Page 1

20–26 January 2012

Vol. 1 No. 22  Pages 32  ` 7


Expert View


n our Expert View series, we bring you sage advice from Nanak Chand Wadhwa, exHUDA Chief Administrator (1999 to 2004) and first Commissioner of Faridabad Municipal Corporation- now a resident of Gurgaon. ...Pg 10

Not a happy start


012 was to be the happy new year for Gurgaon citizens living in “unauthorized” colonies. Team Mayor, with Councillors, have made promises in their Wards. However, the reality is that about half of them may not “qualify”. ...Pg 11



elping Spastics, mainly children, is a blessed NGO, Spastics Society of Gurgaon. Selflessly, tirelessly at work, they touch you to make a difference. ...Pg 13

Bandslam 2012


0 bands and 4DJs from across India participated in this contest at Zygo, the night club. It was organized by A-Live Entertainment. ...Pg 19

Rapid Progress


he Rapid Metro is on course, and is second to none – including the Delhi Metro, says Rajiv Rai, CEO & MD, IL&FS. ...Pg 23

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Food Prices ...Pg 9 Jokes ...Pg 10 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 11 Realty Rates ...Pg 24

“Agar Saare Afsar Aise Hon To Desh Swarg Ban Jaaye” { Abhishek Behl / Maninder Dabas / FG }



RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319


superhuman effort is required to clean the Augean stables in an organisation like the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), that is allegedly steeped in corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. Perhaps the same could be said about Gurgaon, as it develops more like an urban sprawl than a world class city. HUDA, the most important stakeholder, has failed to deliver the goods – especially in the development and maintenance of infrastructure in many of the initial 57 Sectors. The Millennium City’s growth has been exponential but unplanned, the connectivity is haphazard, transport facilities are negligible, and public spaces are more in the realm of private malls, observe urban development experts. It is to clean this mess, both in HUDA as well as Gurgaon, that the Haryana government has brought in Dr. Praveen Kumar, an IAS officer known for his no-nonsense approach, and penchant for out-of-the-box solutions. In the last three months, since Kumar assumed the charge of HUDA Administrator, the City has witnessed seismic changes in the way this Agency functions. In fact, he has given hope to people who were resigned to live ‘as is’ – where shoddy roads take them home, the landscape is dotted by muck that has collected for years, there are parks where no one can go, markets that exist only on paper, and hospital buildings that have no doctors. Friday Gurgaon decided to spend a day with the Doctor, to find out how he has managed to infuse life into an organisation like HUDA, nay the City of Gurgaon – in just three months. Kumar says that HUDA is an Agency where everyone is committed, but does not want to work. It is this inertia that he wants to break, and change the organisational culture. The secret behind the changes soon becomes evident as we call on his team of secretaries—comprising the seasoned Balbir, and the young Ankit Lamba and Sarvesh Kumar—who smile at our request, and ask us to come at 5 am to the Camp Office. To our surprise, we learn that the HUDA Administrator starts his day at ‘Brahm Muhurat’, and concludes it late in the night. His team members say that he sleeps for only four

hours. Team Friday Gurgaon reached the Camp Office at the appointed hour, and found the entire security entourage ready and waiting. The first meeting of the day is set up with the residents of Sector 9 and 9 A – perhaps the most poorly developed and maintained HUDA Sectors in the City. With sirens blaring and a commando bus in tow, the HUDA Administrator proceeds to the Community Centre, where people have gathered in strength. Dr. Kumar sits silently as one of the senior residents welcomes him. An entire team of HUDA officials is present at the Durbar, looking visibly perplexed and pained, – perhaps at being forced to leave their warm beds on a day that is one of the coldest of the season. The HUDA Chief asks the residents to tell him about their problems, and sits patiently listening to their complaints. The people speak in unison – of the tale of broken roads, absence of street lights, poor sanitary and drainage conditions, lack of parks, problems created by dairies operating in the area, encroachments by local toughs, and an illegal transport yard set up by construction material suppliers. Suddenly all hell breaks loose, as Dr. Praveen Kumar comes down heavily on the HUDA employees responsible for the upkeep of the area. He asks for the complaint registers that are kept at the Community Centre. The resi-

dents mention that the SDO has had them removed. After a sound verbal thrashing by Kumar, the registers are recovered. He even threatens to charge-sheet the concerned officials, and stop their increment. “I will suspend those who are not working properly, and not doing

their job. What are you getting salaries for? Are you not ashamed?”, he asks one of the officials – leaving the entire HUDA team red-faced. The HUDA Chief instructs an official to set up a procedure for the tasks to be taken up. “Please call a meeting of all SDOs and JEs to ensure that they maintain a complaint register, and resolve the complaints in due time. I want all the complaints in every sector to be sent to me personally”, he thunders to his private secretary – asking him to get an order issued in this regard. After coming to know that the parks in the area were not being maintained, the HUDA Chief, in a special gesture, announces that 4,000 flower bearing plants would be distributed among the residents free of cost. But he wants an assurance that the pots will be well-maintained by the residents for the next season. The HUDA Administrator also asks the officials to prepare a plan for auctioning of sites for schools in the Sector, and also find out such sites in the entire Gurgaon. “We need to have a comprehensive plan for the entire city, to ensure all-round development”, says Kumar. Contd on p 8 

A Day With Dr. Praveen Kumar Special Photo Feature on Back Page


20–26 January 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–22  20–26 January 2012



Trip to Rajasthan

Departure from IFFCO Chowk Date: January 25 to 28 Time: 7 am Cost: Rs. 12,500 per person

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail Sunil Yadav


pend four days and three nights in Dechu, Rajasthan. Organised by Adventure Expedition – The Zahir, it is a self-drive expedition to the colourful state of Rajasthan. The cost of the trip includes the cost incurred on accommodation, meals, camping, camel safari, jeep safari, and para-sailing.
For more details, call 9953201262, 9654606669.


Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Head – Sales & Marketing:

Ankit Srivastava

Ancient Siddha Anti-ageing Practice – Kayakalpa Yoga @ Sri Siddhi Ganesh Mandir, DLF Phase IV Date: January 22 Time: 3:30 pm to 6 pm

Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Coming Up

Durgadatt Pandey

Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails: 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 122001, 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.


An Inward Look @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 20 to January 22 Time: 10 am to 7 pm

Cover price

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

` 164

No. of issues


To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, ask your newspaper vendor or email us at *circulated only in Gurgaon

yoga and meditation workshop that helps enchance vitality, increases memory power, and prevents, controls and cures many chronic diseases. The workshop has been organised on the occasion of the 5th anniversary function of Gurgaon Sky Trust. The workshop will be taken by Vathathiri Maharishi. For registration, call 9971392649.

painting exhibition showcasing the work of 10 eminent artists – Sunil Jaiswal, Neelam Gupta, Sadhana Tripathi, Rahul, Sanah Ahuja, Sona Chopra, Kamini Nayyer, Gunjan Gupta, Pooja Kapoor, Manisha Sethi, Iqbal S. Uppal, and Maheswar Behera. The exhibition is presented by Lakhya Institute of Art.


painting exhibition by artist Sanjay Bhattacharya. His paintings highlight the variety of the Indian landscape – from the stark expanse of the mountains of Ladakh, to the placid flow of the Ganga immersed in rituals at Benaras. The exhibition is presented by Arushi Arts.

Art 1 year subscription




Evolve @ Mercedes-Benz, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: Jan 21 to Feb 3 Time: 11 am to 7 pm


n exhibition showcasing paintings, photographs, drawings and serigraphs. It provides a platform for upcoming artists, and features the work of more than 20 eminent artists – MF Hussain, Akbar Padamsee and Krishen Khanna, among others. The exhibition is organised by Mercedes Benz, in collaboration with

Book Launch

Hot Tea Across India @ Quill and Canvas, DLF South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase V Date: January 21 Time: 6:30 pm


Honey Singh Live @ Zygo, Second Floor, MGF Metropolitan Mall, MG Road Date: January 21 Time: 9 pm


enowned Punjabi rap singer Honey Singh will perform for the first time in Gurgaon.


A Class Apart (English) @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 21 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 100 mins Tickets: Rs.350, Rs.250 & Rs.150



Visions in Space 2012 @ Arushi Art Gallery, Gallery Mall, MG Road Date: Jan 15 to Feb 28 Time: 11 am – 6:30 pm

for his work with The Posies, R.E.M., and the re-formed Big Star.


he book is a travelogue that talks of how 'hot tea' makes travelling in India a fascinating adventure.

Stand-Up Comedy

Papa CJ and Friends @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 20 Time: 9 pm Ticket: Rs. 500 per person


Birthday Celebration of Subhash Chandra Bose @ KIIT Campus, Sohna Road, Bhondsi Date:January 23 Time: 11 am

Hot Air Balloon Ride

@ Camp at Badshahpur, 7.5 km from Badshahpur Police Station Date: January 26 Time: 10 am to 5 pm Cost: Rs. 1,500 per person (12 yrs. and above); Rs. 1,200 per child (6 yrs. to 11 yrs.)


njoy one-of-its-kind tethered hot air balloon ride. You can also enjoy a range of sports and activities like cricket, tambola, tug of war, tractor ride, camel ride, hiking, rock climbing, kite flying, rain dance, pottery, and much more. Welcome drinks and lunch will be provided by the organiser – RoofNRide Travels Private Ltd. For more details, call 7503033585.

Republic Day Celebration


stand-up comedy by renowned comedians Papa CJ, Rajiv Satyal, and Azhar Usman. Papa CJ has recently been given the title of number one stand-up comedian in India, by the Times of India and Toastmaster International magazine. The show will introduce two of his friends – Satyal and Azhar Usman – from the U.S comedy circuit.

irected by Ankur Ahuja, the play portrays the prejudices that prevail among students, parents and teachers, provoking one to ponder over the link between teaching and education – and the purpose of it all. It is presented by The Films And Theatre Society.

@ Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Rajiv Chowk Date: January 26 Time: 9 am


oin the KIIT fraternity to celebrate the 115th birthday of Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose.


Performance of Ken Stringfellow @ Eurali, Sector 53, Golf Course Road Date: January 20 Time: 9 pm


njoy the performance of singer, song writer and music composer Ken Stringfellow from Seattle, U.S. He is best known

elebrate 52nd Republic Day with Haryana Co-operation Minister Mr. Satpal Sangwan, who will host a flag-hoisting ceremony. Over 250 school students will put up a grand show.

Kids Carnival

@ Intellitots Learning Date: January 21 Time: 11 am


hildren aged between 3 to 8 years are invited to participate in a two-day carnival. Various activities like storytelling, creative writing, and musical theatre will be conducted by the organiser – Katha. The event will also coincide with the launch of the Intellitots Book Club. For registration, 9990800892.

L ifestyle

20–26 January 2012


Clubs up for Callaway A

ce golfer Jeev Milkha Singh was in the city to launch Callaway's new products RAZR X Black and RAXR XF Irons. Bigwigs of the corporate world – D Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India; Daizo Ito, President, Panasonic India; Pankaj Munjal, CEO, Hero Cycles; Manu Anand, CEO, Pepsico, and Vivek Mehta, Country Head Callaway Golf, were also present.

A Starry Night M

odels Aanchal Kumar, Alicia Raut, Deepti Gujral, actor Arzoo Govtrikar, and Aseem Merchant were seen having blast at a party hosted by entrepreneur Alok Singh and DJ Golz, at newly opened night club The Guvment – DisQtek, in the Bristol hotel. DJ Golz and DJ Moody set the stage on fire with some grooving numbers.

“A true honour and treat to enjoy your remarkable hospitality! The Pllazio is my new home away from home”

KOD warms up to Lohri festivities D President and Chief Operating Officer of Kohler Co., Mr. David Kohler, with Joint MD of The Pllazio Hotel, Varinder Sahni and Director of The Pllazio Hotel, Rajiv Khanna

J Shashank and the famous Balle Balle Dance Troupe enthralled the audience at the Kingdom of Dreams, on the occasion of Lohri. The adults were engrossed in singing traditional Punjabi songs, and the youngsters were busy dancing to the latest Punjabi songs. The fervour and excitement was all apparent.

Rockathon @ Striker F

amous Jack Daniel's Annual Rock awards at Striker provided a platform to 17 budding rock bands to showcase their talent. While bands Indigo Children, High Priestess and Menwhopause belted out their signature songs, renowned stand-up comedian Papa CJ, and the host Luke Kenny, dished out goodies to a cheering crowd. The final leg of the rock awards will be held in Mumbai, and the Best Band category will get the cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.

Winter Delight T

he launch of the debut novel of Ratika Kapur – 'Overwinter', was held with great fanfare at the Club House of the World Spa East. Ratika delighted the guests by reading out a few interesting passages from the book. Published by Hachette India, Overwinter, a Literary Fiction, was long-listed for the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize.

04 Aalok Wadhwa


n a city that is bursting at its seams with Italian restaurants, there is a new kid in town. Recently opened in the smart Ninex Mall at Sohna Road, Café Bel Cibo has all it takes to become a great place to hang out. The interiors are colourful, brightly-lit, inviting. The café has a no-pretence décor, clearly communicating that the focus here is good food. In fact, Bel Cibo in Italian means “great food”. When asked to describe the soul of the restaurant, Chef Vinay, an unassuming veteran—with 18 years of haute Italian cooking under his belt—puts it simply, “This is a family place with a focus on good food. You should feel at home here, and enjoy our food.” His quiet confidence is confirmed by the first dish that is served. Red pesto minestrone (Rs. 115) is a hearty peasant soup of tomatoes, with many other veggies and penne pasta – just what this cold January day needs. What is remarkable is the fresh pesto that is served on the melba toast that accompanies the soup. I can clearly taste a great combination of basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan. I have often noticed that a chef’s talents are most evident in the simplest of dishes – and it is true of the Caesar’s salad (Rs. 195) here. Very fresh iceberg lettuce, combined with parmesan


Bel Cibo – Great Food

Café Bel Cibo 17-18, Ninex City Mart, Ground Floor, Next to Fortune Hotel, Sohna Road, Gurgaon Phone: 0124 4231492 Cuisine: Italian Timing: 12 Noon to 11 PM

shavings and croutons—and a sauce made from anchovy mayo, lemon juice and parmesan cheese—makes it one of the best salads I have had in a long time. Some trivia about this salad— contrary to popular belief, it does not derive its name from Julius Caesar. It is named after an Italian American immigrant named Caesar Cardini, who invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. For the pasta course, I decide to try the chef’s recommendation – penne arrabiata with pepperoni sausage and ricotta (Rs. 295). It is penne pasta tossed in a sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, white wine and chilly flakes, along with sliced sausages and ricotta cheese. It is a competent dish, but I am not sure if the addition of ricotta to this dish works for me. The entrée of grilled chicken in rosemary sauce (Rs. 295) follows. The chicken breast is grilled to perfection, retaining its moist texture – and is served with a home made brown sauce with rosemary leaves, and a side of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. It is time for a sweet ending. The recommended chocolate lava cake (Rs. 110), is gooey, sinfully divine, and bel cibo indeed. With its perfect combination of a good location, great interiors, thoughtful service, reasonable pricing and great food, Café Bel Cibo is the place to dine in. u



Just What The Doctor Ordered

Another Heist Bites The Dust

Alka Gurha



20–26 January 2012

ho would be interested in a collection of stories narrated by doctor- scribes? Only doctors? Wrong. The collection of fifteen accounts, in ‘Differential Diagnosis: Doctors on the Job’, is a remarkable read for anyone interested in navigating the world of medical professionals. Leah Kaminsky, an award winning writer and a practicing physician, has edited this book – comprising six fictional and nine non-fictional stories. The first story, aptly titled ‘The Check List’, is by Atul Gawande – a professor at Harvard Medical School, and a published author. ‘The Check List’ is followed by Sandeep Jauhar’s amusing and insightful story ‘Falling Down’. Jauhar writes about his life as an intern on night duty, and the perils of taking split-second decisions during an emergency. This story reveals how a doctor’s career hinges on minute observations, and doctor’s pronouncements. A heart-wrenching story is by Danielle Ofri, who discloses how doctors deal with the anguish and suffering of their patients. The scenes in this story unfold like a well-scripted film, enabling the reader to

empathise with the sorrow of both - the doctor and his patient. For me the most engrossing read was the story ‘The Duty to Die Cheaply’ by Peter Goldsworthy, where a doctor on an airline journey is seated next to a dead passenger. The cabin crew persuades Dr. Shaw to sit beside the body, simply because he is a doctor familiar with dead bodies. In the book, Dr. Shaw refers to the incident as ‘babysitting the dead’, and deems it right to have spent the entire journey inebriated. What follows is an enthralling account of his tipsy travails. Most stories are engrossing and insightful. However, ‘Differential Diagnosis’ should not be mistaken as an easy, hilarious read. Some stories hinge between the life and death of patients, and weigh heavily on an emotional reader – even after he/she has turned the last page of this remarkable collection of tales.. u

Differential Diagnosis: Doctors on the Job Author: Leah Kaminsky PUBLISHER: Hachette India PRICE: Rs. 350 Genre: Non-Fiction

Vijaya Kumar


084 (CHAALIS CHAURASI) is an unusual, funky, tongue-twister title for a movie – and yes, a bit of the action takes place on board a vehicle bearing this registration number. First, some positives. I would rate the performance of the four lead actors (Naseeruddin Shah, KayKay Menon, Ravi Kishan and Atul Kulkarni) as outstanding. Their timing and emoting is excellent, despite the script – which has noble intentions of being taut (the film is just two hours long), but slows down every now and then to accommodate mass appeal interventions like item songs (unfortunately by non-item personalities!). The ‘item benchmark’ is now set even higher, with “Chikni Chameli”! We have seen two heist based movies recently: DON 2 and PLAYERS; and this is the third. While PLAYERS had better thrill elements compared to DON 2, 4084 scores over both solely on account of its entertainment value. The comedy is fresh – there is no buffoonery; and although there are quite a few killings, there is no gore. The director, Hriday Shetty, remarkably maintains a lighthearted tempo throughout. The dialogues are witty, and so are the oneliners that are delivered deftly by the four lead actors. But, for all these positives, we have strong neutralising features. The theme of crossing and double-crossing happens at a pace that leaves only the most careful watcher able to appreciate the

4084 Chaalis Chauraasi Directed by: Hriday Shetty CAST: Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kissen, Zakir Hussain, Shweta Bhardwaj GENRE: Comedy storyline – that has its own loopholes. Then, there is the absence of a heroine. And if that could be overlooked, we have the absence of a hero as well! Even good comedy presentations like 3 IDIOTS and the MUNNABHAI series had “star” attractions. And the songs and item numbers are lousy. Finally, the movie could have done with some better publicity – seems an absolute must today.u


20–26 January 2012


{ Srimati Lal }

Factory Pvt. Ltd. JIT KUMAR

Picture yourself in a Las Vegas Boudoir With candy-pink curtains and fibreglass cherubs As a tutti-frutti-jetplane and icecream-balloons await takeoff And a plastic chandelier in the sky glints fake diamonds While turbaned FallenAngel-Babies writhe gasping, on Barbie-doll floors Surrounded by BaniaBaroque Bungalows, where kurtas hang out to dry


uch is the scenario set carefully inside Gallery Nature Morte’s current exhibition at its Oberoi Gurgaon outlet, ‘GERMAN RETURNED,’  by Thukral and Tagra. It is a show rather like a European-bourgeois stageset – but where Versailles meets DLF-1, where Frou-frou Rococo flirts with Nerolac frescoes, where the Psychedelic Swinging Sixties turn Punjabi  meethapink, and Salvador Dali’s sharp-edged Surrealism seems to float in a saccharine-sticky syrup. Confronted by such visual dichotomies, I had no option but to first turn to verse, in order to make sense of my gut-reactions!

A Chat With Peter Nagy

SL: While one knows that ‘Nature Morte’ is the French term for ‘Still Life’, Art need not be ‘still’. Are you preoccupied with Death? Many of your ‘Nature Morte’ artists depict skulls, dead elephants, voodoo-ish fetishes ... Peter Nagy:  I first opened Nature Morte in New York in 1982, when we were in the ‘PostPunk’ phase – so the name ‘Nature Morte’ sounded good. I liked the literal connotation of “Dead Nature” – because, if Nature is dead, what are we left with? Only Culture. Certainly that is what the urban experience feels like. Personally, I find skull formations in art very banal.  SL: You tell me that “as a Gallerist, you enjoy your personal dictatorship of one.” What are these specific aspects you enjoy about running Nature Morte here in Delhi – and what are the personality-traits of the Indian artists whom you enjoy promoting? PN: Running my gallery is a wonderful little fiefdom! I do what I want to do, and I show what I want to show, and I don’t have to answer to anyone. I like works which have a high level of quality and seriousness, though I also appreciate a sense of humour and experimentation. And I have to pay the bills, so I must show the kind of work my buyers want. My artists must acknowledge that art-making is a business, and our relationship is very much a business-partnership. They must meet my deadlines without a lot of drama, and must handle themselves professionally.  SL: Peter, you live permanently here in Saket. You’re a very long way from home. What drew you to India, and to our Indian artists? What do you like about Indian Art? PN: I was attracted to Indian culture on many different levels, which is why I came here. But I don’t view “Indian Art” or “Indian Artists” as a megalithic structure. I work with a very wide range of artists, who make many types of art – and I try to preserve their idiosyncracies. One reason why I settled in India and started my gallery here in Delhi (after I closed my New York East Village gallery in 1988), is because India’s contemporary art world is conducted primarily in the English language. This made Indian art more accessible to me than the art of most other parts of the world. SL: What are your art-qualifications, and your work-experience? PN: I did Communications Design at Parson’s School in New York in 1981, which basically meant Graphic design, Packaging, Advertising and Publication design. I became interested in how we construct the ‘envelope’ or ‘context’ for works of art, which ultimately determines their ‘meanings’ and ‘values’. I started making art myself, but I have not been active as an artist since 1990 – as running Nature Morte now takes up all of my time.

The Duo Speaks

Srimati Lal: Why this title ‘German Returned’ for your show? Why not any other country? Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra: We have just returned from a 3-month residency at the 300-year-old German porcelain factory of Meissen. Although none of our works produced there are in this show, we are “German-returned”! Much of our work deals with the Indian urge to go abroad – to escape India. Gurgaon is a visible example of this aspiring Indian middle-class, with its nouveau-riche mansions floating away into a dream-world. Their dream is to fly away, so our houses are flying! SL: But how do you “paint together”? How are we to know “who painted what”? T&T: It is all a collaborative process of conception, discussion and execution. We don’t differentiate between duties and responsibilities of one or the other. We don’t even really remember who did what when the works are finished! SL:  What are your art-qualifications and work-experience? T&T: We were both students of New Delhi College of Art, where we met. We were involved in Product and Interior-design, Advertising and Web-design; after we met Peter Nagy, he encouraged us to work in Art and Installations also.

Less than a dozen paintings, in a noticably-European pastel-palette, are set within sugary-pink walls and drapes. Atop glints a kitschy chandelier, held aloft by a turbaned baby-angel. Beneath it, in death-throes, lies a fibreglass neo-classical cherubim: a ‘fallen angel’. The canvasses depict hybrid northIndian mansions, afloat in skies full of hot-air balloons, in a series with an oddly-Latinate title: DOMINUS AERIS. Along another length of wall, six Indian airpassengers sit frozen in profile inside a jet-plane’s oval cameo-windows, in a series titled WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY. Upon careful viewing, these canvasses seem to bear a commercial ‘patina,’ a tenuous ‘shadow’ or ‘cast’ – that begets the query: are these digi-

tal prints on canvas, rather than original paintings done by hand? ‘Art as Theatrical Production’ has become one of the emblems of an urban ‘global art-factory:’ a new ‘industry,’ where many previous aesthetic definitions have been quickly disregarded. In this new ‘trendy-art-factory’, silent armies of nameless and faceless ‘assistants’ may be paid to silently ‘paint and assemble ideas to order’ – to float ‘Art-Productions’’ that suit pre-requisite tastes. The ‘final product’ will bear some ‘superstar artist’s signature,’ or a ‘designer label artist’s team’—as this show does—not including the names of all the hands that actually painted the artworks according to ‘briefings’. Will the real artists please stand up here? Peter Nagy, the American director of Gallery  Nature Morte that he set up in 1997 in Delhi, speaks of “a globalised art world mill” that favours “production over theorisation”, creating “collections of objects”—or ‘art-productions.’ This to me evokes plastic goods on conveyor-belts, fivestar hotels, laptops, technical ‘merchandise’—commercial and politicised projections, rather than the direct, honest expressions of an artist.  When I posit the question: “Who are the actual artists who painted these?” Nagy’s quick response is, “How does it matter? It’s

the idea that matters!” After a loaded pause, I again choose to select verse over prose, and quote Eliot, from his Nobel-winning volume The Wasteland: “Between the Idea / And the Action / Falls the shadow.” It is clear that the silent hands that painted the ‘ideas’ projected in ‘GERMAN RETURNED’  are skilled and sensitive Indian hands, bearing artistic minds – but remain nameless. u The writer is an Artist & Curator The Exhibition’ GERMAN RETURNED,’ is on till 31 January, 2012, from 11 am to 9 pm, at NATURE MORTE Gallery-The OBEROI, 443 Udyog Vihar, Phase V

L istings

20–26 January 2012


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ghost Time: 1.50 pm, 7:40 pm Chaalis Chauraasi Time: 1.40 pm Players Time: 10.30 am, 4.20 pm, 10.10 pm DON 2 Time: 10.50 am, 9.45 pm Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (HINDI) Time: 7.00 pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 4.00 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www. PVR: Ambience Premier Underworld 4: Awakening (3D) Time: 11.00 am, 1:05 pm, 3:10 pm, 5:15 pm, 7:20 pm, 9:25 pm, 11.30 pm J. Edgar Time: 10.40 am, 1.30 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.10 pm, 10.00 pm Good Night Good Morning Time: 12.30 pm, 9.45 pm

Tutiya Dil (TAMIL) Time: 7.15 pm Coriolanus Time: 10.30 am, 1.00 pm, 3.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.30 pm, 10.55 pm Players Time: 12.05 am, 10.35 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 10.00 am, 2.15 pm, 4.45 pm, 11.30 pm Arthur Christmas (3D) Time: 10.00 am DON 2 Time: 3.15 pm Heartbreaker Time: 6.00 pm Ghost

Time: 8.05 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas. com PVR: Ambience Gold Underworld 4: Awakening (3D) Time: 12.05 pm, 2.10 pm, 4.15 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.30 pm J. Edgar Time: 11.40 am, 2.30 pm, 8.10 pm, 10.55 pm Coriolanus Time: 5.20 pm PVR MGF: MGF Mall Underworld 4: Awakening (3D) Time: 11.05 am, 1.10 pm, 3.15 pm, 5.20 pm, 7.25 pm, 9.30 pm, 10.00 am, 12.05 pm, 2.10 pm, 4.15 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.30 pm Coriolanus Time: 11.00 am, 1.30 pm, 4.00 pm, 6.30 pm, 9.00 pm, 11.30 pm Ghost Time: 10.30 am Players Time: 10.00 am, 1.10 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.40 pm Roudram (Telegu) Time: 8.30 pm The Businessman (Telegu) Time: 3.30 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 1.00 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.55 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall Chaalis Chaurasi Time: 10.00 am, 5.35 pm Aparajita Tumi (Bengali) Time: 5.10 pm DON 2 Time: 12.20 pm, 7.55 pm Ghost Time: 10.40 pm Vettai (Tamil) Time: 7.40 pm Nanban (Tamil) Time: 11.00 am Spanish Masala (Malayalam) Time: 2.20 pm Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 3.05 pm, 10.40 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Khoonkhar Darindon KI Wapasi Time: 10.20 am, 12.30 pm, 2.40 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.00 pm, 9.10 pm Spanish Masala (Malayalam) Time: 10.00 am The Businessman (Telegu) Time: 12.45 pm Roudram (Telegu) Time: 6.20 pm Players Time: 3.10 pm, 9.00 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website:

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Underworld 4: Awakening (3D) Time: 11:10 am, 1:00 pm, 2.50 pm, 4.40 pm, 8.55 pm, 10.45 pm Chaalis Chauraasi Time: 11:15 am, 8.35 pm Don 2 (U/A) Hindi Time: 11.20 am, 5.00 pm, 10.40 pm

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 1.30 pm, 6.10 pm Players (U/A) Time: 2.00 pm, 7.40 pm Ghost – Hindi Time: 3.55 pm, 10.50 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 6.30 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Ghost – Hindi Time: 10:00 am, 8.50 pm Underworld 4: Awakening (3D) Time: 10:20 am, 12.05 pm, 1.50 pm, 3.35 pm, 5.20 pm, 7.05 pm, 11.05 pm Chaalis Chauraasi (A) – Hindi Time: 1.35 pm, 10.50 pm Players (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:35 am, 5:10 pm Coriolanus Time: 12.15 pm, 6:15 pm, 10.55 pm DON 2 Time: 2.30 pm, 8.10 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 3.50 pm Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 8.30 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 11:00 am, 06.15 pm DON 2 Time: 11:10 am, 04:50 pm, 10:40 pm, Chaalis Chauraasi (A) - Hindi Time: 1.25 pm The Dirty Picture Time: 3.40 pm, 10.55 pm Players (U/A) Time: 01:50 pm, 07.40 pm Ghost – Hindi Time: 8.40 pm Website:

List of Management Institutes ALGOL SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY Hero Honda Chowk Sector 33 Ph: 09958077533 Website: www. Amity Business School Address: Amity Education Valley Gurgaon (Manesar) – 122 413 Ph: 0124 – 2337648/49/39 Website: http://www. Ansal Institute Address: Sec 55, Golf Course Road Ph: 0124 – 4116111 Website: http://www. Anupama Institute of Management Address: Bhora Kalan, Near Bilaspur Chowk, Pataudi Road., DelhiJaipur National Highway Ph: 08010132944, 09412260760 Website: http:// www.anupamains BM College of Technology & Management Address: Plot No-119, Sector 46 Ph: 0124 3290534 Website: http://www. Brij Mohan Institute of Management and Technology (BIMT) Address: H-23/21 DLF Phase 1, Near IFFCO Chowk Ph: 0124-4057653 Website: http://www. First India School of Business Address: Near 36th Milestone, NH-8, Hero Honda Chowk Ph: 124 – 4500600 Website: Gurgaon Institute of Technology and Management Address: BilaspurTauru Road Ph: 0124 3252790, 09991114151 Website: http://www.gitm. Gurugram Business School Address: Laxman Vihar, Dhanwapur Road Ph: 0124-2252668, 3294473 Website: www. IBS GURGAON Address: IDPL Complex, Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road, Dundahera Ph: 0124-4980950 Website: http://www. ICFAI Business School Address: Narsee Chambers, H - Block, Palam Vihar, Opp: Celebrity Suite Ph: 0124 -4528100 Website: http://www. IILM Institute for Higher Education Address: Sector 56, DLF Golf Course Road Ph: 0124-6675600 Website : http://www. Indraprasth Institute of Management Address: Behind Aapno Ghar Resort, Delhi- Jaipur National Highway NH-8, Sector-77 Ph: 0124-2214023 Website: http://www. Infinity Business School Address:Infinity Knowledge House No. 34, Sector 32 Ph: 0124-4171202, 4171204 Website: www. Institute of Technology and Management Address: HUDA Sector 23-A Ph: + 91 124 2365811 to 13 Website: http://www. Institute for International Management & Technology Address: 336, Udyog Vihar, DLF Phase IV Ph: 0124-4787111, 01242397783

injured over 30 people, over many months, has been arrested. They operated a taxi service, and picked up people around the City – mainly near IFFCO Chowk. ♦ MP from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda, who ♦ After demolition of shops in marble market, HUDA NGO accused of sexual exploitation of 2 HIV+ was recently in town, stated that only 3 States had and MCG jointly form a Committee to decide penalty, girl inmates Sex racket busted – operating from a DLF a higher than 11% growth – Gujarat, Haryana, and valuation of the marble, and disposal. Phase III house. Karnataka. Haryana grew 11.6%. An on-line lottery racket was unearthed – arrests ♦ The District Crisis Group is preparing a Crisis made. A Nigerian suspected of being the leader. ♦ The Haryana Chief Minister has announced cash Management Plan for mitigating the after effects prizes of Rs 2 crores, Rs 1 crore, and Rs 50 lakhs, of any crisis erupting out of chemical and fire ♦ Hero Honda Chowk still awaits a decision – despite for those Haryana players that win Gold, Silver, and outbursts. Gurgaon is home to many chemical a high-ranked members meeting. Who will bell the Bronze respectively, at the 2012 London related industries. The agenda is to study the Olympics Games. expected types of crisis, the quantum of danger and cat, and foot the bill? State govt. and NHAI lock horns. ♦ HSIIDC to improve infrastructure in Udyog VIhars Pooja Sharma, a local girl and member of the Indian hazardous effects, how those can soon, as promised. Kabaddi Team that won gold in 5 international be avoided, and how prepared each department is ♦ A motorcycle rally was taken out in the City, to championships, was presented a cheque of Rs 25 (eg equipment for fire-fighting) for crisis handling bolster the Toll Plazas hatao campaign. A final rally is lakhs, by the MoS for Sports, Agriculture and Coand rescue operations. There would also be an planned on January 29, at the Plazas. operatives Sukhbir Singh Kataria. Emergency Response Guide to educate the public; Van operators (about a 1000) undertake a flash strike and an Emergency Response Plan, according to - to protest new traffic norms, restricting passengers ♦ DC/DM Meena has invoked Sec 144 of CrPC which the departments and public would act. (Students) to 9. Say will hike rates. Ask for similar prohibiting construction and plantation within a 900m treatment, for Autos. area from the boundary of the Ammunition Depot, ♦ The gang of 5, that had looted and seriously



Website : http://www. JK Business School (JKBS) Address: Gurgaon Sohna Expressway, Damdama Lake Road, Village Bhondsi, Tehsil Sohna Ph: 0124-2014092 Website: http://www. Mahavira Institute of Technology and Management Address:First Floor, Amar Square, Laxmi Garden, Near Tikona Park Ph: 09899300061 Website: Management Development Institute (MDI) Address: Mehrauli Road, Sukhrali Ph: 0124-4560000 Website: http://www. Pearls School of Business Address: Plot 46, Sector 32, Institutional Area Ph: 0124-4217 500 Website: http://www. Sanlok Institute of Management and Technology Address: 168/8, Model Town Ph: 0124-2330300 Website: http://www. Svran Apeejay Institute of Management Address: Silani, SohnaPalwal Road Ph: 01242013219/718/719/720 Website: http://saim. The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) Address: IIPM Tower 1, Building No. 79, Sector 32 Ph: 09871116111 Website: http://www. Unitedworld School of Business Address: 1964, Sector 45, Near Hotel Ramada Ph: 124 3049 222-223 Website: http://www.

and a 100m area from the boundary of the Air Force Station, Arjangarh.

Police ................................................... 100 Fire Station .......................................... 101 Ambulance............................................ 102 Gurgaon Traffic Police........................................ 1073 Railway Enquiry ...................................... ............ 139 Women Helpline................................................. 1091 Children Helpline................................................ 1098 Senior Citizens Helpline..................................... 1291 LPG Helpline........................................... 011-155233 Weather Helpline.................................. 18001801717 Car Breakdown Helpline...................... 011-43676767 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.................................0124-4787828/817/853 DMRC Helpline........................................ 011-155370 Disaster Management Helpline.......................... 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG)............... 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals.............................................. 9873302580


20–26 January 2012

C ivic/Social

“Agar Saare Afsar Aise Hon To Desh Swarg Ban Jaaye” 

fering you a solution, and you need to understand this. I will take you to the new site in the afternoon – come with me”. The message is delivered firmly, the truckers agree. Next on the agenda is the nondescript HUDA Market in Sector 9, where shops lie closed, as they have not been auctioned. The HUDA Chief wants these shops to be disposed off. He sees a truck illegally unloading bricks. He orders the seizure of the truck and the material, and the owner is called for questioning. The truck owner is not present; and his elder brother is unable to answer the rapid-fire from the HUDA officials. They want him to be charged, but Kumar intervenes, saying that he is innocent. It is quite clear that the day is going to be full of action and events. On the sidelines, the HUDA officials who were reprimanded in the morning meeting re-appear – they pretend to be sorry. The Administrator is in a magnanimous mood; he says he just wants them to work with

Contd from p 1

He directs the local staff to be present in the Community Centres during duty hours, and keep in constant touch with RWA officials. He also announces the bifurcation of rates for the booking of the Community Centres. Promising that he will resolve all the issues, the HUDA Chief categorically tells the local officials that he is not satisfied with their performance. He also asks the senior officials to develop a follow-up and feedback plan, to ensure complaints are redressed at the earliest. “The JEs must know what are the problems in their sectors; if they do not know, then we do not need such officers”, he curtly tells the team. When told by residents of the area that an illegal building material market is being operated on HUDA land, he directs his officials to confiscate the material and use it in development work. More drama is to follow. He

CALLING THE SHOTS: Dr. Praveen Kumar in action, at Sector 9

Dr. Kumar Speaks In an exclusive interview with Friday Gurgaon, Dr. Praveen Kumar spoke on the various issues concerning the city. He identified indiscipline and inefficiency as key issues among the HUDA officials, and was extremely critical of the prevailing work culture in the Agency. He says it needs to be changed. “Our first priority is to send the message that we mean business. HUDA as an organisation within, and in its dealings with the public, needs to shore up its performance,” he says, adding that there has already been a marked improvement in the functioning of various departments. The message, he says, is very clear. Those who deliver the goods will stay, and be given responsibilities. “The job in Gurgaon is too big, and we need to upgrade the organisation to meet the challenges,” he says. The HUDA Administrator also upholds the idea of forming a Gurgaon Development Authority, that could be an umbrella body, and guide the various organisations in the City towards a common goal. “But this Authority cannot be a figure-head. All powers need to be given to it, so that it can plan, organise, execute and review development works,” he says. He would support such an initiative. Powers need to be decentralised, and given to officials at the local level, says the HUDA chief. He cites the example of Bogota, a city in Columbia, where the Mayor has changed the face of the city – as he has been empowered to take necessary action and policy formulation. He, however, pointed to the fact that HUDA, MCG, HSIIDC and the District Administration are already working in a planned manner, and in total unison with each other. “We have excellent relations among ourselves, as we build a new Gurgaon,” he says with a glint in his eyes. This claim of the HUDA Administrator is corroborated by various joint initiatives – eg. both he and MCG Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal are working closely to shift the marble market at MG Road near Sikanderpur, to the designated area in Sector 34. In the afternoon, both the officials had a long discussion on how to resolve this issue amicably, as the marble traders have agreed to shift to Sector-34 on some preconditions. When asked about demolitions, the HUDA Chief says that it is part of the cleaning process, and will continue till the illegal structures on HUDA land are vacated. “We are mapping our areas, and creating a database of HUDA land – so that we know exactly what part is encroached,” he says. On Monday he had a meeting with two mapping companies. When asked about the illegal liquor vends, and

why they were not being demolished, the HUDA Chief promised that action would be taken against those violating the law. “However, those that follow the law and have proper permissions can not be closed,” he says. He adds that in their earnestness to get more customers, these shops sell their wares garishly. For the future 58 new sectors, Kumar says, the Agency will ensure that errors committed in the past are not repeated. “The emphasis will be on infrastructure – roads, sanitation, drainage, power and public facilities,” he says. Private builders, who are developing almost all of the new sectors, will be under strict watch, and not allowed to violate any building rule. HUDA is also taking action on the 87 points raised by the Traffic Department officials. “We are working on the proposed points – many of the roundabouts have been redesigned, and built again. The roads are being improved and relaid.” He promises a better riding experience to the users in the coming months. The unauthorised parking lots in the City will be closed, and HUDA will itself operate (or get these operated) in designated areas by people who know this job. Kumar says lumpen elements who are involved in this activity will soon be moved out. Much to the delight of residents of the unauthorised areas, the HUDA Chief says he has no problems in the assimilation of these colonies, and their regularisation, as these are forces of society. “When growth takes place such forces of necessity arise. The colonies are part and parcel of our society, and we must adopt and assimilate them in the system, to dissipate tension in the society,” says the HUDA boss. The issue currently in his focus is the CM’s visit in the next couple of days. The HUDA Chief wants the Hospital building in Sector 10 to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister. But much to his chagrin the Health officials are not ready with this plan. The HUDA Chief calls the Deputy CMO, to discuss the matter. He even calls up the Health Secretary in Chandigarh, and the CM’s office, and tells them that this is a huge building that could serve as a multispeciality hospital in the City – rather than be just for maternity related cases, as of now. The Deputy CMO comes to meet Kumar – the meeting does not go well. Kumar’s plans for the hospital are not finding acceptance; but he is not a man to be daunted by such small challenges. The hospital, he says, can be run on a PPP model, and serve the society positively. We all hope it does.

decides to visit the illegal market, as well as the dairies dotting the area. The cattle being reared here are a bane for local residents; but the HUDA Chief, while listening to the problems, does not agree on fencing the area. “Arre janwaron ko bhi jeene ka adhikar hai. They need fresh air and water; but yes, they should not roam about everywhere”, he says. He asks the HUDA officials to devise a plan for relocating all these diaries to one particular area, so that the cattle menace is reduced. He then decides to walk to the problem spot. With him taking the lead, a group of around a hundred people follow him – none being able to match his brisk pace (he walks at about 10 km/hour), forcing people to jog with him. Huffing and puffing, we reach the area in Sector 9 where hundreds of trucks, loaded with construction material, are parked. While the residents want these to be removed immediately, Kumar knows the task is tough, and it needs a novel solution. He knows Gurgaon needs bricks and mortar, and these people are earning their livelihood on this. So Kumar, in his usual style, strikes a rapport with the union leader. “I want you to know that this is HUDA land, and you are using it illegally. I am not against your working, but it must not disturb the local residents,” he tells the truckers, who listen with rapt attention. The truckers tell him that their livelihood is dependent on stationing the vehicles in the city. The HUDA Chief pauses for a moment, and then offers them another chunk of land that lies on the outskirts of a sector where a power station and Dhobi Ghat for the city is planned. There is a murmur of protest, but Kumar’s voice suddenly goes cold, and he sternly says, “This is HUDA land, and you are violating the law. I am of-

It is already 2.30 pm, and Kumar’s wife calls from home for lunch. He promises her to be there in half an hour, and asks his secretary to ensure that a domestic help is engaged. His wife is not happy with him for working long hours, but ‘what to do’, he says. He jokes about the emergency days, and tells us how he saw Sanjay Gandhi driving a jonga, when he was a child. Perhaps, like Sanjay, he wants to build Gurgaon in a jiffy – a task that he admits is difficult. zeal and enthusiasm. “Stop being corrupt” is his message; but many know that it will be the HUDA slogan only till the Doctor is here. The next stop is the Devi Lal Colony, that local residents claim is unauthorised, and built on HUDA land – but the ownership is perhaps debatable. The HUDA Chief calls for demolishing the extensions of the shops that have opened their shutters illegally. On the microphone, he announces that HUDA is not opposed to the running of shops – but they must follow rules. He tells sector residents that the shops are needed for daily needs, and the same should be allowed to run – much to their chagrin. It is quite clear that the Administrator has his own thoughts on every matter. Thereafter the next stop is the Dairy area in Sector 9, adjoining the Basai village – where quintals of cow dung is scattered on HUDA land. Water is being wasted, as borewells have been installed; Contd on p 9 

20–26 January 2012

C ivic/Social


“Agar Saare Afsar Aise Hon To Desh Swarg Ban Jaaye” 

Contd from p 8

and the sanitation conditions in the area make it difficult to walk. Kumar calls for the dairy owners to come out. He tells the owners to mend their ways, and directs them to collect the cow dung while it’s fresh. As a challan of Rs. 3,000 is issued, the owner of the truck that was confiscated earlier arrives at the scene. He starts speaking loudly against the decision of the HUDA Administrator. He even accuses HUDA officials of acting as ‘chamchas’, as the new boss is strict. He seeks Kumar’s attention and gets it soon – he is ordered to be taken to the local police station. “Iske khilaf parcha lagao aur action lo”, he directs the policemen, who promptly take him in custody. After this drama, the locals get the message – this man means business. Kumar takes the loud speaker in his hand, and asks people to use water in a proper manner – anyone wasting it will be penalized, he warns. Even after five hours on the road, he is not tired. He asks our photographer to capture him with a buffalo. Everyone laughs at his gesture, even as he keeps telling his officials to improve things in the area. He also orders a number of rainwater harvesting structures to be con-

structed in the area. The design has been specially localized, he tells us, and this would help in saving money, while conserving water. The next stop on the agenda is the proposed site for trucks. Kumar asks us to sit in his car, as ours is left behind in this melee – comprising enthused men, confused cattle and glum officials. It is 11 am. The day is very cold, and there is heavy moisture – making it very difficult to move in the open. But Kumar moves on – and after a couple of minutes, we reach our destination. The truckers also reach there, and the proposed site is shown to them. They agree to the switch, and Kumar tells them that in a day or two their move to this part of the area would be facilitated. The local residents are also happy. The truckers would be provided power connection, and public conveniences as well. Even as we are about to leave, Kumar spots the local slum – that is unusually clean, and dotted with banana trees; and colourful rangolis have been formed in front of most of the huts. He also sees a number of kids in new clothes. He goes to them and enquires what the celebrations are for. The children tell him that they are celebrating Pongal, as this slum belongs to the Tamil community. As

{ Abhishek Behl / Maninder Dabas / FG }


lthough the sun was still behind bars of darkness at 5 am on Tuesday, the HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar had already broken the shackles of his slumber – and was getting ready for his daily ritual. Neither Praveen Kumar, nor his scouts following him like his shadow in the pre-sunrise darkness, are aware of what is in store. The caravan begins as it usually does everyday, in the pursuit of making Gurgaon a great place to live in. The sun too comes out, though its visibility and warmth is seldom felt. The caravan stops, halts, and lingers at many places; yet its crawling is never disturbed seriously, until Kumar lands near a slum in Sector-9 (A). His eyes, that are habitual of nabbing encroachers and wrong-doers, meet instead a huge hoarding depicting the speciality of the day—‘Pongal’—the main festival celebrated by the Tamil people. Kumar’s eye blinks in excite-

soon as the HUDA Administrator hears this, he decides to stay and celebrate the festival with them. He asks his driver to distribute sweets and biscuits among the kids, who are numerous. Kumar visits the slum and interacts with the residents, who are delighted. The truckers are amazed to see a bureaucrat who is also humane. One of them says ‘Agar saare afsar aise hon to desh swarg ban jaaye”, others nod positively. We take a break for tea, at a house. This area is also dotted by dairies and lack of sanitation. Kumar orders immediate action. As we sit, we ask the issues that he has to tackle on priority. Instead, his mind wanders – he speaks of his Guru Ji, and how Guru Ji has influenced him in becoming who he is. We move back to the Camp Office. Sitting in the car, he delves on whether Gurgaon should have a Gurgaon Development Authority, the role of HUDA in New Gurgaon, whether the city will meet its ambitious goals. (See Box) At Bata Chowk, he gets a call from his aide in Sector 14. Officials from a company developing Facebook applications are waiting for him; another team from Maruti is coming to meet him; and several people are waiting. It is already 1 o’clock, and Kumar asks his driver to go to the

HUDA Office in Sector 14 first. “Pehle wahan kaam niptate hain, phir dekhte hain”, he says. As soon as we reach the HUDA Office, the scene gets charged up. The officials and the clerical staff all sit at attention, as no one knows who will be the next to be called. The HUDA Administrator does not spare any one. The meetings begin in right earnest as soon as Kumar seats himself. There are plans to be formed, several to be approved, new estimates to be made, and many things to be taken care of. The HUDA Chief is a multitasker. He asks the Facebook developer to show his work, even as he discusses issues with officials. A plot owner comes to meet him, and tells him that he has not been able to construct his house due to a dispute with local villagers. The HUDA Chief listens to him, and directs the officials to resolve the issue – as the owner has agreed to give some land to be used for building a village road. Kumar also offers an alternate plot, but the owner refuses. In between, the Maruti officials have arrived. They agree to participate in a community initiative proposed by HUDA, in association with MDI. Kumar is happy, and wants more such activities to be taken up. The Marutiwallahs seem to be even

‘Pongal’ In A Slum ment, and he sights a few huts just across the road – with a banana tree in front of each hut. Kumar doesn’t take a second in understanding the sanctity and importance of the festival for the Tamils, and orders his assistant to bring toffees for God’s most innocent creation- ‘children’. They surround him in pursuit of gifts and greetings. Kumar too is no mood to disappoint them, and starts distributing toffees and balloons. After the children are satiated with gifts, it is the turn of the grown-ups – and Praveen Kumar congratulates them heartily on their festival. “Pongal is the biggest festival of the Tamil people, and it should be celebrated in a joyful way,” says Kumar, while conversing with the ladies of the various families. People in huts

CM Visit

The Administration (DC Meena) is preparing for the visit of the Chief Minister, for a review of various works announced by him, for Gurgaon District – and hopefully for some new approvals. A major initiative is that all electricity wiring of lines upto 66KV capacity would now be laid underground – and not erected on poles. It would lead to a safer, more aesthetic environment, as well as lesser faults in lines. There is also a proposal to set up a Commerce College (on the lines of SRCC, Delhi), in Sector 51. Pataudi town has been sanctioned multiple projects – an ITI, wider and better road to Farukhnagar and Rewari, and a 50 bed hospital. The HUDA Administrator would like to have the Sector 10 Hospital inaugurated, and converted to a multi-speciality hospital (currently it is a maternity hospital).

too don’t think even once before inviting Kumar to share their sentiments, and of course their culture. Kumar is greeted with ‘Aarti’, at the door of a hut. Kumar too shows respect, and picks up a newly-born child. Suddenly somebody says that these people are like HUDA’s own employees, working under the contractor. Kumar takes out his sweater and covers the new-born child, who is shivering. People tell their worries and problems, and Kumar listens patiently – and promises them solutions. “We are very grateful to Sahab that he came to us, and celebrated our festival with our kids. He has been very kind, and promised solutions to our problems – like the non-availability of cemented homes, salaries on time etc. He also promised

happier, as they leave the office. Kumar’s attention now shifts to the team developing Facebook applications; he asks them to make it more detailed. “I want people to know what we are doing; what is the status of their complaints”, he says. The issue of the CM’s proposed visit is the next thing on the agenda. HUDA officials want some project or building to be inaugurated by him. The discussions are serious, and various projects come up – but none are finalised. Kumar says he wants the hospital building in Sector 10 to be handed over to the Medical Department. It is already 2.30 pm, and Kumar’s wife calls from home for lunch. He promises her to be there in half an hour, and asks his secretary to ensure that a domestic help is engaged. His wife is not happy with him for working long hours, but ‘what to do’, he says. He jokes about the emergency days, and tells us how he saw Sanjay Gandhi driving a jonga, when he was a child. Perhaps, like Sanjay, he wants to build Gurgaon in a jiffy – a task that he admits is difficult. He scans the room to find that a few MCG Councillors are waiting for a meeting. He spots us too, and asks us to take lunch. The next meeting starts in right earnest, and we leave for the Camp Office. u

financial assistance from HUDA on the marriages of our daughters, and I think he is a man of his words,” said Jairaman, a Tamil resident of the slum. Kumar too was very impressed by the way these people have maintained their homes. The standard of hygiene caught Kumar’s eye from the moment he entered their huts. “I am thrilled by the way they have maintained their homes. The homes are so clean. I have never seen such well-maintained slums – it is a lesson not only for the rest of the slums of the city, but even for those who possess mammoth bungalows and don’t keep them clean. I would love to sit here on this clay floor and have dinner with them. You can also see these ‘rangolies’ drawn by the little girls; they are fantastic artists. They just need proper care and guidance, to shine in the field of art. I will definitely plan something for their betterment,” signed off Kumar – while getting into his Maruti SX4, and heading for a new destination. u

As of January 18, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Food Take Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sector 54

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23


Reliance Fresh

Potatoes (old/new)









































































20–26 January 2012


istory repeats itself – first as tragedy, then as farce. This is what is happening around the 900 meter disputed area around the ammunition depot in Gurgaon, where thousands of houses have been built in complete disregard of the law of the land. While the State administration and the defence authorities are writhing their hands in despair, they have only themselves to blame for the mess, as per former Chief Administrator of HUDA Nanak Chand Wadhwa. Wadhwa, a former IAS officer, who served as the Chief HUDA administrator from 1999 to 2004, says that he had proposed a 200 acre golf course around the ammunition depot, but the Air Force authorities did not agree to issue a no-objection certificate. “I had approached the defence Ministry, as well as senior Appreciating the good work put in by the current HUDA Administrator in Gurgaon, Wadhwa says that it is after a long time that an official has taken active interest in resolving the problems of Gurgaon. “The deadwood needs to be removed, or at least put on the back benches. The HUDA Chief is doing good work, and he must take it to its logical conclusion,” he says. “It is a tough job indeed. Some time needs to be given to Kumar to bring about real change in the city.”

Air Force officials, with this proposal, as I knew that this area could turn into a mess in the future. We had even started the acquisition process for 200 acres of land – but defence authorities did not take the necessary action, and after three years the award became infructuous,” says Wadhwa. He adds that the

Expert Speak: Nanak Chand Wadhwa PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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Administrator HUDA, Gurgaon had even given a detailed presentation to the defence authorities on the proposed project. Had the defence officials also been able to foresee the mess, the area around the ammunition depot would have turned into a green lung for the Millennium City, he says wistfully. As is known now, the 900 metre area around the ammunition depot has become a major issue for the state government and the local authorities, as thousands of ‘unauthorised’ houses have been built in the area. At least two lakh people live in this disputed area; and this issue is presently under the consideration of the Supreme Court. All these problems could have been avoided, says Wadhwa. As the Chief Administrator HUDA for five years, he had constructed the Mini-Secretariat in Gurgaon, and the Bhondsi Jail – that impressed even Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.

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“Arre Wadhwa sahib, aapne to jail itna sundar bana diya hai mera to man yahin rehne ko ho raha hai,” said Chautala, during the inauguration of the jail, reveals Wadhwa with a laugh. The building of the Mini-Secretariat was not HUDA’s job; but when the Chief Secretary asked him whether this could be take up by HUDA, he agreed to do so if the Jail Road land was allotted to HUDA. “I introduced the concept of large parks in all the cities of Haryana, and now every city has a number of such places. The concept of HUDA Gymkhana Clubs was also introduced in my time, and now these dot the entire State,” reveals the former HUDA boss. However, he is a bit unhappy with the present day functioning of the organisation. He believes that the influence of politicians has increased vastly, and officers are not able to work freely. The higher level officials are involved excessively with planning and pol-

icy making, and they remain removed from the execution and monitoring work which is crucial, says Wadhwa. “Even honest officials are frustrated, as they cannot take action against inefficiency due to political and other reasons. The middle and lower level functionaries in every organisation have lost direction, as the stakes have become too big,” he asserts. Appreciating the good work put in by the current HUDA Administrator in Gurgaon, Wadhwa says that it is after a long time that an official has taken active interest in resolving the problems of Gurgaon. “The deadwood needs to be removed or at least put on the back benches. The HUDA Chief is doing good work, and he must take it to its logical conclusion,” he says. “It is a tough job indeed. Some time needs to be given to Kumar to bring about real change in the city.”

Laughing St


A little boy went up to his father and asked: “Dad, where did all of my intelligence come from?” The father replied:”Well son, you must have got it from your mother, ‘cause I still have mine.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,” the divorce Court Judge said,”And I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week,” “That’s very fair, your honour,” the husband said. “And every now and then, I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A man is recovering from surgery when a nurse asks him how he is feeling. “I’m O.K. But I didn’t like the four-letter-word the doctor used in surgery,” he answered. “What did he say?”, asked the nurse nervously. “OOPS” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years. The Wizard says, “Maybe,but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you”. The old man says without hesitation, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Gurgaon, he says, has expanded on a scale that could not be foreseen by the planners – despite the fact that Haryana has some of the best town planners in the National Capital Region. “The population growth, industrial and economic growth, is beyond comprehension,” he says. Wadhwa says he was surprised to know that the financial powers of the Gurgaon HUDA Administrator, to sanction a project, are still limited to Rs. 5 lakh per project (same as his time)! “This limit has to be increased substantially. If every decision is taken in Chandigarh, then this city will never be able to grow its infrastructure,” he says. During his tenure the financial powers of HUDA Administrators were increased from 1 lakh to 5 Wadhwa says he was surprised to know that the financial powers of the Gurgaon HUDA Administrator, to sanction a project, are still limited to Rs. 5 lakh per project (same as his time)! “This limit has to be increased substantially. If every decision is taken in Chandigarh, then this city will never be able to grow its infrastructure,” he says. During his tenure the financial powers of Huda Administrators were increased from 1 lakh to 5 lakh – although he had then itself proposed Rs. 10 lakh. lakh – although he had then itself proposed Rs. 10 lakh. Although urbanisation in the city has taken place at a fast pace, the infrastructure has not developed equally, says the former HUDA chief Administrator. “Earlier only 20 per cent of land in a Sector was allotted for multi-storied apartments, but now it seems that the limit has been increased – and this has led to problems,” he says. HUDA must provide and upgrade services in the city, as the population increases; but since there is no time frame for such services, these are not developed well, he says. “As per rules, adequate services have to be given, with the increase in habitation – but nothing of that sort has happened in Gurgaon. Arterial roads, augmentation of drainage and sewerage system, schools, dispensaries in sectors have not come up,” he says. Wadhwa, who was also the first Commissioner of Faridabad Municipal Corporation, played a key role in the making of the Municipal Corporation Act of the State. “It was painstaking work, but we did it with good team effort, and support from the government,” he told Friday Gurgaon. “In the end, you cannot live in isolation of the politicians. In my case most of the politicians supported the decisions taken by me as an Administrator, and it was mostly smooth functioning – just some minor hiccups,” he admits with a smile. u

20–26 January 2012

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{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


he story of the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies is slowly unfolding. Earlier, 56 of the 74 colonies were likely to be fast-tracked for regularisation, with the rest to follow soon. Now, it seems that the list has been pruned. As of now, only 34 of the 75 ‘unauthorised’ colonies and villages have been recommended for regularisation. The process is ongoing, but the rules may finally leave 20 to 30 of these areas disqualified. The Corporation elders (and Councillors) had announced their main aim in 2012 was to get the unauthorized colonies regularised, so that they can be included in the body’s development plans. Now, with several colonies getting disqualified, the year has not started auspiciously.

Why is regularisation so important anyway?

The people living in these colonies constitute most Councillors’ biggest single vote-bank. Even though their place of residence was ‘illegal’ in the eyes of the Corporation, the people had

valid identity proof and could vote. During elections, the candidates had promised development (and regularisation) to the masses – either out of ignorance, or in a fit of over-confidence. Now, nearly a year down, the same people are realising that less than half of the colonies are going to be on that list.

Work lagging from the start

People and officials have always found it easy to blame senior officials in Chandigarh for the lagging pace of work. It seems that the same senior officials in Chandigarh had sent a letter as early as July 2008, for the regularisation of colonies. The laid-back approach is the fault of Gurgaon officials.

What is regularisation, and why is it stalling?

“To the Corporation and the Government, these places are not recognised under the controlled areas,” says the MCG’s Chief Town Planner S.C Kush, “This is a process to give them recognition. Once done, the development plans designed for the City and the State (for example, the Master

List of ‘unauthorised’ Colonies/Villages recommended for regularisation 1. Ambedkar Nagar 2. Basai Enclave 3. Hari Nagar 4. Area around Chakkarpur village 5. Ram Vihar 6. Ravi Nagar 7. Bhawani Enclave 8. Area around Khandsa Village 9. Moti Vihar 10. Shakti Park 11. Area around Jharsa Village 12. Area around Gharoli Kalan Village 13. Area around Samaspur Village 14. Area around Carterpuri Village 15. Area around Basai Village 16. Area around Sukhrali Village 17. Area around Chauma Khera Village

18. Area around Gharoli Khurd Village 19. Surat Nagar Phase-II 20. Area around Fazilpur Jharsa 21. Area around Islampur Village 22. Kadipur Enclave 23. Area around Dundahera Village 24. Area around Dhanwapur Village 25. Area around Sihi Village 26. Area around Silokhera Village 27. Area around Molahera Village 28. Area around Kadipur Village 29. Area around Mohammedpur Jharsa 30. Area around Sarhaul Village 31. Bhim Nagar 32. Vijay Vihar 33. Ashok Vihar-II 34. Shankar Vihar

List of Colonies/Villages Failing on Rules 1. Area around Begampur Khatola 2. Area around Behrampur 3. Area around Gurgaon Village 4. Area around Kherki Daula Village 5. Area around Naharpur Rupa 6. Area around Narsinghpur 7. Area Around Ghasola Village 8. Area around Kanhai Village 9. Area around Naya Gaon 10. Area around Sikandarpur Ghosi 11. Area around Tigra Village 12. Area around Wazirabad 13. Area around Bhimgarh Kheri 14. Area around Nathupur Village 15. Area around Sarai Alwardi 16. Mohayal Colony 17. Hans Park Colony 18. South City-I Enclave 19. Krishana Nagar – 1 20. Palam Vihar Extension 21. Nitin Vihar


Authorised Citizen, Unauthorised Colony

22. Shiv Colony 23. Krishna Nagar – II 24. Aman Pura 25. Amar Colony 26. Bhim Vihar Phase-III 27. Devilal Nagar 28. Firoz Gandhi Colony-II 29. Hans Enclave 30. New Palam Vihar Ph1 & III 31. Rajeev Colony 32. Rajeev Nagar West 33. Sanjay gram 34. Saraswati Enclave 35. Sheetla Colony 36. Silokhara Mandi Khera 37. Surya Vihar 38. Tek Chand Nagar 39. Area around Tikri Village 40. Ashok Vihar Phase-III 41. Vikas Nagar

Expert Views In chats with Divisional Commissioner T.K Sharma and HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar, it seemed that they were very much in favour of regularising all colonies – at least ensuring development benefits to citizens in those colonies. It was felt that since these have been a part and parcel of the City for years, they just cannot be ignored purely on legalistic, government rules reasons. The MCG, playing the lead role, clearly is going by the book. They have valid reasons for objecting to regularisation of ‘hazardous’ areas. Someone in Chandigarh needs to decide that this is not about land – but people, and their living conditions. Plan 2025) would also apply to them – and can be made to accommodate them.” Why is the process stalling? “The process is not stalling at all,” he counters. Explaining, Kush says, “Once we get a request, we survey the area.” That process includes taking stock of every house, every sewer and water line, population, amenities, shops, and items right down to markers and hand-pumps. “Once the survey is made, we see if it matches the government’s mandatory checks, and then it is sent to Chandigarh, for the area to be regularised,” he says. What stops an area being regularised? “The rules say that the area under consideration should not be encroaching upon State and Central Government land, or forestry lands. Then, it should not be falling in defence perimeters. Those areas are automatically disqualified. Over 50 per cent of the area should be inhabited. Further, the area should not be encroaching upon powergrid and railway property, and that is not in proximity of high-tension power lines or railway tracks. These conditions should be met; and they are all non-negotiable conditions,” says Kush firmly.

A planning official says, “We hope that these rules are not bypassed. They are in place for a reason. For example, if we are forced to recommend authorisation for a village through which a high-tension power line passes, it will be inviting trouble. Five years down the line, if a line snaps, it will be national news for the lives lost. Or even in case of a colony where a railway line is too near; or a defence depot. These areas are kept isolated for a reason, and the rules should not be swept aside just to keep a rashly-made promise.”

Misplaced hopes

More than half of the Wards and their Councillors are in the dark with regard to the future of their unauthorised areas. Some of the unauthorised villages, which are in dire need of development and help, are

not on the list. Those who are lucky to make the grade, are confident that they can start work soon. “I’m thankful that both the unauthorised villages in my Ward are going to be regularised,” says Ward 20 Councillor Ravinder Kataria – referring to Hari Nagar and Shakti Park. “The process has been late enough as it is.” A Councillor, whose Ward has not been included in the list so far, vehemently denies this fact. “So what if the list does not include the ‘unauthorised’ colony in my Ward. They may have encroached, but we as Councillors have to take care of them.” Faced with this update (of only 34 colonies being recommended for regularisation), a senior Municipal Councillor admitted, “Some of our compatriots had been rash enough to promise heaven and earth to these people. However, I do believe that the list would eventually admit a majority, if not all the colonies.” What would happen to those finally left out? “We’ll have a plan for those citizens too. The Corporation has been put in place for a reason, and we’ll make sure everybody who has voted for us gets his due.” Prakash, a resident of Mohayal Colony, not on the regularisation list, says, “My father settled in this colony a long time back, and we have been promised countless times that we’ll get development. We’ve given up on that, so we have grown self-sufficient. Our gated colony has everything we need, except for the authorised status. When will that happen, only God and our politicians know.” u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I need to go out in the afternoon Manne dopehri main bhaar jaana se 2. Will you take care of the work? Tu kaam ne sambal lega ke? 3. Don’t delay in sending these papers Kagazan ne bhejan main time mat lagaiye 4. Bring back a receipt Parchi likhwa laaiye 5. Call me if you need help Meri jaroorat pade teh manne

phoon kar diye

6. Tell them it is urgent Unn teh kahiye jaroori kaam se

12 A

t one month short of 50 years of age, Joygopal Podder began to write his first novel; at 51 he has 8 published novels with 5 publishers – and is working on his 11th and 12th manuscripts. With this accomplishment, he now holds the prestigious title of “the fastest published Indian author”, in the Limca Book of Records – 2012 edition. He has set bigger goals for himself. “I want to continue to hold the title in the Limca Book of Records; to enter the Guinness World Records, by churning out 25 to 30 books; to have a book or books made into film(s), so I can reach out to a larger audience; to have at least one book become a bestseller; and eventually write full time, to sustain my family,” says Podder, sitting in his house in DLF Phase 1. His wall is covered with several articles and pictures, recounting his success. Born in England, and having lived the first eight years of his life there, Podder recalls his childhood filled with books, reading material and visits to libraries. His father – a surgeon, and mother – a homemaker, were always encouraging him to read, and write short stories. The flair for writing came naturally to him. Soon after they moved to India, Joygopal Podder had his first story published in Children’s World magazine at the age of 12. At 14, the Junior Statesman published his letter as a best letter. Being a student of Hindu College, he wrote for Target Magazine, several other youth magazines, HT children’s page, Times of India, Children’s World magazine – and was quite keen to take up story-writing as a profession.

Writing A Record “But 30 years back, writing was not a lucrative profession. So I had to choose a profession that was more practical. Having studied Political Science in college, and having read many Erle Stanley Gardner books in those days, a character inspired me to become a lawyer. I ended up as a gold medallist. However, with good corporate opportunities, I entered Brooke Bond (then shifted to Godrej), and also discovered a love for marketing. That became my life for the next 30 years. Writing took a backseat; but always stayed at the back of my mind.” Podder accidentally discovered that the articles written by him in his earlier days were being published in books. “Somewhere in my middle 30s, a group of Delhi Public School children landed at my doorstep, and wanted to meet the author of the story that was printed in their Class 5 English reader. Then a friend told me that at a book shop he had discovered the best of Target Stories, and the first story in the book collection was mine. It is then I realised that I had the capacity to take on writing; and it wasn’t just a childhood fad.” Later, in his 40s, he discovered blogs – and started six blogs – on unique stories, believe it or not, stories for children, mysteries etc. The site registered 900 visits per week, with mystery being the most popular - and he soon plans on writing a book on it. Today, apart from being a successful author, Joygopal Podder is also the fund-raising direc-

tor of a leading NGO working against poverty. “In my late forties, with kids grown up, I faced some family problems – my wife lost her kidneys, and my mother fell sick. I realised that life is unpredictable, and if I have to do something, I had better do it now. In April 2010, I was visiting Austria on a conference, and one of the speakers narrated a few stories about his visits to Africa and the suffering there. Listening to him, I realised that my own experience with the NGO was rich with stories of suffering, struggling – but also achieving. And so came about the idea for my first book.” Ever since, Podder writes 500 to 1000 words every day – sometimes up to 3000 words - after work and other chores. Whether it’s in a coffee shop or a hospital, the pen and paper are his all-time companions. His ambition is to write four books a month! How does he take out time be-


Those Were The Days

{ Manjula Narayan }


enu Lal’s home – with its red brick façade, well-kept garden, and cheerful air – seems straight out of a fairy tale. You stand outside taking it all in – the herbs in pots on the wall, the flowering plants, the jingling bells on the gate, the kitten scampering up a tree, the little water-body lined with decorated stones, and the large shells at the doorstep. The welcoming interior too speaks of warmth and good taste; with multipleheaded bronze Ganeshas, subdued paintings, and comfortable sofas. But this row house in DLF City wasn’t always as cosy.

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“When my husband and I bought it in 2005, there was a large peepal tree growing through the roof,” says Lal, who has been living in the area since 1987. “Back then, there were just 30 families here, and only Phase 1 and 2 existed. The rest came up later,” she says. “Everybody knew everybody else, people were very friendly and wanted to meet each other; and they were ready to reach out in times of need.” That, Lal believes, had to do with the difficult living conditions then. “There was no water or electricity,” she says, reminiscing about a man called

tween a full time job at the NGO, family, and daily chores? Podder obliges, “I love writing, and I will write not to publish several books, but write what people will love to read. I socialize less.” Mrs. Priti Podder, wife of Joygopal Podder adds, “We are quite used to it now. I just feel absolutely great about his success, and how well he has done is pursuing his passion.” Being a resident of Gurgaon, Joygopal Podder’s several book plots are based on Gurgaon, and life in the city. His experience of working in Gurgaon in the corporate sector, and also his experiences in working with the NGOs, has influenced the story line and the scene-setting in several of his books. “My books are fictional, but draw inspiration from real life experiences too. For example, I get several ideas for my books, or the plots, by reading the newspaper. But now I am also moving out of my known

territory of corporates and NGO story line, to unknown areas – so that I can write on every genre. Like my book Superstar is based on Bollywood.” Those eagerly waiting for his next book don’t have to wait long. By the end of this month Podder will be releasing ‘Mumbai Dreams’, followed by ‘A million seconds too late’ – and his 10th book ‘Beware of the night’. By the end of February 2012, Podder will have had 10 books published. On the success of their father, his elder daughter Panvi, employee with Google says, “My dad is an inspiration to us. I used to sing in college, and then stopped. But I tell my friends that if at 50 my dad could pursue his passion, I can do the same thing too.” Piya his younger daughter, studying in Class 10 adds, “I am so proud of my dad. Whenever a book is out on the shelves, I tell all my friends to go read it; and also put it up on Facebook for people to know. We as a family are so proud of his success.” Varying in genres of writing, Podder’s books encompass crime, mystery, thriller – and now he is moving to love affairs, romance, politics, struggle and Bollywood. Joygopal Podder concludes, “I am not satisfied yet. I feel there is so much more that has to be done. For example, the Guinness world record for highest number of books published is 904 books. That is held by a lady. So no, I’m not satisfied. Also, everyone’s perspective is different; some are satisfied by the millions they make, I would feel accomplished when I have a wider audience – a million readers. I did not start writing to break records – the urge was to write, to leave a legacy, and put the talent to good use.” u

ally an ophthalmologist, but treated everything since he was the only doctor around— fashioned splints out of sticks and rope; someone else put her in their Maruti van and drove her to AIIMS; and still others brought us food, donated blood, or spent the night with us at the hospital.” Almost inevitably, many of the young people paired off. Lal herself met her husband Sanjay Nanda, a graphic designer and photographer, when he moved to Gurgaon from Delhi. “I got my first job here, I got married here, and had my kids here,” she says. “Even when we moved into this house, we could see the Aravalis,” she says waving towards the concrete towers now rising in the distance. Some of the forest that, even until a few years ago, had stretched up to her door, has been cleared to make way for a school. “But we still get deer and birds. A few months ago, at night, a car ran into a Neelgai nearby. I called Friendicoes and they tried to save it, but it was seriously injured; and just recently, there were peachicks in my garden,” she says matter-of-factly. Now things have changed considerably in this pocket of Gurgaon. Like neighbouring Sikandarpur— which used to be

a little village with men smoking hookahs as they reclined on their charpoys, and watched their tethered cattle—DLF City too has seen itself grow from a far-flung outpost, to one of the most sought after enclaves of the City. In the process, it seems to have dispensed with courtesies. “It’s now anonymous. On the road, people in a large sedan don’t want to give way to someone in a small car. The dukandaar culture has taken over,” Lal says, a trifle sadly. And some old problems still persist. “DLF has become such a big name, but it still can’t provide us infrastructure, electricity and water. These were issues then, and are issues even now – especially for independent homes.” It’s clear, though, that Benu wouldn’t ever want to live anywhere else. “The old friendships that we struck up here are still strong. We might not meet often, but when we do, it’s like a family reunion – because we’ve shared so much,” she says. She plucks a handful of lettuce from her garden, and thrusts it into your hand as a parting gift. You walk away grateful for having been treated to some near-extinct old style Gurgaon hospitality. u


{ Shirin Mann / FG }

20–26 January 2012

Amar Singh – who would come around every evening at 7 pm, and switch on the inverter – for an hour’s electric supply to the homes. Lal’s mother, Kamal Mohanlal—who has been compelled by her advancing years to move in with her daughter – fondly remembers the kindly Gulab Singh, who used to drive the DLF minibus – that ferried the families to and from Delhi. “Gulab Singh knew that the old ladies would be very tired after the trip, and he used to drop each one at their doorstep (though he wasn’t supposed to). And Mrs. Vitthal was a good Samaritan who stocked grains and pulses because we had to go a great distance to buy them,” says Lal. In fact, for many years, they had to trek to Adchini to get a gas cylinder! “Still, one doesn’t think of those days as bad,” she says. Since everybody had a “shared destiny”— regardless of whether they lived in a home measuring 150 sq. yards or a grand kothi—enduring friendships took root. “DLF City was like Noah’s Ark, and we had to be each other’s saviour,” says Lal. “When my mother had a fracture, Dr. Raina—who is actu-

20–26 January 2012

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jit kumar

Spastic Society of Gurgaon

A Blessed Society { Shirin Mann / FG }


he cemented slope leads us to the 1st floor, the entrance to the Spastic Society of Gurgaon (SSOG). The welcome is special. As we enter the common room of the building, a 23-year-old patient—‘mentally deranged’—walks briskly towards me and touches my feet. As I shift back, apprehensive about the gesture, the in-charge informs me that he does this with every guest. “He likes to do it to everyone; even if you stop him, he still will”. He has a smiling face, and is enthusiastic to share his story with me. “Hello. Mera naam Saurabh hai, mere mummy papa teacher hain, hum Chattarpur mein rehte hain. Pehle main DAV School Sector 10 mein padhta tha, ab main yahan (Spastic Society of Gurgaon) padhta hoon. Main medicines leta hoon – hyperness kam karne ke liye,” says Saurabh Grover. Saurabh, 23 years of age, is suffering from Mental Derangement. We are informed that Saurabh was being treated in a well-known city hospital; but the medication had an adverse effect on him, making him extremely hyper, angry, short-tempered, abusive and destructive. As a result, he was made to leave school, and had to be shut in a room. His family contacted Spastic Society of Gurgaon for his treatment and development. Saurabh is now being treated by Dr. Sumeeta Grover, through Homoeopathy – and is responding well to the medication, and is well settled in the environment. As I hear Saurabh’s story, while he stands smiling in front of me—calm and collected—it is hard to believe what he has gone through. He willing poses for a photograph, and also supervises other

Mentally Deranged and Spastic kids – who sit there struggling with their drawing material. This is just one case. Spastic Society of Gurgaon has 240 registered children, being treated for Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, and other kinds of mental and physical disability. About 20 to 40 patients—between the age groups of 1 to 35 years— visit the premises in Sector 4 on a daily basis. The timings are 9 am to 12pm, and 4pm to 6pm. They utilise the rehabilitation services – like Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Special Education, vocational training, medical and surgical aid, Orthoses prescription; and arrangement of various services for special children – all free of cost. “Spasticity is when muscles become tight, and the movement becomes limited – and the patient has no control over it. The only effective medicine for Spasticity is Physiotherapy, and the cure depends on the level of Spas-

The Spastic Society of Gurgaon was started by Dr. Rajesh Bhola four years ago, along with the Civil Hospital of Gurgaon.

ticity of the patient. There are other treatments, like Stem Cell Therapy, that have now come out; but it is an expensive and a long term process. The patients find difficulty in speaking, and need Speech Therapy; and due to their physical limitations they don’t go to school, and so need special education,” explains Dr. Sumeeta Grover, Homoeopath at the SSOG. The Spastic Society of Gurgaon (SSOG) started almost 4 years ago, is the first and only organisation awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certificate. The Society also works with the Government of Haryana, and is also serving as Local Level Committee Member for Gurgaon on behalf of the National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. SSOG has issued, till date, 922 Nirmaya Cards – the beneficiaries of which get Rs. 1 lakh per annum for Hospitalisation, and Rs. 10,000 per annum for OPD services.

Spasticity is when muscles become tight, and the movement becomes limited – and the patient has no control over it. The only effective medicine for Spasticity is Physiotherapy, and the cure depends on the level of Spasticity of the patient. There are other treatments, like Stem Cell Therapy, that have now come out; but it is an expensive and a long term process. The patients find difficulty in speaking, and need Speech Therapy; and due to their physical limitations they don’t go to school, and so need special education.

SSOG was started by Dr. Rajesh Bhola four years ago, along with the Civil Hospital of Gurgaon. “The Spastic Society of Gurgaon was an initiation of Dr. Bhola, and we started by helping disabled patients in the Civil Hospital; and holding camps for Spastic Patients. The Government noticed our efforts and provided us with the space in Sector 4 for running the Society” says Dr. Grover. The Society operates as a Centre for Special Children, and a Centre for Physiotherapy for all. On our visit to the NGO, we noticed Spastic children playing with toys, board games, colouring books and reading material. The Spastic Centre in the premises had beds, exercise balls, chains and hand grips, for exercises and Physiotherapy. The other section of the premises was dedicated to Physiotherapy for all. That room consisted of traction equipment, wax used for joint pains, Inter Ferential Therapy (IFT), Tense

–Dr. Sumeeta Grover

for Nerve Stimulation, exercise equipment like the wheel and pulley, and modern equipments and machines obtained from highly qualified Physiotherapists at a nominal fee of Rs. 20 per use, an amount that is approved by the Health Secretary of Haryana. The money collected is used for the maintenance and cleanliness of the Centre. The SSOG has a special panel of Doctors that provide services of Orthopaedics, Physiotherapy, Eye Specialisation, Paediatrics and Homeopathy to the patients. “Homoeopathy acts deeper, and without side effects, unlike other forms of medication. Spastic patients are simple minds, with no tensions – so homeopathy works well and faster on them. But it has to be accompanied by Physiotherapy,” says Dr. Grover. “We have seen great improvement in our patients. Because of stiffness the therapy hurts initially, but after regular therapy the limbs lighten up, and enable movement of the muscle. The parents also accompany them, and we counsel them, because the exercises need to be performed at home as well. We even have parents asking us to open on Sundays. The patients as well as the kids like a change of atmosphere, and the companionship of other children” says Dr. Neetu Dhiman, MPT, Physiotherapy, SSOG. “We have come into this world for a purpose. God has given us good health, and we must help those who are less advantaged, and are, in a way, the special children of God. This is the basic idea behind our society. Even if we you are able to make a difference in one patients’ life, you will have done your part,” concludes Dr. Grover. u


20–26 January 2012


Money, Money, Money


es, there were times when the end was happiness, with a peace of mind and goodwill towards (fellow) men. Living a good life did not necessarily involve money. Money was a means. We made money to live – not lived to make money. The end did not justify all means – including the foulest. We could be content in this jahaan.

frustration with a vengeance. We have all the goodies that our good parents did not miss. And we will not stop. We have to have been there and done that – and seen that, heard that, touched that, smelled that, tasted that – and bought them all. Not felt anything... wrong. When we cannot keep up with the Kumars, we feel unhappy. Only more money can resolve the situation. Till death do us stressfully part. When we beat the Kumars, we are exhilarant; till the Singhs show up. Then we sing a different song (for a while) – grapes can be sour.

We now live a goods (and services) life, and give a piece of our mind to one and all - in both the physical and the cyber worlds. We are not content even with do jahaan. We believe that money will deliver the happiness and the peace of mind. Money is now the end – not as in making both ends meet, but for burning the candle at both ends. Maybe the new generation (the current preAnd this end justifies all means – all is fair in teens) will be the saviours of our souls. They suffer money and war. less from want of anything. There is no pent-up Love too must accept this. frustration. They also seem more sensitive to societal concerns. We are taking out our decades of (economic) They seem more human(e). u

DC Meena – Need ... A Change Of Mindset DC Meena has clarified that an aggrieved individual may file a case in the court of concerned SDM under Sec 133 of CrPC, in case a service provider agency or department is not responding to the citizen’s repeated requests for provision of basic facilities (like roads, sewerage, water). Only an application needs to be filed; there is no need to hire a lawyer. The SDM would issue a “Conditional Order”, asking the agency to complete the work within a specified time limit. If the agency fails to deliver, the SDM can issue an “Absolute Order”, after which an FIR can be lodged against the officer responsible. Such cases can be filed against government departments like HUDA, MCG, NHAI, PWD; and also against private developers, and private agencies involved in road construction. The DC observed that there is no paucity of funds in the government departments – only a change of mindset is required. u



equest publication to take forward such stories for people to learn from and start respecting life - Vartika-on the article – Stray Love


ongrats Mr. Gaje Singh! Keep it up, we are standing behind you – Dr. Anju Rawat Negi, advocate, on the article – Supreme Justice


ery interesting story. Look forward to dining at Bernardo’s Restaurant the next

time I am in Delhi - Philip John, on the article – Bollywood fare


ood Work - Amit Sehwag, on the article – Supreme Justice


t is difficult to follow these rules in present days, particularly when urban life is facing vertical growth. It would be nice if one is advised according to the apartment living, which is the norm today. Looking forward to more advise - Seema Bhalla, on the article – Building Plans Please send your letters to:

Famous Quotes The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.” - George Burns

Try to learn something about every-

thing and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.” - Salvador Dali

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” - Plato

Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Kid Corner


Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Apple disappears 2. Another bottle bottom shelf 3. Stripe on woman’s sleeve 4. Can on floor disappears 5. “S”in SPECIALS 6. Man has pipe 7. Black label on top shelf box 8. Trolley sign longer 9. Light appears 10. SALE sign appears


Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

20–26 January 2012


20–26 January 2012

K id Corner

Excelsior Meets Sunita Williams


enowned astronaut Sunita Williams met the students of Excelsior American School over a video presentation at Om Retreat Centre in Manesar. The students presented her a 50 feet mammoth card – wishing her good luck. The card bore signatures of all the school students, teachers and parents. The students and teachers also made a tie-and-dye Duppatta with ‘Excelsior’ written on it. Sunita appreciated and thanked the students for their wonderful efforts. She also interacted with the children and shared the glorious moments she had spent in space.


rvashi, Class VII student of Rishi Valley School and Angad, Class III student of Shikshantar School, got a rare opportunity to join “20 Punjab” Regiment’s Incredible India tour, and meet the President Mrs. Pratibha Patil, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The kids not only presented their views to President Patil but also enjoyed a guided tour of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The kids enjoyed a nine-day trip along with a group of students from Akhnoor, a border district of Jammu and Kashmir – and were led by Major Singh.

hri Chiranjivi spLo students irit of exhilaration, the


mmersed in the SPV) hool, Palam Vihar (CB of Chiranjiv Bharti Sc enthusiasm. d an ur vo traditional fer celebrated Lohri with ion. The stage for the celebrat A huge bonfire set the rformance scintillating dance pe students presented a d to bring ere off o, prayers were and music concert. Als in joy and festivity.

Incredible Kids

Lion Achievers Honoured

Fiesta At Suncity


uncity World School staged their annual fiesta titled ‘Saturnalia’. The function began with ‘Mantroccharan’ – a beautiful rendering of Shlokas by young students resplendent in saffron robes, to welcome the guests. The students presented some thought-provoking plays, dance performance and poetry – that highlighted the innate talent of the students. Be it the blending of traditional dance forms with modern Bollywood numbers, or the age old tale of Dronacharya―that brought alive the culture and splendour of Gurugram (Gurgaon)―the students kept the audience enthralled with their delightful acting and admirable oratorial skills. The chief guests were the Minister of Education, Delhi, Mr. Arvinder Singh Lovely and MP Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi. The programme was also graced by Mr. Laxmi Narain Goel, Chairman of Suncity School, and members of the Managing Committee – Mr. Atul Goel and Mr. Ankit Goel.

remony to S) hosted a special ce ions Public School (LP school the to s rel who brought lau honour the students and C, VII of v da Ya l of VI A, Koma rd thi last year. Nikita Kalra d nd an o secured first, seco Tennis ble Anjal Laad of VI A, wh Ta el lev in the Under-14 stateof Class r ga position respectively, Da bin Ro y. each given a troph re we , hip ns te-level pio sta am Ch dals in the ld and two silver me nts de stu e IX B, who won two go Th ured. nship, was also hono Swimming Champio . also got cash prizes


Pathwazains live on BBC


Colourful Sports Day at MRIS


anav Rachna International School (MRIS), Sector 51, celebrated its annual sports day – Sportek 2011 – at Tau Devi Lal Stadium. The track event was the highlight of the day, with many interesting races – like Flat Race, Collect and Run Race, Hurdle Race, and Feed the Santa Race. The winners of the races were awarded with medals and a certificate, by the chief guest Mr. S.Y. Siddiqui, Managing Executive Officer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. The sports activities were followed by various cultural activities, in which the students dressed up in colourful attires, to put up a grand show.

tudents of Pathways World School – Suhail, Isra, Yash, and Amiya, and a faculty member, Bhagirathy presented a show – World Have Your Say – on the BBC Radio. It was broadcast live from a micro-brewery, Lemp, in Gurgaon. The students discussed various issues – ranging from the recent bombing in Afghanistan, to FDI in India, and the growth of Gurgaon.

20–26 January 2012

{ Pallavi Sohani }


icking the right school for the child is a very crucial and daunting task for any parent. The fountainheads constantly bore and bury themselves with the worry of finding the best school for their progeny. And living in the NCR only adds to the trouble. Many of us can completely relate to this, because we have .. “been there and done that”. The admission fee (read downpayment) required in schools today is good enough to pay the EMI for two houses. Hence, you don’t want to go wrong on this one. Because, let’s accept it, any faulty equipment bought from a decent shop can be exchanged or returned with refund (if you are really lucky!) – but any fee of any school will not be returned, for any reason. Since the responsibility of providing the right education to a child rests simply and entirely on the shoulder of a parent, the pertinent question remains – “Which school to go for?” The schools are a plenty in Gurgaon. Each, or most of them, desperately seek to grab our attention (even with mall hoardings, trailers in movie theatres). And choosing just the right school renders parents perplexed and bewildered. It’s like going to a mall, screening through many shops, scanning tons of items, but returning home without a thing in your bag. Why? One,

Kid Corner

Choosing the Right School

we do not know what we are looking for; and two, we are not convinced with the professed pedagogy of the schools. So here are a few points to ponder, for selecting the right school for your child: 1. Proximity: The child should not be made to travel long distances for learning. To add to the already gruelling and intense routine in school, the travel time should be kept minimal. 2. Academics: Academics plays a

very important part, but it is not all there is to education. Education is about developing the right attitude, to face the challenges life has to offer every step of the way. There is life outside the periphery of academics, grades, marks etc. Hence, schools offering a curriculum based on necessary Life skills (Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making etc) should be a priority for any parent. Let me put it this way – we do not want walking, talking


Wikis (Wikipedia), but competent thinking individuals predisposed to face the real world. 3. Social Skill Set: One of the most important yet rebuffed aims of Education is to develop the quintessential social skills in and among the kids. Interpersonal skills, empathy and tolerance (to name a few) are sterling qualities that make us qualify as humans. Schools providing the yarn of human qualities, to knit and nurture the fabric of peace and tranquility in GenX, should be the cynosure for any parent. 4. Empowerment: Institutions should equip children with confidence, self-management, and self-assessment skills, to help down grow up as sorted and self-assured individuals. We want our kids to grow up as leaders. Cultivating the right attitude and belief in themselves empowers the kids for life. So before making the big decision, reflect on the vision you have for your child’s education. Request for a tour of the school you are keen on. Try to experience the school and its functioning. Do not hesitate to ask questions from the authority. Then finally make that informed decision and investment for your child’s education and future. Good Luck and Happy Schooling. The author is an English Teacher in Suncity World School. u

Literary Flourish JIT KUMAR

Creative Corner

We Are God’s Children We are god’s children, Do not push, do not shout, do not snatch We are god’s children, We are strong, we are mighty, we are brave We are god’s children, Do not abuse, do not fool, do not cheat We are god’s children, We are capable, we are sensible, we are lovable We are god’s children. Oshwin Dang, KG (Cultural), Excelsior American School


Pongal Celebration at Shri Siddhi Ganesh Mandir, Gurgaon

Friendship is love Friendship is peace Friendship is joy Friendship which cannot sink Friendship to make people laugh, not frown Friendship is an arrow, with a bow Friendship is a gold, which cannot get old Friendship is a treat, which is very good to eat Count your life by smiles not tears Count your age by friendship not years – Divya Sapra, VII B, Blue Bells Model School

Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to


20–26 January 2012

K id Corner

Friends are our most valuable possession – that is the lesson these Jataka tales impart. The wise, like Nigrodha Kumar, cherish their companions. Pottik’s selfless loyalty is rewarded by unexpected riches. On the other hand, for the selfish ingrate Shakha there awaits only a shameful loneliness. Rich or poor, ugly or handsome, powerful or helpless, a friend is one whom you can trust. And for this luxury, you should repay your friend with respect and honour.






A country That is coloured – Greenland A country That is oily – Greece A country That is cold – Iceland A country That is spicy – Chile A country That wants to eat – Hungary © 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

– Atullya Purohit, V B, Blue Bells Model School

20–26 January 2012


fter the failure of ‘Metallica’ to perform in Gurgaon, the staging of any rock or other band looked quite bleak. Until Zygo stepped in. Zygo, the new 14,000 sq feet night club in MGF Metropolitian Mall, proved the pundits wrong – with the staging of BANDSLAM 2012. On stage were 20 bands, of all genres, from all over the country – dishing out exciting, head-banging performances in the City, on the 14th and 15th of January. The event showcased 20 bands and 4 DJ’s under one roof, over a period of 2 days – from 3 pm to 10 pm. It witnessed a crowd of about 600 people, from all over the country – who came to support and enjoy the rockand-roll times. While Gurgaon thundered with thumping music, the bands performing had a blast – within their allotted 30 minutes. The crowd-pulling BANDSLAM was organised by A-Live Entertainment, to promote and stage youth talent. The BANDSLAM 2012 event opened with 10 bands on Day 1- Dementia, The



{ Shirin Mann / FG }


Urban Early Men, Inertia, Then & Now, Inherited Infection, Mutiny in March, The Last Puff, Revival Stage, Darkmoon Eternity, and Scythus. Day 2 witnessed a larger participation of the crowd, and 10 more bands jamming till the wee hours - Ebonix, Pleqtrum, Swaratar, Scarlet Grudge, Silent Existence, 7 tones, Flying Souls, Soul Screech, Soul Trip, and The Uncertainty Principle – followed by an after party. DJ Butch Jr. playing at the BANDSLAM, says, ‘The event showcased some of the best young talents from all over the country, and the energy was awesome! Playing for a crowd of 600 people was absolutely great.” After the high voltage power-packed 2 days of the rock festival, there was a tie between the two best bands—Dementia and The Uncertainty Principle—for the title. Sushmit Mazoomdar, the Judge of BANDSLAM 2012, and a Bassist with a Death Metal Band called 1833 AD says, “ The response from the crowd was great,

and about 10 bands were exceptionally good. Apart from the winning bands, Dementia and The Uncertainty Principle, other bands like The Urban Early Men were really good as well. There is some great talent here, and if they stick around and continue to make music, I am sure they will make it really big in the industry. The BANDSLAM is a really good platform for the bands to showcase their talents. Such competitive events are great stepping-stones for the bands, who can make their existence felt, and bag some great shows and records in the future. “Rock music appeals greatly to the young crowd, and Gurgaon has a great population of youth – so BANDSLAM saw a great turnout of people, and they loved it,” adds Mazoomdar. If you have missed the full packed two day rock festival, don’t be disappointed. The BANDSLAM is an annual event, and will be back next year – with a bigger bang, showcasing some new talent. And if you are a performer yourself, prepare the rock star in you, and get Gurgaon head banging in 2013! u

‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ { Surekha Waldia }


id you know our children could be heading towards ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’? “This is not a medical condition — it describes our lack of relationship with the environment. It hurts our children, our families, our communities, and our environment. This alienation damages children


o let’s get going. Take your children to the park, and make them look for—and help them identify—these wonderful edible flowers and weeds that are commonly found in our environment. This is just the beginning, of fostering creativity, and


– and shapes adults, families, and communities. It’s basically a lack of routine contact with nature, that may result in stunted academic and developmental growth. This unwanted side-effect of the electronic age is called Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).” The term has been coined by Richard Louv in his book – Last Child in the Woods, in order to explain how

our societal disconnect with nature is effecting today’s children. Some of the basic symptoms of NDD include attention problems, obesity, anxiety, and depression. The next logical question is, how can we prevent Nature Deficit Disorder in our kids? The only solution left is to bring the greens back in our personal space; learn to conscious-

ly give more time towards plants – and introduce our children to nature. Now where should we begin? Just getting a few plants in our balconies or back yards will not solve the problem. We need to understand the factors that would drive creativity in children, and make them more responsive. As parents, we need to break ourselves

out of the culture of driving from one structured activity to another. We have to bring out the children in us, to connect with our own children – to help them understand the hidden beauties of nature. It’s time to stop and literally smell the roses, and look around for those wild berries that we would collect in the wilderness, in our childhood. u

calming children – struggling with information overload. 1. Clover 2. Dandelion 3. Pansies 4. Nasturtiums 5. Calendula Clover –we have eaten this as kids. The whole flower is edible, and a high source of protein though better digested when boiled

lightly for 5 - 10 minutes. Dandelion is a very nutritious and highly useful plant; the leaves, roots, flowers and buds are all edible. The leaves can be used in salads, or brewed into a tea; and the flowers and petals used for garnish, and in salads. Pick fresh and young, for

sweet taste. Pansies The flowers and petals look pretty when sprinkled on salads - or even as decoration on fairy cakes! Nasturtiums are most popular edible flowers, both for humans and animals. The leaves and petals have a distinct peppery

taste, and are a great asset to any salad. Calendula has been used for centuries, to colour soups and broths; and was believed to ‘gladden the heart’. The petals are added to soups and stews— or even rice—for a lovely subtle flavour, and a delightful colour. u






20–26 January 2012

V aastu

The Nakshatra Effect (Part-II)

{ V.K Gaur }


ny person (Jatak) born in a Naksahtra, by birth develops specific qualities. In the text below, the qualities of Nakshatra are mentioned, followed by the characteristics of Jatak (in Italics). 1 to 11 in Part I (issue January 13-19, 2012) 12. Uttara Phalguni – Uttara Phalguni is ruled by Bhaga, the God of happiness. It bestows the power of accumulation or prosperity (Chayani Shakti) through marriage or union. Its basis above is the wealth gained from one’s own family; its basis below is the wealth gained from ones partner and her family. Together they bring about the accumulation of wealth. Uttara Phalguni brings the prosperity that results through union. It indicates both the need for union, and for organizing the resources gained through it. Bhaga is also a God of wealth who brings about the right apportionment of resources. While the previous Nakshatra shows marriage, this shows the setting up of the household for the newly-married couple. Uttara Phalguni makes one sweet-tongued, efficient, poor, love seclusion, animal manager and lover, devoid of parental care, possess sharp memory, articulate artist, lover of relatives. 13. Hasta – Hasta is ruled by Savita, the creative form of the Sun God. It grants what we are seeking, and places it in our own hands (Hasta Sthapaniya Agama Shakti). Its basis above is the seeking of gain; its basis below is the process of gaining. They place what one wishes to gain in one’s own hand. Hasta gives the ability to achieve our goals expeditiously and entirely. Such goals are usually creative in nature. Savita is the creative will that builds up the universe with all of its beauty. His creations are wonderful. Any person born in Hasta Nakshatra is generally dishonest, untruthful, proud, hardworking but careless. Loves music, succeeds through hard work. Lover of watery places and earns from animal-breeding. 14. Chitra – Chitra is ruled by Twashtar, the Cosmic craftsman(Vishwakar ma). Its power is ability to accumulate merit in life (Punya Cayani Shakti). Its basis above is the law; its basis below is the truth. Through them the worker is able to gain honour in his work. Chitra allows us to gain the fruit of our good karma that comes through righteousness. It has strong spiritual energy and effect. Twashtar creates enduring forms, like a blacksmith, and also produces variety and abundance. 15. Swati – Swati is ruled by Vayu, the God of the Wind. It gives the power to scatter like the wind (Pradhvamsa

Shakti). Its basis above is moving in various directions; its basis below is change of form. The result is transformation. Swati Nakshatra causes things to move and scatter. This can be destructive, unless we learn how to use it to remove negativity. All these indications are basically those of the Wind, which has both healing and destructive powers. Swati makes one brave, a leader, day dreamer, lucky, independent thinker, tactful, healthy, keen intellectual; but harms self and relatives in rage, falls prey to obstacles, is stubborn and intermittently suffers from injuries. 16. Vishakha – Vishakha is ruled by Indra and Agni, who represent the powers of heat and lightning in the atmosphere. It gives power to achieve multi-dimensional success in life (Vyapana Shakti). Its basis above is plowing or cultivation; its basis below is the harvest. This gives the fruit of the harvest. Vishakha provides the effort to achieve our time bound goals in abundance. It does not give immediate results, but solid long term gains. Indra and Agni help in agriculture. Jatak born in this Nakshatra frequently goes to foreign countries. Loves painting and the truth, efficient fighter, clever, businessminded, good advisor, orator, progressive, believes in astrology. Thoughtless at times. 17. Anuradha – Anuradha is ruled by Mitra, the Divine Friend. It gives the power of worship (Aradhana Shakti). Its basis above is ascension; its basis below is descension. From them honour and abundance is gained. Anuradha Nakshatra gives balance in relationship, both honoring others and seeking respect to oneself, through which we acquire fame and recognition. Mitra indicates compassion, devotion and appropriate relationship. A Jatak born in this Nakshatra is a thinker, honest worker, loves his/her religion, holds modern views. Keenly interested in philosophy, Vedas and astrology, honoured, devoid of paternal care, tactful, efficient, progressive, persevering learner, suffers in early age; Patient listener, capable of putting forth his/her view-point forcefully, high executive, interested in music. 18. Jyeshta – Jyeshta is ruled by Indra, the ruler of the Gods. It has the power to rise or conquer, and gain courage in battle (Arohana Shakti). Its basis above is attack, and its basis below is defence. As a result, one becomes a hero. Jyeshta allows us to reach the peak of our personal energy and vigour, but it requires great courage and effort. It shows karmic battles that require our complete energy centralisation. The Jatak

wins by courage and deceit, not entirely by physical strength. Any one born in Jyeshtha is a famous writer, proud, given to luxury, suffers because of brothers, good speaker, unhealthy, lazy, animal breeder, blind believer in friends. Meets obstacles in progress, opposed to own family yet progressive. 19. Moola – Moola is ruled by Nairriti (Rakshash), the Goddess of destruction. It has the power to ruin and destroy. Its basis above is breaking things apart; its basis below is crushing things. These factors create power to destroy. Nairriti is Alakshmi or the denial of Lakshmi (abundance and prosperity). She is Kali or the negative effect of time, that we must protect ourselves from – or use to our advantage. Moola creates strong-will power. Jatak is opposed to old generation, troublesome to father, suffers from abdominal ailments, adamant, wanderer, efficient in magic, omens, tantric knowledge etc. Earns from sale purchase of medicines, loves embellished clothes, conquers enemies, good at studies, loves purity, suffers in old age. 20. Purvashadha – Purvashadha is ruled by the Wa-

ters (Jal). Its power is that of invigoration (Varchograhana Shakti). Its basis above is strength; its basis below is connection. Through these one gains lustre. Purvashadha brings about purification and regeneration, like the energy gained through taking a bath in water. It provides us additional energy for our efforts. These effects flow from the Waters, which in this instance are heavenly in nature – and can provide inner purification. A Jatak born in Purvashadha receives honor, suffers in early age, suffers from parental trouble in childhood, but leads happy & comfortable life in middle age, highly sexual, has contacts with many women. likes seclusion, weak bodied, efficient in vocal music, gains through women, efficient and easily successful. 21. Uttarashadha – Uttarashadha is ruled by the Universal Gods (Vishwe Deva). Its power is granted an unchallengeable victory (Apradhrisya Shakti). Its basis above is the strength to win; its basis below is the goal that one can win. From these one becomes the un-

challenged winner. Uttarashadha brings us to the summit of our power, support and recognition, not so much through our personal efforts (which is more the case in Jyeshta), but with the appropriate alliances and support of all the Gods. Its victory depends upon a righteous cause that is beneficial to all, which it is helping in. Here it fights more as the leader of an army. Any person born in this Nakshatra is proficient in fine arts. Receives honors, excellent orator, has well-developed physique, sharp intellect, proud, liar, stammers, profits through trade, adept in household affairs, has strong will power, plans well for future – but has short-life. 22. Shravana – Shravana is ruled by Brahma, who pervades. Its power is that of connection (Samhanana Shakti). Its basis above is seeking; its basis below are the paths. Shravana enables us to link people together by connecting them to their appropriate paths in life. This requires receptivity and listening, and results in understanding and aspiration. Vishnu with his three strides links together the three worlds of Earth, Atmosphere and Heaven – connecting all creatures with the Gods. Shravan makes Jatak mischievous, devoted to parents, proud, interested in business of liquids, acts after due consideration, opposes friends, fond of eating and drinking, unhealthy, gains from business, sales and purchases, efficient in transacting land business, wealthy, and deep interest in religious matters. 23. Dhanishta – Dhanishta is ruled by Vishnu, the God of abundance. Its power is to give abundance and fame (Khyapayitri Shakti). Its basis above is birth; its basis below is prosperity. They give the power to bring people together. Dhanishta allows us to bring the resources of people together. It builds upon the connections of Shravana and makes them more practical. A Jatak born in the Nakshatra lacks foresight, encounters obstacles in professional career, is lover of martial arts, poor, rises through hard work, devoted to wife, honest, wears clean clothes, short-tempered, gains from business of iron and steel. 24. Shatabhisha – Shatabhisha is ruled by Vasu. It has the power of healing (Bheshaja Shakti). Its basis above is extension or pervasion over all; its basis below is the support of all. They make the world free of calamity. Shatabhisha counters difficult karmas through Divine grace and repentance. These include not only diseases but difficulties of all kind, including sin. While Ashwini gives more immediate cures, Shatabhishak brings about a healing crisis,

leading to revitalization. Jatak is helpful and serves others. Performs clean and pure acts, is religious, at times fickle-minded and acts without due thought and consequently suffers. Interested in business of machinery, deep thinker, saint, conservative in religious matters. 25. Purva Bhadrapada – Purva Bhadrapada is ruled by Varun. Purva Bhadra grants a universal view through internal purification. This raises up our spiritual aspiration in life, and takes us out of the domain of selfish behavior. Aja Ekapad is the cosmic or celestial form of Agni or the sacred fire. It raises up our spiritual aspiration in life. Jatak born in Purva bhadrapad is devoted to god. Shuns women, given to comforts, worshipper, priest, meets with unexpected success, gets wealth unexpectedly in old age. 26. Uttara Bhadra – Uttara Bhadra is ruled by Aja Ekapad, the one-footed serpent. It gives the fire to raise a spiritual person up in life (Yajamana Udyamana Shakti). What is good for all people is its basis above; what is good for the Gods is its basis below. They cause the entire world to be supported. Uttara Bhadrapada grants growth and prosperity in a broad way, benefiting the entire world. This makes it very auspicious. Ahir Budhnya is the benefic serpent who brings the rain, connecting us with the creative powers at the foundations of the world. Uttara Bhadrapada makes one happy, progressive, honoured by women, liberal, magnanimous, emotional, but acts with due thought, suffers from sudden loss, suffers from enemies, lazy, lover of education, belongs to highly cultured family, friend of government officials. 27. Revati – Revati is governed by Pushan*, the nourishing form of the Sun God. It has the power of nourishment symbolized by milk (Kshiradyapani Shakti). Its basis above is the cows; its basis below are the calves. They bring about the nourishment of the entire world. Revati creates abundance through providing proper nourishment. It helps all people in their efforts. Pushan is the lord of cattle, and the lord of the paths. He leads, protects and gathers the herd in their movement, particularly to new pastures. In this way he also protects the soul in its journey to the next world. A Jatak born in Revati is lover of education, open-minded, thoroughly gentle, loves pilgrimage, does not act as an intellectual, happy, poor, loves seclusion, devoted to God, meets obstacles on way to progress, possesses spiritual power, does not think much, gains from friends *Narad Puran shows 28 Nakshatra – 28th being Abhijit. Ruler/Lordship of Nakshatras is quoted from Narad Puran u

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20–26 January 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The many layered Allium - Onion

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


his continuing story of Alliums features the Onion. Onions are well-known for their obnoxious impact on our breath, and for making our tears flow freely. In countries like India, the price of this daily commodity has been known to ‘make and break’ governments. These aspects, however, do not distract from the worth of onions as a super food. Throughout man’s history the onion has been a very important part of our diet. It comes in a wide variety of types – with different colours and flavours. Extremely versatile, it makes a signature impact in a wide range of dishes – from soups to stews; and on sandwiches, or in salads. It can be pickled, boiled, stirfried, baked or curried. Onions can be dehydrated, and even

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come in a powder form. Because it is suitable to eat raw, the cancer preventing antioxidant properties of the onion are particularly potent. The type of onion effects the content of the health promoting chemicals; and the stronger tasting ones probably have superior properties. Red onions have a higher antioxidant content than brown onions – and therefore have greater health benefits. Unpeeling the proverbial onion helps us discover several layers of benefit that lie hidden in this widely used vegetable. Onions are a big source of two phytonutrients that play a significant role in promoting our health: flavonoids, and the sulfur-containing compounds. The two flavonoid sub-groups are the anthocyanins – which impart a red/purple co-

lour, and the flavanols (such as quercetin) – permeate the inner flesh and brown skins of many varieties of onions. Onions contain calcium, potassium, vitamin C and

folate. It is believed that anti-cancer benefits in onions come from the sulphur compounds known as allyl sulfides. In addition, onions contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant associated with immune-boosting properties. As in the case of garlic, the benefits of eating onions raw are manifold. However, when cooking, it is best to cook below 30 minutes – as this minimizes the deterioration of the beneficial compounds.

Tip of the week

Slicing the onion ruptures the cell walls and releases most of the highly beneficial constituents... which then

W ellness

combine to form a powerful new disease-fighting compound: thiopropanal sulfoxide. To keep your eyes from watering, the most effective way is to run the onion under water before cutting it. Other methods that can be tried are putting a little white vinegar on the cutting board when chopping onions. Or putting the onions in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before cutting them. Wearing sunglasses or spectacles can also help. To get the most benefit, purchase well-shaped onions that have dry and crisp outer skins. Avoid the ones that are already sprouting, wilting, or have discoloured tops. Store onions at room temperature, but keep them in a well-ventilated area – and way from light. If stocked along with potatoes, they will absorb their moisture, and will rot sooner. One delicious way to enjoy onions is to caramelize them. When added to salads, sandwiches, pizza or sauces, caramelized onion flakes add a wonderful sweetness and flavour. Caramelization also reduces the risk of bad breath.

Nature’s wonder food of the week: Onion

The following might be some

Vivafit 07838358788, 0124-4268-086 242, Second Floor, DTMega Mall, DLF Phase I, Gurgaon - 122001,

of the reasons for making at least one medium-sized onion a staple in the daily diet : Anti-inflammatory & Antiseptic properties Onions contain powerful antioxidants, and are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. Beneficial for blood pressure, cardiac health Onions are high in sulphur, chromium and vitamin B6 – which help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Stabilizes blood sugar The allyl proply disulfide in onions is believed to increase insulin in the body; and as a result, stabilize our blood sugar level. Beneficial for bone health A peptide called GPCS helps keep bones from weakening, by inhibiting the activity of the cells (osteoclasts) that break down bones. At least two important studies show that onions help build strong bones. Cancer-prevention properties One theory is that onions contain diallyl sulfide, which has the effect of increasing the body’s production of an important cancer fighting enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase. For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

Only for Ladies Fitness Place

Go With The Glow

{ Alka Gurha }


ronzed skin is highly coveted by men and women across the western world. People of all ages have been known to spend several hours outdoors, especially on the beach, just to achieve the perfect sun-tanned appearance. However, in our country, we continue to be obsessed with a light complexion, and ergo fairness creams. To right sense us, Kalki Koechlin, the actress, recently tweeted, “I am a Tamilian inside, but I fell in a pot of Fair and Lovely as a baby – and have been cursed with white skin ever since!” Most people get their glow with the help of a daily skin-

care routine – that includes cleansing, exfoliating, toning, and moisturising. Given below are some of the commonly recommended natural remedies – for a healthy, supple and glowing skin. 1. One of the best home remedies for a clean complexion is a mixture of dried orange peel and yogurt. To make this, take the peel of an orange and dry it in shade; when the peel is dried, tear it to shreds and grind it into a fine powder. This is one of the most useful exfoliating remedies for oily skin. 2. Another remedy that improves skin texture, and makes the skin appear younger, is the mixture of lime juice and chickpea flour. Mix together

a tablespoon of lime juice with two large tablespoons of chickpea flour, and make a paste using milk. Rub this gently on your skin, regularly. Papaya pulp mixed with lime juice is also very effective. 3. Mix one teaspoon of milk powder, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey and

half a teaspoon of almond oil, to make a thick paste. Apply this on the skin, and keep it for around 15 to 20 minutes – before rinsing off with cold water. This not only helps reduce the effects of tanning and skin blemishes, but also gives your skin a natural radiance. 4. Add some plain oatmeal

to unflavored yogurt, and apply the mixture on the affected skin. Some tomato juice could also be added to this mixture, to increase its effectiveness. 5. Potato has natural bleaching properties, which is why it is excellent for making patches and blemishes ‘vanish’. Cut a potato into thin slices, and place them on the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes. In addition to these remedies, one also needs to get an adequate amount of sleep, rest and exercise. Also, these home remedies need to be used over a period of time, to see effective results. If you have a skin tone that is naturally dark, there is little you can do to lighten it – and pray, why would you?. However, by keeping your skin clean, and tending to it regularly, you can greatly improve the quality of your skin – and ‘get the glow’. u

Metro’s Rapid Progress

{ Maninder Dabas / FG}


n the last two decades, Gurgaon has fathered many dreams; and destiny has smiled on many of them. Some have succumbed prematurely, at the altar of pragmatism and implementation. But neither time nor the City mourns fallen dreams; the City keeps dreaming, to reach new heights. ‘A Metro of its own’ is certainly one of those dreams, that is shaping into reality at a rapid pace. By 2013, this Rs. 1,000 + crores project is expected to take this City to a whole new level, and give its citizens salvation from the woes of a non-existent public transport system (not wholly, but in some measure indeed). “Rapid Metro is one of the nice things that is taking shape in Gurgaon. We know that the public transport system here is poor, and it doesn’t seem likely to improve soon. The proposed Rapid Metro is not only a perfect mode of intra-city transport, but it also will have a fascinating connectivity to the Delhi Metro – to help one get out of the city within a span of 15-20 minutes,” said Dr. Praveen Kumar, Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon. “Cities in this country are growing at a lightning pace; and no matter how many roads, flyovers or any other surface infrastructure the government makes, they will only satiate the demand for a limited period of time. To make mobile such a huge population, especially the work force, we need a transport system based on a fixed line system. The ‘developed’ countries proved a good example. Rapid Metro, Gurgaon, is exactly what the country and this City needs, to reach those levels. We are committed to give Gurgaon an indispensable Metro line – which will not only tackle the intra-city needs, but also ensure a good connectivity with the Delhi Metro,” affirms Sanjiv Rai, CEO & MD, IL&FS, the company constructing the Rapid Metro. Yet mere dreaming doesn’t yield fruit; it

takes relentless effort to turn those dreams into reality. And concomitant acceptance of some inconvenience—in the form of traffic jams—from the public.

So what can be expected? A solution to transport woes?

“Certainly, it will be a great help in boosting the city’s public transport system. We currently have no such thing – most of the autos run over-crowded and non-metered. The public has little choice,” said Rai. The public, especially ‘new Gurgaon’, think that this 5 km salvation train will change their life to a certain extent. “Yes, of course, once it starts it will provide great relief to the residents as well as the non-resident travellers of the City. At present I go to my office in Cyber City by car, which takes at least half an hour; with the Metro it will only take about five minutes. Going to Delhi too will be more convenient, as there will be no need to take car out – the new Metro station would be a walkable distance,” said Ankit Srivastav, a youngster living in DLF Phase-2. However, like Delhi Metro, the Rapid Metro is not going to give any joy to the people of ‘old Gurgaon’ – and the citizens there are quite disappointed. “Nothing good comes


20–26 January 2012

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machines, and they can fail at times. We are trying our level best to provide smooth passage to traffic, but some unfortunate incidents have taken place, that have resulted in jams. We have re-built all the roads that were damaged in the process of construction, and are committed to give Gurgaon a world class Metro train,” said Rai. Citizens are inconvenienced – but some see it in a broader light. “Indeed it’s a tough task to pass this area easily during the evenings, on any working day. Yet I think that this is a temporary pain, and it will turn into joy once this project is finished. MG Road was a mess when the construction of the Delhi Metro was going on, and now you can see the difference it has brought to the City. Rapid Metro will also prove immensely beneficial for the city,” said Vikram Rawat, a middle-aged resident.


hearts with pride,” explained an optimistic Sanjiv Rai.

The comparison with Delhi Metro

The Delhi Metro has set a worthy example of project management (in all aspects) – that too being a government initiative. Rapid Metro, though a private firm initiative, is being rightly compared to the Delhi Metro – in terms of the leadership, the quality of work, the cost, the delivery timeline, the ‘management of inconvenience’. And as of now, the Delhi Metro is perceived far better. But IL&FS, the company in-charge, doesn’t buy this theory. “As far as the quality of work is concerned, we are as good as the Delhi Metro – or may be even better. Even officials from the Delhi Metro, who visit our work often, are quite impressed by the work we have done. Just two months back, Delhi Metro’s former chief,

to old Gurgaon. This NH-8 has become the line between the haves and have-nots marked by the State. Sixty per cent of the population of the City lives in old Gurgaon, yet it doesn’t have any Metro connection,” said Ramesh Aggarwal, a trader in old Gurgaon.

A headache at present!

“It has been reported that the Rapid Metro Construction causes traffic jams, acutely felt at peak hours. I don’t deny that. But the project is built by

Nothing good comes to old Gurgaon. This NH-8 has become the line between the haves and havenots marked by the State. Sixty per cent of the population of the City lives in old Gurgaon, yet it doesn’t have any Metro connection Ramesh Aggarwal Trader in old Gurgaon

Sanjiv Rai, CEO & MD, IL&FS

Will it be delivered on time?

Projects in India seldom get delivered on time. Even Delhi Metro, which has been arguably the most punctual project of the country, was delayed by a few months in some phases. “As of now, we are running a week late from the schedule. But the reasons for it are quite valid. One of the reasons is that we have just finished acquiring the land. There were so many issues of litigation and stays from the High Court. But now we have no such issue, and I hope we will catch up our pace, and meet the deadline of January 2013. I wish this fixed line system could have been here before the inception of Cyber City; but never mind, we promise to give this City a marvel to feast their eyes on, as well as fill their

E. Sreedharan was here – and he too was quite happy with the way we have carried out the work,” explained Rai. Officials in Delhi Metro too don’t believe that the Rapid Metro is inferior to the Delhi Metro in terms of construction. “I think they too are doing a nice job. These small problems like the breakdown of machines causing traffic jams etc. are normal, when such a huge project is under construction. And as far as quality of construction is concerned, it is quite OK,” said a senior official in Delhi Metro.

Future prospects

In 2013, the Rapid Metro will only cover 5 (five) kilometres in Gurgaon; yet the possibility of its expansion are bright – and Sanjiv Rai spoke about it candidly. “There is a strong possibility of the Rapid Metro being expanded in the near future. And if it happens, then another 14 kilometres of line will be added; and in this old Gurgaon will also be taken care of. We will extend it by another 7 (seven) kilometres towards the DLF Golf Course Road, to also increase the mobility and connectivity to Faridabad – as well as Sohna. On the northern-western side of Gurgaon, another 7 (seven kilometre) line will be added, most probably from the upcoming Mall of India to the Maruti factory on the old Delhi-Gurgaon Road. The plan may be changed, as per updates to the Master Plan, especially the future of both the Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) and the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR).” u


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20–26 January 2012

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Shops 17,000 psf

20–26 January 2012

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20–26 January 2012

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

20–26 January 2012

T ime Pass



Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution 342. The six possible combinations with the numbers 2, 3 and 4 are shown.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger The Better Half

Baby Blues

28 “W

e are in 1939”. Well, in truth we are exactly 73 years ahead of 1939, but for Oxford history graduate Alwyn Collinson the world is reliving the Second World War in real time. Through his Twitter project @RealTimeWWII launched last August, Collinson is using this social media network to give a different dimension to the past. He aims to allow his followers to understand what occurred during that conflagration—the largest military conflict the world has seen to date—in a way that will make it easier to understand, than any history book description. “I wanted to remind people that those who fought in that conflict were not only names on a bit of paper, or mere casualty figures”, Collinson told dpa. “It is about their point of view ,and how it must have been to live through that war; to hear that war has begun. And whether you are British or German, you do not know what is going to happen, what the result will be – you feel uncertainty, shock and fear.” And so Collinson keep at it; from the first @RealTimeWWII tweet sent out on August 31, 2011—which said that SS troops dressed as Poles were attacking

Tweeting The Past picture-alliance / dpa- Zentralbild

{ Silvia Ayuso / Washington / DPA }

IMPORTANT LESSON: A Twitter project, that aims to “relive” World War II

a radio transmitter in Gleiwitz, to give Germany an excuse to attack Poland—to one sent out on January 11 saying that Belgian King Leopold had just phoned the monarchs of Holland and Luxembourg, telling them to “beware of the flu” – that was a code phrase for an imminent German attack. The idea he said, is not only to narrate the great historic events, but also the smaller, forgotten battles; especially human stories, from both sides, “ones that don’t fit in the history books”. For example @RealTimeWWII provided details of the so-called “Winter War”, that broke out when the Soviet Union

invaded Finland on November 30 in 1939. “Millions of people fought and died, and it is impossible to speak about those stories in books. I wanted to humanise them,” said Collinson. “It is really important to use the words that people themselves used … This reminds us that history is not an objective truth, but rather something seen through the eyes of people whom it is worthwhile to remember,” he added. Collinson feels that Twitter is the ideal medium to do just that. “People, for a moment, can receive a bit of the past, from people who lived through it – be part

What Was I Just Doing? { Christof Kerkmann / Berlin / DPA }


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20–26 January 2012

ith the fog of Facebook, YouTube and emails that seem to regularly pop up on computer screens, it’s a wonder anyone ever gets any actual work done these days. Try as one might to concentrate, the internet generally means that distractions - social networks, news updates, or emails from friends - are but a click away for most workers. The good news for procrastinators and the easily distracted is that there are tools out there that will block distractions like Facebook and YouTube – and even stop email alerts. The bad news is that you’ll still need loads of willpower to make such systems really work. Evolution can be thanked for the fact that humans are so easily distracted. If something moves nearby, our attention is automatically directed towards it. Psychologists call this an orientation reaction. Once, it was necessary for survival. After all, the flash of movement could easily be a hungry sabretooth tiger. The instinct remains, even though offices are rarely the site of life-or-death situations. That means humans are routinely overloaded with input in today’s fast-paced workplace, says Andreas Zimber of the SRH University Heidelberg in Germany. It doesn’t help that the ever-present emails seem to demand immediate answers. “Because the medium is so fast, everyone expects that answers will come quickly,” says Zimber, a professor of business psychology. That leads to two problems. First, says Zimber, people lack the focus to concentrate on important tasks. That focus is needed to work efficiently, and with less effort. “Based on surveys, we know that interruptions at work are one of the main sources of disruption.” Second, the distractions also cater to procrastinators, providing a

welcome excuse to shove unpleasant tasks further down on the to-do list. “That’s when the hedonistic principle kicks in: I’ll pick the more pleasant task,” notes Zimber. So what’s to be done? Zimber advises a system of compartmentalization. If possible, lay down fixed office and visiting hours. When it comes time to do important work, shut your email inbox, and make sure everyone knows you’re entering a period of enforced isolation. “Colleagues will usually understand,” says Zimber. Some word processing programmes even help enforce this practice. For example, Focus Writer covers up all open windows, and only shows the basic text you are working on. Toolbars and other extras only appear when you pull the mouse to the edge of the screen. For those who need extra motivation, the programme allows them to set a writing goal - a set amount of time or a specific number of words. The free programme runs on Windows, Max OS X and Linux. But the distractions are always out there, especially if you just have to quickly check something online ... and then find yourself stuck on Facebook. Two browser extensions promise to stop aimless surfing. Stay Focused allows Chrome users to set a specific amount of time they are allowed to stay online. Users set their own list of no-go websites. Many choose to block time-killers—like video portals, games or social networks—while leaving accessible useful sites like dictionaries or Wikipedia. Leech Block performs a similar function for Firefox and Explorer. Users get an icon reminding them a site is forbidden, if they try to wander into no-go territory. The free URL blocker works independently of the browser. Still, none of these systems erases

of a story they are unaware of.” There are already several historical adventures narrated via tweets – the doomed expedition of Robert F. Scott to the South Pole in the early 20th Century @ CaptainRFScott; and the U.S. War of Secession being carried out as a project by the The Washington Post, @CivilWarwp. In 2009, a group of young students created the TwHistory site (, that allows students and aficionados to recreate a historic event – such as the sinking of the Titanic, or the Gettysburg battle. Marion Jensen, a TwHistory founder, says Twitter offers a unique manner to learn about history. “If I want to study the Gettysburg battle, that took place over three days, I can take a university course that lasts six months, or I can sit down and watch a movie that lasts three hours, or I can read a Wikipedia article in 20 minutes. What Twitter allows is a recreation in real time,” she said. This option is particularly attractive to young students. “Students really enjoy going to the original document, and creating characters and then tweets,” she said. Collin-

the need for discipline. Committed time wasters can also just switch to nonblocked browsers, or restart their computer, to fool the efficiency programmes. Recognizing the problem is the first step towards improvement. That’s why programmes like RescueTime measure how much time is used for different activities. The free version of the software, which runs on Windows and Mac, documents which programmes and websites are visited on a computer. A fee-based version goes further, listing how much time is spent on individual documents. Both versions can provide eye-openers. As an added feature, the

“Hi TV!”

{ Andy Goldberg / Las Vegas / DPA }


he talk of the town in Las Vegas this week is well, talk. After decades of using keyboards, mice, bewildering remote controls and, more recently, touch and gestures to control our computers and various other tech devices, the time has come to use our most natural communications tool - our words and voices - to get our machines to do our bidding. “Hi TV!” That’s all you need to day to turn on Samsung’s newest televisions. In case you have a mouth full of dinner, the sets also include motion control so that you can wave your hands in the air to control on screen menus. The new line-up of TVs will allow you to adjust the volume and switch channels using your voice, as well as conducting internet searches. They even feature a built-in camera and facial recognition technology to recognize different family members and present their favourite programs. Apple is widely regarded as the pioneer of the voice control trend, thanks

son agrees. Twitter allows “connecting with people, that a history book might not. Obviously, a tweet cannot replace a book, but what I hope it can do is hook people, and get them interested enough to go out and read a book on the subject,” he said. Sending out 10 to 20 tweets a day, @RealTimeWWII has drawn more than 160,000 followers, as well as the attention of the press. Volunteers translate it. Collinson is particularly pleased when people get in touch with him to offer their own sources, letters, diaries, and other stories from World War II. And he plans to keep it up, in “real time”, throughout the six years the war lasted. Heknows that as things move forward he will face increasingly difficult subjects, such as the Holocaust. “I hope to face that in a sensible manner”, Collinson said. He explained that a Holocaust archive in the United States has already established contact with him, and has offered to help. “I think that it is important to remain faithful to the idea of telling the stories of the people involved. I do not want to adopt a moral posture. I think the events speak for themselves. And what I will do is reflect the crimes committed by all sides – because all the stories deserve to be told,” he said. u

programme allows a Focus Time function, which blocks certain activities for set periods. Freelancers who work at home can do themselves a favour by having separate computers for work and leisure – no real problem with today’s hardware prices. That’s another way to take control of the information flood. Also key is making sure that the tools to fight distraction don’t become distractions themselves. “Technical aids are only useful when they don’t create extra work,” says Zimber. “Technical solutions don’t erase the problem of lack of self-discipline.” u

to the Siri natural language feature, which it unveiled in its iPhone 4S late last year. But other companies have been working for years on improving the voice interface. Both Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 boast voice interfaces that precede Apple’s innovation. The global industry sold 247 million televisions in 2010. TV makers see the advent of smart TVs, which mix and match content, and perform as the central entertainment hub in the smart living room. But navigating the internet, or even the cable channel line-up, with just a remote control, is a daunting task even for the most tech savvy or users. And no one really wants to sit down with a keyboard or mouse to find the latest instalment of their favourite soap opera. “If you’ve ever tried to check your email on a 50-inch TV, you’ll know it’s an unpleasant experience,” said Shawn DuBravac, the chief economist and head of research of the Consumer Electronics Association. “I believe that 2012 is the year of the user interface.” This “natural interaction” will allow us to pull together “all of the digital assets we’ve accumulated, all of our content, so we can organize them and search them,” he said. u

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Eyeballing The Lions

{ Christian Roewekamp / Brisbane, Australia / DPA }


odney feels so soft to the touch. With its two paws it is firmly holding onto the sleeves of the tourist’s shirt. “Stay calm. Don’t move around,” advises a ranger of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a zoo on the outskirts of the city of Brisbane in Australia’s province of Queensland. “Then both of you will enjoy it.” The human and the marsupial briefly look into each other’s eyes and then the koala turns its face aside. What is a thrill to the vacationer is a routine matter for Rodney - that is his job, more or less. Rodney is one of 14 koalas with which visitors to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary may be photographed. Each animal has a maximum of 30 minutes of cuddling duty per day – because otherwise it would be too stressful. In the high season of December and January, when 2,000 visitors arrive each day, there are long waiting lines. Altogether, around 130 koalas live in the sanctuary, along with a similar number of kangaroos and their smaller kin, the wallaby. There are also wombats, duck-bill platypuses, snakes, dingos, Tasmanian devils, emus, and a Southern

TAKING IN THE SIGHTS: Guests in the open Land Rover used for the safari trips can quickly find themselves in the midst of a herd of elephants

PRIDE OF THE PARK: Visitors to Sabi Sand Game Reserve must keep their distance

secure. “The animals can smell us – but when we are in the car, they don’t regard us as humans. All they can see is a large box that poses no threat.” When the sun goes down, Wade halts the car in a clearing. Johnson sets up a small table on the Land Rover bonnet, and invites us all to a Sundowner. As night falls, the air is filled with the sounds that grow in intensity, The apes and birds screech, the elephants bellow, and lions roar. We start at the slightest sound in the undergrowth, and comfort ourselves with the knowledge

of elephants. They approach a rhinocerous to within a few metres, pass by a group of buffalo, before fording a river where the hippos are bathing. Even in a zoo you cannot get this close to these creatures. The genuine safari feeling comes from trips through the bush country, and rare sightings such as watching lions mate. “I’ve only ever seen that once myself,” comments Wade. The lions are unfazed by the whirr of the cameras, even though we are hardly five metres away. The open car offers no protection against attack, but we are justified in feeling

Cuddling With A Koala Cassowary, to be marvelled at. In other words, virtually everything that Australia’s animal world has to offer. For visitors, the best times are early morning or late in the afternoon, because the animals are particularly active then. One can search in vain for evidence of the devastating flood that struck huge areas of

Queensland province in late 2010 – and which also did not spare Lone Pine. Because of the many donations from around the world, the grounds could quickly be cleared and restored, Tourism Queensland officials say. The animals in the sanctuary had all been evacuated to safety before the floods. The sanctuary started up Christian Roewekamp


ust a swipe of the paw, or a bite in the neck, and my first African big game safari would have been my last. Only a few metres separated me from the lion. Sitting in an open Land Rover, I feel like a meal on wheels. Yet it seems the king of the beasts has lost his appetite today. He lies calmly under a bush in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. More than 60 years ago this park pioneered safari tourism in South Africa. Back then, a group of 14 landowners put their faith in photo-safaris. Among the first to take part were sugar baron William Campbell—whose Mala Mala Camp became South Africa’s first private wild animal reservation—the Londolozi family, and the Bailes, who owned the chain of Singita Lodges. “When things first got going you had to be grateful for a scruffy bed and mediocre food,” said Singita Director Mark Whitney. It was only in the 1980s that the accommodation improved. Since the 1990s a number of lodges have sprung up. These are not luxury hotels ,but have the advantage of being located in the middle of the wilderness – which makes up most of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, on the southwestern edge of the Krueger National Park. It dates back to 1926. From the vantage point of a lodge vistors can often spot apes, hippos, crocodiles and elephants. Yet to venture farther

into the bush without guides — like Wade and his tracker Johnson—would be to court disaster. With these men at hand, the visitor is safer here than on the streets of any European capital city. “Don’t worry. The vultures up there are not waiting for us,” says Wade, in a bid to assure the rookies who are about to embark on their first-ever big game safari, just after sunrise. To cater for emergencies Wade does carry a gun. “Not that anyone from Singita has ever had to shoot an animal.” The guides are skilled at avoiding such confrontation by anticipating the behaviour of the wild creatures, and by reading the gestures they make. The group of wide-eyed safari guests sets off slowly in the open Land Rover, and soon finds itself in the midst of a herd

Bernhard Krieger

{ Bernhard Krieger / Sabi Sand / DPA }

CUDDLE TIME: Rodney the koala, fortunately for visitors, enjoys being stroked

GENTLE TOUCH: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary also offers the opportunity to get close to some emus, Australia’s largest birds

in 1927 with two koalas. “Up until about 20 years ago the main aim was to establish a kind of genetic pool reserve, so as to assure that the species would not die out,” zoo ranger Kelly Lindsay noted.

that no one will be left alone in the bush. Since the lodge is not surrounded by a perimeter fence, no guest is allowed outside in the dark without an escort. This is purely a precaution, since lions or other large animals seldom come by. On the rare occasions when they do show up, the results are usually spectacular, said Collin, a guide from the Lebombo-Lodge in Krueger National Park on the border with Mozambique. “A zebra fleeing a lion once galloped into the lodge and ended up in the swimming pool,” he recalled. u In April 1998 the first artificial insemination of a female koala took place in Lone Pine. After 34 days, the mother Robyn gave birth to Lica. “Actually it was all about demonstrating that something like that works. Normally koalas are so fertile that there is absolutely no need for artificial insemination,” Lindsay said. During tours of the park the rangers point out the different kangaroo species - for example, the difference between an Eastern Grey and a Red Kangaroo - and what colour of fur the wallabies have. Children and adults are allowed to feed the animals, or even on occasion pet an emu. The stars at Lone Pine, however, remain the koalas – living in their various enclosures. There is a “kindergarten” for the very small ones, and an “old-age home” for those animals which are older than 12 years and therefore have exceeded the usual life expectancy. “Here, they get the best leaves that are easy to chew,” Kelly Lindsay says. “In the wilderness, many koalas die because they no longer have any teeth.” And, the “oldies” are no longer called for cuddling duty - so Rodney has no competition to fear. u


G lobal

20–26 January 2012

picture alliance / Arco Images GmbH

Mayan “End Is Nigh” Prophecies composed of what would be 5200 Mayan years or 5125 current ones, another phase was set to begin. That is to occur on December 23 of 2012, even though the prophesies speak of December 21. Nowhere is a catastrophe or inversion of the poles mentioned, as has appeared in books and films. According to experts Mario Aliphat and Rafael Cobos, when Mayan writing began to be deciphered and the end of a cycle was mentioned, “an easy interpretation from the Western perspective emerged, linking it to an apocalyptic vision”. Of the 15000 Mayan glyph texts recorded to date there are two that speak of 2012: Monument 6 of the Tortuguero

{ Andrea Sosa Cabrios / Mexico City / dpa }

{ Frank Fuhrig / Detroit / DPA }


he silver car spinning slowly on a turntable near the centre of the Detroit Auto Show was fundamentally similar to other models – that blend the elements of a luxury sedan with a Sport-Utility Vehicle (SUV). Setting the car apart however were the ultra-sleek European styling, the oval grille and the three-pronged trident badge of Maserati, the Italian sports luxury brand - not to mention a price tag of well over 100,000 dollars, when it reaches the market as early as 2013. But like the more humble cars that fill the rest of the market, the Kubang will be the product of a global effort. The model presented in Detroit is still a prototype. The styling and technical work are both being undertaken by the company’s designers in Modena; and it will have the same supple, Italian leather interior that Maserati buyers take for granted. The Kubang is based on the same platform used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which starts at a measly 30,000 dollars. Jeep is part of US-based Chrysler, in which Fiat took a majority stake during the US company’s 2009 government-aided bankruptcy re-organization. The Modena designers are reworking the American chassis, while the Kubang’s eight-cyl-

Director Roland Emmerich, promoting his film, “2012”, in Berlin

(Turtle) site, and a fragment found in Comalcalco – both in the state of Tabasco, in the southeast of Mexico. The Mayan writings do refer to later dates; for example in the narration of the life of Pakal II, ruler of the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, Chiapas state, which reaches up to the year 4000 of the current era. “More than being obsessed with time, the Mayans were concerned about carrying out rituals that in some way guaranteed that the cycle to come

New Global Maserati inder engine will come from Italian sports car maker Ferrari – which is also part of the Fiat stable. Maserati’s own engineers are developing the suspension, steering, brakes and electronics – which will be exclusive to the Kubang. Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive of Fiat and Chrysler, announced this week that the Kubang will be built at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant on Detroit’s east side – where production of the hot-selling Grand Cherokee is already in high gear. “We are getting a lot of confidence in the ability of that plant to make superb products; and to just really start making luxury, upper-end vehicles without necessarily having to apologize for the fact that it is Michiganbased,” Marchionne said. “It sets a new benchmark for what the United States car industry can, and should, produce.” So the Kubang will be a European sport-utility vehicle with a Ferrari engine, a Jeep-based frame – designed in Italy and assembled by US workers. Marchionne said that the company plans to export 20,000 around the world annually. On the same day that Marchionne was introducing

Thomas Geiger


ew Age prophets have been warning for decades that a momentous event is set to take place on the 21st day of December in 2012. Some say it will be the end of the world, others predict that humanity will be completely transformed. The modern interpretation of the Mayan calendar, which some experts say strays considerably from an academic and scientific understanding of its meaning, is shaping up to become a trend topic this year. This is happening even though archaeologists, astrophysicists, epigraphists and anthropologists have totally debunked the legend of impending doom allegedly prophesised by the Maya. “Many people are convinced that something extraordinary is going to happen. It is like a mythical-esoteric takeover movement, that is embodying the

despair and hope felt by the West,” Laura Castellanos, author of the book “2012: End of The World Prophesies”, told the German Press Agency, dpa. Experts have taken the trouble to carefully analyse the source of end-ofthe-world predictions, to throw light on what the Mayans said – and what they did not say. “They absolutely did not believe that their time would end in 2012”, said epigrapher Erik Velasquez, at a roundtable organised at the Palenque archaeological site – which included a special session on the doomsday prophesies. The Mayans had a cyclical concept of time. In the so-called long calendar - they also had a short calendar - 2012 marks the end of an era of 13 “b’ak’tunes” that are 400-year units. At the end of a cycle,

Soeren Stache / dpa

A view of the palace in the Mayan site of Palenque, Chiapas state, in Mexico

would be propitious”, said the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH, by its Spanish acronym). In the modern cosmology, in which dates such as 11-11-11, the 13th floor of a building or the arrival of the year 2000, set off fantasies and fears, the alleged Mayan prophesies have created all sorts of myths, starting in the 1970s. The first person to feed into this Mayan madness, according to the INAH, was writer Frank Waters, who created a “mix-up of beliefs” in his book “Mexico Mystique: The Coming Sixth World of Consciousness” – on the start of a new age. Another was Jose Arguelles with his 1987 book “The Mayan Factor”, which, Castellanos said, was “the first to massively promote the idea of the end of an era”, based on telepathic revelations he said he had received from galactic Mayans. In his doomsday movie “2012”, Roland Emmerich fleetingly mentions the Mayan calendar. Local press reports said that a group of Italians have built a “bunker” in the Yucatan jungle, to protect themselves as they await the arrival of 2012. But contrary to mystic groups and modern day prophets, Mayan communities living on the Yucatan peninsula are not very worried about the end of the world. “They see it as an urban myth. For them 2012 means nothing,” Castellanos said. Many are taking advantage of the hullaballoo. The Mexican government is promising a new era in elections in July. Those who are anguished hope to find answers to their doubts and seers, to make a packet of money. The Mexican Tourism Secretary launched a program called “The Countdown That Will Make History. A New Age Begins”, to promote archaeological sites and the Mayan culture. “Speculation has fanned the imagination to such a degree that millions of people are expectant,” said Minister Gloria Guevara. And President Felipe Calderon said: “The world will have its eyes set on the Mayans, and we have to take advantage.”u

his new baby to North America, he issued an ambiguous denial of an Italian newspaper report that Fiat might enter talks for an alliance with France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen. His declaration of “no ongoing discussions” failed to squelch the speculation – fed by his assertion in Detroit that the industry needed further consolidation to create a second European car group, of comparable size to Germany’s Volkswagen. Companies hope that getting larger will help them to deliver more competitive products while reducing costs. The

Kubang shows how European sports car expertise can be blended with American knowhow in sport-utility vehicles, to enter a new market segment – while spreading research and development costs. The only competitor for the Kubang as a luxury performance SUV is the Porsche Cayenne. Fiat’s re-entry to the US market through its tie-up with Chrysler has the additional benefit of spreading macroeconomic risks. US car sales were up more than 10 per cent in 2011, and are projected to grow further this year – with Chrysler

gaining US market share, even as Fiat’s European home market is in the doldrums, with a eurozone recession looming. General Motors, meanwhile, is seeking to compete head-on with luxury carmakers - both in the US and eventually worldwide. The company’s 110-yearold Cadillac line unveiled its new ATS compact sedan to rival the Mercedes C Class and BMW 3 Series – in a segment of the luxury market that GM has never effectively contested. “It is our vision to make (Cadillac) a global luxury brand,” Joel Ewanick, GM’s global Chief Marketing Officer, told a group of journalists on the sidelines of the Detroit show. The ATS - freshly designed from the ground up, notably unlike the Kubang - is part of a GM effort to expand both Cadillac and Chevrolet into viable global brands. “Chevrolet is our global mass brand - no doubt,” Ewanick said. “It will be the brand that we compete in, in 140 countries around the world.” Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Porsche continue to tighten their alliance. Echoing Fiat’s plans to build the Kubang at a Chrysler plant, Porsche boss Matthias Mueller told financial news agency dpaAFX in Detroit that supplemental assembly of its Boxster and Cayman models could be carried out, if necessary, at a Volkswagen subsidiary in Germany. u

20–26 January 2012

G -scape 31

Japanese Kite – Flying Japanese kite artists celebrate Tohoku Kite Festival with the kids of DPS Maruti Kunj. The workshop was organised with the collaboration of Japanese Foundation, New Delhi.



20–26 January 2012

G -scape

On The Road With Dr. Praveen Kumar (Huda Administrator) PRAKHAR PANDEY

Profile for Friday Gurgaon

Friday Gurgaon, January 20-26, 2012  

Gurgaon's Own weekly Newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, January 20-26, 2012  

Gurgaon's Own weekly Newspaper