Page 1

23–29 March 2012

Vol. 1 No. 31  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

The City Of Learning


pathetic public transport system, there is little choice. Gurgaon now has so many cars that all the roads in peaks hours are choked. What this has meant is that Gurgaon now perhaps has the maximum number of first-time drivers (including for autos), across India.




adshahpur, the residence of one of the queens of Badshah Bahadur Zafar, is now destined to be the base for the future Gurgaon landscape. ...Pg 8

A non-existent public transport system

The Metro does nothing but brush the mammoth needs of the city. “This City has no public transport, and that’s the main reason why people are compelled to drive their own vehicles. Moreover, while the Metro has helped in many ways, it still covers only one tenth of the City; and the City is expanding enormously on the southern side, where

Private Spoilers


he stage is being set for RWAs to take on private builders, for delays, poor construction and maintenance – with the State looking on interestedly. ...Pg 9

because I used to get late to the office on a daily basis. Now I am thinking of shifting here with my family, and for that I need to buy another car for my wife. However, this City is highly unsafe for drivers, as I myself have seen bones and flesh scattered on the road many times. The City is an excellent pay master, but when it comes to infrastructure and transport, it is worse than some of the backward cities of UP,” says Nikunj Vashista. The number of lady drivers is increasing rapidly each month, and one can

see many ladies driving amidst the heavy traffic at peak hours, “We have to drive in Gurgaon. The absence of a good public transport system is just one aspect; security is another issue. That is why women now have been compelled to drive themselves. Neither autos nor taxis are safe enough for a woman; and the unfortunate recent incidents only reinforce such a feeling,” says Sarita Kumar, a young lady – while learning driving on the streets of Sector-44. Contd on p 6 

Millennium Maids

“New” Gurgaon cannot do without them. And they are making their own mark, thank you. ...Pg 19

Go back To Go Forward


now your past, to know your present – and maybe your future. Past Life Regression it is called. Meet the local experts. ...Pg 20

Regular Features The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 7 Food Take ...Pg 10 Laughing Stock ...Pg 20

Presenting Value for money in education in Gurgaon

{ Abhishek Behl / Maninder Dabas / FG } ‘Pastimes are contagious, compulsions are not.’ No philosopher said these words; yet it does not diminish their significance. Indeed, pastimes are contagious, and people follow each other; but what about compulsions? Well, perhaps if the compulsion is wrapped in the garb of a pastime? It’s one of those things that Gurgaon is extremely good at – giving mundane things a fancy look. Take driving. Youthful Gurgaon loves to show-off its steeds; and feel their throb. Driving and revving are great pastimes. Yet, for many, it is nothing more than a compulsion – it is not enjoyable. With a

there is neither any Metro nor any bus facility. Rapid Metro may help a little bit in the future. As far as bus service is concerned, it is non-existent; and people either take their own car, or they are at the mercy of autos. Although Haryana Roadways’ announcement of a 100 new intra-city buses raised hopes, there are no signs of any bus stands, route lists etc. Some buses seem to be plying, but I seldom see them stopping anywhere and picking passengers. The autos are meanwhile cashing in,” says H.N Chopra, President of DLF City RWA. Even people who come on a temporary basis are compelled to buy cars. “Within six months of my arrival I had to buy a car,

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 or call 0124-4811111.  Autos will charge Rs. 40 for the first two kms, and thereafter it would be Rs 8 per km.




23–29 March 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–31  23–29 March 2012


Coming Up



Art organisation, that provides a platform to artists of all hues.

Atul Sobti

Lo-Fi Live @ Pub Nirvaan, MGF Mega City Mall, MG Road Date: March 29 Time: 8 pm


Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail Sunil Yadav

Nothing Like Anything @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 31 Time: 7 pm Tickets: Rs. 350, 250, 150


njoy an electric evening with Lo-Fi, a band that blends electro-house, dub step, and drum and bass.

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,

political stand-up comedy by Kunaal Roy Kapur, and Anuvab Pal. The duo concentrate on many absurdities of living in modern India.

Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails: Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.



Abhivyakti @ Sylvan Trails School, Nirvana Country, S Block, South City II, Sector 50 Date: March 23 to May 18 Time: 5 pm to 6 pm (only on Wednesday and Friday)


ids aged between 5 and 15 years can participate in the a two-month long theatre workshop. It is organised by Sylvan Trails School, in association with P.A.C.T Theatre Group. To register, call 9818221350.


Francophonie Festival: I Am My Parents’ Eyes @ Alliance Francaise, S-24/8, DLF Phase III Date: Till April 21 Time: 11 am to 7 pm


photography exhibition by shutterbug Douglas Vanherpe. His photographs capture daily life, and focuses on details and differences between cultures.

Suno Kahanee @ Rendezvous, J-18, South City 1, Near Shikshantar School Date: March 24 Time: 10 am to 1 pm Registration fee: Rs.350 per child, & Rs.150 per adult


endezvous, in association with Kathashala, organises a story telling session for kids. The session will be taken by Simi Srivastava, Founder of Kathashala.

Cover price

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

` 164

No. of issues


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


enonwed Dj Philip will churn out famous songs and some of his signature grooves. For more information, call 9212662173 or 9811220010.



isten to Sufi music organised by DJs Sumit Sethi and Pankaj; and a live Jugalbandi with percussionist Hiten Pawar.


Tales of Modern India-II @ Quill and Canvas, 122, South Point Mall, DLF Phase V Date: Till March 30 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

@ Intellitots, DLF Phase IV, Near Vipul Square Date: March 26 to March 30 Time: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

njoy the live performance of famous band Faridkot. The band is famous for bending pop vocals, blues guitars, funk bass lines, and electronic music, with progressive drums. For reservation, call 9873505356, 0124-4042288.

Chef Vijaylaxmi TOP-4, MASTER CHEF INDIA-2

15% Discount for FG Subscribers



he camp offers the following activities: Bright Sparks, Story Play, Rock and Roll with Phonics, Space Odyssey, Creative Writing, and Little Chefs. While children aged between four and six years can participate in Bright Sparks, a workout activity for the brain – using brain building puzzles and games, and Story Play; while children aged between six and seven years can participate in Rock and Roll with Phonics, and Space Odyssey, an imaginary journey into space. The Creative writing and Little Chefs competition are open to seven to nine years. To register, call 9990800892 or 0124-4223860.

Reprise – Progressive House Anthology @ Mojos, Second Floor, DT City Centre, MG Road Date: March 23 Time: 11:30 pm


Spring Camp 1 year subscription


Go Sufi @ Buzz, CS-201, MG Road Date: March 28 Time: 9 pm


Faridkot Live @ Power Play Sports Bar, Upper Ground Floor, JMD Regent Arcade, MG Road Date: March 31 Time: 9 pm Entry Fee: Rs. 500 per person (includes a free drink)


painting and sculpture exhibition by Durga Kainthola.

 Baking  Italian cuisine  Continental cuisine  Master Chef Kitchen’s selected recipes


Spectra - A solo art show with “a multitude of emotions” @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 30 Time: 5:30 pm


solo art show by a Chandigarh-based artist, Pranav Kaushal. It is organised by The Art Floor, a community based

Classes are scheduled only for the weekends

Limited Seats Only

23–29 March 2012

C eleb W atch A Beer Cafe Now



he founder and owner of The Beer Cafe, Rahul Singh, launched a new cafe at the Ambience Mall. Offering a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, The Beer Cafe is the first beer cafe chain in the country. Customers can pour beer directly from taps, using their RFID activated Beer Card. The beer offerings include Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Chimay Experience Erdinger, Victoria Bitter, Corona Beers, and a variety of European and Asian beers.

Agent Vinod is Saif


aif Ali Khan flaunted his detective character over the cold ice floor of the iSkate Skating Rink and Cafe, Ambience Mall. Promoting his upcoming flick ‘Agent Vinod’, Saif said, “A bit of Tintin, a bit of Bond, a bit of Alistair McLean; and well, a little bit of fun and frolic, and a lot of adventure – that is what ‘Agent Vinod’ is about.” The film has been directed by Sriram Raghavan, under the banner of Saif Ali Khan’s home production, Illuminati Films.

Spa Singers


singing spectacular was held at the World Spa, by its home-grown “Spa Singers”. The event, in its second Season, was attended by around 300 music lovers from World Spa, neighbouring condominiums, and enthusiasts from Delhi/NCR. The harmonious Spa Singers ensemble presented a variety of Indian/ Western songs.

Japan Next


ore than 30,000 visitors thronged a three-day exhibition organised by the Japanese government at Ambience Mall. Named as ‘Japan Next’, on exhibit were the latest Japanese products – including automobiles, consumer electronics, and ecological products. The new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota’s Prius, Yamaha’s V Max bike, and Sony’s Tablet S were among the big hits. Bollywood actress Gisselli Monteiro, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India Akitaka Saiki, President of FICCI R.V. Kanoria, a representative of Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters of the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, Mr. Kenichiron Takemura, and President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India Katsuya Okihiro, graced the opening ceremony.


R eviews

23–29 March 2012



The Tried and Tested

Weak Leak

{ Aalok Wadhwa }

Garam Masala 3, Dhani Market, Sector Road, Aardee City, Sector 56, Gurgaon  Phone: +91 9310180400,  +91 9310190400 Cuisine: Indian, Chinese Timing: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM


aram Masala is a part of what can be called the ahata (government approved drinking joint) stretch on the Gold Souk Road – dotted as it is with two wine shops and many restaurants, that allow patrons to buy and bring in their favourite tipple. I am here at lunch time, to check out how the food tastes without the influence of alcohol. If there is one word to describe the décor here, it is functional. There is indoor and outdoor seating, and enough space. During the daytime the place is understandably not busy, and this allows me to hob-nob with owner Amit Nayar. Amit is a foodie who started his restaurateur journey by opening the (once one of my favourites) franchise of Kent fast food in

Gurgaon. He started Garam Masala with the objective of serving unpretentious Indian and IndoChinese staples. Amit recommends mast chicken tikka (Rs. 225) to start with; he tells me the interesting story of the birth of this dish. Once, after a birthday party at his restaurant, Amit realised he had overstocked on mayonnaise. In the spirit of experimentation, he put some of the leftover mayo on his chicken tikka, and spiced it up with chopped onions, chillies and masalas. He liked what he ate, and decided to introduce it. It seems the item was a surprise hit. Intrigued by the name and the history, I give it a try. It doesn’t look

like much, but it does have an enigmatically indulgent taste. Next on the table is the chicken burra (Rs. 170), which is tasty but burra only in name. Chunks of chicken are seasoned with bread crumbs, besan and egg, giving them a crunchy exterior. The dal makhni (Rs. 140) is competent, and the accompanying Rampuri paratha (Rs. 40) has a zing of red chillies that goes well with the mild and creamy taste of the dal. It is time to cross the border and look at the Chinese side. My curiosity is aroused by the taichi chicken (Rs. 225). Taichi is a Chinese martial art, and the word literally means ‘supreme, ultimate fist’. As a foodie, I have to try a chicken that promises to hit me with it. As it so happens, the dish is not so violent. It is, in fact, a cousin of the Indo-Chinese legend, chilly chicken – with batter fried pieces of chicken tossed with onions, spring onions, garlic, red chillies and soya. The veg hakka noodles (Rs. 120) is quietly efficient, like accompaniments should be – not distracting from the main course. Garam Masala is a pleasant place to spend an evening. The food may not be gourmet, but it certainly has the potential to liven up after-work parties and get-togethers. u

THEATRE { Ashok Sheoran }


he angst of Raj Kapoor in “Mera Naam Joker”, and the emotional meltdown of ‘Waters’ in R.Cussen’s ‘Night Watchman’, have been well fused by the young director, Shantanu Anam – to create the protagonist for ‘Vices’, an English play held at Epicentre on 19th March. The story centres around Siddharth – played powerfully by Shantanu himself – an emotional, almost hysterical character, who is constantly on the losing end of a series of romantic encounters. Enter Raghav (Ketan) and Sharon (Nandita) as the scheming duo. Whilst Ketan is aptly sinister and cold blooded, Nandita carries off her role as a dim-witted hooker with charm and flair. They eventually dupe Siddharth of a substantial sum of money, leaving him a drunken melancholic.

{ Alka Gurha }


he Unauthorized Autobiography’ of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, gives us the voice of the man behind the most sensational media adventure of the digital age. This text is an early draft of a partial manuscript, assembled from interviews of Assange conducted by Andrew O’Hagan. It covers his life until roughly a month before the press publication of the US diplomatic cables last November. Later on, due to personal reasons, Assange withdrew co-operation to O’Hagan. The book encompasses fourteen long chapters; the initial eight chapters are personal, devoted to Julian’s childhood. O’Hagan chronicles Assange’s early life – a nomadic existence in rural Australia, replete with floppy disks hidden in beehives, and nightly forays through secure servers. Julian talks constantly of being a computer geek. In a particularly candid moment, he talks about his first attempt at computer hacking – into the Nortel network of 11,000 computers. Assange’s upbringing consisted of one cult, multiple homes, more than thirty schools, and two stepfathers

Julian Assange:The Unauthorized Autobiography Author: Julian Assange PUBLISHER: Random House India PRICE: Rs. 599 GENRE: Biography/ Autobiography – one of whom left him with the name Assange. Julian admits to being a concerned father. “I felt I could be a good father to my son, but not a good mother,” he writes about Daniel, the child he had when he was 19. “I was good at teaching, structuring, protecting – even at bedtime stories; but . . . hopeless at the other bits, the more mundane and less heroic parts of parenting.” In chapter eight, Assange chronicles the birth of WikiLeaks, where he says, “Disclosure is not merely in action; it is a way of life.” Behind his self-obsessed talk of quantum mechanics and global conspiracies, there lies a more familiar and genuine cry. “If only people knew what was really going on, they’d do something about it!” he laments. Assange gives no reason for why he’s doing this, beyond an abstract sense that he is fighting a lonely, pure battle against those in power. The book could have been an intimate portrayal, had Assange spent some time with O’Hagan and his publisher, to put together the arguments that he needed to make. At some level, the lack of a final edit does injustice to Assange’s story. Nevertheless, the book is passionate and thrilling – just like its author. u


Vice Satire The influence of Mera Naam Joker plays out in the background music, and the innovative dance sequences choreographed and performed by Amishi, Silka and Abhilasha. Shantanu pays obeisance to Hindustani theatre, with long dramatic soliloquies. He puts his heart into the role, rather carries it on his sleeve, much like his apparent role model – Raj Kapoor. The dialogue is contemporary and


English Play : Miss Julie Venue : Epicentre, Sect 44, Gurgaon Date : March 23 Time: 7.30 pm Tickets available at the venue

Master Recipe

pithy, with liberal use of slang, Hindi and f... words. The set stays constant throughout, with the focus on the sofa set. The young audience clapped and hooted in appreciation, at various stages. Says Shantanu, “Performers maintain a facade despite inner turbulence. The appeal we are trying to create is essentially the character of a joker being put on stage… as a simple satire.” u

Based on Swedish Playwright August Strindberg’s sensual drama of 1888, Miss Julie is a production of the ‘Katyayani Theater Group’, in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy. Directed by Sohaila Kapoor, who founded ‘Katyayani’ in 1994, the play is set against an intoxicating midsummer night. A Count’s daughter, Julie, in an attempt to escape an existence cramped by social mores, indulges in a flirtatious contest for power with an attractive man servant… ending in a shocking denouement. This is one part of the Strindberg weekend, commencing with a dramatised reading of his work, ‘The Father’, on 22nd March.


Vijaylaxmi – Masterchef (Season 2): Top 4

Easy Tuna Casserole Ingredients

3 cups Cooked Macaroni 1 can Tuna, drained 2 cups Condensed Cream of Chicken soup or Cream mixed with Maggi cubes 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1 ½ cups French Fried Onions 1 Carrot, Shredded ½ cup Mushrooms, Sliced ½ Zucchini, Sliced 1 tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil


 Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C).  In a 9x13-inch baking dish, combine the Macaroni, Tuna, Vegetables and Soup. Mix well, and then top with cheese.  Bake at 350º F (175º C) for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with fried onions, and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

C eleb W atch

23–29 March 2012


Karishma At Avalon

arishma Kapoor launched Avalon Rangoli’s real estate project at Dharuhera, a part of Haryana’s Rewari district. Avalon roped in Karishma Kapoor as its Brand Ambassador, since she represents the modern woman of India – who is independent, successful, and yet a homemaker. “I am quite elated to be associated with Avalon Group. The group is wide spread in North India, and is expanding exponentially to other parts as well,” said Karishma.

A Soulful Feast


eople flocked to Guvment alternative disc to catch famous Sufi band Nasha in action. Model Guneet and actor Aseem Merchant were spotted spellbound to the soulful rendition. Great cocktails and food made it a perfect evening.


t was time for some tongue-in-cheek humour and witty one-liners, as renowned comedians Raghav Mandava, Papa CJ, and Amit Tondon performed at the Powerplay Sports Bar and Lounge. Apart from their two-and-ahalf-hour performance, guests at the bar also took to the stage and shared some jokes.

Participative Comedy

The French Have Landed


lliance Française de Delhi (AFD), a 56-year old institution, is now in your vicinity. AFD opened an art gallery and library in the City. Inaugurated by Mr. Francis Wacziarg, Chairman, Neemrana Group of Hotels, and President, Governing Body of AFD, the Gurgaon centre of AFD will regularly hold cultural programmes – such as music and theatre performances, art exhibitions, and film screenings.

When City Got Lucky


few lucky fans had an opportunity to catch the singer-actor Lucky Ali singing his hits, up close and personal. He mesmerised the audience with his husky voice, and a repertoire of sufi and ballad-style songs. The crowd also had a great time shopping in the flea market, that was put up alongside.


For Subscription SMS FGYES to 8447355801

C over S tory 06 The City Of Learning 23–29 March 2012

 Contd from p 1 Driving: Mostly a learn-byyourself experience

Most of the drivers in Gurgaon, whether they are male or female, say that they have learnt driving either with the help of their friends or relatives. Most of them have not undergone training with professionals. They also assert that the majority of drivers on the roads are not well versed on traffic rules, are low on driving skills, and lack general civility in public spaces. Sangeeta S. Bahl, an Image Consultant who drives frequently, and has a bevy of cars, says that the traffic police must penalise those breaking the rules. “There are kids who should not be driving cars; and there are many who are just stepping on the gas,” she says. “A sense of responsibility must be inculcated among those using the roads.” Both experienced and fresh drivers face similar problems on Gurgaon roads, if Shephali Kasliwal, who has been driving for the last 10 years, is to be believed. She also learnt driving with the help of a relative, before getting her licence. “I believe the licensing system should be made more stringent, and it should be ensured that those who get licences are indeed able to steer their vehicles safely – for themselves as well as others,” says Kasliwal. She also wants more traffic police on the roads, and penal action against violators by means of strict fines. Not only those with cars, but even drivers of commercial autorickshaws popularly known as share-autos, have to rely on their own network to learn driving these contraptions. There is no proper training school, and the majority of them neither have the licences, nor proper registration of their vehicles. One of the autodrivers admitted that learning autodriving is mostly a do-byyourself mechanism; and most of the drivers are naïve about traffic rules. “The only skill we value is how to pick the highest number of commuters everyday”, he says. Last, but not the least, Gurgaon has a large population that rides two-wheelers, to commute large distances daily. These two wheeler rides have their own set of problems; they face dangerous situations every day on the road. The first time/underage two wheeler drivers have also gone up sharply. “Most of the fatal accidents happen on bikes; and that’s why we have been very harsh on people who ply without helmet,” says a senior traffic police official. Sarika Monga, who rides a Honda Activa scooter, says that it is very difficult to manage on Gurgaon roads, as the traffic is unruly. The traffic rules are

not implemented, and people who are powerful and wellconnected break them with impunity, she alleges. She rides almost 30 to 40 kilometres in a day, and says it is tough to negotiate with cars moving left and right, with no lane discipline. Speed limits are not adhered to, and the massive influx of traffic makes life difficult for commuters,

she says. Rashmi Gupta, who has learnt driving only recently, says that driving has been a fun experience and it gives her control. “I am free to move, and don’t have to depend on the non-existent transport system,” she says. She admits to some problems, like fellow drivers trying to indimidate her – and some even following her.

Thus poor policing, lack of training, a corrupt licensing regime, and the ever-increasing number of vehicles make Gurgaon roads a heady cocktail that is waiting to explode. Every day road-rage incidents can be witnessed, that sometimes assume deadly proportions. Most of the drivers, while stressing on the need for discipline, put the blame on others – forgetting that charity begins at home.

And why should we take it?

No doubt the City has a dearth of public transport; but whatever number of buses are plying are running empty – because people, especially in the economically prosperous ‘new’ Gurgaon, don’t want to make use of them. “ People here (in new Gurgaon) are rich, and hence they don’t want to board buses, even if they exist. Most of them have 2-3 cars at their homes, and they go by car even if they have to buy vegetables,” says Sudhir Kapoor, the Secretary, DLF City RWA. “We have our cars, why should we wait for buses and waste our time. They are neither fast nor safe. I don’t think this intra-city bus service would be that handy in new Gurgaon,” says a lady who has come for shopping in DLF Phase-I market. Haryana Roadways officials too know that no matter how hard they try to make this intra-city transport system viable, there is little people interest. “There was a plan for over a 100 buses for the whole City; but as of now only a handful are on the road. And to tell you frankly, the response of the masses is not at all encouraging. In trials we could only manage to earn Rs. 75 on an average from each bus, in the whole week! Now you can understand how much loss the State had the bear,” says an official.

Teach driving and earn handsomely

Gurgaon has many professions that can give one immense money and fame; yet all of them require special qualifications and skills. The boom of firsttime drivers has added another blooming profession – Driving Schools. “At present there are 51 Driving Schools in Gurgaon; and their number is increasing. People are buying cars in order to make their lives easy in this crowded City; and with many first time drivers (specially women), there is a need to learn driving. That gives these so-called schools a great opportunity to earn handsome fortunes,” says an official in the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), Gurgaon. “Most Driving Schools in the City have three to four cars; and almost a hundred people on an average come to each of us, every month. We give a 15 day training to the customer, in which we make him/her drive 8 km daily. We have Maruti Alto and Wagon R cars, and most of the Driving Schools have similar cars. As far as fee is concerned, we take Rs. 2,000 for Alto, and Rs. 2,500 for WagonR (or Santro or i10). We earn about Rs. 2 lakhs per month. As far as the customers are concerned, nowadays we are seeing more ladies coming to learn driving. The ratio is like 55 percent ladies, and 45 percent gents,” says Mukesh Kumar, a driving instructor running a Driving School in Sector-31.

Accidents: a daily affair

Accidents in Gurgaon have become more frequent with each passing year. Although the registered accidents number may sometimes be a consolation, it is known and visible that most accidents are still not registered. After all, the numbers of accidents would be proportional to the number of vehicles. And more so when there are so many first-time drivers. u

23–29 March 2012


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Kahaani Time: 11 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.45 pm Agent Vinod Time: 10.15 am, 12.00 noon, 1.45 pm, 3.30 pm, 5.15 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.45 pm, 10.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: PVR: Ambience Premier Kahaani Time: 10.40 am, 1.05 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.50 pm Agent Vinod Time: 10.05 am, 10.40 am, 12.10 pm, 1.20 pm, 1.55 pm, 3.25 pm, 4.35 pm, 5.10 pm, 6.40 pm, 7.50 pm, 8.25 pm, 9.55 pm, 11.00 pm, 11.40 pm The Hunger Games Time: 12.45 pm, 6.00 pm, 11.15 pm This Means war Time: 10.15 am John Carter (3D) Time: 3.30 pm Paan Singh Tomar Time: 10.15 am, 3.30 pm, 8.45 pm PVR: Ambience Gold Agent Vinod Time: 11.35 pm, 12.45 pm, 2.50 pm, 4.00 pm, 6.05 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.20 pm, 10.30 pm The Hunger Games Time: 10.00 am PVR MGF: MGF Mall Agent Vinod Time: 10.10 am, 10.45 am, 11.40 am, 12.50 pm, 1.25 pm, 2.00 pm, 2.55 pm,

3.30 pm, 4.05 pm, 4.40 pm, 5.15 pm, 6.10 pm, 6.45 pm, 7.20 pm, 7.55 pm, 8.30 pm, 9.25 pm, 10.00 pm, 10.35 pm, 11.10 pm, 11.45 pm This Means War Time: 1.30 pm John Carter (3D) Time: 10.15 am The King & The Commissioner (Malayalam) Time: 10.10 am


Kahaani Time: 10.00 am, 3.35 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website: DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Kahaani Time: 10:10 am, 06.15 pm, 08:35 pm, 11:00 pm Paan Singh Tomar (U/A) – Hindi Time: 03:35 pm, 09:05 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Kahaani (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:00 am, 06:20 pm

PVR Europa: MGF Mall Kahaani Time: 10.45 am, 1.10 pm, 3.35 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.50 pm This Means War Time: 12.40 pm, 2.40 pm, 7.20 pm, 9.20 pm Paan Singh Tomar Time: 3.45 pm, 9.00 pm The Hunger Games Time: 1.00 pm, 6.15 pm, 11.30 pm Naa Ishtam (Telugu) Time: 10.20 am Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website:

SRS Omaxe Mall, Sohna Road Kahaani (U/A) Time: 12:45 Pm, 8.35 PM Agemnt Vinod Time: 10.00 am, 1.05 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.10 pm, 7.15 pm, 10.20 pm, 10.50 pm Paan Singh Tomar Time: 10.15 pm, 6.05 pm SRS Celebration Mall, Sohna Road Kahaani (U/A) Time: 10.15 am, 12.30 pm Agent Vinod Time: 10.00 am, 1.10 pm, 2.45 pm, 4:20 pm, 5.55 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.05 pm, 10.40 pm

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Agent Vinod Time: 10.00 am, 12.20 pm, 1.15 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.55 pm

THE WEEKTHAT WAS There is a snatching, a car hijack, and an attack on a woman, on a daily basis now. ter giving her a lift, along with her 18-month♦ Jawahar Lal Nehru Sports Trust orgaold child. Persons who committed crime, nized the 6th. Coca-Cola Challenge Trophy, including a relative, held. a cricket match in the memory of former MP ♦ A neighbour rapes woman. and Haryana Minister Ch Surinder Singh. It ♦ A contractor personnel dies in sewage was played between a Parliamentarian XI drain, on inhaling noxious fumes. and Haryana CM XI. Present were the CM, ♦ 2 ladies (students) seriously hurt when Lalu Yadav, Salman Khurshid, Shashi Tharcar overturns on NH 8. One has lost oor, Jagdish Tytler, Kiran Chowdhary, Mohd her arm. Azharuddin, Kirti Azad, Virender Sehwag. ♦ 7 jawans injured (2 serious) when a grenade explodes at CRPF training camp. ♦ The police have asked for licensed ♦ A man with a nail in his head is successbouncers, and no escort girls, at pubs. Also, fully operated on. for registration, at pub entry. ♦ A man files a Rs 20 lakh plus fraud case ♦ Gang rape of a woman, taken hostage af-

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L istings

against his wife and in-laws. ♦ Robbers hold family hostage, and take valuables, in DLF Phase V. ♦ 11 held on Wednesday for drinking in public, and making a nuisance, on MG Road; followed by another 10 more on Thursday. ♦ Taxi driver robbed of his Innova, at gunpoint. ♦ 5 gang members (including 2 women) held, for car thefts.

♦ Orient Craft workers turn violent after

contractor hits a worker. Many bikes and cars set on fire. Policemen, and even fire tenders, attacked. The contractor and 9 labourers have been arrested. The Minister of State for Labour and Employment Pt Shiv Charan Lal Sharma visited Gurgaon, and reviewed the situation. The enquiry report is to be submitted in 3 days. ♦ Vatika City residents take on the builder. ♦ Many private builders get notice from Town & Country Planning, for delay in projects. ♦ Dust storm in Gurgaon – impact of severe Middle East storm.

♦ The Administration will soon start

home delivery of registration Certificates (RC) of vehicles, and Driving Licences (DL) through Speed Post. A separate counter will be set up in the E-Disha centre of the Mini-Secretariat, and customers will have to pay Rs 20 extra.

♦ The Haryana Pollution Control Board has asked all industrial units to apply for consent 90 days before expiry of previous consent. They will be granted consent for longer periods thereafter (2 to 5 years, depending on the pollution potential involved). It has been found that many units are not operating Pollution Control Devices. ♦ M M Kumar, inspecting judge for

Gurgaon, will visit from March 22 to 24, for annual inspection of courts – judicial and revenue.

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23–29 March 2012

C ivic/Social JIT KUMAR

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


urgaon took 2 decades to change, from a deserted capital suburb, to the Millennium City. And this change is now contagious; it has begun to affect life at the periphery. The villages surrounding the City are also a part this fairy tale transformation. At the top of the list is Badshahpur. It is not only situated at the cross roads of Gurgaon’s present and future, but also destined to pave the way for it – the signs of which are already visible. Badshahpur is today a semi-urban village, spread across 322 acres of strategically important land.

History of Badshahpur

“As my grandfather used to tell me, this village came into existence in the beginning of the ninth century – it was a part of the erstwhile Mughal empire. The name Badshahpur was given, as it was the abode of one of the wives of Badshah Bahadur Shah Zafar. She used to live here in her palace, on the citadel outside the village. Ruins of that palace are still there; however most of it has now been encroached by the villagers,” says Shivlal Yadav, an eighty three years old villager. MCG Councillor from Badshahpur, Subash Fauji, too attests the presence of a Mughal queen here.

Remains of the past

“Apart from the old fort of Mughal Begum, this place has two Dargaahs, ruins of one big Muslim cemetery, and a deserted Bowdi. Most of them are on the brink of extinction, as neither the State nor the people here took care of these things. People have encroached almost the whole palace, which earlier used to spread across ten acres. This Bowdi too has been left unattended, and I won’t be surprised if you see it completely vanish in times to come – because land is what that drives Gurgaon after all,” says Mahinder Singh, a fifty-one years old villager. Under the British too, this village blossomed, and some beautiful monuments got built. “This pond was constructed by Mangla Seth Ramkishan, who was the chosen Zaghirdar of this village. I remember having learnt swimming in this pond in my childhood, along with my friends from the vil-

The development


lage. This too is nothing but a shadow of its former self,” adds Singh. Another villager, Balraj Tyagi too rues the negligence of the State, for the loss of such a historical artefact, “Earlier, it was spread across ten to twelve acres; and now it been reduced to one broken hall. People have encroached the whole area, and nobody says anything. How unfortunate!”

The people

“Badshahpur has a population of around forty five thousand. Ahirs (Yadavs), Saini, and Tyagi are the majority castes. It also has a significant number of Scheduled Caste residents and Muslims,” explains Fauji. “As the name of the village suggests, it was a predominantly Muslim village; but the partition of the country forced many of them to migrate to Pakistan,” says Nekiram Yadav, an old man.

The socio-economic transformation

“The last twenty years have brought a great transformation indeed, and our lives have

Although Badshahpur is no more a pastoral village of Gurgaon district, and has turned into a semi-urban village, it seriously lacks civic infrastructure. The Muncipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) is taking some significant steps to improve this. “This village seriously needs development, and that too fast – because this is the gateway to the future of this ever-expanding City. In order to develop this village, we had prepared a Detail Project Report (DPR), in which all the necessary projects for the development of the village are mentioned. We have submitted that DPR to the MCG, and in the last house meeting 43 crore rupees have been sanctioned for the development projects – such as roads, deep sewage, upgrading of electricity infrastructure etc. The file has gone to the financial secretary in Chandigarh,” explains Subash Fauji, MCG Councillor from Badshahpur village. It’s now just a matter of time, for Badshahpur to evolve into a developed suburb of the zMillennium City – a pivotal location. Ready for a Badshah destiny.

been turned upside down. Earlier people didn’t have money, and they had to wait till the end of the harvesting season to buy even the smallest of things; but now land here is worth crores. Almost ninety per cent of land has been sold, and you can see its effect. These Kothis, and SUVs parked in their courtyard, are nothing but souvenirs of the great change; and the underconstruction high-rises surrounding the village speak of the glorious future of this area,” says Ragunath Yadav, a middle-aged villager.

Employment is another aspect that had added immensely to the change. “Arrival of the corporate companies in Gurgaon has generated great employment opportunities for the villagers. However, most of them are employed at the lower levels – such a security guards or drivers; but it has certainly helped people in lifting the status of their lives. Money can buy one bungalows and SUVs, but manners and etiquette are the subject of constant learning. Employment under the educated

and elite class has certainly transformed the lives of the villagers. And the biggest example is that now even women, who earlier used to remain in the confines of their homes, have started working outside the village – in nearby high-rises as domestic helps etc.” says Satish Kumar, a youth. Yet prosperity brings one of the deadliest sins to the fore – envy. People in Badshahpur too are losing the sense of harmony and co-operation, that used to be their hallmark, “The life of the people has become modern; and now nobody has time to sit with each other. Modernisation has meant that most Badshahpur is at the cusp of the Sohna Road–Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) intersection. New sectors 58 to 80 are being developed along the SPR. All traffic to Sohna, Faridabad and Delhi (via MG Road) would pass through here. Many top private schools have already come up in the vicinity of Badshahpur.

of the people now focus only on their families, and don’t want to discuss their problems with their peers and friends. Earlier people used to have patience, and there were no court cases, as most of the problems used to get solved at the panchayat level. Now every second day, the village witnesses the presence of policemen. Money has brought us many positive things, yet some of our key values are no more visible,” says Shivlal Yadav.

Education and employment

“Education has brought great change in the approach of the masses here. Now a hundred

per cent of the village kids go to school, and some bright students have done well in many fields. This village has four government schools, of which two are Senior Secondary schools – separate for boys and girls. Other than these four, the village has a good number of small private English medium schools,” says Subash Fauji. However, the quality of education needs to improve, as the youth is unable to get into any promising careers. “Both my sons have done MBA from MDU and Kurekshetra University, but none has a good job till now. One is earning 15 thousand, and the other only 10. I think the basic education they got here at the village school was not good enough to match the industry requirements,” said Mahinder Singh. Although the village is surrounded by some of the City’s best private schools— such as Pathways—the villagers are not able to get their wards admission in these schools. “Despite having crores of rupees, we can’t get our wards into modern world schools; because, before giving admission to the children, they interview the parents. Most of the parents in the village are either illiterate, or Matric/Higher Secondary pass. Now this is directly visible in the quality of employment our youth is engaged in. Most of them work as security guards or drivers in the corporate companies. Only a few are working at respectable posts,” says Surte Yadav, another villager.

‘We know our value’

Badshahpur is a village that holds the key to the future of Gurgaon, and most of its residents are aware of it. “Our village is strategically very important, and it’s on our lands that this ‘new Gurgaon’ is getting built. Every high-rise adjacent to this proposed highway (Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) is on our lands. Almost 90 per cent of the land is gone, and a handful like me are still having our land intact; but we too will have to sell it soon. However, I am aware of the value of my land, and I won’t let anybody make a fool of me. The other day my son told me about the Master Plan 2025, and the arrival of the Metro rail along with SPR. Gurgaon already has the Metro, and I have asked my son to get me a ride in it,” says Shivlal, an eighty-three year old veteran.

An Auto village

Badshahpur is a land of contrasts. Here one can see a Tata Safari parked in the huge courtyard, along with a black shareauto. The people, even after acquiring crores of rupees, are earning their livelihood by driving/hiring out auto rickshaws. “Badshahpur has around 400 autos, and it has an auto union of its own. Most of the auto drivers are crorepatis, but they believe that earning a livelihood would keep them in some balance – not sitting idly and wasting lots of instant money. 80 per cent of the autos in Badshahpur are owned by Zamindars,” says Jagdish Yadav, an auto driver at Subash Chowk. u

23–29 March 2012

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


C ivic/S ocial

Private Spoilers

builder builds colonies, while a developer develops communities. Unfortunately, there are too many builders in Gurgaon,” says Gautam Gulati, President of The reminders for over a month, MCG’s Stand lor. Now, voters have a right to World Spa Apartment Owners Unitech officials steadfastly reAssociation (TWSAOA). The Sudhir Rajpal, the Munici- expect alleviation of their civic fuse to comment. residents of World Spa Apartpal Commissioner of Gur- conditions from the CouncilSome time before this inci- gaon, says, “I can’t comment on lor they have helped elect.” ments recently threw out the dent, private developer Ansals this. Plus, this is a State-level Ward 31 Councillor Ashok maintenance agency running had gone on record saying that decision, and not something Yadav echoes Kataria’s claim, their apartment society, and put they were facing losses worth that can be discussed or ar- “I have Ardee City in my Ward. in their own agency. crores in maintaining their gued.” Senior Deputy Mayor When the people who have voted It is a story many residents Palam Vihar properties. They Yashpal Batra says, “If any for me come with their proband RWAs would identify were happy to hand over the RWA wants the MCG to take lems, I have to beg and plead with. A builder starts a colony, developed colonies to the Mu- over the reins of its mainte- with the maintenance agency and the project is soon beset nicipal Corporation of Gurgaon nance, we’ll be more than glad to make the renovation and rewith delays and improprieties. (MCG). The CorpoEven after the residents move to forward its applica- pairs. Once I tried to get a repair ration also said that in, the construction shows shodtion to the higher of- in Ardee City passed through my it would start the dy work; and every day there ficials for authorising House, but it was shot down.” In process of asking the same vein, Councillor Maare problems that the residents such a step.” private builders to paid a hefty amount to avoid As per the Corpo- hesh Dayma says, “ I have the hand over their resiin the first place. Repeated reration, the colonies, maximum number of private dent housing. Earquests for assistance go unheard once developed, have apartments and colonies comlier, HUDA (the deby the builder in question, and to be handed over to pared to any Ward in Gurgaon. veloper) had unithe residents are stuck in a the local municipal Each of the RWA heads in those laterally thrown Catch-22 situation. body for maintenance, apartment colonies come to me its hat into the But in this case, the residents after a specified time with their problems. Even the ring – despite not Gautam Gulati of World Spa did far more than (in this case, five residents of private colonies handing anything just complain. They took the years). An MCG offi- make a beeline for my office with over to MCG of their own. developer Unitech to court, and cial asserts, “These private de- their problems. And I’m proud Private builders like DLF, velopers are clearly flouting the to say that these people trust won their right to maintain the Unitech, and Ansals are re- government’s directives. When a me better than their own mainresident colony as it should sponsible for the creation of tract of land is given for develop- tenance agency. But the probhave been. almost all of what has come ment, it is specified that the col- lem is the same. If we had more “We were facing problems up as ‘New Gurgaon’ today. ony has to be handed over to the control in those areas, we could like no gas supply in the Covering an area roughly equal municipal body of that city, for do something.” morning, guards leaving their to 5,500 acres, the City has some governance and maintenance. Councillor Ravinder Yadav posts because they hadn’t of its prime real-estate in this The only reason why the devel- says, “I have H,I,J and K Blocks been paid, electricity cut-offs, section. But over the opers are not handing of Ansal’s Palam and the like,” says years, the residents in over the properties is Vihar in my Ward. Gulati. The maintethese posh localities that they do not want When the House Tax nance agency, Unitech have been complaining to lose the money is paid, the people ask Property Manageof less-than-satisfacto- gained from mainteme for development, ment Pvt Ltd (UPM), ry amenities and ser- nance charges.” Baand I have nothing was deaf to our pleas vices. The residents of tra says, “In any case, to offer. If the MCG – and so was the deSushant Lok and Mali- the colonies do have can streamline the veloper, he recalls. bu Towne have been up to be handed over to handover process, I’ll “We complained to in arms against their the MCG.” be able to get some the Department of respective developers urgent maintenance Town and Country Parminder Kaa number of times, taria, the Deputy Sudhir Rajpal work going for those Planning (DTCP), Dr. Praveen Kumar over water, sewage and Mayor of Gurgaon, areas.” but there was no accleanliness issues. Haryana Urban Develoption,” he says. The DTCP is supsays that although he would Rajeshz Jain, the Presi- not be able to comment on the ment Authority’s (HUDA’s) posed to be the watchdog that dent of Oriental Villas Resi- MCG’s demand of handing over Administrator Dr. Praveen licences, regulates and enforces dential Welfare Association, the private colonies, the plight Kumar reiterates, “If any the norms under which building G-Block, Sushant Lok-3, Sec- of the Councillors was also an developer is slacking in its projects are carried out. Unfortor-57, says, “We have been issue. “The situation is very duties, the RWA just has to tunately, it has been lax. There fighting tooth and nail for ba- trying for the Councillors. In come to me. Once an applicaare several such cases, and some sic amenities in our housing each Councillor’s Ward, a sig- tion for takeover is approved, more in higher courts. colony. Safety and sanitation nificant area is occupied by pri- HUDA is ready to take The World Spa project was a is ignored by the maintenance vate colonies. In each of these the responsibility.” sea of problems from the start, agency. I’ve sent repeated re- colonies are people who have But despite these well-meant Gulati says. “It is interesting minders of our plight to the voted for the current Council- promises, and an offer to change to note that the first brick maintenance agency, and the in the project was laid when developer Ansal. They reply nearly all the flats were sold,” B.K Dhawan, President of Federation of Apartment Owners’ Assoback, but with no resolution says Gulati. ciation, reiterates, “The Haryana Apartment Owners’ Act is a finelyof the problem.” Now that the RWA is holding crafted piece of legislation, and it covers all contingencies. One, the If Ansals were to hand over the reins of the management of MCG has no say on the takeover of Apartment Colonies. The handover Oriental Villas to the care of the World Spa Apartments, what has to be given to the Apartment Owners’ Association in question, and MCG, would the turn of events would Gulati say on the situanot the Corporation. The law is very clear on that.” be of benefit to the residents? tion of other poorly-managed According to Section 3(B), the apartment owner is the also the “That is, of course, a decision to colonies in Gurgaon? “The part percentage owner of all the Common Areas and Facilities (CAF). be taken by higher authorities,” fight’s still on. All I can say That means the RWA is fully in its right to own the common areas {as he says. So even with myriad is that everything depends on described in Section 3(F)}, maintain them, and collect income from problems, these residents are the unity and determination them – to run the maintenance of the builder colony. The builder canskittish on the issue of handof the RWA in question. We not sell the common areas, or say that those areas should be treatover to a government agenhad what was required, and ed like apartments. They are for the RWA to run, and to help fund cy. And with good reason, it we did it,” Gulati says. the maintenance.” would seem. Despite several notices and


the management, the government’s olive branch to the private colonies’ residents is not being viewed favourably by the latter. The biggest argument in their arsenal is that the MCG has not been able to give its own areas what was promised in the municipal elections. An RWA head points out, “When they see the MCG can take care of its own, the builder colony residents will gain confidence in them.” The MCG’s current objective of getting the builder colonies in its kitty has its share of detractors as well. A Zone-II Councillor says, “I guess the transfer will take so much time, and run into so many legal hassles, that MCG will drop the idea on its own.” Earlier, when MCG attempted to impose house tax on residents in private colonies, the move was hotly contested by the latter. It finally took a judgement from the apex court to rein in the local body. The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) Gurgaon Citizens’ Council, filed a petition that they were already paying charges to the developer, for services and amenities. As such, “It would make no sense to pay to MCG what we’re paying the developer anyway,” says the spokesperson for the RWA. On the issue of the MCG hand over he says, “Let’s see how this plays out”

The Defendants Say...

A maintenance official of private developer DLF puts it this way, “Would someone first decide if it is HUDA that is taking over the private builder colonies, or MCG? If someone can do a better job than us, then they are welcome to take over. Personally, I feel that our work would be vouched for the best by the residents themselves.” The jury is out – maybe depending on your builders or your colony. Aishwarya Lenka, a resident of DLF’s Pinnacle, considers MCG’s option to be a farce. “We are doing well enough by ourselves. When I have a problem, I go to my RWA head, or the maintenance agency; and so far, they haven’t disappointed me. I will oppose the transfer of this to the local body, for the very fact that they can’t even take care of their own areas,” she says. Ravi, a resident of Unitech’s Nirvana Country, says, “We are ready for any one to take charge of the maintenance. What the builder has built, be it the apartments or the common areas, are shoddy at best. The RWA or the Corporation cannot do worse than what we have to face on a daily basis here.” u


23–29 March 2012


Impassioned Fight For Education PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


ctogenarian Krishna Chandra Johorey was the youngest serving officer to receive the Padma Shree award, for his services in the Indo-China war. Later, he was handpicked by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to be inducted into the North-East Frontier Administrative Services (which was later merged into the IAS). His wife Sudha (77), has taught at open schools for most of her teaching life. On a mid-March morning, the elderly couple talk about their labour of love – a school for the under-privileged children. “Our NGO (Eco-Development Foundation) has been running for well over a decade now. In cities, we try to align ourselves with another NGO, and set up a school for under-privileged children – mostly the offspring of war victims,” says Johorey. “For example,” his wife chips in, “we have also set up a school like this in Roorkee.” Johorey says, “In our times, if a child was not educated, he would mostly turn to a life of crime. Therefore, we try to provide free education to as many children as possible.” The Shiksha Bharti School is the result of their efforts in Gurgaon. Providing free education to 150 children at present, the school operates out of a

volunteer in their effort, says, “My father used go around the neighbourhood, asking for donations.” Every little bit goes a long way for these children, she says. The school teaches the children as per the curriculum of the local State board. Johorey’s wife, a teacher herself, says, “We have hired teachers to assist us.” Geeta adds that they can only pay

Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) building in C-Block, Palam Vihar. “It costs us Rs. 10,000 a year to educate a child,” says Johorey. The Mid-Day Meal is provided for by ISSKON. “Before that,” Sudha says, “we used to pay for the rations out of our pension money, and whatever donations came our way.” Geeta, their daughter, and also a

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the teachers a meagre Rs. 3,000 a month; but they teach the children more out of a sense of purpose. “For every child coming in, we teach them, clothe them, give all books, and make sure they have a decent meal. As of now, the school has a waiting-list of 100 children. The only reason we can’t take them in is because we don’t have the funds to manage them,” Mrs. Johorey says. Simran Wali, teacher and Headmistress of Shiksha Bharti School, says, “I joined this institution on 14 November, 2009. Including me, there are five teachers.” Talking about the teaching experience, she says, “The first item on the agenda is to remove the slang and swear-words from the little ones’ vocabulary,” she laughs. “Then we teach them the curriculum, which is often a task in itself. The children we get are often ten to twelve-year-olds, who don’t even know how to hold a pen, let alone recognise an alphabet.” Geeta talks about the hardships they have faced, “I have approached several organisations’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) units, and what I’ve learnt is that they can be very discriminative. For example, why would a shoe-manufacturer refuse 100 pairs of shoes that would protect the feet of orphans in winters? But their dilly-dallying costs us dear.” u To Contribute Contact K. C. Johorey, 9810984916

MCG Service Extensions { Abhishek Behl / FG }


rom the next fiscal, Gurgaon residents need not visit the Municipal Corporation (MCG) office to register births and deaths, and obtain certificates and licenses that are listed on the website of the Municipality. A number of internet cafes in the old and new parts of the Millennium City are being converted into information kiosks, that will dispense these services on behalf of the MCG, for a nominal fees. MCG nodal official Din Mohd, who is handling this project, told Friday Gurgaon that since a majority of people are not able to avail these services online, the MCG is collaborating with Cyber Café owners to make these services available. “To bridge the digital divide we had asked the cyber café owners to apply, and get registered with us as service providers. The proposal has been appreciated, and the MCG has got a number of applicants who want to participate in the project”, says Mohd. This project, he says, is part of the e-governance initiative that the government of Haryana is implementing in the entire State, to ensure that IT enables easier delivery of services. Cyber Café owners will be given free training, so that they are able to provide seamless service in a user-friendly manner. This will help in easy payment of bills, and obtaining of licenses and certificates – that will carry digital signatures. It will also help the MCG utilize its staff can be utilized for other works, as every day the MCG issues 1500 to 2000 certificates – that includes registration of marriages as well as deaths. The Cyber Cafés can also be used to register complaints, and track the same, says Mohd. In addition to these efforts by the MCG, the Administration has also come up with a novel plan that involves home delivery of Driving Licenses (DLs) and Registration Certificates (RCs) of vehicles. The Administration will deliver them through Speed Post. The facility is likely to start from 1st April. A separate counter will be set up in the E-Disha center of Mini Secretariat, where an official of India Posts department will sit. The consumers will have to pay a meagre amount of Rs 20 extra. Initially, areas falling in Gurgaon tehsil and Manesar tehsil would be covered. At the time of despatch of the document, intimation will be sent to the applicant through SMS. The Superintendent of Post Offices, Gurgaon Division Jagdish Chander, said that Department of Posts will take the responsibility, and deliver the documents in time to the applicants – who will save their time and money. He said that in case of any laxity from any postman in delivery of the document, he will be suspended immediately because the documents are of utmost importance. Presently, about 250 to 300 SMS are sent daily, regarding the preparation of RCs or DLs. u

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23–29 March 2012

Kid Corner



K id Corner

23–29 March 2012

Blue Bells Krishna Day

Camp @ School


tudents of Chiranjiv Bharati School organised a Night Camp for classes Nursery and K.G., and a Day Camp for the Pre-Nursery students, in the school campus. The students enjoyed various adventurous activities, such as tyre swing, flying fox ride, monkey crawling, and free falling, among others. The students found the star and moon gazing activity very exciting. The aim of the Camp was to help children cope with emergency situations.


tudents and their parents were in for a treat at Blue Bells Preparatory School, Sector 4, as they met TV actor Avika S.Gor, who was the special guest on the occasion. A brief tête-àtête with the celebrity left the tiny tots excited. A mesmerising rendition of ‘Krishna Stuti’ thrilled the audience. Also, a scintillating ballet on the theme of the annual day – “Krishna: The Blue Prince” – left the audience spellbound. Quoting her own example, Avika said that talent, if nurtured at the grass root level, can help one achieve significant milestones.

MRIS Orientation For Parents


Workshop On Disaster Management


n order to prepare children combat natural disasters, CCA school, Sector 4 conducted a disaster management workshop and a mock drill. The students, who are constantly briefed about the safety rules to be followed and the precautionary measures to be taken in emergency situations, responded promptly. Students from Class IV to Class XII evacuated the school building. They assembled in the school ground where they were addressed by the Principal Mrs. Nirmal Yadav and the Chairman Colonel Kr. Pratap Yadav. The principal emphasised on the importance of effective disaster management and the need of disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness in today’s times.

n Orientation programme was organised for the parents, before the commencement of the Academic session 2012-2013, in Manav Rachna School, Sector 51. The session started with a warm welcome, followed by the lighting of the lamp by Principal Mrs. Dhriti Malhotra, and Headmistress Mrs. Seema Malhotra. Mrs. Malhotra apprised the parents about the rules and regulations of the School. She also emphasised that parents need to be role models, and practise rigorously what they preach to their wards.

World of Kidz Pottery


here is no better moment than witnessing a child’s joy. Keeping this in mind, the World of Kidz organised a pottery workshop for children. The children were delighted, as they sat at the potter’s wheel for the first time, and placed their wet hands on slowly spinning clay. They made a number of artefacts – ranging from clay dolls, to pots and flowers.

DPS Hosts French Students


1 students and two teachers from Lycee Porte Oceane, France, stayed with the students and staff of DPS Maruti Kunj, for over a fortnight. It was a part of the cultural/educational exchange programme. The students were taken on an educational field trip to Agra, Jaipur, and various places of interest in Delhi and Gurgaon. The French students were welcomed with a cultural extravaganza organised by the School. During the valedictory function, the French students and teachers attired in Indian outfits, and participated in a fashion parade. They also addressed the gathering in Hindi. The programme was organised in collaboration with the Embassy of France, to provide a platform for citizens of the two countries to meet, exchange ideas and contribute to their respective societies.

23–29 March 2012

If I were the colour blue, I’d sing sad songs for you.

 If I were the colour yellow,
 I’d be a happy fellow.

 If I were the colour red, I’d look like me when I bled.
 If I were the colour green,
 I’d grow like a big tree.
 If I were the colour brown,
 I’d be a chocolate town.
 If I were the colour pink,
 I’d be a lemony drink.
 If I were the colour purple,
 Nothing would rhyme with me. Saksham Mehta, Class V, PBN Public School

Artistic Strokes

{ Sarita Maheshwari Sharda }


t is very important for children to answer the phone properly. It means answering telephone calls promptly, and interacting with the caller politely. Also, knowing what you can disclose, and what information you should refuse to give out. And yes, this is as relevant in the age of the mobile phone also. You are quick learners, and your learning this simple skill can be very rewarding for everyone in your family. You will also leave a good impression on the callers – well, most anyway. Some simple phone etiquette:

Answer the phone properly and politely

♦ When you answer the phone, you should greet the caller with a simple “Hello,” or state your family name in the greeting – as in “Hello, Kumar’s residence.” It is not polite to answer the phone with phrases like “yeah” or “what,” as it seems abrupt and unfriendly. ♦ When you do not recognise the voice at the other end, it is proper to ask “Who is this, please?” This will help you direct the call to the right person in the household. ♦ When the call is for someone else, you should politely say, for example, “Yes my mom is here, one moment please, while I get her,” and always hand the phone to the requested person. Yelling, “Mom, Phone!” is disrespectful to the caller and call recipient, and should be curbed. ♦ Responding to a wrong number appropriately is crucial. You should never give personal information of any kind to unknown callers. A respectful and smart response to a wrong number is, “I am sorry you have the wrong number”; and hang up without further discussion.

Speak so the listener can understand

♦ You should answer the telephone promptly. ♦ You should speak into the receiver clearly, with-

Krish, V-B, Delhi Public School


Phone Etiquette for Kids

Literary Flourish

If I were a colour

K id Corner

out mumbling or yelling. ♦ You should turn down the television, music or other background noise first.

Take a message please

♦ Paper and pens should be placed near phones. ♦ You should ask – “Can I please take a message?”; also check whom the call is for, who is calling, and the telephone number. ♦ Read the message back, to ensure its accuracy, before ending the call with a polite “Goodbye”. ♦ Messages written should be left in a place where the recipients will get it promptly – like a message board near the phone.

Finish the call politely

♦ While younger, you can end a call with, “Goodbye”. As you mature, you should finish all phone calls with a polite remark – such as, “It was great speaking with you, Grandma”. ♦ The phone should always be returned to its proper place.

For Parents

♦ Phone etiquette will help your children to remember to be polite in other areas of life too. ♦ Children should not be allowed to answer the phone, until they are old enough to speak clearly, communicate with a caller, and give an appropriate message. ♦ Very young children sometimes go silent; parents should be ready to encourage the conversation, or take over. ♦ Children of about age eight and up can take a basic message. ♦ Once your child is old enough to answer the phone, do some practice calls, to help your child learn phone etiquette. (Certified Image Consultant)

Sherwood Nature Orientation


herwood Convent School conducted an Orientation programme for its Nursery Wing, in the School premises. The programme— with the theme “Nature”—started with the lighting of the lamp by Principal Mrs. Kanchan, Manager Mr. Arun Malik, and Head Mistress Mrs. Madhu Kapoor. Nursery and Prep students put up a brilliant show. An action song presented by the Nursery students celebrated the “Happy Day”. This was followed by “ A Riot of Colours”, highlighting the evolving of colours in nature. The students of Prep left the parents with a thought-provoking question, as to whether Nature belongs only to humans. The sad plight of tigers, on the verge of extinction, was highlighted by a dance drama. The students also danced to foot-tapping “Bhangra” music.

Kids Graduate @ Swiss Cottage


he Graduation ceremony of Kindergarten students was held at the Swiss Cottage School. The students demonstrated a myriad of skills, by presenting songs and dances. Over 117 student received graduation certificates, for moving to the Primary wing. The Principal C.K Jakhar welcomed the Chief Guest Jagdish Titler, General Secretary of AICC. While addressing the students, Principal C.K Jakhar said, “There are four pillars of society’s growth: students, teachers, parents, and management. These four pillars should remain in harmony.”

Sylvan Hosts St. John’s


he Sylvan Trails School hosted a student exchange programme team from St. John’s Ravenscourt School, North America. A group of eight students and two teachers visited the school, and engaged in learning through excursions, community service projects, and educational trips. They were introduced to the Indian culture, by participating in various dance performances. During the Valedictory Function, students of St. John Ravenscourt performed on Hollywood and Bollywood music, and also gave a Dandiya performance along with Indian students.

Ryan Welcome


yan International School, Sector 40, organised an induction programme to welcome the new Montessori students. The parents of the students were given a warm welcome by the staff, along with the Headmistress Ms. Peeya Sharma. The parents were welcomed with a beautiful song presented by the Montessori students. This was followed by a mesmerising skit on dreams and aspirations, by the students of Class I and II. Thereafter, the parents were introduced to the essence of the School’s motto-Excellence in Education, and All Round Development.


K id Corner

23–29 March 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.






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

23–29 March 2012

Stop Overeating { Alka Gurha }

The Binge Eating Cycle

Binge eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but brings feelings of regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity – which only reinforces compulsive eating. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief. Eating more than your body needs slowly becomes a deeply ingrained habit, that is hard to break. So how do you stop overeating? That is a challenge.

Stress Reduction

Feeling stressed is a common trigger for overeating, especially for women. Women automatically reach for some-

Join us now!

thing that soothes them, when they feel stressed; and food is an effective soother – at least for a little while. The better we manage our stress, the less tempted we feel by ‘comfort foods’ – and overeating in general.

Be Aware

Be more attentive about the whole eating experience, and don’t eat when you are watching television. Be aware when you are physically hungry, compared to just being bored or restless. Sometimes the difference can be sub-

The brain looks at the plate, and decides if the portion is adequate. Rather than loading up a full-size dinner plate during meals, start with a smaller bread or dessert plate.


tle. Feeling bored, restless, or empty are usually emotional cues – not physical hunger cues.

Smaller Portions

Using a smaller plate, and paying attention to the presentation of food, can increase your awareness – and help you stop eating when you are comfortable. “The brain looks at the plate, and decides if the portion is adequate. Rather than loading up a full-size dinner plate during meals, start with a smaller bread or dessert plate. If the thought of doing that makes you feel panicky, remember that you can easily refill the plate if you are still hungry. You can easily stop overeating by taking only half of the amount of food you think you need to eat,” say doctors. It takes some time – but the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion.


or some, overeating means bingeing; and for others, it means consuming more than planned. Most of us tend to overeat for a hundred different reasons. Often we overeat due to stress, irritation and frustration. It may be worry or overwork. Serial offenders suffer from binge eating disorder, which is characterised by compulsive overeating – in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop. The symptoms of this disorder usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood; often after a major diet. Such people gorge on food as fast as they can, while barely registering what they’re eating or tasting. Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry.

W ellness

To get rid of dark circles, apply a mixture of almond oil and honey on the affected area, every night before bedtime.

Small but Frequent Meals

If you typically eat one or two big meals, and nothing else all day, you may be setting yourself up to eat more than you should – because by the time you do eat, you are hungry. A good way to stop this cycle of overeating is to eat smaller amounts of food more frequently. Rather than one or two big meals, try eating only snack-size meals four to five times a day.

Consume More Water and Fibre

Drinking plenty of water, and eating a fibre rich diet each day, makes it much easier to stop overeating – because you feel fuller. Go for salads and soups before each meal, and you’ll find that you don’t need to eat as much, to feel satisfied.

Eat slowly

Remember all those familiar grandmother tips like ‘sip water be-

tween bites’, and ‘chew thoroughly before swallowing’? These were all aimed at slowing us down when we eat. Research has shown that it takes 12 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person; but 20 or more minutes for an obese person. Eating slowly ensures that these important messages have time to reach the brain. When it comes right down to it, we all know how to stop overeating – but we actually need to physically do it, instead of just mentally wanting to do it in our minds. u

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

Only for Ladies Fitness Place

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


or over 2,000 years, Ayurveda and homeopathy have recognised the unusual benefits of Gymnema sylvestre. This woody climbing plant, that grows in the tropical forests of central and southern India, has been used as an anti-diabetic, a diuretic, a tonic – and for treating stomach upsets. Because of its property of abolishing the taste of sugar, this herb was given the name of ‘gur-maar’ meaning ‘sugar-destroyer. It is also called “meshasringi”, meaning ‘ram’s horn’ – alluding perhaps to the shape of its fruit. In English this herb is called “Periploca of the Woods”; and “wald-schlinge” in German. In ancient India, powdered Gymnema roots were applied on affected areas to cure allergies, insect bites and snake bites; and the leaves were chewed, for ailments such as constipation, stomach problems, liver disease, and diabetes. It has a mild laxative effect, probably due to its anthraquinone content, which irritates the bowel walls. When chewed, the leaves have the astonishing property of eliminating our taste sensitivity for sweet and bitter substances. Gymnema leaf extract, especially the peptide ‘Gurmarin’, has been found to interfere with the natural functioning of the taste buds on the tongue. Gymnemic acid has a similar effect. It is believed that by inhibiting the sweet taste sensation, people taking it will limit their intake of sweet foods. In addition, Gurmaar blocks the

Health & Vitality... Naturally!


The Sugar Destroyer receptor-sites for sugar in the digestive system, resulting in a decrease in blood sugar. The combined benefits from these is what attributes to Gymnema’s hypoglycemic effect.

Tip of the week

Eating meals at regular intervals is key. Waiting too long between meals may lead you to choose sugary, fatty foods as a means of instant gratification, to assuage the pangs of hunger. Instead, eating smaller meals every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable, and help avoid irrational eating. It is advisable that the Gymnema herb, or supplements containing it, is taken with some food – as it may result in some kind of gastrointestinal problems when ingested on an empty stomach.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Gymnema Sylvestre or ‘Gur-maar’ Gurmaar




combination of constituents, that yield the benefits for which Gymnema has been relied upon for thousands of years. In addition to helping curb the desire for sweets, it is believed Gymnema may restore the pancreatic function. Gurmaar can also be good for kidney health. The kidneys help remove toxins from the body. Over time, the kidneys can become damaged or enlarged, due to unhealthy practices. Adding Gurmaar extract to our diet can improve the kidney performance. Gymnema sylvestre is safe for most people. However, there are a few groups of people who are cautioned against consuming the herb. These include women who are pregnant and lactating, as well as those who are taking anti-

diabetic medication and prescription antidepressants. Herbal supplements should be taken under the guidance of a medical practitioner. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


23–29 March 2012


Some Faith Restored

es, there is finally some Budget redemption. The worldly wise Dada would have needed to be at his stubborn best within the UPA. It is heartening that he was bold enough to take back the excise reductions; and resolute in ensuring that services are very integral in a comprehensive Goods & Service Tax (GST) process and rate. It was pleasant to see the economists, the experts, and many corporate honchos give frank opinions. It would have been too much to ask for a complete restoration of faith. However, the Railway Budget did briefly provide such comfort. A novice Railway Minister spoke, and acted, for country before party; he bit the bullet. Surely a seasoned Finance Minister (presenting this UPA’s 9th Budget) could have, and should have, done better.


Inflation should not be a top concern. The producers do not want a slowdown of growth; they will not raise prices easily. However, for food and fuel, we need to protect, foremost, the urban poor. Dual pricing, and vouchers, should be the norm. The urban poor are surely easier to identify than the poor. They will also not be so easily fooled by middlemen. There are some worries. After using external global issues as virtual excuses for last year’s performance, there is now just a belief that things will get better. The world does not think so; not for EU, and not for Iran - and therefore oil. We should be ready for a hard landing here, unless FIIs rescue us. If they do, the one thing we should not try to calibrate is the flow, or the exchange rate. For once, we should see the benefit for imports (oil, capital goods for infrastructure) more than the benefit for exports (consistently negligible). Subsidies are also a concern, yes – but not per se. Subsidies will be needed in India for a long time, by one name or another. We could have resolved much of this in the last decade – we have failed. The real issue is the announcement of new welfare schemes every year – now even in a bad year; and especially after knowing and acknowledging that all current schemes are performing below par, or are distorted. This is criminal ! And made worse when these schemes are announced with fanfare, and in the name of family. Could we not just

DGP Speak The DGP Haryana,

Ranjeev Singh Dalal, while on a recent visit to Gurgaon, assured the residents that safety of women is a top priority. There is an acknowledgement that Gurgaon, ‘a City that never sleeps’, needs a different type of policing. The Gurgaon Police needs to be an officers-oriented police – with more Sub-Inspectors and Inspectors.  Women police personnel are being added regularly – and would number almost 500 soon.  They were commended for their role  tackling the recent Hisar agitation. A dedicated 24x7 women’s helpline has been activated, for women in distress and/or being harassed – number 0124 2335100.  There is also a plan to install a surveillance system in Gurgaon and Faridabad. A Task Force Committee for the District has


been set up, to regularly review the safety of women, and give suggestions. The Committee will include the DCP of the area, concerned Deputy Labour Commissioner, DETC (Excise), a representative NGO, and representatives from large employers. DGP Dalal also mentioned that Haryana would have a full-fledged Commando Batallion to deal with terrorists; it is being trained at Rohtak. Till now, the normal Administration line has been that Gurgaonites should be happy that they enjoy better civic, social, and security infrastructure than other Haryana residents. And though “new” Gurgaonites have higher expectations, they need to be patient. Is there finally some realization, and acknowledgement, of the special needs and status of Gurgaon - as a unique city in Haryana; and as the bread basket and golden goose of the State?

have consolidated (even just the outlays, if not the schemes), and said, ‘this much and no more’ ? After such largesse, any talk of fiscal responsibility does sound incredible – and of course irresponsible. Infrastructure will never get done without the private sector – and it makes eminent sense to involve them. However, the lip service to PPP (Public Private Partnership) needs to be backed up with actual action on Mega Projects. To start with, can we just have a genuine acknowledgement of the role and benefit of the private sector ? Unfortunately, that is difficult for any government servant (that does include Ministers) who is 50+ (and that includes the entire Cabinet) to acknowledge – born of indoctrination, and even belief. Of course, it is just as difficult for some old industry captains to frankly speak their mind on government policies - in public, or even in meetings with the Ministers. For them, the FM (any FM) must be acknowledged as having always ‘done a capable job of balancing various interests’. In this scenario, it is difficult to see PPP as the lynchpin for Infrastructure Development. Will we have to wait for the generational changes on either side ? Or can the stalwarts genuinely manage their change ? Change Management it is jargonistically called – and seldom refers to self. With soon 10 years of un-interrupted rule, the UPA would definitely be disappointed that some basics were not tackled. And this is when, for the most part, they were spoiled for riches – from unprecedented revenues and growths (planned and windfalls). We are still debating outcomes versus outlays; inequalities have increased; subsidies have shot through the roof; and even the revenue deficit is negative. They have provided ample excuse for whoever follows – even a new UPA PM. It is highly unlikely for anyone now to have the luxury of 10 years of uninterrupted rule – including a certain Rahul Gandhi. A poor legacy indeed. But wait – there still could be full redemption. Let us wait for the Document of the Century. Potentially more potent than the Lokpal Bill. Ladies & Gentleman, bigger than what he as FM presented, the PM is proud to present : The White Paper on Black Money !

FAMOUS QUOTES If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance. George Bernard Shaw

we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true. James Branch Cabell

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

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Samuel Johnson

If you are going through hell, keep going. Sir Winston Churchill I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Alva Edison The optimist proclaims that

Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. Elbert Hubbard Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin

{ Srimati Lal }


s a continuation of my series on Gurgaon Artists’ Studios, I met the emerging Surrealist painter Sangeeta Singh at her 11th-floor Gurgaon studio. Sangeeta’s wistful canvas—that I had titled ‘A Dog’s Dreams—recently made news when it was picked-up by the DLF Chairman K.P Singh, at the recent ‘Renge Art Walk’ held at the DLF Golf Course grounds.  Artists and their studios are often a city’s best-kept secrets, sheltering fervent imaginations and startling visions.  These special spaces and people require closer examination, as sociological mirrors reflecting our surroundings and our developing environment. Despite having a Science background, Sangeeta succumbed to a latent artistic temperament, and began studying Art in 1999. Since 2004, she trained for six years under senior Figurative Artist Rameshwar Broota, at Delhi’s Triveni Kala Sangam.  She also completed an Art Appreciation course at Delhi’s  National Museum.    She is technically accomplished, and has exhibited in different countries. Her solo shows include exhibitions at the Lalit Kala, Delhi;  Austria’s  Auschlossl Graz, Womens’ International Conference, and Haus im Ennstal; group-show participation in Naples, Villa Doria, and Ramo d’oro, Italy; AIFACS   & Dhoomimal Gallery in Delhi; and at the Gulf Art Fair in Dubai. This

Gurgaon Rickshaw-Ride

A rt


A Gurgaon Art-Genre June, she will take part in Graz, Austria’s Unterpremstatten International Art Symposium. Singh’s Gurgaon studio is now the seat of various worksin-progress for her further upcoming solo exhibitions – at Delhi’s IHC Visual Arts Gallery  in October, and at Mumbai’s Jehangir Art Gallery in November. The artist’s Surreal-toned works embody a sense of silence, melancholia and mystery. She tells me that her new visualisation is “still at a developmental stage, with a lot more to experience and evolve-towards.” Exploring the Indian Surrealist genre, Singh works in a Photorealist mode, employing photographs and using computer-graphics to develop her compositions. As a supportive gesture to the painter, I have provided creative titles to many of her canvasses, in order to evoke their inner meanings – as in:   ‘Dogs And Deconstructions’;   ‘SkyscraperEscape’;  ‘Escape From An Aeroplane’; ‘A Dog’s Dreams’;  and ‘Gurgaon Rickshaw-Ride.’   In an extensive interview held at her Studio, Sangeeta opened up about her developing works. Srimati Lal: I can see the evolution of something ‘GurgaonGeneric’ in your canvasses, which clearly evoke the Millennium City’s hi gh-rise isolation, urban angst, street-life, and varied wistful

A Dog’s Dreams’

dreams – in a ‘Surreal-Indian’ mode. Tell me about your visual inspirations and processes. Sangeeta Singh:  The themes that inspire my paintings are, indeed, the subjects that I see all around me here every day. I take photos of these surroundings, and create realistic artistic representations via computergraphics, that I transfer onto my canvas. In this process, I ‘de-construct’ the actual images as I see them, and try to place them in a different Surrealistic space. I develop my work with layers of oil paint, and the compositions always involve Space as an integral factor. SL: You tell me you were originally a Chemistry student... where did your interest in painting come from? SS: It was an inner urge for expression. When my husband was in the Army, we had a tenure in Mizoram in 19992001, where I got the opportunity to work with a gifted artist, R.Thansanga.   Then, from 2004-2010 in Delhi I trained under Rameshwar Broota. These teachers have shaped my work. SL: How is Gurgaon now impacting your visual development as an artist? SS: My paintings are influenced very directly by my sur-

roundings. We shifted to Gurgaon two years ago, and the landscape of the Millennium City started appearing in my work. In one canvas, I have tried to emphasise the urgent need for green spaces in Gurgaon. Having previously lived in lush, green army cantonments, I really missed greenery in the concrete high-rise where I now live. My canvas depicts dry, grey concrete skyscrapers, including a small self-portrait of me in my balcony hurled upwards in the sky – as if trying to fly away, along with my solitary green potted-plant. In other works, I document the innocent plight of the stray street-dogs that wander all over Gurgaon. These stray animals try to relax in the occasional shade of dusty, concrete building-materials and construction-frames. I also use images of the struggling Gurgaon rickshaw-wallahs who ferry us around locally; I employ their shadows on the streets, playfully sweep-

ing the dust-laden roads with varied magical movements, as they help us to reach our destinations. In another canvas, I have painted an aerial view from a plane, over this crowded city. In a psychological attempt at escape again, I depict a woman’s pink night-dress flying off into the sky – as if from the plane window. SL: It is good that you are allowing your visual imagination to stretch this way. How do you see your imagery developing further? SS: Twelve years have passed by in my journey as an artist; but I feel that it has just begun. I am still exploring my inner self – trying to bring it forth more clearly on my canvas. I enjoy working with topics that move me; and I would like to add further elements of Surrealism to my contexts. Such artistic and personal challenges keep influencing my thoughts and my work. u Artist, Writer, & Curator

Manage The Internal World { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


Escape From An Aeroplane


23–29 March 2012

piritualism does not offer an escape into a metaphysical paradise. It offers the opportunity to become the master of the fire (of enlightenment), and the doer of the chosen acts and deeds. There are many hills and valleys in the landscape of life. People are not fundamentally motivated by pleasure alone. They are not made happy by an endless supply of pleasures.   Many people are still in the waiting room. They are yet to start living fully, wherever they are. Birth implies death, Health implies disease. Youth implies ageing, Pleasure implies pain. Success implies failure. Meeting implies parting.  You cannot have one without the other. Each half has as much dignity as the other. Night is as dignified as day. Old Korean saying teaches us: Don’t ask for perfect health – that’s just greed; make medicine from the suffering in sickness. Don’t expect your path to be free from obstacles; without them, the fire of your enlightenment will go out; find liberation within the disturbances themselves. When we see a person who accepts trouble or affliction, and goes on living in a positive way, we cannot but help being inspired. u


Planets & Houses

{ V.K Gaur }


edic astrology is based on nakshatras, rashis and nava grahas. It is desirable to understand various traits and qualities of grahas. It is also essential to understand the strength of grahas, their relationship with other planets, and relevance of all the twelve houses of a horoscope. Presence of a planet in a particular house may have a perennial influence on a jatak (person). The twelve houses of a horoscope deal with all conceivable aspects of life. The most important of all houses is the lagna, or the first house. The remaining houses are basically related to the first house only. The planets in the horoscope are subservient to the lagna, and their original nature undergoes modifications depending upon the lagna.  The Kendras (or Quadrants): Houses are 1, 4, 7 and 10. These are highly significant houses.

 The Panapharas (or Successant Houses): Houses 2, 5, 8 and 11.  The Apoklimas (or Cadent Houses): Houses 3, 6, 9 and 12.  The Trikonas (or Trines): Houses 1, 5 and 9. These are highly auspicious; and along with the Kendras, determine the health, wealth, status, dignity, rise and virtue of a jatak.  The Upachaya: Houses 3, 6, 10 and 11. These houses indicate struggle, competition, and material achievement.  The Trik Houses: Houses 6, 8 and 12. These are considered bad houses. They indicate debt, disease, loss and misery. The Ayu-sthanas (or  houses of longevity): Houses 8 and 3. They indicate the length of life and, therefore, also the death.  The Maraka-sthanas

Grahas’ (Planets’) Relationships Each planet or graha considers another planet as a friend, enemy or equal. Some relationships are not mutual; for example, while one planet considers another as a friend, the other planet may not see it the same way. Budha and Chandrma are examples. Grahas (Planets) Surya

Friends Chandrma, Mangala, Brihaspati

Chandrma Surya, Budha

Equals Budha

Enemies Shukra, Shani, Rahu

Mangala, Brihaspati, Rahu Shukra, Shani


Surya, Chandrma, Brihaspati Shukra, Shani


Surya, Shukra, Rahu

Mangala, Brihaspati, Chandrma Shani


Surya, Chandrma, Mangala

Shani, Rahu

Budha, Shukra


Budha, Shani, Rahu

Brihaspati, Mangala

Surya, Chandrma


Budha, Shukra, Rahu


Surya, Chandrma, Mangala


Budha, Shukra,Shani


Surya, Chandrma, Mangala


Budha, Shukra, Shani, Rahu Brihaspati

{ Bhavana Sharma / FG }


B on V ivant

23–29 March 2012

e spend a considerable amount of time at the workplace; it is therefore essential that the office environment gives out positive vibes. Here are a few tips to get your office space reverberating with positive chi.  Paint the walls of your office with peaceful blue or aqua green colour. These colours evoke a sense of tranquility, as they symbolize loyalty at the workplace, and productive work. Complement your walls with some orange and brown paintings; these will make you feel more sociable, and beat away the blues. Add any inspirational pictures, quotes or affirmations.  Awaken nature, to bring tranquility into your office room - with a soothing combination of forest green and white vases. On the extreme left of your cabin, place some potted plants, to bring in positive energy. Make sure you care for the plants, and keep them green and healthy. Keep a small earthen pot on the northern side of the

Budha, Rahu

Surya,Chandrma, Mangala

(or killer houses): Houses 2 and 7. The grahas play an important role in the horoscope. Surya (Sun) is the most important planet of Vedic astrology. It is the source of heat and anger. Its colour is red, metal is gold, and gem is ruby. Surya rules the East. It is powerful during the day. The Surya transits to the next rashi for one month, and thus completes the round of the zodiac in one year. Its motion is

Gems can be worn in a ring locket. Minimum weight should not be lesser than 5.25/7.25/9.25 or 11.25 rattis. Should touch the skin of the finger mount of the graha concerned; or the chest, in case of a locket. Diamond should not be lesser than ½ kt.

Krishna paksha (dark fortnight). The lunar days or ‘Tithi’, changes with every 12 degree difference between the Surya and the Chandrma. When the Surya and the Chandrma are in the exact opposite signs, or 180 degrees apart, it is called Poornima, or the full Chandrma day – or the 1st day of the Shukla paksha (bright fortnight). The sign in which the jatak’s Chandrma is located in the birth chart is called Janma Rashi. The star constellation in which Chandrma is placed is called Janma Nakshatra. Each of the 9 planets produces different results, and at times totally opposite results, while placed in the 12 different rashis. Again, each has some good results and some bad, in each sign. This is an important aspect of astrology. While placed at various specific distances from the Surya, the planets Mangal, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra and Shani become retrograde, or appear to move in the backward direction. Surya and Chandrma do not have any retrograde motion. The motion of Rahu and Ketu is always opposite to that of the other planets. u

A gem loses utility after 5 years.

Get Answers To Your Astrological Queries

quite fixed, and never becomes vakri (retrograde). The change in seasons is also linked to Surya’s entry into various signs and nakshatras. Surya rules Ravivar (Sunday). Chandrma (Moon) is also a royal planet, and is the queen in astrology. Its influence may change periodically. It is cold and calm, its color is white, direction NorthEast, metal is silver and gem is pearl. The Chandrma is the fastest moving of the 9 planets. Chandrma rules Monday. When the Surya and Chandrma are in the same rashi it is called Amavasya, or new Chandrma day – or the 1st day of the

Grahas (Planets) And Gemstones Each graha (planet) of Indian astrology has a gem stone associated with it. The nine stones, corresponding to the nine planets, are called the Navaratna group of stones. Grahas (Planets)


Ravi (Surya)


Chandra (Chandrma)


Kuja (Mangala)


How to use

Budha (Budha)


Guru (Brihaspati)

Yellow Sapphire

Shukra (Shukra)


Shani (Shani)

Blue Sapphire

Rahu (Dragon’s Head)


Ketu (Dragon’s Tail)

Cat’s Eye

Grahas (Planets) & Associated Characters Details

Ravi (Surya)

Colour Sex

Copper Male

Chandra Kuja (Chandrma) (Mangal) White Red Female Male

Element God Metal BodyPart Grains Seasons Taste Residence English Name

Fire Agni Copper Bone Wheat Summer Pungent Place of Worship Sun

Water Varuna Gems Blood Paddy Winter Salt Springs Moon

Fire Subramanya Gold Marrow Lentil Summer Acidity Fire Mars

Budha Green Eunuch

Guru Shukra Shani (Brihaspati) Gold/Silver White/Yellow Blue/Black Male Female Eunuch

Earth Vishnu Brass Skin Greengram Autumn Mixed Playground Mercury

Ether Indra Silver Brain Bengalgram Snow Sweet Store-house Jupiter

Office Chi room – as this can help stimulate creativity and new ideas.  To have harmonious relations with your co-workers, keep an ivy plant on the eastern side of your desk. It will build up an expression of constancy and patience. A small jade plant, placed on the Northern sector of your desk, will boost your wealth prospects. Keep a laughing Buddha on your desk, facing the main door of your room/ hall; this will invite positive chi.

 An office desk with rounded curves will promote positive vibrations. To feel high-spirited, keep your chair where you can have a direct view of the main door, and a pleasant view outside the window. Make sure you sit with the wall behind you, to feel more secure and comfortable. This also builds stability in the workplace. Avoid placing your desk in the direct line of the door – it will distract you, and you could be

Water Indrani Diamond Semen Beans Spring Sour Bed-room Venus

Air Brahma Iron Muscles Sesame All Seasons Astringent Dust Bin Saturn

attacked by fast incoming chi. If you can’t alter the desk’s direction, hang a large crystal between the door and your table, for protection.  Use a landscape screensaver (on your PC) that encompasses earth, air, water or fire. You could place a clock in your cabin—made of shells and precious stones—as this generates positive energy.  A quartz crystal can transform and transmit energy on the South-Eastern corner of your desk. This can also energise your chances for career success. Any kind of lamp energises your name and reputation, when placed in the South.  All personal office equipment made of metal should be placed on a separate table – preferably located in the West or North-West area of your room. Leave the front of the desk empty and bereft of files or books – to allow energy to move freely. If you want your business to benefit from earth energies, you should energise the three earth corners of your office space – namely the Centre, the South-West and

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.

the North-East. Placing pottery ceramic bowls, or even motherof-pearl items, are excellent for this purpose. Do not use furniture that has many nails driven into it; this can reduce your chances of prosperity in business.  Never sit with your back to the main door of your room; doing so invites deception and betrayal. Place a painting of a mountain behind you, for creating support in the work area. Keep a small water feature—preferably with the water continuously moving—to signify movement and good yang energy, in the Northern corner. Make sure you also let in a lot of sunlight into your room, for enhancing natural positive chi.  Add a dash of sophistication with some red and yellow candles. Keep a red pen at a prominent spot on your desk. There are many ways to bring in creativity and positive vibrations – it’s all about having fun. u Tarot Reader bhavanasharma89

23–29 March 2012

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Millennium Maids

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


eet Sumee, a 19-year old groomed housekeeper, who can cook, clean, and wash. With over two years of experience, Sumi draws a salary of Rs. 8,000 per month. She seems happy and satisfied with her life. She lives with an NRI family in one of the villas in Nirvana, and uses a Blackberry phone, and Facebook, to connect with her family and friends. Also, she is fluent in English, despite the fact that she couldn’t complete her Senior Secondary education. Dressed in a Benetton T-shirt and Levis denim trouser, Sumi says “I am having a good time here. I buy branded clothes, that I could have never got in my village. Now when I go to my village, I get special treatment. I am a role model for them (smiles).” Gone are the days when being a maid was looked down upon. Today, a higher paying capacity, a hectic lifestyle, and class consciousness, in the City, has raised the level of respect even for local maids. If you think such phenomena exists only among expats and NRIs, think again. Sumee’s friend Sanjana, who works as a housekeeper in a local family, is a gadget freak. “I have used all hi-end mobile phones, such as Blackberry, Nokia Lumia, and Samsung Galaxy. Now I want to buy “Chota Wala Computer” (iPad), but it is a little expensive,” says Sanjana. Also, beauty parlour culture is gaining popularity among house keepers. Sanjana is a regular visitor to one of most popular saloons in the City. She says cheap saloons do not follow any scientific method for skin treatment. “Some sa-

Anjalina (L) and Sunita (R)

loons offer cheap herbal treatments. My skin would be at risk if I go to cheap parlours.” Although part-time maids earn totally more than live-in maids, those working in offices make the most. Maya, who does cleaning in four offices, earns Rs.15,000 monthly. But, unlike other maids, Maya puts at least a half of her salary in the bank account. When asked about the electronics goods she has at home, Maya reveals that she has a refrigerator, a TV, and a CD player; and plans to buy an Air Conditioner are in the pipeline.


Anjalina, who works in a Villa at South City II, flies to her home town every year. “The perks offered by households in Gurgaon add the wow factor to our job.When I go to my home town in West Bengal, Sir arranges an air ticket. In West Bengal, we couldn’t even afford the train fare,” says Anjalina. Her employer, Rakesh Sharma, sees a value for the investment. “She is a part of our family. We wanted to hire someone who dresses up nicely and has basic etiquette, as early grooming of our kids is extremely important,” says Rakesh. Madhu Yadav, a resident of Sector 43, seconds that. She takes pride in introducing her male house keeper Madan, who has been to five countries. The family always takes him along for holidays, as the kids and the elderly never like it without him. According to some house keepers, they miss the urban culture when they go back to their villages. Also, exposed to the urban culture, these maids,

especially young girls, don’t get a suitable match in their community. Anu, who works as a cook in Sector 50, proudly takes us to the kitchen, and displays the art of chopping like a chef. “Being part of an urban family is a great learning experience for me. I miss this culture when I go to my village. This family not only taught me the art of cooking and housekeeping, it also taught me to observe the world around me.”

The Flip Side

Arpana, a resident of Sushant Lok I, argues that the changing lifestyle of maids in the City has made them recalci-

{ Alka Gurha / FG }


elevision is now the epicentre of Indian culture and heritage, for its home entertainment. The number of TV homes is 150 million (15 crores); cable reaches 94 million homes (with 88 million analog connections and 6 million digital); while DTH commands 42 million subscribers. At a time when eating out and watching movies in multiplexes is either pinching pockets or ‘overdone’, television remains the conventional escape route. It has something for everyone. TV audiences in India will be able to watch International shows “South Park”, “Saturday Night Live”, “Seinfeld” and many more, on the American channel Comedy Central. It will be the country’s first 24-hour channel dedicated to English language comedies. The channel will have a mix of all genres – sitcoms, sketch comedy, British comedy, stand-ups and gigs. Good news for Joey Tribianni fans, as ‘Joey’, the American sitcom, will now be telecast on Star World. The show first premiered on the NBC television network in 2004, in the former time slot of ‘Friends’ – its parent sitcom. After his friends go their separate ways, Joey Tribianni leaves New York for Hollywood, to pursue his acting career full time. His sister Gina buys him a nice apartment, and he finds a new roommate in his 20-year old nephew Michael (Gina had him when she was 16), who is literally a rocket scientist. Another popular comedy drama series called ‘Castle’, which premiered


trant and lazy. “I am glad you are doing a story on the changing lifestyle of maids. The media generally highlight the maidabuse cases. I was shocked when one of the cooks I hired refused to work, because I asked her to tie her hair while cooking. If live-in maids don’t get along with you, it can be disastrous, as they work and reside in close proximity,” says Arpana. Besides, there are issues like dependabiity, punctuality, and timely availability of maids. “We often get complaints that maids spend more time in front of the computer and in the dressing room. There have been cases when maids have been held for stealing valuables. The desire to lead a luxurious lifestyle leads some of them up the wrong path,” says Shabnam, a manager at a famous online maid company. u

on ABC on March 9, 2009, will feature its fourth season on Star World. This week, Big CBS Love featured ‘India’s Glam Diva’ Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, chatting about her first film, her family and career. Meanwhile Indian soaps continued their stories of extramarital affairs and conspiracies. Since dancing is the flavour of the season, ‘Dance India Dance’ continues to grab eyeballs on Zee. More so after the bad Boys of Dance, a Maryland

(USA) based troupe, rocked the stage, as part of the Joy of Dancing initiative. Season Five of another popular dance show, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ will feature on Colors, instead of Sony. Jhalak Dikhla Ja is an Indianised version of an international dancing format – Dancing with the Stars. The other international formats aired by Colors are Bigg Boss, India’s Got Talent, Ring Ka King, Khatron Ke Khiladi. The cricket gala, IPL, begins on April 4 this year; and most channels plan to hold back their big ticket shows, until the televised cricketing show ends on May 27. u


23–29 March 2012

Go Back To Go Forward { Abhishek Behl / FG }


of suggestion and suggestibility is a potent force. Also when a soul dies before its time has come—through accidents, natural disasters or in crimes—then it remains earth bound, and who ever is weak is caught by them. People who are caught by external forces, that do not have scientific acceptance, are also helped by the Furtados. Rock cites an instance of an army colonel, whose married life was on PRAKHAR PANDEY

f you want to live a more satisfied life, resolve intractable personal and professional issues, and live in harmony with yourself, then a peep into your past life could well be the way out. For a soul never dies - it only accumulates Karma, and is transferred from one human form to another – as per Past Life Regression Therapists Blossom and Rock Furtado, who have pioneered this alternative form of therapy in India. Both of them believe that good and bad things in the present have a very strong connection with the past Karma; so understanding it by going into our past lives is very important. To go there, the Gurgaon based Furtados use Hypnotherapy and other regression techniques – that allow a person to go into a deep state of rest, and unveil the layers worn by his or her soul. Rock Furtado, who came into this field after attending a conference in Delhi, believes that a human being is but the manifestation of the soul. “We are a spirit, going from one life to another; and the body is the transition, as it has an expiry period,” says Rock. “The soul is eternal, and it assumes the human form to gain experiences and emotions that are not possible in the subliminal form.” The Furtados  come across astonishing situations. They have found that people who were outlaws in the past life have joined the police in the present. “This is a cycle, as the soul wants to balance the experiences. Often a person has committed a crime in the past life, and now he is being paid back in the same coin – by being the victim. A person who was having trouble in the present life often was a historical figure, or a witness to a historical event,”says Blossom. She says that the only way to end this cycle, is to take stock of the situation, and understand that a higher goal of life is to join the universal force. “The victims and perpetrators need to forgive and forget, to end this cycle of action and reaction,” adds Rock. “People can also use Regression Ther-

apy to understand their real self, and seek a vocation that matches their soul.” “A lot of people come to us saying that they are not comfortable in their jobs. However, people who have ‘by chance’ been able to find their vocations in accordance with the experiences of their soul, are doing very good,” says Rock. He cites the examples of great musicians and cricket players. The brilliance and special talents are often the result of several experiences of the past. With the help of Hypnotherapy and regression techniques, one can scientifically look at the abilities of a person, and help him/her match their potential, with the talent the soul has accrued. It is very important to live a life in harmony with nature and yourself, says Blossom. There are health issues and psychosomatic diseases that can also be treated through Hypnotherapy, as the power

Blossom Furtado

Laughing St


A boss asked one of his employees, “Do you believe in life after death?” “Yes, sir,” replied the new employee. “I thought you would,” said the boss. “Yesterday after you left to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped by to see you!” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little Johnny had finished his summer vacation and gone back to school. Two days later his teacher phoned his mother to tell her that he was misbehaving. “Wait a minute,” she said. “I had Johnny with me for three months and I never called you once when he misbehaved.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A taxpayer received a strongly worded “second notice” that his taxes were overdue. Hastening to the collector’s office, he paid his bill, saying apologetically that he had overlooked the first notice. “Oh,” confided the collector with a smile, “we don’t send out first notices. We have found that the second notices are more effective.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Three old ladies are sitting in a cafe, chatting about various things. One lady says, “You know, I’m getting really forgetful. This morning, I was standing at the top of the stairs, and I couldn’t remember whether I had just come up or was about to go down.” The second lady says, “You think that’s bad? The other day, I was sitting on the edge of my bed, and I couldn’t remember whether I was going to bed or had just woken up!” The third lady smiles smugly, “Well, my memory’s just as good as it’s always been, knock on wood,” she says as she raps on the table. Then with a startled look on her face, she asks, “Who’s there?”

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the rocks, despite being a gentleman. “The wife of the colonel told us that after 8 pm the colonel assumed a personality that was totally opposite to what he did in the day. He daily drank a bottle of liquor, abused everyone, and was a terror to the family,” says Rock. After a couple of sessions, it was observed that an external spirit was forcing him to do what he was doing at night. “We assessed the problem, and asked him to work towards strengthening his soul,” he says. The problem was resolved, and the colonel is back to his good ways. A Past Life Regression Therapist uses suggestions, hypnotherapy, and bridge technique, to understand the underlying issues, and acts as a facilitator to ensure we live happy and prosperous lives – both economically and spiritually. When asked whether there was some way to Rock Furtado strengthen the soul in this life, he smiles and says that people will have to live honestly, give up greed, ambition, and lust for power. Regression Therapy can also help a lot in this, as it helps in reinforcing what you want to practice in real life. “We take a person to the deepest layers of his soul, through various lives, and help him in identifying the problems. Thereafter, options are given to a per-

son; and depending upon his or her will, they chose the purpose of their lives,” says Blossom. She is a leading therapist in India, and has set up a chain of schools across the country. “Although, as a soul, each one of us is unique, the core of human nature is the same, irrespective of the position. The fears, phobias and insecurities of the rich and the poor are alike,” asserts Rock. The internet, he says, has also helped them in establishing the science of Past Life Regression Therapy, as it is easier to validate historical and geographical facts.

When asked whether there is a way to peep into the future lives as well, he replies in the positive. “We can also look into the future through Progressive Regression Techniques – but that is not the right thing to do. The future is uncertain, and has many variables – so it is better that the charm of the uncertainty that life is, remains. Otherwise, everything will become static,” says Furtado. Life is short, so one must understand the higher purpose of life; and as a human being, help the soul to become pure, strong and enlightenedso that the next body it gets into lives happily. That is the advice they give in unison. u

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23–29 March 2012

The Food And Wine Trail

{ Sebastian Kretz / Wanaka, New Zealand / DPA }

WINE TRAITS: Nick Mills decribes his white wines as rich in detail, precise in taste, and clear-bodied.

{ Helmut Reuter / Manaus, Brazil / DPA }


Sebastian Kretz


he trip from the Pacific coast to the little town of Wanaka, in the heart of New Zealand’s southern island, is mouth-watering in itself. The route takes the visitor past numerous fruit orchards ;and the juicy, ripe cherries, apples and apricots beckon from booths along the way – either as readyto-bite finger-food or as fresh ice-cream. Highway Number Six carries on until Wanaka, a charming and relaxed town of 5,000 residents alongside the lake of the same name. In recent years this region has been transformed into a remarkable wine-growing area. The most attractive vineyard is on Lake Wanaka, and goes by the name of Rippon. It occupies a prime position on the northern slopes - the sunny side of things in the Southern Hemisphere.

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SHIMMERING VIEW: Roys Peak offers one of the most impressive views of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand.

Right beneath the vines is the lake; and since this stretch of water is ringed by steep mountains, the rain falls directly from the clouds onto the Rippon grapes. “We want to craft a wine which sets itself apart from others,” said vintner Nick Mills. He describes his premium white wines as being rich in detail, precise in taste and clear-bodied. They owe these qualities to the schist rock gravels in the ground, he tells visitors. Those who do not want to rely on wine jargon alone can choose a bottle for themselves, after a tasting in the visitor centre. The Gewurztraminer is renowned

for its “remarkable grace and clarity”, and no-one should go away without grabbing at least a bottle of Riesling. There are at least two ways to pop the wine. The most comfortable alternative is a walk through the vines to the lake edge, which is rimmed by a narrow perimeter path. To sit there and uncork a bottle of wine, while admiring the fine view of wooded Ruby Island and the jagged rock faces beyond, is a fine way to pass time. More impressive, but requiring more effort is a hike to Roys Peak – a few kilometers northwest of Wanaka; although this means the wine bottle will have

Over to the north-west lies a carpet of hills, peninsulas and lakes, shimmering in deep and light blue. The view stretches to the white flanks of the Southern Alps with an arc of wide blue sky above, and smudges of fluffy, white clouds. The view accompanies hikers for another hour, as they make their way from the ridge to the summit. It is noticeably colder here. The descent is less strenuous, but lasts long enough for participants to start thinking about what evening meal they can expect. Fortunately, New Zealanders have come up with a delicious alternative to fleshy or fatty dishes, in the shape of snack bars known as Tea Rooms. Even tiny Wanaka can boast a handful of these establishments, all of which RIPPON GRAPES: Rippon Vineyard on are worth visiting. Lake Wanaka, is a favourite place for The “White House” horseback riding. gleams among the surto be popped in a rucksack berounding palm trees, and forehand. The path seems unat- offers a delightful garden. The tractive at first, as it wends its cuisine here is Mediterranean, twisty way for two-and-a-half with treats such as mussels hours, past flanks of bare, grey- over linguine or aubergines, brown rock. However, once the baked with a crust of Parmeridge has been reached, the san cheese. Naturally the wine panoramic view revealed from menu recommends only loaloft more than compensates for cal vintages, to accompany the the ascent. European-style food. u

The Paris of the Tropics

Wolfgang Kumm

anaus was for a long time described as “the Paris of in from Alsace. the Tropics,” after a rub- Nowadays, tourists ber boom enabled this city in the from around the Brazilian state of Amazonas to world visit the pink flourish in the late 19th century. building every day. The Teatro Amazonas, with “During the its Opera festival, remains to high season there this day the crown jewel of are 500, somethe region. It attracts musi- times even 1,000 cians from all over the world. visitors per day,” Wolfgang Ebert, from Saxony says Marcela Carin Germany, was originally plan- valho, responsible ning to spend only one year in for organization Manaus. This young French- and tourism in the horn player took a semester off, Teatro Amazonas. before finishing his studies in Since large cruise Leipzig. That was back in 2005. ships began to call at The capital of Amazonas capti- the port of Manaus, vated him and never let him go. the flow of visitors The same thing has hap- has grown tremenpened to many. This city of 1.8 dously. Many are million people is chaotic. Nerve- drawn to the city by OASIS OF CULTURE: The Teatro Amazonas, one of the world’s best opera houses. wracking traffic jams, the un- the annual opera fesWagner’s The Flying Dutch- its kind in Brazil; and it gets a bearable heat of the equatorial tival. Its 16th edition sun, and then the heavy tropi- is scheduled to take place April man – which echoed as far as his lot of attention among experts,” Malheiro says. native Germany. cal rain for days or weeks on 20-May 17 this year. This year, three operas are “He was a little bit crazy. end – coupled with extremely The festival was first held high humidity make it quite an in 1997. In 2007, director Chris- But working with him was fan- on offer, with three perforinhospitable environment for a toph Schlingensief (1960-2010) tastic, and very interesting,” mances each: Lulu, by Austrian northern European. led a performance of Richard recalls the festival chief and composer Alban Berg; I Puriconductor of the Orquestra tani, by Vincenzo Bellini; and And yet, for a muAmazonas Filarmônica, Luiz The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang sician, Manaus is an Amadeus Mozart. Beyond that, Fernando Malheiro. oasis of high culture. Malheiro is one of Brazil’s there are set to be two concert The Teatro Amazonas best-known conductors, and he performances of Giacomo is one of the world’s too has been working in Manaus Puccini’s Tosca. best opera houses. Unlike in European opera for over a decade. The maestro The theatre, opened was first invited to conduct at houses, tickets go for very affordon New Year’s Eve in the festival in 1999. He returned able prices – between 5 reals (2.75 1896, stands majesdollars) and 80 reals (44 dollars). in 2000, and then he stayed. tic on Praça de São The Teatro Amazonas seats The Festival AmazoSebastião. Its dome, nas de Ópera consolidated 701, with 266 stall seats and in the green-blueManaus’s reputation as an others distributed in boxes beyellow of Brazil’s nahind the stalls, and on three opera metropolis. tional colours, was GLOBAL INTEREST: Wolfgang Ebert from “Today it is the best-known higher levels. made out of 36,000 Leipzig, Germany during a rehearsal in the Before getting to the “Salão and most important festival of ceramic tiles brought Teatro Amazonas in Manaus (file picture).

Nobre,” the noble hall, visitors are required to put on large felt slippers, so they do not damage the valuable inlay work on the wooden floor. The hall, with Baroque elements and pink marble busts, and opulent frescos on the ceiling, was in its day reserved only for the celebrities of Manaus society.That was where people got together during intervals in performances. There was a men’s hall and a women’s hall, and morals were strict. In the golden days, Manaus rubber barons lit their cigars using bank notes, and shipped off their shirts to be mended and pressed in Europe. The money from the rubber boom turned the small village of Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, into a metropolis. Bohemian life took over the city. The 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, by German director Werner Herzog, depicts the era. The Teatro Amazonas survives with public funding. The opera festival alone costs around 4 million reals (2.2 million dollars) per year, and it is not the only festival. “In June there is a jazz festival, in September Musica Popular follows; then there is a theatre festival in October, and in December there is the film festival,” says theatre manager Carvalho. It is this variety that led Ebert, 33, to become fascinated with this city in the Amazon. He has played for Prince Charles, and met with Vaclav Havel and Frank Sinatra’s son: all of them have been to Manaus. u


23–29 March 2012

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The Titanic Connection { Stefan Weissenborn and Christoph Strotmann / St. John’s, Halifax / DPA }


he Atlantic waves break relentlessly on the rocks beneath Signal Hill, the historical lookout above the city of St. John’s in Newfoundland. It was here that the Italian electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi received the first international wireless transmission signal, from Cornwall in southern England – in 1901. The successful experiment represented a milestone in communications history. Within ten years of this pioneering achievement, the technology was adopted by ships all over the world, as a way of keeping in touch with the shore. Numerous Marconi wireless stations were erected, including one on the tip of the Avalon peninsula in Newfoundland. It was here, on the morning of April 15, 1912, that a fateful piece of Morse code was picked up. The message read “CQD MYG”. It was the first mayday call

Apple Siri Hits Google Search { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


oogle is preparing one of the biggest-ever revamps of its dominant search engine, to include direct answers in its search results – rather than just links to other websites, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The change is designed to help the search engine giant as it attempts to maintain its leading position in web queries. The new system would also help Google fend off a growing challenge from Apple, whose mobile digital assistant Siri provides answers and information to users’ spoken questions, enabling them to bypass Google in their mobile web searches. The new search architecture will be built on a database that Google has been amassing for several years, that now contains hundreds of millions of entries, the report said. Providing direct answers to queries in a socalled “semantic search” environment would enable Google to keep users on its own site for longer periods of time, and thus sell more search-related ads. Currently Google’s results almost always concentrate on links to external sites. The change is expected to be introduced in the coming months, but the transition to the next generation of search “is a years-long process,” Google executive Amit Singhal told the paper. u

to be received (and answered on land) from the ocean liner Titanic. At that very moment, the giant vessel - claimed to be unsinkable - was listing badly, and drifting some 600 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland. Shortly before, at 23.40 pm the previous day, the Titanic had been holed – after hitting an iceberg. “From Cape Race, the news went out around the world,” says David Myrick. The 73-yearold enjoys talking about those days even though he wasn’t alive at the time. He knows more than most about that grim night. After all, his great-uncle James was stationed at the Marconi station at the Cape a 100 years ago. Historians must have been looking the wrong way at some point in the 1960s, because the Marconi station on Cape Race was bulldozed flat. When talking about it, David Myrick can only shake his head: “The only thing we have left is this old Marconi sign.” The chromium-plated emblem is now part of an exhibition in the rebuilt station. A major commemorative ceremony is planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. The organisers hope to be able to borrow items from the Titanic Exhibition at the Johnson Geo Centre on Signal Hill in St. John’s. “At the memorial celebration we want everyone to be able to hear out loud the transmissions between the Titanic and Cape Race,” says David Myrick, who will play a key role at the event.

The culinary dimension of the last night on the Titanic has been a regular feature at the Ryan Mansion restaurant. Its top chef, Stephan O’Brien, cooks a selection of dishes from the 14-course menu served on the ship, on the evening of April 14, 1912. Later in the year wellheeled guests will even be able to inspect the wreck, during diving expeditions – which carry a price tag of more than 44,000 euros (61,000 dollars) per person. “It’s an overpowering experience, and no one can prepare you for just how big this ship is; it seems to go on for ever,” says expedition leader Rob McCallum. He has descended to the remains of the steamer, which measured 269 metres from stern to bow. The vessel lies at a depth of 3,750 metres. Everything revolves around the Titanic in the town of St. John’s too – a few hundred metres (as the crow flies) from Halifax. Tourist guide Glenn Taylor tells the dramatic tale of the final hours of passengers who went down with the Titanic. “Here at the cemeteries in Halifax we are closer to the Titanic catastrophe than anywhere else,” said Taylor, speaking between the 121 headstones of victims who were laid to rest at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax. Visitors from all over the world feel the tears welling up, when they stand here and hear Taylor recall the tragic fate of the 1,500

people who perished. The boats that hurried to the stricken liner’s aid set off from here; but most of their work consisted of recovering corpses. To mark the 100 years that have passed since the famous disaster, Halifax is staging a film festival, themed tours of the city, concerts and a conference of experts. The Titanic Exhibition in the

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is already a prime location for visitors. It contains, among many other exhibits, a deckchair that once graced the liner. Museum manager John Hennigar Shun has his own explanation for the fascination the Titanic continues to exert: “What happened to the Titanic reminds people of their own mortality, and of human hubris.” u

Ch. Surender Singh Memorial Cricket Match

Haryana Chief Minister XI Vs Parliamentarian XI

23–29 March 2012

G -scape 23


Friday Gurgaon, March 23-29, 2012  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, March 23-29, 2012  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper