and dance performances. The Principal, Nirmal Yadav, congratulated all the winners.

athways School celebrated the spirit of women with a sparkling contemporary dance performance, by Bhoomika Creative Dance Centre. The choreographies traced the beauty and spirit of women over the years. The performance was followed by an interactive session between the students and the dancers – which led them through creative movement, and strategies for developing their own dance vocabulary. The day had many learnings – provoking students to think about the social position of women, their beauty and power.

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P

Ryan Orientation

R

A Sagar of Ratnas

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opular South India restaurant chain, Sagar Ratna, hosted a fun-filled day for underprivileged children, at its Sohna Road outlet. The children, under the supervision of the NGO Literacy India, had a great time, as they indulged in painting and drawing activities, followed by a scrumptious meal.

{ Joachim Baier / Berlin / DPA}  

T

he workshop behind Kraemer’s Wooden Toy Shop is where the magic takes place. Pull-along wooden toy horses are made there entirely by hand, and with plenty of attention to detail. Lined up and waiting to be sold in the store are dappled-grey wooden horses with red saddles. “From the tree trunk to the horse, we handcraft everything ourselves,” says 53-year-old Harald Boos. Along

yan International School, Sohna Road, organised a Parent Orientation Programme for Class VII at the School premises. Parents were familiarised with Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) patterns, with the help of a presentation. The Presentation also informed the parents about the benefits of the CCE system.

The Wooden-Toy Maker with his wife Annette Kraemer, Boos runs the business in the small town of Reichelsheim in southwest Germany. Singapore’s toy museum has a few examples of the wooden horses in its collection; and one toy horses was sent to Japan’s Emperor Akihito. But the heyday of handmade wooden toys in Germany has long gone. At the turn of the 19th cen-

tury 23 manufacturers were producing the toys – including wooden rocking horses. Boos says, “We are the oldest and the only business remaining.” The couple build their wooden rocking horses according to a traditional design. Patterns for the heads, that date back to the year 1899, hang on what look likes a big shoelace on the wall. “They were made by my great-

grandfather,” Boos says. “There aren’t any drawn designs.” Their rocking horse is not made from a single piece of wood. Dry, lightweight cottonwood is used for the round long body. “This way the horse isn’t heavy,” the toymaker explains. Boss uses beech to make the legs and the skids. Beech is firm, and hard to bend. Pinewood is used to make the head, and the board that the horse stands on. In the workshop’s upper floor the toy horses are lined up, like

soldiers, waiting to be painted with their dapple-grey pattern. The black mane is applied with a brush, and then the hemp tail is fixed. The horses come in nine different sizes, with the smallest measuring 10 cm, and the biggest 35 centimetres, to the shoulder. The biggest have detailed painted saddles and blue saddle blankets. Each toy is fixed to a board that has four wheels. Prices vary between 8 and 170 dollars. u


14 Anand Eco-Gram { Abhishek Behl / FG }

W

ith trees lined on both sides of the road, and flowers planted on the central verge, Anand Farm, on the Old Delhi-Gurgaon road in Sectors 21 and 22, is a soothing sight. Nestled in the vicinity of large glass and chrome office towers, that have recently come up on one side, and a HUDA residential sector on the other, this 13-acre property, owned by the Anand Group-a leading auto parts manufacturer – has become a hub for natural living and eco-friendly practices. At the Farm, they have been able to significantly cut down on the wastage of water, and save energy, and are producing natural gas. They believe that eco-friendly initiatives introduced at the farm can be easily replicated across the City. Suneel Abrol, DGM Projects, is of the opinion that the pressure on water and power would reduce significantly if the City residents take up the scientific plantation of trees, process the waste produced in their residential complexes, and use techniques such as passive cooling to cut down on heating and cooling costs. Anand Farm has adopted a scientific way of farmdevelopment, coupled with traditional Indian knowledge. There is a high density of trees, which now caress every part of the 13 acre land. The trees at the farm have been chosen with great care, and are native to the local eco-system. To irrigate such a large number of trees and the green vegetation, Abrol says that they have modified the RO system, and now use the thousands of litres of water that was earlier rejected and drained out in the sewerage system. “With the increasing pressure on ground water, we realised the importance of not wasting the water. We got the RO waste water tested, and to our surprise found that this water could be readily used for irrigating the grass and trees. Since then we have put a filter in place, and now this water is being effectively utilised,” he says. With almost every house and condominium in Gurgaon using an RO-system, Abrol suggests that the water could be tested and used for

horticulture and lawns. The Farm has 8 well-fed cows, and 6 horses. A Bio-gas plant, with a capacity of 8 cu.m per day, has been installed near the Dairy Farm. “This Bio-gas plant uses cow dung, as well as the kitchen waste and fodder, to produce gas – which is used to cook food in the kitchens. The gas produced in the plant has helped reduce the use of LPG significantly,” says Abrol. The gas plant has also resolved the problem of managing the animal waste to a very large extent. The Farm is also effectively utilising the slurry, as a nutrientrich organic manure. This Bio-gas slurry increases the soil fertility. The large amount of organic and bio-waste produced has also been handled in an innovative manner. Abrol says that after a lot of brain storming it was decided to invest in an Organic Waste Converter System, which helps in converting this waste into organic manure. The waste at the farm is first segregated, and then treated in

the OWC machine; thereafter it is homogenized and treated with appropriate bio-culture and organic media. A shredder is also used, in case of coarse waste—such as prunings, bones and other such material—before putting it into the OWC machine. Abrol reveals that the OWC system produces raw compost, which has a uniform colour, and is free of bad odour. The machine accelerates the composting process. The raw compost is bioconverted into mature compost in 10-days of curing, and is then fit to be used in gardening, horticulture and the growing of vegetables. “If this Organic Waste Converter is adopted by the residential complexes, it will ease the pressure on the municipal authorities, help in maintaining hygiene, and create a cleaner and greener environment,” says Abrol. As Gurgaon is a city that almost turns into a desert in summer, with temperatures running as high as 47 degrees, the cost of air-conditioning is a massive burden on the residents as well as the State. The non-availabil-

Civic/Social

PRAKHAR PANDEY

29 March-4 April 2013

ity of power also forces the affluent residents to spend large amounts on subsidised diesel. Abrol says that all air-conditioning systems also develop leakages over time, that have a bad effect on the environment. The quality of refrigerants used in India is far more damaging to the environment than what is used abroad. To resolve this issue, the farm management decided to deploy an innovative and simple non-refrigerant, and a non-electricity based cooling system for the residential blocks. Taking a cue from TERI Gram, it was decided to set up an Earth Tubes system, which is a low-tech, sustainable, nonelectric, zero-energy passive geothermal heating and cooling system. As the system involves ventilation and fresh air intake, it also avoids the “sick building syndrome” of a typically enclosed air conditioned space. The system designed for Anand Farm is a hybrid system, which integrates the evaporative cooling also. Abrol says that the beauty of the system is that, at a fraction of the cost of air-conditioning, it maintains the

room temperature at 27 degrees – both during the summers and winters. “The same technology could be easily replicated in large houses, as well as residential complexes across the City, and it could reduce the energy costs, he suggests. Another eco-friendly step taken by the Farm management is to replace the traditional light bulbs with CFLs; and now the push is towards using LED lights, to cut on power costs. Abrold says that around 30 per cent reduction in energy usage has taken place due to these steps. The beautifully maintained farm house also uses solar water heating and solar street lights – which operate on their own. The club house has been fixed with presence sensors, which ensures that air-conditioning and lighting is switched on only when someone is inside. When asked about how the mud roads inside the Farm cope with the heavy waterlogging during the monsoons, Abrol reveals that the farm house has a well-designed rainwater harvesting system, which takes care of the excess surface water. This also helps in boosting the ground water table. The major initiatives that have been planned in the near future include the setting up of a plant-based sewerage treatment and filtration system. Water Hyacinth and other plants will be used to treat waste water, that amounts to almost 80 to 90 thousand litres per day. It has been observed that certain plants can remove a large amount of organic matter, nutrients and heavy chemicals and metals, says Abrol. He promises that Anand Farm will continue to remain at the forefront of eco-friendly measures, that help in reducing and reusing scarce resources. u

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Present Is A Gift { Archana Kapoor Nagpal } Past is a shadow which always gives tears, Future is unknown which always gives fears, Live in your present – it gives a reason to cheer, Choice is yours, what you want to nurture. Past has gone – it is insignificant, Future is yet to come – why to think? Present is the only moment that exists, Choice is yours, what you want to nurture. Past has no existence – it can never make you happy, Future has no foundation – more you think, life gets messy, Present is the road to perfection, Choice is yours, what you want to nurture. Past will not let you move on, Future is just a false prediction, Present is the real vision of your future Choice is yours, what you want to nurture. Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’

Open Your Mind... & Heart { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

W

e tend to be more “close-minded” than “openminded,” especially when it comes to change. This is our psychological way to protect ourselves from the emotional pain of change. One of my friends, O.P Gupta, was the Head of the credit department at the regional office of a nationalised bank, and was very good at credit appraisal. When computers were introduced, he felt ‘challenged’. He confided in me, “I’d like to say that I’m a fairly open-minded person; but, like most people, I do have some pretty strong apprehensions and views about specific topics, and find it hard to change those opinions – no matter how much others might try to persuade me.” His juniors tried to persuade him, and told him repeatedly that, “Sir, you will learn, and get used to it soon”. But he could not – and applied for VRS, and bid adieu to his job. Now, more than ever, we live in a world that is constantly changing. In order to keep up, we must be open to new experiences, and new ways of looking at things. If we do not stay ‘current’, we will miss out on the wonderful new technologies that are making our lives easier and more interesting by the day. People who are open-minded are willing to change their views when presented with new facts and evidence. Society as a whole has become more liberal, and circumstances that were not acceptable earlier are accepted now. Being open-minded also helps us with problem-solving. First, it helps us look at more than one way to approach a problem; then, we also find more expansive ways of solving it. When we give ourselves more options, better solutions undoubtedly are taken. Current cultural norms tend to insulate and isolate us from contrary opinions, evidence and experience. We live in a cocoon of our own making, with the threads of the cocoon not being perceptible to us. We live blind to some important aspects of reality, though we probably believe that we are open-minded and quite well-informed. The open mind is always hungry, looking for some new thoughts to add to its collection. The open mind knows that its own thinking is almost always incomplete. An open mind takes pride in learning from others. It would rather listen than speak. The open mind has insight for evaluating the quality of its own thinking, to see gaps that need to be filled. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves only to defeat us. What seems nasty, painful and evil can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. If Gupta had opened his mind and thought of coming out of his cocoon, life could have been different. He could have continued in a career which he otherwise loved so much. Open-mindedness is one of the most sought-after employee traits. Being open-minded means you have a willingness to listen to other ideas and opinions, and consider the possibility that you are wrong – and are willing to change your perspective. Supervisors want to know that you have a willingness to learn new things, and to consider alternative approaches

to problem-solving. In an interview, showing you are open-minded instills confidence in the employer that you are teachable and guidable. Someone who projects a know-it-all attitude is often a turn off. Also, the employer wants to know that you have a co-operative attitude, and listen well to others. Being open-minded typically makes you more adaptable to your work environment. Your showing acceptance of different cultures, genders, races and ages makes it easier for the employer to take a chance on you. An attitude of openmindedness is also strongly correlated to workplace flexibility. An employer may see you as more capable of taking on a job that requires multi-tasking. You may also get opportunities to participate in a wide array of work projects and tasks because of your willingness to learn and try new things. The human race has a history of close-mindedness. Traditions are just handed down from generation to generation. We are taught what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; we are taught what to think or not think; we are taught what to do or not do.  Anyone straying from the ‘accepted’ views or ways is considered foolish, and possibly a danger to the group. It starts from when we are small children; we are led to believe that mama and papa are always good and right.  As we get older, most of us realise that our parents are not perfect. A majority of what we think and believe about the things around us, as adults, is determined in our childhood; such beliefs are emotionally, not rationally, formed. For many, close-mindedness is simply a matter of faith. They know what they know, believe what they believe, and wish to devote little or no time for review. For such people, life means living on some given beliefs. To them these ideas and beliefs are articles of faith –unquestionable and absolute. Being open-minded can be really tough sometimes. Most of us are brought up with a set of beliefs and values, and we tend to surround ourselves with people who share similar values and beliefs. However, there is much to be gained from opening the door to your mind. It can be very liberating to look at the world through an open mind. It allows you the opportunity to change your view of the world. When you live with an open mind, you have a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor the beliefs of others. Getting attached to opinions is another way of getting caught by the ego wind. It inevitably gets in the way of clear perception. We all know how dangerous views and opinions can be – the inflammatory potential of clashes of opinion. People come to blows over them. The human animal, while notable for its skill in communication, is also known for its skill in dispute and hostility. We must learn tolerance. Wisdom should be set within empathy. Open-mindedness teaches us to avoid relativism, at one extreme, and dogmatism at the other. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

Spiritual

15

Our Lass... Alas! Call it satire, parody or farce But this young lass With the Jane Fonda ponytail Twiggy Capri’s Colourful ‘tees’ with a ‘V’. All look alikes Branded looks From branded stores Well-groomed, well-manicured With an aspiration to make A style statement. Start fashion fads Walk the ramps. They wear all sorts of latest things Dangling earrings, pretty rings Thanks to this cult Beauty parlors have grown In nooks and corners Of every unknown town As Salons The modern Lass In stilettos & fur boots Bonded hair, bleached and fair Clones her western counterpart With such an art A zestful heart. What she must know Is the hard tough life Of the western woman. She runs her home, She does her job Her infant is strapped To her heart Or being pushed in a cart As she shops at a Super mart She drives her car And fixes her wheel Comes home to shuffle a Quick meal. She is almost leading A Modern Vedic Life With no domestic help No unlisted bais turned maids over night Break the sanctum sanatorium of their lives She fends alone Fenced and sanitized With no grand mom chipping in Nor mom in law holding fort O My God! If you can do all this dear Lass You will surely pass the test Of being a Western Indian Or a modern desi lass But alas! Shobha Lidder Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

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29 March-4 April 2013

Comment

Quick-fix Governance W e have found an easy way to tackle any crisis now. We are so comfortable with quick, easy solutions; and we can glibly justify them all. It’s called ‘just treat each symptom as it erupts'; forget the underlying cause, or even any diagnosis. Earlier, the remedy was ‘throwing darts’, or recommending ‘broad- spectrum antibiotics’. It’s got more sophisticated and specific over time. It started with a ‘scheduled’ (castes and tribes) status, with the scheduled being entitled to reservations. A new caste or tribe has kept getting added, and the percentage keeps increasing - the original logic and reason, and expected result, be damned. And now we have moved to further ‘special’ and ‘exclusive’ solutions.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

this line….of start and stop solutions. With every special/exclusive solution, we are also building expectations – and dividing society. Whoever does not get ‘special’ treatment will be unhappy. It all comes down to poor leadership; of not wanting to, being able to, ensure the effective implementation of good laws – by the police and courts. The right path is always just that more difficult and hard; and we are clearly a soft state now. We are also still not involving citizens in the process. We should be looking closely at where special/exclusive solutions are really needed. Where can they really help? And where are they just tokenism – say in education, work places, public transport, public spaces…?

It is time to pause…and reflect. To tackle the mother of all crises – the protection Is scheduled/special/exclusive the way to go? and liberation of women (from girl-childs to grandIt’s a difficult answer, given the mess we are in mothers) – we have chosen the easy answer again. have put ourselves in. New special and exclusive action plans for women’s The change ideally should start at school and security have been put out on a regular basis home – but that will hoping to quickly quell take a long time. Are criticism of a lack of There are just too many helplines for we willing to wait, and response, and praying women – one for each ‘situation’; or many tolerate a lot of pain that at least some of from different entities. There should just be meanwhile? these will somehow work. one Helpline number for a woman needing However, mindless We have set up multiple help of any kind; and thereafter, the police quick-fixes also will not Women’s Helplines, and (and courts) must take full responsibility to solve our problems. some Women’s Public protect the person and provide Special and exclusive Transport; positioned speedy justice. solutions will only Women Constables and segregate…not integrate. Women Lawyers…and The Delhi rape case is now over 3 months We have already had a gender-specific old. If this is the speed for arguably the exploited caste and tribe (Women’s) ‘Rape number one case in the country, then there and religion and state in Law’ enacted. politics, leading to their Sure, we are probably is little hope for the majority of women. significant impact on our being forced to do this An award of the death penalty, within 30 daily lives. Would we now because the current days of the crime, would have been the want to experiment with ‘men’s system’ has failed, appropriate answer – and the best deterrent. gender? And then maybe and it would be difficult The ‘excuse’ of ‘letting the law take its own age – the youth versus to expect it to change course’ (most convenient for politicians) the elderly? overnight. However, the implies that we can never ensure speedy How, when and where, more we try and set up, justice - even with ‘fast track’ courts. What do we want it to end? and then perpetuate, a travesty of justice…. Have we accepted that a special/exclusive a majority of good men system, the more we are and the police cannot take care of a few bad men allowing the current system and people to not be who harm our women? Have we so readily accepted held accountable. There is also the question of the the excuse that ‘the police are from the same local ‘wastage’ in the resultant ‘duplication’; or probably society, so we should not expect better’ – despite lower effectiveness due to ‘compromised’ solutions. again even the majority of locals being good? Let us also remember that women basically Does police training also have no impact; should are looking for better integration, equality and we now believe the same for our armed forces? liberation – and not a return to some sort of Unfortunately we have for long accepted this logic segregation or bondage. for our politicians. The politicians would always be happy to get Do we have to overdo the correction so much as anything off their chest – fast; though Parliament to go to the opposite end – as in laws and social life itself has not been able to approve a Women’s becoming completely women-centric – before we Reservation Bill – where it should all really start. can think of a return to the Middle Path? Do we The politicians would love to provide an immediate need to completely segregate before we discover special/exclusive solution for any issue. To them the virtues of integration? Will we continue to be the ‘Rape Law’ is already an end in itself; it will divided and ruled, before another Gandhi comes to be justified as sufficient action taken by them for women’s security, when the next horrible rape takes unite us? Ironically, the ‘foreign hand’ is now firmly entrenched within. u centre-stage. There would be chaos at the end of


Wellness 17

29 March-4 April 2013

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

E

ach food comes dressed in a unique colour and shade. It is as if Nature never tires of playing. New hues, tastes and textures are constantly being evolved through new species. Our senses too seem to relish this intricate play. Every visit to a vegetable patch, an orchard, or to the produce section of the super market never fails to evoke a childlike sense of wonder. On the table too, the more colourful the fare, the higher our sense of enjoyment. As the sayings go,“we first eat with our eyes"…“we feast with our eyes”. Often we get stuck in eating patterns. Out of convenience or habit we find ourselves selecting the same types of food on a daily basis. We may see positive results initially, but before long our taste buds–as well as the microflora in our gut–cry out for a break from the staleness. Filling our plate with colourful fruits and veggies doesn’t just make it look pretty, it also provides antioxidants and other health-enhancing vitamins and minerals. At a very minimum, 50-60 per cent of the plate should be filled with colourful fruits and vegetables – the balance being divided between lean protein and whole grain, complex carbs. There should be at least 3 colours. In general, darker colours usually indicate a higher antioxidant level: n  Green foods help rejuvenate muscles and bone. The green Chlorophyll helps to

cent larger than it really is. This helps in mindful eating helping keep portion sizes "in check." Plates that are white or off-white, and have limited patterns, are the safest bet (although not for white rice!). In a similar fashion, it helps to have a tablecloth–or table mats– that offers a low colour contrast with the plates.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

A Plateful Of Colour

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week: Rainbow Foods, drawn from the VIBGYOR colour spectrum Seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits, drawn from the VIBGYOR spectrum of colours, are easily the smartest nutrition choice. Not only are they easy to procure, they also tend to have more flavour, and are usually less expensive. The local farmer’s market is a great source for seasonal produce. Some examples are: Green Foods: Kiwi fruit, and dark greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and asparagus. Red Foods: an apple a day keeps the doctor away … as also red tomatoes, beets, red peppers, red chillies and radishes. Orange or Yellow Foods: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, bananas, oranges, pineapples and tangerines. Dark-coloured Foods: good examples of anthocyanin rich foods are eggplants, blueberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes and dark cherries.u

Presenting a pleasing plate is like creating a piece of fine art. Balancing a palette of different colours, shapes, textures and flavours is key to the art of effective food presentation. heal wounds, fight off infection and works to keep the immune system strong. Through an alkaline pH balance, it also promotes digestive and circulatory health. n  Orange foods support the skin and eye health, thanks to beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that’s converted to Vitamin A in our bodies. n  Yellow foods tend to optimise brain functions.

n  Red foods reduce inflammation, and tend to support the heart and circulatory system, as well as cut down the risk of cancer. Most red vegetables contain lycopene - an antioxidant that prevents some types of cancers. n  Blue or purple foods contain anthocyanins - a phytonutrient linked to a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers and strokes.

Tip of the week

A recent study at Cornell University has confirmed that the colour of the plate as well as the colour of the tablecloth can contribute to ‘over-eating’ - the single most important cause of obesity. High colour contrast between the food and plate colours, aided by a small food basin within a large rim of a plate, can make a serving appear up to 50 per

Tea Takes On Coffee

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

FG Invites Citizens n Are you interested and concerned

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

express what you see, hear, feel?

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

Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24

P3

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

T

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

Tantric Art

W

hen temperatures fall, even coffee-addicted Europeans are partial to a cup of tea now and then. Roobibos-vanilla, ginger-lemon or a cup of classic black tea can be the best thing to warm things up, on a cold winter day. Germans, for example, drink 26 litres of black and green tea per person, every year. That figure doubles when it comes to fruit and herbal teas. But tea drinking is set for even bigger growth. Coffee remains Germany’s most popular non-alcoholic beverage – but tea is by far the world’s drink of choice after water. So it’s no surprise that multi-nationals such as Nestle and Starbucks are trying to get in on the act.   “The tea business is on the cusp of fast growth,” predicted Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz last year, after

W

e feature

announcing a deal to buy tea retailer Teavana, for 620 million dollars. The global tea business is worth 40 billion dollars a year. Starbucks’ takeover of Teavana is the biggest in the Seattlebased company’s history. “We think we can do the same for tea as we did with coffee,” a company statement said. Starbucks has already been working on expanding beyond its core business, by trying to attract new customers – with beverages such as tea and fruit juices, as well as cakes and other baked goods. Swiss company Nestle is also pursuing the same tactic. Nestle has seen growth of 20 per cent in its coffee business in recent years, according to Alex Howson, an analyst at financial services company Jefferies, in London. Nestle introduced its Nespresso brand of coffee capsules to attract new customers, and now the company is doing the same with tea. Its capsule machine Special T is aimed at

tea drinkers, and is on sale in a limited number of European countries. Health consciousness and consumers’ desire for more taste varieties has led to tea’s growth. “You can buy tea as a soluble powder, and as an ingredient in food and cosmetics,” says Monika Beutgen from Germany’s Tea Association. Tea’s promoters are also directly taking on the coffee business. The “Assam Shot” can be drunk as an alternative to an espresso. “Matcha Latte” is also winning over passionate latte macchiato drinkers.     “Our products are mainly aimed at women,” says Barbara Groll, from Nestle Germany. The Company’s new Special T machine is based on the same concept as its Nespresso: insert a capsule and a perfectly brewed cup of tea comes out. “The system has been well received by customers, and we’re happy with sales,” says Groll. u

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

Master Recipe

M

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for

It lives in two urgaon is a paradox. the Naunequal halves, whereinthe Great as tional Highway-8 acts Wall. The core Divide – like the Berlin the new subbut of the City is rotting; – with malls, gated urbs shine like stars and clubs setting colonies, golf courses never before seen a standard of life in India. forces that It is this flux of extreme balance – the is threatening to unraveland helpful for a balance that is natural and for civili...Pg 16 with; great cities to evolve glory. attain and sations to develop urban core, the Gurgaon’s rotting within the City, concretised villages hinterland that and the vast rural is under once comprised Guru-gram, – under and 210 Panchayats threat of being submerged Nagar, Manesar); of a Millennium the new identity that cover 291 villages. a week with in ‘New GurgaFriday Gurgaon spent City, with its capital Meena, checkthe role of the State on’. It is here that Deputy Commissioner will is executed – ensure that the forces comes into play; to ing how the State’s ...Pg 17 that has known all the populace. of development touch in this historic area, since the Commissioner Gurgaon Deputy some form of governance of Being is the point man of Guru Dronacharya. power, P.C Meena, who in the Dis- time capital seat of Administration the State close to Delhi, the Gurgaon is much been influenced by trict, concurs that the District has also developments itself. The District political and social more than the City viz. Gurgaon the includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh sils (Gurgaon, Sohna,

FG readers.

G

icemen cy Servwith Emergen so little, so much, for so long,

...Pg 18

Let’s Be Civil

We have done nothing. to do anything with we are now qualified

P

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

Prakhar PaNdey

Astrology

{ Simone Hett / Frankfurt / DPA }

9

RNI No. HARENG/2011/3931

`7

For The Other Half

100 – Police Emergency main Police

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

service worth its lmost every significant call-in. Whether it salt has a telephone information is food (or liquor) delivery, civic and reservations, services, bookings on cells... there is a line facilities, grievance call in. But when there which people can or a fire – there is an accident, a robbery that people dial is only one type of service Services. in a hurry. Emergency themselves count people Most haven’t had a fortunate that they for they had to ask situation in which who work in these help; but for the people is distraught people services, helping Whether it is Police an everyday affair. – (102) Fire or (101), (100), Ambulance means it is a life-orreceiving a call usually death matter.

A

Line

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

Please Visit Us At www.fridaygurgaon.com Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon. Regular Features

Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was Laughing Stock

...Pg 7

...Pg 7

Contd on p 6 

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4U

Make Your Own 'Shani'

{ Bhavana Sharma }

A

strology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli, but the wise man defeats his planets by working on the different aspects of his karmas. Many are of the opinion that karma is something they're working through with another person. The fact is that we are working through our own karma. Thus, though the horoscope is a challenging portrait revealing one’s destiny, its probable future can be acknowledged by understanding the karmic lessons. Stars have always fascinated man, and the boundless sky has many of us gazing wonderstruck at night. The stars and the planets are supposed to represent our 'karmas' – 'as above so below'. The planets and stars represent the energies that we have created at some point of time. We study them to not only understand where our life is heading, but to acknowledge the karmic lessons that we need to seriously sort out. Let's take a look at Saturn, one of the most powerful planets of the zodiacal system – and its effects on our live. By nature, it is a planet that tends to identify itself with authority and order. It is managerial and denotes hard work, responsibility and maturity. In the horoscope, the sign and placement of Saturn shows us where life's dramas are likely to take place. It can also lessen sensitivity to all suffering, by crystallizing the emotions. According to one’s karmas, it can be dictatorial, especially in a chart that lacks mitigating influences. It can also be the seat of law and order. It has a penchant for societal issues, and often claims legitimacy to exercise critical power.

Saturn’s Planetary Movements

We must understand that each planet is correlated with our 'sanskaras', or impressions on

our soul. 'Sanskaras' like anger, hatred, rejection and jealousy are imprinted on our soul from our past lives. This is how the study of astrology has emerged and correlated with our planets. Saturn depicts some of our major 'sanskaras', the characteristics of this planet could well hamper the progress of the individual in many areas of his or her life. The personality traits of an individual emerge when the planet is in transit. So, the knowledge we can gain through horoscope readings can be very useful in gaining insights into situations and personal traits of individuals. People should however work on their karmas, and not blindly accept situations that come to pass.

by ShahnaZ Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and anti-aging treatments. Q.

SH

Once we have the astrological knowledge about the placement of our planets in transit, we can exercise our free will to overcome the problems and face any situation. Planetary pressure is thus just an influence; we can learn to rise above it, and transform the energy into positivity. Saturn can help build faith in ourselves, since we've got to walk through the “dark night of the soul” to overcome our mysterious built-in pressures, fears, losses – of our present and past lives. u Tarot Reader & Author

Tryst With Cancer health problems. The book chronicles Yuvraj’s tryst with quacks, mis-diagnosis, ‘The Test of My Life’ faith healing, false promises chronicles charismatic and ineffective acupuncture cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s treatment. battle with cancer, and his Then, far away from consequent struggle to find the cricket field, the book a place in the Indian Cricket takes us to Indianapolis, as team. According to Yuvraj, Yuvraj narrates the horrors the idea of writing this book of chemotherapy. He boldly struck during his meeting reveals his anxieties, as the with the secretary of the battle against cancer takes Indian Cancer Society, who over his life. Particularly believed that Yuvraj could poignant are portions be an inspiration for others where Yuvraj is asking his battling the disease. doctor if he will be 'able to The initial chapters father a child in the future'; read more like a chronicle and if he 'could maybe of his family issues preserve his sperm' prior (between the parents) and The Test of My Life to chemotherapy. He bares his strained relationship his dreadful loneliness – of with his dictatorial father Author: Yuvraj Singh staring out of his window, Yograj Singh. If his father with Sharda Ugra & Nishant at a time when the town is emerges as a tormenter who Jeet Arora abuzz, ahead of the Super pushed him towards cricket, Publisher: Random House Bowl. Yuvraj talks about his mother Shabnam is heartwarming moments, Yuvraj's friend and saviour. Price: Rs. 399 when Anil Kumble and Yuvraj acknowledges her Genre: Autobiography/ Non Sachin Tendulkar come to role warmly, throughout. –Fiction An Inspirational Saga meet him in Indianapolis and “Someone rightly said, God London respectively. can't be everywhere – so he In capturing the struggle with fate of a made mothers,” says an emotional Yuvraj. world class sportsman, this book constantly The book gathers momentum when Yuvraj pulls at the heart strings of the reader. 'The takes the reader through India’s (One Day) Test of My Life' is truly Yuvraj's supreme World Cup victory in 2011, and sketches a match test – his tryst with the most deadly of by match account of India’s win. However, opponents.. u this phase also marked the beginning of his

Each time I wax my legs, a rash breaks out, which lasts for at least 2 days. What can I do to prevent this? Before waxing, apply an astringent lotion on the area to be waxed. After waxing, put some ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply on the area for a few seconds at a time. This may help. You can also mix rose water with sandalwood paste on apply on the area.

WINNER G. Sapra

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

The Remedy

BOOK

{ Alka Gurha }

Tips

Facing A Crisis

An individual should be mentally prepared to meet his destiny, and with a certain awareness, be able to rise above the circumstances (or plight). The movements of Saturn, also known as the “Great Malefic,” used to be observed with fear, and came with warnings about impending shortages, bad luck, great loss or punishing circumstances. But now as we can understand and learn ways to lead a better life; we can start to see what qualities the celestial taskmaster wants us to master.

Bon Vivant

That's Pam For You { Krishan Kalra }

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ur niece Pam–in Singapore–is a great PR person. Bubbly, helpful, always laughing, she’s talked her way out of many situations. You would never imagine anyone over-speeding, not carrying a driving licence, talking on the phone–all at the same time– and still evading an arrest – or even a fine. That's Pam for you. This is how she managed to convince an airline staff to let her in-laws carry almost 100 kg excess baggage, without paying a penny. Here were the in-laws, at the airline counter, with lots of bags. They were now prepared to leave several behind, because the guy at the counter was demanding a huge sum. That’s when Pam took over. “Look here officer, these are my in-laws. They are visiting me for the first time. I am ashamed to admit it, but they’ve never really accepted me into the family. You see, we married without their consent – it’s an inter caste alliance. It’s taken me 5 years of begging and cajoling to get them to visit us. Now, if I can’t even send them off with small gifts – all to help the Singapore economy – without paying a king’s ransom, they would feel hurt. They are not really happy to leave stuff behind. If you don’t waive the charges, you’re putting my marriage at risk. Our

relations would worsen. There are already too many divorces in this city. Surely you don’t want another. I know I’m asking for an unreasonable favour. I know I’m being a bad citizen of my beloved adopted country… yet, I must do this to save my marriage, and–more than that–bring some cheer to my in-laws’ lonely life. Imagine, I forced them to shop, and they have to pay the penalty?!” “Dear Lady” the counter clerk almost cried out aloud, “I don’t want to commit any such sin. And do you see the queue of twenty cursing behind you? I’ll let them go; but if you ever do this again, you won’t get away with even one kg extra. Please just go away and let me check in the others.” That's Pam for you.u

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29 March-4 April 2013

Radhakrishnan:

Art 19

A Retrospective

{ Srimati Lal }

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.S Radhakrishnan has established a reputation as one of India’s foremost sculptors, with his concepts firmly-rooted in high Indian tradition, while expressing an entirely new contemporary vision. Gurgaon’s Art Pilgrim Gallery in Sushantlok is currently hosting a Retrospective, until mid-April, of over 25 of Radhakrishnan’s finest bronze sculptures, in a wide range of sizes – from over 10 feet in height to miniatures of 15 inches length. Unified by the recurring presence of the Sculptor’s twin Muses -- the female Maiya and the male Musui -- this inspired and energising body of work embodies a certain whimsicality, lightness of spirit—a joi de vivre—rarely found in large-scale bronze works. Ethereal as well as earthy, these distinctly-textured bronze sculptures seem to take flight and dance.  Born in Kerala in 1956, ‘Radha’, as he is known in art circles, studied Art at Santiniketan’s Kala Bhavana. The deeplyinspired ‘Rabindrik’ tradition of Lasya  and Rasa enlivens his unique  oeuvre with a certain spontaneous poetry. Radha  has exhibited widely at such venues as France’s  Center des Bonds des Marne, Espace Michel Simon, Salon Sculpture Contemporaine, Cotignac  and  Hippodrome d’e Longchamp, and India’s  Lalit Kala Akademi, Birla Academy, National Exhibition  and Triennale India. A confirmed Francophile, like most Bengali artists, Radha prefers showcasing his works in the aesthetically-evolved ambience of France – although he has also

exhibited in London, Denmark and Hong Kong. Radha’s most powerful influence is the masterful artist Ramkinker Baij, a Santiniketan pioneer, on whom Satyajit Ray made his classic documentary, The Inner Eye. Art scholar Prof. R. Sivakumar, Head of the Art Department in Santiniketan, describes Radha’s stylistic as follows: “His work is at once both intimate and universal in its appeal. A personal form of commemorative sculpture, it contains a presence and scale that holds well in natural settings and public spaces. Radhakrishnan aims to re-charge age-old figurative bronze casting with a new sensibility and with considerable aplomb, steering clear of brinkmanship.”     Art Pilgrim’s Geeta Singh, who has a personal collection of this sculptor’s works, has been a longtime admirer of his style. In her words, “Radhakrishnan’s sculptural flair and grace have always appealed to me; I am proud to present his body of notable sculptures to Gurgaonites.” Rather than dabble amorphously in ‘new’ materials,

with fad-like ‘installatory’ concepts that imitate the western ethos, Radha has expressed a singleminded devotion to the authentic ancient Indian ‘lost wax’ Bronze process and Indian Figuration. This places him within a timeless historicity of sculptural legacies, while also stretching the language towards whimsicality – moving away from ‘classical’ ponderousness towards more spontaneous gaeity and humour. Radha’s metier is certainly more Romantic than Classical, his stylistic verging towards the Indian Folk idiom rather than the Eurocentric Renaissance aesthetic. In this current Retrospective, Radha’s Muses, Maiya and Musui,  are his alter-ego, as playful protagonists in life’s drama. At times they seem to fly airborne in effortless gymnastic mudras,  even riding piggy-back (on one another) in their Ardhanarishwara dance;  and at other times they carry symbolic ‘burdens’, such as metaphorical boats, trees and nests, upon their agile, earthy heads and arms. From my arthistorical standpoint, the strongest influence in these works is that of Bastar’s most ancient  Dhokra Tribal  metal

sculptures. Their playful flamboyance, exaggerated linear patterns, group-formations, and the smiling visages of their protagonists, are undoubtedly distinct to this remarkable Indian Folk-idiom. There is a depth and magic nuance to all of Radha’s creations, that cannot be accurately discerned in photographic images: they can only be experienced, by observing these sculptures out in the open, in the natural light. Ideally, a very wide range of Radha’s pieces should be arranged together in the open air, allowing their unique drama to come alive. These tilting, swaying, dancing primaeval human forms would then seem to move before one’s gaze, in symphonic cadences; along side the tangled branches and webs of Prakriti, that shimmer musically in a cerebral dance of their own.  Radha’s human torsos are minimised and stylised to their essential bone-structure, and stretched lyrically into acrobatic action. One may sense a certain repetitiveness of this ‘gymnastic-acrobatic’ stance when the pieces are viewed individually; and yet, when several sculptures are viewed in tandem, their remarkable Nritya-mudras mesmerise the gaze. Life’s eternal flow comes alive in their quirky swirls, climbs and stretches. This body of work could well be described as ‘The Dance Of Life’, expressing amazing movement – with the breath of Spring’s breezes flowing effortlessly through their  Mudras. Their inspiration is clearly derived from the playful lightness of the ancient Dhokra  form, as well as from some of India’s most ancient sculptures – from Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. This latter inspiration standsout most strikingly in Radhakrishnan’s standing female Muse, curiously titled ‘Maiya

as Graduate’. The stance of this striking lifesized woman immediately evokes the stylised, elongated torso of India’s classic Harappa Woman,  with one arm akimbo on her waist, and her arms bedecked with tribal bangles. In this case, the smiling tribal ‘graduate’ Maiya is holding a ‘tablet’ --- which could be either a prehistoric slate or a millennial I-Pad ! I asked Radhakrishnan what he intended to evoke here, and he stated that a slate, a piece of paper, and an I-pad are all really one and the same – signifying an equal intention of all beings, across time, to keep learning. Elaborating on his work and beliefs, Radha says, “I feel like a very daring sailor now, after spending many years rowing in small rivers. I had started by making combinations of small human figures that I called ‘Fireflies’, as if in a play. My last show in Kochi was called ‘Everything Flows.’ I use a lot of metaphors from myth, folklore and childhood memories. To express these, my protagonists, Maiya and Musui, ‘become’ various personalities. A sense of watching, and being watched, has always enthralled me. My notion of Time is an everrenewing flow, and my sense of Space, too, is not bound by physicality. My sculptures thus assume a Symbolic, dream-like nature.”  Another aspect that struck me in Radha’s immortal visualisations is the enigmatic smile  on the faces of his protagonists. This smile embodies the lifeforce in an evolved state: one that sees and feels Life as an entrancing ‘Mayar Khela’,   or ‘Play of Illusion’, in the words of Rabindranath Tagore. I think Radha’s ‘Vision of Flights into the Light’, crafted in bronze, can best be understood through some relevant lines of Rabindranath:  ‘Jatri ami, parbey na keu amay rakhte dhorey; Dukkho-sukher bandhon shobi michhey; bandha ei ghor roybe kothay pichey ~’   ‘I am a wanderer; I am forever a traveller – no one can ever tie me down. All these earthly ties of joy and sorrow are   false; all these buildings of the earth shall be left far, far behind.’ ~ u Artist, Writer, & Curator


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G lobal P hoto F eature

Sistine Chapel


29 March-4 April 2013

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he “safes” of Maarten van Santen are kept frozen at minus 174 degrees celsius, with the help of liquid nitrogen. There are nine such knee-high steel containers in the sperm bank run by the Karlsruhe medical doctor. Inside them are sperm donations from around 300 men. The gynecologist daily receives offers from willing sperm donors, despite a recent German court decision lifting the anonymity of such men. But the willingness to donate sperm is not sufficient in itself. “I’m searching for the bulls of this city,” the specialist in reproductive medicine says, with a broad grin. More important to him are the genuine problems - meaning those of couples who earnestly want to have a child, but who lack fertile sperm. Or a lesbian couple lacking a male for the purpose. Yet the search for a bull also has a serious background. The quality of sperm in Europe now leaves much to be desired, van Santen notes. “Per ejaculation, there should actually be 100 million or more sperm cells.

{ Barbara Munker / San Francisco/ Milwaukee / DPA }

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he completion of a new portrait of Benedict XVI, in the week the Pope said he was stepping down, could scarcely have been timed better. US artist Niki Johnson shows the former Head of the world’s Catholics in brightly coloured regalia, with his hands clasped in papal determination. So far so conventional; but the medium is condoms - 17,000 of them. Johnson, 35, had the idea in March 2009, when she heard the Pope, then on a visit to Africa, say on the radio that AIDS could not be overcome by the distribution of condoms - “on the contrary, they increase it (AIDS).” “I felt I had to do something,” she told dpa, adding that her aim was “to incite further discussion

Looking for the Bulls With Europeans, the average is now only 30 million. Our Western society is becoming infertile.” With Africans and Asians, whose sperm is also stored in his sperm bank, there is no such problem. Since upwards of one-half of sperm cells can be destroyed in the cold storage, the doctor needs sperm of the highest quality. Four out of five men who try out are immediately disqualified. “I already have enough German samples with the A blood group,” van Santen says. “Rarer blood groups are what we’re looking for.” As a result, he pays a bonus of 50 euros (65 dollars) per donation - bringing the total to 100 euros. But it is not just the health of the men that is decisive. Van Santen also sits down with potential sperm donors to get an idea of their motives. “Now and then there will be somebody who wants to produce an heir in this manner. These I immediately reject.” The main motives that van Santen sees in sperm donors is money, followed by ego. Some men, though, genu-

Gynecologist Maarten R. van Santen removes some of his frozen sperm samples at his laboratory in Karlsruhe.

inely do want to help. The probability that a woman can be impregnated with the help of a sperm donation is about 35 per cent - more or less in the same region as through conventional sexual intercourse. This means that out of 100 cou-

Papal Portrait Of Condoms

about the direction our leaders point us in.” Pressure had to be applied to those leaders hindering sex education, Johnson said. From the front there is nothing out of the ordinary about the work, entitled Eggs Benedict, which is a mosaic of brightly coloured knots. Johnson pulled the condoms through the mesh of a net, much like weaving a carpet, unrolling them, folding them down the middle, and then

bundling them to provide different nuances of shade. But from behind, the papal portrait reveals its purpose. “Like a bright rainbow of condoms,” says Johnson, who lectures Art at the Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design in Wisconsin. She experimented with the brightly coloured condoms for months, “like a scientist,” finding out that the latex broke down with prolonged exposure to sunlight. They keep best in a sealed environment of the inert gas Argon, behind Plexiglas. The large condom consignment arrived in November. Rolling out the first 100 was amusing, but it soon turned into a hard grind, Johnson says. Knotting them into the

ples treated each year by Van Santen, about two-thirds go back home without success. Most of them try for about a year. “I had one patient who, despite my concerns, kept at it for 24 months. In the end, she became pregnant.” Yet the procedure is a battle not just in terms of the medical difficulties, but also of the German mentality. “The biological background (of the sperm) is still the measure of all things, especially in the Catholicheavy southern areas,” the doctor says. He himself has to endure two-edged comments when the discussion turns to his profession. “But donation of sperm has become socially acceptable, as more men are becoming infertile,” the medical practitioner says. For this reason, it is urgent that lawmakers must establish clear rules. “Children now have a right to find out who created them. It must be clear, however, that absolutely no child support or inheritance rights can be demanded through such information”. mesh took a total 135 hours. The artist initially intended to depict only Benedict’s face, but in the end created a half portrait – measuring 100 x 130 centimetres. “It’s incredible what you can do with condoms. Here they look like bright chalk,” she says. Johnson predicts the work will provoke “a bit of controversy”, but notes that the picture does have a sense of humour alongside its serious message. She is currently working on the gilded frame. Once complete, the work will be encased in Plexiglas, and placed on a pedestal, allowing viewers to see how the image was made. A Milwaukee Art Gallery has reserved Eggs Benedict for June. Johnson is hoping it will lead to debate in the years ahead. And she believes the work will survive for some time, to provoke that debate. “Sealed airtight, the condom portrait will probably last for 50 years,” she says. u

A New Definition For Water Security

UN Observes 1st International Day of Happiness

{ New York / DPA }

{ Emoke Bebiak / New York / DPA }

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group of international and United Nations experts proposed a new definition of water security, on World Water Day, in an attempt to prompt the UN Security Council to put the issue on its agenda. The call to discuss water issues comes as the perils of climate change grow, and the health risks to billions of people living without clean water and sanitation are becoming clear. According to the new definition, water security should include – clean water available in adequate amounts for human consumption and agricultural use, protection against water pollution and

water-related catastrophes, and managing the ecosystem as a whole. “In the past few decades, definitions of security have moved beyond a limited focus on military risks and conflicts,” Michel Jarraud, Chair of UNWater, said in a statement. “Water fits within this broader definition of security - embracing political, health, economic, personal, food, energy, environmental and other concerns - and acts as a central link between them.” In 2011, the Security Council recognized climate change as a security issue, which the authors of the new water security definition hope will lead to a similar recognition of water, as an issue having a direct impact on human security. u

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he United Nations celebrated the first ever International Day of Happiness, urging nations around the world to promote the well-being and happiness of their citizens, and to eradicate human suffering. The initiative comes as part of a resolution passed last year, sponsored by the Kingdom of Bhutan – recognizing happiness as a universal goal, and as a guiding principle for public policies. It said instead of focusing solely on financial issues, when public policy is drafted, happiness also should be taken into account. “On this first International Day of Happiness, let us reinforce our commitment

to inclusive and sustainable human development, and renew our pledge to help others,” said Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, in a statement. “When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness, and will help build the future we want.” To mark the event, a panel of experts and UN delegates discussed the meaning of happiness, concluding that peace and general well-being are the real indicators of a country’s success. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, UN Under Secretary General for communications and public information, said that while the UN can’t achieve the emotional well-being of every individual, countries can come together

Uli Deck

{ Ingo Senft-Werner / Karlsruhe / DPA}  

G lobal 21

The quality of sperm in Europe now leaves much to be desired, van Santen notes.

Van Santen regards the biological aspects of fatherhood as being overvalued. “I think the term ‘biological father’ is questionable. The sperm donor is not a father.” He also is not bothered by the fact that only five per cent of couples tell their children everything. “That is also the reason why the blood group is important - so that all the facts do not come out by sheer coincidence.” The biological father of two children, and father to two adopted children, Van Santen knows that men who accept sperm from an outside source have the most difficulty in such a situation. To him, these men are the true heroes. And so, after a successful fertilisation he presents them with a book, describing the various ways of being a father in the animal kingdom. The book’s title: “Papa Is Pregnant.” u

UN Warns Of Sanitation Crisis { Siddhartha Kumar / New Delhi / DPA }

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ome 2.5 billion people do not have access to toilets or latrines, a top UN official said, calling for urgent efforts to end a global sanitation crisis. “Of the world’s 7 billion people, 6 billion have mobile phones; yet only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines,” UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said. “Unbelievably, 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open,” he added. Eliasson said only 1,000 days remained for a 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline – that aimed to halve the proportion of people without access to sanitation. Some 1.8 billion people had gained access to toilets since 1990, but there was still “far to go,” Eliasson said on World Water Day. u

to alleviate human suffering. “There’s growing consensus on the possibility of meaningful joint action to achieve our basic human needs – such as fighting poverty, promoting health and well-being, safeguarding human rights and protecting the environment,” LaunskyTieffenthal said. The UN invited countries and non-governmental organizations around the world, to be part of the celebration, and do their part in promoting the happiness of people. u


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29 March-4 April 2013

The Trenchcoat-Always In { Simone Andrea Mayer / Berlin / DPA}  

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n the world of classic Hollywood movies, private detectives wear trench coats. The coat is always beige, a little shabby like the detective himself - and comes across mostly as ugly. If it rains in a detective movie, the snoop will turn up his collar. But if a woman wears a trench coat, a different image comes to mind. Audrey Hepburn got kissed in a trench coat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The trench coat for women is a timeless piece of elegance. Fashion experts are currently extolling the trench coat’s virtues, as the ideal transition garment for spring; but in reality, the classic trench coat was never out of style. It suffered from a reputation of being an old-fashioned accessory for elderly men, but now young women have rediscovered it. First and foremost, it is very handy: “It’s smart and sporty and easy to combine with everything,” says Gerd MuellerThomkins from the German In-

stitute for Fashion in Cologne. This season’s trench coats are easily combinable: they come in yellow, turquoise or light pink, from fashion label Loiza – and in rose from Burberry. “Very often a cobalt blue suits a person much better than plain black or beige,” says Sonja Grau, a Personal Shopper and Fashion Consultant. In addition to colours, the trench now also comes in a short version. Loiza’s coat reaches to just below the bottom, while Rich & Royal have a model that ends at the hip. It is especially suitable for smallersized women, says Grau. “Petite women should wear coats that end above the knee.” Taller women can wear kneelength models. The coat was not created as a garment for women. Sir Thomas Burberry designed it during World War I for British soldiers. “The troops survived the winter in the trenches with the help of the coat,” Mueller-Thomkins says. And this is where the

Shark-Wrestling Aussie Hero

{ Sid Astbury / Sydney / FG }

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n Australian, hailed as a hero after wrestling a 3-metre shark that had latched on to someone he did not know, said that he was “just doing the right thing and looking out for people.” Computer consultant Trevor Burns, 50, received a bravery medal for saving Elyse Frankcom, 22, in 2010, when a great white shark bit her legs, as she was leading a dolphin-spotting tour near Rockingham, Western Australia. Burns had joined the Rockingham Wild Encounters tour, and was in the water with Frank-

com.   “It came in like a freight train and did a massive double bite on Elyse,” Burns told the national broadcaster ABC. “All I could see was red. I’d lost sight of Elyse. I screamed to myself ‘Get it off her!’       “I knew there wasn’t much you can do against a shark that size, but you can’t just sit there and do nothing.”   He grabbed the shark’s tail, as Frankcom punched it in the nose. It thrashed around, then let go of her.    Burns said Frankcom, who needed more than 200 stitches to close the gashes on her legs, sank to the ocean

High-T Jacket

{ Nina Mueller-Sang / Singapore / DPA }

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high-tech company from Singapore has come out with the world’s first jacket, that imitates the feeling of being hugged and massaged. The light and fashionable jacket has an integrated touch-technology system, that produces deep pressure stimulation by inflating small air-bubbles. “The jacket provides touch that varies in strength and in location, thus allowing the user to control how much pressure to apply where, and for how long,” says James Teh, founder of T-Ware, the company behind the T-Jacket. A first of its kind, the T-jacket can be remote controlled by Smartphone or Tablet, to adjust, monitor and analyze the pressure application. This function comes in handy, especially when used as a therapeutic tool for children with developmental disorder. Among autistic children, deep pressure therapy is a sensory-based intervention used by therapists to calm them, and help them to better organize their sensory inputs. “Most of them suffer from sensory processing difficulties, that make them hypo or hyper-sensitive to external stimuli – like loud noises and unfamiliar faces and objects. T-Jacket is used to help children with autism, because we’ve realised that a lot of autistic children benefit from deep pressure therapy,” says Teh. But T-Ware’s hopes go further. They aim to soon introduce their jacket onto the market aimed not only at children with special needs, but everybody who yearns for a good bear hug. u

name trench is derived from. The military trench coat was made from water resistant gabardine, and its long length prevented rain from running into the soldiers’ boots. After coming home, soldiers shortened the coat, and it was in fashion soon after the war. “One is always perfectly dressed with it,” says Fashion Consultant Andreas Rose. Its classy colour provides a mysterious touch to its wearer. Author Antonio Mancinelli writes about beige in his book Fashion Box: “It’s perfect for someone wanting to hide their feelings, or who is shying away from the public eye. It represents the ultimate glamorous decision to remain a secret.” Audrey Hepburn perfectly portrayed the image of the mysterious Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and created the desire in many women to be like her. Golightly is rewarded for her efforts with a kiss in the final scene - when she’s wearing a trench coat, of course. u floor in a cloud of blood, and he dived down to get her. “I’d started thinking what I could do when we got to the surface,” the father of two said. “When we broke the surface, she immediately took a big breath – and that was a big relief.” Frankcom is back in the water, having recovered 90-per-cent movement in her legs. Burns said he was a little embarrassed at receiving the Royal Life Saving Honour gold medallion, but it might encourage others to be brave. “You make more people aware of what they should be doing; not necessarily wrestling sharks, but just doing the right thing and looking out for people,” he said. u

Battle For The Wrist { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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amsung is already challenging Apple’s iPhone dominance. Now the South Korean electronics giant is eyeing another piece of Apple’s pie, in what many regard as the next great mobile opportunity: smartwatches. Just weeks following reports that Apple was working on a wearable wrist computer, Lee Young Hee, an Executive Vice President at Samsung, told Bloomberg News that her company was also working on a watch-like device, that would perform similar tasks to smartphones. “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” she said. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.” Lee gave no details about when the watch would be available, or how much it would cost. Apple has declined to confirm or deny its smartwatch plans, but Bloomberg reports that it has more than 100 people working on the product, with which it hopes to make inroads into the market for watches, estimated at 60 billion dollars per year. Both Apple and Samsung have seen their stock prices battered in recent months, as investors are concerned about their ability to maintain their growth rates – without breakthrough new products. u

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Most Expensive Hotels In 2012

{ Berlin / DPA }

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ravellers to Muscat paid the highest average price for a hotel overnight stay anywhere in the world in 2012. A room in the Oman capital cost an average of 252 euros (328 dollars), according to the hotel booking portal Hotels.com. That was an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2011. Second place went to Capri on the south side of the Gulf of Naples (241 euros), followed by Rio de Janeiro (213 euros), New York (189 euros) and Monte Carlo (185 euros). The website found that some of the most inexpensive hotel rooms are in South-east Asia. The city with the lowest average hotel room cost in the world was Phnom Penh in Cambodia, at 43 euros. A hotel room in the Vietnam capital Hanoi was 44 euros, followed by the Thai cities Chiang Mai (58 euros) and Pattaya (59 euros), and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (60 euros). Eastern Europe also has bargains to offer, as hotel rooms in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, and the Latvian capital Riga, cost 64 and 65 euros, respectively. u

How to wear your chinos { Hamburg / DPA}  

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hinos have a habit of not fitting perfectly, and it can be difficult to get the look right. Women who are not super slender should refrain from wearing chinos with pleats, advises Fashion Stylist Ines Meyrose. “There are only a few chino brands out there without pleats, but they do exist.” Pockets should fit close to the body while standing or sitting. “You should sit down while trying the trousers out,” Meyrose says. Chinos are a type of trouser that fits loose at the waist, while tapering off and becoming tighter at the ankle. The end of the trouser leg is often rolled up twice. u

Handbag Trends

{ Berlin / DPA }

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ark tones, opulent decorations and skewed shapes are the trends emerging in handbag designs for this autumn and winter season. The style is called Dark Angels, and its trademarks are black, grey, night-time violet and metallic, combined with shiny, sumptuous elements. “They look like evening wear bags that are on their way to daylight,” says Martin Wuttke, Fashion Advisor for the recent I.L.M International Leather Goods Fair in Germany. A range of handbag makers showed off their latest designs at the Trade Fair. A handbag is a must-have item for many women. “A handbag contains an entire life,” says German bag-maker Thomas Picard. In Germany, the average woman buys four handbags a year. Some estimates suggest that there are German women with up to 20 bags at home. Italian women have, on an average, even more bags, and are estimated to have a whopping 60 in their wardrobes. Of the 261 manufacturers at the ILM, Italy had the biggest contingent, with 40 makers. This winter, space age and science fiction themes will dominate, and handbags will come in trapezoid shapes. Laptop and iPad holders will be the fashion accessory item for both men and women. Wuttke says holders are about to mutate into a status symbol. u

New York To Beef Up Bronx Tourism { New York / DPA }

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anhattan is the most popular tourist destination in New York City, but NYC officials are looking to make the Bronx and the other three boroughs more attractive for vacationers. According to Christopher Heywood, of the New York tourism organisation NYC & Company, 15 of the 70 hotels currently being built in the City and planned for opening by 2016, will be located in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or the Bronx. The others will be in Manhattan. Heywood said there are various new offers planned to make the other boroughs more appealing, such as the renovation of a historical villa in the Bronx, or the world’s biggest big wheel on Staten Island. In 2012, 52 million foreign guests came to the Big Apple, a good million more than in 2011. The majority of those visitors were from Great Britain, Brazil and France. u


29 March-4 April 2013

G -scape 23 jit KUMAR

HOLI Celebrations


5th April, 2013.

Friday Gurgaon March 29-April 04, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon March 29-April 04, 2013