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HAPPY NEW YEAR - G’DAY G’CITY

BEST OF 2011 • We’ve Come a Long Way, Gg But We have Miles To Go... • Why FG • We Can Marvel at our Metro With Eyes Wide Open; We Can Shut our Eyes But the Stench Won’t Go Away • Good Law & Order a Benefit for Gurgaon • Farrukhnagar’s Forgotten Monuments • RWAs – Working for a Better Gurgaon • Municipal Corporation... Still Awaiting Transfer of Sectors • HUDA – Prime Developer... Deserves Credit... and Blame • Toll Plaza (killing) • The Invisible Colonies, 74 unauthorized settlements • Traffic Volunteers • Every Agency Has A Role – DC • Malls of Gurgaon (MG) Road • An Apartment-ful Of Troubles • Money Can’t Buy You Peace (Plots to Condominiums) • Will Water Be Our Water-loo? • City Transport, City Roads Don’t Take Me Home • New HUDA Administrator • Park Your Ride – But Where? • The Medical Vedanta – Dr. Trehan’s Way • Diesel – Saviour Today, Nemesis Tomorrow • The New Millennium – A Guarded Life • House That, For Living It Up • Great Expectations – Mega Infrastructure Projects • Demolition Debut • Citizen Attack • Female Foeticide, Silent Cries In The Womb • Towards a Road Sense • Blog – A Way of Life • Setting A Standard • Gurgaon Needs A Nodal Body • The Aftermath

6–12 January 2012

Gurgaon Priced Out { Maninder Dabas / FG }

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n educated English Indian calls it ‘Inflation’; his Hindi counterpart spouts Mudrasphiti’; and the common folk—who do not understand this concept, wrapped in the confusing tapes of economics— just call it Mehngai. But different names by different people don’t curb its catastrophic effect; and every Indian, irrespective of his/ her status, knows the taste of this bitter pill very well. (Hamen) Mehngai maar gayee. Our government has made many promises to curb inflation; but it seems that neither its words, nor its capabilities, are very credible. Our leaders, along with their economic advisors, don’t seem to understand the pain of a common man, who is still reeling—for years now—under the burden of Inflation (still 9.39 per cent officially). Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) have predicted high Inflation for another fiscal year; so it would continue to haunt the common man with a minimum presence of 8 per cent for a year or so. Gurgaon is often termed as a city of the new rich, with a capability to become an economic powerhouse, and even offer stiff competition to Mumbai in the not-so-distant distant future. But as of now, this bigger than ‘the-sum-of-its-parts’ suburb of Delhi, is giving stiff compe-

Rs. 498 crores – for water

supply, water recycling and treatment, sewerage, irrigation, landscaping.

Rs. 260 crores – recharging the ground water, and raising the water table. Rs. 381 crores – for master sewerage scheme and water distribution and re-cycle, for new sectors (Sector 58 onwards); and strengthening of Sohna road.

tition to the national capital in terms of the cost of living (including the food prices). Usually a suburb of any Metro city offers a lower cost of living; but it seems that Gurgaon has become habitual at beating set notions. Be it vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, fish or any other item related to food, Gurgaon is a match to the national capital. Noida and Ga-

On The Prowl Again...  Two call-centre staff robbed and mugged by people offering lift in a Santro. They were picked up around Shankar Chowk. They were forced to reveal their ATM passwords, give up their valuables, and were dropped off separately at two different isolated points after being mugged.  Hotel manager robbed of car, valuables in Palam Vihar  MNC executive robbed, brutally assaulted by miscreants in a Santro. Ribs smashed, fingers chewn to extract ATM password..

Special Gurgaon Infrastructure Budget Rs. 1393 crores sanctioned for Gurgaon, of which key projects are:

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

DURGADATT PANDEY

Vol. 1 No. 20  Pages 32  ` 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

I

t’s not just the safety of girls that is important now. With the crime spree reaching new lows, the police and people have taken extra measures to be safe. If you’re looking for a cab at night, out on a road, and a car slows to give you a friendly lift, stay put. Be alert. After a hiatus, car-napping is back – with unwary commuters being robbed

and mugged (and worse) by car-borne miscreants. In view of this city-wide threat, companies and enterprises have geared up to go that extra distance, to provide security for their employees. A year ago, the Gurgaon police, under the former police chief S.S Deswal, broke a gang which had been spreading terror in Gurgaon, Jhajjar, Dharuheda – and even as far as Bhiwani. According to a Contd on p 9 

ziabad, the other two suburbs of Delhi, pale in comparison to Gurgaon. There are various factors responsible for this, for Gurgaon becoming a special victim of the ever-rising inflation. Less demand, yet more prices! The price of any product usually depends on the concept of demand and supply. But here

in Gurgaon, this notion seems to have been challenged. Gurgaon, with a population (demand) of around 20 lakh, is about one tenth of Delhi only; and yet the prices of food products here are almost the same (in some cases higher) as those in the national capital. “Yes, prices are high here, despite having less population and less demand in Contd on p 8 


02

6–12 Jan 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–20  6–12 Jan 2012

Editor:

MUSIC  TALENT HUNT  COMEDY  WORKSHOP  ART  CELEBRATION will be given free gift vouchers, cash prizes, industry-sponsored projects, and certification from MetaWing and AIESEC International. For more details, call: 9871917546 or 9810962021

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail Sunil Yadav

Workshop

A Journey with The Angels @ Zorba the Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive, MG Road, Ghitorni Date: January 8–9 Time: 11 am to 5 pm Fee: Rs. 7,500 per person.

Ankit Srivastava

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

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

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n exhibition by artists Anita Dube, Pooja Iranna, Susanta Mandal, Yamini Nayar, Manisha Parekh, Srinivasa Prasad, Ashim Purkayastha, Mithu Sen, Om Soorya, Masooma Syed, L.N. Tallur and Sisir Thapa. It showcases the experience that counters the effects of globalisation.

Lohri Celebration

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44

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

Coming Up

Music

Tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 12 Time: 7:30 pm

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rendition of Rabindranath Tagore songs by Shama Rahman from Bangladesh, along with the launch of the CD. The event is organised by the UN Information Centre, UNESCO.

October 2010 to 30th September 2011 can participate in the auditions. The best band of the year award will get a cash prize of Rs. 5,00,000.

Stand-up Comedy

Grand Masters of Comedy @ The Mind Cafe, IInd Floor, Cross Point, Opp. Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV Date: January 6 Time: 8:30 pm

oin a two-day workshop on holistic healing. The workshop will focus on understanding an angel message, working with the power of the Archangels, using angel oracle cards as a divination tool, and much more. It will be conducted by Sangeeta Dasgupta, a clinical hypnotherapist, and an Angel Certified Practitioner by Charles Virtue (U.S.). Angel healing is an alternative healing concept involving communication and/or connecting

Music

Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 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.

TO SUBSCRIBE

NRI Music and Dance festival @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: January 6 Time: 7:30 pm usical performance by Pradip Kumar Sarakar, Tansen Shriwastava, and Debashis Adhikary on the Tabla – accompanied by Damodar Lal on Harmonium. This performance will be followed by a vocal recital by Indra Mukherjee, and Ghanshyam Sisodia, Dhiraj Pandey and Subrata De – on Sarangi, Flute and Sitar. The programme is presented by Swaranjali, a non-profit institution, that aims to provide a platform to upcoming artists.

M

Talent Hunt

Jack Daniel's Annual Rock Awards @ 23, Global Foyer Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: January 12 Time: 7 pm

T 1 year subscription Cover price

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings No. of issues

` 164 52

To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, email us at subscription@fridaygurgaon.com or SMS FGYES to 8447355801 *circulated only in Gurgaon

his is the seventh edition of the Jack Daniel's Annual Rock Awards – the only Indian Rock Award ceremony. As a build-up to the award ceremony— scheduled to be hosted in February 2012—a series of open mic nights would be hosted across the country. Striker has been chosen as a venue partner for the Delhi leg. The Jack Daniel's Annual Rock Awards support only original compositions. Any artists/bands that have released a song/an album any time between 1st

Entry fee: Rs. 250

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laughter show featuring leading stand-up comedians – Raghav Mandava, Maheep Singh, and Appurv Gupta.

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­Workshop

Street Dynamix @ ITM University, Sector 23 A Date: January 10 Time: 9 am

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workshop about the procurement, fabrication, and maintenance of RC engine cars. Also, a few competitions will be held, and the top 20 students

Date: January 13 Time: 7:30 pm folk music performance by Rekha Raj and Balli Dilber, along with a traditional bonfire. Sway to the beats of popular songs – Sundar Mundriye, Dama Dum Mast Kalandar, Saanu Ik Pal Chain Na Aave, Charkhe Di Kook, and Ghoomm Charakhda. Also, relish authentic Punjabi delicacies. Entry on first-comefirst-served basis.

with angels and archangels.

Art

Fragility @ Art Alive Gallery, 120, Institutional Area, Sector 44 Date: Till February 10 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi Celebration @ Mukhya Sthaan, Sector 10-A, Pataudi Road Date: January 12 Time: 7 pm

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ttend pooja ceremony and break "Nirjala" fast after moonrise at 9.16 pm. Laddoos made of 'Gur' and 'Til', and tea (made with 'Gur') will be served.


6–12 Jan 2012

Nightlife

Kroaking Night @ MingSing, Peppermint Hotel, Sector 29 Market Date: January 8 Time: 8 pm to 12 midnight Entry: Rs. 750 + taxes

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elebrate special Karaoke night with Karaoke Jockey Subz. Also, two vegetarian and two non-vegetarian starters with unlimited beer will be served. Karaoke is a form of interactive entertainment, in which singers sing along with recorded music.

Lohri Celebration

@ Ice Lounge, First Floor, MGF Metropolitan Mall, MG Road Date: January 13 Time: 8 pm onwards

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elebrate the festival of Lohri with commercial Bollywood and Punjabi music by renowned DJ Manish. Guests will be served mouth watering Punjabi delicacies – Sarson ka Saag, Makki ki Roti, Channa Shikhampuri Kebab, Murg Nashila, and Phirni. For more information, call: 9654127171

Nightlife

Nostalgia and Expat Night @ The Mozart Cafe, LG-34, South Point Mall, DLF Phase I, Golf Course Road Date: Jan 6 Time: 9 pm onwards

Nightlife

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D

njoy the yesteryear's music from 70s to 90s with DJ Adi spinning the hottest numbers. Special 15 per cent discount for expats.

Bollywood Sunday @ Club 18, 23 - 23A, Ground Floor, Vipul Agora Mall, DLF Phase I Date: January 8 Time: 9 pm to 1 am Js Mayank and Samantha will spin out the latest Bollywood and commercial tracks. Entry wlll be on first-come-first served basis.

L ifestyle

Art

German Returned @ Nature Morte, 443, Udyog Vihar Phase V Date: Till January 31 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

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solo exhibition by duo Thukral and Tagra displaying the desires, hopes and dreams of the Indian middle class. The artist duo paint pictures of the garishly inappropriate mini mansions that have popped up like weeds in the city of New Delhi.

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Art

Gajagamini Limited Edition of Serigraphs by MF Husain @ The Westin, 1, MG Road, IFFCO Chowk, Date: Till January 31 Time: 11 am to 6 pm

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painting exhibition of 32 limitededition serigraphs (a print made using a stencil process) by Indian art maestro MF Husain. The exhibition is curated by Dhoomilal Contemporary Art Gallery.


04 BEST OF 2011 • Ristorante 56 • Kyoto • Choko la • The Sakleys • Bernardo’s • Love & Mustard • The Tea Room Co. • Gung The Palace • Café Delhi Heights • Eggriculture • L’ Angoor • Bahi • Café Jiji • Route 69 • The Oriental Pavilion • The Oak Tree • Brix Street Bar & Rock Cafe • Thainese • Sankalp • The Mind Café

has a grilled fillet of sole, with fennel, rosemary, and mushroom sauce; and with grilled vegetables and a mash on the side. While the dish is well-conceptualised, it is let down somewhat by the quality of the fish. The pollo marsala (Rs. 425), Aalok Wadhwa or chicken in marsala wine sauce, is a delight. Marn a cold and grey sala is a Sicilian white wine new year’s that adds great flavour day, a visit to to many recipes. The Earth did warm breast of chicken is the cockles of moist and tender. one’s heart! The The accompanying beautiful interiors marsala sauce, are relaxed and consisting of pan cosy, with many nooks cooked onions, and crannies to settle garlic, and mushinto. The rough log cabin rooms, deglazed with look is balanced well with the wine, is both piquant dim lighting and a surfeit of and sweet. The combination candles. All that is missing is Pollo Marsala works wonders, and makes for a a rocking chair, fireplace and satisfying dish. some marshmallows to toast. It is time for the dolce moment. I What is reassuring in this Italian order my favourite tiramisu (Rs. 225). restaurant is the presence of balsamic It comes accompanied with chocolate vinegar, olive oil, oregano and chilly brownies. While the brownies fall flakes on the table. I am greeted with short of being spectacular, the tirafreshly baked, steaming focaccia. I misu is delicious. Though it does not ask chef Ravi Bhatt for his recomhave the requisite layers of savoiardi mendations, and he obligingly points sponge cake, the light and airy mouth me to the trout, grilled tenderloin and feel of the combination of mascarpone some more. “It is authentic, but it also cheese and coffee powder lifts the respects the Indian taste buds,” he spirits further. replies delicately. Earth serves some wonderful We make a great start with one dishes. The flavours, combined with of most versatile vegetable dishes in the mood evoked by the cozy comfortthe Italian repertoire; funghi trifolati able décor, can make for a warm and (Rs. 215), or ‘truffled’ mushrooms; romantic evening. u called so because the thinly-sliced and sautéed mushrooms are said to resemble that other, more highly Earth prized, tuber—the great black truffle.  SCO 10-12, Sector 15, part-2, Huda Market The dish captures the fleshy texture Phone: 0124 6523759 and umami flavours perfectly, with Cuisine: Italian judicious seasoning and an Timing: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 6 PM to 11 PM enticing presentation.

Italian Earth

Modern Holmes II

O

E

BOOK

lenath, Ganesha, Murugan, Nataraja. The first chapter unravels the secret of Shiva’s form as a ‘Shiva Linga’. The Secrets of Shiva’ is an earnest atnarrative talks about the ‘Pillar of Fire’ tempt to unravel the complexities incident, where Shiva tells Vishnu, “You of Hindu mythology. Devdutt Patnaik, a are humble enough to accept limitamedical doctor by training, a marketing tions. You are not intimidated by the manager by profession, and a mytholouncertainty or afraid of ignorance.” Yet gist by passion, writes extensively on another interesting fact is that the relevance of Hindu although there is a human sacred stories, symbols form representation of Shiva and rituals. (ash covered, animal skin I am an avid reader of clad, living in the mountains), Patnaik’s column in the this form is never worshipped. Economic Times, which It is the Linga ‘form’ of Shiva invariably compels me that is worshipped. to ponder and reflect on It is a relatively thin book, philosophical traditions. where every alternate page If thrillers and autobiogis an illustration or a picture. raphies have created a The pictures and illustrations sense of fatigue for you, are accompanied by interestthen this book—intering blurbs and explanations. spersed with pictures— However, one should not might be of interest. mistake this book as a quick Though the author says 7 Secrets of Shiva and easy read. The stories nothing new, he presents Author: Dr. Devdutt mirror human frailties of ego, Hindu philosophy in a Patnaik rage, folly, envy and lust new interesting format. PUBLISHER: Westland within godly nature – inferring Since Patnaik is Press that the world is a reflection of a medical doctor by its own vices and virtues. education, he brings a PRICE: Rs. 250 In a fast-paced world of certain degree of logic, Genre: Mythology nuclear families, devoid of reasoning and referencthe rendition of mythological ing to the stories – and tales by grandparents, this book is an demystifies mythology for his readers. interesting alternative. ‘7 Secrets of Shiva’ encompasses If you enjoy reading this one, go for seven chapters, each replete with the Patnaik’s second offering called, ‘concept’ of Lord Shiva in his avatars ‘7 Secrets of Vishnu’. u Lingeshwara, Bhairava, Shankara, Bho-

Vijaya Kumar ver since Guy Ritchie created the modernized avatar of Sherlock Holmes, in his movie of 2009, I was very sure that the sequel or the series bug would bite – sooner, than later. A GAME OF SHADOWS is on a grander scale. From the grandiose plans of Moriarty (the villain), to instigate a world war, to the romping action sequences, A GAME OF SHADOWS offers everything on a high pitch. And if you enjoyed Robert Downey’s first outing, it is likely that you will lap up this second offering as well – with just as much relish. Sherlock Holmes’ portrayal as a swashbuckling hero made me wonder whether Jack Sparrow had returned to the big screen in a different avatar! Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes has the sparkle and mischief of Jack Sparrow; his mannerisms and actions indicate that he has more body than mind. He seems to be Sherlock Holmes: A GAME more at home in action OF SHADOWS sequences, than when Directed by: Guy Ritchie he is applying his mind CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Jude – even elementarily! Law, Jared Harris His wit and charm (and double entendres) are GENRE: Adventure the only similarities to the original character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In fact, if one were to take away the Sherlock Holmes appendage, and call him by any other name, the purists too could be roped in. One is then creating a new character – and we would not mind, if in the next sequel, we have the hero dangling from The Tower of London, or doing a waltz in Canterbury Castle, or even making love in a horsedrawn carriage – as it blisters away on the cobbled-paths of London’s back alleys! Watch this movie just for the fun and the lightheartedness. Guy Ritchie scores once again.u

BOOK

An Essay of Love

Mythology Made Easy

Alka Gurha

CINEMA

FOOD

The sole pesce Milanese (Rs. 475)

‘7

Reviews

6–12 Jan 2012

Manjula Narayan

meaning. They lead the viewer to weave tales, to create fiction, and embroider stories about the characters in them. hotographer Dayanita Singh’s work Since each person weaves his own always draws viewers in, and then stories, no two people will interpret a slowly releases them – to emerge altered single picture in the same way – which and enriched by the experience. Her is part of the pleasure of Singh’s work. latest work, the photo fiction The House Were, for instance, the people in the of Love, exerts that same pull – and burnt red car lynched by a rioting mob? viewers will find themselves rationing Who is the thoughtful kurta-clad man their exploration of these pictures; simply who appears in many of the pictures? because they want to withold the pleaIs that Nano on a specially-made stage sures of discovery. Not that it is possible part of a dowry? What is the man at the to extract everything from these pictures, sewing machine thinking about? What and Aveek Sen’s accompanying essays. are the people on the boat watching The House of Love’s 106 colour and so intently? black and white pictures are arranged in The House of Love title is a reference nine interconnected ‘stories’. Shot largely to the Taj Mahal; and that ultimate in India, these pictures, most of which monument of love appears many times in do not have captions, are interactive – in the book in various avatars – in a picture the sense that they invite the viewer to of an installation by artist Sudarshan interpret them, and to infuse them with Shetty, in glass-encased replicas, and as  street-side festival decorations. Aveek Sen’s essays lead the reader along complementary intellectual paths; making him think about House of Love life, the world, and his/ her Author: Photographsplace in it. Dayanita Singh; The outcome of a fellowship from the Prose: Aveek Sen Peabody Museum of PUBLISHER: Peabody Archaeology and Ethnology Museum Press/ at Harvard University, the Radius Book House of Love — like all of PRICE: Rs 1926 ­ is Dayanita Singh’s work — Genre: Photographic fiction intense and satisfying in unexpected ways. u

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6–12 Jan 2012

L ifestyle

05

Dream Night S

inging sensation Akriti Kakar put up a scintillating performance at the Kingdom of Dreams on New Year’s Eve. Belting out her popular hits like Annan Faanan, Tha Kar Ke, Dil Vich, Inshahallah, and Dil Khol Ke Let’s Rock, Akriti charmed the audience with her sensual moves and melodious voice. The audience complemented her energy level, as the place reverberated with Bollywood chartbusters, whistles and cheering.

Pub Strikes 12

Viva La Cabana P

ulsating music, exotic dancers, lip-smacking snacks, and a rocking atmosphere – La Cabana Lounge and Bar had it all. The lounge ensured the guests had the time of their lives. Renowned DJs pepped up the tempo with the hottest chartbusters of the year; there was hardly any space on the dance floor. Gurgaonites got into the party groove, and let their hair down, till the wee hours.

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triker Pub and Brewery hosted their first New Year’s Eve bash, with top notch commercial music mixer DJ Ami and rock and retro DJ Mukul churning out some amazing music, that set the dance floor on fire. As the clock struck 12, party fever hit an all-time high; and Gurgaonites thumped, rocked and grooved their way to 2012!

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Vapour Spirit

he crowd was jiving, the music was rocking, and the atmosphere was electric. Vapour’s open terrace party, on New Year’s Eve, saw the guests dancing to the tunes of popular band Eka. As the night got chilly, DJ Seam, DJ Manuand and DJ Sunantha took over from Band Eka.

Family Centre T

his was one of the unique New Year’s Eve parties in the town, as only married couples and families were invited to the Epicentre. While RJ Anant and Saurabh from Radio Mirchi hosted the event, DJ Kandy spun some hot numbers. Great music, a sumptuous buffet, and a giant dance floor – all added up to a fun filled evening. A separate kid’s zone with games, movies, prizes and a special menu, was set up to keep the young ones happy. The event was organised by American Express.

Khushi New Year A

ce Fashion Designer Charu Parasher kicked off the New Year with 100 underprivileged children of Shikshantar (a project promoted by Kapil Dev’s NGO Khushii) at Ambience Mall. The kids danced to the popular Bollywood numbers, and later showcased their artistic talent in a painting competition.


06

6–12 Jan 2012

Lifestyle JIT KUMAR

Art in Public Spaces

BEST OF 2011 • A Week At The Epicentre • Live It Up With Music – Live Music

• Art@Devi Art Foundation { Srimati Lal }

U • Anuja Chauhan – Interview • Local Journos On Gurgaon • Epicentre – Nitin Mathur • Teen Drinking • Chefs – Galaxy, Leela, Trident Hotel • Nouveau Riche Farmers • Aditya Arya – Photographer • Seema Singh Dua, Art

nderstanding the importance of Vaastu in the ArtSpace is a vital necessity for all those who foray into this crucial cultural zone. The creation of good vaastu and design do not require huge amounts of money, but an evolved aesthetic awareness.  Art having become an increasingly aspirational pursuit in India over the past decade, one witnesses with great alarm hurried flurries of ‘art-related activity’ that are carelessly presented. A wise adage to begin 2012’s art calendar: “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.” The above piece of wisdom was my first gut-level reaction when I approached Gurgaon’s ‘National Art Centre’ in Sector 18. The entire zone looks like a nightmare from some weird Absurdist drama. The building and its rooms are antiaesthetic, claustrophobic and completely unamenable to art –

or anything even remotely connected with art. This ‘art centre,’ was set up in 1979 by Roop Chand, now a 75-year old artist, born in Gurgaon’s Dundahera village. Had the artworks on show been worthy of admiration, some of this building’s bad vaastu could have been redeemed. But the current exhibition titled ‘GRATITUDE’—33 paintings put-together by 33 Gurgaon-based artists aged 18 to 65—is of a mediocre standard. These artworks employ garish palettes and clichetic imagery. One wonders what ‘sense of aesthetics’ has been ‘imparted’ by this ‘centre’. Fine Art is NOT something that can be achieved carelessly, sans art-awareness and high standards. 33 paintings have been ‘selected’ here to ‘celebrate 33 years of this ‘centre’.  The only two paintings attempting some semblance of style are Krishan’s ‘LANTERN’, and Sangeeta Murthy’s

‘DREAMS’. Does Gurgaon want to cut a sorry figure, or take action and radically raise its cultural standards? Roop Chand, who paints quaint mountainscapes and seascapes, has had a chequered career – moving away from both JNU and Chandigarh Universities, where he tried to set up arts units. By way of contrast, the National Institute of Fine Arts, with 3 centres in Gurgaon’s Phase 1, Ring Road and Vivek Vihar, seems to be aspiring towards some base-level artistic standards. Its exhibition at Quill and Canvas Gallery—of 50 paintings by 25 students,aged 18 to 60 years, of 2011 batch— despite being rather random in selection, shows some strains of talent and potential. 

NIFA, set-up in 2003 by Renu Khare, offers Fine Art Diplomas to 300 students at present. Some of its students’ paintings – such as ‘CELEBRATION’ by Preeti, depicting an Indian street-drummer in warm yellow tones; a wistful portrait of Michael Jackson by Sabrina, called ‘BLACK OR WHITE’;  and Tanushri’s ‘MAA’, an attempt at Gothic portraiture – indicate some fledgling talent. Fine Art in Public Spaces is another extremely pressing need in India. Displaying noteworthy contemporary art in public spaces is considered a cultural priority, and a necessity in all developed nations. India requires some serious action in this neglected area. The exalted Art Nouveau

• Art Mart Iii

• Rahul Verghese • Teen Life • Festive Celebrations • Terrace Gardens

CELEBRATION by Preeti

BLACK OR WHITE by Sabrina

• Shibani Kashyap • Day Care Centres

• Nsm Gala • Millennium Teens • She Lived Next Door • Krishen Khanna (Art) Veteran Artist Roop Chand with Group of Artists at the inauguration of ‘GRATITUDE’, at National Art Centre

MAA by Tanushri

designs of the Paris Metro stations in France remain one of the world’s best examples of ‘public artistry’. India has the talent to apply inspirational artistry in its public space. A small example: this New Year, Gurgaon’s Striker’s Pub has displayed some catchy Pop-Art Installations, at its entrancefoyer, created by Indian Commercial Artists. Depicting scores of portraits of rock stars, inlaid within a vast horizontal electricguitar installation in electric colour-tones, these ‘Pop’ paintings in a foyer are livelier than many a hackneyed image being peddled in gallery circuits. Contemporary energy, visual imagination, and unconventional creativity of the right kind must be considered a priority in art-displays in India.u The writer is an Artist & Curator


L istings

6–12 Jan 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Players Time: 10 am, 1.10 pm, 2.45 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.40 pm The Darkest Hour Time: 10.40 am, 12.55 pm, 5.55 pm, 10.30 pm Don 2 Time: 12.30 pm, 3.25 pm, 6.20 pm, 9.15 pm Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 10.20 am

Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 10.10 am The Darkest Hour (3D) Time: 9.10 pm, 11.15 pm PVR MGF: MGF Mall Players Time: 10.10 am, 11 am, 11.50 am, 12.40 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.20 pm, 3.10 pm, 4 pm, 4.50 pm, 5.40 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.20 pm, 8.10 pm, 9 pm, 9.50 pm, 10.40 pm, 11.30 pm The Darkest Hour (3D) Time: 10 am, 12.05 pm, 2.10 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.20 pm, 11.20 pm DON 2 (3D) Time: 4.15 pm Alvin & The Chipmunks 3 Time: 11 am

The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 7.45 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com

PVR: Ambience Gold Players Time: 11 am, 12.40 pm, 2.20 pm, 4 pm, 5.40 pm, 7.20 pm, 10.40 pm

DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Player Time: 10.20 am, 1.30 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.50 pm, 11 pm

PVR Europa: MGF Mall Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 11 am, 1.30 pm, 4 pm, 6.30 pm, 9 pm, 11.30 pm Don 2 Time: 10 am, 1 pm, 6.30 pm, 9.30 pm Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 4 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Players Time: 10 am, 12.30 pm, 3.50 pm, 7.10 pm, 10.30 pm,

PVR: Ambience Premier Players Time: 10.10 am, 11.50 am, 1.30 pm, 3.10 pm, 4.50 pm, 6.30 pm, 8.10 pm, 9.50 pm, 11.30 pm The Darkest Hour (3D) Time: 3.50 pm, 9 pm Sherlock Homes – The Game of Shadows Time: 1.00 pm, 3.30 pm, 8.30 pm, 10.55 pm Don 2 Time: 10.45 am, 1.45 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.45 pm Alvin & Chimpunks 3 Time: 10.00 am Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 10.30 pm, 6.00 pm Doctor Zhivago Time: 10.55 pm (only on Jan 12) Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 12:50 pm, 6 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 2.30 pm, 6.45 pm The Darkest Hour (3D) Time: 10:50 am, 12:40 pm, 04:55 pm, 09:10 pm, 11:00 pm Don 2 (3D) (U/A) Hindi Time: 10:05 am, 3:15 pm, 08:25 pm, 11:10 pm

The Darkest Hour (3D) Time: 10:05 am, 2.20 pm, 6.55 pm, 11.10 pm Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Time: 11:55 am, 6.05 pm Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) Time: 03:40 pm, 08.45 pm Don 2 (3D) (U/A) Hindi Time: 4.10 pm Don 2 (U/A) Hindi Time: 10 am, 12:50 pm, 08:30 pm, 11:20 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Players Time: 10:05 am, 11:40 am, 1:35 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.50 pm Don 2 (U/A) Hindi Time: 02:45 pm, 05:30 pm, 8.15 pm, 11:00 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

The Darkest Hour Time: 10.30 am, 1.20 pm, 6.05 pm, 10.50 pm DON 2 Time: 3.20 pm, 8.05 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Players Time: 10:30 am, 1:40 pm, 04:50 pm, 8

pm, 11.10 pm Mission Impossible: Ghost

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ Despite police pro-active notices and actions, a major incident did take place on New Year’s Eve, and that too in the heart of Gurgaon – M.G. Road. No arrests to date. Seems the planning could have been better, as there had been a brawl in a pub in the same mall, the day before. ♦ Demolitions continue. A prominent liquor vend at IFFCO Chowk crossing is demolished. A multi-storey ‘commercial’ building in Sec 40 also demolished. HUDA Administrator continues citizen meetings – resolves over a 100 cases again, in a day, in a new sector. HUDA also continues to fine builders and citizens who are wasting water. Also gives notice to ‘parking mafia” that supposedly have encroached a total of 50 acres of HUDA land. Launches a cleaning operation, with new hired staff and machinery – drive from January 3 to 14.

♦ A mini-truck rams auto – 2 killed. A call centre cab driver allegedly killed for Rs. 6, by a dhaba owner. 2 call centre executives robbed in moving car. Almost a 100 carts burnt at a fire in a premium golf club. Exclusive Police Station set up, for water and power theft, at Sushant Lok I. ♦ Getting tough on the 900m prohibited area around the Ammunition Depot, 41 FIRs have been registered; 24 arrests made. Action would also be taken against Administrations officials, if any construction found on-going. ♦ FIR filed against 4 persons trying to get a sale deed of a plot registered in Gurgaon Tehsil (Sec 54), on the basis of a fake General Power of Attorney (GPA) recently registered in Doraha, Dist. Sihore (MP). ♦ DC helps free up panchayat land from illegal occupation of Heritage Public School, Sector 62 (near village Ullawas). An FIR has been lodged against a former sarpanch of

07

List of Malls Ambience Mall Address: Delhi-Gurgaon Border, NH-8 Harjan Basti, Sector 17. Ph: 0124 4665353 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Ansals Plaza Address: Sec 14, Near Palam Vihar Circle. Ph: 0124 2625 5532/ 2625 0957 Timings: 9 am to 11 pm Bestech Mall Address: Sushant Lok II, Sec 57, Near . Ph: 9899765750 Timings: 9 am to 11 pm Central Plaza Mall Address: Golf Course Road, Sec 53. Ph: 011-24112111 Timings: 9 am - 11 pm Centrum Plaza Address: Golf Course Road, Sec 53. Ph: 124 4322800 Timings: 9 am - 11 pm CTC Plaza Address: MG Road, Near Sahara Mall, DLF Phase IV. Ph: 0124-4529999 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm DLF City Centre Address: Maruti Housing Colony, DLF City Phase IV. Ph: 0124 2386296 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm DLF Cross Point Mall Address: DLF City IV, Opp. Galleria Ph: 124 4004661 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm DLF Grand mall Address: Saraswati Vihar, DLF City Phase IV. Ph: 0124 3200455 Timings: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm DLF Mega mall Address: Saraswati Vihar, DLF City Phase IV. Ph: 0124 4058389 Timings: 10 am - 12 pm DLF South Point mall Address: Golf Course Road, Sec 53, DLF Phase V. Ph: 0124 4240985 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm DLF Star mall Address: Sector 30, NH 8, South City I. Ph: 9871106481 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Dreamz Mall Address: Sector 7, Old Railway Road Ph: 124 4019988; Timings: 9 am - 11 pm Galaxy Towers Address: Delhi-Jaipur Highway, Sec 15, Behind 32nd Milestone. Ph: 01244565000, 0124-4112568 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Global Foyer Mall Address: Golf Course Road. Ph: 9582890847 Timings: 11 am -12 midnight Gold Souk mall

Address: Gold Souk, Block-c, Sector 43, Sushant Lok, Phase I. Ph: 0124 4317700 Timings: 11 am to 8 pm GUrgaon Central Address: MG Road, next to IFFCO crossing. Ph: 0124 2859000 Timings: 11 am - 10 pm GUrgaon Central Address: Sector 4, Palam Vihar. Ph: 0124 2859000 Timings: 11 am - 10 pm Hongkong BAZAAR Mall Address: Sushant Lok II, Sec 57. Ph: 0124 4233700 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm JMD Regent Plaza Address: JMD Reget Square, Sec 25. Ph: 0124 3246141 Timings: 9 am - 11 pm Mega Mall Address: Golf Course Road, Sec 57. Ph: 0124 4380352 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm MGF Metropolis mall Address: MG Road. Ph: 0124 40146061 Timings: 9 am – 12 pm MGF Metropolitan Address: MG Road. Ph: 0124 4014606 Timings: 9 am – 12 midnight Sahara mall Address: MG Road, Saraswati Vihar. Ph: 9810241438 Timings: 8 am - 12 midnight MGF Mega City mall Address: MG Road. Ph: ‪0124 438 1985 Timings: 11 am - 9 pm Omaxe Celebration Mall Address: SH 13, Sector 47, Sohna Road. Ph: 011-41629900, 011-41893100 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Omaxe City Centre Address: Sec 49, Sohna Road. Ph: 011-41629900, 011-41893100 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Omaxe Gurgaon Mall Address: South Avenue, Sohna Road. Ph: 011-41629900, 011-41893100 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Raheja mall Address: Sec 47, Sohna Road. Ph: 01140611111; Timings: 10 am - 11:30 pm The Plaza Address: Near IFFCO Chowk, MG Road. Ph: 0124-4052697/4140246 Timings: 10 am - 10 pm The Wedding mall Address: Sec 49, Sohna Road. Ph: 9711800558, 9999998883 Timings: 10 am - 11 pm Vipul Agora Mall Address: MG Road. Ph: 011-41427296 Timings: 9 am - 11 pm

village Bilaspur and a well-known private builder, for misuse of the sarpanch post to benefit the builder. ♦ School buses, and other private vehicles carrying school children have been warned to adhere to safety norms, School management/Principals would be held responsible for lapses. A 24 point charter has been re-issued, and compliance asked for within 15 days. ♦ Toll Plaza agitation picking up speed and intensity. Second time toll gates forced open. Concessionnaire demands compensation. CNG prices increase by Rs. 1.25 per kg., in Gurgaon also – now on par with Delhi. ♦ A 3 day state level school science exhibition began in the State Council for Education, Research and Training (SCERT), Gurgaon. About 286 exhibitors from 123 schools are participating – including 173 young scientists, accompanied by 113 teachers.

Police .................................................100 Fire Station ........................................101 Ambulance..........................................102 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


08  Contd from p 1 comparison to Delhi. But there is a reason for that. Within this smaller area, the gap between rich, middle class and the poor is very wide, and distinctively visible. Within Gurgaon, you have places where you can buy vegetables at a far lower price in comparison to Delhi; and it also has places where you can witness the opposite. Delhi too doesn’t have parity in income and living standard across the city – yet its size and other reasons help dilute that effect, says Rao Dharampal, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Gurgaon.

Gurgaon: Weak supply line

Gurgaon and its surroundings are not famous for their expertise in agriculture, and neither is the land good enough for agricultural purpose. So it is dependent on Delhi. Delhi not only has the biggest Subzi Mandi of the country, in the form of Azadpur, but it also has the best supply line in North India. “It is the biggest mandi of the country, and nearly 1200 trucks loaded with vegetables come here on a daily basis. The main source for the supply line is Eastern and Western Haryana, and Western UP. Areas like Sonipat, Karnal, Jhajjar, Ambala, Baghpat, Meerut, and the agricultural belt of outer Delhi, are the main sources of supply here. And from here the supply goes to the whole of Delhi, and the nearby areas, including Gurgaon and Noida,” said Pardeep Kumar, an aadhti (middleman) at Azadpur Subzi Mandi. Gurgaon does produce some vegetables in its area, but they are not good enough to meet the demand of the city. “I have three acres of land. I have sown carrot in two acres, and mustard in one. Our land is not that fertile, hence it needs more water for the crops. I have sown carrot because it gives quick money, in comparison to the proper crops like wheat and mustard. But most of the peasants in Gurgaon district either go for wheat or mustard, because they are standard and less water consuming

The National Statistics Following is the inflation rate for key commodities for October, as per data issued by Government of India: Food Articles 11.06 * Cereals 4.56 * Rice 4.56 * Wheat (-)0.95 * Pulses 9.63 * Vegetables 21.76 * Potato 1.30 * Onion (-)16.16 * Fruits 11.96 * Milk 11.12 * Eggs, Meat and Fish 12.59 * Non-Food Articles 17.71 * Fuel and Power 14.79 * Liquefied Petroleum Gas 14.27 * Petrol 27.90 * High Speed Diesel 9.32 * Manufactured Products 7.66 * Sugar 6.69 * Edible Oils 13.09 * Beverages, Tobacco and Tobacco Products 12.53

C ivic/Social

6–12 Jan 2012

Gurgaon Priced Out Inflation in India- 2011 – based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation (Monthly Basis)

Inflation

January 2011 - December 2010

Inflation (Yearly Basis)

1.62 %

February 2011 - January 2011

-1.60 %

Inflation

January 2011 - January 2010

9.30 % 

February 2011 - February 2010

8.82 % 

March 2011 - February 2011

0.00 %

March 2011 - March 2010

8.82 % 

April 2011 - March 2011

0.54 %

April 2011 - April 2010

9.41 % 

May 2011 - April 2011

0.54 %

May 2011 - May 2010

8.72 % 

June 2011 - May 2011

1.07 %

June 2011 - June 2010

8.62 % 

July 2011 - June 2011

2.12 %

July 2011 - July 2010

8.43 % 

August 2011 - July 2011

0.52 %

August 2011 - August 2010

8.99 % 

September 2011 - August 2011

1.55 %

September 2011 - September 2010

October 2011 - September 2011

0.51 %

October 2011 - October 2010

crops,” said Ramesh Yadav, a peasant who sells vegetables in a temporary mandi in Sector-46, every Thursday. Noida, on the other hand, has a good supply chain, along with a very good production of its own. It produces vegetables in great quantity. Noida is also very well connected to Delhi. Almost the whole of the Yamuna basin (which is extremely fertile) is used to grow vegetables, and that’s one of the main reasons why Noida doesn’t face a scarcity of vegetables.

Mall culture and inflation?

Gurgaon has more malls than any other city of north India; and people not only buy branded clothes, or other costly items from these malls, but also vegetables and other food products. “Malls don’t sell vegetables at an inflated price. You can check in any mall, you will find the same price as on a roadside vegetable stall. So It is painful being a common person in this uncommon city. Inflation obviously does not hurt the well-to-do; they are now very accustomed to high-rises. Their lifestyle also is not pinched by the cost of food necessities. Unfortunately, their economic insensitivity seems to have priced-out the common folk. blaming malls for the rising prices of vegetables is not at all justifiable,” said an employee at the Ansal Mall, Palam Vihar. Malls may claim that they don’t sell the food products at an inflated prices, yet the ground reality is quite different. For example, potato in a mall of the city is being sold at a price of Rs. 10/ kg.; whereas the same potato is being sold at Rs. 7 in Sadar Bazar’s open market, and in Sector-23.

Transport: another reason for inflated prices

Transport is the main reason, other than production, that decides the prices of food articles. The constant increase in the fuel prices has added fuel to the already burning prices of food items. For example, till September, 2011, the price of Mother

Dairy Milk was Rs. 35/litre; and suddenly after the hike in fuel prices in October, the price was raised by Rs. 2 per litre. “Although the price of Mother Dairy Milk is the same in Delhi as well as Gurgaon, but certainly transport is one of the big factors that decide the pricing of products,” said Ashish Kumar, at a dairy booth in Sector-7.

Who is the real beneficiary?

Neither the farmers (producers) nor the consumers are reaping the fruits of this inflation. Farmers are getting poorer by the day, because they don’t get

Food Prices Items

'New' Gurgaon

South Delhi

Potato

Rs.10/kg

10

Onions

16

17

Tomato

20

24

Cucumbers 24

27

Lemon

80

60

Amla

50

45

Carrot

25

28

Cauliflower 22

25

Mushroom

25/pkt

32

Eggs

120/tray

115

Chicken

170

165

Mutton

320

330

10.06 %  9.39 % 

a proper price for their production; and the consumers too are spending a hefty amount on vegetables, and other needs of daily life. “The farmer is not getting anything. Let’s take potato as an example. Any farmer who comes up with a good crop of potato here sells it in bulk at Rs. 400 per quintal; whereas at a retail shop, the same potato is being sold at Rs. 10 per kg (equal to Rs. 1000 per quintal). So what I mean to say is that neither the farmer nor the consumer is getting any benefit. Middlemen and the retailers are the persons taking all the cream, without doing any hardwork,” said Manjeet Dahiya, a farmer from Sonipat at Azadpur Mandi. ASSOCHAM too have said the same thing in a press release issued recently, “Presently there exists a huge gap between the prices received by the producer, and the price paid by the consumer. This gap needs to be filled by creating transport and storage infrastructure to the required extent. Also, the government needs to regulate the functioning of the agriculture markets.”

Mass opinion

“Well, I don’t about the prices in Delhi and Noida, but I am sure that the prices here are not cheap. Except some vegetables like potatoes and onions, every-

thing is costly. Prices for egg and meat too are soaring day by day. Earlier I used to bring a tray of 30 eggs at a price of Rs. 110; and just yesterday I had to pay Rs. 120. Prices in Gurgaon are definitely not cheap and just keep increasing,” said Sandeep Yadav, a youngster living in Sector-46. Old Gurgaon, which is often considered as a cheaper place in terms of daily use goods, too has its concerns regarding the inflated prices, “Yes, food items, especially vegetables and milk, are definitely getting costlier; if not day by day, then month by month indeed. Even in Sadar Bazar, which is nothing less than a Mandi,

Inflation: Historical side and its definition The inflation rate in India was last reported at 9.39 per cent in October of 2011. From 1969 until 2010, the average inflation rate in India was 7.99 per cent, reaching an historical high of 34.68 percent in September of 1974 – and a record low of -11.31 percent in May of 1976. Inflation rate refers to a general rise in prices measured against a standard level of purchasing power. The most well-known measures of Inflation are the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures consumer prices; and the GDP deflator, which measures inflation in the whole of the domestic economy. the prices of the vegetables are not cheap. No matter which vegetables you want to eat, you will have to spend at least Rs. 50-70 for a meal, on vegetables alone,” said Bimla Devi, an old lady in Sector-7. It is painful being a common person in this uncommon city. Inflation obviously does not hurt the well-to-do; they are now very accustomed to high-rises. Their lifestyle also is not pinched by the cost of food necessities. Unfortunately, their economic insensitivity seems to have priced-out the common folk. u As of January 04, 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

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes

10

10

5

8

5

7

5.90

5.50

Onions

16

15

12

14

8

10

15

13

Tomatoes

20

16

12

20

10

15

12.90

18

Cucumbers

20

22

20

25

18

16

22

20

Spinach

15

15

16

20

12

12

19.90

15

Cauliflower

16

18

15

20

14

16

10.90

10

Radish

10

12

10

10

8

8

8.90

2.50/piece

Carrot

24

15

15

16

12

15

15.90

14

Mushroom

15

20

18

25

20

20

25

15

(old/new)


6–12 Jan 2012

BEST OF 2011 • On the Road – Voices • Bus Stand; Railway Station • Govt. Library • Slums • The Mayor – Vimal Yadav

• MCG, Ready and Willing • PDS System • PHCs • Private Builder Colony Roads

• Deputy Mayor – Parminder Kataria (Ward 6)

• Civil Hospital (Cancer) • A Policeman’s Story • G.L. Sharma – President, Congress Party (Urban Unit)

 Contd from p 1 police official who was a part of the team that had busted the gang in January last year, they had a tough time catching the perpetrators. “They used to prowl the empty streets of IFFCO Chowk late at night – when it was impossible to get any public transport. Hapless commuters would get into their car, and the miscreants ensured they left space for just one passenger. The other accomplices also pretended to be commuters, to allay suspicion,” the police official recalls. “On reaching an empty stretch, these miscreants would first soften up the victim, by beating him up mercilessly; then make him withdraw all the cash out of his bank ATM, or debit card. Then they would drop off the victim on a lonely stretch of road, and make a clean getaway.” Another member of the police team who nabbed them in January last year said, “We had got a tip-off that a black Santro, carrying three-four youths, had been seen around IFFCO Chowk. When we tried to stop them for questioning in Leisure Valley, the miscreants panicked – and broke through the barricade. We finally nabbed them, and recovered several mobile phones, a pistol and a few cartridges.” On interrogation, the robbers were revealed as Shamim (alias Samir), Arshad and Hamid. They confessed that they were involved in nearly 40 to 50 cases of robbery and assault in the city, and nearby areas. Previous reports state that the crime spree was the brainchild of Shamim, who was under debt of Rs. 2.5 lakh. When the loot turned tout o be better than

• Bhondsi Jail • Website – MCG, HUDA, Police

• MLA Rao Dharampal

• Home Security – Domestic Help • HIPA

On The Prowl Again... what was imagined, Arshad and Hamid also became members of his gang. “After this gang was busted, another gang came up, trying to impersonate their style and the car. We had earlier thought that it was the same gang. When they were caught in August, they were revealed as Billu, Sonu and Neeraj – who were already wanted in 36 cases of robbery, some of them in Rajasthan. To throw us off the scent, they also used a black Santro,” the official said. Now, cops say that some of the gang members who had been jailed have been released, and are committing these crimes again with impunity. “Sometimes, they don’t use their trademark Santro. But the style of the trap is the same. There is space only for one person, and the setup is that of a cab-driver trying to earn some extra money on the side.” Police officials suspect that Arshad, and possibly another member of the second gang, are behind the new robberies. “The

Terror On Wheels { Alka Gurha }

A

• Sohna Road

C ivic/Social

ccording to police estimates, roughly every third rape and abduction is carrelated; where the vehicle is either used to commit the crime, or the vehicle becomes the site of the crime. With over twenty lakh automobiles on NCR roads, the maximum numbers of rape cases in a moving vehicle are accounted for from here. Cars have become free crime zones for offenders, who take the protection of tinted glasses and deafening music. Why has this phenomenon come about? Psychologists say that, in a car, people can shed their duality; and do things they would otherwise not do in public. Also, a car reinforces the feeling of control and privacy which raises the confidence level of the offenders. In an article ‘Inhabiting the car’, noted British sociologist John Urry calls a car, “a private cocoon of glass and metal, where intense emotions are realised in a sociably unacceptable manner.” Car-jacking is increasing in urban areas, as luxury cars are the prime targets of the auto lifters. It is unfortunate that on an average, six vehicles are stolen from Gurgaon every day. This

trend has been continuing for many years. While the police have managed to trace about one-fourth of the stolen vehicles, they have not been able to curb the crime rate. Recently, biker gangs have been in the news— for chain and purse snatching incidents—in and around Sushant Lok Phase I. Only last month a senior citizen’s purse was snatched, while she was returning from the Galleria Shopping Arcade. Another menace in Gurgaon is the speeding call centre cabs. Though BPOs have issued safety advice to their drivers, the cab drivers just flee from the accident spot, leaving the cab behind. With the onset of winter and foggy conditions, one hopes that the cab operators will heed the safety advisory. It is heartening to note that the Gurgaon Police have purchased an ‘Emergency Service Vehicle’—loaded with modern gadgets—to keep a strict watch on road offenders. The vehicle has multi-functional CCTV control keyboard, andan LCD monitor, with a twenty-foot hydraulic jack. The spy cam mounted on the vehicle can take pictures, and record videos, of accidents. Hopefully more such vehicles, and a strict vigil, will help in curbing the menace of terror-onwheels in Gurgaon. u

brutality with which the victims are beaten up, match that of the previous crimes.” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Maheshwar Dayal, who is spearheading the campaign, says “We have nabbed them earlier, and there should be no doubt that we’ll stop them again. We have set up special checkpoints for them, but at the moment I cannot give details of exactly what kind of operation we are mounting.” With the media attention on this, shops and companies have woken up to the fact that their employees are in danger of this threat. Some of them have started providing pick-up and dropoff for their employees, while others have asked their workers to commute in groups. Shomendra Moitra, the Senior Vice-President (Communications) of Intelenet-Serco, says, “We anyway have a cab facility for our employees. There is a guard with each cab, and we encourage the workers to use the company transportation. What happened with the two call-centre employees was very unfortunate, and it is everyone’s duty to make sure that they trav-

09

el safely. We, and every call-centre, follow guidelines laid down by the government. No girl is to be dropped off last, and a guard is provided in every cab,” he says. In this matter, the company is very firm, he states. And apart from large-scale enterprises, even shops who have women employees are making sure that they reach home safely. A franchise-owner of a beauty parlour in South City-II says, “I have a rule that the shop has to close down by eight, no matter what. I have twelve girls on my payroll, and they all get pick-up and drop facility. No one is to travel alone.” Annie (name changed), who works in a pub in MG Road’s Sahara Mall, says, “Unfortunately, the pub does not provide for night-drops. I have to ask a colleague of mine to drop me home to Saket, as he travels further on.” Don’t the employees ask for a basic facility as this? “We have, and the owners are taking our request under consideration, which means we’ll probably get it by next year,” she laughs. What about the robbery incidents that have been happening? “I haven’t read about them, although I have heard about them. It just underscores the fact that you have to be extra careful on Gurgaon streets. For example, the assault on the girl on New Year’s night. Thank God, the police were there. If they hadn’t broken the mob up, it would have ruined a girl’s life forever.” Reassuring the public, DCP (East) Dayal says, “It is just a matter of time before this crimespree is stopped in its tracks. In the meanwhile, I sincerely request the public not to take lifts from strangers; and as far as possible, keep known company while travelling late.” u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I am not coming to office today Aaj main office ko na aayun 2. Can you bring the papers home? Kaagaja ne ghar ne leke aa sake? 3. My computer is not working Mhara computer kaam kona

kar raha

4. I need those files Manne ve file chahiye 5. Call me after an hour Ghante baad phone kariye 6. Let us discuss this tomorrow Kaal baat karenge


10

6–12 Jan 2012

BEST OF 2011 Councillors (WARD)

Nisha Singh (30) Rama Rani Rathee (34)

Team Administration Is Upbeat { Hritvick Sen / FG }

O

Rishraj Rana (1)

Poonam Devi (28)

Ravinder Yadav (2) Monika Yadav (3)

Sonia Thakran (27) Subhash Chand Singla (18)

Rajinder Singh Yadav (26)

Subhash Fauji (25)

Sunita Yadav (33)

Virender Singh Yadav (23)

Kalu Ram Yadav (24)

Yogender Singh Sarwan (7)

Sunita Kataria (14)

Mangat Ram Bagri (10)

Taro Devi (16)

Seema Pahuja (11)

Deepak Indora (15)

Gaje Singh Kablana (5)

Suresh Kumar (19)

Mahesh Dayma (32)

Ravinder Kataria (20)

SECTORS 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 22, 23, 46, 39, 47

C ivic/Social

fficials talk about what the public can expect in development this year This year might well be the one when Gurgaon realises its dream of a clean, functional city. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) and the District Administration have geared up for major projects for the City – for roads, sewerage, water supply, or other civic infrastructure. The people at the helm have taken the issue of water scarcity very seriously, and have hit upon a unique solution. “The sewer water being taken out of the city will be reused,” says P.C Meena, the City's Deputy Commissioner. “That water is anyway waste water. The idea is to get it recycled, and pipe it back to the city. That water can be used for washing cars, irrigation, industries, watering parks and the like.” This will, he says, save millions of gallons of water a day for the city, which is facing acute water scarcity on a daily basis. “The infrastructure (pipelines, water treatment facility) is being put into place, the officials are on it, and it will be a reality soon.” On another note, Meena says, “There is a plan to put a fleet of buses on Gurgaon's roads. The matter is being put up, and it will be passed soon.” How many buses? “Around a 100 to start with. Then we'll see.” What about the roads to drive on? Is anything being done for the cracked and potholed roads of the city? He reveals, “I'm planning to do away with the current system of handing out contracts to people, who then do not perform. Instead, what I'm tabling is the idea that contracts would be open to international bidding. Instead of giving out work on a piecemeal basis, we'll hand over the work of developing and maintaining roads of three to four sectors at a go.” Explaining this further, Meena says, “What we see now are contracts being given out for a few lakhs to a crore. The contractors do not have the technology or the manpower to deliver the goods. On the other hand, international contractors/ agencies have both, and would be agreeable to take up a sizeable maintenance period also.” Meena affirms that this move will definitely stop the issue of new roads being made in a slipshod manner, and cracking in a few months. T.K Sharma, the Divisional Commissioner adds, “There is so much that can be done in this city.” Obviously, finance is not a problem with the City's development agencies. “It is only the will that is needed. Why can't housing be built that can

match those of private builders? An efficient transport system is the need of the hour, along with proper cleanliness.” Sharma says, “The matter of regulating the unauthorised colonies should be, and will be finished by this year. Once it is done, the Corporation can provide the much-needed civic facilities that the people need in those areas.” He also speaks about bettering the water supply in the city, and of Meena's plan of recycled water being used. “My dream project for the city is of building an artificial lake for the District,” says the veteran administrative official. “There is so much rainwater flowing off the Aravallis, that can be channelled and harvested into small lakes. The water will be then used to recharge the underground reservoirs, besides providing for a massive green zone for the city. The city's plummeting water table will get a fresh lease of life, and it will also provide the city with a fresh pair of lungs”, he smiles. Gurgaon has no university of any kind. Colleges, yes; but no university on the lines of Delhi University and Lucknow University. Is anything being done in this regard? Meena says, “Let's not consider New Delhi's educational facilities as something restricted from

The idea is to get it (the waste water) recycled, and pipe it back to the city. That water can be used for washing cars, irrigation, industries, watering parks and the like. The infrastructure (pipelines, water treatment facility) is being put into place, the officials are on it, and it will be a reality soon.

PC Meena should be treated as such. When the time is right, both parties would sit down and hammer out the details. It is as simple as that.” Deputy Mayor Parminder Kataria echoes T.K Sharma's words, “The main thrust this year would be to get the colonies authorised. Then, we'll have the advertisement rates fixed. This will ensure proper revenue to the Corporation, which can use that money in more development work.” With his panache for doing the unexpected, current HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar relates his experience, “I saw this

What is being done to make sure that the areas which we have cleared of encroachments are not re-encroached? I say invite tenders for bidders, international bidders if need be, to make housing and commercial projects on those areas.

Dr. Praveen Kumar

our people. We are a part of the National Capital Region (NCR), and those facilities are for all to use.” Similarly, Sharma says, “We have a law college, MD University and other government colleges. There is a regional centre in Rewari, which caters to post-graduate studies of the youth.” What will happen to the issue of transfer of sectors from HUDA to MCG? The previous HUDA Administrator had said that it is a decision of the Chief Secretary; other officials say something different, and nobody has a definite opinion. “There is no role of the Chief Secretary in this,” says Sharma. “It is an inter-department matter, and

building during one of my sector inspections. It was unauthorised, and as per law had to be torn down. My plan was to hold a lottery, and give it to the unemployed youth of the area. Live there, work there. Why demolish it, when it can be put to good use?” If he is to be believed, Gurgaon will never have it so good as this year. “I had a sub-committee meeting with the honourable Chief Minister, and he has sanctioned this City projects worth a total of Rs. 1,393 crore. Every problem, whether it is roads, sewerage, water, transport will be addressed.” How many points does he have on his agenda? “A thousand and more,” he fires back. Holding an impromptu

meeting at the HUDA Gymkhana Club in Sector-29, he comments,“What is being done to make sure that the areas that we have cleared of encroachments are not re-encroached? I say invite tenders for bidders, international bidders if need be, to make housing and commercial projects on those areas. There are goondas who have encroached upon the land, and are taking Rs 5,000 a month from poor people for tenements. If we can build low-cost housing for them, and commercial space around it, we can call the work a success”, he says. Roads will be built anew, Dr. Kumar says. New technology will be used, and only those contractors will be hired who have definite knowledge of what they're undertaking. “We'll provide intelligent traffic lighting. It's useless when you have to wait for a minute on an empty intersection,” he states. Also on the cards is the provision of Suvidha kiosks in every sector. People won't have to rush across sectors to get their problems resolved. This will make problem-reporting and resolving a much easier task. “HUDA is allocating Rs. 498 crore for water supply and distribution, Rs 381 crore for master sewerage connections, and Rs. 260 crore for water recycling,” Dr. Kumar says. For cleanliness and sanitation, he unveils a new proposition. “We have had several seminars on this issue, and I can say that we have the solution. Many times we have seen that garbage collectors dump the collected filth in empty plots, for the lack of disposal logistics. We are going to put new garbage containers all over the city, and have obtained nine Mahindra vans for collection and transportation to the Bandhwari facility.” On the green front, Dr. Kumar offers, “At Sukhrali, we're discussing the creation of miniature lakes, for groundwater recharging.” u


C ivic/Social

6–12 Jan 2012

NGOs • Deepashram • • • • Home for mentally & physically challenged orphan boys

• Tau Devi Lal HUDA Old Age Home, Snehadham

Old Age Home for female destitutes

• Uthaan

Green movement, women empowerment, animal welfare

• Wildlife SOS

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

Virender Yadav

A

pproaching his office, Ward 23 Councillor Virender Yadav, is beset by a group of elderly women. Inside, they talk of the harassment they’re facing from a man in their colony – in Khandsa village. He listens to them patiently, and makes a few calls to the local police precinct. He assures them that he’ll visit the area, and sees them off. “I’ve got a mix of residential and commercial spaces in my Ward,” Yadav says jokingly, settling into his chair, “That’s why I get people from all socio-economic backgrounds, coming to me with a host of different problems.” “I have a HUDA sector (Sector 10A), an MCG village (Khandsa), an industrial area (Old Industrial Area, Udyog Vihar Phase-VI), and a private residential area in my Ward. Obviously, I can’t bring about changes in HUDA areas or Udyog Vihar (falls under HSIIDC), but I exert my influence where I can. I can’t very well say to the people that I am helpless and turn them away, can I?” he says. What are the main problems of his Ward? “Water and sewerage,” comes the prompt reply. “For all the years I’ve lived here, these two issues have been impacting the people day in and day out. The industrial

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Improving sanitation, environment & water

• Niramaya

Ward No. 23 area complains that they don’t get enough water and power to function, and the residents say that they don’t get enough water supply for daily use. Then, there is the problem of sewerage and storm-drainage. We have connections for both in some areas, but in other areas (such as the village), are yet to get them. Every time it rains, it becomes impossible for the people to come out from their homes. It is mud and slush everywhere – it becomes a nightmare!”, Yadav

Khandsa, Khandsa Village, Old Industrial Area Khandsa Road, Pace City-I, Pace City-II, Saraswati Enclave, Sector 10A, Udyog Vihar Phase-VI comments. In Khandsa, he says sewerage connections are the need of the hour. The roads too are taking a beating. They haven’t been repaired in a long time, and people have lost faith in HUDA. “With the new Administrator

S

ector-45 is near the heart of Gurgaon (Sector-29), and is a modern and comfortable place to live in. The Metro is a stone’s throw away. With glossy corporate buildings, apartment housings, bungalows, along with slums and a village at the rear, it is like the city itself – glittering at the top and a mildewed infrastructure lurking beneath. “This Sector looks so good from the main road, doesn’t it? Inside, however, it is partly dull and disturbed. Of course, our Sector has DPS (School),

which is of great benefit for our kids. The roads are not that bad, though they need better care. These weed-flooded empty plots of HUDA are one of the main reasons behind the dullness of the Sector,” said B.D Yadav, a senior resident. He has been living here for over a decade now. The Sector has one dispensary—managed by HUDA—which makes it a privileged place, because only a handful of HUDA sectors have such a facility. “We have a beautiful park, a nice community centre and a HUDA dispensary – all within a radius of a hundred metres. Indeed, it is great to have such useful infrastructure, but their management is poor. Look at this Community Centre; there is no maintenance at all. The same is the case with parks. This dispensary looks good from the outside, but the non-availability of the doctor and

JIT KUMAR

• ARDS (Adarsh)

• I am Gurgaon

Slow, But Steady

What’s good: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Location Connectivity to Metro Two good schools A Community Centre A dispensary A big corporate -HSBC Good Restaurants

What’s not so good: Rural eye care

• Friendicoes

Shelter for abandoned animals

(Dr. Praveen Kumar), their hopes have been raised. Let’s see,” he says. What has he accomplished in the seven months or so that he has been made Councillor? “For one, I’ve had HUDA start repairs on two to three main roads in Sector 10A,” he grins, “Then, the problem of traffic jams on the Khandsa road has been lessened – due to building of concrete jersey barriers as dividers. See, we don’t have the space for a proper divider, with a central verge, and a green belt on top. But this was a possibility, and it has been done. The traffic is much better now,” he says. “The MCG areas have also seen major repairs and construction. Whether it is roads, water supply or drainage, work has already been started, and I’m hoping that it’ll be completed soon. I’m having Reinforced Concrete Cement (RCC) roads made, instead of the normal tar ones. It’s more expensive, but it will stand the water deluge in the monsoons. In the village, I’ve completely overhauled the road, water and sewerage infrastructure,” he adds. What can the Ward’s people expect from their Councillor in the year ahead? “More construction, and repairs of existing infrastructure for one,” he promises, “I’ve put in applications for projects of roads and water supply with the Corporation; and I hope that they will be passed soon.” u

{Sector 45} Good Infrastructure, Poor Service

Animal rescue organisation

Fight against Illiteracy and disease

Know Your Councillor

JIT KUMAR

BEST OF 2011

11

1. 2. 3. 4.

Poor maintenance A cluster of slums Sanitation Scarcity of parks

of medicine makes it of little use to the residents,” said Pankaj Shukla, a resident who lives in front of the Community Centre. Most of the sectors in Gurgaon have village abadies in between; their areas and Sector-45 too has Kanhai Village at the edge. This

village has recently faced the wrath of the demolition drive carried out by HUDA. “Our village falls in Sector-45. We do use the Community Centre, dispensary and other facilities of the Sector; but as a separate identity, our village should also have such ‘luxuries’ inside the village area,” said Satish Yadav, a resident of Kanhai Village. However, for youngsters working in HSBC, Sector-45 is different, “This place is fun. The Sector has proximity to the Metro, which means no headache of travelling too much in those crowded autos. There are nice and cheap food joints, at both HSBC and Cyber Park. If you want to have good proper food, Raj Restaurant is just next door. The Sector has all that a corporate guy needs, outside his or her office walls. It’s a nice place,” said Chittra Singh, who works for HSBC. u


12

6–12 Jan 2012

Ab Dilli Door Hai

NGOs

W

Education for underprivileged children

• Saksham

Empowerment of underprivileged children

• Harmony House

Community Centre for women and children

• Arushi

Shelter for underprivileged children

• Literacy India

hen Mihir Pandey and his wife Vinita Chandra, both of whom are now faculty members at Ramjas College, returned to India in 1996 armed with doctorates, they found themselves practically homeless. The Mayur Vihar flat they had invested in was not completed, and the building project was embroiled in a court case. The couple then moved in temporarily with Chandra’s parents, who lived in Gurgaon. “At that time, there was no Ridgewood and no Galleria here,” says Pandey, when you meet him at his comfortable Sushant Lok 1 bungalow that exudes quiet, good taste. A gleaming piano that his teenaged children play dominates the living room; a child’s wooden rocking chair and another one for adults call to mind the story of Goldilocks; prints of modern Indian masters hang on the walls, and a corner is given over to knick-knacks – including a collection of tortoises, a cute wooden owl, a statuette of David, and a souvenir from the Colosseum in Rome. “Once we had stayed in Gurgaon for about a year, we gave up the idea of living in Mayur Vihar – which had only flats,” says Pandey. They began building their current home in 1999. In the interim, they lived in an Ansal’s

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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Empowering underprivileged children

• Asswin

Donkey shelter

• Sneh Lata Hooda

Educating slum children

• Sugam

Awareness, education & empowerment of socially deprived

he police in the Millennium city remains understaffed, under-resourced, and influenced by the political system. In fact, the majority of the problems related to the functioning of police department—which is one of the most important pivots of the Indian state—are due to political interference, says Sankar Sen. Sen, a retired IPS, is presently working as Senior Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences. He was the chief coordinator of National Human Rights Commission and UNIFEM project on “Trafficking in Women And Children”. Sen has also served as the Director, National Police Academy, and Director General (Investigation), National Human Rights Commission. Sen joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1960, and served in Orissa, and at the centre, in various capacities. Prior to that he was working in the West Bengal Education Service. He is now settled in Gurgaon since 2004, and adds, “The Indian Army has been able to function more effectively, because it has been fairly insulated from politicians. But the police has become a cohort of the ruling party; a potent instrument in the hands of the rulers.” The political interference is so much that a Superintendent of Police can not transfer an SHO of his area, as this is done at the behest of the local MLA. “The

bungalow, behind a plot where the Marriott now stands. That space used to belong to one Chaudhury from the village. He also owned the space where Pragati Vihar now stands,” says Pandey, reminiscing about his former neighbour. Chaudhury’s relatives used to live on the plot, with their cows and buffaloes. “This was all agricultural land, but it was not very good because it had a water problem. Most of the other farmers quickly sold their land, but Chaudhury held on to his – till, I suppose, he got a good price.” “When we moved here, we could see the Aravalis,” he says. “The neighbouring house was the only one on this street, and it was quite scary. Shops were a bit scarce, and we did a lot of shopping in Delhi. The only major place here was Qutub Plaza in DLF Phase 1. The telephone exchange did not exist, and since there were no mobile phones then, we used to go to a shop down the road that functioned as a PCO. There were few roads and no street lights, and even Vyapar Kendra was not really functional.” Indeed, the market was so deserted back then that Pandey once saw a monitor lizard sauntering down its corridors! If that wasn’t wondrous enough, he spotted deer grazing where the Golf Course road is now. “There used to be mustard fields here, which are all

JIT KUMAR

{ Manjula Narayan }

gone... but the peacocks are still around,” he says, adding that one recently landed on his roof. “Gurgaon was very open, and unlike a big city – unlike what it is now. Now it is a city by itself,” he says. But if the city has lost its wild pockets, it has also become a safer place. “Earlier, there were many incidents of people breaking into homes in the middle of the night,” he says, revealing that miscreants once burgled his wife’s uncle’s home, and beat up the family. The Pandeys themselves had some unhappy moments when intruders stole all the brass fittings in their bungalow, just before they moved in. An electronic security system now ensures that unwanted visitors are kept out.

As Gurgaon has evolved, more people have also chosen to move here, and Pandey’s extended family is no exception. His brother’s family now lives in the vicinity, as do members of his wife’s family. “Earlier, everyone used to live in Delhi. Having family and friends here makes a big difference,” he says; adding that as far as socialising and entertainment options go, the city is now probably more vibrant than the capital. “Earlier, we would go to Delhi to eat out. Now, we have everything here; and, in fact, Delhi people now come to Gurgaon to shop and eat. That’s the reverse of what used to happen in the 1990s,” he says. Ah, things sure have changed… u

Police Need Reform PRAKHAR PANDEY

BEST OF 2011 • Happy School

C ivic/Social

SHO knows that if he is able to keep the local politicians and CM’s team happy, then he can continue with his ways”, says Sen. This has had a very bad effect. “Globally, for every one lakh population, the standard is to have 230 police men; whereas in India this number stands at 130 – and even less in some states”, he says. In a city like Gurgaon, where there is large urban drift, and people are coming from rural areas, there is a need to augment the strength of the force, develop better intelligence system, develop a good relations with the public through appointment of people-friendly officers, and provide of adequate vehicles

and equipment to the department – especially at thanas. Another issue is the lack of trust and confidence that people have in police officials. “People do not trust the police and do not feel like going to a thana. Despite the various problems facing the department, Sen is quite optimistic that the Indian police—which is at the crossroads today—would be able to come out of this morass. “Things are changing today, and even the politicians are starting to realize their fault. Resources are slowly coming to modernize the force. However, the police reforms, as recommended by the Supreme Court, should be accepted by the state governments. This will vastly

improve the things”, he says. However, he laments that politicians in this country will not easily accept an independent police force. Another important issued that needs to be tackled immediately, Sen says, is corruption. “The corruption in the police almost amounts to extortion – as it is not consensual. A person goes to the police only when he is distressed, and asking for money in such a case in inhuman”, he says. Being an expert on human rights, and working as senior fellow with the Institute of Social Sciences, a Delhi based think tank, Sen is now planning to carry out a police victimization survey. “Through this survey we will be able to know what people think about the police. What are their perceptions, and what was their experience at the local thanas”, he reveals. Having settled in Gurgaon for the last seven years, he likes the open space that this city offers. He also likes the fact that this city is slowly developing into a multicultural hotspot; but he warns that in the rush for progress and prosperity, the people must not forget the senior citizens. “I have seen that senior citizens in the city feel left out, and this situation has to change. I also wish Gurgaon had better infrastructure, as the number of people is increasing every day and there is too much pressure”, he says. u


6–12 Jan 2012

13

Super Mart No. 1

JIT KUMAR

BEST OF 2011

C ivic/Social

NGOs • Asha Bhawan

Drugs and alcohol rehabilitation

• SEET

Health promotion of urban and rural poor

• Shakti Vahini

Child welfare

Social • Govt. Model Sanskriti School • PGs • Abandoning Pets • Museum of Folk and Tribal Art (Drug) Addiction of Youth • The Last Nawab (Pataudi) • Boarding vs. Day Schools • Life in a Metro (train) • Senior Citizens • Sec 23 Community Park • Community Centres • Life Of A Maid • Sector 9 • BPO Life • Outsourced Cooks, Tiffin Service • Sector 14 Market • Garden Estate • Gurgaon Tamil Sangam • DLF CGS (Dog) Hospital • Christians in Gurgaon • Nadir Khan (Stray Dogs)

{ Shirin Mann }

Y

ou name it – Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, Italian, Thai, American Super Mart-1 is the perfect stop for all food lovers. With a perfect central location, this market-place is situated in DLF Phase 4. It is a great attraction for the ‘young corporates’, — for lunch, or just to chill over coffee after work — as it overlooks several offices. Visually, this market-place may not look as appealing as Galleria, or Sector 29. It’s a bit worn out, and several signboards of the stores hanging on the outside railing make it look a bit/ slightly cluttered. And the parking can be a challenge – the afternoons are easy, but the evenings and weekends can be daunting sometimes, (unless you have a friend living in one of the houses close by, where you can park your ride.) However, the Market makes up for all these blemishes. Besides multi purpose stores, electronic stores, several multi speciality clinics, pet stores and clinics, real estate offices, salons, banks, spas, tailoring shops, kids stores, boutiques, cyber-café, confectionery shops and several others, what makes this market the popular place-tobe is the variety of fast-food and fine-dining restaurants on offer. And finding these is definitely not a problem. A large elaborate sign board at the entrance of the market lists them, along with their phone numbers. What caught our eye at the entrance was the hundreds of plastic bottles of Mountain Dew, hanging from the covering shed of the market place! Something strange, but unique. As you make your way in, you are greeted by tiny shops on all the

three floors – basement, ground and first. Arza Bibi Kebabs is a must visit – the soft, fresh and aromatic kebabs, served in clean, polished spacious interiors will definitely make you drool. Chawla’s Chicken Corner, situated on the first floor, is for the Butter Chicken fans! Nothing gets better than this. Their speciality- cream chicken — had hundreds of people talking. Several other food corners – like Kitchen Se, Nizam Kathi Kebabs, Moti Mahal Delux and Delhi Se — are also good for these winter chill days. Enjoy the hot, steamy, tasty Indian food sitting outside. Anand Dhesi, employee with Airtel, says “The kebabs at Arza Bibi are awesome. I come here all

the time – and when I can’t, I call for home delivery. Try the seekh kebabs, they are to die for! Also Delhi Se is a nice little joint, that sells some amazing rolls. Me and my colleagues are here quite often, for lunch or just coffee.” Besides its variety of Indian food, the market also offers a selection of delicious fast food Chinese and American food. Sum Kum Foods, a fast food Chinese joint, situated at the very entrance of Super Mart, is popular for its chicken momos and Hakka noodles. If you visit it at evening time in the winters, it might take you about 30 minutes to just place the order. Vikas, working at Sum Kum Foods says, “We have a mixed crowd – from corporates to school children. Our chicken momos and

chicken sweet corn soup is very popular; and this season we are busy through-out the day. In the afternoons people like to sit out in the sun; and in the evening they do not mind the cold, with their soup at hand. And we are reasonable too, so affordability is not a problem.” But if street food is not your thing, and are looking at a notch up, Super Mart will not disappoint you. The Oak Tree, a multi-cuisine restaurant, situated on the ground floor is more upscale. It serves yummy sizzlers, that can be teamed up with a choice of red or white wine. The Oak Tree also offers happy hours and food festivals, which one must look out for. Above the restaurant is the Attitude Live, a live band bar- that keeps this market buzzing till the wee hours of the night. The bar has live performances and gigs, and has on shelves both Indian and foreign liquor. A popular place amongst the corporates, to chill out after work or on the weekends, this is worth a check out! And now that you have your stomach full, all you need is a cup of hot coffee – or maybe a scoop of ice cream. Yes, you don’t have to drive to a different place for this. On the first floor of Super Mart is Cafe Coffee Day, that if almost everyone’s favourite hang out place- Cappuccinos and Frappes are really the best here. And if its that sweet tooth itching you, then Gianni’s Ice Cream Parlour on the ground floor will please you! Go for a mix tub for a big treat! Swati Kaleka, a regular at Super Mart concludes cheekily, “The best thing about Super Mart is that you can get just about everything here. From your groceries at Needs, to books and stationary, and all these fast food joints – it’s an all purpose market. The evenings get crowded; but that’s also the best time to visit this place! ” u


14 BEST OF 2011 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Press Forward The Anna Effect Lessons Our Historical Suburb Your Land, My Land The Z Generation Patient India In Our Love For the Trees, We Can’t See the Forest White Collar City The Wheels They Are A Churning Anno Anna Haryana Day The Urban LMC It’s Just Not, Not Just Cricket It’s The Message, Not the Messenger Union Trouble Getting Soft Time to Wake UPA 2012 - Year Overboard The Year We Wish to Leap Actions & Outcomes

First 20 We are now 20 issues sold. In this period, we have provided regular coverage of : UPCOMING AND PREVIOUS WEEK SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EVENTS. RESTAURANTS. ART. NGOs. FAMILIES. COUNCILLORS. SECTORS. WELLNESS. VAASTU. ASTROLOGY. HOBBY GROUPS. PASTIMES. BUSINESS. BPOs. REAL ESTATE. A KID CORNER - OF SCHOOL EVENTS, POEMS AND PAINTINGS BY CHILDREN, SPECIAL FEATURES, A KIDS HOME NEWSPAPER, AND SPECIAL AMAR CHITRA SYNDICATION. EXCLUSIVE GLOBAL NEWS FEATURES AND INFOGRAPHICS. EXCLUSIVE GURGAON PHOTOGRAPHS & ILLUSTRATIONS. MULTIPLE SYNDICATIONS. Special Features : INTERVIEWS OF CIVIC HEADS – DC, MCG COMMISSIONER, HUDA ADMINISTRATOR, POLICE COMMISSIONER, MAYOR. CIVIC WEBSITES. WATER, ELECTRICITY, DIESEL, SANITATION, TRAFFIC, ROADS, PARKING, PUBLIC TRANSPORT, METRO, TOLL PLAZA. LAW& ORDER, PRIVATE GUARDS, SNATCHINGS, CARJACKING. HOME SECURITY – DOMESTIC HELP. RWAs, SCHOOLS, DAY CARE CENTRES, CRECHES. NOUVEAU RICHE FARMERS, SLUMS, VILLAGES. DEMOLITIONS. MG ROAD, SOHNA ROAD. HOSPITALS, MEDANTA; CLINICS. FEMALE FOETICIDE. CULTURAL EVENTS, EPICENTRE, KINGDOM OF DREAMS. PETS. HOBBY CLUBS. UDYOG VIHARS, HSIIDC, BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS. BIO-DIVERSITY PARK; MATA SHEETLA DEVI MANDIR. GREATER GURGAON - NEW SECTORS, NPR, SPR, SEZ, MANESAR-BAWAL.

6–12 Jan 2012

I

t will be a difficult year. In fact, it may actually be worse than 2011. While feeling relatively better, we could end up worse. Because we are entering poll times. A time for sops; no time for (tough) decisions.

2012

can be courageously undertaken, surely providing civic amenities should be easier – especially when finance is not an issue. Why wait for the uprisings? They are now all season – winter, spring, summer, or fall. All you have to do is call (or twitter).

The telecom scam has not been laid to rest. The Lokpal Bill has. So much for our priorities. Nearer home, in Gurgaon, we do not have any coalition excuse; yet we have little action – except regular demolitions now for a couple of months. A welcome change, no doubt. But almost no change in the situation on : Water Electricity Sanitation Roads; Parking; Public transport

Comment

Water and electricity augmentation may take time. Strict control on losses, and conservation by all, is the need of the year. We have meanwhile imbibed the highest diesel levels in our blood. Roads, Parking and Public Transport definitely need a 2012 solution – and well before the rains. HUDA and MCG need to make this the priority now. These directly impact the day to day life of everyone – on the road. And sanitation initiatives can surely go hand in hand. Roads and sanitation are already handled by private contractors or builders; they need to be held accountable.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

There are plans that are shared; and then changed. We now have another announcement, this time for about Rs. 1,400 crores sanctioned for civic infrastructure projects – for water, sewerage, new sectors. Everything is waiting for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) solution – despite Gurgaon contributing to half of Haryana’s kitty. The current PPP flavour is DLF – Rapid Metro and Golf Course Road. It is doubtful if any other builder has the ability or the willingness – or the business plan. It is time the Administration acted – rather than just announced plans. The issues are not so big, or expensive, to tackle. If demolitions

Towards year end, unfortunately, serious crime has reared its head again. Car jackings, hostage taking, molestation, rape and murder are back. This needs to be dealt with – fast and hard. The new Police Commissioner surely understands this. Finally, charity always must begin at home, All of these initiatives need something from us too – to make them a success. Something that a city with a high number of educated people should anyway have. Something fairly simple -.called civic sense. To be practised consistently at home, on the road, in public places. By all of us – yes, it is definitely not just the other guy, or the local. And, in doing so….let us be civil about it. u

Press Forward (Inaugural Comment/ Editorial)

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wants. Not only from low income and status Bharatis, but all globally he wheel has come full circle…almost. The country cousin is now aspiring Indians. city smart. Gurgaon has done a Dhoni. As with men, so with cities. The excuses for lack of infrastructure stem from helplessness— Bharat has morphed into India. Not quite, though. Gurgaon has yet to win global laurels. It has the from a cry that the city just sprung up, and caught everyone by base, the launching pad—and the potential. Yet it may flatter to deceive surprise. What is of concern is that the excuse continues even today, (as also Dhoni’s men). Cities have a half life of at least 50 years, and for new areas within Gurgaon. This, at a time, when NOIDA, another Gurgaon city has barely scratched adulthood. Delhi suburb (ok, city), of similar vintage, seems to have planned its There are reasons to be proud, and hopeful. We have a vast and infrastructure fairly well—and even spun off a Greater avatar. growing industrial and commercial establishment, including top mulThe melting pot that is Gurgaon is fascinating. And we will track it tinationals—and therefore more than adequate employment potential; in all its variety and spunk. In word and deed; in image and sound (yes, a wage and salary structure that we also have an on-line multimeis the envy of India, and a magdia site www.fridaygurgaon.com). net for Bharat; proximity to the We will cover Gurgaon 360, esp. its capital, to prime national and inpeople. It has a good cosmopolitan ternational airports, to Agra and mix; and a Delhi mix of an old Jaipur; excellent new, modern and a new city. It is a Metro sub(Excerpts from The Constitution of India) residential and commercial comurb, a part of the NCR, and a preplexes, with all amenities; and a mier city of a State. Governed as (d) to defend the country and render THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA myriad of schools and hospitals. much from within, as from a few national service when called India; PREAMBLE However, there are reasons hundred km away in Chandigarh. upon to do so; WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having also to be worried, and cynical. On a serious note, we would solemnly resolved to constitute India (e) to promote harmony and the spirit Some reasons stem from the like to add value, to build agendas, into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST of common brotherhood amongst happiness of today; others are to be a part of the solution. To not SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC all the people of India transcending lurking, and can be triggered just call to attention, and be just and to secure to all its citizens: religious, linguistic and regional or by events or by actions of other a part of the problem; but follow JUSTICE, social, economic and sectional diversities; to renounce Indian cities, or other countries. up, cajole, and ensure action. political; LIBERTY of thought, practices derogatory to the dignity The earnings structure, and its We would like to present both or expression, belief, faith and of women; related impact on local price all sides. We would like to show worship; EQUALITY of status and of (f) to value and preserve the rich lines, esp. of essentials, is a ticker the bad, but the good too (we opportunity; heritage of our composite culture; (and not just economically); for believe the good outnumber the and to promote among them all multinationals, this is a warning bad 4 to 1 !). There must always FRATERNITY assuring the dignity (g) to protect and improve the natural bell, and could become a clanger be hope; cynicism must not ever of the individual and the unity and environment including forests, lakes, once the Rupee breaches the 40 reign supreme. integrity of the Nation; rivers and wild life, and to have mark to the Dollar. We would like to be credible— IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY compassion for living creatures; Infrastructure sucks. Especialto be believed, to be respected— this twenty-sixth day of November, (h) to develop the scientific temper, ly public transport and roads— and thereby popular. 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and it impacts every citizen, We want you, dear reader, to ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES and reform; every family member, every day— read…feel…ponder…and act. We THIS CONSTITUTION. for hours. would like to bring your voice to (i) to safeguard public property and to Sanitation is an afterthought. the fore. FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES 51A. abjure violence; And water and electricity have There is power in all of us. The Fundamental duties.—It shall be the (j) to strive towards excellence in all been left to individual enterprise. power of the silent majority booms duty of every citizen of India— spheres of individual and collective Further, if we wish to call every election. Let us harness (a) to abide by the Constitution and activity so that the nation constantly this our home, for generathat power to collectively light up respect its ideals and institutions, the rises to higher levels of endeavour tions, the city must cater to the Gurgaon. Let us not just be at the National Flag and the National Anthem; and achievement; generations—from births and disposal of the State. (b) to cherish and follow the noble newborns to the very old and Let us press forward. (k) who is a parent or guardian to ideals which inspired our national deaths. From new colleges to new We, at Friday, have a passion provide opportunities for education struggle for freedom; crematoriums. to report a world to you—as seen to his child or, as the case may be, Finally, let us be very wary from ground Gurgaon. ward between the age of six and (c) to uphold and protect the of crime—crime from aspiraTo ...be the change that you fourteen years. sovereignty, unity and integrity of tions becoming immediate want to see... u

We, The People


Kid Corner

15

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Stripe on lampshade 2. Far window changes 3. Paper shorter. 4. Picture loses hook. 5. Dog’s nose bigger. 6. Woman’s mouth open. 7. Bird in distance. 8. Man loses belt. 9. Handbag strap broken. 10.Dog’s tail shorter

Solutions

Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

6–12 Jan 2012


16 { Shalini Nambiar }

6–12 Jan 2012

K id Corner

Channel The Energy

A

bleeding knee; a bruised jaw; a broken tooth; squeals and cries – all considered a part and parcel of growing up. And yet the agonies and turmoils, coupled with trepidation, that these can cause in an otherwise dynamic school set up! Isn’t this how a typical disturbed day at school seems like for Principals – who tend to hundreds of children, varying in temperament and ability? When disaster strikes, all our buried anxieties and niggling doubts spill over; threatening to make us view every injury as an accident averted, and making us question the very values by which we are bringing up our children. The trail of questions that will inadvertently follow, is also a part of this travail. A little bit of rough and tumble is fine, we tell ourselves – but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Don’t we find ourselves questioning and evaluating as to how much value-based teaching is imparted in schools and at home? To me the basic cause for this is that children today have not learnt control, and the art of discipline. As adults, we learn to mask our aggression under a veneer of polite, civilized behaviour. But then small children cannot do that. They have to learn to do it, and acquire it as a skill. Unfortunately, when children hit out without understanding how much damage they can cause, their clumsiness and carelessness can result in serious injuries. Parents these days give more freedom to their children, without realising the consequences or the logic behind the freedom given to the child, Hitting and bullying seems to be increasingly an acceptable form of behaviour. We must properly channel a certain

BEST OF 2011 • Chess prodigy – Lokesh • Nail-biting in Children • Payal Uppal - Teacher • 3 Ways to Enhance your Child’s Confidence • Tips for parents • ‘Planets’, by a Child • Spend quality time with your child • Read Phonetically • The Hands-Off Approach • Child Sexual Abuse • Making New Friends

amount of aggression. Productive hobbies such as sports and other outdoor activities should be made compulsory. What we find in our country is that children are being confined into cramped living quarters, and driven out of playgrounds and parks by the advancing urban jungle. To add to this woe our burgeoning population has ensured that there are no quiet by-lanes left to play in anymore. There is also the mounting academic pressure, and the magnetism of the idiot box and computer games, that has taken over the lifestyle of our children

– and enforced sedentary habits into them. Not only is the modern child struggling with problems of obesity, his/ her energy is dammed up. This can lead to serious problems like depression, anxiety and juvenile delinquency. There are ways in which parents can contain a child’s aggressive streak. Parents should not use violence while disciplining kids... even a very simple measure like a slap. Also, parents are the role models. If a child is beaten regularly at home, or sees his father abusing errant drivers or any other member of

the family ― and perhaps even hitting them ― then a bad example is set. Adult behaviour is imitated by the child, and violence is seen to be a solution to problems. A child should be used to firm guidelines, and be keenly aware of how his behaviour effects another. It is important for children and youth to learn the functions and sources of anger. They need to be encouraged to express their primary emotions (mad, sad, lonely, scared, frustrated, nervous) appropriately, rather than unleash anger through outward aggressive acts. Aggression happens because other emotions and difficulties have not been expressed and resolved. The simplest method would be to teach children that recognising their feelings and those of others is an important skill, that will improve their social behaviour. Another way is to teach them the difference between assertive behaviour and aggressive behaviour. Assertiveness is a win-win situation, in which an individual stands up for his or her own rights, without jeopardizing the rights of others. On the other

hand, aggressive behaviour elevates the aggressor, or minimises the rights of others. If a child or youth witnesses or experiences physical punishment as a way to solve problems, then it is most likely that they will model this behaviour when solving problems outside of the home. Bullying and aggression are more likely to occur in schools with low staff morale, high teacher turnover, unclear standards of behaviour, inconsistent methods of discipline, poor organisation, inadequate supervision, and a lack of appreciation of children as individuals. The attitude and actions of teachers can be critical influences against bullying, by helping students shift their behaviour into more productive and socially acceptable channels. Despite our busy lives, it’s important to recognise the basic needs of children, so that they can feel good about themselves and treat others respectfully. Food, shelter, and love are these core needs; and when I say love, I mean the oneon-one attention that a parent can give his/ her child. This individual time is worth more than you can ever imagine. u Writer is Director, Excelsior American School

A Pat A Day... { Pallavi Sohani }

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eaching is considered a noble profession; it is also one of the most privileged arts. To be in the constant company of such ignited, emergent and eager minds is such an appanage. Every day is an experience with nascent yet highly individualistic minds, and immense human possibilities – where truly impossible is nothing. That is of course, before the Holy intervention of the adults(so called) of the society. Their job seems primarily to focus and highlight the judgement conferred on each of the budding mind – Good, Average, Poor, Disastrous. One day, I was substituting for an art teacher of a primary class of six year olds. Endowed with a special deficiency in artistic expression, I was a bunch of nerves – desperately looking for an exit plan. True to the good old adage, ‘Honesty is the best policy’, I confessed my evident weakness in drawing. While doodling on the board, I was emphasizing the importance of learning how to draw, illustrate, observe and document everything around them. By referring to my poorly illustrated drawings on the board, I intermittently cautioned them, “ Don’t be like Me! Learn to draw.” When I turned around, I observed a seemingly shy, meek girl standing right in front of me. I thought she was ready to explode in a loud cry, begging me to send her home – as she was unable to sit through my class.

I gathered myself and bent down, thinking of a thousand words to appease her; only to see a gorgeous smile on her face. Baffled, I sure was. She put her little hand on my shoulder and confidently announced. “ Ma’am, I shall not be like you! Because I love and learn to draw everyday. And yes, your drawings are not so bad after all. Good job.” With a small pat, she taught me the sweetest lesson I’ve ever learnt. One of the most important, imperative and crucial life-lines of human existence, is the fuel of encouragement. One small pat had surged the blood supply in my body – occasioning a shiver, goose bumps and teary eyes. I was left completely humbled. Imagine the deep impact we as adults, as parents, as teachers, as neighbours, as society can make in the lives of our budding minds – with our approving actions of encouragement and motivation. We are the mantle bearers for a cause; a cause to genuinely appreciate and encourage our kids. Kids constantly attempt, experiment and try out innumerable forms, materials, vocations, hobbies, sports...The job of the mantle bearers is to keenly observe,

appreciate, motivate and mentor. And not to judge but warn them when required. Even we, as groomed and mature individuals, are in constant pursuit of exploring the truth. Then why do we pose as ‘Know it alls’. Befriend your kids and set sail with them on a journey of exploration. Attempt the unthinkable and allow yourself to learn all over again with them. Encourage, and in turn be encouraged. u Writer is an English Teacher, Suncity School


6–12 Jan 2012

Kid Corner

17

GIVE RIGHT DIRECTION TO YOUR CHILD At Swiss Cottage, we provide an environment that encourages active learning through methods that stimulate the child. Here, all students experience the confidence that is essential to be successful in their life. Our teachers use an integrated approach to curriculum delivery, to ensure learning is meaningful to the child.

On the anvil; State-of-the-art sports facilities built to international standards

Facilities ♦ Smart Classrooms ♦ Digital Library ♦ Resource Centre ♦ English Lab ♦ Jr. Mathematics & Science Lab ♦ Audio Visual Room ♦ Art, Music, Dance & Theatre ♦ Multipurpose Activity Centre ♦ Provision for indoor and outdoor games ♦ Eco Friendly Environment ♦ 100% Power Back-up ♦ Air Conditioned Transport ♦ Pre-primary section with open play area

PROf. Lawn Tennis court

r ist at

io n

Reg

PROf. basket ball court

Open

PROf. swimming pool

Swiss Cottage School The possibilities are endless

Salahpur, Bijwasan (Opp. Sector -23 & Palam Vihar), New Delhi-110061. Ph.: 0124-4259944/55; Telefax: 4259966. E-mail: info@swisscottageschool.in Website: www.swisscottageschool.in

Artistic Strokes

Title: NATIONAL ANTHEM, Name: Aastha, Class: II

Title: PICNIC, Name: Toyam Khanna, Class: III

Title: SUNRISE, Name: Arnav Sharma, Class: III

Title: BUTTERFLY, Name: Aditi, Class: V

Title: SANTA SHOE, Name: Aman, Class: V

Title: FLOWER POT, Name: Nandini Jain, Class: IV


18

6–12 Jan 2012

K id Corner

The gentle wit and wisdom of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa pervades this collection of tales. Drawing upon common weaknesses – arrogance, greed and narrow-mindedness among others – he makes us laugh even as we recognise some of our petty weaknesses.

1

2

3

4

5

© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved


Pastimes

6–12 Jan 2012

BEST OF 2011 • Fun Things to do...

Retail Therapy: Off The Beaten Path { Shirin Mann / FG }

• Custom-made totes

utting off from the highend brands or established chains of stores, the new trend of quirky, hand-made or hand-picked, unique products is developing a niche in the consumer market – not only with its affordability factor, but also it’s uniqueness. Stepping aside from polished malls and highend streets, these stores offer a whole new experience of cool and funky goodies; making them popular not only among the teens or the young, but also with the older lot. Gurgaon offers you every brand—be it Marks & Spencers or Fab India—but if you are looking for something different, this city will not disappoint you either. In fact, it may be right under your nose! We bring you some unusual, unique products from the Galleria market.

• Ahatas Sunday Brunch • Attitude Alive • Convenience A Call Away • Social Club – Get Alive

• Social Club – Gurgaon Drum Circle

C

Art Zeal

• Social Club – Travelography

• Social Club – Let' Walk Gurgaon

• Stand-up Comedy • Won-ki – Korean 'Yoga' • Social Club – Gurgaon Theatre Group

• Galleria Market • DLF Golf & Country Club • DLF Phase I Market • Off The Beaten Cafe

This gallery of art works has on offer some of the most unique pieces of art, hand picked by the owner on her travel routes. An enthusiastic backpacker, Anita Popli, owner of Art Zeal says, “I have picked up all my pieces on my travel. They are unique, limited and reasonable, in comparison to other art stores. I have done my research in the NCR, and I am sure that these art pieces cannot be found anywhere else in the NCR region.” Some of the art consists of Tribal crafts, and works from every corner of this colossal country – like wooden and iron masks; miniature Madhubani palm leaf and Gond Tribes paintings; and brass, bell metal, iron, stone and bronze statues. Apart from the paintings and statues, Art Zeal also has on display self-designed and hand-made semi-precious jewellery, crystals and agates. “The crystals we sell are purely for aesthetic sense, and not for any vaastu purpose. We do not promote that,” says Anita. Where: S.F-13, Galleria, DLF Phase 4 We loved: The various brass Ganesha statues and the Nepali Buddha

JIT KUMAR

• Microbreweries • Kiddie Couture

19

PASSION’ART’: Anita Popli sits proud with her collection of arts and artefacts

Monsoon

It’s like walking into Wonderland. Highlighted with beautiful candles and unique lamps, Monsoon blossoms with almost every flower—fresh and artificial—in every colour. Besides flowers and candles, what really caught our eye were the stunning, real-looking shrubs and trees. “We have just opened about six months ago; but this is certain, that every person who has walked into the store that bought something – and we also have several of them returning. These days people opt for artificial flowers and trees, over real plants. We have several interior designers come in to pick up several kind of plants and lamps and other stuff—for residential as well as commercial use—due to the termite menace,” says Gaurav Rawal, store owner. Don’t miss out on the Ficus bonsai (looked so real). The cost is Rs. 2,500; in comparison to Rs. 8,000 that you might pay for a good quality real bonsai. Apart from the store products, Monsoon also offers custom packaging, floral designing and trousseau packaging services. “Our products are unique and handpicked from various exhibitions that happen only once in a year. And soon we will have an e-com-

merce website, where customers can buy our products online.” While we chatted, we couldn’t help but look at pieces of beautiful pink cloth being transformed into primroses, and then bunched into a bouquet. This place is definitely a must visit! Where: S.F-14, Galleria, DLF Phase 4; J-14, Qutub Plaza, DLF Phase 1 We loved: The so-real looking bonsai, and the pink primroses

Tatha

‘Aroma therapy for mind, body and soul’- this unique bodycare, essence and spa store provides 100 per cent natural and fresh products. As we

made our way through this tiny cosy store, the smell of lemon grass and sandalwood essence awakened our senses. Several glass bottles of essence – Jasmine, Lavender, Summer Rose... adorned the niches in the shop; along with massage oils, bath oils, face and body scrubs, bath salts, shower gels, soaps, face creams, elixirs, and hair oils – both for men and women. Tatha’s wellness products also can make great gifts – like diffusers, essential oils, incense sticks and holders, and beewax candles. Sakshi Singh, customer at Tatha says, “An expat friend of mine recommended me to this store. She had earlier tried other commercial and Ayurvedic

HOLISTIC THERAPY: Tatha – the bodycare, essence and spa store

• Vintage Car Rally

products, but said Tatha was by far the best. I like buying diffusers and essense sticks as gifts, and they come in nice gift packaging. Also the eye care products are really good, so I recommend those to my friends.” Tatha is also one of the only stores that provide Home Spa. You give them a call, and a professional will provide spa services in your own comfortable surroundings.

• iSkate Skating Rink • Gurgaon's Got talent • Social Club – The Bookers' Club

• Social Club – The Family Circle

Where: S.F-10, Galleria, DLF Phase 4; Ph; 0124-4016108 We Loved: The peppermint pick-me-up body spray

BLOOMING COLLECTION: Some of the products on display, at the Monsoon Store

So get off the beaten path... maybe just a few metres or steps... and hand-pick some exclusive items. u


20

V aastu

6–12 Jan 2012

{ V.K Gaur }

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edic Vaastu laid stress on proper selection of site for construction of a building. According to Vedic Vaastu, a piece of land should be so located that it receives the rays of the Sun. From the East, solar rays should directly enter the house, and energise the inhabitants. Also, enough space must be left open and uncovered in the North. North provides a positive magnetic field, to take care of the health and career development of the occupants of the dwelling. All four corners should be at right angles. It is desirable to construct a compound wall at right angles also, parallel to the outer walls of the main building – specially at the South and the West. While building the compound wall, due care should be taken of the South and the West. Perimeter walls on these directions should be higher and thicker than other directions, to prevent the inflow of negative vibes. Lower and thinner walls in the East and the North allow entry of positive vibrations, and a pleasant ambience. No construction what-so-ever should be carried out on the perimeter walls. The compound walls are for the security of the house, and hence should be free of any loads – including guard room, reception office, garage, waiting room, electric meter room, generator room, servant room, cattle shed, or toilet. During finalisation of the building plan Brahma sthal must be kept in mind. The centre of the building is Vaastu sthal. There should be no construction at that place. For working out Brahma sthal, the length and width of the plot of land should be divided into three equal parts. The central part is Brahma sthal. In Vedic cosmology, the surface of the earth is represented as a square. The

Building Plans earth is represented as four-cornered, in reference to the horizon’s relationship with sunrise and sunset, and the North and South direction. It is called <Chaturbhuji> (four cornered) and represented in the form of the Prithvi Mandala. The astrological charts or horoscopes also depict, in a square plan, the positions of the sun, moon, planets and zodiac constellations. For bigger plots, the area is divided into 81 parts, and the central area is called Brahma sthal. This place should be left without construction. In the illustration, the central shaded area is Brahma Sthal. Vaastu energy emanates from the central part of the house (Brahma sthal), and not only from the east. Vaastu energy is subtle energy from the earth. Many assumptions made about Vaastu are untrue. Devices like Yantras, crystals etc. do not necessarily correct faulty Vaastu.

Table: 1

Direction

Deity

North

Kubera

Lord of wealth

South

Yama

Lord of death

East

Indra

The solar deity

West

Varuna

Lord of water

Northeast (Eshanya)

-

Shiva

Southeast

Agni

Lord of fire Agni also symbolizes energy.

Northwest

Vayu

Lord of wind

Southwest Pitru/ Nairutya

Niruthi- Ancestors

Center

The Creator of the Universe (Desire)

Brahma

Table : 2

The Vaastu Purusha Mandala is an indispensable part of Vaastu Shastra, and constitutes the mathematical and diagrammatic basis for generating design. It is the plan of a building that incorporates the course of the heavenly bodies, and supernatural forces. Purusha refers to energy, power, soul or cosmic man. Mandala is the generic name for any plan or chart, which symbolically represents the cosmos. The legend of the Vaastu Purusha says that once upon a time, a formless being blocked the heavens from the earth; and

Vedhs Mandir chhayavedh occurs when the shadow of a temple falls on the building – from forenoon to afternoon. It disrupts peace, business and progress. Also delays matrimony of children, and obstructs growth of progeny. Vriksha chhayavedh There should be no large tree near the house, because its shadow obstructs progress. Parvat chhayavedh If the shadow of a hill falls on the building, it impedes free movement and causes obstruction in life. Also, the inhabitant suffers from defamation. There should be no hill in the east. Bhawan Chhayavedh. If the shadow of adjacent building falls on the house, or on its well or bore well, it is called Bhawan chhayavedh. It results in severe financial losses. Dhwaj chhayavedh If the shadow of a flag, flagpost, memorial monument or stupa falls on the building, it causes ill health and early demise. There are six more vedhs. They emerge from Dwarvedh. They are known as Swarvedh, Kupvedh, Brahmavedh, Keelvedh, Stambhvedh and Vastu vedh.

Brahma, with many other gods, trapped him to the ground. This incident is depicted graphically in the Vaastu Purusha Mandala, with portions allocated hierarchically to important deities. The Vaastu Purusha is the presiding deity of any site. Usually he is depicted as lying on it with the head in the northeast and legs in the southwest; but he keeps changing position throughout the year. Brahma occupies the central portion - the Brahmasthan – and other gods are distributed around in a concentric pattern. There are 45 gods in all, including 32 outer deities. The important ones are as shown in Table: 1

Dwarvedh There should be no electric/ telephone pole, dry stump of tree, water tank or a transformer near the house. Swarvedh is caused if a door makes a creaking sound, or closes automatically. Kupvedh is caused if there is a well, septic tank, underground storage of water, or drainage at the entrance. Brahmavedh is caused if there is an expeller, grinding mill, or tool sharpening machine at the entrance. Keelvedh is caused if a peg exists at the entrance, to tie a goat, cow, bull, buffalo, horse or a dog. Stumbhvedh is caused due to existence of a pole, pillar or monumental construction at the entrance. Vastuvedh occurs when a store room, garage, out house, guard room is located at the main entrance of the house. Above vedhs cause inauspicious happenings, loss of wealth, instability in life, clashes in family, obstruction in job and daily life, hamper growth, create difference of opinion among business partners, and cause loss of property. The Vedhs may be avoided, for the sake of a happy life.

Varg

and water. Land should be divided into 81 equal parts; the central nine parts are called Brahmasthan. The Brahmsthan area must be totally free of construction. It should be discernible. Similarly, 32 squares, along four direction perimeter walls—called Pishachansh—must be free from construction; because it brings sorrow, sadness and fear. Development of the remaining portion results in proliferation of male progeny and affluence. Building construction should begin in auspicious months, as given below: Margshirsh Mid Nov. to mid Dec. Falgun 12 Feb to 12 Mar. Vaishakh 13 Apr. to 13 May Magh 13 Jan to 11 Feb. Shravan 16 Jul to 15 Aug Building construction (Graharambh) in the above months brings health, wealth, and a male child. The village, colony or place of construction is called Sadhya; and the owner is Sadhak. It is advised in Narad Puran that the following are inimical, hence no construction of dwelling should be done. Draw a square, showing all the 8 directions, and write in the squares alphabets of Devanagri, commencing from East, as mentioned in Table: 2 Sadhak should start with the first letter of his name, and the first letter of Sadhya. If the letters are fifth from each other in the above chart, they will be inimical. Sadhak should not make a house, or live in that direction, for the sake of peace and tranquility. For example: Kishore wants to make a house in Pawannagar. His varg is Kavarg; and Pawannagar varga is Pavarg – fifth from the Sadhak. The Lord of Ka-

S. No.

Direction

Yoni Lord

1.

East (Poorva)

Avarga

Garud

Avarga is for a,aa,e,ee...............

2.

NE (Agni)

Kavarga

Cat

Ka,kha, ga. ……………..........….

3.

South (Dakshin)

Chavarga Lion

Cha,chha, ja… ………............….

4.

SW (Nairitya)

Tavarg

Dog

Ta,tha,da……………..............…..

5.

West (Pashchim)

Tavarg

Snake

Ta,tha………………….............….

6.

NW (Vaayu)

Pavarga

Mouse

Pa, pha…………….............…….

7.

North (Uttar)

Yavarga

Elephant

8.

NE (Eshanya)

Shavarga Rabbit

Muhurthas, at the four stages of construction, play an important part in giving the residents of a building peace and prosperity. The stages are: 1.Bhoomi Pujan, at the time of laying the foundation; 2.Erection of main door; 3.Roof laying/casting; and 4. Grah Pravesh Narad Puran delineates details of Vaastu, for building for living and other purposes. It directs us to draw a rectangle, representing the length and width of the plot. Also, to draw a boundary. Decide on the location of doors. Each direction offers 8 options, which represent: ♦ Loss; ♦ Poverty; ♦ Money gains; ♦ Honour from the ruler; ♦ Affluence in abundance; ♦ Losses due to theft; ♦ Relentless anguish; ♦ Fear. Some doors at a wrong place cause death, imprisonment, weakness, death of son, emergence of enemies, sudden monetary gains, devastation and misfortune, loss of spouse, and disease. The width of a door should be half its height. Mahadwara or the main door lets in the Pranavayu, or the primary energies, into terrestrial habitation. The dimensions of the door should be carefully selected, for proper flow of these energies into the building. Keep the centre of your building free of depressions, pillars, columns

Ya,ra,la……………................….. Sha,sha……………............…….

varg is Cat, and that of Pavarg is Mouse. They are enemies. The same Puran recommends the following constructions (with directions) at the suitable plot of land. ♦ Bath room East ♦ Kitchen NE ♦ Bedroom South ♦ Armoury SW ♦ Dining space W ♦ Treasure/wealth NW ♦ Temple NE It is highly desirable that balance is maintained in the primary elements—Space, Water, Earth, Fire and Wind—of an area, while planning construction. Orientation to the cardinal directions—North, South, West or East—must be followed. Orientation can also be based on your astrological sign. Elevate the building to three feet above road level. The site or building should never face the angular directions i.e. North-East, North-West, South-East or South-West. Create a depression all along the boundary wall within the site, by creating a green belt or flower path.   De-activate the Paisacha zone (of negative energies) by keeping the compound walls away from the main building. Raise the height and thickness of the compound wall in the west and south, and adjoining areas, as mentioned earlier. The shadow of a tree, temple, hill, building and flag should not fall on the house. These objects cause inauspicious vedh. u


Q ui z

CONTEST

100 all-correct entries will win an exclusive Friday Gurgaon T-shirt! 1. What is the Gateway Tower popularly known as? 2. What was the original name of Gurgaon? 3. It is said that Gurgaon was gifted as a gesture of obeisance. Who was it gifted to, and by whom? 4. What is the vast green space in Sector 29, that also houses a well known fountain?

FG Invites Citizens

Are you interested and concerned about civic and social happenings and issues around you?

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22

6–12 Jan 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally! { Jaspal Bajwa }

W ellness

Healthy Resolutions

I

n addition to wishing each other ‘Health, Hope and Happiness’ in the New Year, it is common to make resolutions in anticipation of new beginnings. The all-time favourites are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and quitting a bad habit. Through these resolutions we show our resolve to rejuvenate, and work our way towards a better life. In Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita Sutra, written nearly 2500 years ago, sets out the conditions that are necessary for a person to qualify for rejuvenation and vitalization. Not surprisingly, food and our relationship with it, is right on top of the list. If the right food habits lie at the core of good health and vitality, New Year resolutions do afford the right opportunity to set the ball rolling. The question is many of these resolutions actually stick? A survey suggests that less than half of the resolutions are adhered to at the mid-way point; and by the end of the year, the number who attain their goal is just one out of eight (12%).While a lot of people who make New Year’s resolutions do break them, making resolutions is definitely useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t do so. Most of us assume that selfcontrol is largely a character issue, and that we would follow through on our resolutions if only we had a bit more discipline. But research suggests that willpower itself is inherently limited. For one thing, it suggests that making too many resolutions is the wrong way to go about changing our habits. When we ask the brain to help us suddenly stop eating our favourite foods, focus more at work, and pay off credit cards …we’re probably asking for too much. Since the most popular New Year’s resolution is

BEST OF 2011 • Health & Vitality – Naturally! (Series) • Yoga for mothers-to-be • Potty Training Concerns • Sex Education • Nutrient requirements for children • Mind Power Autism • Green Herbs for the foetus] • Organic Living • Vit. D deficiency • Meditation • Reflexology

weight loss, it’s important to be aware that starving the brain of calories—even for just a few hours—can impact behaviour. Skipping meals makes it significantly harder to summon up the strength to quit strong habits. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. Tip of the week The first step to making resolutions stick, is ‘self-awareness’: The only way to fix willpower flaws is to know about them. Only then can the right mental muscles get strengthened; making it easier to succeed at our annual ritual of self-improvement. Self-restraint through ‘conscious distraction’ another important part of the will power puzzle. People who are better at delaying gratification are able to do so because they are better at finding ways to get tempting thoughts out of their minds. Making fewer resolutions … in ‘bite-size chunks’… helps achieve and celebrate the transition. Research suggests

{ Manisha Ahlawat }

W

Ayurveda

“A man who has fortified himself with resolutions and purpose, full of faith and single-mindedness, having cast off all sins of the heart, and cherishing goodwill for all creatures … The life of all living things is food … food is the foremost among those that sustain life … All ills of the body arise from addiction to faulty diet, irregular quantities of meals, overindulgence in food … The class of foods that helps the harmonised body elements to retain their state of equilibrium, and the discordant body elements to gain equilibrium, is wholesome food … Even light, easily digested and nutritious foods should not be taken in excess of bodily requirements ,or after the appetite has been satisfied. Food difficult to digest should not be taken habitually”

men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in a system where small measurable goals are set. It is said ,if you do the same act for 21 days, you can form a new habit. Maxwell Maltz wrote the bestseller ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’,and since then the ‘21 Day Habit Theory’ become an accepted part of selfhelp programs. Simply devote 15 minutes a day to the formation of any habit you wish to establish. By the fourth week, it should actually be harder not to engage in the new behaviour than it would be to continue doing it. If you miss a day, just keep going! The more senses you can involve in the new habit, the more likely it is to become ingrained in the neural pathways of the brain. In other words, make the experience of the new habit seem as real as possible. Resolutions are more sustainable when shared. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with New

Year’s resolutions. Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: “Laughter… the best medicine” Positive thoughts and shared mirth are powerful foods for our minds and bodies. Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. And there’s mounting evidence that laughter does lots of good things for us. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance, than a good laugh. Humour lightens day-to-day burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. Nearly half a century ago Robert Burton (in ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’) referred to mirth as the principle engine to make the body young, lively and fit. Dr. Norman Cousins has similarly written a classical treatise (‘Anatomy of an Illness’), where he cured himself of his debilitating disease – with generous doses of laughter, vitamin C and an understanding physician. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease triggers the release of endorphins,the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being .Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, that can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

Woman, Heal Thyself

omen in India are busy at home, at work, doing hundreds of chores daily for the whole family. It is no surprise that they find it difficult to take out time for their own health. We hear women complain a lot about not having time for exercise. It is all about prioritizing the things in life. If we do not have even half an hour a day for our body today, can you imagine what will happen when the body runs out of time? Who will take care of all the chores and “important” tasks that we prioritize today, at the cost of our health? Can we afford to stay in bed when our families depend on us ; to run their lives smoothly? We take our bodies for granted. A human body is an engineering marvel and should be treated with respect; and especially a female body. No gender discrimination here, but the fact is that it is important for women to be in good health, to bear and nurture healthy children. Also, it is women who are the main care-takers for the rest of the family – including their husbands, parents or in-laws. Therefore, taking out one hour for your self everyday is not a selfish act. When you have a healthy and fit body you are able to do more and live more – for yourself and for others. Exercising daily can give you more energy and a feeling of happiness – with reduced stress. A lot of women today are aware of the importance of daily exercise, but they do not get proper guidance. Many women are happy with just a morning walk. Though it is good to enjoy a morning walk and the fresh morning air, it is not enough. We need to have some resistance training as well, to workout the major muscle groups in our body. The ideal fitness program for women should include exercises that increase their muscle tone and elevate the heart rate. A continuous, repetitive aerobic workout plan, that affects all the large muscle groups in the body, is the best option. If this is something you can manage on your own at home, it is good. Otherwise it is a good idea to join a gym, where you get proper guidance and motivation, to maintain a consistent fitness regime. According to statistics, one in every six women in India is over-weight. Regular physical activity will not only help reduce weight, but will also enable you to avoid ailments like Diabetes, Breast cancer, High BP, Thyroid disorders, PCOS, arthritis, varicose veins... So dear Woman, please spare some time and money today to increase the quality and longevity of your life. For yourself and for your loved ones. u

Writer is an Owner, Vivafit – Fitness Centre only for Women


W ellness

6–12 Jan 2012

Support Your Bones

23

Keep Your Hands Clean { Dr. Namita Jaggi }

H

and Hygiene means to keep our hands clean by washing with plain or antimicrobial soap and water, or by using an alcohol based hand sanitizer. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infections from one person to another – in the hospitals and also in the community.  

Diseases transmitted by contaminated hands

{ Ms. Jyoti Arora }

D

id you know that 90% of the calcium in a human body is stored in our bones and teeth? A balanced and nutritious diet, rich in calcium and Vitamin D – which helps in absorbing calcium – is a must for maintaining healthy bones. A calcium-rich diet also helps in maintaining proper blood pressure, heart beat and nervous system. Research has also revealed that there is a positive correlation between calcium intake, and the incidence of premenstrual syndrome. It is recommended that everyone, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, should include the specified quantity of calcium in their diets: • • • • • •

Infants - 300 mg Children - 600 - 800 mg Adults - 1000 mg Pregnant women - 1300 mg Lactating mothers - 1300 mg Post menopausal women -1200 mg

Some foods that are a rich source of calcium are cheese, tofu, yoghurt, cal-

cium fortified soy drink, and orange juice, canned sardine or salmon with edible bones, as also fresh fish. Soy products are highly recommended for post-menopausal women, as they help in building strong bones. Chinese cabbage, turnips, mustard greens, dried figs, and soy nuts should also be included in the regular diet. Avoid excessive intake of animal protein, as it obstructs the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is also very important for healthy bones, because it helps in calcium absorption. An hour of direct sunlight everyday is ideal for the human body. Fish oils and eggs are also a rich source of Vitamin D, and should be included in the daily diet. However, excessive alcoholic beverages should be avoided, as they reduce the ability of the bones to absorb vitamins and calcium. Regular exercise in any form – for example, running, skipping, aerobics, tennis, weight training and brisk walking – also has a crucial role to play, and is a must for healthy bones. u Team Leader - Nutrition & Dietetics Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon

{ Dr. Meenakshi Joshi }

S

kin is the first organ to reflect the imbalances, and the last one to respond to the improvements. Winters can make your skin dry. A simple regime prescribed by Ayurveda can add glow to your skin and make you look younger and healthier. ♦ Use less soap during baths. Use more natural cleansers and scrubbing, as it pacifies vata and kapha – which is mainly responsible for dryness and congested skin (sea salt is a natural scrub). ♦ Don’t use hot shower for long durations. Warm water is just perfect; and don’t forget to put a few drops of olive oil, mixed with lavender and patchouli oil. ♦ Avoid strong winds and strong sun. Morning and evening exposure of sun is good enough to keep away winter blues in Indian conditions. ♦ Raw salads and dry foods like toasts, biscuits are not good for this season. These may increase vata, which can cause dryness and ageing. ♦ Drink a glass of warm water with honey, and take 10 drops of fresh ginger juice. ♦ Go for self Abhyangam i.e. Ayurvedic massage, most commonly done with sesame oil, which has heating properties. After 10 min of massage, one can scrub off the extra oil from the skin during a bath. ♦ Use oatmeal soaked in milk for a good scrub. ♦ With all this, keep your internal hydration good.  Coffee, smoke, pollution, alcohol drinks can cause dryness. So they should be avoided. Drink warm soups, and eat cooked vegetables and cereals. 

Consider this – As many as 14 people in a row may become contaminated by touching a door handle. We use hands while doing most of the work, and they become the easiest medium of transferring viral bacterial or fungal infections – picking up germs easily. This is particularly so in office environments, where we share things like telephone, copying machines and door handles. Common cold, influenza (including H1N1), chicken pox, mumps, food-poisoning, respiratory infections and skin infections are some of the diseases that can be unwittingly transmitted by just a handshake.  

Use alcohol gels/ rubs, popularly known as hand sanitizers, after: 1. You have touched surfaces in public places 2. Handled waste 3. Touched your body parts 4. Blown your nose 5. Have visited someone in the hospital

Skin Care In Winters

6. Touched anything potentially infectious These are more effective and easier to use than soap and water.  

Need for Hand Hygiene

Our ten fingers act as infection carriers. We can pick up germs from an infected person or a contaminated surface, and we may pass on the germs to another person during social contact. Once we clean our hands we break the chain of infection. u Consultant Microbiologist & Director, Labs & Infection control Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon

Home facial

Milk powder, with a few drops of rose water and lemon juice; and soya bean powder with a few drops of honey and milk, can make excellent nourishing face packs and scrubs. As there is lots of congestion in the skin after a massage, light steam will be good to open up pores, and improve circulation.

Quick fix tip

If your skin is terribly dry and you have exposed yourself to drying diets and a sedentary life style, here is a quick fix solution. Take 15 drops of avocado and apricot oil each and mix with 10 drops of glycerine. Massage well, with finger tips, for 15 min. Let it soak completely. Lightly clean the face with a warm wet cloth. Keep warm pads on the eyes to reduce puffiness. After this, apply fresh tomato puree or juice, and wash with fresh water. You are ready for the day.

Hair Tonic

Hair is an extension of the skin. Any imbalances in the body will ultimately show an effect on the hair too – resulting in dandruff and heavy hair fall. Dry and sebaceous congested scalp skin can further provide a fertile ground to fungal and bacterial infections. During winter sebum and clogged pores give hair dullness. One should make it a routine to lightly massage the scalp, with oils like nilibhringi, bhringraaj or simple sesame oil – at least twice a week. The oil should be kept on the scalp for 3-4 hours, or over- night. Occasionally, oil treated with lime juice will help in keeping the hair glossy and healthy. To improve the shine in the hair, one can apply henna and amla powder for 1 hour, and wash them off – without using any shampoo and conditioner.  Try to use a mild and PH balance shampoo, during harsh weather. u Consultant- Ayurveda and Aromatherapy Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon


24

INTACH – Live History

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

C

ivilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbour, said historian Arnold J Toynbee. The historical monuments in a city are the full stops and commas that represent this civilizational change, and they also point to the fact that nothing is permanent. To take these monuments out of the text books and into the daily life of people, Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)’s Gurgaon Chapter, has embarked on a journey of preserving not only the monuments in Gurgaon district, but also the tangible and

intangible facets of the Millennium City’s history. Atul Dev, convener of the local chapter of INTACH, told Friday Gurgaon that their main job is to preserve the heritage – that also includes the art, dance and culture of the nation. “The local chapter of INTACH started 18 years back, and we have come a long way since then. The major achievement in this period has been creating awareness about the history and culture of this district, as well as conservation of the Tauru monuments”, he says. Another important achievement was the restoration of Dhauli Piyau near Garden Estate in Gurgaon. “It was a beau-

tiful building, but had to be razed to the ground due to the Metro construction”, informs Dev wistfully. In lieu of that the Metro Authorities have agreed to provide a banner space at their stations to INTACH, for spreading awareness about the city’s history and its monuments. INTACH Gurgaon has identified a number of monuments that need preservation, and can later serve as important tourist places, says Dev. Gurgaon, Farrukhnagar, Pataudi and Sohna have some beautiful monuments – that include Delhi Gate, Sheesh Mahal, Sitaram Mandir, Ali Gosh Khan Baoli, Jhajjar Gate, and a beautiful Chattri (all in Farrukhnagar).

INTACH Gurgaon’s Conservation Project in Farrukhnagar Situated near Sultanpur Lake and easily accessible, Farrukhnagar can be converted into a very beautiful day visit destination. It has interesting places to visit. It can be linked with a visit to the Sultanpur Lake Bird Sanctuary for any day visit, or walking tours. This town has important monuments, in addition to private havelis, and include – Delhi Gate, Sheesh Mahal, Sitaram Mandir, Ali Gosh Khan Baoli, Jhajjar Gate and a Chhatri.

Delhi Gate

Sitaram Mandir

This property does not require any restoration or expenditure. The present caretakers should be advised to maintain this to their best ability, so that it INTACH also helps the remains an attractive tourist site. schools in adopting a monument; that means not only getting to know it better, but also to Chhatri take it to heart – saving it from This Chhatri, owned by an oblivion and degradation, lookindividual, is lying in a highly dilapiing after it, promoting and apdated condition. Tree roots have preciating it. penetrated/grown inside walls, “INTACH has listed 50 threatening the very existence of monuments, out of which its walls – and the Chhatri itself. at least twenty can be made The restoration of the Chhatri available for adoption. A needs immediate attention. school group can choose to Since this structure is privately adopt a Memorial, Piyao, Baoli, owned property, active participaTomb, Haveli or any other montion of its owner – in the restoration ument in need of conservation, and post-restoration maintein Gurgaon District”, he says. nance - financially and otherwise, is necessary.

This Gate acts as the gateway to Farrukhnagar, and hence it is symbolic in nature. It is for this reason that this gateway has been chosen as the first initiative to recreate the magic of the walled settlement. This Gate is not found in any list of Monuments maintained by the Central Government or State Government. Encroachments inside and alongside the Gate have taken place. Even the Sentry Rooms in the Gate are occupied as shops, says Dev. An amount of Rs. 4 lakhs (Rs. 3.5 lakhs from MPLAD Fund) has already been spent on the restoration of this gate. Another Rs. 3 lakhs has been allotted, and is available for the second phase of restoration of this monument. It is also open for consideration whether money should be spent on this monument before its caretaker and maintenance responsibility is re-established.

Sheesh Mahal

ment has undertaken some work, but it seems to be incomplete. Lawns are being used as Play Ground by Children, and walls as public urinals. Indeed it is one of the important monuments of Farrukhnagar, located in the heart of the town.

This is a monument listed and protected by the State Government. The State Archaeology Depart-

Jhajjar Gate

Ali Gosh Khan Baoli and

This is a relatively better maintained monument among all the monuments of in Farrukhnagar. It is being maintained by the ASI, Government of India. However, the water source has dried up. The Jhajjar Gate, through which a major road passes, lies over the Baoli – and poses a potential threat to the very existence of the Baoli; apart from vehicular traffic damaging the narrow Gate.

PRAKHAR PANDEY

6–12 Jan 2012

B usiness

“We have received funds from local MP Rao Inderjit Singh for restoration work in Farrukhnagar. Last year he gave us Rs. 3.5 lakh, and this year we have got Rs. 3 lakhs from his MPLAD fund”, informed Dev. He has also been working with a number of corporates, to ensure funds for the conservation work. An interesting aspect of history that will surprise the denizens of Millennium City today is revealed by Dev. He confirms that it was Farrukhnagar that was bigger and a more important station in British and Mughal times, as compared to Gurgaon. “Farrukhnagar was a salt trading station, and the Britishers had even put up a narrow gauge track to transport salt from there. Gurgaon was a small trading village at that time”, says Dev. This perhaps reiterates the fact that change is permanent, and a city should always be ready to cope with changes, he adds. INTACH recently organised a heritage run, in which 600 students participated. Dev says the objective of the run was to raise awareness among school

GURGAON REGION: Historical outline ♦ Ancient Period – Guru Gram of Dronacharya ♦ 7th Century – Part of Harsha’s Empire ♦ Pre Mughal Period - Constant resistance to foreign invasions, till it was occupied by Muhammad Ghori in 1193 AD This was followed by conversion of inhabitants into Islam (Meos) and ruled over by chieftains called Khanzadas. Bhahdur Nahar (14th Century) was the first Khanzada ruler of Mewat area. ♦ Mughal Period - Part of the suburbs of Delhi and Agra. ♦ Later Mughal Period – District was under several different rulers such as Nawabs of Farrukhnagar, Rajputs of Ghasera and later on the Jats of Bharatpur. ♦ 1803 AD – Under British Rule, and assigned to Punjab after the mutiny in 1857 AD. ♦ At time of Independence – Part of Punjab State. ♦ 1966 AD – Part of newly created Haryana State. ♦ 2000AD – Developed as a Millennium City.

BEST OF 2011 (Real Estate)

• NPR, SPR (Roads)

• Real Estate Agents • Tata Housing • Highest high-rises; Ireo • CCI case – DLF vs Belaire, Park Place Owners / Residents • Sector 29; Appu Ghar • Commercial property • The Realty Show - Real Estate Agents

children and citizens about the architectural, cultural and environmental heritage of Gurgaon (as well as India); an inheritance that is in urgent need to be protected and conserved for future generations. INTACH simultaneously organised a banner and slogan making competition. In addition, INTACH Gurgaon is setting up heritage clubs in schools, helping in adoption of monuments, conducting heritage walks at important sites, and spreading knowledge of arts, crafts, music and culture. Dev informs that INTACH also helps the schools in adopting a monument; that means not only getting to know it better, but also to take it to heart – saving it from oblivion and degradation, looking after it, promoting and appreciating it. “INTACH has listed 50 monuments, out of which at least twenty can be made available for adoption. A school group can choose to adopt a Memorial, Piyao, Baoli, Tomb, Haveli or any other monument in need of conservation, in Gurgaon District”, he says. The need of the hour, Dev says, is to inculcate a sense of history in our children, as well as the youth – so they can take pride in our heritage. It is said history repeats itself, and perhaps Gurgaon’s young generation can know more about the future if it revisits its past. u


B usiness

6–12 Jan 2012

BEST OF 2011 • The Business of Gurgaon • BPO Industry, Convergys • Alaknanda Kumar – Kumar Agro Foods

• Anumod Gagan Sharma – Kingdom of Dreams; Apra Group

• Kunwer Sachdev – Su-Kam

• The Share Market • Pramil Jindal – Barmalt India

The Dhandho Investor { Abhishek Behl / FG }

M

ost people think that while making investments higher risks are needed to be taken to earn high profits. But this is not true, says US based Mohnish Pabrai, Managing Partner of Pabrai Investment Fund. Pabrai, who once asked Warren Buffet for a job, now follows his mentor’s value-based investment concepts – to make great profits with comparatively lower risks. Pabrai, who is also the author of ‘The Dhandho Investor’, was in Gurgaon recently to deliver a lecture at the Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (MDI). He also spoke to Friday Gurgaon, and dwelt on various aspects of value investing; and what investors could do to maximize their profits – while ensuring the eggs are spread in different baskets. As per his Dhandho framework, Pabrai does not believe in taking high risks to make profits. For him following a low risk strategy is the best possible way to make money in stocks; and

Mohnish Pabrai not to burn one’s fingers playing a high stakes game. And this was the advice given by him to MDI students, when he said that investors should learn to think like businessmen, and invest like the Gujarati Patels. He believes that investing in existing businesses that are simple, and do not move very fast, is an ideal way to wealth. To Indians, he suggests buying stocks of companies that sell products being used in daily life. “Take into consideration products and

The Business Of Gurgaon

(Inaugural Business / Editorial)

Atul Sobti

• Shalini Verma • HSIIDC, Udyog Vihar • Manoj K. Upadhyay – ACME

• Presidents – GIA, GCCI • The Business of Art • Sudhir Dhingra – Orient Craft

• Chander K. Baljee – Royal Orchid Hotels

• Green Buildings (ITC, TERI) • Ashutosh Garg – Guardian Pharmacy

25

G

urgaon has come good, where others, with better credentials, have not. Given its location, it could have at best aspired for the status of a shiny suburb of a big city – albeit the Capital, in this case. Big city suburbs across India started well, but soon fell— or stagnated— Faridabad and Ghaziabad, near Delhi; Howrah, Hooghly, and 24 Parganas near Kolkata; Thane and Vashi near Mumbai; Hosur, near Bangalore. Gurgaon has not only come good as a suburb, but has more than held its own, even versus the Capital. And not only as an independent city; but, as importantly, as a commercial and industrial hub. A status that Delhi has slowly lost out on. Today, Gurgaon can aspire to emulate, and hopefully do one better than, a city like New Jersey—the defining suburb of New York. A role that Navi Mumbai was perhaps set up for—and by good fortune may now get to fulfill, with the sanction of the new international airport in that area. Gurgaon owes a lot to Sanjay Gandhi and Maruti Suzuki. Automobiles is a vast industry in terms of investment, employment, and the supply chain (from component suppliers to dealerships). Hero Honda and DLF followed shortly thereafter. These were the big pioneers. And they have not just stayed the course, but expanded rapidly. That is what a product industry brings to a city and its citizens. The service industry, though clearly beneficial in other ways, is not as vast in all the

elements, and can move off at short notice. Gurgoan also owes a lot to geography—being on the right side of Delhi, in terms of at least the proximity to the international airport. Multinational executives and companies just feel better; as do of course the locals. All of this is why Gurgaon scores highly over other similar cities in India, and even the world. It is a heady mix of a modern residence, a global office, and a multi-product factory—all at an arm’s throw from the seat of national government. So when trouble does come, due to inherent or external impacts, Gurgaon should weather the shock. Unless it comes as a triple whammy! Sure, Gurgaon is susceptible to some shocks—high priced manpower; high cost residences and offices; poor infrastructure. The residence and office are not hard to replicate, in India, or globally. Proximity to an international airport is no longer an exclusive reserve. Greater NOIDA, Chandigarh, new Bangalore, Hyderabad suburbs and soon Navi Mumbai—all are potential good alternatives. There may even be a surprise in the form of, say, Nagpur. Internationally, the clock will start ticking loudly, once the Rupee strengthens and crosses `40 to the dollar. Multinationals have no geographic loyalties, almost by definition. And the rate/cost/price in dollars is all that counts. It is therefore in our interest to act, and also influence the state government to: Strengthen local industry, in terms of their comfort to invest further. The Udyog Vihars need to listen carefully to

brands that you use daily. Know about the companies, their past, the management and the sector in which they are operating. Once you do this, you will be fairly confident to assess a business,” he told Friday Gurgaon. Another winning strategy as per his Dhando framework, is to invest in stocks of distressed companies. This should be done because human psychology plays an important role in the stock market; and sometimes good stocks are dumped – leading to low valuations. An important facet of the Dhandho Framework is to spread the arbitrage as wide and as long as possible, suggests Pabrai. This helps in earning a high return on invested capital, with a low level of risk – but one must remember that arbitrage spreads can eventually disappear, he adds. A surprising suggestion made by the US based investor is to put the bets on clones, rather than going for innovators. Good cloners are great businesses, as people behind these are able to repeatedly lift and scale the their customers, and keep them delighted. Encourage new entrants in and around Manesar. Ensure there is no speculative build up of prices and rentals of residential, office, and industrial land and premises. A crash seems probable, and would be very serious. Keep local wages, salaries, and prices in check – benchmark and constantly review versus Delhi, and the rest of India. We already are losing this race, by running in a different lane. Maintain a high level of basic infrastructure facilities and services—esp. relating to roads, water, power, sanitation, and safety. Lobby hard for trains (incl. Shatabdi and Rajdhani) stopping, and even starting, at a new Gurgaon station. Lobby even harder for the International Airport remaining where it is only; and within a decade, moving towards Manesar. Let us not take the success of Gurgaon for granted. The triple whammy is possible—everything is after all linked, in this webbed world. u

work of the innovators, he says. Pabrai also told Friday Gurgaon that while investing in a stock, a person should think and act like a businessman. “One must understand the nuances of a business, to make profitable investments”, he says; while adding that he learnt a lot while working with his father in Mumbai, during his teenage years. His father was a serial entrepreneur, and always involved him in various businesses he set up from time to time. “It was with him that I learnt the real meaning of cash flow, capitalization, about maintaining books, and keeping oneself steady despite the pressure”, reveals Pabrai. He is happy that his book’s pirated version is being sold on pavements in Mumbai. Indian companies need to share information with the investors, to make the markets more transparent and friendly – is his suggestion to make stocks more attractive as an investment option. The government must also play its part in improving the regulatory environment, he concludes. u

• Training Institutes • Coaching Institutes • SOIL • Anil Sachdev – SOIL

• Tuitions • MDI & B Schools

• Intelenet CEO – Bhupender Singh

• Industry Associations

Realty Rates

(in Rs. as of January 04, 2012)

Gurgaon Faridabad Road 1 BHK Aptt 6,200 psf

2 BHK Aptt 5,800 psf

3 BHK Aptt 5,700 psf

Commercial Property Offices 6,400 psf

Garden Estate Shops 8,300 psf

Apartments 9,500 psf Sector 51

2 BHK Aptt 5,500 psf

3 BHK Aptt 5,200 psf

4 BHK Aptt 4,700 psf Commercial Property

Offices 8,800 psf

Shops 16,000 psf

Commercial Plots 25,000 psf

Houses 15,500 psf


26

6â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 Jan 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


Baby Blues The Better Half Tiger Two Wise Men The Born Loser Ipso facto Solution 2.1 hectares. The difference between each footprint is -2.3, -1.9, -1.5, -1.1 and -0.7. This is a logical series with a difference of -0.4.

Daddy’s Home Andy Capp Zits 6–12 Jan 2012

T ime Pass

27


28

6–12 Jan 2012

Seeking Out Rwanda’s Mountain Gorillas

{ Berit Waschatz / Kinigi, Rwanda / DPA }

be particularly difficult to obtain a permit on short notice. A visit to the mountain gorillas is no simple stroll. The creatures live at an altitude of 2,500 metres. The trek starts at seven in the morning, for it is before noon that the gorillas are particularly active and easy to observe. The rangers observe their clients quietly, and then start to organize them in groups. Those who want to see the Susa group of gorillas must be prepared for a strenuous hike. The trail to the Amahoro group is somewhat less difficult. The lead ranger advises people on how to behave. For example, a person who has come close to a gorilla should sneeze or cough into the crook of his arm - to help prevent infecting the gorillas with a human illness. A virus which is of no danger at all to a human can be fatal for a gorilla. The trail to the Amohoro group starts out by jeep, travelling through broad expanses of meadows. Rwandan women can be seen early in the morning, working the soil with their hoes. Some are carrying their children on their backs, while others let their kids romp around in the fields. Behind the meadowlands begins the National Park. The rangers hand out thick walking sticks, and the ascent be-

Chimps Feel Just Fine At Ugandan Sanctuary { Carola Frentzen / Entebbe, Uganda / DPA }

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Carola Frentzen

frika, Baluku, Mawa, Yoyo and all the others have just come crashing out of the forest, in order to get their regular fill of tropical fruits. The chimpanzees are in high spirits ;and they tumble around wildly. Feeding time takes place three times a day, on the remote Ugandan island of Ngamba in Lake Victoria; and every session is a major event. Some of the primates sit in small groups, while others lie in the grass chewing bananas. The rest of them run around the meadows screeching gleefully. It is improbable but true – some 44 chimps have found refuge at a sanctuary on this tiny island. Most of them have a traumatic past. “Most of the chimps

look pretty bad when they arrive here,” said Steny Nyendwi, one of the managers of the 40-hectare reservation. The “liberated” chimpanzees are animals which have earlier been kept captive for years; usually in cages that are far too small for them. They arrive here hungry, dejected and disconsolate. Some of the chimps, freed by pro-animal activists, have been so neglected that they hardly move their limbs. A combination of stress and being fed the wrong food, had robbed Birri of almost all her hair. “She was completely bald and totalled infested with worms,” said Ny-

endwi. “It took the best part of a year before her appearance got back to normal.” Today, 10-year-old Birri is an attractive, black-haired chimpanzee. “Doesn’t she look just great,” states Nyendwi, with an affectionate glance from the viewing platform down to where Birri is having a good time playing in the woods. Ngamba Island is a paradise for animal lovers, and tourists who want to see another side of Uganda. It offers a contrast to the mountain gorillas and the Ruwenzori Mountains, for which the country is otherwise famous. The island was declared a nature reserve in 1998, by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) – and has long since had its place on the tourist trail. Entrance and accommodation fees ensure the future of the chimps, almost all of whom are orphans. As a precaution for themselves - and the apes - tourists should get inoculated against aliments such as measles, tuberculosis and the liver inflammation hepatitis. “It was certainly worth all the effort in order to get so close to these animals,” said Jante Link from Texas. “When you gaze into the eyes of a chimp you seem to be looking straight into his soul,” added her sister Beth Malloy. “In a way you see yourself too.” A maximum of 10 holidaymakers at any one time are allowed to stay overnight on the island; where they sleep in comfortably-appointed tents. “Since the political situation in Uganda has calmed down, we get more tourists every year,” said camp manager Patrick Rugasira, who serves meals in the OpenAir restaurant. After a tasty repast, it is time for the romantic part of the evening. A camp fire is lit under the canopy of a million stars illuminating the African sky – and visitors swap experiences over a glass of whisky. Calm has returned once again to Ngamba Island, and the chimps have stopped chattering – before turning in for the night. u

Berit Waschatz

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ore than 15 years have passed since the genocide in Rwanda. The East African country is once again safe to visit; and even a side-excursion to the former conflict-ridden border region near the Virunga volcano is possible. And it is well worth it. There, the last mountain gorillas are still to be found, though threatened by civil conflicts and poaching. The region gained international attention through the 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist”, which documented the life and work of primate researcher Dian Fossey. The American came to Rwanda at the end of the 1960s, in order to carry out research on the primates – and to help protect them. A visit here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that nobody, who is travelling through Rwanda, should miss - even though it costs 500 dollars per person. The money is well-spent, for it goes towards the protection of the apes. There are only eight groups of gorillas which have become used to human beings. In order not to disturb the animals much, only eight hikers may approach one such group per day. So it is advisable to plan in advance, and to make reservations. The best period for tours is during the dry season – between May and October. During the high season of July through September, it may

IN HIGH SPIRITS: Abandoned chimps are nursed back to normality at the sanctuary

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HIGH ROUTE: The Rwanda gorillas live at an altitude of 2,500 metres

gins. The firm hiking shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved T-shirts now are welcome protection; as the group works its way through thickets of poison ivy-like plants, roots and branches. The surface is overgrown with ferns, and is accordingly slippery. The rangers must repeatedly use their machetes to hack a way through the vegetation for the group. Then the group is told to be quiet, and lay down their backpacks and hiking sticks. In a rare occurrence, the gorillas are standing directly next to the trail. Their shyness seems to have been wiped away. The hikers sit down on the ground to observe and admire the threatened animals. The rangers permit the visitors to approach the gorillas to within 5 me-

tres. But since the gorillas don’t know this rule, it might happen that one of them will come closer to the humans, or that even a baby gorilla will suddenly clasp onto the leg of a visitor. In this event, the ranger says that one must remain calm, and follow his instructions. The visitors have one hour to watch the apes – as they eat, play and cuddle together. These are moments one will scarcely ever forget. The gorillas are astoundingly similar to humans. But then the moment comes to leave. Intoxicated by their experience, the hikers regard the return trail as a lot less strenuous. And a final reward awaits them; when, returning to the jeeps, they are handed a certificate documenting the visit. u

The Eternal Attraction Of The Matterhorn

{ Bernhard Krieger / Zermatt, Switzerland / DPA }

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ne can scarcely escape it. Not while skiing, not during a stroll through town, and not even while taking a shower. In Zermatt, the Matterhorn mountain is everywhere. The most photographed peak in the world draws everyone’s attention. Winter vacationers stare in fascination at the mountain’s slopes, which boldly rise up into the blue sky. The 4,478-metre-tall trademark peak has made the erstwhile poor mountain village wealthy and famous. The Matterhorn has almost become synonymous with the country itself. The Swiss call it the “stony Miss Switzerland.” The best view of the Matterhorn, and of 28 other peaks rising over 4,000 metres, is from the ski runs located at the Gornergrat mountain (3,089 metres) and Rothorn (3,103 metres). Exactly mid-way between them is the hamlet of Findeln. In the down-toearth town, few people actually go about flaunting their wealth. Most melt into the masses of visitors, who come not just for the skiing. The daring ones go for tandem paraglider flights,

or scale the icy walls at the Furi and Blatten waterfalls. There are 45 kilometres of winter hiking trails, sleigh-riding, and helicopter tours with “Air Zermatt.” Especially inspiring are the rides on the mountain trains during a full moon. The highest-elevation cable car in Europe takes visitors up to the nearly 4,000-metre elevation year-round skiing area of the Theodul glacier; or to the Swiss Alpine Federation’s mountain lodge Neue Monte Rosa-Huette. To get there, you first go up the mountain on a cog railway to Gornergrat; and from that point via trekking skis, led by a mountain guide, to the remotely located high-tech lodge. The route is not dangerous, contrary to the one on the Matterhorn. In the winter, the mountain has its peace and quiet, unlike the summer when thousands go climbing. Some are not skilled climbers, and each year a number of them die on the mountain. Those who plunge down from the mountain wall are swallowed up forever by the “glacier mailbox,” the mountain guides say. Amid all its beauty, the Matterhorn also has a gruesome side to it. u


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6–12 Jan 2012

“River Of Iron”

{ Marco Mierke / Washington / DPA }

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hen US border control officer Brian Terry was shot to death in Arizona on December 14, 2010, an already messy undercover operation became a catastrophe. The AK-47 assault rifle that fired the lethal round was sold to a Mexican drug cartel with the help of the US government, in a disastrous scheme that US Attorney General Eric Holder has sworn “must never happen again.” When the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) supplied thousands of weapons to middlemen to smuggle into Mexico from 2009-11, the secret Operation, Fast and Furious, aimed to trace the weapons supply routes across the border to Mexican drug gangs. But in a failure that has embarrassed the Justice Department, the ATF lost track of as many as 2,000 weapons – including the assault rifle that killed Terry. The Fast and Furious debacle remains a potent symbol of Washington’s inability to halt the flow of weapons into Mexico. Last year alone, the Mexican drug war claimed more than 15,000 lives - drug lords, law en-

forcement, politicians and cartel footsoldiers and civilians. With Mexico’s tough firearms laws, the cartels run guns from abroad. And their best source is right next door – a neighbour with constitutional protection for gun rights, supported by lax laws. For complicated weaponry, the route south is unsettlingly simple. In most cases, straw buyers for drug cartels purchase guns legally, either from the 8,000 licensed US dealers, or at gun shows within easy distance of the Mexican border. After changing hands, the guns are submerged in the normal flow of crossborder commerce - no secret tunnels or homemade submarines needed. Congress’ Government Accountability Office found southbound inspections were rare at border checkpoints. In his testimony, Holder called on Congress to broaden the ATF’s powers, and tighten gun registration laws, to avert what he called a “public safety crisis.” His appeal echoed longstanding concerns. President Barack Obama, shortly after his 2009 inauguration, admitted: “The drugs are coming north, we’re sending funds and guns south,” and vowed a change.

Dying For A Living Julian Stratenschulte

{ Christina Sticht / Berlin / DPA }

“H

ow in heaven could you do that?” is usually the first reaction Lukas Bente gets when he reveals his profession to a stranger. Bente is a trainee undertaker in northern Germany. “There are prejudices against funeral directors. Many people think it’s an abnormal job,” says the 22-year-old. “We don’t sit around all day in the office. Nor do we spend our time digging graves or transporting dead people around the place.” Bente is getting practical experience in the family funeral home in the town of Sarstedt; but also travels to the mortician school in Springe to receive formal instruction. The job of undertaker has been recognized as an official trade in Germany for the past five years. In 2010, the country introduced the profession of Master Undertaker. “It’s a job that comes with an awful lot of responsibility,” says Rolf Lichtner, general secretary of Germany’s Association of Morticians. “Undertakers are becoming a little like event managers. “People who are not religious and don’t go to church expect undertakers to organize a ritual for the funeral.” Lichtner says about 170 apprentices are taken on every year by Germany’s 3,800 funeral homes. In the central German town

DEADLY JOB: Damon Przytarsk is training as a mortician in Hanover

of Munnerstadt, there is even a special graveyard where young morticians can practice burials - the only one of its kind in Europe. “It’s a highly sought after profession. For every trainee position we have 20 applications,” says Lichtner. “I found the profession interesting, and I asked myself how I would deal with it. You can’t allow yourself to get too involved. It’s very sad when a young person dies,” says 19-year-old Damon Przytarski. Although they are only at the beginning of their careers, the daily task of dealing with death has changed their lives. “You learn how to enjoy things more intensely,” says Bente. Among the topics for study in Springe are accounting, the legal aspects of undertaking, international law connected with transporting bodies to

When Mexican President Felipe Calderon spoke to the US Congress last year, he pleaded for lawmakers to cut off what he called a “river of iron” flowing south. But that’s easier said than done in Washington. Federal gun-control initiatives face overwhelming popular resistance. The 4 million-member National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the nation’s most powerful lobby groups, spent more than 7 million dollars in the 2010 congressional elections – defending the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.” In a recent commentary, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre called the charge that the Mexican drug war is being waged with American guns a “shameless lie.” He pointed to the Fast and Furious scandal itself, alleging that the government “forced” US gun dealers to sell to the drug bosses. Democratic leaders’ have called for Congress to strengthen gun laws, and reinstate a national ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. But in a country where even a presidential candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, waxes poetic about his “long love affair” with guns, stopping the flow of weapons to Mexico may be a long shot. u other jurisdictions, as well as the rites and customs of different religions. They also study the tools of the trade – such as coffins, urns and funeral clothing. In recent years the culture of mourning has changed in Germany. Funerals have become more personal, often more colourful. “As private business people, funeral directors are usually better able to cater for individual needs. A priest, on the other hand, is confined to certain structures,” says Alexander Helbach, spokesman for the consumer funeral watchdog association in Germany. Helbach believes morticians are profiting from the change in attitudes, by extending their services into organizing funeral orators or funeral halls for families of the dead. At the same time, profit margins are being squeezed. The demand for expensive oak wood coffins is falling. Cremation and urn burials make up about half of all funerals in Germany with hardly anyone opting for an expensive coffin anymore. But it’s unlikely that the trainees studying in Springe have gone into the business to get rich. Undertaker Maximilian Pieper says it has more to do the trainees’ own experiences in the trade: “There was once a 20-year-old man who died in a motorbike accident. His family chose a simple coffin, the cheapest we had. “Family and friends painted the coffin and stuck pictures on it. It looked so beautiful.” u

An Innovative Submersible { Ulrike von Leszczynski / Berlin / DPA }

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xploring the ocean depths has long held a fascination for scientists seeking to discover what sort of life goes on 6,000 metres under the surface of the sea. Taking a submersible down to those depths presents a particular problem, as the vessel has to withstand enormous pressures. Berlin’s Technical University (TU) has now come up with an automatic submersible, that will let the water in – obviating the problem entirely. The submersible is small enough to fit into a car, and weighs in at a relatively light 500 kilograms. It has undergone trials in the Baltic, and is to be tested in the depths of the Atlantic—off the island of Madeira—during 2012. The main advantage of the submarine is its cost, which should be just a fraction of similar vessels. Biologists believe there may be thousands of unknown species in the ocean depths, where few manned submarines are able to penetrate. “The limit is usually reached after a few hundred metres,” according to project leader Professor Heinz Lehr of the university’s Institute for Construction, Micro and Medical Technology. Nevertheless, there is considerable demand for deep-sea submersibles. Companies are always looking for new oil fields or rare raw materials. The subs are used to maintain undersea pipelines, and old wrecks can be found and investigated­­—using cameras—to see if they contain sunken treasure. “The only kind of research we do not do is military re-

search,” Lehr says. The TU has come up with an “intelligent design.” The boat is made of a titanium frame covered with foam as a buoyancy material. This is all enclosed in a streamlined hull, that cuts water resistance as the submersible moves through the water. It can easily be opened up for repairs or modification. Technische Universitaet Berlin

HIGH PRESSURE: The diving robot is designed for depths of upto 6,000 mtrs

Once the mini-submarine is in the water, it fills up. This is a new type of construction – and unique so far, Lehr says. The TU researchers have covered the sensitive on-board electronics with a thin layer of silicon. The video cameras are of new design, and also contain liquid. “This balances internal and external pressures,” according to Lehr. Fitted with an electric motor powered by lithium ion batteries, the submersible is designed for 50 hours of continuous operation. It is also capable of shutting down into “sleep mode,” lying inert on the sea-floor for reactivation when required. Communication from the surface with the submersible’s on-board computer is possible, to a depth of 5,000 metres; and the AUV is capable of steering itself. An arm with a claw can be mounted on the submersible, to allow it to transport items. “You have to be able to get hold of the gold bars in the shipwreck after all,” Lehr says with a smile. u


30 { DPA }

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ome 2011 headline-makers did so just once - on the occasion of their death. Others appeared regularly, and may keep doing so in 2012.

The Arab Spring

MOHAMED BOUAZIZI, 26, died January 4 after he set himself ablaze in December to protest mistreatment by Tunisian authorities, setting the scene for the Arab Spring prodemocracy movement. Some leaders managed to reform enough to satisfy their people. Several others - Tunisia’s ZINE EL-ABIDINE BEN ALI and Egypt’s HOSNY MUBARAK were swept from power. Libya’s MOAMER GADDAFI fought back until his capture and killing on October 20, aged 69. Turmoil continued, as Yemen’s ALI ABDULLAH SALEH denounced protesters even after avoiding prosecution with a deal that saw him leave power. In Syria, BASHAR AL-ASSAD remains president, defying domestic and international pressure.

Political Transitions

On the Korean peninsula, the enigmatic KIM JONG  UN was appointed North Korea’s Great Successor in the wake of the December 17 death of his father and Great Leader, KIM JONG IL, believed to be 69. The May 2 death of OSAMA BIN LADEN, 54, left Pakistan incensed that the United States invaded its territory to kill the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, while spontaneous celebrations broke out across the US. Al-Qaeda promised to regroup. Hopes for peace in Afghanistan were further sapped by the death of former president BURHANUDDIN  RABBANI, 71,  in a suicide bomb attack on September 20, and the August 12 death of AHMED WALI  KARZAI, 50, brother of President Hamid Karzai, killed by his own bodyguards. Regional instability raised the profile of Turkish Prime Minister RECEP  TAYYIP  ERDOGAN, who led his Justice and Development Party to a third legislative election victory, giving him a bully pulpit to encourage peaceful change and skirmish with Europe. SULTAN BIN ADBEL AZIA AL

6–12 Jan 2012

2011 Newsmakers SAUD’s October 22 death of cancer caused further speculation about the Saudi Arabian royal succession. The crown prince and defence minister was 81. In Europe, the focus was on the economy, with special worries about Italy on top of a sex scandal - pushing prime minister SILVIO BERLUSCONI  out of office. Meanwhile another Italian, MARIO DRAGHI, was installed as president of the European Central Bank, charged with trying to save the euro. In politics, ELIO DI RUPO was named Belgian prime minister, a world recordsetting 535 days after elections. DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN binned plans to run for the French presidency after facing accusations over sexual assault against a housekeeper in a New York hotel. VLADIMIR  PUTIN confirmed he would attempt to segue back into the presidency after his current term as prime minister. But thousands protested what they called rigged parliamentary elections in December. GLORIA ARROYO, former president of the Philippines, was arrested on charges related to a vote-fixing scandal. Israeli soldier GILAD SHALIT was released after five years of captivity by Palestinian nationalists. Meanwhile, Palestinian President MAHMOUD ABBAS grabbed world attention when he formally pushed for the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a nation. ANDERS  BEHRING BREIVIK carried out Norway’s worst attack since World War II, leaving eight dead with a car bomb in Norway’s legislative district followed by a shooting spree at a youth political camp, killing 69. Chinese artist AI WEIWEI made the news not for his art, but for his two-month arrest, which authorities say was for failing to pay taxes. Former dissident and Czech president VACLAV HAVEL, 75, died December 18.

Science And Society

The October 5 death of STEVE JOBS  resulted in impromptu memorials worldwide as people mourned the creator of the Apple gadgets they

Oprah To Debut New Show On Her Spluttering Cable Network { Andy Goldberg / Los Angeles / DPA }

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alk show queen Oprah Winfrey is set to debut a new show on Sunday, in her latest bid to revive spluttering ratings at the cable network she launched with great fanfare a year ago. Oprah’s Next Chapter will be Winfrey’s first regular series since she ended her Oprah Winfrey Show in May. It will showcase the TV star travelling around the United States, and occasionally abroad, interviewing “real people, newsmakers, celebrities and thought leaders,” according to a press release. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will feature in the first episode, with visits to a Hasidic family in Brooklyn, a transcendental meditation centre in Iowa, and even a tour of India with

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self-help guru Deepak Chopra planned for future installments. The preview reel also showed a meeting with Star Wars creator George Lucas at his Skywalker Ranch, a fishing adventure with chef Paula Deen, and firewalking with inspirational speaker Tim Robbins. “Let’s just say we’re not sitting on those chairs no more, people,” Winfrey said, referring to the studio-bound format that was her recipe for success for 25 years, on the Oprah Winfrey show. The show will be the cornerstone of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which has struggled to attract viewers since it was launched at the start of 2011 – with a reported investment of 250 million dollars. According to Nielsen ratings, the channel has averaged just 136,000 viewers a day. u

loved. He was 56 when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Nobel laureate WANGARI MAATHAI, 71, died of cancer on September 25 - the first African woman to win the Nobel peace prize, for promoting environmentalism, women’s rights and clean governance.

The Arts

ELIZABETH TAYLOR was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, known for her roles in National Velvet, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf ?, but also for her tumultuous love life. She died March 23, aged 79. A month after attempting a comeback, singer AMY  WINEHOUSE was found dead in her London flat on July 23. The troubled British retro-soul performer and five-time Grammy winner died from alcohol poisoning at age 27. Known for playing television detective Columbo, PETER  FALK died June 23, aged 84; CLARENCE  CLEMONS, who made his name playing saxophone with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, died June 18, aged 69; HARRY  MORGAN, who played Colonel

Sherman Potter on television’s M*A*S*H, died December 7, aged 96. JANE RUSSELL, one of Hollywood’s leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 50s, starred in Paleface and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She died February 28, aged 89. HIND ROSTOM, 82, the “Marilyn Monroe of the East” and queen of seduction in Egyptian cinema, died of a heart attack August 8; SIDNEY  LUMET, 76, noted US director and producer of films including 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and Serpico, died April 9. SHAMMI  KAPOOR, 79, died August 14, a star of some of India’s biggest films, like Junglee, An Evening in Paris and Kashmir ki Kali. Legendary Bollywood actor-director DEV ANAND, 88, also died, on December 4. Spanish author and concentration camp survivor JORGE  SEMPRUM died June 7, aged 87. Prominent Egyptian writer ANIS MANSOUR, 87, a key backer of ties to Israel, died October 21 at age 87. The literary world mourned CHRISTOPHER  HITCHENS, 62, a journalist and well-known atheist, who died December 15. The Mole, a major Czech export, survived his creator, cartoonist ZDENEK  MILER, who died November 30, aged 90. In music, JERRY LEIBER, co-author of Elvis Presley classics like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock, and Ben E King’s Stand By Me, died August 22, aged 78. NICK  ASHFORD, 70, half of the soul duo Ashford & Simpson, died September 22, known for hits like Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and You’re All I Need To Get By. And finally, Germany mourned KNUT, 4, a Polar bear who died March 19, after stealing the heart of the city of Berlin after his birth there in 2007, while CHEETAH, the chimpanzee who starred in classic Tarzan films, died on December 24 at the ripe old age of 80. u

U2 Was Top Concert Band Of 2011 { Andy Goldberg / Los Angeles / DPA }

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rish supergroup U2 was the top grossing concert band of 2011, raking in 231.9 million dollars on its world tour, concert trade publication Pollstar reported Thursday. The report said the band sold almost 2.4 million tickets worldwide, at an average price of 97.15 dollars, with an average of 91,000 tickets sold at each venue. British band Take That’s reunion tour took in 224 million dollars on its 2011 tour, with third place going to Bon Jovi, with 148.8 million dollars in ticket sales. Taylor Swift with 104.2 million dollars, and Roger Waters with 103.6 million dollars rounded out the top five. The top 25 bands raked in a combined 2.1 billion dollars, nearly identical to last year’s figure, the report said. U2 also headed the list of US concert receipts with 156 million dollars, followed by Taylor Swift with 97.7 million dollars and Kenny Chesney with 84.6 million dollars. Lady Gaga was fourth with 63.7 million dollars and Bon Jovi was fifth with 57.1 million dollars. u

New Ipads In January { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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pple is to announce two new iPad tablet computers in January, according to a report Thursday by Digitimes, a Taiwan-based electronics publication. Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, the report said that the new versions would both feature 9.7-inch screens, the same size as the current iPad2, but that resolution would be increased to 1,536 x 2,048 pixels. The new iPads will run on Apple’s quad-core A6 chips, as opposed to the dual core A5 chips in the iPad 2. The report did not detail many dif-

ferences between the two new iPads , apart from one coming with an 8-megapixel camera, and the other with a 5-megapixel lens. The new models will not replace the iPad2, which will stay on the market to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. If Apple follows its successful iPhone strategy, the new models will sell for the price of the model they are replacing; while the old model will see a significant price reduction. Apple will announce the new iPads at the MacWorld and iWorld conference on January 26, the report said. u


6–12 Jan 2012

G -scape 31 PRAKHAR PANDEY & JIT KUMAR

‘CHILLED’ OUT


32

6–12 Jan 2012

G -scape

BEST OF 2011 THE METRO

BIO-DIVERSITY PARK

SHRI MATA SHEETLA DEVI TEMPLE

MILLENNIUM GRAM & CITY

Friday Gurgaon, January 6-12, 2011  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

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