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2-8 November 2012

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

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }

P3

{Inside}

Alankaran

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ee the wonderful paintings of the winners of the FG Inter-School Painting Competition. 665 students from 58 schools enthusiastically participated. ...Pgs 12 & 13

Sanskriti Manch

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e bring you the annual Cultural Fest, of performers from across India, in prose and image. No wonder theatre and dance have remained eternal in India. ...Pg 17

A trip down Mehrauli Lane

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eel the centuries unfold alongside historic monuments – from the Slave dynasty to the British. Among the ruins some still stand tall, amid a huge green cover. ...Pgs 20 & 21

24 x 7 Haryana Police Helpline for Women – 1091 (toll free) – manned by women. SN Vashisht takes over as Director General Police, Haryana. He was earlier heading the Vigilance Bureau.

The City hosts the 12th meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC), with about a 100 delegates from 19 countries participating. As hosts, the local Administration has adopted a ‘Showcase Gurgaon’ theme. It seems our City needs to wait for ‘visits’ – of Chief Secretaries, and now International Conventions – to see any improvement of ‘civic service’. And that too comes in the form of patch-works (of roads) and face-lifts (street lights and beautification of relevant stretches) – including the lifting of all mobile public toilets. The Chief Secretary has now asked the local administration to aggressively target sanitation – and to make Gurgaon a cleaner City. The last time (September) he had pushed for better roads. FG is happy that the Chief Secretary has kept his eye on this City. Of course, an international convention, and a nudge from the High Court, does help.

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eet Suman Devi, a 32-year-old school dropout, who is working as a centre head at HarVa – India’s first Rural BPO. Her day starts with the drying of buffalo dung patties, and preparation of breakfast for her husband and kids. Her daytime is spent working for international clients, and managing a team of 60 BPO employees – all women. A resident of Tikli Aklimpur village, she is balancing the contrasting sides of her life quite well. “I never imagined that one day I will work on a computer and speak English. Not just that, I now make enough money to take care of my children, thanks to HarVa,” smiles Suman. Like her, more than 60 women are working in a small centre, set up in a corner of the village. “Working in a BPO has always been my dream. However, in our community women are not supposed to step out of the village after marriage. Their life is confined to their families. Fortunately, with the arrival of HarVa, I can

Bharat BPOs JIT KUMAR

Vol. 2 No. 11  Pages 24  ` 7

now make the best use of my education and skills in the village itself,” says Katyani, a graduate. She, however, has to meet a set target, for both quantity and quality. Like any other BPO employee, she also faces tough competition from her team members. “I make more than Rs. 4,000 a month. But then there are women who earn over Rs. 8,000, and give you tough competition,” says Katyani. “For last two

months Katyani’s salary graph is climbing, as she now spends more time at the office,” says her centre head, Suman Devi. It is creditable that, in a state known for its cultural rigidity and male-dominant social pattern, HarVa has made it possible for women to move out of their houses, and be exposed to the latest technology and education. Surprisingly, HarVa is not a social initiative. The company aims

to have a blended profitable cum social model. “We are not an NGO. We are just value creating in rural areas. A big problem in rural India is lack of employment opportunities – in complete contrast to the prime concern of attrition in urban areas. That is why we planned to set up our operations in rural areas. We expect people— especially women—to stay for Contd on p 6 

Gurgaon Ki Awaaz { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

C

hildren admire, discuss, and even imitate her. She celebrates Diwali without crackers; she brushes her teeth every morning – and so do the children. She is Chamki, a protagonist of a popular animation series, “Gali Gali Sim Sim”. Like Chamki, other characters of the show— Boombah, Googly, and Aachoo— have also captivated the young minds. Gali Gali Sim Sim, the Hindi language adaptation of an American puppetry television

series- Sesame Street – has become a popular show in the City. A project that was started with a focus on just 10 families, has now reached over 1 lakh people. The show teaches poor children about health and hygiene. The project has been run in three phases in the City. In the first phase, women in 10 families were given mobile phones with AM/FM capability, to listen to Gali Gali Sim Sim. Later, the programme was introduced through puppet shows in the government and NGO-run shools. Now, in its third phase, Gali Gali Sim Sim is broadcast on a community radio station of the City, “Gurgaon Ki Awaz”.

Serving migrants

The aim is to reach out to migrant families who have flocked to the City from around the country, in search of a better life. “In the last 25 years the City has undergone a rapid transformation, from a ‘Gaon’ to an IT hub, hosting major national and international companies. The city is dotted with big condominiums, that serve the residential needs of

the families of people working in MNCs. We, however, cater to the families of people who work as drivers and watchmen in these companies,” says Arti Jaiman, Director of Gurgaon Ki Awaaz. Aarti says that the migrant workers (almost 8 lakhs today) are uprooted from their traditional hygiene practices – such as taking a bath in the river, composting waste in the fields, and washing hands with ash. “They don’t know what to Contd on p 7 


2-8 November 2012

DJ PC

Celeb Watch

03

Idol Night

anka actor Priy the ollywood of e n o isited Chopra v ity, C e th in weries re b ro ic m m but usic te her de he actorto promo y City". T M In " , m albu d as a DJ ger playe in -s d e rn tu cked the ht, and ro . for the nig er dance numbers h h ic it s w u e m stag d the distribute ns. She later ng the fa o m a g n o s r e h CD of

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ndian Idol participants Poorvi and Amit rocked the floor at a pub. Along with DJ Barkha, they churned out popular Bollywood numbers. The pub was chock-a-block, as guests kept pouring in till the wee hours. Poorvi, who was amazed to see such a huge crowd, said, "I never imagined this City had such a happening nightlife."

Dance Medley

Halloween Hang Out

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opular child actor Darsheel Safary was spotted having a good time with his mother, at Hang Out. Darsheel, who had come dressed up for the Halloween Costume Party, enjoyed the ambience and shared the excitement of the other kids.

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harmini Tharmaratnam, a Kathak dancer of Tamil-Dutch origin, put up an amazing performance at the Epicentre. The Show started with a small narration of the 'Paper Boats', a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, played out by Sharmini in contemporary moves, Kathak and Yoga. She also blended Yoga, Flamenco and Kathak, to express the evolution of life. The performance was supported by the Spanish Embassy.

MDI Cultural Fest

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amous comedian Amit Tandon and his troupe performed at the MDI, during its annual cultural fest. A well directed humorous show, raising issues such as Delhi Traffic and ragging in colleges, left the participants in peals of laughter. Their performance was followed by live music and jazz performances of a metal and rock band, and a fashion show.

GOD FIGURES

Make this Diwali memorable with the gifts as exclusive as your taste.. only at Craft Traditions a complete crafts & lifestyle store

ACCESSORIES PASHMINA WHITE METAL METAL & WOOD APPARELS JEWELRY ORGANIC TEA AROMA TEXTILE PERSONAL CARE FURNITURE

VISIT US :

Galaxy Hotel

NH-8,Exit-8,Sec 15,Part-2, Gurgaon,Haryana T: +91 124 4088900/901 F: +91 124 4107323 E: sales@craft-traditions.com W: www.craft-traditions.com

Also at: Airport New Delhi : T3 Domestic, IGI Airport. Mumbai : Domestic & International

Kingdom Of Dreams

Auditorium Complex, Sector 29, Behind Leisure Park, Gurgaon (HR)

UTSAV


04

2-8 November 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–2 No.–11  2-8 November 2012

Editor:

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Maninder Dabas

WORKSHOP  NIGHTLIFE  EXHIBITION  MUSIC  ART  DANCE Bazaar

Banjara Flea Market @ Hotel Lemon Tree Premier, 48, City Centre, Sector 29 Date: November 4 Time: 9:00 am

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

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designers:

Virender Kumar

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Head – Sales & Marketing:

A

flea market that offers both fun and excitement. Products on display range from Fashion, Lifestyle, Contemporary Art, to Organic and Gourmet food!



Dance

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ankit Srivastava

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

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Coming Up

Dervish In Progress @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: November 6 Time: 7:30 pm

A

n evening of Sufi-contemporary whirling dervish by Ziya Azazi from Austria, followed by a Bhakti Dance from India, by Indira Naik.

Music

Sattriya Recital @ @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: November 9 Time: 7:30 pm

sho, Narkel Bata Murgi Phulkopir, Bati Chor Chori, and Lal Saag Bhajee, are sure to make your mouth water – asking for more! 


Art

Food

Very Mach Bengali @ Axis
, Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15 Date: Upto November 10 Time: 7:00 pm onwards

E

njoy an evening of dance with the “Sattriya Recital”, performed by Sanjukta Barooah, disciple of Bhabananda Barbayan. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

I

t's time to sample authentic Bengali delicacies and savour the distinct flavours unique to Bengali cuisine – by Chef Shiv Shakti, especially flown in from Kolkata. Special dishes like Bhetki Macchi Patri, Dhahai Mang-

Divine Rhapsody @ Studio Anmol, 
South City 1
 Date: November 5 to 8 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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rtist Anju Kumar ushers in the festive season with her collection 'Divine Rhapsody' - a breathtaking collection of Ganeshas, urlis, vases, sculptures, diyas, lights and artworks. The Collection is a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality. Abstract Art and textural designs are interpreted in clay, and on canvas. The colour palette varies from fresh beiges to rustic metallic coppers, earthy browns, raw and burnt embers, and electrifying vermilions.

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:

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

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

`7

319

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39

For The Other Half

P3

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

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

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T

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); Millennium a of 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 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 by Gurgaon is much has also been influenced trict, concurs that District the District and social developments The itself. City political more than the viz. Gurgaon the includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh Sohna, sils (Gurgaon,

Please Visit Us At en Emergency Servicem www.fridaygurgaon.com 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

P

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 eek That Was

{ 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 which in situation who work in these help; but for the people people is helping distraught

A

100 – Police Emergency main Police

In Gurgaon Special Project for Army / Central Govt. Employees

Contact: Ms. Saroj – 8800930085 sarojtanya@gmail.com

Exhibition

“from the outside in” At MOVA1 studio 42, Ashoka Crescent, DLF Phase-1, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon Date : 22nd Oct – 20th Nov Time – 11AM – 6 PM

S

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

Astrology

Original Booking

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 st advanced PCRs

howcasing the latest works from 3 leading design studios – SOTODECOR, HEIRLOOMS & MOVA1 – that explore nature both in its delicate details and magnificent strengths. Bringing you the works of furnitures, lights & home interiors.


2-8 November 2012

The Diwali Makeover For Your House

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eepawali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is also a time to host parties. It is a common trend that house gets a makeover, to entertain guests during Diwali. As it is not possible to go for a complete change in the look of the house every year, much can be achieved with the use of soft furnishings, and adding small and decorative items. Shopping during Diwali is among the greatest fun-filled and looked-forward to activities to indulge in. Shop for stuff that would go with the décor in your house. Metal light holders, coloured glass décor pieces, painted earthen pots and artefacts in rich colours – add to the beauty of the house. The Craft Traditions Showroom in Galaxy Mall offers you this variety. From traditional diyas priced at Rs. 50, to a Tanjore painting for Rs. 35,000, you can get it all here Brass God figurines start from Rs. 500, and go on to Rs. 35,000. Craft traditions is a marketing platform for more than 1000 artisans across India. The store has a huge variety of products ranging from candles, brass, paintings to exquisite pieces of crafted furniture.

Experiment – use colours. Buy an odd piece of gold sequined cushion cover, or a cabinet or bureau with gold leafing. The sequined cushion covers are available from Rs. 300 onwards. Options are also available for brocade runners, mats, and table cloths. Diwali is a perfect time to indulge in that one highlight piece for your house. The furniture starts at Rs. 4,000. You could also opt for a beautiful Barmer Jhoola for Rs. 22,5000. White metal products can add that extra glamour to your dinner settings and also make ideal Diwali gifts. Prices start from Rs. 500 onwards. Also on offer are pure silver products. Flowers are a welcome addition anytime. Get beautiful Torans to add to the auspicious touch. Put your mind and heart to it; do up your house interiors, and attract an abundance of positivity and richness. Anjula G.Rai Head Merchandise Craft Traditions

Craft Traditions Galaxy Hotel – Shopping – Spa Sector 15, Gurgaon, Haryana T: 0124- 4088900/901 W: www.craft-traditions.com Also at: Delhi Domestic Airport Mumbai Domestic and International Airport Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon

CINEMA

The Circle Of Naxalism { Vijaya Kumar }

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rakash Jha’s Chakravyuh marks the return of the Director to his no-frills style, of probing meaningful socio-political issues. It certainly will rank as mainstream Bollywood’s first attempt at highlighting the Naxalism issue. But for more reasons than one, it will not feature as an outstanding movie. The story is interesting, and has serious potential of being an intense dramatic narrative on the conflict of ideologies, and how that drives a wedge between relationships. Prakash Jha scores by not getting into the sermonising mode; he also avoids the common pitfall of suggesting a simplistic solution. Abhay Deol’s character has been sharply defined, and he excels in portraying a person who undergoes a transformation – from being on the cops’ side, to being an active participant in the Naxal activities. Giving him able support is the newcomer, Anjali Patil, a part of the movement. As the cop, Arjun Rampal is

Chakravyuh - A War You Cannot Escape directed by: Prakash Jha cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee genre: Action, Political thriller, Drama weak in his dialogue delivery, and extremely restrained in displaying his emotions; and Esha Gupta, as his love interest, is just passable. The characters of other artists— like Manoj Bajpayee and Om Puri—are drawn rather sketchily, hardly making any contribution worthy of recall. Kabir Bedi’s role as the tycoon and owner of Mahanta Steel is flimsily drawn, and enacted in a disinterested manner. A hastily introduced Sameera Reddy item number doesn’t do much for the movie. Chakravyuh suffers because there are no power-packed, hard hitting dialogues. It needed a powerful script-writer. The film meanders; it is neither an entertainer, nor a well-starched documentary. Despite the negatives, there is an earnestness which pervades the screen in virtually every frame. u

R eviews

05

Aubrey and Lorraine Aloysius to be felicitated with the ‘Karmaveer Puraskaar’

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he very versatile and spontaneous couple, Aubrey Aloysius and Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, are set to receive an award for their commendable work in the field of social service. The couple will be felicitated with the coveted ‘Karmaveer Puraskaar’ Award on the 26th of November, in New Delhi, at the exclusive awards function which is a part of “iCONGO’s REX Conclave”, being organised on 25th, 26th and 27th of November 2012. “iCONGO congratulates Aubrey Aloysius and Lorraine Fiona Aloysius for possessing the conviction and compassion to stand up, speak out, and lead the change with their positive attitude,” says Meenu Chopra, Executive Founding Director of iCONGO. “LAMP plans to use music & art education to help children and the youth, including those from impoverished circumstances, achieve their full potential and learn values that favour their growth and have a positive impact on their lives in society. Through our music, arts and social project, we wish to offer instruments, equipment and tuition through a network of after-school centres all over the country. We have already begun our work with about 300 children in Gurgaon through one of our patrons, Lorraine Music Academy,” says Aubrey Aloysius, Founder Trustee & President of LAMP Trust.

Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, Director, Lorraine Music Academy, says, “Music education has the power to bring about a high level of discipline among those who study it diligently. I want to play my part in teaching the rich and the poor to appreciate, learn and share music.” The CtrlS  –  iCONGO promoted  “KARMAVEER PURASKAAR (KVP)” are the Global Awards for Social Justice and Citizen Action, instituted by the people sector & civil society with various partner organisations, citizens at large and media supporters. Be the change you want to see in this world is what every KARMAVEER inherently believes and practices. It is the first award of its kind  from India—and probably around the globe—that has been held every year for the past 5 years, at a very austere, simple and dignified program in New Delhi.  The awards and the Chakra recognize and applaud the social commitment of  concerned individuals, who have proactively and voluntarily worked for bringing a positive transformation in the society and the world we live in. In today’s world where there is huge apathy and indifference, we feel a paramount need for being not just a good person but also a good citizen who exercises her/ his rights, duties and responsibilities as a concerned, just and humane citizen. u


06

JIT KUMAR

2-8 November 2012

Bharat BPOs

C over S tory

projects, the company’s Technology Evangelist, Vipur, explains “Usually these women are trained to do a certain task on a given condition. Our automated system facilitates the operation. For instance, if she has to address a query of a client whose products have not been delivered on time, she would copy the client’s courier number to an automated system and view the information. Then, she would send the information to the concerned department in the automated system itself. Gradually, she gets used to it and works faster.”

Other Initiatives

 Contd from p 1 long, as they look for permanency. We reap the benefits from the rural labour cost arbitrage. Simultaneously, various social issues like rural employment and education are automatically getting addressed,” says Ajay Chaturvedi, founder of HarVa. An engineer from BITS Pilani, and an alumnus of The Wharton School, Ajay envisioned the youth in the villages of Haryana as the future. He was so sure that, in 2009, he gave up a corporate career, and despite all the odds in rural areas—such as poor infrastructure, poor electricity connection, and lack of ‘drive’— he started HarVa. The aim was to tap rural talent and benefit from lower cost. A resident of Gurgaon, he thinks that the growth in the rural areas across India has yet to come; and that will be possible only when we tap the potential of the ‘real India’ – the villages. Ajay was awarded the CNN IBN Youth Icon / Young Indian Leader award in 2011. Recently, he has been nominated as “Amazing Global Indian” by Times Now, for 2012-13.

♦ The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is observing National legal Services Week from Nov 1 to 9 (with 9th being the NLS Day). Programmes for schools will be organized on 5 subjects – Women Empowerment, Rights of Trans-genders, Rights of Senior Citizens, Rights of Juveniles and Role of Legal Services Authority. Lok Adalats will also be held. ♦ Eid-ul-Zoha is celebrated by tens of thousands. ♦ Fortis launches their new 450-bed hospital, FMRI, built on 12 acres at a cost of Rs 450 crores. ♦ A youth is strangled to death; the body of a 35-year-old man, who was missing for 2 days, has been found in a gutter; an unemployed man hangs self.

Economical empowerment

Raksha Kumari, an executive who deals with data mining (eg. sorting out animal husbandry data for HarVa), got married at the age of 18. “For the last 12 years, my life revolved around household chores and managing the family. Now, after getting this job, I feel empowered. I too can contribute to the expenses of my family,’ she says. A high school dropout, she was given three months of on-the job training by the company. Similarly, a 23-

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ A depressed man attacks his wife and children with an axe. ♦ A police team visits a prominent BPO, to assure the safety of women 2 carjackings again this week – on MG Road, and NH 8. ♦ 2 property dealers are booked for duping woman of Rs 35 lakhs. ♦ A man is booked for a Rs 30 lakh fraud with respect to a plot of land. ♦ 7 are booked for bank loan (Rs 20 lakhs) fraud. ♦ A builder is booked for a fraud of almost Rs 10 lakhs. ♦ A masked biker snatches a bag containing Rs 1.5 lakhs and jewellery. ♦ 3 ex-employees of a cosmetics firm booked for fraudulently selling products. There is an unusual theft in a high rise in a DLF colony – insider role suspected.

year old graduate, Raavi, whose parents couldn’t afford to send her to the City for a job, feels blessed. “Nobody had ever imagined that one day a BPO will be set up in our village. I wanted to take up a job in Gurgaon. Now, with the arrival of HarVa I can work, while still living with my family and friends. Also, the salary provided by the company is at par with industry standards,” smiles Raavi. When asked about how semi-literate rural women are trained to work on international

♦ A ‘premium’ power scheme offered by DHBVN, for 100% power supply, is challenged by RWAs. ♦ Private schools offering the Haryana Board go on a strike, to protest the RTE Act implementation. They are morally supported by many other private schools. An industrial hygiene lab is being set up in Gurgaon. ♦ Reebok company asks for an independent probe into the alleged fraud in India. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office will also now question the top Reebok India officials - 12 of them are under arrest. ♦ Medikit company employees protest on the streets against the shutting down of factory. The High Court has declined the appeal of the Company against a Labour Dept order declaring the closure of the factory as illegal.

HarVa is also working on community farming and micro-finance, in the rural areas. The company is looking to train entire families, and employ each member according to his/ her skill – so as to build strong relationships with the community, and ensure that attrition is minimal. “Many farmers in the State don’t know the natural ways of replenishing soil. For instance, growing lemon grass is a simple way of soil replenishment. However, most of the farmers here throw harmful chemicals and fertilisers into the soil,” says Ajay. Furthermore, farmers struggle to grow good crops because most of them have small holdings – of an acre or two. HarVa acts as the facilitator, and ‘integrates’ the farmers, so that the crop can be grown over a consolidated 70-80 acres. “We have introduced a culture of community farming in rural Haryana. It not only helps farmers, by sharing of the financial burden, but also brings the village communities together. As the farmers work together, they develop a sense of belonging among

themselves,” smiles Ajay. One of his colleagues puts forth an example of a Muslim farmer who owned a small piece of land. “Our community farming initiative brought him so close to the other communities that they arranged funds for his daughter’s wedding,” he says. HarVa has also set up student counselling centres in many villages around the City. “We train them so that they (mainly men) need not remain confined to their villages. A lot of youngsters have moved out of their villages after receiving training in our centres. Our focus is not just to employ them in our company, but make them self-dependent,” says Yogesh, one of the trainers at HarVa. Recounting a success story of a young girl, Yogesh says “She studied in Hindi medium, but after receiving training at HarVa she was selected for the Economic (Hons.) programme in English medium, in Delhi University.” With many erstwhile farmers having sold their land to builders, alternative employment opportunities for members of their family are most welcome. Initiatives like HarVa will prove to be a boon for the rural youth. Moreover, the outsourcing industry is facing challenges in combating costs and attrition, andcompetition from new destinations such as Philippines and China. The advantages that helped India are shrinking rapidly. “There is need to start the migration of operations to lower cost destinations, and to tap the vast pool of our talented and low cost rural workforce,” feels Ajay. Ironically, maybe fittingly, Bharat has come to the rescue of India. u

Haryanvi Made Easy W Get a taste of the local lingo

1. Tomorrow is Sunday. Kal Aitwar Sega. 2. Let us go for a picnic. Chal picnic manan chalenge. 3. The weather is good to be out. Badiya mosum hai kitte baar jaan tayi. 4. Who all should we inform? Kin kin ne bulayunge? 5. I will get the games. Khelun ka samman main le aayunga. 6. Who will get the food? Roti paani kaun leke auga? 7. We will leave early in the morning. Hum tadke jaldi chalenge.


C over S tory JIT KUMAR

2-8 November 2012

07

dust bin. “The problem is that the parents of these kids don’t know how to dispose off waste in the City, because they never used dust bins in their village. They used to dispose waste in the fields,” says Vartika.

Successful in Mewat  

Gurgaon Ki Awaaz  Contd from p 1 replace them with. Through programmes like Gali Gali Sim Sim we give them information in an interesting way, so that they get entertained and also adopt healthy ways of living,” informs Aarti.

Success stories

When Meenu Mishra, mother of a 6-year old boy, Gagan, was given a mobile phone, she was quite hesitant in using it. She was also not convinced that the programme would benefit her children. However, in just two months she could feel the change. “It is easier to show children a video or a song, and then have them wash their hands. When Boombah sings a song on the importance of hygiene, my children make sure they wash their hands and rinse their mouth before and after a meal,” says Meenu. Now, she also calls neighbourhood children to listen to the show. Unlike Meenu, Madhu Kumar, a resident of Sheetla Colony, was quite excited when she was given a cellphone. Madhu, who works as a domestic help, took a couple of days to learn the functionality of a cellphone. Madhu’s children frequently fell

ill. Regularly tuning in to the programme taught her children some lessons in basic hygiene. “Now, my children are much healthier, as they brush their teeth before going to sleep, and wash their hands before and after eating,” smiles Madhu. After listening to an episode on the importance of covering and washing food items, her 7-year-old daughter, Kashish, made sure everybody in her family adopted this habit. “I love colouring pictures of Googly and Chamki, who always eat healthy and covered food items,’ says Kashish. She also reads stories of Chamki and Googly in school,

as her school is a part of phase 2 of the Gali Gali Sim Sim project. Recounting another success story in the City, a volunteer Vartika, says “A lady went to a doctor after watching the programme. As both her children were above 10 years of age, she was worried if they could still be given immunisation injections. When the doctor asked her what brought her to the clinic, she said she watched a Gali Gali Sim Sim episode on “Teeka” (dealing with immunisation).”  Vartika’s most memorable experience was with a child who did not know how to dispose waste. She taught him to use a

As on November 1, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Food Take

The project is also a success in Mewat district. One of the extremely poor and conservative villages in the district, Nagina, is benefitting  greatly from the show. The village does not have electricity, but in the evenings the children and adults gather around a mobile phone to tune in to Gali Gali Sim Sim on Radio Mewat – a community radio station of the district. “They laugh, they connect to the world, they learn various things – ranging from the importance of good nutrition to math lessons,” says one of the volunteers.

Not just health and education

A student of the government school in Sector 5, Seema, chuckles over the memory of one particular episode. It was about identifying emotions. “When Googly’s grandmother left her home, she was sad. Googly’s grandmother told her it was okay to be sad, and to talk to her mother. When Googly spoke to her mother, she felt better. I also feel sad when my grandmother goes to the village,” says Seema. Such episodes are made so that the children can easily relate to the characters. “One of the episodes, that shows how Boombah and Chamki share food together, encouraged many children to share things,” reveals a volunteer. The show also addresses sensitive issues, such as sibling rivalry, and gender discrimination.  “As the City didn’t have any programme for poor children, we decided to have something educative on the radio. It has worked wonders in the City. We are happy that now children are learning, connecting, and questioning,” says Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director of Sesame Workshop Initiatives India. u

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08

2-8 November 2012

C ivic/Social PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

o motivate a person to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, that is in harmony with nature and the Indian ethos, it is important to add value to his/her life, believes Charu Jain, founder of Advit Foundation, an organisation that has a mission of environment conservation and livelihood enhancement. Founded in 2004, Advit Foundation primarily works in Gurgaon and neighbouring areas, to create educational opportunities, provide a platform for environment conservation, and make energy efficiency a way of life. Jain says they focus on both the rural and urban communities, and work with industry as well – particularly on Occupational Health and Safety. “The basic focus is on energy conservation through energy efficiency and renewable energy options, designing village development models, and facilitating energy audits for institutions and industry,” says Jain. In her opinion, an energy and water starved city like Gurgaon would be greatly benefited if the citizens adopt green lifestyle measures – such as solar energy for water heating and cooking, and sourcing food that is local. Jain says that under the Village Development Programme, Advit has set up a Resource Centre in Village Meoka (near Pataudi), to address the environmental, educational, skill development, cultural, health and personal needs of the community. “We set up the Project in association with NABARD, and a survey was conducted to find out the basic requirements needed for development. Based on this study we initiated vocational training specifically for girls, helped in improving the cooking methods, gave inputs on improving health and hygiene, improved the education infrastructure in the government school, and also undertook solar electrification of the village,” she informs. Interestingly, it was observed that drinking (liquor) among the locals considerably reduced, after the village received power (light) during the evening hours. “The kids were also able to study better after the houses got solar lights,” she adds. Another facility set up

{ Atul Dev }

H

aving spent all her summer vacations in her ancestral home in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, Mridula Baidwan has always had a love for the lush green landscapes. Soon after her retirement from the corporate world she took upon herself to build a private lodge in Dharamshala, to be used as a high mountain resort. It was named after her father Dev (Mahajan), and is set in the midst of majestic Deodhar forests. This labour of love led to the planting of many trees in and around the resort. “The experience of planting a thousand flowering bushes, shrubs and trees, in this most stunning and exotic location, is one that I cherish to this day,” she says. Over time, staying at her Gurgaon home (DLF City – Phase IV), Mridula started missing the serenity of the hills. She dreamt of trees and flowers all over her Gurgaon neighbourhood! Her obsession drove her to uproot the most treasured exotic plants from her own garden, and transfer them to

Conserve and Enhance

by the Foundation, to impart education to children from Economically Weaker Sections, is Vidya Vatika in Ghata village (close to Sector 55). This School takes care of the education needs of children of domestic workers, drivers, gardeners, security men and other support staff. As environment conservation and awareness is an important facet of the Foundation’s work, Jains says that they have started Prakriti Eco School, in association with furniture major IKEA. “The aim of this Programme is to boost environmental awareness among school children, through a participatory approach. The School also conducts environment assessment in the neighbourhoods of the City,” says Jain. The work of the Foundation is best reflected in the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park (RGREP), that is managed by Advit in collaboration with another organisation. Jain says that the objective of this Park is to create awareness about sustainable living through use of renewable energy, energy conservation, and taking steps to mitigate climate changes. “The Park brings the community, the industry and government together, to take holistic steps towards creating options for a responsible lifestyle,” she says. The Administration and the civil society need to take a pro-active approach towards promoting this alternative lifestyle, that helps in conserving energy and ensures a reduced carbon footprint,

she feels. “Instead of subsidising diesel, the government should use this money for promoting solar energy products. Make it easier and cheaper for home owners to install and use these products,” she asserts. An important policy issue which she feels has been wrongly handled by the government is the ban on the use of plastic bags. “The alternatives to plastic— like paper, jute, and cloth—are expensive to manufacture, and use up a lot of energy. They are also difficult to recycle, whereas plastic can be easily re-used. There is need to review this policy, as banning plastic will be a regressive step for the environment,” asserts Jain. Jain says that Advit also works with the industry, to improve the processes, adopt clean technologies, and take up carbon offsetting plantations. “We have worked with a number of Gurgaon based When asked about the attitude of the Gurgaon residents, Jain reveals that though there is a lot of enthusiasm among the people here, it does not transform into action. “The big challenge is to convert the enthusiasts into practitioners. The people here can afford to pay for expensive options like diesel power, but they need to understand the health and environmental implications,” she reveals.

Green Fingers

the flower beds in her residential complex. “My satisfaction was immense”, she recollects. Her neighbours refused to follow suit, however; though they were persuaded to contribute funds for the greening of the complex. Mridula set to work, and with the help of a gardener planted more than a hundred trees – of Almaltas, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus and Magnolia. The result - Mridula Baidwan was coopted as a Vice President of the Welfare Association, in charge of beautification of the complex! The next step was to beautify the entry gates, which were completely devoid of greenery. After obtaining permission from

the developers, DLF, Mridula and a gardener planted a range of palms, hedges, shrubs and ground cover. The gardener had no knowledge of masonry, so Mridula used her know-how— acquired from working in her sister’s garden in the USA MidWest—to build a brick border. The finishing touch was the placement of the night lighting. The neighbourhood’s daily walkers and regular passers-by soon noticed that Mridula was toiling away in the morning heat, every day. Many assumed that she was a professional landscape artist working for the developer. They were amazed to discover that she was one of

export houses to help them reduce costs through energy efficiency,” she says. In villages and rural areas, where water is scarce both for drinking and agricultural purposes, the Foundation has embarked on building check dams, to maintain sustainable supplies of ground and surface water for rural communities. “Most of the check dams have been built in villages about 40 kilometers from Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur. These dams have greatly helped agriculture and livestock farming in the area,” says Jain. Roof-top rainwater harvesting is another area in which her organisation is working hard. “Advit has implemented the Rain Water Harvesting structures at Unitech Clubs – Patio I & II in South City, Gurgaon. Three structures have been constructed – two at Patio I and one at Patio II, with a total catchment area of 11,978 sq.m, and a potential to harvest 67,23,810 litres of rainwater every year,” she informs. Information and technology is being imparted to those interested in this initiative. Other major initiatives taken up by Advit include setting up of public private community partnerships to undertake carbon offsetting plantation on community lands, to counter CO2 emissions. Various training and implementation programmes, for implementation of vermicomposting in farms, rural areas, and other institutions, are also organised by the Foundation. Since Gurgaon and the adjoining areas have emerged as industrial hubs, Jain says that Advit has also taken up the task of educating workers on safe and proper working practices, through ‘Safe Chemical Handling’ training programmes. This also involves helping the factory owners understand the importance of having a safe working environment in their units; it is increasingly becoming important in the wake of strict international monitoring, particularly in the apparel industry. When asked what has been the most satisfying experience, Jain says that improving the lives of villagers and children, through Advit’s interventions, has given her the most satisfaction. “The change which small steps, like making paper bags, can bring in a village, needs to be seen to be believed,” she says.  u

their own, who just wanted to make her surroundings a little greener. After some time, plants started to appear at the neighbouring gates too, as others decided to emulate the ‘green gate’. The interest in the entry gate’s garden was very gratifying for Mridula. She is still involved in keeping her complex clean and green. Mridula then approached her local shopping centre, the upmarket Galleria, and proposed the beautification and cleaning of the plaza areas. The shop owners readily agreed, and made some of the suggested improvements. The plants are there for all to see. A foreign landscaping company was recently appointed by DLF to upgrade and beautify the external areas of their Gurgaon development. In their presentation to DLF senior executives, pictures of the entrance gate to Mridula’s residential complex were shown as the model to follow. Mridula was thrilled that her efforts had been recognised. “I hope that this will lead to more greening of the area,” she says. Buoyed by the success in her neighbourhood, Mridula set her

sights on the wider community. She became actively involved in ‘I Am Gurgaon’, an NGO. ‘I Am Gurgaon’ commenced as a joint project with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, to restore the original beauty of the area now developed as the Bio-Diversity Park. It is a rocky forest, and the project team has been planting original species of trees. Having already planted about 30,000 trees, the joint project is well on its way to its impressive goal of planting 1 million trees. “Thanks to the dedication of ‘I Am Gurgaon’ members, we are raising awareness, and aggressively raising funds from corporates and individuals,” she says. On most mornings Mridula is in the field doing her share of the planting. It’s a long way from the hills of Dharamshala to the plains of Gurgaon – an ancient farming community, now a high-rise urban metropolis. Mridula hopes to bring some of the green back to Gurgaon. u (Atul Dev is a Gurgaon based senior freelance journalist. He is also Convener of INTACH-Gurgaon Chapter. Mridula Baidwan is also Member INTACH)


2-8 November 2012

Face-Off

– the 66-KVA sub-station is still a pipe dream. “The roads have not be re-laid for the last 10 years,” says Bhardwaj. The sewerage network is also falling apart, as the discharge overflows in several parts of the sector, { Abhishek Behl / FG } says Ramniwas Sharma, Secretary of esidents of South City 1, who took the RWA. Ajay Agarwal, member of the RWA, to the streets to protest against the pathetic civic conditions in their says that power cables are in a dilapidated colony, have resolved that if things condition, and catch fire as soon as the do not improve within a month— load increases. “The streetlights are not as promised by Unitech—they will working properly, and if one gets fused it again hold a massive demonstration takes almost a month to get it replaced," against the builder. The dharna he adds. Bhardwaj says that a ‘mafia’ would be held on November 17, and protesters will physically occupy the operates a piggery 'farm', and that is the areas encroached on by the builder, reason no action is taken by authorities and the builder to get rid of this menace. warn residents. South City Residents Welfare “These pigs are sold multiple times Association (SCRWA) President Ashok during a religious ceremony. It is high Bhardwaj asserts, "If the promises are time we get rid of them as this could lead not met, we will not pay any monthly to an outbreak of a flu,” he warns. Senior citizens and children are charges; and, if the need arises, we will take maintenance into our own also unable to enjoy the 60 to 70 hands – as has happened in World parks in the colony, as they are in poor shape. There Spa,” asserts is no medical Bhardwaj. dispensary, and The RWA had The chicken-and-egg story of residents have to staged a protest maintenance being undertaken by visit expensive demonstration on builders versus RWAs could go on hospitals for even October 20, when indefinitely. If it is just an issue of cost small ailments, around 200 residents for the builder, there could be a way alleges Bhardwaj. had participated. forward – eg. an interim increase in Unitech has The residents maintenance fee, with a final increase converted the are unhappy that only after services are effectively c o m m u n i t y Unitech, instead rendered and costs transparently building of the of entering into colony into a a dialogue with shared. The larger investment, eg. Club, that is them, had called for power sub-stations, needs to be being run almost a large number of anyway borne by the builder. However, as a commercial bouncers and police, if the issue is beyond cost, then entity. “Club to thwart their clearly the builder would seem to have Patio is being peaceful protest. motives that need to be challenged – run in a building “The bouncers had through direct and/or court action. that was shown covered the entire

R

office and they also entered into a scuffle with senior citizens. A company like Unitech should know how to treat its customers, instead of trying to intimidate them,” says R.S Rathee, President of the Gurgaon Citizens Council, who was also present at the protest. While the builder had initially refused to meet the protesters, later a senior official of the maintenance department had assured them that things will improve within a month. Meanwhile, irate residents of South City 1 allege that they were forced to protest because Unitech has not taken up any development work in the last couple of years. The roads are in bad shape, and the security apparatus is nonfunctional; the power infrastructure in the colony has not been upgraded

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

L

ike an accomplished and experienced bureaucrat, Manisha Sharma, the City Magistrate, is unperturbed by the rising heap of files on her table. “I always wanted to be a civil servant, and my father—who himself is a civil servant in Haryana—inspired me to enter this field. I originally belong to Jind district of Haryana, but schooling—and later college—made me roam the whole of north India. I have done my Masters in Public Administration from IGNOU,” says Manisha Sharma. Manisha has been in service for the last two years, and prior to Gurgaon she had been the City Magistrate of Bhiwani, and Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Tosham (in Bhiwani district). “I am a novice in the corridors of bureaucracy, but I know that we are here to listen to the people and their problems. That is why my main aim remains to meet as many people as I can in my working hours. My job doesn’t include much of public dealing; basically my job is to co-ordinate between

as a Community Centre in the 1982 plan,” alleges Bhardwaj. Bhardwaj however, admits that Unitech has initiated some work on the colony road as promised, though the speed of the work is slow. Meanwhile, in response to the protest by the residents, a Unitech spokesperson had said that, “We would like to categorically affirm that the allegation that we are making profit from maintenance is absolutely incorrect. We have transparently shared the costing details with the RWA. Moreover there are huge customeroutstandings, which are resulting in the maintenance agencies incurring losses. We have been providing the services of maintenance for the past two decades, with insignificant recoveries.” u

City Magistrate

the different branches of Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) office. But I look for opportunities to listen to the problems of the masses, ” adds Manisha. People often mistake the City Magistrate as a member of the Judiciary. Actually, the City Magistrate is an administrative official, with some judicial powers. The Office serves as an extension to the Deputy

C ivic/Social

09

To The Edge & Back

{ Anita Jaswal }

he deepest questions, insights, awareness and answers rarely come when we are sitting at the top of the mountain of happiness – feeling like the keys to the kingdom are in our hand. And, no matter who we are, or what we have acquired and accomplished, our sense of personal power, fulfilment and life can change in a blink. Usha and Col Gyan Kumar had married off their two daughters, and Usha, a devoted mother would at times wonder how she would fill that void. The couple began rekindling their romance by spending time together, and bringing back the fun and excitement. They often travelled. Caught up in their new found riproaring life, Usha ignored the headaches that had been plaguing her, and attributed them to stress and the heat. This continued for over a year; and then, one day, while she was stepping out of the house, she was hit by an excruciating attack. It exploded behind the eyes, reached a crescendo, and then vision suddenly faded. The world around her washed into sepia tones, and Usha couldn’t think clearly. Neighbours rushed her to Paras Hospital, and Col Gyan, who had just landed in Kolkata, rushed back by the next flight. Her daughters too were with them within hours. She has no memories of events leading up to, or during, hospitalisation. She was diagnosed with two aneurysms. An aneurysm is a bloated portion in a blood vessel in the brain, and creates pressure inside the skull, squeezing off the brain’s normal blood circulation and oxygen supply. “Since my wife’s aneurysm was a giant one, I rated her chances of not surviving the operation rather high. And even if she survived, the doctors could not assure us that she would not end up as a vegetable, or partially paralysed. I’ve had better odds at the racetrack, but understood there was no choice... Today, as I am talking about it, those dark days are blurred...it was like swimming against a current of slime...and racing against time. Finding the best medical option was the first step. Her future was a distant question. We decided on the Fortis Hospital, Noida,” says Col Gyan. The rest, as they say, has been history. Usha’s recovery, though slow, has been miraculous. For the first month she could not speak, and her right side

was very weak. Gradually she began to walk. She had physical, occupational, and speech therapies for several months, and her voice remained weak in that time.  More amazingly, along with her stubborn road back to health, she was undergoing some fundamental transformations. First, her personality changed somewhat; and they don’t know whether to attribute it to the brain surgery. Before all this happened she had been an extrovert, and loved to be with her friends. Today she remains a little withdrawn and reserved. And second, it was as if her brain shut down like a computer, and with time rebooted itself. Incredibly the first sentences she spoke after recovering her speech were the diction she spoke as a child; and this progressed to Sanskrit – which she knew well in college! It’s only after 6 months that she started understanding English. Her speech is almost normal now, as she explains falteringly:”My life changed so dramatically that I sometimes wonder if I’m still the same person. I used to hear stories of awful tragedies, and think of all the reasons it could never happen to me. I found out that the unthinkable can happen to any of us. When something this terrible happens, your brain simply can’t process it – or at least mine couldn’t, literally and figuratively. For weeks after the incident I’d wake up thinking it had happened to someone else. People wonder how I went through a traumatic period like that. The answer is – one has to, if it is willed that way. My  daughters have made the darkness in my heart light up brighter than I ever thought possible. They gave me a reason to live. I cannot thank God enough for blessing me with them. God healed me in the operation room, and I hope this story may give others courage to try and lean on God for strength. I  feel like a new door has opened. I am told that the aneurysm is 100 per cent occluded, and that the surgery was a success. My neurosurgeon was Dr. A.K Singh, and I am ever grateful to him for saving my life. For me, it was the most traumatic experience; but fortunately not with a traumatic ending, as I am again able to happily spend my time with my husband, daughters, sons-inlaw and grandchildren. But - I can still remember that pain... For all those out there who are reading this – trust in God and your family, and you may be as lucky as me!” u

Commissioner of the City. “Since there is a lot of responsibility, and different roles, in the DC’s ambit, the City Magistrate steps in to share the load. The Office has the power to read and sign letters and documents in the DC’s name. More importantly, the Office is the people’s connection to the State Government. I forward the common man’s woes, requests and letters to the proper higher authorities, in case they are not resolved at the lower levels,” informs Manisha. Manisha shared some of her thoughts about Gurgaon, and how this City has gone through a metamorphosis. “I did a couple of years of my schooling from Gurgaon. This City has come a long way since then. Now it has become a giant that gives an inferiority complex even to bigger cosmopolitan cities. The flyovers, malls, and towering edifices can easily mesmerise someone who has come here for the first time. Unfortunately, it has also become polluted, and the traffic in the peak hours is irritating – but these things

do come with development and growth,” she says. “Of course Gurgaon is completely different from the rest of Haryana, as no other city is bigger – both in stature as well as in area. Hence our workload is also quite high. On multiple agencies running Gurgaon, she says, “Apart from Gurgaon and Faridabad, all other districts of Haryana have a DC at the helm, and he is the supreme administrative power. But these cities have different paradigms, and I don’t think that vesting the city in the hands of different agencies is at all a bad call. In fact it should increase the effectiveness of the Administration in solving the problems of the City. Many people come to me with problems that are concerned with the departments outside the DC’s ambit, and we immediately direct them to those departments. Till now I haven’t come across any instance where any other department—like HUDA, MCG or even the Police—didn’t listen to us,” says Manisha. What a dream world! u

T


10

2-8 November 2012

K id C orner

F E S T I V E C E L E B R AT I O N S

American Public School

MRIS, Sector 46

Good Shepherd School

Panchatantra School

Excelsior American School Compiled by Shilpy Arora, email: shilpy.arora@fridaygurgaon.com


2-8 November 2012

Kid Corner

11

Natural Fun “The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the Five Senses” Hanna Rion

M

edhaamites had a lot of fun, using their senses to connect with nature – they observed, felt, heard and smelt. Curiosity, caring, discovery and sharing – the young explorers of Medhaam experienced all these attributes. Some of the students even identified the medicinal herb, ‘Tulsi’, and shared its qualities with their teachers . ‘It helps cure sore throats’, they said.

World Exhibits

A

thrilling virtual Exhibition, entitled “Six Countries and Seven Seas”, was held at Chiranjiv Bharti School. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Goldie Malhotra, Advisor, Chiranjiv Bharati School, and Archana Luthra, Trustee Chiranjiv Charitable Trust. The School wore a festive look as cut-outs of ships bearing the flags of the six ‘participating’ countries—South Africa, Japan, Thailand, US, UK, and France—were displayed. An array of delicacies from South Africa, along with the flora, fauna and tribal dances of the country, greeted the guests. The Land of the Rising Sun— Japan—delighted visitors with a combination of technology and tradition – through the exhibits put up by Class II. The mystic land of Thailand showcased Thai festivals, along with well-known architectural sites; the Jade Buddha and the Emerald Temple were some of the notable exhibits. The Statue of Liberty, Queen Elizabeth Tower, the London Bridge, and the London Eye were seen standing tall, overlooking the personalities and poets of the US and England. On their way to the exit, visitors had to pass by the Niagara Falls and the Golden Gate Bridge, to take home the souvenirs – paper fans, key chains, ribboned book marks, mini totem poles, and cricket bats.

UN Ryan Day

R

yan International School, Sector 40, celebrated the United Nations Day on 26th October. A special Assembly was conducted by the UN Club of the School. The Assembly commenced with Bible reading and a prayer. An informative presentation—on the working of the UN—was given by the Club members. Young Ryanites displayed their musical skills, as they sang the popular song, ‘We are the World’. The students staged a street play, “How to conserve water”, that expressed their concerns on the depleting natural resources. The School Headmistress, Peeya Sharma, was very appreciative of the efforts of the students. The Assembly concluded with the School Song and the National Anthem.

Literary Flourish

A Thought I Think

Artistic Strokes

Take time to be friendly, it brings happiness! Take time to dream, it will carry you to the stars! Take time to love, it is the joy of life! Take time to be content, it is the music of the soul! Niharika Wadhwani Grade III, Scottish High International School

Prachi Pahuja, Grade V A, Blue Bells Model School

Vikshaa, Grade KG, MRIS


12

K id C orner

2-8 November 2012

13 jit kumar

alankaran

Inter-School Painting Competition Friday Gurgaon thanks all students who participated in Alankaran – held on October 13th at MRIS, Sec 46. Thank you also to all the teachers, principals and parents. We received an overwhelming response, from 665 students. The Award Ceremony, for a total of 20 Winners (5 per Group) was held at Epicentre, on October 28th. All participants received a Certificate. Tanishi Agrawal Ryan International School

Dhruv Manav Rachna International School

Amishi Rastogi American Public School

Shreejata Pal Presidium

Mokshda KR Mangalam World School

Sakshi Chiranjiv Bharti School

Karan Madan Blue Bells Model School

Saumya Goyal Manav Rachna International School

Sumit Jangra Lions Public School

Anwesha Sinha Blue Bells Model School

A

C

GROUP

GROUP

Nursery to Grade 1

Grade 6 to 8

1

2 Anam Ryan International School

B

3 Divyanshi Mishra Chiranjiv Bharti School

C Adya Godboley Delhi Public School Sushant Lok

C Palakh Khetrapal Scottish High International School

1 Aryan Dahiya Chiranjiv Bharti School

2

Rachna Malik Chiranjiv Bharti School

3 Sneha Nagar Blue Bells Model School

C Vani Verma Chiranjiv Bharti School

C Himani Kendra Vidyalaya

Sarita Punia Lions Public School

D

GROUP

GROUP

Grade 2 to 5

Grade 9 to 12

1

2

3

C

C

1

2

3

C

C


14

2-8 November 2012

K id Corner

Kids Brainticklers

Ozzimals: Color this picture

Animal Crackers

Solutions

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?

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel


2-8 November 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Gastro Health { Jaspal Bajwa }

T

he 1982 discovery of spiral bacteria, which can hook onto the lining of the gut, is considered one of the greatest medical triumphs of the century. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is present in one out of two humans (and upto 80-90 per cent in developing countries), and seems to have a direct co-relation with a vast majority of ulcers and GastroIntestinal (GI) cancers. Yet, in 80 per cent of the people carrying it, there may be no symptoms for years. As in any other invasion, the bacteria waits for a chink in the armour to develop. The opportunity presents itself when there is low stomach acid, or low concentration of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) – as an outcome of overindulgence in ‘non-foods’(caffeine, sugars, alcohols, refined overprocessed foods), antibiotics and other aggressive medications. This ‘trojan horse’ bacteria activates itself by neutralising stomach acid, through the production of urease and ammonia. Further, H. pylori protects

{ Alka Gurha }

W

e have often heard contradictory comments about certain food products – like coffee, chocolate and peanut butter. New studies contradict the claim of the previous research, creating great confusion in the minds of the consumer. Since peanut butter is now available in most Indian stores, and most children love peanut butter sandwiches, let us dwell on its health benefits.

Nutrition

With nearly 200 calories per serving, peanut butter cannot be classified as diet food. But, with a combination of fibre (2g per serving) and protein (8g per serving) that keeps you feeling full for long, it can help you in eating a lesser quantity overall. A serving of peanut butter has nearly 3 mg of antioxidant Vitamin E, 40 mg of bone-building magnesium, 200 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting Vitamin B6. Over the years, numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. However, does this apply to nuts butter also?

Fats

A professor of Nutrition from Harvard School of Public Health says that one

itself from immune reactions by snuggling under the mucosa of the stomach. Once the toxic load increases, it opens the doors wide – not just to GI diseases, but also to rosacea, urticaria, depression, low energy level, periodontal disease and halitosis(bad breath). These conditions may be linked in part to the increased gut permeability, or ‘leaky gut’. Consequent low levels of antioxidants, or high levels of inflammation, disrupt the iron

and Vitamin B12 absorption – leading to headaches, migraines and elevated cardiovascular risk. In short, if nor managed, H. pylori can cause lifelong problems. A natural nutrition approach, based on fresh raw vegetables and fruits which are rich in fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin C and flavonoids works wonders in managing H.Pylori. Importantly, this initiative should ride on the shoulders of a robust use of yoghurt and potent probiotic supplements. Daily consumption of yogurt can mitigate H pylori presence and chronic gastritis. Probiotics strengthen the mucosal barrier, by producing antimicrobial substances and competing with H. pylori for adhesion receptors. Proper hydration, through 8-10 glasses of water a day, is important. Green tea and red wine are also associated with lower incidence of infection. B vitamins are imperative, for stomach and intestinal cells

W ellness

to maintain a proper acid/alkaline balance. H. pylori is usually not found when stomach secretions are sufficiently acidic. Low fat, calcium and Vitamin B-Complex rich foods—like whole grains, oats, legumes, fish, sea vegetables and dark leafy greens—complete the set of recommendations.

Tip of the week

High sugar, high fat and spicy foods have to be avoided, to control/eradicate H.Pylori. Refined foods such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, chocolates, and pastries are out, as are hydrogenated fats, dairy products, red meat, processed meat and pickled products. Instead of frying, consider the option to bake, saute or boil in a pan. Steer clear of coffee, soda, tea and alcohol. Try to avoid hot foods and drinks. Especially avoid tomato based products and spices (chilli powder, black pepper, red pepper, mustard powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mustard seeds) during H. Pyroli infection, as they provide a perfect ground for these bacteria to grow. Avoid vinegar, or switch to apple cider vinegar.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week :

Broccoli is a veritable nutritional powerhouse. Broccoli is high in antioxidants and beta-carotene. A rich supply of vitamins and minerals, notably vitamin C, folate (folic acid), and potassium easily makes it one of the healthiest foods. Broccoli is rich in other nutrients, including calcium and fibre. Broccoli belongs to the Cruciferae family, together with kale, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts. Raw broccoli is bursting with nutrients, and cooked broccoli is even better – since lightly steaming or stirfrying helps to release its beneficial compounds. Alongwith other Cruciferous vegetables, Broccoli is a very important source of sulphurcontaining phytochemicals (like sulforaphane), which kill H.Pylori and help reduce the risk of cancer. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

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Take 2 spoons of oat meal, a small amount of honey, and a little water. Mix well and apply to the face. Let it remain for some time. Once the pack sets, remove gently with a cloth, dampened in warm water. This will help control acne.

A Nut, But A Butter Too serving (about 2 tablespoons) has nearly 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat (that is about 80 per cent unsaturated fat). The body’s response to saturated fat in food is to increase the amounts of both harmful LDL and protective HDL in circulation. In moderation, some saturated fat is okay. Eating a lot of it, though, promotes artery-clogging atherosclerosis the process that causes cardiovascular disease. In contrast, unsaturated fats, which make up the majority of the fat content in peanut butter, help reduce LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. The most nutritious peanut butter is natural, and contains only crushed peanuts – no added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oil is often added to help the peanut butter remain solid at room temperature. The addition of hydrogenated oil increases the

saturated fat content by half a gram per tablespoon.

Sodium Content

The biggest nutrient difference between natural and regular peanut butter comes down to sodium. Natural peanut butter is salt free, and therefore has no sodium. Regular varieties contain 40 to 70 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon, depending on the brand. When buying peanut butter remember that higher sodium content can mask the crunchy peanut flavour. There is no point in buying reduced-fat peanut butter because the calories are almost the same, due to the extra ingredients that are added to make up for the missing fat (including sugar). When taken in moderation, peanut butter is a healthy food. To limit your daily sodium intake, choose a natural peanut butter that’s made from hundred per cent peanuts, and does not contain high amount of hydrogenated oils. u

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2-8 November 2012

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Comment

Prime Bureaucrat

he PM, due to coalition compulsions, and an executive Party President, has not been able to really act as the Prime of Ministers. And he is primarily not a politician. Trying to be Prime Justice is exceedingly complex. He can, however, play a defining role - even now - as Prime Bureaucrat.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Corruption can rarely take place without the involvement (active or passive) of a bureaucrat - a babu. Bureaucrats do show the way to the politicians. Till now the focus has been on the politicians, and rightly so. And the ruling dispensations at the Centre and in the States have been, and should be, prime targets – as also the ‘special and privileged people’ who are more than perceived to have hidden authority. However, the time has come to broaden the scope, and to get results – to try and checkmate the rogues. Taking them on directly is very difficult; getting to them via the bureaucrats should be more rewarding. The homework, the paperwork, would also be more thorough – and stand up well in courts.

retary. Unfortunately for the State cadre, most CMs are today so powerful that it is difficult for even the PM to rein in his own party CMs (let alone those from the ruling coalition partners; and forget those from the opposition). The Chief Secretaries of a State are surely finding it even more difficult to be independent. Will one of them The corrupt are reportedly ganging up. There must dare take up the gauntlet? be the most hectic of backroom activities on-going. On this issue, no one will boycott the other – however opIt is an irony that, in the posed they may be politically. Politics has always made decade of the most honest the strangest of bedfellows. This gang will wish to paint PM, we seem to have the all black – they have the appropriate money to do so. harshest victimization of Just putting a black (or even gray) dot is enough. All a solid pillar of our democdo-gooders will be questioned and tarnished, by them racy – the civil service. A and their troops (and they surely have recruited in the service for which the PM media too). And ‘well-meaning’ folk, and jealous folk, should have great affinity, will question if the do-gooders can really come good. and respect. He may not Instant folk, in this new world, want immediate answers have personally felt much and solutions – or otherwise prefer status quo. heat in his career, but he surely knows all about it. If he cannot cleanse What must honest IAS officers feel today? Yes, cor- politics, let him at least ruption was always there, as in other services. But the start the cleansing of the extent and brazenness is surely at historic levels. The bureaucracy – and more spouse and children may also not understand or ap- importantly, deliver juspreciate any ‘noble (or, shudder, patriotic) feelings’. tice and honour to the vicHave these sentiments died with the first generation timized. It is time for the after Independence? PM to deliver justice to inWe must salute, and continue to support, all those tegrity. It is time for true who have remained honest and upright, and worked courage – very different for the citizens - and who have not acquiesced, despite than that shown for the repeated personal hardships. These righteous folk are nuclear deal. better men (and women) than us; we are largely great armchair, drawing room critics. The PM should imme-

Charity begins at home. We first need to find accountability within the bureaucracy. At the Centre, the chief bureaucrat is the Cabinet Secretary. Why has he been silent on the expanse and scale of corruption? Or on the issue of victimization of IAS officers? Does even he feel impotent in today’s set up? The Cabinet Secretary, as the number one bureaucrat, needs to set the example. It is better that he feels and takes the heat, than the hundreds of other committed bureaucrats. He needs to take a strong stand. And that is where the solid backing of a PM would provide more than just moral courage. At the State level the numero uno is the Chief Sec-

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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diately team up with the Cabinet Secretary and personally go into each case – even a top 10 list would be a great start. It is time to provide justice to victimized bureaucrats – and to ensure that civil services are delivered without fear or favour. Another strong pillar - the Courts – especially the Supreme, or the Prime, of them needs to play its part. The 10 ‘special’ cases taken up by the PM should be put on a fast track mode. People found guilty of corruption, of the plunder of our national resources, should get exemplary punishments. Quick justice should be delivered to the honest, committed officers; and the sternest action ordered against those who are found vindictive.u

FAMOUS QUOTES

y father who is 82 yrs old & a Retd. Dy. Director Horticulture, is staying in Allahabad. He was with us for the last 2 months, & had gone through all FG publications during his stay in Delhi, & liked it much. He has taken all the issues with him, as he is a writer of Horticultural books & articles in news papers in Allahabad. Thanks a lot Sir, for your contribution towards this. Ambrish

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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If you do not wish a man to do a thing, you had better get him to talk about it; for the more men talk, the more likely they are to do nothing else. Thomas Carlyle

congratulate you on having brought out a successful publication which is very useful and informative for the people of Gurgaon. It has been a success, and congratulations on this achievement. Darshan Singh [CEO / PAN INDIA] 

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our paper in a short span of time has marked its presence against the cross section of readers and society. It has been playing a very responsible role of journalism. P.K. Jain Founder President, Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce & Industry

There are two levers for moving men -- interest and fear. Napoleon Bonaparte

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control

and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Dr. Seuss “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus


2-8 November 2012

B on V ivant

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Tips

Sanskriti Manch { Shilpy Arora / FG }

actor last year. Recounting his journey from a potter to hounam, 36, has come all a script writer, Laxmi says the way from Manipur to “I used to buy Hindi books watch the performance from a “kabadi wala”, as I of her nephew, Rocky. She never earned more than Rs. knew little of the Saila Dance 20 a day. My reading habit of Chhattisgarh. However, after brought me close to Hindi watching a dance performance literature.” Today, Laxmi is by the Chhattisgarh troupe, she credited with writing scripts has decided to take up Saila for not only plays, but also for telefilms and documentaries dance classes. “I think a lot of people in Manipur can relate broadcast on Doordarshan.    Similarly, it was not easy for to the Saila Dance, as it is quite similar to the dance Salma, who plays the character forms performed with sticks of a Hindu lady in a play entitled in our state. The dancers stand “Udan Khatola”, to become a on one leg and form a circle. I theatre artist. “I come from a found it quite interesting and conservative Muslim family want to learn it,” says Thounam.   in Bareilly. It was very Such is the cultural difficult for me to convince my confluence at the annual art “Abu” (father) to allow me to jamboree – NISHTHA 2012, perform on the stage. Many organised by the Nishtha people in my community Sanskritik Manch (NSM), an call it “Nautanki”. But my NGO working to promote the whole troupe, along with different cultures and traditions my director, met my parents of India. Held at the Rotary and assured them about my Public School, the five-day safety. Today I am glad that I dance and drama competition have travelled so far, to perform saw life, love and emotions in front of so many renowned unfolding on the stage. “We artists,” says Salma, who aspires wanted to have something that to become a Bollywood actor. On the other hand Shanti, bound all the states together. So we opened the doors from Manipur, who bagged

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says Shanti. Unlike Shanti, who has always been focussed on acting, Rajneesh realised it quite late. He began performing on stage at the age of 9, but never thought of taking it up as a career. It was after completing B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering that he felt that a highpaying job is meaningless if one doesn’t enjoy the work. “Despite a lot of peer pressure I left my job with Deccan Charters and joined a local acting school, SACO, in my city – Lucknow. I have decided that I will give the rest of my life to theatre. One day I will make it big,” says Rajneesh, with stars in his eyes. The theatre troupe from Lucknow proudly told everybody about their play, “My Sandal”, that was banned in 2011 by the then Chief Minister of UP, Mayawati. For Brijesh Mishra, the reason to feel proud is that three generations of his family have came from Dehradoon to perform in the show. Director of a play “Ek Ruka Hua Phaisla”, Brijesh have given most of says, “I  my life to theatre. It is part of

Sanatomba Director, Manipur

Shanti Actress, Manipur

Rajneesh Actor, Lucknow

Mukesh Director, Lucknow

PP Biswas, Director, Chhattisgarh

Laxmi Naraya Script Writer, Chhattisgarh

Amit Light & Sound Artist, Bareilly

Salma Actress, Bareilly

and let the whole of India come here,” says Professor Sanjay Bhasin, President of Nistha Sanskritik Manch. There were performances from Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Manipur. While the motive of the competition is to contribute to the growth of dying art forms such as theatre and folk dances, many artists participate with a highly competitive spirit. Ask Laxmi Narayan the one thing that brings him to the City every year and he says, “I come here to win. Our team won three awards last year, which attracted many people to join our academy - MAST (Music, Art and Social Theatre). ” Coming from a small town of Durg-Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, Laxmi’s troupe won the awards for the best play, the best script writer,   and the best character

the award of best actress last year, doesn’t find Bollywood interesting at all. “I love to perform on stage. There is a lot to explore in theatre. I have done a diploma course in “Thougal” dance and drama. Now, I am brushing up my acting skills by participating in Shumang Lila, one of the famous Manipuri dramas,” says Shanti. Although Shanti has always been encouraged by her family to take up theatre as a career, her northeastern looks made it difficult for her to participate in many national-level plays in New Delhi and Mumbai. “Many times I am not even given a chance to audition, due to my ‘different’ looks. Beauty has a different definition in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. It has, however, never discouraged me to perform in other parts of the country. I always perform with the Manipuri troupe,”

my blood stream. My father, my brothers and even their children are participating in the show. It is a matter of pride for our family as most parents want their kids to become either doctors or engineers.” When asked about his fascination towards theatre, Brijesh’s 10-year-old nephew Akhilesh says, “I feel a different kind of energy in theatre because everything is right here!”

A great learning experience

For Amit Rankarni, a light and sound artist in the Bareilly troupe, NSM has proved to be a great learning experience. “I learnt a lot from the Bengali troupe. They have such a precise and detailed way of working. They give importance to the smallest of things, even backstage. Generally, while backstage, the artists feel a little disconnected with the audience. So this

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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. What can I do to remove the blackheads around my nose? Aparna Mehra SH Blackheads occur on oily areas of the skin. After washing the face in the morning, wipe the blackhead prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Then, make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water. Apply the paste on the areas with blackheads daily, and wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub three times a week – on the blackhead prone areas. You can either buy a facial scrub, or you can mix rice powder with rose water, and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the areas with blackheads, and rub gently on the skin – using small circular movements. Leave on for 5 minutes, and then wash off with water. Or, mix oats with egg white into a paste, and apply on these areas twice a week. Wash off when it is dry. You can also have clean-ups at a beauty salon, and have stubborn blackheads extracted.

WINNER Aparna Mehra

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

troupe has a member who just stands near the stage and observes the expression of the audience. He later gives feedback to the backstage team as well as the on-stage team. I am amazed to see their professionalism, despite their limited resources,” says Amit. A contemporary musician from the Dehradoon troupe, Jitendra, feels that the entire experience at NSM helped him see his country differently. “This trip made me realise that India has such a rich heritage which needs to be preserved. I interacted with a few artists from the Karnataka troupe. Unlike North Indians, people from the South want to leave a theatrical legacy for their future generations. We have a lot to learn from them,” believes Jitendra. For most of them, hopping from one part of the City to another is tiring, but they are pleasantly surprised with the hospitality of Gurgaonites. “We stayed at Marumal High School in Sector 4. People from neighbouring colonies cooked meals for us. I appreciate the support provided by NSM representatives, the school staff, and the local people,’ says an artist from the Rajasthani troupe. “There is so much we saw at NSM that we would love to incorporate it in our plays. We want to combine different theatre techniques in our productions now,” says Samanta, Director of the Bengali play, “Imli Ka Ped”. Samanta, who loves a “live audience”, believes that theatre helps in shaping good personalities – as you learn how to speak, how to keep yourself fit, and how to captivate the masses. 

Challenges

Shikha, a pass out from NSD, seems a little disappointed. “Many plays were Hindi adaptations of popular international and national plays. A good play must always have a fresh storyline, and a mix of drama, comedy, and culture. However, here I could see only the adaptations of popular plays, no original work,” says Shikha. “The reasons are obvious. There is lack of money in the theatre industry, so troupes take all kinds of short cuts, and make many compromises in the script. There are not enough training opportunities, no apprenticeships, and a poor infrastructure in the small cities. I am shocked that such a big cultural event is taking place in the Millennium City, and no corporate has come forward to provide any kind of support,” says Rajat Malik, a theatre reviewer based in Mumbai. Rajat, who travelled all the way to the City to attend the show, was upset with the poor infrastructure for performing arts in the City. “We need to re-evaluate the role of such festivals. We should ensure that these festivals don’t end-up being just showand-tell platforms,” he says. Despite these issues, and lack of financial support, some feel that such festivals help the performing arts in getting media attention, and hence new audiences. “We travel for three days to take part in the festival. Our goal is not to have corporate support or media attention. We are all passionate about dance and drama,” says Sanatomba, Director from the Manipuri troupe. (See Back Page also) u


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2-8 November 2012

Sci-Fi, Surreal, Spiritual ... { Srimati  Lal }

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lan Dougans, a Scotsman by birth, who later made Australia his home, lives in Gurgaon since 2009. He is head of Project Management at Cairn India Ltd., supervising the Company’s oilfields in Rajasthan. Although he has worked and travelled in a plethora of countries over three decades, it is only his recent Indian sojourn that has brought out Alan’s latent aesthetic avatar -- “expressing the frustrated artist within me via my photographic lens”, as he professes. Alan calls his largely architectureinspired photographic oeuvre Futuresight. These are a series of tightly-structured images of ancient monuments and modern buildings, skilfullyenhanced by Photoshop, in subdued and muted tones. There is an emphasis on monitored light-effects that are eerie, at times gloomy and moody. The results are some finely-honed, intense images, where Gothic Surrealism seems to meet the Matrix. With prodding from colleagues and friends, he has exhibited his photo-series four times: twice at the Aralias where he lives, once at the Gurgaon Golf Club, and once at DLF Emporio. Last week he was part of a Renge Art group show at the Aralias. Alan adds, “None of these exhibitions, however, have been in actual gallery environments -- they were more in social settings. I

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would prefer to show my work to more discerning and ‘real’ audiences, in serious galleries and cultural centres like the Habitat. I plan to release a book next year, of my photographs of Delhi and Agra. I concentrate on lesser-exposed monuments such as Akbar’s tomb, remote corners of Hauz Khas, itinerant and unknown Indian pilgrims and wanderers, and the enigmatic ‘baby Taj’.” Alan has not had much exposure to Indian photographers, despite being in touch with some recent work on the web. Trained as a Civil Engineer in Glasgow, Scotland, with over 2 decades of work as a Project Manager, his eye is essentially attracted to symmetry. He thus explores a range of imposing

...and Shocking

t is the mystic aspect of India that has most inspired Alan -- despite his frank confession that “the first year of living in Gurgaon was so difficult and challenging that, frankly, I’d have left at the drop of a pin.” The photographer then graphically described to me certain experiences that left a deep, lasting, and disturbing impact upon him. “In my first few weeks here I went to Connaught Place, to try and get a feel of modern Delhi. It was unsettling enough to be besieged by such desperate street-vendors aggressively trying to sell me stuff; but then suddenly I almost stumbled over a diseased man lying in pain on the pavement -- and in the process I was nearly run over by a Delhi guy in a vulgar Lamborghini sportscar! This experience of obscene wealth, beside the most shocking poverty, has savaged me for a long time. Living here in Gurgaon’s Aralias, I am surrounded by superficiality and show, where people ‘go places to be seen’ -- to me, they don’t seem like real people. This is very troubling. I have also observed the children of wealthy Gurgaonites to be atrociously arrogant and spoilt. They display absolutely horrendous behaviour, and crass assumptions that they deserve everything. Whereas the middle-class educated people who work with me daily are the exact opposites – with deep spiritual and religious beliefs guiding them.” Alan recounts another experience which made him and his wife Carol pause and ponder. “In Hyderabad, near the old Charminar bazaar area, an old man suddenly assaulted Carol with

buildings, and the occasional landscape and portrait, from such varied venues as Delhi, Darjeeling, London, Paris, Perth, and Melbourne, via exaggerated angles and ‘sci-fi’ effects. The dramatic dichotomy between the ancient and the modern has made him assemble a body of work documenting both Indian historic monuments and western contemporary structures on the same visual plane. From my art-critical standpoint, it was Alan’s less prolific Portrait series that caught my attention. He has effectively captured the lambent mystery of India’s everyday faces, in timeless, classical black and white photographic formats. The genuine face of India is

a stick, with absolutely no provocation. It was very peculiar. On the other hand, we have also observed the ‘White hangup’ of Indians, who stare at us with such undue fascination. When we attended a colleague’s wedding in Kanpur, the stares were positively embarrassing. We try to see the humorous and positive aspects of all this, but there is a negative side which cannot be ignored.” Alan also makes reference to the “blatant corruption in India’s big businesses being accepted as a matter of course. As I come from a stable, transparent government in Australia, this is a real shock. Everyone must be annoyed and frustrated by this corruption in India, and although it’s a very hard job, change

a genre he must explore more intensively. By contrast, the ‘techno’ aspect is rather overtly predominant in Alan’s architectural frames, with a series called ‘Lines’, that photographs skyscrapers from the bottom upwards – concentrating on narrowed-down, matrix-like geometrical lines, rather than on literal overall views. In a similar stylistic, he has captured Delhi’s Safdarjung Tomb and Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral as if from an apparent ant’s-eyeview, encapsulating the looming surrealism of their trajectories. This vantage -point is clearly a result of his engineering background. The artistry in Alan’s photos enters via his dramatic use of light and shadow, with cloudy veneers and diffused sunlight evoking a certain mysticism.

must take place.” He states, however, that his overall experience of India has been favourable, even though he cannot always pinpoint ‘why’. Ironically, one of the basic endearing factors, for him, are the Indian people. He views them as “deeply philosophical,” as a stark contrast to Australians, who are “very blunt, with not much spiritualism.” In the process of living here, Alan now has a copy of the Bhagavad Gita on his bedside table every day, and has also read up extensively on the Sikh saints. The Scotsman has evidently been bitten by that mysterious and hypnotic bug called ‘India’, that transfixes every visitor, regardless of all the downsides. I ask him his reaction to Mumbai as a city. “Oh, Mumbai is complete chaos! And yet, 3 years on, I absolutely love India... Through my processes of observation and experience, India has taught me how to be more patient, tolerant, as well as forceful. India has, perhaps, matured me more than any other country.” In summation, I ask Alan if there is any one dictum he now lives by, as a culmination of all his varied experiences... and his answer is indeed relevant to our times: “I once read somewhere that if you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said. I think this is what fuels my life now. My third year in India has changed me inexorably.” This western engineer’s ‘Futuristic’ photos of our country are another way of examining that complex Truth called India; which, though not always pretty or pleasant, is inevitably life-changing. u Artist, Writer, & Curator


B on V ivant 19

2-8 November 2012

Capturing Moments { Anita Jaswal }

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ave you looked at lightning and wished you could photograph it? Have you taken a photograph of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, but were not satisfied with the results? Have you looked through a popular magazine and wondered how such beautiful photographs are taken? These thoughts ran through Madhulika’s mind as a child; and by the time she turned 14, without any conscious planning or effort, she was into photography.  Madhulika Mohan, a Grade XII student of The Shri Ram School, Aravali is madly in love with photography.  The camera has taken her places – to new heights. Her journey as a photographer was given impetus when her photographs renowned photographer were curated by  Dinesh Khanna at the Art Mart 2010. An enthusiastic participant in photography competitions, she won the first prize in the ‘Joy of Giving’ photography competition held by Photosynthesis. In September 2012 she had a stall at the Art Mart IV,  among many great artists; her work was recognised and applauded by many.  She also was the winner of the INTACH, Times of India, Inter-School Photography Competition.     Photography for her is more than a hobby. She loves capturing special moments in the lives of her friends and family. It truly gives her pleasure to share these memories with others.     She deeply believes in Imogen Cunningham’s quote:  “Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow!” “When I was first starting out, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I got was to never be fully satisfied with what I do.”    Besides photography, she has a keen interest in writing, and has written many poems. Being a student of Sociology, she is concerned about the issue of violence against women in Indian society, and is determined to change that with the help of her photographs and poems.  A few lines from her poem, Disturbed

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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he noted American philosopher and psychologist William James very aptly said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind”. The introspective side of human behaviour is to see clearly just how much negativity there is within us. There may be rage, fear, jealousy and low self-esteem hidden behind the exterior that we present to public view. In ‘civilised’ people, this hidden rage mostly creeps out in sly criticism and subtle angling for advantage – rather than in violent and bloody exchange of blows. It is always waiting in ambush, always on the look out for opportunities to create a greater mess. Negativity can keep us from enjoying many things that can bring us joy. It holds us from trying new things that may be wonderful. It can also prevent us from maturing and learning how to cope with the challenges of life. It can take away our energy and motivation. From a physical standpoint, negativity, unhappiness, and stress weaken

Every Breath You Take

prakhar pandey

{ Bhavana Sharma }

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“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s or thing’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt. Taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second. For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity,” feels Madhulika. Silence, bare the intensity of her thoughts:   My eyes drop Blood rises,  Fierce whip-controlled by him.   I give up. Fight for who, I must?   She sums up her artistic journey: “Photographers are story tellers too, but their story is to be explored by the mind. I was taught to write when I was 3; but to create and weave a theme only came to me a decade later – when I started capturing emotions and landscapes, movement and stills, with my camera. I was elated at being recognised by my school for my passion. I gained good experience and confidence, in covering every event, and interacting with fellow students and teachers. Photography to me is the unlocking of a door that lets light paint my thoughts.” u

reath is our constant companion through life, and it acts as a bridge between our conscious and subconscious mind. It stores subtle information. Through breath awareness we are able to experience emotions, even create images. It is a language link between our mental, emotional and spiritual self. Breath is the major source of energy; we can live without food but we cannot live without prana. We absorb prana every day, constantly, to rebalance, harmonise and strengthen ourselves. Breathing can be an ever-present gateway to the awakening of the true self. Through breathing we can: become conscious of our bodies as a sacred temple; open a doorway to the source of all being; release constricting physical and emotional tensions; and enhance breathing itself in conditions of comfort, openness, and ease of being. Breath grounds us in our present body. We take twenty thousand breaths every day; about 12 to 18 cycles of breath every minute. The impurities of our body are dispersed a little through the kidneys, some more through the skin, and predominantly through breathing. So it is vitally important that we should learn to control and infuse our breath with prana (or cosmic energy). Apart from physical work, several mental activities also effect our breathing. With the help of several breath asanas we can blow away the conditioned mind’s veil, and allow one’s inner light to shine forth. We can rid ourselves of unhealthy thought patterns and many physical diseases, and cultivate the awareness to live each moment with joy. Breath meditation is a final gateway to self-realisation. Slow, deep breathing flushes out toxins, digests food and helps in controlling weight. It improves the texture of the skin, and makes the heart stronger.

Breath Yoga:

Ujjayi Pranayama - In this technique we focus on building heat in the body. We work on our breath, by performing the inhaling and exhaling exercises simultaneously. Dirgha Pranayama During this asana we fill up three chambers of the lungs with oxygen to relax the mind as well as the body. It enriches the blood with oxygen, dispels carbon dioxide from the lungs and helps in diaphragmatic breathing. Nadi Shodhana - Practising this alternate nostril breathing is a cleansing breathing technique that soothes the mind, relieves stress, promotes clear thinking and balances the two hemispheres of the brain. u Tarot Reader & Author

Accept Your Shadows our immune system. When this happens, we can become susceptible to many diseases – including hypertension, heart disease and ulcers. Negativity can finally lead to sadness and depression – a giving up on life. We need to identify what specific types of negative attitudes are lurking inside us. We need to eliminate these negative thinking patterns, that nearly everyone indulges in at least some of the time. An average person generates 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day. To change a significant portion of our thoughts to positive thoughts, we will have to train our mind. The first step is to know that we have the ability to seize control of our mind. We will then have to train ourself into a moment-by-moment awareness of our own thinking patterns, by frequently asking ourself, “What am I thinking right now?” Once we develop an awareness of our own thinking, we should identify the negative thinking pat-

terns, and replace them with encouraging, realistic and constructive thoughts. When we are able to see our own negativity clearly we will be less complacent, and we will not stand on judgment of others. We will know that we too have

There are four major types of negative thinking: filtering, personalizing, panicking and polarising. Filtering refers to psychologically screening out the encouraging aspects of complex scenarios; Personalising means automatically blaming ourself every time something bad happens; Panicking is pushing the panic button and expecting the worst possible outcome in any situation; and Polarising is a type of black-andwhite thinking that defines failure as any result short of perfection.

all the seeds in us to be every possible kind of saint or sinner. We are not made of different stuff from the people we might choose to criticise or scorn. To be proud of ourselves while devaluing others is simply self-deception. If we have some special talent or some particular virtue, then we have it for some purpose – which is to benefit the world. If we see it as a platform from which to assert our superiority, we defeat our real purpose. We all also have some shadow in our personality. Yes, along with the light there will always be shadow. The shadow must be admitted. If we learn to live with the devil inside, along with the angel, we will be a lot healthier. When we recognise, acknowledge and contain our own negativity, and are no longer afraid of the shadows that arise within ourselves, we put ourselves in a position to think well of others – and to become useful to the world. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.


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A Trip Down Mehrauli Lane { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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f you want to roam in a fort-cumpalace complex that was once the home of one of the most powerful despots in the country, first pay obeisance to a Sufi saint in whose presence even the sultans became commoners; then walk past a boating complex that was once the summer retreat of a British Governor General; and proceed to the Mehrauli Village and the Archaeological Park, where the history of Delhi is unravelled stone by stone. Many in Gurgaon would have driven past this historical Complex, and even visited the numerous restaurants and designer shops. Friday Gurgaon guides you through this historical maze. Tombs, baolis, forts, and gardens abound in this area – some still whole, some just remnants, and some buried in the natural undergrowth. This Complex, adjacent to the Qutub Minar, remained in obscurity for almost 150 years (after the revolt of 1857); it was only a couple of years ago that it was rediscovered as a living monument to the history of Delhi. As one enters the Park from the MG Road side, while going to Delhi, it feels as if one is deep inside a jungle of ‘keekar’ trees, and stone monuments that have been conjugated from birth. Beginning at the Tomb of Quli Khan or the Dil-Khusha (Metcalfe House), one soon gets immersed into the vegetation and the history of Delhi. The British resident to Delhi during the rule of Bahadur Shah Zafar II, Thomas Metcalfe, purchased a large part of what is now known as the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, and landscaped it into a pleasure garden. Metcalfe also got rid of Quli Khan’s cenotaph from the tomb, and converted the area into his weekend retreat. At one point the house, renamed as Dil-khusha, had a drawing room, library, an oratory, as well as external wings for guests and servants. He also built a boat house, springs, pools, and a couple of canopies and follies, that stand near the Qutub Minar parking. A canopy built by him stands on a mound near the Jamali Kamali mosque. As Metcalfe was the Governor General between 1853-55, his days at the Dilkhusha were shortlived, as the mutineers ransacked this Complex during the revolt of 1857. Sunil, an avid photographer and history enthusiast, who regularly visits this Park, says that it is unfortunate that this Complex, of immense historical importance, has not been properly revived by the government. “This area lives and breathes history. It could become one of our most important attractions, if proper attention is paid to it,” says Sunil, who also

points to the Hindu antecedents of Mehrauli. This area has been built on the remains of a Hindu kingdom, he said, referring to the Chauhans who built the Lal Kot in Mehrauli area. Another important monument is the Tomb of Balban, who succeeded Razia Sultana, and ruled Delhi with an iron fist. The tomb of Balban was the first to incorporate a true arch, a breakthrough in Indo-Islamic architecture. The tomb and mosque of Jamali and Kamali belongs to Sheikh Fazallulah (Fazlu), a

The real estate in Mehrauli was prized even a thousand years ago. This urbanised village has seen continuous habitation for a millennium, and has seen empires changing hands every century or so. noted saint and poet, who lived during the reign of the Lodhis, Babur and Humayun. Fazlu was a romantic at heart, and had the arrogance of youth. It is said that he once went to meet his beloved in a deserted spot, and waited restlessly for hours. At last he saw a figure coming towards him through the tree. Thinking that it was his beloved Fazlu grabbed the person; but to his surprise he saw a dervish. Since that night he became a hermit. Fazlu was drawn to the Sufi fold, and acquired ‘supernatural’ powers – becoming popular as Jamal Shah or Jalali Shah. He performed several miracles, and upon the suggestion of his pir, Sheikh Samauddin Fa-

Rajon ki Baoli

zlullah, he changed his name from Jalali to Jamali. The saint himself began the construction of his own tomb, that is decorated with coloured tiles. The grave next to him is said to be of Kamali, about whom no historical records exist. Tek Chand, an official of the ASI, told Friday Gurgaon, “This tomb is an important part of Delhi’s spiritual history, and sees a lot of visitors. We are trying our best to protect it.” Even foreigners want the sanctity of this area to be preserved. Galeb, a resident of Saint Petersburg, who comes here often, says that he likes this place for the peace and serenity it offers. Surprising us by speaking in chaste Hindi, Galeb also opines that it is in a way good that not many people come to this place; it helps retains its centuries old charm and character. Moving further to the right one can see several structures, that include the Gumtis, enclosures and other relics of the past, which are under threat of being erased from the face of the earth, as nature hits at them with vengeance. The scenery also reminds us that kings may come and go, forts may be built, wars lost and won – it is ultimately nature that is all-powerful. Rajon ki Baoli, literally means the baoli used by the masons. It is believed to have been commissioned by Daulat Khan, a noble, during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi. It is a magnificent three-storeyed step well – that also includes a mosque, and a tomb with twelve pillars. Although dry today, Sunil says that it must have been the centre of life once, particularly during the summers, when people would come here to beat the heat. Zamuridin, who has a house on the periphery of the Park, says that there is no preservation of monuments in the area. Vijay, another visitor, says that there are a lot of enroachments taking place, and the government has been allowing this to happen. “This will lead to the destruction of this historical Park,” he asserts. Another important feature is the walled garden of Roz Afzun Nazir, a well known eunuch who served Muhammad Shah in the mid 17th century. An inscription on the western side of the enclosure proclaims, “In the name of God who is merciful and element. In compliance with the order of Muhammad Shah, the just, on whose head rests the holy crown. A flower garden was planted at the Qutub, the flowers of which are praised by the gardener of paradise. May by the blessings of Suras ‘Sad’ and ‘Tabarah’ (from the Koran) Roz Afzun be ever prosperous...” Further on the ridge is the abode of Kamli Shah, a young lady who had abandoned worldly affairs. She became a mendicant during the reign of Bahadur Shah II, and the Takiya is said to have been built by the king. Coming out from the Mehrauli Archaeological Park from the left of Rajon Ki Bawli, one comes across the beautifully built Gandhak Ki Baoli, built by Iltutmish, to relieve the area from water shortage. It is said to be the first such step-well in the dry region of Delhi. He is also credited with building the Hauzi-Shamshi in the Mehrauli area, alongside which

Prakhar Pandey

Metcalfe’s Folly


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exists the Jahaz Mahal – a summer retreat of the Lodhis. These monuments have now been restored to some extent, but still need preservation, as the intrusion of local residents make them more susceptible to wear and tear. Suddenly, one’s feet start moving automatically in one direction – towards the hospice of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki, one of the most influential spiritual saints of the Chishti order. He was the disciple of Khwaja Moinnudin Chisthi. Aminudin Chishti Ghulam Qutubudin Bakhtiar Chisti, whose name literally means servant of the saint, says that universal love, brotherhood and peace was the message of this great saint. “His spiritual teachings focus on renunciation, complete trust in god, and equality of human beiings. Whatever is happening today in Islam, represented by orthodox ideology, is not something preached by Mohd (PBUH),” he says. In this dargah, an equal number of Hindus and Muslims can be seen paying obeisance to the spiritual master. Just a few hundred metres from this hospice is the famous Banda Bahadur Gurudwara, that represents the great sacrifices made by the Sikhs, particularly under Guru Gobind Singh, while opposing the mindless orthodoxy of the Mughals. Banda Bahadur Singh was a native of Jammu province, who was initiated into Sikhism by Guru Gobind Singh, ransacked the Sirhind Fort and announced the rule of Khalsa there. Jathedar Davinder Singh says that Banda Bahadur was captured in Gurdaspur, along with 740 Sikhs. They were brought to Delhi, and every day a hundred Sikhs were killed in Chandni Chowk. Banda Bahadur was hanged inside a building in Mehrauli for three days, and skinned with hot iron roads. He attained martyrdom. His four year old son, Baba Ajay Singh, was also killed in a gruesome manner. Ramesh Agarwal, a resident of the nearby street, says that many such stories are lying buried in the streets and walls of Mehrauli. “Cruelty, hatred, passion, revenge, love and spirituality are intertwined in the history of this village,” he says. Moving from the historical to the living, Mehrauli

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Foreign Winds Do you know that the humble samosa that you order every day from the neighbourhood halwai was once enjoyed by the Sultans of Delhi? Originally called ‘sambosa’, this delicacy came to India through the Central Asians, who ate it filled with meat, dried fruits and nuts. It was indigenised, using potatoes, and has now almost come to be known as an Indian snack. In fact the Slave rule in Delhi opened the doors for many foreigners – including the Mongols, Taziks, Arabs, Uzbeks, Afghans, Syrians, and Abbasids. They were warrior traders and represented a nomadic way of life – unlike the well-settled Indians, many of whom never even moved out of their villages. The arrival of foreigners led to the creation of a society which had features of both immigrant culture as well as the settled Indian one.  One big change that it brought about was the urbanisation of many Indian towns into well developed cities, as new ideas were brought into polity, society, religion, art, architecture, and the designing of villages.  Delhi witnessed the development of new urban spaces, and managed to unseat Lahore as the centre of power, as it was protected from sudden foreign attacks.  Having an ideal location, Delhi soon witnessed the construction of many palaces, mosques, hospices, serais and markets. Architecture styles got more evolved, as the traditional trabeate and corbelled systems were used in consonance with true arches and domes of the immigrant style. The Central Asian influence also saw the setting up of gardens divided in four parts, that also included water channels. A number of markets developed in Delhi, where clothes, grains, leather, food items, weapons, and horses were sold – like it happened in the cities of Central Asia. Imports from all parts of the world were made available; perhaps for the first time after the rule of Ashoka. This era also saw the arrival of restaurants, where cooked food was sold in shops – a practice unheard of earlier. It also saw the development of Mughlai cuisine. The kings popularised it by lavishing huge spreads on important festivals and events. Another contribution of this era is the introduction of pyrotechnics, which were introduced by the Khilji rulers. Babur later used cannons to great impact, and brought the Indian rulers under his suzerainty, during and after the battle of Panipat.

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Banda Bahadur Gurudwara

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Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan

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Adham Khan Tomb (Bhool Bhulaiya)

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Jamali Kamali Tomb

today is brimming with people from across the country and abroad. An important event that reminds one of this communal brotherhood is the ‘Phool-walon Ki Sair’, an annual event that was started in 1812 by Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. It involves a procession led by musicians, dancers, and people bearing floral fans and flowers, to the Yogmaya temple. It winds through the bazars of Mehrauli, and concludes at the Dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki. It is said that Mumtaz Mahal had vowed that if her son Mirza Jahangir was released by the British from Allahabad, she would offer a ‘chadar’ of flowers at the Dargah of Kaki. When the Mirza was released she completed her vow, and since then the tradition has continued. The secular Mughal emperor then ordered that a ‘chadar’ should also be offered at the Yogmaya Temple. The story of Mehrauli would never be complete without visiting the famous Yogmaya Temple, that is dedicated to Goddess Yogmaya, the sister of Krishna. The 5,000 year old temple is attributed with many legends. Just down the road from this Temple is the Qutub Minar and the Quawwatul Islam mosque – that were built within the Lal Kot area. The work on Qutub Minar was started by Qutub ud din Aibak but completed in 1220 AD by Iltutmish, and is a standing ovation to the builders, architects, and workers of the time. The mosque, built in 1193, was not only a religious structure, but also symbolised the political authority of the time. It saw the eclipse of  Hindu Gurjars and Chauhan rulers. The Qutub Minar had four monumental gates, but now only the Southern rampart, called the Alai Darwaza, remains. There are several other ruins in this Complex, which are preserved by ASI; they include the Tomb of Iltutmish, the Delhi ruler who preferred to hand over power to his daughter Razia Sultana. It also has Alau Din Khilji’s madrasa, and Imam Zamin’s mosque. To conclude the Mehrauli archaeological trail one will have to reach the bus terminal. Just opposite to it is the Tomb of Adham Khan, who was thrown from the parapet of the Agra Fort—not once but twice—by Mughal Emperor Akbar, for murdering Atgah Khan in 1566 (husband of another royal nurse). Adham was the son of Maham Anaga, the foster mother of Akbar, and a powerful influence in the court. It was in memory of Adham Khan that this tomb was constructed, and is popularly known as Bhool Bhulaiya. Adham Khan had drawn the wrath of the Mughal emperor, and so was buried in Mehrauli with the slave kings – while Atgah Khan was buried near Nizamuddin. This building was used as a residence by the British resident to the kingdom of Jaipur, and later as a police station. It has presently been restored, and is an attraction for the locals and the tourists. The history of Delhi, and this nation, definitely owes a lot to the spirit of Mehrauli, that became a home to the Sultans, the Mughals as well as commoners. The area in and around this Village has something special, that has allowed it to cradle empires and become a melting pot of civilizations. Historians say Mehrauli was a laboratory for the rulers of this nation, who used it to mix and match the architecture, the cuisine, the fragrances, and the spirit. An excellent mix it has turned out indeed. u  Tombs of Balban


22 t was nearly midnight, and most of the athletes who had run in the Berlin marathon in the morning were at home, resting. A zigzagging figure finally, slowly crossed the finish line at the majestic Brandenburg Gate. Venezuelan Maickel Melamed had once again made it to the end of the race. Melamed was born in Caracas in 1975, with a motor retardation that caused him to be “an inert mass” ,without the possibility of ever moving. He has gone from a newborn with a life expectancy of one week, to recently completing one of the most important athletic competitions in the world – the Berlin Marathon. It took him 14 hours and 20 minutes; but, as he says, “if you dream of it, make it happen”, and “no challenge is too great not to try it.” One year after having run the New York Marathon, he improved his time in Berlin. His heart is his strongest muscle, and Melamed runs marathons solely for the purpose of helping others. “My body is definitely not made for this,

Melamed’s Amazing Race but when it has to do it, it does so,” says Melamed. Running marathons for Melamed is a way “of bringing down walls”, and “inspiring human beings to forge their own destinies.” When Melamed managed to survive beyond the first week of birth, all the physicians agreed that he would never be “normal”. That never held him back. His enormous energy has led him not only to run the marathons, but also to climb the highest mountain in Venezuela. Melamed is an economist, a coach, a Gestalt Psychotherapist, and a lecturer. His life involves “looking at death in the eye, almost chasing her every day.” But he is convinced that there are no limits to what humans can achieve – and many follow his steps in his “Let’s Go!” project. There was much training before Melamed could run in marathons. Initially, he could barely cover 500 metres. To run in the New York Marathon he trained for 1,100 days,

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{ Rosa Aranda / Berlin / DPA }

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Melamed needed 14 hours and 20 minutes to complete the Berlin marathon.

China Ratings Firm To Challenge US Rivals { Bill Smith / Beijing / DPA }

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hinese ratings firm Dagong Global has agreed upon a joint venture with a US and a Russian company, to challenge their larger US rivals. Dagong plans to set up the Universal Credit Rating Group, with US firm EganJones Ratings and Russia’s RusRating JSC. The new Universal Credit Rating Group would be a non-sovereign international credit rating organization, and would not represent the interests of any nation or interest group. It would encourage reform of the

international credit rating system, provide impartial ratings, and promote an independent international ratings supervision system. “We live in a global economy that is dominated by credit relationships and debt financing,” said Guan Jianzhong, the Chairman of Dagong. “It is vital to the prosperity of all nations that credit ratings provide comparable information about borrowers in all countries.” Sean Egan, President of Egan-Jones Ratings, said the global credit rating system “urgently needs to be reformed”. “Overly optimistic credit ratings have led to an economic crisis—

Germany’s Gold Reserves { Joern Bender, Jean-Baptiste Piggin / Berlin / DPA }

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ermany’s central bank— The Bundesbank—has revealed one of its most closely-guarded secrets: that almost half its hoard of 3,400 tons of gold bars is kept in vaults in New York. The disclosure follows days of domestic questioning about why the gold has not been brought “home” to Frankfurt— where the Bundesbank has its headquarters—and why it does not conduct random checks, to make sure nothing devious is happening in the vaults. Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a

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Bundesbank Governor, said that 1,536 tons of gold bars were lodged rent-free with the Federal Reserve in New York, and a further 374 tons were guarded at no cost by the Bank of France. However, the Bank of England sends an annual bill of 500,000 euros (650,000 dollars) – to store 450 tons of German gold. The remaining 1,036 tons are in Germany. The bank is tightlipped about the gold – which totals 3,396 tons. At current prices, the German gold reserves are worth an estimated 143 billion euros (187 billion dollars) - just

almost to a catastrophe—that was only avoided thanks to unprecedented central bank interventions,” Egan said. Major credit rating firms such as Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor’s, were criticised after they failed to warn of the likelihood of a global financial crisis in 2008. “The global credit crisis has highlighted the importance of credit ratings, and has demonstrated that flaws in the current international credit rating system jeopardize human prosperity and development. The current system no longer meets the credit rating needs of the world,” Dagong said. u short of the GDP of Pakistan, according to World Bank data. Conspiracy theorists have questioned whether the unseen gold exists, and have demanded that the ingots be brought back to German soil. But Thiele has rejected any suggestion that the gold might have been stolen, as “grotesque.” “At the beginning of the last decade, we brought 930 tons of gold from London to Frankfurt,” he said. “Part of it was melted to make new bars .... Out of 930 tons, not a single gram went missing. Over the next three years, we’ll bring 50 tons annually to Germany,” he said. That gold would be melted and re-formed into gold bars. u

and ran 6,240 kilometres. Berlin was even harder, because he fell and hit his head; but somehow got up again. “The most natural thing is to fall, but what is important is how you get up. I decided to keep going.” Melamed smiles when he recalls how his father always told him that his strength lay in his mind, and to focus on his mental energy. “What neither he nor anyone else expected was that I would become a paradox … that I would achieve my goals through my physical capacities,” he says. However, Melamed is not afraid to ask for help, and accepts it gracefully when it is extended. He has conducted coaching workshops for organizations in several countries – Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Venezuela. He feels strongly that for societies to do well, it is enough for each to fulfill his or her task. “My contribution is not political, but human,” he says. Melamed has already set his goals on running the marathons in London in 2013, and in Chicago and Boston the following year. u

Compensation For Flight Delays { Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl / Luxembourg / DPA }

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ir passengers in the European Union are entitled to compensation of up to 600 euros (773 dollars), if their flights are more than three hours late, the bloc’s top court has ruled, rejecting challenges by airlines. The European Court of Justice had already ruled in 2009 that passengers must be compensated not only for cancelled flights, but also for long delays – except under “extraordinary circumstances”, that the airline could not avoid. German and British courts asked the Luxembourg-based judges to expand on their original ruling, after Lufthansa, British Airways, easyJet, TUI  Travel and the International Air Transport Association challenged the compensation related to delays. “Passengers whose flights are delayed, and whose flights are cancelled ‘at the very last moment’, must be regarded as being in comparable situations ... because those passengers suffer similar inconvenience - namely, a loss of time,” the court ruled. Minimum compensation currently stands at 250 euros. u


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Ladies First { Todd Feathers / Washington / DPA }

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he south side Chicago lawyer and the wealthy stay-at-home mom couldn’t disagree more when it comes to politics – but Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have one thing in common: they are indispensable on the campaign trail. Michelle, 48, wife of President Barack Obama, began her path to First Lady of the United States in a four-room apartment in Chicago’s predominantly black south side. Her mother was a secretary, and her father worked at a water treatment plant. She graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, before starting careers as a lawyer, City Administrator and Community Outreach Officer. Ann, 63, wife of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her father was a successful, self-made businessman and part-time mayor of the town. She graduated from the Mormon Church’s Brigham

Young University, with a degree in French, before raising five children as a stay-athome mom diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.     Their differing paths converge on the campaign trail, however, where they have proven to be invaluable. Both women appeal to core groups within their parties, and have been deployed during campaigns to humanize their husbands – who are often accused of being aloof and out-of-touch. Michelle took the lead, reaching out to African American voters in 2008 – and she continues to be the chosen voice to reach them in 2012. After President Obama came out in support of gay marriage in May, it was his

wife who spoke to 30,000 members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church conference in Nashville – many of them angry with the President’s announcement. She borrowed heavily from religious texts in her sermon, and referenced her family’s origins as southern blacks. By the time her 30-minute speech was over the crowd had given her several standing ovations. Despite her appeal to the working class, Michelle retains a distinctly educated and sophisticated air. Her youth, fashion sense, and good looks have led many people to compare her to Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the late President John F Kennedy. Ann’s personality has also proven to be the all-important humanizing factor for her husband, who has been likened to a robot by some critics. Republican strategists have said her personal battle with multiple sclerosis, and inner “steel”, will be key for her husband’s campaign to connect with struggling voters. When Hilary Rosen, a Democratic adviser, attempted to paint the Romneys as wealthy and out-of-touch, by asserting Ann had never worked “a day in her life,” Romney turned the attack to her advantage. She appeared in several interviews, rebutting the accusations – by explaining the difficulty of being a mother of five children, with multiple sclerosis. Her descriptions of the “dark” times her family went through, when the disease left her bed-ridden, were a politically savvy way to show how even the wealthy struggle, strategists said. Michelle’s and Ann’s weaknesses go hand-in-hand with their strengths. They are more candid than their husbands – sometimes to a political fault. Michelle’s low-income black roots, and work at a non-profit, encouraging young people to become involved in social issues, contributed to her credibility within the African American community, campaign officials have said. Her thesis at Princeton was titled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community”, and explored the challenges facing black students, trying to maintain their identity while at Princeton. But campaign aides have told her to play down her interest in race issues, for fear that racially charged comments might scare some white voters. The personal flair Ann adds to her husband’s campaign, has, at times, gone too far toward reinforcing the perception of her husband as – rich and outof-touch. Ann’s fashion sense, which is seen as a bright contrast to her husband’s buttonedup appearance, drew criticism when she wore a 990-dollar Reed Krakoff blouse. She was criticized for spending 77,000 dollars for a share of an expensive dressage horse – that competed in the London Olympics. She has responded that riding the horse was part of her multiple sclerosis therapy. The Romneys’ personal wealth is estimated at 230 million dollars. u

Global In Gurgaon Indo-German Chamber of Commerce Deutsch-Indische Handelskammer Mumbai - Delhi - Kolkata - Chennai Bangalore - Pune - Dusseldorf

APAC Conference

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urgoan is playing host to the 13th Asia Pacific Conference of German Corporates, from November 1 to 3. Close to 800 delegates from the Asia Pacific German businesses have arrived, and are staying across many hotels in the City. Also attending is the CEO of Siemens, in his capacity as Chairman of the Conference. The Conference is held almost every 2 years. The last one was in Singapore. Delhi hosted this Conference in 1996. Gurgaon is host in this Year of India (for Germany), celebrating 60 years of our ties. Chancellor Merkel had kicked off the Year, with her visit last May. A prominent showcase event is the Indo-German Urban Mela, that has been making the rounds of the country. 18 pavilions (including a Kids Lab, by BASF) have been set up at Indraprastha ‘Millennium’ Park in Delhi – displaying German high-tech. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, talked to FG : “Gurgaon was chosen as it represents the new New Delhi – or maybe the Pudong of India. It is also very near the new T3 international terminal, that was built with the help of Fraport AG, a German firm. Gurgaon has modern infrastructure, and state-of-the-art offices. Many German companies (about 20 large firms) have their offices here – including the big names, and there is also a local German Centre (for Industry and Trade). It was also helpful that many hotels are in close vicinity to each other, and that the Leela has a 1000 person capacity ballroom. Of course the roads and traffic here can be a challenge.” Bernhard has lived in India for over 20 years. German firms in India employ about 170,000 people directly, and almost double of that with affiliates. Bernhard also spoke with passion and authority on the EU and the Euro, and his clear conviction that EU is not in a crisis (rather, that it is as a whole still better off than the US or UK) – but that story is for another time. u

1. Do you have this in my size? - Ni You Wo De Daxiao
 Ni - Ni, as in Nirvana You – as in Yo Wo – ‘that’ in Hindi De – The, in English Daxiao – Ta , as in Tara, ‘star’ in Hindi+ shi, as in shin+ya+ sound of the alphabet O

2. How much is this for?- Zhe Ge Duoshao Qian
 Zhe – ch, as in chashma, ‘specs’ in Hindi , Ge – sound of the Hindi alphabet G Duo – Tu, as in ‘you’ in Hindi+ sound of the alphabet O + sha, as in shark+ sound of the alphabet O Qian - chi (chi as in chhilka, ‘peel’ in Hindi) + yane (pronounced as Lane, with a Y)  3. That is too expensive.- Na Ge Hen Gui

Na – na, as in ‘naam’, name in hindi Ge - sound of the Hindi alphabet G Hen – hun, as in hundred  Gui – ku, as in kutta, ‘dog’ in Hindi+ sound of the alphabet A 


4. I am looking for something cheaper.- Wo Yao Pianyi De

Wo – ‘that’ in Hindi Yao – Ya + sound of the alphabet O Pianyi – phi, as in phir, ‘again’, in Hindi+sound of the alphabet A+ ni, as in nee By Gautam Arora For Chinese Classes, log on to: www.chinesedelhi.co.in


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2-8 November 2012

G -scape

NISHTHA - by the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch

jit kumar

Friday Gurgaon Nov 2-8, 2012  

Friday Gurgaon Nov 2-8, 2012

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