Page 1

30 March–5 April 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Vol. 1 No. 32  Pages 24  ` 7

Safer for Some G

Mission Possible

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

urgaon, not even in its millennia dreams, comes close to being an ideal city. Some stakeholders, seeing the potential, are trying to make a difference – to jointly bring significant change to the City’s shambolic life. “No city, not even New York or Washington, is perfect. They too have their share of problems. Yet, these cities are among the best in the world; and the main reason is the constant work for the betterment of the city, with active participation from the citizens. Gurgaon Renewal Mission (GRM) is a platform, where all the stakeholders of the city—be they corporates, civil society, RWAs, bureaucracy or the government—get together, to try and constantly invigorate Gurgaon. GRM doesn’t promise to change anything overnight. Our motto is to bring positive change in the lives of the citizens – and make them participate. Don’t criticise, contribute,” says Lt. Gen (retd) Rajinder Singh, the CEO of DLF Foundation, the force behind GRM. “Gurgaon is a dream city – where millions of people live as if they are living in the city of their dreams. Yet the foundations of this dream city are turning into feet of clay, at a rapid pace. Four major problems confront us – lack of civic and social infrastructure, environmental non-sustainability, lack of healthcare facilities, and lack of effective governance.

Contd on p 6 

{Inside} Powerful Summer

T

he Power Minister promises a power uninterrupted summer.

...Pg 8

Charity Begins At Home

H

UDA would do well to first get its own act together. ...Pg 9

The Active Forum

T

he local Consumer Forum is ably handling a multitude of cases. ...Pg 10

Bookstores

B

rick and mortar City needs to develop a soft side too. ...Pg 19

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

L

ove is indeed one of the first feelings humanity was exposed to; and since then, history has been witness to thousands of divine tales of platonic love – where lovers have abandoned all, for their loved ones. Yes, the path of love is not a bed of roses. Unlike teenage literature, where nothing is more ethereal and divine than eloping and getting married to someone you love, the real world is often one of social unacceptability and ferocity. In India, the majority is still not above customs; and are not allowed to freely choose a life partner. In Haryana, these customs and rituals are fairly ironclad; and defying them is considered nothing short of blasphemy. The moment a couple elopes, they should be ready to be followed constantly, by the hawkish eyes of the ‘Khap Panchayats’ – and to be sacrificed at the altar of customs and tradition. There have been hundreds who have been at the receiving end of these ‘protectors of

culture’, for the ‘honour and respect’ of the family. Gurgaon has been a revelation in Haryana; and like in most of the other spheres of life, in this case too it has been different. Gurgaon offers sanctuary for such couples. “Gurgaon has not seen any cases of honour killing in the last few years, and the reason is obvious – its urbanisation and modernisation. In fact, it has turned into a sanctuary for such couples who elope, and get married without the consent of their families. Last year we saw ten such cases; and we provided shelter and security to the couples. This year too, three such cases have already come up; and we have clear instructions from the government, to give the couples the best possible security. Haryana has been in the news for such honour killings for quite a while now, but the whole of Haryana is not so cruel. Only a few districts have been harsh and merciless on their children,” says Neera Malik, the District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO), Gurgaon. Contd on p 6 

Express Service at your Doorstep 

Ativa Auto Services has launched ‘White Xpress’, an auto-on-call service with the support of Bajaj Auto Ltd.  The autos are available from 6.30 am to 10 pm.  Make online bookings at www.whitexpress.in or call 0124-4811111.  Autos will charge Rs. 40 for the first two kms, and thereafter it would be Rs 8 per km.

Call:

0124-4811111

Presenting Value for money in education in Gurgaon


02

30 March–5 April 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–32  30 Mar–5 Apr 2012

Editor:

Coming Up

WORKSHOP  ART  NIGHTLIFE  SPRING CAMP

Kids’ Workshop and Exhibition-cum-sale

Atul Sobti

Summer Carnival @ The City Club, DLF Phase V Date: March 31 Time: 12 noon to 8:30 pm

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

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

Music & Dance

Golden Greats Of Indian Music @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 5 and April 6 Time: 7:30 pm

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

Ankit Srivastava

Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Exec:

Bhagwat Kaushik

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47,

V

Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana

arious workshops on art and craft, free makeovers and make-up, will be organised for kids. The adults can enjoy the exhibition-cum-sale of jewellery, clothes, and artefacts. For more information, call 08826611818.

Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

Music Workshop

The Puppetarians @ Rendezvous, J Block (next to Shikshantar School), South City 1 Date: April 7 Time: 9:30 am

Workshop

Space Odyssey: Hands-on Workshop @ Intellitots, DLF Phase IV, Near Vipul Square Date: Till March 30 Fees: Rs. 1,750

T

he second edition of IndiaSocial Summit. This year, the focus is on the impact of social media on brands and organisations.

Run

A

n astronomy workshop for kids aged between six to eight years. They will learn about the latest developments in space exploration, and the technology behind what astronauts wear, what they eat, and how they bathe. Photographs, animated videos, and games will reinforce the learning experience.

Art 1 year subscription ` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

` 164

No. of issues

52

To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, ask your newspaper vendor or email us at subscription@fridaygurgaon.com *circulated only in Gurgaon

@ The Leela Kempinski, NH 8 Date: April 2 to April 4 Time: 9 am to 8pm

uppetarians’ of Galli Galli Sim Sim from Mumbai, will perform at Rendezvous. The Workshop will include a puppet show, followed by a ‘Make Your Own Puppets’ session. The kids can take home what they make. For more information, call 8860649685.

TO SUBSCRIBE

Workshop

Healthy Cooking for Weight Loss @ 1604/2, The Palms, South City I Date: Apr 11, 2012 Time: 9:30 am to 2 pm

L

earn about oil-free cooking methods, plant-based cooking, healthy alternatives to dairy products; to boost energy, to lower cholesterol levels, to permanent lose weight – and for a better digestive system. All participants will be given an opportunity to cook. To know more, call 9871620526.

n Odissi recital by Kavita Dwibedi on April 5th. A Flute recital by Pt. Ronu Majumdar from Mumbai on April 6th. The events are organised by Sangeetam, a musical institution dedicated to spreading the Indian Classical form – by offering training of a high standard, and organising cultural events.

IndiaSocial Summit 2012

‘P

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.

Cover price

Yeh Bahaar Ka Zamana @ Epicenter, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 4 Time: 7 pm

A

Shandaar Sachin @ Me Creations Art Studio, C-751, (near Vyapaar Kendra), Sushant Lok I Date: Till March 31 Time: 10 am to 1 pm; 5 pm to 8 pm

A

n Exhibition of paintings based on Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th Century, by digital artist Sanjay Mehta.

A

ghazals and poetry performance by Puja Mehra Gupta, a protege of Smt. Shanti Hiranand, the famous disciple of Begum Akhtar.

Running & Living @ Leisure Valley Park, Sector 29 Date: March 31 Time: 6:30 am

A

10km run, organised by Running & Living, and Guardian XtrAqua. Registration for the run will start at 6:00am.

Chef Vijaylaxmi TOP-4, MASTER CHEF INDIA-2 15% Discount for FG Subscribers

COOKING CLASSES

 Baking  Italian cuisine  Continental cuisine  Master Chef Kitchen’s selected recipes Classes are scheduled only for the weekends

Limited Seats Only


30 March–5 April 2012

Shaan-e-Kishore

T

he crowd of over 1,000 people seemed completely engrossed, as Shaan dished out famous songs of Kishore Kumar at the Kingdom of Dreams. He treated the audience to melodies like "Yeh jawaani hai deewani", "Dil kya kare", "Yeh shaam mastani", "Meri soni", "Jhumroo", "Dilbar mere", "Humein tumse pyaar" and "Mere mehboob", to name a few. The singer was surprised to see kids requesting songs like “Pal pal dil ke paas” and “Zindagi ek safar hai suhana”.

C eleb W atch

03


04 FOOD { Aalok Wadhwa }

30 March–5 April 2012

Downtown Dining

D

owntown is a word that comes to us from America – usually meaning City Centre. Sector 29, with its multitude of eateries appealing to every taste, is fast becoming the eating out downtown of Gurgaon. It is pretty apt, therefore—and also somewhat poetic— that the restaurant I am headed for here, has named itself Downtown Diners & Living Beer Café. I walk into a large restaurant, with wood and exposed bricks interiors. The walls are dressed up with posters and television screens. It is just the kind of place that encourages hanging out with friends, with a mug of beer in hand. And as if to reconfirm this, restaurant manager Neil Bose says that the food they serve is “popular cuisine designed for the beer palate”. Intrigued by his description, I dive into the menu. The restaurant has a stone oven, and serves convenientlysized slices of pizza. I order the

favourite pizza of all Americans. The pepperoni pizza (Rs. 225, for a generous slice) provides a meaty cheesy bite, on a thin crisp base. Next I choose the Middle Eastern favourite, Shish Taouk (Rs. 375). In Turkish, shish means a skewer, and taouk (pronounced tah-wouk) means chicken. It is usually served on wooden

Downtown - Diners & Living Beer Café 34, Leisure Valley Road, Near Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon  Phone: +91 9999659098 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timing: 1 pm – 2 am

THEATRE

A Fitting Tribute { Ashok Sheoran }

T

he Swedish Embassy would have been in a quandary, when selecting a theatre group to play ‘Miss Julie’, to mark a 100 years of the passing away of August Strindberg (1849-1912). Strindberg has been considered the pioneer of serious, naturalist, one-act plays. Realism—with no fabrication or painted scenery—has been his hallmark. He is also venerated as the progenitor of expressionist theatre, with allusions to mystical forces, hypnotism and symbolisms. A turbulent childhood and three broken marriages left an indelible impact on his psyche-inducing a sense of misogyny and, some allude, misogamy. His books and plays bring about a sharp interplay between the strong and the weak sexes, and classes. In ‘Katyayani’ the Embassy

has found a very talented and versatile group, to perform ‘Miss Julie” – a dark, one-act play at the Epicentre. The plot centres around ‘Miss Julie’ (Vidhushi Mehra), Jean (Damandeep Sidhu) and Kristin (Aarti Nayar). It chronicles the metamorphoses of the Count’s daughter (Miss Julie), from an imperial coquette to a suicidal wreck – brought on by a sexual power struggle with the valet (Jean). Julie sheds all inhibitions in shamelessly

FG

FIRST

Master Recipe

Vijaylaxmi – Masterchef (Season 2): Top 4

Summery salad Ingredients

1 cup Mayonnaise 1/4 cup White Sugar 1 tablespoon White Vinegar 1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds 1/2cup Pineapple, sliced 1 head of Iceberg Lettuce, torn into bitesize pieces 1 bunch fresh Spinach, washed, stems removed 1/2 cup diced Red Onion 1/2 cup steamed Broccoli 1 (16 ounce) package fresh Strawberries, hulled and sliced

Method

 Make a dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in the poppy seeds; set aside.  Toss together the lettuce, spinach, and other fruits in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Add the strawberries and lightly toss again.

skewers. The dish looks pretty on the plate, and is cooked competently. However, for it to have an Arabic character, it should have been marinated in dried thyme, and the all-important ground allspice. Sticking to meat, I order the mutton tikka roomali roll (Rs. 250). It more than justifies my choice. It is clear that kababs is what the restaurant’s chef, Abdul Bashisht does best. The tikka is well-seasoned and perfectly grilled . Even the awkwardly made roomali roti does not take away from the taste of the roll. The beautiful chunks of meat, rolled with a liberally spiced onion ring salad and a most perfect chutney, create a taste sensation that is very piquant – and quite addictive. Downtown Diners is well-designed, has attentive service, and is reasonably priced. These are essential ingredients for having a good time with friends. My recommendation would be to order the kababs over beer. This is what the restaurant does best. u

seducing Jean, after being rejected by her fiancé. She alternates between playing the mistress – with a desire to control, and being mentally and physically subjugated. Raised by a strong mother, who abhorred men, Julie is both disgusted and drawn by them. She is afraid of sex, yet ready to indulge. She finally slips into a hysterical state. Jean, the 30 years old valet, grew up working in the area, and had known Julie since she was a child. His behaviour towards her fluctuates through extremes; initially he talks disparagingly of her, while later gently seducing her with his fake charm. Once the flirtation is consummated, he treats her with scorn, even while coveting her. The Count’s overbearing authority is omnipresent – with his hoots, and the anticipation of his arrival. Jean emerges as a cowardly and sadistic person, with an obvious hatred for women, and a fear of authority. The Manor’s 35 years old cook Kristin, is engaged to Jean. A relatively minor character, she in depicted as a God-fearing, church-going stolid sort. On discovering the relationship, she leaves the home. Directed by reputed producer and actor Sohaila Kapur, the sterling performances by Vidhushi, Damandeep and Aarti do full justice to Strindberg; the play is a fitting tribute to him. Vidhushi is a treat to watch, as the charming coquette and hysterical woman; while Damandeep is perfectly suave, petty and manipulative. Aarti enacts the role of ‘the prudish cook’ with great flair. The only quibble is the dance sequence. Set in 1888, the gypsy/ pagan dance could have had more grace and power. The packed hall expressed its appreciation with repeated ovations. Speaking of her future plans, Sohaila says she is planning ‘a humorous play about the marketing of the Great Indian Wedding, titled ‘The One Percent Agency’, written by novelist Tabish Khair. u

R eviews BOOK

Mamata, Mati, Manush { Alka Gurha }

‘D

idi: A Political Biography’, by Monobina Gupta, captures Mamata Banerjee’s journey from Jadavpur to Delhi – and finally to the Writers’ Buildings, in June last year. It is a judicious account of the woman who defeated the longest serving communist government in the world; and continues to create ripples on the national front. Gupta, a journalist-author of repute, penned her first book ‘Left Politics in Bengal: Time Travels among Bhadralok Marxists’, in 2010. Gupta’s book comprises eight long chapters. In the first chapter, titled ‘Meet Mamata’, the author begins by describing Mamata and her trademark simplicity – the crumpled white cotton sari, the hair pulled back into a bun, and the rubber slippers. It reveals Mamata’s adeptness at carving a niche in male-dominated politics, despite her apparent simplicity. Gupta’s engaging style finely outlines the landmarks on Mamata’s road to the Chief Minister’s post – the brutal 1990 attack on Hazra Road, that highlighted her fearlessness in the face of adversity; and Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh – where forcible land acquisition, bullets and manhandling of women, went against the ruling party. Gupta narrates a notable incident, where Buddhadeb attended his political rally in a jeep, whereas Mamata walked DIDI: A POLITICAL – sweating BIOGRAPHY for kilometers, Author: Monobina Gupta meeting people PUBLISHER: Harper Collins and shaking PRICE: Rs. 299 hands, assertGENRE: Biography ing that she was their true representative. The fact that she is an astute politician was evident when Mamata refrained from interfering in the case of Taslima Nasrin – the Bangladeshi author who was forced to leave West Bengal, owing to a controversial book. It is interesting when, at one point, the writer says that Mamata vehemently denies any affinity to feminism. According to theatre Director Arpita Ghosh, even though Mamata may deny this, she has indeed ‘lived her life as a feminist’. She had no benevolent male patron (except, for a very brief stint, Rajiv Gandhi) – no father, brother, husband, or partner – directing from the sidelines. The Trinamool leader believes that her party is her ‘very own family’ Monobina Gupta brings her experience as a veteran journalist and commentator on politics in West Bengal, to paint an intimate portrait of Mamata Banerjee. The book is eminently suited for students of political history, to comprehend the rise of Trinamool. u

CINEMA

Recipe for a Disaster { Vijaya Kumar }

A

prescription for disaster films is detailed below. It is to be noted that all these elements must be used in conjunction – otherwise a disastrous film is not guaranteed!  Use a proven flop star team as lead artistes: In recent times, the Saif and Kareena team serves as an excellent example. Notwithstanding AGENT VINOD the wonderful chemistry they disDirected by: Sriram Raghavan play off-screen, they hardly convey any of that (despite ample anatomi- CAST: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena cal display) when they come on- Kapoor screen. Tashan and Kurbaan, their GENRE: Spy Thriller previous on-screen efforts, serve as good illustrations.  Ensure that the movie runs close to three hours.  Have a very inane, or a very convoluted, plot.  Shoot in more than five countries, and have the story flit around.  Believe that the script, and the characters, do not count. Saif Ali Khan’s maiden production attempt, Agent Vinod, serves as a good example of a promising director Sriram Raghavan (who gave us reasonably thrilling fare in Johnny Gaddar) following all the above rules faithfully. And the end-result is therefore a disaster. To top it, we have mindless attempts at maligning neighbours, and background music that is jarring. The only passionate actor is the camel; but unfortunately, it gets bumped off soon after we first get to see it. As a thriller, even the pedestrian Players feels better. However, there are two redeeming features: the fine photography, and the choice of the locations. Wish there were more of the comic sequences with Saif – we could have then at least called it a comedy! u


30 March–5 April 2012

C eleb W atch

Iskating Stars T

he team of House Full 2 is leaving no stone unturned to promote the film. The star cast, including Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, John Abraham, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Zarine Khan, Shazahn Padamsee, and Shreyas Talpade, was seen interacting with the media at Iskate, Ambience Mall. Thay had earlier paid a visit to the City during the Gadget Guru Awards ceremony, at the Kingdom of Dreams.

05

JASHN Gallery J

ASHN, a lifestyle Exhibition, bringing together designers and entrepreneurs from across the country, opened at The Gallery, MG Road. Promoted by an NGO, Khushii, and Art of Living, the event witnessed the participation of designers – Charu Parasher , Rimple Narula, Vandy Mehra, and Baisa Pushpita Singh, to name a few.

Captain Hero T he wheelchair has not stopped City-based Captain Navin Gulia from pursuing his rehabilitation drive for underprivileged kids. That is why he was honoured with the CNNIBN Real Heroes award recently. Besides, he has scaled heights, by driving his modified Tata safari from Gurgaon to Marsimik, crossing seven of the worlds highest mountains, and driving for 55 hours. The award ceremony was organised by CNN-IBN and Reliance Foundation.

Nana Shoots to Thrill A

ctor Nana Patekar competed for the 55th National Shooting Championship Competition at the CRPF Campus Kadarpur. The Chief Guest, K. Vijay Kumar, IPS, Director General, CRPF, inaugurated the championship by firing a shot – to open a banner in a befitting manner. Nana was seen interacting, and sharing a few shooting tips, with kids.

Raghu Unlimited O

ver 400 music lovers gathered at the Striker pub, to watch a power-packed performance by singer Raghu Dixit. When asked about his experience in the City, Raghu said, “Gurgaon is completely cosmopolitan. Pubs here are at par with global standards; like Striker, that looks like a Hard Rock Cafe of the City.” Raghu seemed to be in genuine love with Gurgaon, as it was his second performance in the City in the month of March.


06

30 March–5 April 2012

Safer For Some

 Contd from p 1 The Law

In the wake of increasing honour killings, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took a tough stand – and in March 2010, instructed the State government to take stern action against culprits, and provide shelter and security to the ‘run-away couples’. These are couples who have tied the knot without the consent of their families. “The State instructed the police to take stern steps, to ensure the security, liberty and lives of such couples – by providing them shelter for a particular period of time (in this case 10 days),” said Durgesh Boken, an advocate in Gurgaon Court. He has been an Advocate for 35 such cases. Neera Malik, the DSWO expands, “In order to help eradicate honour killing, on 21 February, 2011, the Finance Commissioner in Chandigarh instructed the Director General of Police (DGP), Session judges of all District Courts, all Superintendent of Police (SPs), all Commissioners of Police, and all Deputy Commissioners (DCs), District Registrars/SDMs, and DSWOs, to work together to ensure the safety and security of such runaway couples. This includes providing them shelter for 10 days, with no charge for stay, food

and laundry. And if the couple thinks that they are not safe outside, their stay can be extended – after taking a minimal charge for food and laundry. A special Committee for this purpose has also been constituted by the State, in each District. The District level Committee comprises the Divisional Commissioner (DC in his absence), the Commissioner of Police (SP in other districts), and DSWO,” explained Malik.

Gurgaon: a Sanctuary

“The Police, in collaboration with the rest of the Administration, has ensured the safety, life and liberty of the couples. We have a separate shelter for them, in SCERT, Gurgaon. According to the law, the police is supposed to provide security for ten days; but here in Gurgaon we give them shelter for 20 days, without any charge,” says Jagdish Prasad, Station House Officer (SHO), Sector-29 Police Station. The DCP, West, Abhay Singh Rao, who handles the run-away couple cases, was reticent. Neera Malik, the DSWO, explained, “We had a two room shelter in SCERT, Gurgaon, which now has been shifted to the Bhondsi Jail. In this shelter, the couple remain safe from the wrath of their families. However till now no budget has been allotted by the State, for this cause.”

Unfortunately, not everyone goes to the police for help. Although, in this area, Gurgaon has been a safe haven for many couples. “We are unable to help couples who don’t seek police help, as we are not aware about their whereabouts, and the kind of pressure they may be facing,” says Neera Malik, the District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO).  

 Contd from p 1

privileged. Some demonstration projects would be undertaken collectively.

The inception

Journey so far

Aim

The aim of any civic mission is the welfare of the society, and the city they are living in. GRM too is no different, and is committed to bring significant changesin the life of a common Gurgaonite – who battles with basic issues on a daily basis. “Our main aim is to take direct visible action, and to resuscitate the city by addressing its ills. We wish to mobilise and align all stakeholders, towards a commonly accepted development agenda. Some of the GRM partners have committed to undertake social initiatives, that would facilitate inclusive growth, and contribute to the betterment of the under-

In the last few years, Gurgaon has seen many cases of run away couples, but most belong to other States. Durgesh Boken cited a reason for this, “I have advocated around 35 such cases, and in most of them the couple belong to other states – like UP, MP Punjab and Rajesthan. And the reason for this is the better law and order situation in Gurgaon.

and Babita, 21, native of Bihar, lived in Shivaji Park, Gurgaon, with their families. They had known each other for many years. The couple had married secretly in a temple, but initially did not reveal it to their parents. Vikram is working at a prominent Mall as a fire officer, and Babita is an intermediate student. The couple’s lawyer, Durgesh Bokan, moved the petition in the court. “The couple married on November 30, 2011, and wanted to stay together – but their parents objected. The Court took note of the petition, and ordered police protection,”

The Gotras: Social customs

‘Same Gotra’ marriages are said to be the main reason behind the increasing numbers of honour killings in Haryana; but most of the people don’t understand the real terminology of same gotra. In Haryana, there are hundreds of Gotras, and it is widely believed that a couple belonging to the same gotra are akin to siblings. That is why Khap Panchayats are annoyed; they believe that same gotra marriages are nothing short of blasphemy, and an insult to Haryana’s centuries-old culture and customs. According to the custom, a person has to choose his or her partner outside the three gotras of his or her family (grandmother’s, mother’s and his/her own gotra). Although Haryana’s reputation in such cases is not good, Gurgaon offers optimistism for these couples. The only Haryana couple belonged to Sohna; their marriage took place in the DC court last year,” explained Boken. Asked about the educational background of the couples, Boken said, “It’s not that only illiterate, or less educated, people are eloping. Upper middle class, well-educated couples have also been registered here, and got married in front of me. It has nothing to do with the education status of the people.”

A few ‘famous’ cases

Case-1: The couple, Vikram, 27, native of Alwar (Rajasthan),

says the lawyer. Case-2: The couple, Jaibeer, 28, native of Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), and Rinkesh, 24, native of Toey Dadri village of Jhajjar (Haryana), were known to each other for many years. They recently moved the court, seeking protection. The court instructed the police to provide protection, and ensure their stay in the shelter house at the SCERT hostel. Jaibeer was working with a private firm at Narsinghpur, and lived in Binola village in a rented house. He met Rinkesh for the first time in a fair at Silana village, and they fell in love. Jaibeer’s family consented to the marriage, but Rinkesh’s family refused. In the meantime, Jaibeer lost his arm

Mission Possible

We, as a pressure group, are trying to work on these areas; and with the active participation of the government in our initiatives, we are committed to mitigate these problems,” added Singh. A coalition of partners, under the banner of ‘Gurgaon Renewal Mission’ first met on 29th November, 2011, to discuss the critical challenges faced by Gurgaon. The objective is to develop the City as a role model for urban development.

From where do they come?

C over S tory

“We are just five months old, and during this time we have worked hard to channelise our resources, and understand our challenges. Three task forces have been formed. Infrastructure/Governance, Environment, and Healthcare are the core areas where these task forces would apply their expertise. Each task force has one Chairman: the Environmental Task Force is led by Praveen Aggarwal, of Coca Cola India; the Task Force on Infrastructure is led by Col. (retd) Prithvinath of REDCO. Healthcare is led by Dr. Naresh Trehan. For DLF actions at grass root level, a task force led by DLF City RWA Secretary Sudhir Kapoor, has undertaken many pilot projects (for greening, fencing, road repair, encroachments, CCTVs),” explained P.K Joseph, Head - Special Projects and Communication.

Modus Operandi

We have identified the problems of the City, and clearly

demarcated them into four major areas: Infrastructure, Governance, Environment, and Healthcare. And action plans for each of these issues have also been drawn up,” explained Joseph.

Infrastructure / Governance

(A) Transportation Management Systems  Construction, repair and beautification of roads  Public Transportation  Traffic Management (B) Utilities  Large scale Power Generation and Distribution  Large scale Water Supply  Construction of Sewage Systems (C) Governance – Attention of the policy makers and the government machinery is sought, to address issues with regard to:  Adequate use of EDC Charges for External Development  Removal of Encroachments  Removal of Traffic Congestion  Ensuring of security, law and order  Transparency in public

dealings  E-governance Some specific initiatives proposed are: Get water treated from STPs, and recycle; modifications in cremation ground; designated locations for garbage disposal; water reservoirs/lake, on a PPP model.

Environmental (A) Waste Management:

 Waste Collection  Disposal  Treatment  Sewage Systems  Any other (B) Green Covers: (Greening initiatives and City beautification drives)  Bio-diversity Parks  Horticulture  Landscaping  Tree Plantation  Any other (C) Water Management:  Water Conservation  Recycling and re-use  Rain Water Harvesting  Recharging of Ground Water (D) Green Building Practices

in a road accident; but Rinkesh remained committed to him. On January 4, Rinkesh ran away from her house, to Delhi. The twosome met in the capital, and got married on the same day at a temple – but did not reveal it to their parents. Case-3: Minakshi Nagar, who belongs to Kota, Rajasthan, fell in love with Salim Mohammed, who hails from Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district. Both wanted to tie the knot, but their families were not ready for their union. The couple fled to Gurgaon, and got married in Court – after Minakshi accepted Islam as her religion, and changed her name from Minakshi Nagar to Mehar Bano. The couple also expressed danger on their life and liberty. The Court instructed the police to provide them sanctuary. Case-4: The biggest case, not only in the history of Gurgaon, but probably in the history of the entire country, was when two girls tied the knot. In some Western countries, samesex marriage is allowed; but being a third-world and patriarchal country, we have only managed to decriminalise the consensual sex between two adults of the same sex (through the 2009 Delhi High Court verdict, on Section 377 IPC). Savita and Veena, who both belong to Khekaka village in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, filed a petition in the Court, that they are in love and want to get married – since marriage is the only way they can be accepted in society. Veena and Savita got married on 22 July, 2011, by signing an affidavit before a public notary in Gurgaon. However, the dilemma over their same-sex marriage continues – because no Court in the country has the power to legalise a marriage between same-sex adults. u by Developers  Building Materials  Energy Efficiency Measures - Gas Co-generation Systems, Solar Energy, Wind Energy  Water Efficiency Measures Some specific initiatives proposed are: Wage Employment Programme for the underprivileged; waste collection and disposal by RWAs; managing construction waste; penal action for water mis-use; low cost toilets; better water management/pump usage. Undoubtedly, GRM is a good initiative, providing all the stake holders of the City a common platform. It has the participation from various sections of the society. Some valuable links should be added. - e.g Councillors. They are the representatives of the masses. Their involvement in the Mission would certainly strengthen it. There are also many likeminded people and NGOs who have been doing excellent citizen and civic service for years. They need to be wellintegrated; and their work can serve as good learning. Care must also be taken to ensure that government/Administration accountability (on operations and resources) is not diluted, in any of the ‘common areas’. u


30 March–5 April 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Agent Vinod Time: 11:00 am, 12.30 pm, 3.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 10.15 pm Blood Money Time: 10.10 am, 3.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.15 pm, 10.30 pm Wrath Of The Titans Time: 10.45 am, 1.00 pm, 5.30 pm, 10.00 pm Kahaani Time: 3.00 pm, 7.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com

PVR MGF: MGF Mall BLOOD MONEY Time: 10:00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 7:00 pm, 9.15 pm, 11.30 pm WRATH OF THE TITANS - 3D Time: 10.15 am, 12.30 pm, 2.45 pm, 5:00 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.30 pm, 11.45 pm ORDINARY (MALAYALAM) Time: 11:00 am LOVELY (TELUGU) Time: 1.45 pm

PVR: Ambience Premier Blood Money Time: 10:00 am, 2.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 7:00 pm,

11.30 pm WRATH OF THE TITANS - 3D Time: 10.15 am, 12.30 pm, 2.45 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.30 pm, 11.45 pm AGENT VINOD Time: 11.30 am, 2.45 pm, 6:00 pm, 9.15 am, 10.15 pm ABAR BOMKESH (BENGALI) Time: 5:00 pm THE HUNGER GAMES Time: 5:00 pm KAHAANI Time: 12.15 pm, 9.15 pm BUMBOO Time: 10:00 am, 2.45 pm, 7.45 pm PAAN SINGH TOMAR Time: 12.15 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Gold BLOOD MONEY Time: 11.30 am, 4:00 pm, 8.30 pm WRATH OF THE TITANS - 3D Time: 1.45 pm, 6.15 pm, 10.45 pm AGENT VINOD Time: 10:00 am, 1.15 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.55 pm

MASTERS (MALAYALAM) Time: 4.30 pm AGENT VINOD Time: 10:00 am, 11.45 am, 1.15 pm, 3:00 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.30 pm, 10.55 pm PAAN SINGH TOMAR Time: 7.15 pm THE HUNGER GAMES Time: 9.45 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall BUMBOO Time:12.15 pm, 4.45 pm, 9.15 pm AGENT VINOD Time: 11.30 pm KAHAANI Time: 10:00 am, 2.30 pm, 7:00 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall BLOOD MONEY Time: 10:00 am, 3.05 pm, 5.25 pm, 10.30 pm MASTERS (MALAYALAM) Time: 12.20 pm

♦ XXXI All India G.V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship for Big Bore events takes place at the CRPF Campus, Kadarpur. ♦ 1739 inmates (961 undertrials, 778 convicts) at the 87 acres Bhondsi Jail are offered better learning facilities, with the opening of Centres of IG Open School and IG Open National Uni-

07

LOVELY (TELUGU) Time: 7.45 pm AGENT VINOD Time: 10.10 am, 1.20 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.40 pm, 10.50 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Blood Money (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:00 am, 02:25 pm, 06:50 pm, 09:00 pm Wrath of the Titans 3D (U/A) – English Time: 10:20 am, 12:15 pm, 04:25 pm, 11:05 pm Agent Vinod (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:40 am, 01:45 pm, 04:50 pm, 07:55 pm, 11:00 pm Kahaani (U/A) – Hindi Time: 12:10 pm, 04:35 pm, 11:10 pm Bumboo (U/A) – Hindi Time: 02:10 pm, 08:50 pm Paan Singh Tomar (U/A) – Hindi Time: 06:20 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Blood Money (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:05 am 12:10 pm, 08:55 pm, 11:00 pm Wrath of the Titans 3D (U/A) – English Time: 10:10 am, 02:20 pm, 06:45 pm Agent Vinod (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:45 am, 01:50 pm, 04:55 pm, 08:00 pm, 11:05 pm Bumboo (U/A) – Hindi Time: 12:05 pm, 04:30 pm, 10:55 pm Kahaani (U/A) – Hindi Time: 02:15 pm, 06:40 pm, 08:40 pm Paan Singh Tomar (U/A) – Hindi Time: 04:15 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Blood Money (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:15 am, 12:20 pm, 04:40 pm, 09:00 pm Agent Vinod (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:45 am, 01:50 pm, 04:50 pm, 08:00 pm, 11:00 pm Kahaani (U/A) – Hindi Time: 02:25 pm, 06:45 pm, 11:05 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ In the Lok Adalat at the District Court of Gurgaon, 189 cases are settled on the spot. District & Sessions Judge, Dr Bharat Bhushan Parsoon, says that various cases of Motor Vehicles Act, cheque bouncing, and petty criminal cases were taken up. A compensation of Rs 12.75 lakhs was awarded in 4 Motor Vehicle claim cases; besides, 29 petty criminal, and 160 chequebouncing cases were decided. The judgements of Lok Adalats carry equal weight as that of a regular court, and no appeal can be filed against their decision.

L istings

versity. They are inaugurated by the Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice M.M. Kumar, the Administrative (Inspecting) Judge of Gurgaon. The jail already has a computertraining centre. Also inaugurated are a Music cum Cultural Club, and a Library. There are 42 women inmates. ♦ The District Administration and Town & Country Planning department launch a special campaign against illegal construction. The DC PC Meena advises the public not to fall prey to lucrative offers, and to enquire about the legal status of the land (colony/housing society) from the DTP and Revenue officials. ♦ Haryana Power Utilities urges the public to inform about any theft of power that they come across. This can be done through email (24x7) – at xen.enforcement. ggn@gmail.com; or telephone (9am to 5pm, on

Police ............................................................... .......100 Fire Station ............................................................. 101 Ambulance............................................................... 102 White Express Auto..................................0124-4811111 Gurgaon Traffic Police................................................ 1073 Railway Enquiry ............................................... ............139 Women Helpline......................................................... 1091 Children Helpline........................................................ 1098 Senior Citizens Helpline............................................. 1291 LPG Helpline................................................... 011-155233 Weather Helpline........................................ 18001801717 Car Breakdown Helpline.............................. 011-43676767 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.........................................0124-4787828/817/853 DMRC Helpline................................................ 011-155370 Disaster Management Helpline.................................. 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG)....................... 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals...................... 9873302580

working days) – on number 0124 - 2384757. Theft of electricity is a cognizable and nonbailable offence. ♦ The Gurgaon Gramin Bank Chairman S. Indirajith opens 2 new branches in FIP villages (for Financial inclusion); this takes the total branches to 31. GGB has 7 districts and 234 villages under its command. ♦ Shriram School Aravali students collect funds for charity – sell 12 tons of old newspapers for Rs 90,000. ♦ Sushant Lok Phase 1 residents protest wrong use of Community Centre. ♦ Vatika residents take on the builder over poor security. ♦ NHAI says there will be no hike in toll rates, on the e-way, from April 1. The concessionaire says they will take NHAI to court, as it vitiates the Agreement. ♦ A labourer dies after a fall from a high-rise under-construction building. Workers run violent, burn police jeep. Many labourers arrested. 3 companies charge sheeted. ♦ A girl servant commits suicide. ♦ A Hisar couple commits suicide, by hanging, in Pataudi. ♦ Medical student dies in a road accident on NH 8. ♦ CRPF constable dies in accidental grenade blast. ♦ BSF man hangs self, at Bhondsi training centre. ♦ A sex racket is busted in Sec 56. Many arrested. ♦ Criminals rob man of Rs 25 lakhs, at gunpoint. ♦ Car forcibly taken from MBA student, at gunpoint. ♦ Bikers snatch chain from a lady on MG Road. ♦ Tantrik arrested for defrauding a person of lakhs of jewellery. ♦ Liquor consignment being smuggled to Rajasthan intercepted. ♦ Rowdy elements being arrested daily at MG Road, outside pub areas. ♦ 3 Union members are suspended at Suzuki 2 wheeler plant. ♦ Investigation finds contractor guilty, in Orient Craft workers agitation. Company also asked to take more contract workers on rolls.

Worrying about Safety & Security? Now, it is time to rest assured R

FOR 100% THEFT PREVENTION

www.Protect24.in Client Hotline: 9540819054 Sekura Safety Net Pvt Ltd


08

30 March–5 April 2012

Captain Courageous ‘No Power Cuts This Summer’

{ Abhishek Behl & Maninder Dabas / FG }

L

PRAKHAR PANDEY

ast year the denizens of Gurgaon were baked by the oppressive heat, that become searing due to a shortage of power and low voltage in large parts of the City. The industry too suffered, and the scars are still not forgotten. Since the summer is back, and the Millennium City is once again ready to face the brunt of rising temperatures, Friday Gurgaon spoke to Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Yadav, about the impending situation, and how his Ministry and Departments plan to tackle the power shortage. Yadav, who is a grassroots politician from Rewari, also represents the political aspirations of South Haryana – an area comprising fourteen districts. This area is dominated by Yadavs, who want an equal share in the power structure of the State, that has been dominated by Jats. In this interview, he talks about his vision to turn Gurgaon into a medical and education hub, while empowering the entire South Haryana politically – and bringing it at par with the rest of the State.

C ivic/Social

Power Promise

The Haryana Power Minister promises that there would be no load-shedding in the ensuing summer, as his Ministry is making adequate provisions to buy power, add production capacity, and reduce power theft. His assertion that there would be no erratic supply is based on the assumption that thermal power plants in the State will operate at optimum capacity, and the supply of coal will remain smooth. This has never happened in the past. “There would be no powercuts in the coming months, as we will add around 2,000 Megawatts of production capacity soon. New power sub-stations are being set up in Gurgaon City, that will definitely help the City in the coming summer,” says Yadav. “We have put a special emphasis on the operations and maintenance of coal-based power plants. Last year, we had problems because of the break-down of the power plant in Yamuna Nagar, and erratic coal supply. This year, measures have been taken to keep the situation under control, so that people do not face any problems across Haryana,” says the Power Minister. When asked why there cannot be a proper load-shedding schedule, the Minister reiterates that under him Haryana would become power surplus within one year, and there would be no power cuts. He mentions that two 610 MW plants will become operational in Jhajjar, another 500 MW would come from the NTPC power plant, and an additional 400 MW would be bought from the Adani group. “Our only concern is coal, and a letter has been sent to the Union Coal Minister, to ensure that the State gets its due share,” he says. The State government is also very serious about reducing the transmission losses and power theft, as well as recover the dues from consumers. “We have set up eight special police stations, to check power and water theft. The transmission losses have been brought down from 40 per cent, to the present 24 per cent,” he reveals. For Gurgaon, a special plan of Rs. 437 crores has been prepared, for the comprehensive improvement of power infrastructure in the District.  As part of this plan, 6 new power stations, including three 220 KV sub-stations, would be gas based – as these take less space. When asked what was the plan for the new sectors coming up (Sectors 58-115), the Minister replied that development is being done as per the Masterplan 2025.

He, however, says that underground cabling, that was promised earlier, is not possible – as this proposition is quite expensive. “Even the engineers of the DHBVN are not ready to implement this initiative,” says the Minister. He also rules out the possible merger of DHBVN and UHBVN, that has been talked about in recent times. “We are thinking of having a single MD of both the entities, and nothing else,” he asserts. He hints that he was in favour of giving the power distribution rights to a private party, instead of keeping it with the government. A lot of problems are resolved when distribution is in private hands, he asserts.  

Land acquisition must be transparent

As a popular leader, Captain Ajay Yadav is closely connected to the farming community of the State. He has been critical of the manner in which the State has acquired land from farmers, albeit in the name of development, industrialisation and growth. “I think the land acquisition policy of the State should be fair, equitable and humane. Unless 80 per cent of the people agree to sell their land, the government should not force them to part with it,” asserts Yadav. He has come into conflict with his own government over this issue. It is important that the Land Acquisition Act, being proposed by the Central government, comes into force quickly, as it will help the owners, he opines. Mass acquisition of land, he believes, is not required, and it results in negative consequences – as has been witnessed in the case of several SEZs that have failed to take off. “Instead of expansion without any thought, it is important that the existing infrastructure is improved – in Gurgaon and across the State,” asserts Yadav. To ensure that there is no unrest among the farmers, the government must pay compensation that equals four times the market price in rural areas; and two times in the urban areas, he suggests.  

Political Aspirations

Being a popular leader of South Haryana, it is but obvious that Captain Ajay Yadav would like to become the

Chief Minister of the State. But in the Congress the only player that can decide on such an important issue is the High Command – and Yadav also knows this. “For South Haryana, what we are saying is that the government spending for development in this part should be in proportion to the amount of revenue generated by this area,” says Yadav; obviously pointing to the fact that Gurgaon, Faridabad, Manesar—and now Rewari—need to be rewarded for making the State rich. When asked if it is possible to have a Chief Minister from South Haryana, and a Yadav, he smiles and says it is for the High Command to decide. “The decision of the High Command is supreme in the party. However, in future it is possible that leaders from this area take over the reins of the State. But time will tell,” he asserts. He maintains that it is the development of the entire State that is more important to him, than political supremacy.

Vision for Gurgaon

The Haryana Power Minister wants Gurgaon, and the area surrounding it—including Rewari, Mewat and Mahendragarh—to become a medical and education hub of the State. “I have had a discussion with the Chief Minister, and we are planning to set up a University in Rewari. There is a need for a medical college in Rewari district, and we hope that it will also come up soon – as efforts are being nade for the same,” says Yadav. In Gurgaon, it is important that a bench of the High Court is set up, so that people do not have to go Chandigarh. When asked whether Gurgaon could ever think of becoming the capital of the State, Yadav replies in the negative. “This City, like Chandigarh, is at one corner of Haryana – and it is not strategically located,” he avers. And this may actually be a blessing. South Haryana has been lucky that it has witnessed an industrial and IT boom. Now is the time to produce adequate talent. “I think the youth need to be given adequate opportunities for education, particularly those from the backward areas,” he asserts.

Gurgaon Development Authority

Like many others in Gurgaon, he also believes that the Millennium City would be benefitted by an overarching body, that could guide the MCG, HUDA and the local Administration, towards development of the City. “I think Gurgaon should have an organisation like this, so that various development issues and problems can be tackled in a better way,” opines Yadav. He also admits that presently there are co-ordination issues among various State agencies in Gurgaon. “The MCG is in a transitional phase, and time must be given to it, so that it develops capacities to serve the City,” says Yadav.

Green Haryana, Clean Gurgaon

As the State Environment and Forest Minister also, Captain Yadav wants to reduce the use of plastic bags in the State. “The use of plastic bags is very bad for the environment. The government has banned the use of these bags, but the implementation is not adequate. I want to ensure that these are not used in the State,” says Yadav. There are also plans to plant more trees in the State. “The government has been very strict in enforcing pollution control measures in industry. We have been a little less strict in checking pollution caused by urban development – but that is going to change. More Solid Waste Treatment Plants, and garbage treatment centres, would be set up in the cities in the coming months – to ensure that the environment remains clean,” says the Environment Minister. He would also like to help bring about a second agricultural revolution in the State, as crop production has become static. The Central government has given a grant of Rs. 50 crore to the State Agricultural University, for research and development; and the need of the hour is to develop seeds that can withstand the harsh weather and extreme temperature, he says. “Agriculture is the mainstay of our entire economy, and it is important that we improve the infrastructure and develop rural areas,” concludes Yadav with a smile. He reiterates his promise that Gurgaon will not see another bitter summer this year. u


30 March–5 April 2012

{ Hritvick Sen / FG } Case I: The Sector-10 hospital is still crumbling due to official apathy, despite Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA’s) Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar ordering its handover to be fasttracked. Case II: The illegal brick market has not yet moved to its new location in Sector-10, despite Dr. Kumar’s personal visit to the location.

E

veryone knows that the HUDA Chief, Dr. Praveen Kumar, has injected adrenaline in the HUDA works. Moving beyond HUDA, Dr. Kumar has even gone into the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) territory. Acres of land have been cleared of encroachments, sidewalks and streets have been given back to the citizens, and the laidback HUDA officials have suddenly found the will to wake up at four in the morning and start working. But people living in the HUDA sectors itself have been waiting patiently for their turn. “We see newspapers mentioning Dr. Kumar doing something or the other for the City everyday. But my HUDA Sector (27) has been lying in a shambles for so long. Why doesn’t he visit us and listen to the RWA?” says a resident. Slowly, HUDA residents are feeling that the good Administrator has left the HUDA Sectors’ maintenance and development in the wake. “The officials are never at their posts,” says a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) head of a HUDA Sector. “I have written dozens of letters, and none of them have been responded to.” The RWA heads of some of the worst-affected HUDA sectors have bittersweet memories; between what they had expected from the HUDA Administrator, and what they have received in reality. Sector 9-A RWA President Col. Ram Singh “The rules say that whenever you build a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), you have to build it at least a kilometre away from any group housing, because of the stench from the works. Then, the area surrounding the STP has to be ringed with shrubbery and plants, that will soak up the smell. Both these rules have been thrown to the wind, when building this Sector,” says a visibly-irate Col. Ram Singh. The retired official says the residents in his Sector have almost resigned themselves to live with the stench from the STP, knowing that nothing will be done.

C ivic/S ocial

Charity Begins At Home, HUDA Ji His RWA has written scores of letters to the HUDA’s horticulture department, asking for adequate greenery and benches. An adjoining wall of the one of the community parks had crumbled two years ago, and “the Horticulture Department has done nothing, in reply to our letters,” says Col. Singh. It seems that only political clout will affect these babus, an RWA member feels. Sector 9 RWA President Kapil Grover Grover says, “Our Sector is ailing from the malaise of bad roads, broken-down sewage connections, and no sanitation work.” The RWA has complained several times to the Administration, and has received no reply to their entreaties. Sector 10-A RWA President N.K Rao Sitting in his home, Rao slowly rises in tempo and colour, as he recounts his RWA’s efforts to improve their Sector. The main problem is roads and drainage, he maintains. Rao says, “Dr. Kumar came to our Sector for inspection, on 14th December. We were ready for him at the break of dawn, with all our papers in order at the Community Centre.” Rao says that the Administrator listened to their woes, and ordered for work to be done. “But very little of what he had

The Defendant Says: A senior HUDA official says that although they have a limited workforce, the problems are unlimited. “We are taking inspections of HUDA sectors one by one, and work is being done. It may not take place immediately, (but it will happen). On Wednesday, we inspected Sector 4, and there are several instances of work that need to be done.”

In recent times, while the HUDA Chief has offered to take on the maintenance of MCG areas and private builder colonies, he has fumbled the ball in his own areas. And despite almost 6 months now, many feel that HUDA’s new avatar is still only because of its Administrator, and not because of a change of heart in the cadre. HUDA, as an agency, is primarily a developer, not a maintainer. But it does perform maintenance all the same. And, like other private builders, this developer has also not let go of its sectors, even though decades have passed since it has developed them. The reason: not all the plots have been sold; and there is good income coming from unoccupied plots. The previous Administrator had said that the handover of the sectors to the MCG would have to be done at the Chief Secretary level; and there is no sign of that happening in the near future. Even HUDA’s demolition drives are now sounding contrived. The Authority’s Horticulture department is also at the receiving end of both the Administrator and the Sector RWAs. “Except for freeing land encroached by ‘government-backed goondas’, HUDA has not performed any major construction for the benefit of the people of the Sectors, or the citizens at large. There has been no increase in the supply of water, and only a few sectors have benefited from the sanitation upgrades. Streetlights and bad roads remain a major problem for a majority of the HUDA sector residents,” says a RWA head.

said has actually been put in place,” says a frustrated Rao. For example, the RWA had put forward the idea that since 332 of their members were senior citizens, the modest Community Centre could be upgraded with a bathroom, an additional room, a hall, and a kitchen. “It would be so much more homely and useful for the old people,” says Rao. “The Administrator had ordered his JE and Executive Engineers to draw up plans for the Community Centre.” But three months have gone by, and no HUDA official has even visited the Community Centre for a survey. Going back to his original issues, Rao says, “The drainage system of this sector is very old, and has not undergone any maintenance. The drains have clogged up with filth, and broken down; and whenever it rains, the Sector is afloat in a foot of black sewer water.” And then, the tarred roads break down. The situation is such that there is no unbroken stretch of road left in the Sector. Riffling through his papers, Rao counts off, “Take the road from House 329 to House 545. There had been an order for an RMC road, which has started months late. Then, there is no road from House 773 to House 1086 – the rains have washed it away years ago. The road that leads from Shakti Park to our Sector draws thousands of vehicles a day; and the broken-down state means that we have traffic jams and the honking of horns

09

Sector 14 RWA Ex-Secretary BD Pahuja “He has certainly done a lot for Sector-14. I remember when he came for the inspection of the Sector. He had the inner Sector roads cleaned, which hadn’t been done properly for years; and ordered the Horticulture Head V.K Nirala to supply us with plants for our Community Parks. We had been asking them for so long with no results – and he made it possible,” says Pahuja. “Dr. Kumar came to the Sector market at midnight, and announced that whatever extensions the shopkeepers had made had to be removed, in the space of a few hours. It has been several years since the market visitors have had the full pavement to themselves,” he says. “I would definitely say that he has worked, where the earlier Administrators failed.” Sector 4&7 RWA General Secretary Amit Arora Amit Arora bristles at the name of the HUDA Horticulture department. “I have gone to their office and talked to their Chief (V.K Nirala) scores of times, and he is always not available. There can be no work done in that department.” Working for both HUDA Sectors 4 and 7, Arora says, “I have brought to HUDA’s notice several anomalies that had been there right under their noses. We have had several run-ins with HUDA’s sanitation contractor, who has not been doing his work. Dr. Kumar had taken inspection of our Sectors, and only some work has been done. The patching of the roads has not been

A prominent shopkeeper and a former RWA head says, “It’s unfair to lay down everything as the responsibility of the HUDA Administration. I have been a RWA head for several years, and it is people who have to buck up and keep their neighbourhood clean. I see the people coming out and dumping their trash on the road, and see shopkeepers who dump refuse on the pavement. These are the people who complain that HUDA is not doing anything. The sanitation people are working, and I have seen them. When HUDA made this market, they constructed a public toilet in the centre of the market. Now, the people on both sides complain of the distance they have to go, and want more toilets near their shops. They think that the HUDA Administrator’s responsibility is just limited to building toilets for them. I believe that if you want a clean neighbourhood, you have to pick up the broom yourself,” he comments. throughout the day.” On the good side, Rao says that the HUDA Junior Engineer (JE) Devender has ensured that there is decent cleanliness work being done in the Sector. “He has actually heeded our requests, and the Sector has benefited from his work,” vouches Rao. Sector 47 RWA President Sunil Yadav Yadav admits that the Administrator has made an inspection of his Sector, but there’s hasn’t been any follow-up advantage. “The main problem of the Sector is the non-availability of drains connecting to the main sewer lines. That creates a lot of problems for the residents,” he says. Did the inspection by the Administrator help the Sector? “Well, the road that was being built stopped midway,” he says sardonically. The road from the Community Centre to the DPS school was being built, and the contractor strike paused the work. “The strike ended, but the work didn’t re-start. The road work started on December 11, and stopped after a few days,” Yadav recalls.

completed; and the market’s toilet has still not been cleaned.” Sector 23 Former RWA President Wg Cdr PC Sharma “Ours is one of the oldest Sectors, and the Administrator had taken a good two-three day inspection of the Sector,” says Sharma. “On his orders, the roads are being mended, and work is certainly being done. When he came, he had asked for the roads to be relaid, and two of the entry gates to be beautified,” he recalls.” That is being done, and also the sanitation work has picked up speed. As of now, we have eight sanitation vehicles coming here to pick the garbage. It is not completely a happy situation, as there’s scope for a lot of improvement in the Sector’s sanitation – but we’re getting there, thanks to the Administrator’s intervention.” u


10

Civic/Social

30 March–5 April 2012

An Active Forum

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

D

espite lack of resources and infrastructure, meagre staff and too much workload, the Gurgaon District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum is coming to the rescue of hapless consumers in the Millennium City. The consumers suffer equally at the hands of corporates, government entities, and individual businessmen. Every month, around 60 complaints are filed with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – that pertain either to deficiency of service, or poor quality of

Forum, he adds. “Our prime objective is to ensure that justice is done to whosoever comes to the Consumer Forum. It takes about three months to decide, as it involves a summary trial,” says Bahmani. He is of the opinion that Gurgaon needs at least one more bench of the Consumer Forum, as the number of complaints is rising every day, and there is pendency of about 1950 cases. Gurgaon being a business and corporate hub, has the highest number of consumer cases in Haryana. Bahmani says it is imperative that government sanc-

Total number of cases filed and disposed of, at the Gurgaon District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum Against (Institutions)

Petitions Filed

Petitions Disposed

Banks

1009

877

Railways

17

14

Airlines

35

19

Insurance

2586

2180

Telecom

1434

1432

Postal

99

85

Housing

2237

1802

Power

11774

11560

Medical Negligence

165

139

Defective Household Goods

199

178

Education

181

110

Road Transport

52

41

products. Interestingly, the majority of the complaints are against HUDA, DHBVN, insurance companies and banks. Raghvinder Singh Bahmani, President of the Forum says that they have a jurisdiction to decide cases up to Rs. 20 lakhs; while cases up to Rs. 1 crore can be filed with the State Forum. A case that involves an amount of more than Rs. 1 crore needs to be filed at the National

tion more staff and a building for this important institution, as it is safeguarding the interests of the consumers. A majority of the people are satisfied by the deliberations in this Court, as the process is straightforward and does not take much time, he says. “Once a complaint is filed, notice is issued to the opposing party, and documents are sought – on the basis of which arguments are heard,” says

Bahmani. He admits that it takes some time for compliance of orders, as many of the litigants appeal to the higher forums – and can of course go up to the Supreme Court. The Gurgaon Forum under Bahmani has delivered a number of landmark decisions – against the government, as well as multinational companies. “Cases against individual businessmen and private cases are decided as a routine, but the problem arises in cases involving government entities such as DHBVN and HUDA – as they are very slow in compliance. It is important that decision making powers in these organisations be delegated, so that the field officials can take decisions that help the consumers,” he says. A number of consumer complaints in Gurgaon are being filed against fake academic and professional institutions. Bahmani says students should carefully check the antecedents of an institution before taking admission, as they could be duped by unscrupulous elements. This week, the Consumer Court, in a landmark decision, directed a private institution based in Udyog Vihar to pay back the fees (Rs. 2.6 lakhs), along with a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh, after it was found that the institute was offering an unrecognised degree. Last year also a student had filed a case against the said institute, for offering a degree that was not recognised. It is evident that despite a strong consumerist culture developing across India, there is not much emphasis on the rights of the consumers – many of whom are left alone to fight large corporations and government entities, says Ramani Ranjan Khuntia, who had come to file a complaint against a private finance company.

Khuntia, who is a finance professional, alleges that he was forced to take an insurance policy by the finance company, after he was sanctioned a home loan by them. “I was asked to take a personal insurance policy, despite the fact that I already had a cover of around Rs. 50 lakhs. The policy that the company sold me was not in any way related to the bank loan,” alleges Khuntia. He had to bear a loss of about Rs. 70,000, for discontinuing the policy. He further opines that the loan disbursing companies and banks operate in an opaque manner, and force the consumers to sign papers and documents in a hurried manner. “The clients are not allowed to go through the documents, and are ultimately forced to do things that they do not wish to,” he asserts. He hopes that his move to the Consumer Forum will bring some sense to the company officials. L.P Baudh, Superintendent of the Forum, says that for every 250 cases there should be a Consumer Court – but this has not happened in Gurgaon. “To ensure that the rights of the consumers are safeguarded, there is need for more resources. Every month 50 to 60 cases are filed,” he says. Interestingly, he says that a large number of cases are

being filed against mobile phone makers and sellers, for the past couple of years. “Either the phones are defective, or the companies do not get them repaired; and the consumers are suffering,” says Baudh. He reveals interesting statistics about the consumer complaints in Gurgaon. A large number of cases in Gurgaon are also filed against builders, who fail to deliver on the promises that they make during the launch of a project. “Either the plots are not allotted, or the construction is not of good quality – but such cases inevitably go to higher forums,” says one of the officials. He is obviously pointing to the resources and clout the builders have in Gurgaon. Despite generating the largest number of consumer complaints in Haryana, the District Consumer Redressal Forum is functioning in a rented building that does not even have adequate storage facilities for the records. The President, who is a former District Judge, had to demolish a bathroom in one of the rooms to expand the retiring room. In his opinion, if the interests of the consumers are to be safeguarded, then the State government will have to support the Forum in terms of resources, and send a clear message that the rights of the consumers are supreme in the State. u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. The schools are shut. Sakool bandh hore hain. 2. What will children do during holidays? Chuttiya mein baalak ke karenge? 3. We will take them out somewhere Hum Unne Baar Leke chaalenge 4. They have nothing to do. Un dhorro kuch karan tayi konya. 5. When will they start school? Sakool kadh khullenge? As of March 28, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Food Take

Area/ Palam Sector 54 vegetables Vihar

To offer similar deals in town, contact: 9899443477

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes (old/new)

15

12

12

12

10

10

10.90

9.75

Onions

14

14

12

16

10

12

12.90

12

Tomatoes

36

30

30

35

28

28

31.90

28

Cucumbers

40

36

30

35

28/30

32

40

36

Spinach

12

16

16

15

14

15

13

15

Peas

32

35

24

40

25

30

30

32

Carrot

32

24

20

30

24

25

31.90

26

Ladies Finger

100

65

70

70

65

70

69

65

Mushroom

25

30

30

30

25

25

35

25


6. One less can on shelf 7. Spoon on floor vanishes 8. Table leg shorter 9. Light bulb missing 10. Mousehole in wall

1. Curtain dot appears. 2. Chimney smaller 3. Bird escapes. 4. Light switch lower 5. Man qains finger

Solutions Spot The Difference

Sudoku Kids

Spot The Difference

Kids Brainticklers

Solutions

30 March–5 April 2012

Kid Corner

11


12

30 March–5 April 2012

K id Corner

Lancers Sports

L

Founders at Pathways

ancers Primary Wing celebrated its Sports Day. The day began with the March Past of the four houses – Peace, Truth, Virtue, and Faith. The tiny tots had fun participating in various events, such as the long race and the sprint hurdle race.

P

athways World School celebrated its Founders Day with an original production of the Old Turtle. The Chief Guest, Padma Vibhushan Shri Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India, began the evening with a message to all – to actively take up the responsibilities of citizenship, by developing compassion and tolerance. The children of the Primary school stole the hearts, with their ingenuous portrayal of the glory of nature. The Middle and Senior school worked together to produce scenes of thoughtprovoking horror – by holding up a mirror to our darkest natures. An hour-long dance and drama production was a visual delight for the audience.

SCR Annual Day

S

CR Public School organised its Annual Day. The Chief Guest, MLA and State Sports Minister Sukhbir Kataria, spoke on the importance of physical and mental fitness in the life of students. The Principal, Sudesh Kumar, presented the vote of thanks to the Chief Guests.

Motherly Touch

A

Rangoli Competition brought out the latent talent among the kids at Shalom Hills International School, as they made beautiful patterns and designs on the ground. Mothers of the tiny tots were seen helping their kids in the activity. The aim of the event was to strengthen the bond between children and their mothers.

Dreamland Ryan

R

yan Global Montessori celebrated its first graduation ceremony at Epicentre. The audience witnessed a range of scintillating dance and musical performances. The theme of the ceremony was “Ryan, our land of Dreams”. The school staged four shows, from 9:30 am to 4 pm. The ceremony ended on a solemn note, with the children receiving their Graduation certificates, as their proud parents looked on.

KGs Step up at MRIS

A

t the close of the Kindergarten academic session at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46, the children were ready for the final theme Assembly. It was a momentous occasion for the students, as they graduated to Grade I. In their graduation gowns, they looked grownup and ready to take on the future. They were conferred with Graduation certificates, by the Principal Ms. Dhriti Malhotra.


30 March–5 April 2012

K id Corner

13

Nature Journaling Holiday Fun! { Surekha Waldia }

T Bagiya Sports Day B

agiya, a school for the underprivileged, celebrated its Sports Day recently. The highlight of the day were the events organised for the little ones, including the sack race and spoon race. Prizes were distributed to all winners.

Rotary’s Regalia 2012 T

he pre-primary section of the Rotary Public School celebrated its Annual Day, titled 'Regalia 2012'. The pick of the day was a performance based on the Hanuman Chalisa. It was repeated, on special requests by the audience. This was followed by skits, singing, and dancing performances. HUDA Administrator, Dr. Praveen Kumar, was the Chief Guest on the occasion.

Holy Heart Annual Day

T

iny tots at the Holy Heart Preparatory School staged a lively dance show, on the occasion of the School's Annual Day. The event was inaugurated by the founder of the school, Dharamvir Gandhi, and Lajvanti Gandhi. While pre-nursery kids gave a message for animal protection through a programme – Animal Kingdoms, the kids from Nursery B performed to the Bollywood song, 'Rang De Basanti'.

he Golden Equilateral Triangle of Education defines Optimum Education as ‘nurturing a child with unbiased perception, through exploration and discovery of the natural world – which would help him/ her evolve into a creative and independent individual’. The natural world can be further defined as the world outside the home – where a child gets to interact and observe the world around him/ her. This not only helps encourage a pattern of lifelong learning, it also makes the child fall in love with nature. A unique way of observation is through Nature Journaling, which is a process of keeping a place-based, personal record of events, observations and experiences in the outdoors. It is a log book that is a collection of reflections about a place; creating an intellectual learning about the environment, and developing an emotional connect to the place. Hoffman states that the Nature Journal enables a deeper awareness of the setting, seasons, and other species – and provides opportunities for authentic learning. It incorporates writing and drawing as major elements; and using verbal, nonverbal, analytic, logical, spatial and synthetic abilities. Keeping a Journal allows the student to lead the learning with his/ her own queries. It’s an experience that helps the observer slow down, carefully take note of his/her surroundings, and make first-hand concrete observations of nature. It reinforces active learning. We as parents, and the school, are responsible to weave the child into the fabric of society, through education – to become a creative individual with high self-esteem. Nature Journal is one such tool, where optimum education can be imparted, and where learning comes with pleasure. A student is given opportunities to hear what others have learnt (knowledge), and to then discuss, argue, and reflect on this knowledge – to gain a greater understanding of its truth, and of how this knowledge will be of use to him/her. Knowledge is tested by making the student reflect upon what he/she has learnt, by using experiential, value-oriented practices – rather than being concerned with a standardised end product of tests and targets. A parent’s active participation is an important extra ingredient that boosts their child’s success. Parents’ active involvement with their child’s education—at home and at school—en-

Olympiad Winner

S

.L Madhumitha, a Class III student of Swiss Cottage School, secured rank 704 in the final round of The 5th International Mathematics Olympiad.

PathBreaker’s Academy was established by a team of professionals from global firms having background in Chartered Accountancy and Management with over 25 years in experience. PathBreaker’s Academy with founders Vision to create a hub of education for imparting knowledge to all the sections of society. Being the core focus into Finance & Accounting at the 1st phase they have started with batches for CPT,IPCC, CA Final, CS, CWA. A PathBreaker stand for Out of the Box, Infinity, Limitless, Goal Oriented, Extra Ordinary, Smart, Passionate, Attitude and makes a positive, graceful, pleasant impact on the world. Academy is committed to make and groom the coming generation follow the same lines.

courages learning, enhances the child’s selfesteem, and further cements the parent-child relationship. You can start this active participation by providing your child the opportunity to show his/her discovery, through the observations he/she has made about the nature that surrounds him/her.

Steps to begin Nature Journaling

Step1: Journals can be started using a few simple tools: several sheets of loose leaf paper, a hard writing surface (a clipboard will suffice in the field), and a writing instrument

(HB pencil or crayons). Consider binding the papers together with a staple or two, thus providing multiple pages to use over a period of time. Step 2: At the start of each Journal entry, record the date, time of day, location, and weather (air temperature, description of the sky, etc.). Step 3: Observing nature is at the heart of the Journal. Rule 1- Observe first. Rule 2- Write second, because observing is what gives you something to write about. Step 4: Journals include sketches, rubbings, maps, colours, tables, measurements, questions, wonder, surprise, mystery, delight, and beauty. Avoid editing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation in the field. Edit for accuracy in content, as it is essential to the fieldjournaling process. u


14

K id Corner

30 March–5 April 2012

In ancient India many teachers taught lessons to their students through stories, just as it is done today. In fact, a teacher called Pandit Vishnu Sharma wrote all the stories of the Panchatantra just to teach four young princes about kingship! Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.

1

2

4

5

3

The Better Half

Star Fun

9 to 5

© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

Animal Crackers

Baby Blues

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel

– Atullya Purohit, V B, Blue Bells Model School


30 March–5 April 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The Sweet Detoxifier { Jaspal Bajwa }

E

asily one of the most widely known medicines in ancient times, this sweet, wood-flavoured ‘thirstquencher’ found a mention on Assyrian tablets 4,000 years ago. In China, liquorice (‘Gan Cao’) has been called the ‘great detoxifier’, and ‘the grandfather of herbs’, as it harmonises the effects of other herbs – helping to prolong their effects. In Ayurveda, ‘Mulatthi’ (or ‘Yashtimadhu’) has been revered for centuries, for its anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, expectorant, antimicrobial, and anxietyreducing properties. Liquorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a type of legume that grows in southern Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Its distinctive flavour is due to the presence of an aromatic compound called anethole, that is also found in fennel and anise. A compound in liquorice root, glycyrrhizin, is the source of sweetness – up to 50 times greater than sugar. This is why the herb is also known as ‘sweet root’; leading to its popularity as a confectionery flavour in the food industry. Liquorice root is traditionally used to treat cough associated with asthma and bronchitis. As an expectorant, it helps to expel mucous; and as a demulcent, it soothes irritation.

Join us now!

Other applications for liquorice root are for gastrointestinal complaints, such as acid reflux and peptic ulcers.

Tip of the week

Not all candies that are labelled as having ‘Liquorice flavour’ actually contain it. The flavour may come from the essential oil of anise, or synthetic flavouring – and not liquorice itself. When using it for its therapeutic effects, it is always better to source the natural product from a reliable health food store. Sous is a drink served in Middle Eastern countries, with a liquorice root. It is relatively easy to make. Cut up the liquorice root, and soak it in water. Liquorice is often added to mouth-

C

orn is one of the most popular summer vegetable crops grown in India. The cultivation of corn (maize) began over 8,000 years ago, in Mesoamerica – a geographical area that includes Central and Southern Mexico, and Central America. Although we often associate corn with the colour yellow, it actually comes in a host of different colours and varieties – featuring an array of red, pink, black, purple, and blue.

Health Benefits of Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is loved by both adults and children alike, because of its flavour. This vegetable is a great source of vitamins and minerals. In addition to the sweet corn health benefits, the nutritional profile is pretty good. Sweet corn has Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, folate, phosphorus, dietary fibre, and manganese. The high fibre content is one of the biggest benefits of corn. Fibre has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fibre is also useful in lowering blood

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Liquorice root extract

There are many compounds in liquorice root. Liquorice helps normalise the functions of organs and glands. Specifically, it restores activity of the pituitary – also known as the ‘master’ endocrine gland. It produces and secretes many hormones, which in turn direct the processes stimulating other glands, to produce different types of hormones. The pituitary gland controls biochemical processes important to our well-being. Liquorice can enhance the immune system, provide antioxidant support, support healthy levels of cholesterol, and thin the blood.

To prevent and treat dry and cracked heels, apply the pulp of a ripe banana on the cracked area. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it clean

Precaution

At lower dosages, or normal consumption levels, few adverse reactions have been reported. Liquorice root has been used in daily doses, from 2 to 15 g, for ulcer and gastritis. However, higher doses, given for extended periods (beyond 6 weeks), may pose a risk of hyperkalemia – i.e. higher-than-normal levels of potassium in the blood. Liquorice-associated hypertension is caused by a fluid imbalance in the body, involving sodium, potassium, and water metabolism. Liquorice use during pregnancy should be avoided. There have been reports of women developing high blood pressure, and low potassium levels, when they took liquorice while on oral contraceptives. Liquorice may enhance some of the

adverse effects of insulin. Liquorice root should not be consumed by any one who has a history of diabetes, hypertension or heart, liver or kidney disease. Liquorice root may increase the effects of heart and diabetes medications, ACE inhibitors, diuretics and corticosteroids. It is recommended to consult with a health care practitioner before using this herb – if you are on medication related to a chronic condition. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

07838358788, 0124-4268-086 242, Second Floor, DTMega Mall, DLF Phase I, Gurgaon - 122001, www.vivafit.in

sugar levels in diabetics. Corn is just as important in preventing heart disease. Sweet corn is an excellent source of folate, that is commonly known as Vitamin B9. Sweet corn contains high levels of thiamine, or Vitamin B1. Thiamine is an essential nutrient for the brain cell, cognitive function, and for the maintenance of memory capabilities. Corn is also said to assist in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vision Protection

Sweet corn contains the antioxidant zeaxanthin (the yellow pigment that naturally occurs in sweet corn). Consumption of zeaxanthin can have a protective effect against age-related eye diseases – such as macular degeneration. Yellow corn is rich in carotenoid lutein, that can lower the risk of age-related vision loss.

15

washes, to prevent tooth decay and mouth sores. Liquorice can also be used as a wash, for itchy skin and rashes; or added to hair care products, to help reduce dandruff.

Vivafit

Corn Please! { Alka Gurha }

W ellness

Canned Corn

It is hard to top the flavour and consistency of fresh corn on the cob. However, sometimes it is more convenient to use canned corn. In spite of the common perception that fresh produce is more healthy, canned sweet corn doesn’t lack for vitamins and minerals. The small amount of fat in canned sweet corn is mostly heart-healthy mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A cup of canned sweet corn contains 1.8 g of dietary fibre, which provides a feeling of fullness – and prevents overeating. In addition, dietary fibre helps protect against constipation. Canned sweet corn, however, can be high in salt. So while you are enjoying your canned corn cup, do avoid extra salt and butter/margarine.

Only for Ladies Fitness Place

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

Corn Oil

Corn oil is cooking oil made entirely from corn products. Corn oil is high on fats, mainly because it is made from the fatty acid chains. A tablespoon of corn oil contains 120 calories, all of which come from fat. The beneficial aspect is the presence of Vitamin E. Since there are numerous health benefits of corn, it is a must-have in a wellbalanced diet. u

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


16

30 March–5 April 2012

P

The Corporate Circle

DCA – Plan Do Check Action (or the ‘modern’ version CAP Do), is the circle of life, in the corporate world. Not just for the process cycle for any activity (for which it was framed), but for the journey itself. It is a wonderfully wholesome concept. As a process for an activity, PDCA is powerfully simple. You Plan an activity/ event/operation/experiment, then begin implementation (Doing) of that Plan, pause to Check/review your progress versus Objectives/ Targets (that were part of your Plan) at preferably planned intervals, and then take corrective Action (depending on how well you have performed versus the Plan, and/or how much has changed externally).

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

FAMOUS QUOTES What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate. Donald Trump The best effort of a fine person is felt after we have left their presence. Ralph Waldo Emerson “The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” Richard Bach “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” E. Joseph Cossman Seven days without laughter make one weak. Joel Goodman ”Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein

Comment

As a process for the organization, PDCA forms the very basis of annual corporate performance; and of course can be used for non-corporate, business, govt., and even personal situations. First comes the Planning (hopefully done in the last quarter of the previous year) – the Plan A (there is seldom a Plan B). Timelines are drawn up, meetings scheduled. Extensive discussions and negotiations follow – and a Plan for each division/department/function/ unit is agreed (at least that is what the boss always believes). Key result Areas (KRAs) and Targets are framed - literally. And then comes the time to Do, to implement the Plan. The Plan needs to be communicated effectively, to the last person. The focus shifts from all HQs (Corporate, Functional, Field), to the front end. It is time to stop looking over someone’s shoulder. It is the time to empower. It is time for toil; time for the workers, the busy ants and the busy bees - the first, and most important, line to the Customers. Of course this activity of Doing never ends it just changes, as per directions from above. The Circle could stop here, if all is going as planned – internally and externally. That, is never going to happen. And so it is back to the drawing board. Not the Planning board, but the Check/review board. Check what went wrong, what could be better? Searching questions will be asked, opinions will be aired, judgements will be made. And that must lead to the appropriate answers and actions, in the most critical segment of the Circle – Action (the revised/ corrective Action, for achieving the Plan – after the Doing and Checking). Only a robust Check/ review will lead to an effective (corrective) Action - the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)

principle is universal. Of course the Plan itself may come up for review, after a Check. Yes, it does get complicated – after all, it is err….humans running the show. And finally, PDCA is versatile enough to encompass the circle of a professional corporate life. There is first youth - the Trainee, the fresh professional graduate. Full of concepts and theory – ready to unleash her latest learning. She is happiest at HQ, churning numbers, and being part of Planning and Budgets. MBAs relish this period of corporate life. Lots of participation, lots of data, very little accountability. It is a heady feeling – normally for a short while. That is the time to depart – to go out of HQ, and into the “real” world. Many do not. The “comfort” of HQ and Metro life is hard to give up – and more so today. The Doing at HQ can become stale. The Doing in the “field”, in “operations”, has more life and learning. Customer-facing roles have no substitute. So many of the unsung heroes are out there, delivering the revenue and profit daily. The experience of managing an “operation”, of practical Doing, will be one of the most potent weapons in her armoury – for optimum use in the later part of her career. With middle age, normally in middle management, hopefully comes some wisdom. It is time to give back, to add solid value, and to empower. Never mind if she did not get it from her seniors. Using her experience, doing her homework, raising relevant questions, and listening with the mind open, helps her add great value. Some inquisitors wait for this Check/review period, to be on the ‘other side’ of the table – and can be mean. It is an imperfect world. Of course, some are excellent, in trying to find the right and root cause for each problem/variance. The real test is yet to come. Many a manager can ask many questions, even relevant ones; it is just a few that can distill the information, discussion, evaluation, and come up with the right way forward – the corrective Action (Plan). Doing so consistently, and matched by the resultant performance, tells you that you are ready for the top. Most fail here; only a few can put it all together – the knowledge, the skills, the experience, the character. They become the leaders. The risk-reward equation, the responsibility-accountability-authority paradigm, is the clearest here. The circle of corporate life is most certainly uncertain; her knowledge, skills, experience and character should move that constantly towards a less uncertain certainty.


30 March–5 April 2012

B on V ivant

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Emerging, Yet Not Modern { Srimati Lal }

D

eveloping the courage to make visual breakthroughs – to depart from staid academic conventions, and evolve towards the necessary relevance of a Contemporary Art-language – is the most important challenge for emerging Indian painters. The idiom of Contemporaneity, however, requires the extensive experience of contemporary living; and an ability to un-learn – to discard outdated academic notions. These are intellectual challenges that do not come easy. Repeated risk-taking, visual guts, and a staunch avoidance of cliches and sentimentality, are vital to arrive at the realm of painterly originality. Further, painters must embody  a very sharp observation of their surrounding realities. It is far easier, and so much more convenient, for artists to comfortably take shelter in outdated visual conventions – rather than bravely express their actual experiences of a more difficult prevalent Truth. Two painters, now on display in Gurgaon, exemplify the above dilemma: albeit in different manner. Kolkata artist Sukanta Das held an exhibition,’Seamless Challenges’, at  Gallery Alternatives in DT MegaMall; and NCR Pottery-maker Anju Kumar displayed her fledgling paintings, ‘Vibrations’, at  The Gallery Mall, on MG Road. Both these artists long for painterly exposure as ‘modern artists’; but the moot question is, do their efforts sufficiently embody contemporary energies? The 21 Acrylic on Canvas paintings on display, by Sukanta Das, indicate the 39-year-old artist’s level of conventional draughtsmanship, set within a traditional ‘romantic’ mode. The problem, however, is Sukanta’s tendency to visually repeat him-

self. His images cover the same outmoded sentimental ground – both in terms of his RadhaKrishna  imagery, and his restrictive palette of grey, moss and sepia. When new, free visual energy is held back, a kind of claustrophobia is the inevitable outcome – which is inimical to artistic evolution. That is, sadly, ever-present in Sukanta’s recent body of works. A Bachelor of Visual Arts from Rabindra Bharati University, Sukanta was trained by stalwarts of the Kolkata art fraternity, including the late maverick painter Dharmanarayan Dasgupta – an artist whom I con-

Anju Kumar’s creativity

sider a visionary ahead of his time. Dharmanarayan’s quirky, witty and charming depictions of the Bangali-Bhadralok embodied his ability to break-free from Bengali visual stereotypes, and to avoid the monotony of a sepia palette. Sukanta confessed that he is also inspired by the late Bikash Bhattacharya, another leading Bengali visionary. But, unlike Sukanta, Bikash managed to express his inner nature via his own unique genre of ‘North-Calcutta Surrealism’. It is in such vital areas

{ Bhavana Sharma }

W

e should follow nature’s lead as much as possible, with the aim of creating harmony and balance. Joyful feng shui energies in your garden design will contribute to more healing energy to your home. Here are some tips to help you plan your garden.  Paths should never be straight; let them meander through your garden. A curved path encourages chi to move slowly and freely. If you already have straight paths, then allow plants to grow over them – for circulation of chi around them.  Trees or large shrubs at the back of the garden provide privacy and protection. A garden should have these spaces, to help one relax and enjoy the sunshine and gentle breeze.  Energise your plants by placing a few crystals from the quartz family. These will keep the entire garden energised, by bringing in a good measure of yang energy and brightness. Another group of earth energisers are decorative objects, made of porcelain or clay. These are excellent for creating strong earth chi. You can keep some urns, mud pots and fengshui wealth vases in the North-

that Sukanta’s art falls short. There is neither Dharmanarayan’s boldness and wit, nor Bikash’s depth and dramatic pathos. One must not take the names of such formidable artistic Gurus in vain; but instead introspect long and hard upon their courage, originality, genius – and most importantly, visual daring. Sukanta’s repititive figurations appear frozen – stylised, yet not enough to reach contemporaneity; classical, but not enough to convey depth. His lack of a wider visual imagination has resulted in his paintings being titled ‘Radhika, 1 - 21’. When I asked Sukanta to explain his inspiration to me, he said: “I am mainly inspired by the realistic artists of Bengal. Nature inspires me a lot. I love to do figurative paintings, showing the co-existence of human beings with nature.   Indian miniature paintings inspire me, and the love scenes of Radha & Krishna move me. The ‘Gita Govinda’, ‘Rasa-manjari’ and ‘Nayika-veda’ series of India’s traditional Basholi miniatures enriched my paintings, and found expression in my recent works.” Among senior painters, Manjit Bawa and Bhupen Khakkar too were inspired by Basohli – but they brought to it an entirely modern energy, wit, and rhythm. Sukanta’s works are at best pretty; but they are also rigid, trite, and static in terms of overall emotional tonality. Every figurative artist has a Muse, but the imaginary face of Sukanta’s femme-ideal Radhika recurs a little too much. ‘Radhika-20’  is the only work in this show that stands out in a crowd of sameness – due to its sharper concentration on Radha’s profile, and a less clichetic rendering of Krishna emerging from her mindscape. Had Sukanta draped his Radhas and Krishnas in more modern

Sukanta Das with his paintings at Gallery Alternatives in DT MegaMall

garb, and employed some less pretty contemporary life-details, his work would have borne a more lasting impression. Anju Kumar has worked in the field of commercial interiordecor – making pottery forms, rather than working on serious painting. Sketchy figurations and an unvaried palette are at an

Garden Chi ern area of your garden. This will activate your wealth luck .  To invite chi towards your home, place a small water object— such as a bird bath or fountain—near the front entrance of your garden. Be sure that any waterfall, runs towards your home, not away from it.  Flowers that are obscured by weeds, overgrown lawns, hedges, rotten leaves, tree stumps, piles of grass cuttings,

17

dead plants and rubbish, will impede chi flow—to and from your home—and create an over-riding sense of gloom.  The North-East area of your garden is connected to the energy of personal growth and self-cultivation; and the element is earth. This would be an excellent area for a contemplative Zen garden, with beautiful rock formations. If you are looking to add a water feature  to your garden, then areas such as the South-East—representing money and abundance— are ideal for this. The East represents health and family; and the North, career and direction. So energising these areas, accordingly, can bring in various benefits.   If you want to create a play area for your children, the West area is recommended – as it is connected to the energy of children and creativity.  Wind chimes are a wonderful addition to any garden, as their sound creates

obviously-raw stage here – lacking in contextual meaning, technique and depth. Although the artist breathlessly says that “she loves experimenting with various techniques, such as parallel knife oils creating thick heavy textures (by adding layer upon layer of paint),” her paintings do not successfully express the difficult and multiple tonalities of layering. These quickly-rendered works thus remain monotonous, in a jarringly-loud palette that lacks sufficient nuance. In order to avoid the danger of slipping into mediocrity, emerging artists require more intense discipline, experience, study and introspection – before they embark upon exhibitions of their work. Rather than churningout facile solo exhibitions every year, it is far better (for the development of both galleries and artists) to display select, meaningful and evolved artworks less frequently. u Artist, Writer, & Curator

healing vibrations in the air. While each element of the wind chime design is important, the sound of the chime is always a deciding factor in creating energies.  Working with colours is a great way to emphasise various rhythms in your garden. In feng shui, colour is used according to the Five Elements theory; and you can bring healing harmony and joy to your garden by choosing colours that emphasise specific energies – such as the fire energy in the South, with red or  purple flowers; or earth energy in the South-West, with light yellow colour. To acquire balance and harmony, always mix different sizes, shapes and colours of plants, of different species.   Place big round terracotta or earthenware pots, that symbolise the earth element, as the focal point of your garden. Place them in the SouthWest for marriage and romance, and in the North-East for education and knowledge. Sculpture or stones will absorb energy or force energy, to move around them – thereby slowing it down. Gazing balls strategically placed can deflect negative chi. Different types of trellises can be used for trailing plants, to soften cutting corners or walls – or to conceal dull sheds. u Tarot Card Reader


18 V

aastu, a Vedic period practice, was followed for the construction of buildings, to ensure the balance of Panch Mahabhoot – for the well-being, longevity, and progress of all the inhabitants of a dwelling. While planning a residential complex for a joint family, or a small family, utmost care must be taken for the children’s room. Size, directional zones, and ambience greatly contribute to the children's intellectual, creative, emotional, as well as physical development. The children’s area can be developed as a living room; and if resources permit, it could cater for several facilities – like bed, study, recreation, work-out area; and even a meditation centre, for developing concentration and memory. Parents' desire is to see their child progress in every sphere of life. Poor all-round growth of offspring disturbs parents. There may be some negative aspects in a house, due to Vaastu defects. Improper placement of things may adversely reflect on the physical development, mind and behaviour of children. A Vaastu-compliant room provides a positive outcome. While the head of the family should occupy the South zone of the building, the children's room should be so located that it receives positive magnetic waves from the North, and solar energy from the Sun. If a separate study room is also planned, it could be located in the East, or the North zone – with entrance in the North or East. Windows should be in the East. The study table should be towards the East or the North of the room. Children should face the East or North direction while they study. They should never face the entrance, nor should they keep their back towards the window. They can keep an image of

B on V ivant

The Children’s Room the deity of education on the table. Study material and books should be kept in the Nairut (South-West) direction. If a student sleeps in the study room, the bed should also be in the Nairut. The occupant of the room should sleep with his/her head towards South or East. It will promote peace and tranquillity. Elders of the home should sleep in the South-West room, as per Vaastu Shastra. Younger people can sleep in the South

East room; even younger, can make the North-West room as their bed room; and the youngest should sleep in the SouthEast/North-West rooms. The wife and husband should not make the room in the South-East as their bed room. If the house is big, and more number of bed rooms are available, the first child should sleep in the South room, the second should occupy the South-East, the third the Western room, and the fourth the South-West. Generally, girls should be accommodated in the

Water

Study Table E

W i n d o w

Heavy Furniture

{ V.K Gaur }

30 March–5 April 2012

D o o r

Book Shelf

Bed

H e a d

‘E’ shows essential electronic gadgets, including computer.

Laughing St

ck

One day a father called his 6 children together and asked, “Now tell me, who has been most obedient during the last week, and done everything Mommy asked?”In one voice they all replied, “You, Daddy!” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “I’m beginning to think that my lawyer is only interested in making money.” “Why do you say that?” “Listen to this from his bill: ‘For waking up at night, and thinking about your case: $25’.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An airliner flew into a violent thunderstorm and was soon swaying and bumping around the sky. One very nervous lady happened to be sitting next to a clergyman and turned to him. “Can’t you do something?” she demanded angrily. “I’m sorry ma’am,” the reverend said gently, “I’m in sales, not management.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little Joe walked into his dad’s study. “Dad,” said Joe, “Remember when you told me you’d give me twenty dollars if I passed my math test?” Dad nodded. “Well, the good news is, that I just saved you twenty bucks.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A farmer was driving along the road with a load of fertilizer. A child playing in front of his house saw him and called, “What are you hauling?” “Fertilizer,” the farmer replied. “What are you going to do with it?” asked the child. “Put it on strawberries,” answered the farmer. “You ought to live here,” the child advised him. “We put sugar and cream on them.”

bed room in the Vayavya (NorthWest) direction. Children should keep their head towards the East side, and legs towards the West side. It is the best way to develop high intelligence, in-depth knowledge, sharp memory and mental strength. If the child sleeps with his/her head in the North direction, it is harmful to the power of concentration and memory. This posture disturbs blood pressure, and the circulation of blood. Sleep will be disturbed. It is likely to cause lethargy, headache and irritation. A wall clock can be placed in any direction but the North. The door of the children’s room should not directly face the bed. Drinking water should be kept in the Ishan (NorthEast) direction. Study table and chair should be made of wood, and their dimensions should be divisible by the figure 9. The furniture should not be attached to the wall, because it obstructs the flow of positive energy. The South-West direction is best for placing furniture. Avoid any kind of furnishing in the centre of the room. It creates obstruction for the circulation of air. Almirahs, steel boxes and heavy things—cabinets and closets—should be placed in the South or West direction. The centre of the room should be treated like a Brahma sthal, and remain unoccupied/vacant. Avoid placing a mirror in the room. Mirrors reflect negative vibes in the night. A mirror is best located in the toilet. Do not keep a computer or a screen exactly opposite the bed. The LCD or the monitor at night reflects the bed; it behaves like a mirror, and releases negative energy. Com-

puter etc. should be placed in the NE direction. Dazzling lights or spot lights should never be placed in a child’s room, because they temper with memory and logical thinking. Besides, they may create confusion. Soft lights should be placed in the South-East. Avoid reflective/sharp light lamps on the study table. They cause strain. Green and white colours are best suited for the children’s room. While green is soothing and refreshes the eyes intermittently, white is a symbol of purity. The area should be clean, well laid out, and should have only essential items. The ambience should be pleasant, and clutter-free, in order to boost concentration. Such an ambience is good for generating new ideas. More vacant space should be left in the North and East sides. If you want to add bedrooms, spare the Ishan (North-East) corner – no construction there. u Dear Readers, Thank you for sending us your queries. We are happy to note that your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Get Answers To Your Astrological Queries Mr. V.K Gaur will be happy to answer your questions. Along with your question, you may scan and send us your horoscope; or alternately, you could provide your Name, Place of Birth, Time and Date of Birth, and mail it to us at q&a@fridaygurgaon. com. Mr. Gaur will directly reply to you.

Living with Reality { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

O

ur teeth would not come out, our eyesight would not fail, our skin would not wrinkle, and our hair would not turn grey – this is our vision of heaven. Our lives do not conform to this heavenly picture, so we feel a corresponding shame. Then we spend huge amounts of money hiding the fact that we are not perfect specimens; or we wear ourselves out in supposedly spiritual procedures, that make us believe that we are—or are on the way to becoming— members of the chosen few. We will always be surrounded by the pleasant, the beautiful and the comfortable – and will live in heaven. We put on a front for the world, and cover up our infirmities – because we are ashamed. Spiritualism however, teaches that it is better to live in the human world than in heaven. Imperfection, suffering, pain, hardship and grief happens to everyone; it is real, and we do not need to be ashamed of it. A noble person is one who

accepts the reality of adversity. The salvation of humankind will be found in the practice of a noble response to existential reality. That is enlightenment. u The author is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon, and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.


30 March–5 April 2012

B on V ivant

Searching For That Bookstore... { Hritvick Sen / FG }

T

ouch me and I will follow in your afterglow. Heal me from all this sorrow... As INXS rises to its crescendo, I pause to place an e-bookmark in my much-read Lord Of The Rings pdf file. About to complete a year in Gurgaon, I have yet to locate a second-hand edition of this book in the City. And I shall not, will not, pay a humongous amount for the gilt-edged, hardback edition that lies in the superstores. Let me describe Lucknow, where I hail from. As a booklover, it is a near-paradise. Before closing down, the British Library was the haven for bibliophiles. Aminabad and Chowk, though dingy areas, were places where one could find almost any book ever printed on Mother Earth. And on Wednesdays, there is a market where you can find the complete works of Shakespeare, for Rs. 18. Cheap and plentiful are words not found in Gurgaon; unless one refers to C2H5OH (daaru for dummies). I have combed the bookstores and the libraries, and found..

‘Fixen’ and ‘Non-Fixen’

First are the ‘sweatshops’. They cater to the people who go through books like multivitamins, and don’t care how it looks – or tastes. Starting a little outside of Gurgaon, near Arjan Garh, there are 20-25 such nooks, where one has to gingerly tiptoe – to avoid stepping on books such as ‘Dripping Love And Semen’, and ‘A Brief History of Time’. When you have excess books and sell them to your raddiwala, here is where they end up.

Mangla Book Stall, Sadar Bazar

These booksellers often have no knowledge of what they are selling, and you might get precious gems at throwaway prices. Along with the plentiful ‘fixen’ (fiction) that they carry on overloaded tables, entrance examination students can find imported academic books (nonfixen), solved question papers, and the like. You can even find delightful coffee-table books, wrapped in plastic sheets. Cheap paperbacks start at Rs. 20-25 (or even Rs. 15 for the lurid cover ones), and go up to Rs. 200, for good hardback versions. You can even strike a bargain if you buy your books in bulk. You can also find their ilk in almost any of HUDA’s community markets. The books here could be ones pilfered from publishing storehouses, or Indian knockoffs of the original versions. Of course, there is be no question of bargaining here. Every book has a gleaming cover, although the discoloured pages inside tell you that they have been recycled several times over. The price range here will usually be Rs. 200 to Rs. 400. And then there are the mobile versions of these guys. Stop at any red light, and grimy men will hover near your window, waving the latest copy of whatever’s selling. Again, nice cover and bad pages; but you have a fair chance of bargaining. I got myself a copy of Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’, for Rs. 100. Tip: If you’re getting a good deal, please rip open the plastic cover and check if there are printed pages inside the cover, before handing the money over. Seriously.

19 prakhar pandey

Om Book Store, Ambience Mall

Sun-dried academics

Sadar Bazar’s the market if you need academic books, but need the discount as badly. Most people in New Gurgaon shudder at the thought of jousting in the traffic-jams in each street; and the bookshops are right in the heart of the market. But for those who live in the Old City, it is natural that the books they’ll buy will carry an automatic discount of 15-20 per cent, plus a chacha-tau ‘rounding off’. There are several bookstores in Sadar Bazar, and Sector 14 and 15 (like the venerable Jeyna Book Store). Students who are feverishly preparing for Board examinations, and need tomes on various subjects, will heave a sigh of relief when entering these shops. There is a distinct atmosphere of austerity here, and the advice is not to ask for the latest issue of Van-

ity Fair. However, ask for the newest issue of HC Verma’s ‘Concepts Of Physics’, and you’ll be honoured with a desultory grunt. As I found out, there are no places for lovers of fiction in this part of the City. In Sadar, you’ll also get every pin and needle related to academics – whether it is geometry boxes, lunch boxes, drawing sheets, writing tools, or slide rules. Ask, and thy will receive.

Go Supersize...

In Gurgaon, if you don’t do it big, then don’t do it at all. And so it is for bookstores as well. In Ambience Mall, check out Om Book Shop. At any point of time, they stock over 10,000 books, under 30 categories. People coming here will be upper middle-class, who shudder at going into the labyrinths of Sadar Bazar,

Quill and Canvas, Galleria Market

and fail to note the existence of the Arjan Garh shops on their way back from New Delhi. (There’s no AC, dear! And the crowd, no? Very downtown, ji). Om has a fair collection of books in fiction and non-fiction – ranging from baby colouring books, to ‘How to build your own house’. And the big daddy of all will be the Reliance TimeOut, on the first floor. As an employee conservatively puts it, there are about 50,000 books, in 60 or so categories. There is a café to chill, and flip a couple of pages – although you are promptly asked to handle the books gently. The good news, of course, is that these shops (like also Time-Out and Landmark) offer a mind-boggling variety. Not only did I find Tintin and all the books by Herge,

there were other delightful Scandinavian and Norwegian authors – whom I could have read, were there such stores in my time (I’m not that old, just out of that category!).

Enter The Matrix...

For the record, there are brick-and-mortar libraries here. But you wouldn’t have to go beyond your little finger when counting them. Enter Online Libraries. It’s pretty much like going for a post-paid connection. You can register online, order the books you want, and they’ll deliver to your doorstep. Vice-versa when you’re finished reading. The only hitch is, these libraries do not have a wide range of books. And if you want books that you don’t want to buy (read expensive), they will invariably be under the ‘premium’ category. Down Side: You get the books in a week or so – by the time you’ll have forgotten that you had an urge to read them. It’s more expensive than the libraries we were used to; plus, the new books are not updated as frequently as you’d want them to be. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having a library card. Up Side: You get the books at your doorstep, pretty much like pizza. Yes, there are several options for book lovers in the city. Buy them outright at air-conditioned outlets, while sipping a latté, or wrestle for them at a shady joint on a footpath. Venture into Sadar Bazaar, or click and wait. But a disturbing trend that I have noticed in this City, is that there is no serious intention to read books. In one of the bookstores, I talked with a mother who was managing two boisterous kids. “When will I have time to read?” she says, pointing towards her overcharged dynamoes – one of who was trying to chew a balloon. The City’s only public library has received no succour, despite its state being publicised. The bookshelves are still a comfortable home for silverfish and cockroaches – and the average age of the library card holder is 65. And no, I still haven’t managed to acquire a copy of Lord Of The Rings. u


20

30 March–5 April 2012

Mhara Gaurav

B on V ivant JIT KUMAR

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

G

aurav Gera, the lead actor of Jhumroo – an upcoming musical theatre at the Kingdom of Dreams, recounts his journey – from Gurgaon to Bollywood, and back. You spent your childhood in Gurgaon. How do you feel coming back to the City after 13 years? My family has been living in Gurgaon since 1986. When we came to Gurgaon, the City was like a hill station. There were hills all around. One used to get everything in one shop. There was a single shop in my neighbourhood, that used to sell comic books, tea, grocery, and bread pakoras (smiles). The City was beautiful. It is still beautiful, but in a different way. I remember, once I said to my dad, “Gurgaon will be on the world map one day.” And see, my prediction has come true! Every time I visit the City, I find it getting bigger and bigger. Now, I don’t feel any need to go to Delhi. I am amazed with the way Gurgaon has grown. What fond memories do you have of the City? I did my schooling from Our Lady of Fatima Convent school, which is I think one of the best schools in the country. After school, I joined the Pearl Academy of Fashion. I used to take lifts to go to Delhi. After completing my studies, I went to Mumbai, and fell in love with the place. But I had to come back to Delhi to join the Delhi Musical Theatre Group. I started my career with musical theatre; and now, after almost a decade, “Jhumroo” has brought me back to the musical theatre! Tell us something about your character in Jhumroo. How much influence has your character in “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi” had on you? My character in Jhumroo, Bhola, is different from Nandu. Although both characters are boys-next-door, romance was not Nandu’s cup of tea. Bhola is a lovable young boy, with dreams in his eyes. First, to be a great singing star; second, to express his love to his crush Meena. The story revolves around Bhola’s struggle to fulfill his dreams – that take him all the way to the finals of a singing reality show. How did you get this role? In 2010, when Zangoora was staged at the Kingdom of Dreams, Hussain and Gauhar invited me to watch the show. The day I watched it, I decided to do something like this. I was amazed with the way technology and acting can be used, to put up a completely unusual show. I thought “Ispe to desh ko naaz hona chahiye”. I have never seen any such show in India. After almost a year, I got an offer from the Great Nautanki Company, for Jhumroo. What is the training involved? There is a lot of training needed. You are singing as well as dancing. Unlike TV, you don’t have time to look at the script and change costumes. For a stage performance, you need to have tremendous stamina. It is like working from early morning till late night, on the same stage. The production of the Great Indian Nautanki Company, Zangoora, has

already made a mark. Now, the same production team is coming up with Jhumroo. Obviously, your show will be compared to Zangoora. What is there in Jhumroo that stands out? How will you stand up vis-a-vis Husain and Gauhar? Jhumroo is a story of today’s youth. Unlike Zangoora, which is based on the story of a gypsy prince, Jhumroo is a story of a normal guy who works in an advertising agency. The audience will be amazed to see the contrast between the two shows. In Jhumroo, the actors are dressed up like today’s youngsters. So I think youngsters will more easily relate to Jhumroo. Also, our show has 19 beautiful songs, sung by the legendary singer Kishore da. The storyline and music in Jhumroo is inspired by the life of Kishore Kumar. Do you think today’s generation will be interested in Kishore da? New songs have come up but the old ones have not gone – will never go. Jhumroo promises a good laugh, a unique storyline, and an astonishing use of technology – which will surely be liked by the audience. And yes, the prime attraction of Jhumroo is the evergreen music of Kishore da. What will be the new elements, in terms of stunts, props, and acts, in Jhumroo?

The choreography is entirely different. There are songs performed in the air. Also, brilliant laser light effects have been used in Jhumroo – which is something that makes it different from Zangoora. What would you say about the Kingdom of Dreams? Three years ago, when I came to Gurgaon to meet my family, I saw this huge structure coming up in Sector 29. It was not inaugurated then. I thought it could be a hotel or a function hall, where weddings would take place (laughs). And today, when I am spending day and night at the Kingdom of Dreams, I feel at home. There are so many people here. I am not only talking about the Jhumroo team, but the team in the background – in transport, the technical team, and people involved in organising and promoting the show. It is at par with any huge production. Tell us something about your co-stars, and the team of Jhumroo. Shweta Gulati, who is playing Meena, is a co-star. We have a mix of experienced and amateur actors in the team. We have professionals from the National School of Drama, as well as budding actors who have just completed college.

How optimistic are you about the success of the show? I am very optimistic about the sale of tickets at least, because half of the viewers will be my family members (laughs)! I have almost all my relatives living in Haryana; in Gurgaon, Narnaul, and Rewari. Where do you go for shopping and eating-out? There are more shopping options in Gurgaon, than Mumbai. One can find a wide range of products, especially clothes. But at the same time, they are very expensive. Eating-out is also a little expensive here. As rehearsals have been going on for the last nine months, I didn’t get much time to explore the City. However, whenever I find time, I visit the Sector 29 market. I think “Pind Baluchi” and “Sagar Ratna” offer amazing food. Are you planning to settle down in Gurgaon? I have already settled down. I will fly to Mumbai every week, because I want to keep doing different things. I wouldn’t mind doing freelancing assignments. If theatre gives you an opportunity to get a response from a live audience, the camera gives you a chance to improve. Besides, I love doing ad films. Recently, I shot a 90 second advertisement in six days. So my presence on TV will remain. I have no plans to take up daily soaps though. You have been in Gurgaon for the past nine months. Have you ever had any unusual fan experiences? Here, many people call me “hamara bachcha” (our son). A few months ago, I went to a mall where a tall muscular young boy put his hand around my shoulder and said, “Come, meet my parents.” I did’t know him at all, but I had to meet his parents. People of Gurgaon give a lot of respect to me. They relate me with my character in “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi,” and see an innocent guy in me. Any message to Gurgaonites? “Main wapas aa gaya oye!”. I was in Mumbai for 13 years, and now I am back home. Ram ji came after 14 years of exile, and it took Gaurav 13 years (smiles). u


B usiness 21

30 March–5 April 2012

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

I

n nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men, said Cicero, the great philosopher. Dr. Ajit Kumar Nagpal, a doctor by training and an institution builder by choice, is inspired by this dictum. After spending years in building hospitals and tertiary care centres in India and abroad, Dr. Nagpal is now lending his expertise to the Amity Group, in setting up an 800bed super-speciality hospital in Manesar. Dr. Nagpal told Friday Gurgaon that his entire energy and inspiration to continue in this profession is to share his expertise, so that a legacy is created. “Having qualified in medicine I got an early opportunity to diversify into management – after being asked to manage the 750 bedded PGI Chandigarh,” says Dr. Nagpal. In a brief association of less than six years, he turned it into one of the best-managed hospitals in the country. The success at PGI led to another milestone project; he was asked to set up the prestigious Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS), with Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah at the helm of affairs. In addition to being the Director of SKIMS, Dr. Nagpal was also given the additional charge of Secretary, Health to the government of Jammu and Kashmir. “The major achievement in SKIMS was that this hospital was established as an autonomous institution, despite being in the public domain. It became a unique success story, and was taken up as a case study at the Harvard School of Public Health,” says Dr. Nagpal. He spent a year at the prestigious School. This exposed him to the scientific basis of health care delivery, and also turned him into a strong proponent of a health policy that would incentivise investment in healthcare, and bring in more private participation in the delivery of public health services. “I had an opportunity to create close to 50 hospitals in India and the Middle East, and this gave me a chance to participate in public policy, as a Principal Advisor on health policy and hospital affairs in the United Arab Emirates, for a decade,” says Dr. Nagpal. It enabled him to develop and deliver healthcare through autonomous delivery networks, introduce mandatory social insurance, and motivate the private sector to complement the efforts of the government. Since his return in 2007, he has been focused on public policy initiatives to reform the health care sector – by being the Convener of a Task Force for Health Sector Reforms, set up by Government of Jammu and Kashmir. They have the singular agenda of achieving universal access to equitable healthcare in the State, through public policy, reveals the doctor. He has also been appointed a trustee by the Delhi Govern-

Doctor Health Care ment, for a scheme to provide mandatory health insurance to 4 lakh families living below the poverty line. Another significant landmark has been the constitution of a National Committee on Healthcare, under the auspices of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), along with 30 leading health care providers of the country.This committee was formed to recommend public policy initiatives to foster PPP, with a focus on universal and equitable access to healthcare. “These recommendations have been adopted by the Planning Commission, in formulation of the Health policy for the 12th Five Year Plan,” says Dr. Nagpal. The recommendations aim to provide financial and logistical support to various State governments, to harness the potential of PPP, in the development of healthcare infrastructure. Amity Medical College Complex in Manesar  Since capacity building of human resource in medical/nursing and allied health sciences is fundamental to the development of healthcare infrastructure, Dr. Nagpal says he has taken up yet another challenge of developing Centres of Excellence in Medical Education and Tertiary healthcare, under the auspices of Ritnand Balved Medical Foundation – an umbrella organisation of Amity Schools of Medicine, across the country. The first medical school is coming up at Manesar. It will have a network of associated medical schools in various townships of the NCR, including the Millennium City, says Dr. Nagpal. The Schools of Nursing and Allied Sciences have already been established; the medical school and teaching hospital will become operational by 2014, he adds. The Amity Medical College in Manesar will be a multi-speciality and super-speciality, hospital having eight peripheral health

centres of 35 beds – each that will provide access to healthcare to the rural population within their home environment, while providing a referral linkage to the teaching hospital. Amity Schools of Medicine will network with public and private hospitals to participate in all national programmes – including immunization, nutrition, maternal, and childcare; and most significantly, the care of the elderly, as an integral part of the outreach programme, says Dr. Nagpal. Major Health Concerns A major concern for the Harvard trained doctor is the lack of health care insurance cover, for almost 90 per cent of the Indian population. Dr. Nagpal says that the stark reality of Indian health care is that the major spender on health is the common man – rather than the government or the private sector. “In Europe, around 10 per cent of GDP is spent on healthcare, and the government is the major spender. India spends only 5 per cent of GDP on health, of which 80 per cent is spent by private individuals,” says Nagpal. The fundamental problem, he says, is that adequate physical infrastructure is not available, people do not have financial access, and there is a massive shortage of human resources. Another major problem in India is that only 9 per cent of the population is covered by healthcare insurance – whereas the balance spend a considerable part of their income on health care. “This is a major policy issue, and the government will soon have to bring in major reforms to resolve it,” he says. However, identification of the beneficiaries, and targeting them, is a major impediment. “The problem is manifold. Firstly, it is difficult to identify the people, and then the rates of the services approved by the gov-

ernment are not acceptable to the private sector hospitals – as these are even less than the Central Government Health Scheme rates,” says Nagpal. In addition, the government has approved a maximum coverage of Rs. 30,000 per year for a family of 5 – and this is meagre in his opinion. Reform of the healthcare insurance sector, that recently witnessed a major breakdown, after an all-out war between insurers and the hospitals, needs early resolution, he says. Another critical issue is the reform in medical education. “We have neither been able to produce adequate manpower, nor influence this sector to shed its upper-class British era moorings,” he laments. The Medical Council of India, that is the statutory body for setting standards and accrediting medical colleges, has been functioning in an ad hoc manner – and this has led to an inertia, in setting up new colleges and accreditations. As a result of this MCI limbo, the government has not been able to introduce the 3-year medical practitioner programme, that could prove a game changer as far as healthcare delivery is con-

cerned. “I agree that there is opposition to this programme from the medical fraternity; but it is also a fact that those who have degrees do not want to go to rural areas, whereas the Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs), who are predominant in these areas, have neither the degrees nor skills to deliver quality healthcare,” says Nagpal. He is a keen supporter of the 3 year scheme. India has 4 lakh RMPs, and there is no programme that ensures Continued Medical Education for them; but if this 3-year programme is made operational, then we can have a huge force of trained manpower. When asked how the Indian medical education can shed its Raj era character, Dr. Nagpal says, “Whenever the government makes a policy, it should analyse the socio-medical environment, assess the burden of disease, evaluate the infrastructure, consider physical and financial access, and then determine policy – both for capacity building and infrastructure development. I would like to say that healthy people make a healthy nation; and  since the health of the population is considered the single most effective driver of economic growth, India has to work hard to achieve universal and equitable access to healthcare. That has been always our social and political agenda,” concludes Nagpal.              Healthcare Insurance Conundrum in India Private health insurance, which is also called indemnity insurance, is based on the fundamentals of premium determined on the basis of claims – with a loss ratio of 70 per cent. This means that if claims are more than 70 per cent of the premium, then the insurance companies can raise the premium. Unfortunately, the providers of care have taken undue benefits. This practice has been challenged worldwide. To tackle it, the insurance industry has come out with the system of Managed Care. Most insurance companies nowadays appoint Third Party Administrators to manage financing, the provision of healthcare pre-authorisation, and claims management. u

Realty Rates

(in Rs. as of March 28, 2012)

Sector-33 1 BHK Aptt 5,500 psf

2 BHK Aptt 5,600 psf

3 BHK Aptt 5,600 psf

Residential Plots 16,000 psf

Sector-47 2 BHK Aptt 5,800 psf

3 BHK Aptt 5,400 psf

Office 10,000 psf

Shops 14,000 psf

4 BHK Aptt 6,700 psf

Residential Plots 54,000 psf

Sector-49 2 BHK Aptt 5,800 psf

3 BHK Aptt 5,700 psf

Office 6,000 psf

Shops 20,000 psf

4 BHK Aptt 5,200 psf

Residential Plots 55,000 psf

Offices 48,000 psf


22

G lobal

30 March–5 April 2012

Suu Kyi Campaigns Alongside Aung San Kristina Rich

{ Kristina Rich / Yangon / DPA }

A

ung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate who was detained for 15 years by Myanmar’s military junta, is evoking military connections in her campaign, for election to parliament on April 1. Many people in Myanmar, and the international community, are looking to Suu Kyi as the country’s big hope, as it frees itself from decades of dictatorship. Ironically, the spectre of a man in uniform has essentially become her running mate. “I was born into an army family,” she proudly told thousands at a campaign event in the eastern Shan State. “I am the daughter of General Aung San, father of independence.” Suu Kyi’s picture appears alongside her father’s, on billboards, stickers and T-shirts. Larger-than-life portraits welcome visitors to the offices of the National League for Democracy, in her election district, Kawhmu – about 90

FAMILY CAMPAIGN: Portraits of Suu Kyi and her late father, Aung San, in a village teashop in Kawhmu electoral district in Myanmar.

minutes drive south-west of Yangon. “We are going to vote for her because she is the daughter of Aung San,” Thet Kay Ya said, while reading a newspaper in a village tearoom. Aung San has been dead nearly 64 years, assassinated by political rivals in July 1947, at the age of 32. The dashing general led the fight

{ Washington / DPA }

T

eenagers from Egypt and the US were announced as the winners of the YouTube Space Lab competition, and will have their experiments conducted by astronauts on the Interntional Space Station (ISS). Amr Mohamed, 18, from Alexandria, Egypt was the winner in the category for 17-18-year-olds, with his proposal to investigate the effects of microgravity on the way the zebra spider catches its prey – and whether the spider could adapt its behaviour in this environment. “The idea of sending an experiment into space is the most exciting thing I have ever heard in my life,” said Mohamed in a statement. “Winning YouTube Space Lab means everything to

against British colonial rulers; and would have become the first President six months after independence, in January 1948, if he had survived. He is celebrated as one of the nation’s greatest heroes. “We did not know Suu Kyi when she came back to Burma in 1988,” Yangon bookshop owner Myint Kyu said, referring to the start of her political career. “She

Teens Win Space Lab Competition me, to my family, and to the people of the Middle East.” Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma, both 16, from Troy, Michigan, created an experiment to send bacteria to the space station, to see if introducing different nutrients and compounds can block their growth – in the hope of providing new tools to fight germs on Earth. They competed in a category for contestants aged 14-16. The winners were chosen from thousands of video proposals sub-

EU Home To 400 “Lone Wolves” { Alvise Armellini / Brussels / DPA }

T

he serial-killer suspect, who died after a 32-hour stand-off with French police, was one of about 400 alQaeda trained extremists in the European Union, the bloc’s top anti-terrorism expert estimated. Twenty-three-year old Mohamed Merah, a French national of Algerian origin, claimed he had made contact with al-Qaeda on trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, before embarking upon a deadly shooting spree around Toulouse. “It is a phenomenon of ‘lone wolves,’ as we call them,” EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told dpa. “We can estimate that they are in the 400s all across Europe.” Like Merah - who also had a criminal record - all such individuals “are obviously monitored” by European intelligence services, de Kerchove said. Most are in “Germany, France, Britain, maybe also Belgium; and in all other EU countries to a much lesser extent,” he indicated. So-called lone wolves have become “more frequent” as “core” al-Qaeda

had spent many years abroad.” Myint Kyu is currently looking for everything he can find about the family, for his shop. Selling such books had been taboo for decades, until a civilian—albeit pro-military—government took office, a year ago. Suu Kyi came back to her homeland in 1988, to care for her sick mother, as mass protests against the junta’s mismanagement of the country broke out. She became an opposition leader, and cited her father as her inspiration. “I could not, as my father’s daughter, remain indifferent to all that was going on,” she said. “This national crisis could in fact be called the second struggle for national independence.” Suu Kyi proved a dilemma for the generals, as she became the resistance’s icon. The rulers tried to wipe the general and his daughter from collective memory. His likeness vanished from bank notes, and she was put under house arrest. “The opposite happened,”

structures in Europe “have been weakened over the past three-four years,” the Belgian official added. Commenting on appropriate countermeasures, de Kerchove suggested extending (across the EU) legislation already enforced in Germany and Austria, that criminalizes anyone who travels abroad to attend terrorist indoctrination camps. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has already jumped on the idea. Concluding ongoing negotiations on an EU-wide system to collect air passenger name records (PNR) would also help, de Kerchove argued. Finally, EU governments should think about prevention - through better community policing, programmes to counter radicalizing influences on prison inmates, more monitoring of Islamist websites, and “developing counternarratives” against terrorism. “We have to give a voice to the victims; their voices have to be heard more. You always hear about the attackers, and never so much about the victims – and the consequences for their families,” de Kerchove said. u

mitted by young scientists from 80 countries. YouTube organized the competition in conjunction with: the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the European Space Agency; the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; Lenovo; and the private space tourism firm Space Adventures. The six regional finalists hailed from New Zealand, Spain, India, Egypt and the US. In addition to having their experi-

Myint Kyu said. “We still hung portraits of the general on our walls; and when Big Brother questioned us, we would say he is our national hero. Of course, we also secretly honoured his daughter with those portraits.” Suu Kyi has begun an ambitious project, for what would have been the 100th birthday of her father. A three-hour documentary is planned for a premiere on February 13, 2015. “They can try to erase the image of the general from everywhere, but not from the hearts of the Myanmar people,” director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi said. “He showed us how to fight, how to endure, what freedom tastes like.” The film is expected to cost 30 million dollars. US billionaire George Soros has reportedly promised to finance the project. If Suu Kyi wins a parliament seat on April 1, as expected, she will have to move out from the patriarch’s shadow. “We don’t mind that she is sailing on her father’s coattails now,” Myint Kyu said. “But in one or two months, we will want to hear what she can do for our future.” u

ments performed in space, the competition winners get to choose one of two unique space experiences: a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS; or, once they turn 18-years old, a one-of-a-kind astronaut training experience in Star City, Russia – the training centre for Russian cosmonauts. “Humanity’s future relies on moving beyond Earth,” said Stephen Hawking, one of the competition’s judges. “Realizing this goal will require an entrepreneurial spirit, and a new generation of scientists and astronauts. YouTube Space Lab is a wonderful initiative, that helps inspire young minds around the world, to take a greater interest in science and the future of space exploration.” u


G lobal 23

30 March–5 April 2012

Lady Gaga: Copycat? Joerg Carstensen

L

ady Gaga’s outfits, hairdos and makeup are always sensational! Now she has even made news with a natural look – face scrubbed clean, for a recent magazine cover. But for some, Gaga is simply a Madonna impersonator; or a provoker lacking in original style. Whichever side you take, it is undeniable that Lady Gaga has been an inspiration for famous fashion designers; and she too has her share of imitators. The latest artist to follow in Gaga’s steps is Nicki Minaj, the Trinidadian-born US singer. At the last Grammy Awards, Minaj ignored the general mourning for Whitney Houston, and showed up wearing an attention-grabbing red satin dress. She came accompanied by a man dressed as the pope. The media immediately compared her to Lady Gaga; and—almost on cue—her outfit unleashed a negative reaction from Catholic bishops. Two years earlier, at a similar event, the MTV awards, Lady Gaga created one of the biggest media splashes in her career – when she arrived wearing a dress made of raw meat. She was already famous by then, for her outlandish headdresses, her mascara eyelash application, and the impossible designs she liked to wear. For Monica P, author of the “Miss at la Playa” fashion blog, Lady Gaga owes part of her success to her connection with designers and runways. “She has implanted the obsession to create for oneself a unique image to accompany the songs – although other artists have done it before in their time. Madonna was a much bigger phenomenon.” Lady Gaga often brings to mind “the

Gaultier does not seem to care very much for the way Lady Gaga dresses. “She is especially provocative and unconventional, but she does not have a style that distinguishes her,” he remarked recently. Not even the steak dress could be considered a novelty, Gaultier said. Someone had already donned something similar in the 1980s. Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has always been close to fashion. “I grew up with a good eye for fashion. I got it from my mother. I still steal her clothes; she has vintage Valentino, Chanel or Ferragamo models,” Gaga was quoted as saying in a book of photographs, called “Lady Gaga X Terry Anderson”. But beyond her own tastes, the true “creator” of Lady Gaga’s style is none other than stylist and fashion designer Felix Hörhager

{ Laura del Rio / Madrid / DPA }

FASHIONISTA: Lady Gaga at an awards ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany, where she received the Bambi award in the category “International Pop”.

Queen of Pop”. She wore the cone-shaped brassiere, designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier – that became the symbol of irreverence on stage in the 1990s. Indeed, both Gaga and Gaultier played on this – when she wore a nun’s habit, and he a priest’s garb, during his interview with her. The designer and Madonna had used similar dresses, when they were promoting her 1990 “Blonde Ambition” tour. However,

SHOCK VALUE: Lady Gaga on stage in Munich. Her outlandish outfits have created a special identity.

Ambitious Artist In New York

A

rtist Jason Polan is on a mission that could take the 29-year-old the rest of his life – and he still wouldn’t be finished. Polan’s goal is to sketch every New Yorker, whether they want to be drawn or not. As of the end of January he had finished about 17,000 sketches – only a fraction of the 8.2 million residents of the US metropolis. He works on the project daily, sometimes coming home with one or two images; other days coming home with hundreds. The name of his project is Every Person in New York, and all the sketches he does are available for viewing

Katharina Sonnichsen

{ Katharina Sonnichsen / New York / DPA }

HI-AIM: Jason Polan aims to portray every single New Yorker in his art. So far he has sketched 17,000.

at his blog (everypersoninnewyork.blogspot.com). The simple line drawings also have simple titles – such as Man at Taco Bell on 14th Street, Woman Ice Skating at Rockefeller Centre, and Tilda Swinton at the Guggenheim Museum. New Yorkers who want to set up an appointment to be drawn, can do so by sending Polan an email. Just give a place, a time and some recognizable feature, but nothing else - no phone number, no name. The meeting takes at most two minutes, and Polan avoids making eye contact with his subjects. He simply observes New Yorkers from a distance – and draws. As he wanders around he sometimes notices celebrities - next to him at a

crosswalk, for example. He’s not looking for a certain kind of person; he draws people he sees on the underground, people watching sports events, people getting a cup of coffee. Whenever something about a person strikes him as different, he automatically has to draw him or her. Polan notices unusual shoes, and the colourful jackets worn by children, or the way a man has fallen asleep sitting on a bench. “I don’t seek, I find,” he says. Often a portrait is made from a scene he observes for just a few seconds. If the situation allows, Polan likes to take more time. He spent about eight minutes, for example, drawing a portrait of a woman writing a postcard in a cafe. He sketched two men carrying a stack of wooden palettes on Broadway, in less than 60 seconds. “Usually people don’t notice while I’m doing it. The drawing comes out better if they don’t know, and they are not posing,” he said in an interview with a local New York television station. “As soon as the person disappears, I stop drawing,” he said. He makes no changes after that, because he can only draw what he sees. He doesn’t have the ability to recall something from memory, and put it on paper. Sometimes he wishes he could draw faster. The New York Times calculated that Polan will have to draw one portrait of a New Yorker every five minutes, in order to finish the project in 79 years – not including tourists and the

Nicola Formichetti, with whom she has worked since 2009. Gaga also inspired, and wore some of the garments designed by, deceased British designer Alexander McQueen. “She chooses the most impossible from the runway, and incorporates it into her look like McQueen’s armadillo shoes,” Monica P. wrote. Take the outfit, with large metallic discs by Spanish designer Paco Rabbane, that she donned for the last MTV awards gala. “She is so out of the ordinary, that critics do not classify her style as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Simply, she is Lady Gaga, and she can do whatever she wants.” Lady Gaga “follows trends and creates them herself,” according to Monica P. And so does one of her favourite designers, Giorgio Armani. He has confessed that he feels attracted by Gaga’s “genuine interest” in fashion, and has designed pieces exclusively for her – such as the galactic outfit she took to the Grammy awards two years ago. Pop singers, with Lady Gaga leading, have become the best publicity vehicles for the big clothes designers. Conversely, Gaga has also had a direct effect on the runways. At Armani’s latest show in Paris, futuristic headdresses made their appearance. Many experts immediately associated them with the Lady Gaga look. That is because, in addition to her extravagance, her love of way-out hairdos and outlandish hats make Lady Gaga stand out. And while it is not easy to emulate the sculpted forms she makes from her own hair, or create equally bizarre hairdos, the recent vogue of headdresses and other hair accessories—on the runways and on the street—are most likely attributable to her pull on the fashion world. u

likelihood of drawing one person more than once. Polan was born near Detroit, Michigan, in 1982. After studying anthropology, and drawing and painting, he moved to New York City – where he works as a freelance illustrator. He started the project in March 2008. In a previous project, he drew faces to go with the 117 telephone numbers listed in the telephone book of the town of Skykomish, Washington. “I like this kind of interactive art,” he says. “In one way I’m close, in another way I’m very far away”. He speaks to no-one on the street because, he says,

he’s too shy. Polan hasn’t earned any money from his project, but he has attracted the attention of large companies such as Levi’s, the label Jack Spade and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In a previous project he drew all the pieces at MoMA - all 1,503 of them. It is becoming more difficult for Polan to remain anonymous. Aside from his pencil and pad, his red cap with blue stripes has become an identifying feature. That is exactly the kind of detail that would attract his attention, and prompt him to draw the person wearing it! u

MJ Mansion Up For Sale { Andy Goldberg / Los Angeles / DPA }

T

he opulent mansion where Michael Jackson spent his last months is for sale. The house, that comprises 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a wine cellar, gym, 12 fireplaces and a magnificent pool, is listed at 23.9 million dollars, according to real estate website zillow.com. Described as an “elegant and sophisticated French Chateau estate”, the house is in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of Hollywood. It was rented for Jackson at a cost of 100,000 dollars per month, by concert promoter AEG – as the former King of Pop was preparing for his comeback tour in the summer of 2009. Experts quoted by the Los Angeles Times estimated that houses stigmatized as crime scenes take longer to sell, and can lose 10 to 50 per cent of their value. But, according to Zillow, listing agent Maurice Umansky believes that Jackson’s demise in the house will not detract from the sales price. “You have the chance to live in the same home that an icon lived in. Elizabeth Taylor’s home sold for more because of her name,” he said. “It’s a beautiful home on a great piece of land.” The house was completely renovated in 2002, and was valued at 38 million dollars in 2008. But fans will not be able to get a free tour, by posing as potential buyers. Anyone wishing to view the house will have to be pre-qualified, to show they have the financial means to actually afford it. u


30 March–5 April 2012

G -scape

Chaitra Mela & Navratri

24

JIT KUMAR

Friday Gurgaon (30 March-5 April, 2012)  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you