Page 1

4–10 May 2012

Vol. 1 No. 37  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319


4–10 May 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–1 No.–37  4–10 May 2012




cocktail making workshop by Tulleeho, an Institute that provides beverage education and training services in India. The workshop will cover: introduction to beverages, cocktail classification, basics of spirits, setting up a home bar, cocktail equipment and glassware, garnishes, drink styles, cocktail party tips, great bar snack ideas, responsible drinking and hangover tips, and where to buy cocktail paraphernalia. For more information, call: 09650422424.

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

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

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav

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

Ankit Srivastava

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

Bhagwat Kaushik

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails:


Iconographic Investigations @ Nature Morte, The Oberoi, 443, Udyog Vihar Phase V Date: Till May 20 Time: 11 am to 9 pm


painting Exhibition by Ajay Desai, Arunkumar HG, Olivia Fraser, and Michael Buhler.


Hindustani Classical Vocal Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 10 Time: 7:30 pm

Date: May 4 & May 5 Time: 7 pm

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.

retro night with DJ Nick.



enjoy the soul stirring Sufi compositions, dished out by DJ Aditya.


Chinese Coffee @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 12 & May 13 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 110 minutes Tickets: Rs. 350 and Rs. 250

Summer Extravaganza for Kids @ BluO, Level 4, National Highway 8, DLF Phase III Date: April 2 to June 28 Time: Monday to Thursday (All Day)


irected by Danish Husain, the Play is based on friendship – and the loss of it.


Tulleeho Cocktail Gurukul @ Nirvana Patio Club, Nirvana Country, Sector-50 Date: May 12 Time: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

spiritual Workshop conducted by Shalini Kalra Jacob, a metaphysical Counsellor and a self empowerment Coach. For more information, call – 97113 25000.

Budh Purnima Celebration @ Episode, 203, Galaxy Tower, Sector 15, Part II Date: May 6 Time: 11 am


1 year subscription Cover price



Hindustani Classical vocal recital by Pandit Geetesh Mishra, disciple of Pandit Mahesh Prasad Mishra, followed by Classical Sarod recital by Shri Rajeeb Chakraborty. The event is presented by Pandit Mahesh Prasad Cultural Foundation.

o honour the universally revered Buddha, Episode presents an Exhibition-cum-Sale of artefacts displaying the different avatars of Buddha.


Faith @ Art Alive Gallery, Sector 44 Date: May 12 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

` 164

No. of issues


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


live concert by renowned singer Lucky Ali. For more information, call 08130200166.


DJ Nick Live @ Ninety Nine, Sushant Lok I

esides mexican delicacies on the menu, the [v] Spot Café+Bar brings a Mexican flavour to its decor, to celebrate and enjoy nine days of Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – a day celebrated on May 5 in the US and Mexico.

Sugarcraft Cake Decoration Workshop @ Hotel Comfort Inn, Sector 5 Date: May 4 to May 6 Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

njoy music, food, bowling, and dancing activities at BluO.
Kids can fiash their report cards at the bowling counter, and bowl their way to glory at a discount – based on the marks scored by them.




Sufi Night with DJ Aditya @ SPOT, Ground Floor, Tower B, Global Business Park, MG Road Date: May 10 Time: 7 pm


Lucky Ali Live @ Striker, Global Foyer, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: May 10 Time: 8 pm


WESAK Full Moon - Celebration of Light @ Zorba the Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive, Ghitorni Date: May 6 Time: 5 pm to 8 pm


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

Date: May 5 to May 13 Time: Monday to Thursday (All Day)


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

Coming Up


painting exhibition by Manu Parekh, curated by Annapurna Garimella.


Mexican Fiesta @ The [v] Spot Café+Bar, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase IV


two-day baking workshop, where participants will learn the art of cake decoration.


Little Temples To The Road – France @ Alliance Francaise, S-24/8, M. G. Road, DLF Phase III Date: Till May 26 Time: 11 am to 7 pm


n exhibition of photographs, illustrations, and sculptures by a freelance artist, and an art director Alexis Boucher.


Rabbi Shergill Live @ Vapour, MGF Mega City Mall, MG Road Date: May 10 Time: 9 pm


atch Rabbi Shergill live at Vapour. For more information, call: 9582555608.

4–10 May 2012

Vol. 1 No. 37  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

The Higher We Go The Harder We Fall?



Born to be Dumped


nfant girls are now being unfortunately abandoned regularly. In this boy crazy society, is there no hope for the girl child? Millennium Citizens cannot sit idly by. ...Pg 9

DLF’s New Avatar


Pataudi Palace Restored


tête a tête with Francis Wacziarg, of Neemrana fame, who, alongwith Aman Nath, has restored 28 of India's heritage sites. ...Pg 17

The Tarot Spreads


ake a shot at divining your future, with a spread of the Tarot Cards. ...Pg 18

Full Speed Ahead in Gurgaon


ayan Raheja, Executive Director of the Raheja Group, has implicit faith in the future of the City, and is moving at great speed in the new sectors also. ...Pg 20

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


npredictability has its own charm, and it has been fascinating humanity for centuries. But when it comes to nature’s unpredictable nature, fear looms and terror envelopes the whole of humanity. Oceans are unpredictable, and so is the land. Be it Tsunami, Flood, Cyclone, or Earthquake – each time one of these massive natural forces strikes, humanity realises its impotence. The Earthquake, being the supreme commander of all natural forces, is the most feared and unpredictable threat. Whenever there is a slight shift in the tectonic foundations miles below the earth’s surface, the foundations of human existence start getting a reality check. Gurgaon, despite being in seismic Zone IV, has hundred of high-rises, glitzy malls and

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }



Quality Treatment

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ith millions of members, Facebook has become a force to be reckoned with; and even governments are recognising its power to galvanise the community. This social media tool is bringing people together as one huge body, with truly remarkable ramifications. It has inspired revolutions in the Middle East. Closer home, in Gurgaon, it is being used to control the chaos on the City roads (that perhaps needs more than a revolution). Gurgaon has a unique mix of vehicles, on its mostly poor roads. Huge auto trailers jostle with cycle-rickshaws, and large trucks carrying construction material jostle with shared-autos – that stop anywhere (and have no tail light). To top it all,

other commercial buildings, that have become a souvenir of its inexorable rise. Apart from the Sohna fault, which is believed to be mainly responsible for any earthquake in Gurgaon and the surrounding region, the major tectonic features affecting Gurgaon are: Junction of Aravali and Alluvium near Delhi, Moradabad Fault, DelhiMoradabad Fault, and DelhiHaridwar Fault. So are we safe enough in these heavensbrushing sky-rises? Is the technology being used in the construction good enough to stand and bear the shifting of those tectonic plates? These are the questions that haunt our psyche, especially after any earthquake nearby. Despite the promises made by builders, there is a constant risk that looms under our feet – because unpredictability is the mother of

tsunami in 2004. Before getting deeper into the earthquake, and its possibilities of damaging human existence, let’s understand the background.

disasters after all. “Buildings taller than 17 metres in the National Capital Region (NCR) areas are vulnerable to earthquakes; and it doesn’t matter what sort of technology one has used in the construction, it would be very tough for a building to bear an earthquake of the magnitude of 7 or 8. There are today about 100 tall buildings in the Delhi municipal area, and an equal number in the nearby areas of Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. And if an earthquake comes with an epicentre even upto 500 km away – in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand’s Himalayan region – there is a strong possibility that the NCR would crumble,” says Arun Bapat, the famous seismologist who had predicted the Sumatran quake that caused the deadly

Seismic Zone IV:

Earthquakes occur due to movements along faults, that have evolved through geographical and tectonic processes. Often they occur without any prior warning – and are, therefore, unpredictable. On the basis of occurrence of earthquakes of different intensities, the Nation Building Code of India has divided the country into five seismic zones. Zone V is the highest risk zone, where earthquakes having a magnitude of 9 or more can take place. In Zone IV, the magnitude remains from 8 to 9 range on the Richter scale. Contd on p 8 

Gurgaon Traffic Police

The Likeable


LF is increasingly looking to play the role of a Private Municipality. It may be inspired by corporate gain, but it clearly has benefit for the public. ...Pg 10

road sense and manners, like their civic cousins, are conspicuous by their absence. The Gurgaon traffic department, despite being short of manpower and resources, is trying to manage this mess. It is using the force of Facebook to control the flux that is visible on Gurgaon roads. Believe it or not – the Facebook page run by Gurgaon Traffic Police (GTP) is one of the most popular pages on the social media concerning the Millennium City. An initiative of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Bharti Arora, the social media campaign was started on October 1, 2010. Since than it has witnessed a steady growth in traffic, visibility and commentary. Contd on p 9 


4–10 May 2012

C eleb W atch

Honey Buzzers @ Zygo


ygo was jam-packed when Punjabi rapper Honey Singh performed at the club recently. When Honey appeared near the DJ console, a roar went up from the crowd. The singer dished out his famous Punjabi numbers, and the audience enjoyed his performance till the wee hours. Honey seems to be in love with the City, as it was his third performance here in the past four months.

Anniversary With a Cause


1 Gun Salute, a restaurant in Sector 29, celebrated its first anniversary in a special way. The Restaurant organised a ‘Bring A Smile’ lunch, exclusively hosted for underprivileged kids. Children suffering from cancer, and having other disabilities were invited. Well-escorted in Deneb & Pollex’s fleet of luxury cars, the kids visited the Restaurant, and were treated with royal cuisines. Over 50 such children from organisation like Khushii, Soch in Gurgaon, Cancer Patients Aid Association, took part in the ride.

Volkswagen, Sohna Road

Soulful Sonam


ufi icon Sonam Kalra mesmerized the audience with her soulful renditions at the Amphitheatre, Biodiversity Park. Her soul-stirring voice, and her graceful personality and confidence, kept the audience glued for two hours. She started with “Ik Onkar,” and then performed varied genres of western music – including classical, opera, jazz, and gospel. Sonam Kalra is a vocalist whose skills span both Western and Indian musical traditions. She is trained in Indian classical music under Shubha Mudgal and Sarathi Chatterjee, and has also studied under the noted tenor, Hur Chul Yung, soprano Situ Singh Bueller, and gospel singer Ashley Clement in Singapore. The event was a part of Gurgaon Utsav.


olkswagen, Europe’s leading car manufacturer, inaugurated its second showroom in the City, on Sohna Road. Member of the Board & Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Neeraj Garg, said “Opening of this dealership is not just a number, but it reaffirms our faith in the India growth story.” The new showroom has a capacity to display 10 cars, has 12 bays for service, and a body shop with a state-ofart accidental repair and body paint workshop.

C eleb W atch

4–10 May 2012


Jannat at Iskate


he star cast of the forthcoming movie Jannat 2 – Imraan Haashmi, Isha Gupta, Kunal Deshmukh, along with the producer Mahesh Bhatt, unveiled the first look of “Sonu Dilli KKC” – played by Imraan Haashmi – for the media, at Iskate, Ambience Mall. Actor Imran Haashmi and Isha Gupta showcased live scenes from the movie, and indulged in thrilling adventure games. The stars were then seen having a gala time in the lounge.

Toni&Guy in the City


UK-based hairdressing brand, Toni & Guy, while flagging off its spanking new address in the Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase IV, unveiled the Spring Summer 2012 looks. Miss India Universe 2011, Vasuki Sunkavalli, couturier, Charu Parasher, designer Chandni Singh of Seohara, and young home-maker Garima Nagpal were invited to enjoy a hair makeover session. The stylists present at the saloon showcased hair styles that go with formal Indian, classic western, bohemian resort, and preppy western wear. Toni & Guy is one of the top hairdressing brands in the world, offering training in hairdressing and innovative hair styles and colour. The event was hosted by Sonali Bhambri and Shiv Bhambri.

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4–10 May 2012



Spunky Spot

Made Of Stern Stuff

{ Aalok Wadhwa }


he V Spot Café Bar has everything going for it. It is situated in a mall that is becoming an extended restaurant. It has been started by a music channel that has the heavy backing of Rupert Murdoch. And it calls itself the official spot for the Delhi Daredevils IPL team. I am here to find out how cool the experience is. One thing is evident—the Café is sparing no tricks in its effort to be spunky. From the perplexing large cut-out of Tendulkar (given its professed proclivity towards the Delhi team), to the foosball table, to the funky napkins and the cheeky table mats, the serious marketing effort put in is clearly evident. I have studied the menu on their website, and look forward to trying their chilled tomato and melon gazpacho, and the legendary railway cutlets. But I am in for a disappointment. The menu here is an abridged version of what exists in cyberspace. I struggle for choices with this sparse menu, that has a preponderance of fried stuff – presumably to go with the drinks. Thankfully I do find some options that sound promising. The first dish I decide to try is the Mumbai Irani restaurant staple, kheema pau (Rs. 175). The kheema is light and piquant, and

CINEMA { Vijaya Kumar }


R eviews

do not recall any Bollywood production in recent times that intentionally had an adjective as its title; and that, like a true adjective, was descriptive about the contents. I added the word “intentionally” because last year we had a useless movie called Faltu, that seemed to wholly convey the essence of the movie. It is a different matter that the title was used by the producer as an acronym for Fulchand and Lakirchand Trust University. Tezz is not just fast – it is super-fast. The only time the movie slows is in the beginning, where the introduction of the item number by Mallika Sherawat serves as a needless aberration in the otherwise extremely taut script. Three personalities have to be credited with the furious pace with which the movie navigates, in the just over two hour length: the Bollywood, Mollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood Director Priyadarshan; and Hollywood Stunt Directors Peter Pedrero and Gareth Milne. The film rapidly moves from one stunt to another, chase after chase. The editing is so dexterous (like in the recent hit

it is a good dish – but it bears no similarity to the Mumbai classic. The good food moment happens a little later, with chikibum bum (Rs. 295) which has spinach and cheese stuffed chicken with mushroom cream sauce and fresh pasta. The chicken is cooked to perfection, and both the stuffing and the sauce complement it rather well. Since I love chilly, I quite like the fact that the dish has been well spiced up for the desi palate. It is a dish I would recommend. The pepperoni pizza (Rs. 245) is flat, and low on flavour, because of the rationed portions of cheese and pepperoni toppings. The chocolate lava cake called love

{ Alka Gurha }


me lava (Rs. 165) is oversweet and ordinary. Despite some disappoints, the V Spot Café Bar is a good option as an evening out with friends. The place is fun, and the prices are reasonable. And if you do like some fried favourites along with your evening cocktail, there are a lot of options to choose from. For those looking for a bite of dinner, go for the unlikely sounding chikibum bum. It should make for a wholesome evening. u

The [v] Spot Café Bar 3rd Floor, Cross Point Mall, Opposite Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon, Haryana, New Delhi, India 110017 Phone: 9650814399 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timing: 11:00-01:00

In A Tezzy Kahaani) that it does not matter whether the theme is a little bit hackneyed, or there are incredulities. Priyadarshan, best known in Bollywood for the typical Hera Pheristyle remade comedies, refresh-

Tezz Directed by: Priyadarshan CAST: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Sameera Reddy GENRE: Action/Thriller

ingly embraces the slick and cool ambience required in Tezz – and comes out a winner. The customary song and dance sequences have been done away with (with the exception of the Laila number of Mallika Sherawat); and the two other songs (pleasantly tuned by Sajid- Wajid, although they sound like some old numbers of Nadeem Shravan) occupy little footage. Both Anil Kapoor and Ajay Devgn excel in the cat and mouse game. Lending superb support is another outstanding performance by Boman Irani. Sameera Reddy has less to emote, and more to appear unfazed, in the hair-raising stunts – which she carries out in a very creditable manner. Kangna Ranaut has a small role; and Priyadarshan manages to extract a reasonable performance from the bland expressions laden Zayed Khan. Nearly forty per cent of the movie’s dialogues are in English; that could be one reason why the producers may not get an adequate return on the forty crores spent on the movie! If you are looking for two hours of unadulterated action, Tezz is a Poora Paisa Wasool venture. u

he leader of Myanmar’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi, has fascinated people with her petite frame, dainty appearance, and yet an indomitable will. Throughout the world, she is associated with a peaceful struggle for democracy, and human rights. But what propelled her, what drives her, to make such enormous personal sacrifices for her country? Jesper Bengtsson presents a vivid portrait of a political activist who has spent more than fifteen years in captivity. He chronicles her background as the daughter of Burma’s liberation hero Aung San, the years she spent in England and New York, and her return to Burma in the 1980s. Aung San Suu Kyi : A In many ways this biography is Biography also the story of Myanmar (Burma) Author: Jesper Bengtsson in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with Suu Kyi playing a lead PUBLISHER: Amaryllis role. First placed under house arPRICE: Rs. 495 rest in 1989, separated from her GENRE: Biography husband and two children, Suu Kyi has remained a unifying figure and activist for Burma’s democracy movement. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, she saw her reputation and her international stature grow, the longer she was under house arrest. Upon her release in November 2010, she immediately took up her work with the democracy movement, and proved that she remains the most important political force in Myanmar. Suu Kyi’s detractors accuse her of being arrogant or stubborn; but Bengtsson portrays her as a disciplined and meticulous person, with a somewhat determined—if not stubborn—character. What is perhaps lacking is real insight into how Suu Kyi, the homemaker and academic, decided to take the plunge and join Myanmar’s turbulent democracy movement. While some of her friends from college, and from her days in the UK, have been interviewed, they (and the author) somehow fail to provide an insight into the making of this petite powerhouse. And the one person who knew Suu Kyi best, her husband Michael Aris, has been dead for more than ten years now. Nevertheless, Bengtsson has done a great job of revealing Aung San Suu Kyi’s life and education, her illustrious heritage, her life as a young homemaker, and the extraordinary leader that she has eventually become. This is a stirring read for anyone interested in a crisp account of the events that have led Myanmar to where it is today. With Myanmar finally going to the polls, and Aung San doing well, a new chapter in her—and the country’s—life is about to open.u

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4–10 May 2012


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Tezz Time: 8.00pm Jannat 2 Time: 10.15 am, 11.30 am, 2.15 pm, 3.45 pm, 5.00 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.00 pm, 10.30 pm Vicky Donor Time: 1.15 pm, 2.50 pm, 6.30 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 10.20 am, 5.15 pm, 10.20 pm Paddle Pop Time: 1.00 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: PVR: Ambience Premier Jannat 2 Time: 10.00 am, 11.55 am, 12.50 pm, 2.45 pm, 3.40 pm, 5.35 pm, 6.30 pm, 8.25 pm, 9.20 pm, 11.15 pm Vicky Donor Time: 10.45 am, 1.10 pm, 3.35 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.50 pm Tezz Time: 12 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 10.00 am, 1.00 pm, 4.00 pm, 7.00 pm, 10.00 pm Hugo 3D Time: 8.25 pm The Lucky One Time: 10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 6.25 pm, 10.55 pm Safe

Time: 10.00 am, 4.30 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: PVR: Ambience Gold Jannat 2 Time: 10.55 am, 1.45 pm, 4.35 pm, 7.25 pm, 10.15 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 11.00 am, 2.00 pm, 5.00 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.55 pm PVR MGF: MGF Mall Jannat 2 Time: 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 1.20 pm, 2.20 pm, 3.20 pm, 4.10 pm, 5.10 pm, 6.10 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.00 pm, 9.00 pm, 9.50 pm, 10.50 pm, 11.50 pm

L istings


9.30 pm, 10.30 pm Vicky Donor Time: 5.00 pm The Avengers - Angarrey Bane Sholay 3D Time: 2.00 pm, 7.30 pm DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I The Avengers 3D Time: 10:00 am, 12:45 pm, 03:30 pm, 06:15 pm, 09:00 pm, 11:45 pm Jannat 2 Time: 10:00 am, 12:40 pm, 03:20 pm, 06:00 pm, 08:40 pm, 11:20 pm Vicky Donor Time: 11:05 am, 01:25 pm, 03:45 pm, 06:10 pm, 08:35 pm, 10:55 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II The Avengers 3D Time: 10:00 am, 12:45 pm, 03:30 pm, 06:15 pm, 09:00 pm, 11:45 pm Jannat 2 Time: 10:00 am, 12:40 pm, 01:30 pm, 03:20 pm, 06:00 pm, 08:40 pm, 11:20 pm Vicky Donor Time: 11:10 am, 04:10 pm, 06:30 pm, 08:50 pm, 11:10 pm Website:

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Dr. Neelima Tripathi Vicky Donor Time: 10.45 am, 1.10 pm, 3.35 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.50 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 10.30 am, 12.00 pm, 1.30 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.30 pm, 11.35 pm Tezz Time: 10.00 am, 11.15 pm SafeguardsTime: 12.50 pm, 7.20 pm Hugo 3D Time: 9.00 pm Fatso Time: 10.00 am, 2.50 pm, 9.20 pm Dammu (Telugu) Time: 10.00 am Grand Master (Malayalam) Time: 4.50 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Jannat 2 Time:10.10 am, 11.10 am, 1.00 pm, 3.50 pm, 6.40 pm,

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THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ All tube wells and bore wells installed before August 13, 2011 (the date when the CGWA notified Gurgaon District for management and use of ground water) need to be registered by July 31. Unregistered tube wells or bore wells found operating after this date will be treated as illegal, and will be sealed. The owner would also be booked and tried under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. ♦ The District Administration has begun home delivery of Registration Certificates (RCs) of vehicles, and Driving Licences (DLs) through Speed Post. A separate counter for this process is being set up in the E-Disha centre of the Mini Secretariat. ♦ As part of Road Safety, and to ease traffic bottlenecks that cause traffic jams, DC Meena has said the roads in Gurgaon will soon have proper fluorescent signage boards, and there is a plan to install solar street lights at the bus stops in/near villages. Also, speed breakers would be made uniform. ♦ Regarding commercial vehicles, DCP Traffic Bharti Arora has asked for more careful examination before passing such vehicles as roadworthy. DC has said that overloaded vehicles, that are also a cause of potholes on roads, should be intercepted and challaned – and even an FIR against the owner can be issued. ♦ DC Meena held a meeting with DTP (E) and MCG, for review, and further strict actions against illegal activities in the restricted zone around the Ammunition Depot. ♦ Suicides – IT executive jumps off 4th floor of a building; Girl employed in a BPO hangs self; Maid hangs herself in Sushant Lok; suicide by a woman in Sector 9; Teenager kills self; Rape undertrial hangs himself in Bhondsi jail; Depressed software manager commits suicide; Student commits suicide, after failing in an exam.; Boy commits suicide. ♦ Amity University under scrutiny by various bodies, in suicide death of a girl student from the North East.

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♦ Speeding car rams a nilgai. 2 killed (including a 1 ½ year old boy). ♦ Safety Audit of Gurgaon, with respect to safety of women, undertaken by a team. Recommendations made. ♦ Placement agency staff accused of rape of co-worker. ♦ 2 maids (minors) rescued. ♦ Man booked for molesting/assaulting a woman near Sikanderpur market. ♦ Robbery in house – cash, goods worth Rs 8 lacs stolen. ♦ 3 men rob driver of a car in Sushant Lok. ♦ 2 Delhi based models duped of Rs 6 lacs, by a Gurgaon based agent. They were promised assignments in the US. ♦ Plumber caught for extortion demand. ♦ 7 held for fake registry. ♦ Fire in hosiery factory. ♦ Land allotted to DLF by the MCG in Sec 54 is being challenged by some ♦ Councillors, on account of the rate, as well as sale versus lease arrangement. ♦ Licence for World Trade Centre, which was to come up in 11 acres in Sec 33, cancelled. Was sanctioned 14 years ago. It never got going.

♦ IL&FS Rail is sole bidder for Phase II of Rapid Metro (7 km extension down Golf Course Road, from Sikanderpur). Will be completed in 3 years, from approval. ♦ Revised Policy for recovery of EDC from builders announced, for Haryana. ♦ LED streetlights planned for City. ♦ ‘Old’ Gurgaon may get flyovers at key chowks. ♦ Water meter installation made mandatory. New Haryana State Urban Water Policy 2012. City Bus service delayed. Routes again being reviewed. ♦ Operation of School buses being strictly monitored, in terms of adherence to the rules. ♦ MCG tries to pull down DLF hoardings/wall wrap ads., due to non-payment of dues, of Rs 25 crores. Is thwarted by DLF security staff. Promises to be back with police support. ♦ Pollution Board seals 2 industries, and a private hotel. ♦ Hero Motocorp Spare Parts Centre faces a strike for a few hours, due to issues of workers with contractor, on PF credits. ♦ Labour unrest in a healthcare company.


4–10 May 2012

C over Story

The Higher We Go, The Harder We Fall?  Contd from p 1

Gurgaon’s earthquake history

No major earthquake has occurred in Gurgaon in recent years; yet tremors have been felt whenever there is an earthquake in the Himalayan foothills. The NCR has a fairly high seismicity, with general occurrence of earthquakes of 5-6 magnitude, a few of magnitude 6-7, and occasional incidents of 7.5-8.0 magnitude shocks. Fifteen traumatic events have occurred: in 1803, 1819, 1905, 1924, 1937, 1945, 1949, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1975, 1980 and 1994 – during which high intensity levels have been recorded. The most important earthquake that affected Gurgaon was on 27th August, 1960, with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter Scale. The epicentre of this earthquake was between Delhi Cantonment and Gurgaon.

Gurgaon: a scenario

“No structure in this world is earthquake proof; and even in the developed western countries like Japan and US, earthquakes come and damage a great deal of structures. The maximum destruction from an earthquake is normally confined to an area of 20 to 30 km radius from the epicentre; but unlike the “P” and “S” waves that travel through the body of the earth and cause damage close to the epicentre, the Rayleigh waves roll along the surface of the earth—just like waves on the ocean—and cause damage at a distance – typically between 150 to 550 km from the epicentre. In the case of the Bhuj quake, extensive damage was caused in Ahmedabad – which is about 320 km from Bhuj. While tall buildings in Ahmedabad collapsed, the damage was minimal to buildings that had only two or three floors. This “distance effect” is characteristic of Rayleigh waves. A situation similar to what happened in Ahmedabad during the Bhuj earthquake can be repeated in Delhi, if an earthquake of a magnitude 7.5 or more occurs in Himachal or Uttarakhand,” explains Bapat. He has also headed the earthquake engineering department at the Central Water and Power Research Station.

Construction Technology

“There is nothing called a hundred per cent earthquake proof building; but in today’s world, there is technology that can help in making earthquake resistant buildings. In many advanced countries, these buildings have already been made. In India, especially in the Delhi NCR region, there are hundreds of high-rise buildings, malls, and other commercial houses; and since this area is earthquake prone, builders need to take serious precautions while building a structure. And I hope all the builders are taking care. If you talk of Gurgaon separately,

there is a little more risk – because the soil of Gurgaon is loose, and that is not so good for building high-rises, ” says Professor Harsh K. Gupta, of the Nation Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). NDMA is the chief body that has been formed to mitigate the damage potential from natural disasters – such as earthquakes. In the last one and half decades, building construction has seen a sea change. “One decade before, the whole format of construction was based on the simple walls of burnt bricks; and there used to be only one or two beams in the one wall from the foundation to the top – and that too without any cross link to other walls. We can’t stop tremors; but the formula of a successful building, no matter how tall or small it is, lies in the shaking of the building in unison. In order to make a potential earthquakeresistant building, one has to tie the building from each corner, with the help of beams. During an earthquake, the whole structure should shake in unison. This provides great resistance, and the structure can withstand the quake – with just a few cracks here

and there,” says Abhimanyu Bhatia, a City-based Architect. He has been working on structures for the past twenty years. High-rises have always been talked about as a major worry factor, as far as the earthquakes are concerned. Yet there is an endless demand from the side of home buyers. “Before starting the construction of a building, we do a lot of study – such as the type of soil, water level, length of the foundation walls, and many other things. Yes, Gurgaon is in seismic Zone IV, and hence there is a constant risk of an earthquake. But till now we have not seen any major quake, and I hope our construction is good enough to stand by any such mishap. During an earthquake, the destruction happens when there is a collision of forces – the force of the tremors, versus the opposite reaction of the building. In modern high-rises, there is elasticity provided, so that the force of the tremor doesn’t collide with the structure – and it gets a smooth passage back to the core of the earth. That is the reason why we have used more

Ground fIoor parking

“Although there is a constant risk for all the high-rises in the NCR areas (including Gurgaon), but the apartment buildings that have parking on the ground fIoor—and the whole building is resting on the pillars—is more vulnerable to earthquakes. Pillars won’t be able to withstand the load of the building during an earthquake; and this can lead to the collapse of the whole structure,” says Arun Bapat, the famous seismologist. However, Architect Abhimanyu Bhatia doesn’t buy Bapat’s claim. “It depends on the height of the building. If it’s very tall, it may be subject to a fall; but if the height is adequate, it may easily withstand the tremors,” says Bhatia.

Modern techniques

“We are still a developing country, and hence can’t afford the highly expensive and modern construction techniques that almost ensure the invulnerability of the structure. For example, in countries like Japan and United States, they have the ‘base isolation technique’, by which they have managed to restrict the seismic waves to the base only – and the rest of the building doesn’t shake. Huge shock absorbers, walls that slide, and TefIon foundation pads that isolate buildings from the ground – all these modern techniques have made Japan a pioneer in earthquake resistant technology,” says Professor Gupta. India Shake 1. India is driving into Asia at a rate of approximately 47mm/year. 2. Almost 54 per cent of the land is vulnerable to earthquakes. 3. A World Bank and United Nations report estimates that around 200 million city dwellers in India will be exposed to storms and earthquakes by 2050.

Move before the earth does (dos and don’ts )

If indoors 1. Drop to the ground; take Cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and Hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms, and crouch in an inside corner of the building. 2. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls – and anything that could fall, such

Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) instead of bricks. The RCC ensures a high quality of elasticity and durability in a building,” says an architect working for a big builder in Gurgaon. Of course, none of the brochures guarantee you a fully earthquake resistance framework. In fact, many of the brochures do not even mention anything about the building being an earthquake resistant framework. In a handful, there is a mention that this building has an earthquake resistant RCC framework.

No prevention, no cure

Gurgaon City seriously lacks rescue infrastructure, in case of a earthquake. Despite having hundreds of tall buildings, the City neither has any disaster management team, nor adequate police and fire infrastructure. “Yes, Gurgaon has hundreds of high-rises, and there is no disaster management team; and the State Government seriously needs to look into the matter. Even the fire infrastructure is not good enough for buildings taller than 17 metres,” says Harsh K. Gupta. The Fire department too knows the real-

as lighting fixtures or furniture. 3. Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place. 4. Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you, and if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway. 5. Stay inside until the shaking stops, and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building – or try to leave. 7. Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. 8. Don’t use the elevators. If outdoors 1. Stay there. 2. Move away from buildings, street lights, and utility wires. 3. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings – only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, fIying glass, and falling objects. If in a moving vehicle 1. Stop as quickly as safety permits, and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. 2. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake. If trapped under debris 1. Do not light a match. 2. Do not move about or kick up dust. 3. Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. 4 Tap on a pipe or wall, so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

ity. “ We have around 100 firefighters with 22 vehicles, and none of our vehicles can reach heights greater than 17 metres; hence you can easily see what could be the fate of Gurgaon, if an earthquake comes. Delhi, on the contrary, has man power in thousands, and they have imported vehicles that can easily make the fire-fighters or the rescue team climb 20 to 25 floors,” says a senior fire official.

Different bodies, but no watchdog

Gurgaon has many bodies that are supposed to look after the City’s well being. Be it DTCP, HUDA, MCG or the private builders – all are responsible in their limited jurisdiction, to maintain the well-being of the masses. DTCP, the main authority that gives licences to the private builders, to construct the high-rise and other commercial spaces, certainly has a code of conduct regarding the construction of earthquake resistant buildings – but the implementation of these codes is doubtful. “I don’t doubt the big builders, who are constructing mammoth structures; but DTCP, which is supposed to be the watchdog on such construction, doesn’t bother to check whether the building is being made as per the prescribed earthquake resistant norms or not. They just ignore their responsibility, by making the structural engineer (of the builders) responsible for the structural integrity of the building, while giving the Completion Certificate and selling permission. Most of the builders do go for the best possible engineering procedure to make the building earthquake resistant. The excess cost is 5 to 6 per cent – which they anyhow will recover from the buyers,” says Abhimanyu Bhatia. DTCP officials couldn’t be contacted even after repeated attempts. MCG, the ‘true’ governing body of the City, unfortunately has neither any stake in private builder colonies (where 99 per cent of these high-rises are), nor has it any punishing powers. However, after the recently concluded Disaster Management Seminar, MCG seems to have decided to flex its muscles a bit; and has ordered the private builders having high-rises to submit a Structural Safety certificate and contingency-cum-response plan. “There is a need to revisit and evaluate the structural designs of buildings, especially high-rise buildings, in Gurgaon, in accordance with the statutory provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, No. 53 of 2005 published in the Gazette of India December 26, 2005; and guidelines on earthquakes issued by the NDMA in April 2007. The MCG authorities have directed the builders and owners to furnish the Certificates by the end of May, in respect of the high-rise buildings,” says an MCG official. u

4–10 May 2012

The page has been Liked by over 7,000 people; and there is a constant posting of user-generated pictures, comments, likes and suggestions by Gurgaon residents. DCP Traffic Bharti Arora says that she started the Facebook page to get in touch with road users in the City. “Since a large number of people in Gurgaon are net savvy, we thought that it would help us in connecting with the people,” says Arora. She is clearly happy with the decision. Since the start of the Gurgaon Traffic Police page, the interaction between the police and road users has increased enormously. “We are constantly seeking suggestions and ideas from the people, about ways to improve the traffic movement, to remove traffic bottlenecks, and to better implement the laws,” says Arora. The Facebook page sees almost two thousand visitors daily. Many, apart from posting photos and making suggestions, also report violations taking place in the City. ASI Attar Singh, who is part of the team managing the Facebook account, says that many times people take photos of those violating traffic laws, and post them on the page. “We take action against violators as per the law. A number of challans have been issued by the police through Facebook. We have even challaned prominent people, and even policemen, for violating rules,” says Singh. The Facebook page is updated thrice a day by the Traffic Police team, says Computer Operator Sunil Kumar, who reveals interesting statistics about the users. “We have a steady traffic – between 2 to 3 thousand people regularly. The total Likes the page has is 7,283, and the weekly reach is almost 13,000”, informs Kumar. He is charged with maintaining the dialogue process with road users, and ensuring that people get the latest traffic updates and information. The Facebook users, on the other hand, are also happy with the initiative of the Traffic Police. They opine that the Facebook Page gives them a common space to share ideas and views, and complain to the traffic authorities. It also gives them a semblance of power, as a united mass that can discuss issues collectively – without losing their individual identities. Satyendra Kumar

The Likeable

post says : Special drive was launched on Saturday (i.e. 28.04.2012) against Maruti Trailers. During this drive, 6 trailers were impounded, because they had violated the ‘no entry’ rules. This post immediately elicited 44 Likes, and 18 people posted comments on the page commending the decision. Most of the people appreciated the decision, while exhorting the police to carry out more such drives in other parts of Gurgaon. Rana Chatterjee wrote: Please do this drive on Sohna road..the road has become a parking spot for trailers in the evenings.. Amit Kumar Setiya wrote on the same page: Sir would only appreciate if it is a regular exercise...because these guys have a tradition to break d rules at will... come to any time at bata circle...I m sure u ll see at least one is coz maruti Suzuki being one of the biggest corporate house in INDIA does not give a damn to rules...if anyone has single pinch of doubt in mind... Plz stay for 6-8 hours at bata circle n u ll know d truth... It is however a different matter that

Private Municipality { Hritvick Sen / FG }


hen does a private builder turn into a developer? When it moves beyond what has been prescribed, and starts creating civic and civil infrastructure. Admittedly what DLF is doing in its Phases is of benefit to its residents and itself; but the civic run-offs are of use to the hoi polloi around it, too. Over time, DLF has spread its development activity outside its Colony walls. Thursday marked another of its ventures, when DLF launched the extension of its SmartRide buses. In its own Phases, the developer is taking over the role of the Municipal Corporation/HUDA, by providing civic amenities and maintenance. Whether it is the case of the Metro-feeder buses designed to cut down on traffic jams, the Rapid Metro, the upcoming fire station, or even the CCTV cameras scanning the roads – everything says that the developer is taking its role seriously.

Sewage Treatment Plant:

This Plant is situated next to the DLF Icon Towers in Phase-V. “As of now, the Plant is purifying 6 MLD (millions of li-

tres of water a day), from its 9 MLD capacity,” says a DLF official. But the Plant will have its capacity upgraded to 16 MLD very soon. The Plant is cleaning up the dirty water from almost every building in DLF Phase-V. The water is then reused, says VicePresident (Maintenance) Col. (Retd) S.S Malik. “In Icon and other buildings, we have a separate system installed, which uses the STP water for flushing and other uses – saving millions of litres of fresh water. And we’re installing more machines, which will ensure the water will be almost as good as drinking water,” he claims.

Fire Station:

This will probably be the first private fire station in North India. The upcoming facility is the developer’s answer to the handicap of the City’s fire


the Gurgaon Traffic Police had to take excessive heat from the higher-ups, for taking action against the Maruti trailers! One of the top officials in Gurgaon Police not only reprimanded the traffic department, but a posse of Maruti officials also landed up in the office of DCP Traffic on Tuesday (May 1), soon after. They ostensibly came to resolve the issue amicably, a highly-placed insider witness to this episode revealed. In an interesting take on the state of Gurgaon’s road infrastructure, Avinash Haldia has posted: GTP has power to challan anybody who obstruct traffic. For potholes, it can challan MCG, DLF, Ansals, etc. It can even challan people who have built gates on public roads, disrupting traffic. The spirit of the social media is to unite the people and connect them for a cause, and the traffic police knows it well. DCP Traffic Bharati Arora says that they have put many issues on the public domain, using Facebook – like the movement against drunken driving, driving without helmets, illegal parking, overloading in shared autos, and similar issues. “We are also prompt in answering the queries of people, and acting on their complaints,” says Arora. This initiative of the Gurgaon Traffic Police is being appreciated by the higher authorities, and it is likely that it will be introduced in the other districts of the State. A manual of traffic violations, and the fines to be paid, has also been posted on Facebook. On this issue, Manoj Kaushik writes on the page: “A Proposal to GTP: Please charge 4 times the usual challan money, if a traffic police personal seen violating rules. It is common to see such sights in Gurgaon,these include some officers also. They are making the task of GTP difficult, which, otherwise genuinely working to improve the Gurgaon Traffic Scenario.” This and several such proposals and

has been following this initiative of the Traffic Police for long, and he says that many issues have come into the public domain because of this social media tool. The decision to make DLF Galleria road one way has been discussed on the GTP Facebook page quite candidly. “It helps us make suggestions, and participate in the decision making process. It is a great way to democratise the government organisation,” he says. So strong is the people connectivity with this page, that people respond instantly – as soon as a post is put by the Traffic Police officials. A recent


 Contd from p 1

C ivic/S ocial

department. Originally asked for by the fire department, as their high-lifts were unable to reach the top floors, DLF has ordered for snorkels (the ladder on fire engines) that can reach well over 100 metres. Plus, their new fire Chief will be none other than the recently-retired Chief of the Gurgaon Fire Station, Hanuman Chandra Sihag. As of now, the fire engines have been ordered and the staff is undergoing training. Will the fire station cater to emergencies of other builders and public areas? Certainly, say officials, adding that the details are being worked out.

CCTV Cameras:

In what can be termed as the nearest approximation to ‘eye in the sky’, the CCTV cameras in and around Phase I and Phase-V keep an electronic eye on everything that goes around inside as well as outside the DLF area. Also, some cameras that are installed at the top of the DLF skyscrapers keep an active eye on the roads. All this footage is readily accessible by the City’s police. The transmission is wireless and direct, to the Central Control Room, and is then patched into the City police’s scanners. “The cameras are very powerful,” says Malik.

Sweeper Trucks:

Within this month, DLF is going to launch state-of-the-art sweeper trucks, to keep its streets clean. Made by


suggestions have been made by people to the Gurgaon Police, through the Facebook page. DCP Arora says that it is the objective of the traffic police to channelise the public discourse, so that the traffic conditions on the roads are improved. In the recent dispute between DS Constructions, that operates the toll plaza on National Highway 8, and the road users, the Gurgaon Traffic Police constantly updated the people about latest developments. In a post on January 31, GTP posts: Now DS Construction filed a civil writ petition no. 717/2012 in Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court against Gurgaon Traffic Police to restrain the Gurgaon Traffic Police from opening up boom barriers at Sirhol Toll Plaza. Gurgaon Traffic Police open the boom barriers only when congestion reaches beyond a particular line in the larger interest of the public. We request road users & facebook users for their comments/reactions on this. In reply, a number of users have expressed thanks to the traffic police, while seeking action against the toll operator. Karan Gupta writes that DS should be penalised for deviating from the approved plan, and making unplanned modifications to the stretch. In the same vein, Amit Tanwar writes: The toll company is earning so much , started off with 13 rupees fir the toll and in less than 3 yrs hiked it to 21 bucks. More than 80% hike. Please also get an understanding from them as to how much was their estimate on toll revenues per day and how much they are making. Also, when is this road going to be taken off the toll? I remember one person had filed a case as he was asked towing charges by this company despite this being a toll road. Greed at it’s best, I would say. SI Attar Singh says that he never thought Facebook could be such an empowering tool. “It has encouraged both the people and police to open up to new ideas, and share them for the greater good of the society,” he says. In addition, this social media tool has helped in channelising the power of the Gurgaonites, despite the immense diversity of the local populace. Facebook has helped to improve the public discourse, and it is likely to help in making Gurgaon roads safer and friendlier, aver many users. u an Ambala firm, these trucks will have high-suction vacuum cleaners fitted atop their carriages. High-speed brushes will channel the daily dirt and filth inside the suction area, leaving the roads in PhaseV neat and clean.

Feeder Bus Service:

Originally designed to lessen the chaotic mess at DLF’s Cyber City, this service has been extended, to provide easy commuting to DLF residents in and around the Phase I and Phase V areas. It is a logical extension, says a DLF official. “The buses will touch DLF properties, malls and most-visited places. Commuters will have smart-cards, to save paper in tickets, and an attendant and on-board CCTV coverage will ensure the safety of passengers at all times.” What is the bigger picture behind DLF’s activities? A DLF official comments, “A few years ago, it was true that we had slacked, and there were timeline and delivery issues. The management decided to take control, and pro-actively ensure quality civic services. Essentially, if our areas are well-managed, the word-of-mouth will be as good. If people get good and prompt service, they will give good opinions and reviews. We are a developer, and these activities benefit our customers and the public at large – besides creating trust in us.” u


C ivic/S ocial

4–10 May 2012

Born To Be Dumped

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


hat happens if a river is dammed without release? It will seek cracks, patches of release; and at some point of time threaten the dam’s very existence, with its built-up pressure. The situation is the same with the cases of these abandoned baby girls. Only, it seems that a river of ignorance is being dammed, by measures like the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act. In 2011, there were five such cases reported in the newspapers. In 90% of the cases, the babies were critically ill. And there is no accounting for the baby girls who have been ‘disposed of’ clandestinely. Why are these cases coming up with such alarming regularity? Some of the babies were ‘dumped’ in public places, so that people would notice them. In other cases, the babies were left to die. Haryana already has the worst sex ratio in the country (877 females per 1,000 males). The people’s desire to have a son had led to a flourishing business in unethical sex determination – in ultrasound clinics all over the State. It has also led to a spate of abortions. When the government clamped down on such practices, it was believed that the sex of the child would only now be known after delivery – and that the parents would accept the choice. But officials perhaps did not comprehend the extent of the unholy love

for sons, that would drive the parents into abandoning their baby daughters. There is no knowing where the abandoned girls come from, who their parents are, and what were their reasons for abandoning their progeny. There are only conjectures. Senior Civil Hospital authorities firmly believe that the reason behind such cases is not the ban on sex-determination. “When we are talking about poor people, they will not have the money to indulge in sex-determination of their child. They will rather spend the money on their next meal. That said, their reasons of abandoning a baby girl is because they do not have the funds to raise a daughter. In the case of a son, it will be equally hard financially to raise a baby, but there is the belief that a son will help provide for his family when he comes of age. A daughter will marry someone and go away, which is financially not a viable prospect,” one of them says. “On the other hand, middle-class and financially well-off people, who have the time and the money to go in for such determination tests, also have often been seen to desire male heirs to carry on their lineage. However, if they ‘fail’ once, they go for in-vitro fertilisation, to get their choice of children,” they opine. Two years ago, the police recovered a crying baby near IFFCO Chowk. When they brought the baby to Civil Hospital, the authorities recognised it as a delivery that had been conducted successfully, of a young woman who had

No Orphanage in Gurgaon

There is no government orphanage in the City. Neither the City’s development body, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), nor Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has made any such provisions. A meeting was held on recently regarding the setting up of an orphanage in the City, in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner P.C Meena, Civil Surgeon Dr. Parveen Garg, and other authorities. Meena said that the site of the proposed orphanage is being settled, and announcement to this effect would be made soon.

been admitted two days earlier. It was later found that the couple had given false information, so that they could not be traced. “What I feel is that most of these babies are abandoned under family pressure,” says a senior hospital administrator. “No mother would let go of her newly-born child that easily,” he says. Psychiatrist Dr. Brahmdeep Sindhu is of the same opinion. He states, “If you clamp down on ultrasound clinics without making their ‘clients’ understand why it is such a heinous crime, they will find other ways. Such incidents, terrible as they are, were waiting to happen.” “You have to change the mindset of the people,” he says. People here still believe that having a girl is nothing less than a curse. People have the feeling that, ‘Let another family have a girl, not us’, he

when it comes to awareness of the value of a girl child. All they do is hand out pension cheques.” When asked, the District Social Welfare Department has nothing to say. “If a campaign has to be launched, it has to be formulated and passed by higher officials in Chandigarh, before we can take any action.” In Dundahera, villagers are mum when asked about babies being aborted. Shopkeepers in Ram Chowk admit to hearing of a baby being found near their locality. But they pass off the buck to ‘poor, immigrant types’, who fail to use protection, and then can’t shoulder the responsibility of a girl child. As of now, two of the baby girls have been sent to the Children’s Home in Sonipat, and one to another orphanage in Panchkula. They had been kept at the Civil Hospital for the mandatory 15 days, and packed

April 13: A seemingly well-to-do couple leaves their baby girl in the care of an elderly woman at the Civil Hospital in Gurgaon. No one turns up for a long while, after which the old woman turns the year and a half old infant over to the hospital authorities. April 19: A resident of Dundahera hears the sound of wailing, and finds a baby girl wrapped up in a polythene bag inside a dustbin. She is suffering from high fever and jaundice, and is admitted to the Civil Hospital. Authorities suspect that the baby has been left by a young woman, reportedly suffering from depression. April 24: A 10-day-old baby girl is found abandoned in the old jail complex, behind Krishna Building – the third such case in less than a fortnight. April 28: A couple abandons their baby girl in front of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science (PGIMS) in Rohtak. says. And education has nothing to do with it. The abandoning of baby girls is being done by both educated and uneducated classes, Dr. Sindhu says. An Ultrasound Clinic in Old Gurgaon is adamant that nothing illegal is carried out in their premises. “We often have customers who say that they will pay triple the amount if we do what they want. But it’s not worth the risk.” However, even the operator admits that there are plenty who will do it on the sly. “As long as there are people who want to know, they will always be a clinic who will bend the rules. To bring about such a vast change, just a clamp down on sex-determination is nothing more than a stop-gap measure. The real mission should be to educate the people that a girl is equally capable of bringing happiness and financial wellbeing as any boy. And for that, an awareness and education campaign should be launched. Incentives should be given. But nothing of such nature has happened in the State,” he laments. A medical official says, “The District Social Welfare Department has done absolutely nothing of value


off after the formalities were completed. But soon another baby girl will land up at the Civil Hospital’s doorstep...

Adoption Wrangles

Quite a few couples turned up when they read the news reports of baby girls being abandoned in the City. But the lengthy and laborious adoption guidelines frustrated them. Even with ‘powerful connections’, they were stuck. District Social Welfare Officer Neera Malik explains, “These rules are necessary, because they protect the orphans from being exploited.” For example, a single man cannot adopt a girl child. Further more, there are guidelines which say who can or cannot adopt a child. Having sufficient financial stability, being physically healthy, being the right age (for both partners), and the length of marriage, are just some of the factors. “There are so many candidates who fail to meet the Central Adoption Resource Authority’s (CARA) criteria.” And the toughest is the physical verification of the couples. Malik recalls, “I had visited a couple who had adopted a girl in the past, and were applying again before leaving the country. When I reached their home for a surprise verification, I saw the girl cleaning the couple’s house. It turned out that the girl they had adopted had been trained to be a ‘servant for life’. Before leaving the country, they had the need for another. That is one of the reasons why the criteria is so exacting and unyielding.” u

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. My office has shut down. Mhara daptar bandh ho gya. 2. I need a new job. Manne ek naya dhanda chaiye se 3. Can you refer me to your company? Ke tu mere tayin apne daptar

main baat kar sake se?

4. Can I send my papers there? Main apne kagaj bhej du odde? 5. How far is your office? Thaara daptar kitni door se? 6. Can I meet your boss? Ke main tere saab te mil saku hun?

6. Black shoes. 7. Jar on top of fridge. 8. Mouse in doorway. 9. Spoon handle longer. 10. Door handle higher.

1. Fridge handle vanishes. 2. Kettle spout changes. 3. Jar label changes. 4. Plant leaf missing. 5. Stripe on boy’s sleeve.

Solutions Spot The Difference

Fill in the grid so that every row, column and coloured box contains ALL the numbers from 1 to 6. Bonus clue: which number should go in the circle: 1 or 4?


Sudoku Kids

Spot The Difference

Kids Brainticklers

4–10 May 2012

Kid Corner



K id Corner

4–10 May 2012

KRV Rangoli Competition


Rangoli competition was held at KRV School. The students form Nehru house, Tagore house, Gandhi House, and Subhash House participated in the competition. The students enthusiastically participated in the competition and made some colourful Rangolis. The children used herbal colours to spread the green message.

The Art Path In-House Play Competition @ CCA


heatre helps students give vent to their expression. Keeping this in view, CCA School organised an Inter-House English Play Competition. The judges were Mrs. Meena Singh and Mrs. Shalini Singhal. The judges and the audience were wonderstruck with the acting prowess of the students. The Principal, Mrs. Nirmal Yadav, applauded the efforts of the participants, and gave away the prizes. The First position was bagged by Subhash House, Second by Ashoka House, and the Third position was shared by Tilak and Nehru Houses.


athways World School, Aravali, organised an IB Visual Art Exhibition, in which students and teachers were invited for a “Reflection Ceremony.” Works of IB students of Grade 12 were exhibited through different media – such as paintings, drawings, print-making, digital art, and sculptures. The School’s Executive Director, Dr. Sarvesh Naidu, spoke on the importance of art. “Each clay piece or art work in this building means a lot to me. Hopefully, we will have art works displayed all over the campus. We have brilliant art works coming in,” he said.

DPS Investiture Ceremony


elhi Public School, Sector 45 hosted an investiture ceremony for Class XII, amidst an august gathering in the School auditorium. Mr. Niren Chaudhary, President, Yum Brands, was the Chief Guest, and Mr. Ashok Chandra, Chairman, DPS Society, presided over the function. The ceremony began with the traditional lighting of the lamp, followed by the national song. The highlight of the function was a cultural programme showcasing the essence of leadership and its implications. The choir presented the stimulating anthem of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Ma Rewa. The Principal, Ms. Aditi Misra, expressed her deep pride and conviction in her young leaders.

Lancers’ Dragon’s Tale


he students of the Primary wing of Lancers International School celebrated the annual show titled “The Dragon’s Tale”. The show was based on a children’s story book The Dragon Who Couldn’t Help Breathing Fire, written by Dennis Bond. The children dressed up like flowers, fairies, and devils – and enacted the tales of the dragon.

Swiss Cottage Shivam achievement


hivam Kapoor from Swiss Cottage School bagged Third rank in the Under-16 category in the Inter- State Singles Badminton Championship, held at IMT Manesar Club. The School Principal, Col. CR Jakhar, the staff, and all the students appreciated Shivam’s achievement.

4–10 May 2012

K id Corner


Literary Flourish

When I Heard About Friday Gurgaon Today, I was getting bored as I was not getting anything to read. In the fourth period, when I heard about Friday Gurgaon, I thought it would be boring, like other newspapers. But the Friday Gurgaon team told me about it. I was amazed as it was not boring and very different from other newspapers. It has comics, Suduko, Spot the Difference, Puzzles, etc. From now, I will read Friday Gurgaon regularly. Newspapers are boring But not Friday Gurgaon As it has comics, Suduko and puzzles Suduko is my favourite and comics are so funny. Siddhant Yadav, V C, Blue Bells Model School, Sec 4

Earth Week at DPS


he students of Classes III, IV and V, of DPS celebrated the Earth Week. The eco-warriors carried out a cleanliness drive, in which they not only ensured the cleanliness of their class rooms, but also the corridors and playground. In Class III, a book-mark making competition, followed by ‘Make Your Planter Activity’, was held. The students of Class IV made Ecofriendly grocery bags and book marks, on the theme of the ‘4 R’s’ (Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery). In Class V, the students painted their old T-shirts. Mr. Ratra, an active environmentalist, addressed the students on the topic – ‘Plastics- a Recyclable Waste’. The highlight of the week’s events was a ‘Nukkad Natak’, on the benefits of car pooling. The students acted and emoted effectively, as they performed for the audience at the School – as well as for the onlookers at the Galleria Market Complex.

PathBreakers’ Career Counselling Session

Skating Championship at MRIS

Pathbreaker’s are professional career Counsellors, and are giving proper career understanding to senior secondary students at their corporate centre. On 30th April, 2012 there was a special career counseling session, “Master Finance”, organized for commerce students – in which more then 30 students walked in/called, and had a career counselling session with Mr. N. Raheja, Director PathBreaker’s. The next counselling session, “Master Finance”, is scheduled for the third week of May. They also have plans to visit various schools in the NCR to interact with the students, related to their career options. Having professionals from various fields of education on board, they are sure to be a good companion for the coming generation.


yder’s Academy organised a Skating Championship at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46. Nearly 25 schools participated, and exhibited their skating talent. The students of Manav Rachna International School, Sector-51 lifted the Championship trophy. Srishti Arora from MRIS-51 won the Gold medal, Kritika Aorora of MRIS-51 won Silver, and Aditya Mahajan of MRIS-51 won the Bronze medal, in the In-Line skates competition. In the Adjustable skates category, Avi Gupta of MRIS-51 won the Bronze medal.

Artistic Strokes

Tonu, II, Ridge Valley School

Tanya Jain, V-C, Delhi Public School, Sector-45

Prachi Pahuja, V-A, Blue Bells Model School, Sector-4


K id Corner

4–10 May 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.







© 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

W ellness

4–10 May 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Cooling Off { Jaspal Bajwa }

stagnation and fatigue. Summer foods should essentially be light to digest. Lighter foods are the key – especially leafy greens, fruits, and grilled fish. (Next week we will cover more information on cooling fluids). Every season change is a good time to remind ourselves to detoxify our bodies, and to bring back the natural resilience. In addition to common environmental toxins, we also expose ourselves to a bigger toxic load when we eat heavy foods – that are difficult to digest, or are of poor quality. Cleansing our liver and blood through a proper diet is important. We should avoid alcohol and caffeine, and foods that are heavy, hot, spicy, fermented, salty and fried. The following 3 steps will help us maintain our cool :  Drink enough cool, fresh water, to maintain the balance. It also helps flush out the toxins.  Choose sweet, juicy fruits, digestive spices (like cumin, corian-

A Healthy Fungi { Alka Gurha }


ll of us are familiar with the magical power of mushrooms – whether from fairytales, folk songs or Chinese delicacies! Besides adding a wonderful earthy taste, or a meaty texture to foods, they have great nutritional value. Eastern cultures have revered the mushroom’s health benefits as a vegetable – though they are actually fungi. While there are over 14,000 types of mushroom, only about 3,000 are edible; about 700 have known medicinal properties, and less than one per cent are poisonous. One cup of button mushrooms has just 15 calories, has no cholesterol, and has less than 1 per cent of the daily value of sodium – a tasty fat busting food. They also have small amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fibre – which aid in fat loss. Mushrooms are a great source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and selenium – nutrients often lacking in our highly processed-food diets.




White button mushrooms are probably the most widely avail-

der, fennel and turmeric) and bitter astringent vegetables. The astringency increases water absorption by the cells, which in turn keep the body temperature cooler.  Choose whole grains. This helps maintain a more constant body temperature, due to a better magnesium and calcium uptake, which relaxes muscles and nerve cells.

Tip of the week


s summer tightens its grip, it can take a heavy toll on our bodies. Overheating and overdrying are common. While it is an energy sapping experience, a more cavalier attitude can sometimes lead to serious consequences. Dehydration is at the root cause of chronic health issues such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure, heartburn , kidney stones, migraine, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Jumping into the nearest artificially created air-conditioned environment, or gulping down icecold sugary beverages, may not be the answer to dehydration. Excessive cooling can in fact weaken the digestive and immune systems. As per Ayurveda, summer is all about ‘Pitta’ – a heat producing condition represented by a combination of fire and water. This is even more pronounced in those individuals who, by nature, might have a ‘pitta’ constitution. When Pitta accumulates in the body it is common to see excess stomach acid, heartburn, skin eruptions and irritability. To keep pitta in balance, it is recommended that we favour sweet, bitter and astringent tastes – and avoid salty, sour and hot spicy foods. The best solution to address this imbalance is to cool off naturally. A balanced diet and lifestyle, that cools heat and replenishes fluids, is best in summer. By eating cooling foods, we can combat the heat as we cool ourselves from the inside out, helping to relieve feelings of

able, and come in small and large sizes. Then there are Portobello mushrooms, which are large brown mushrooms. Baby bellas, sometimes called Crimini mushrooms, are small brown mushrooms with a hearty flavour. Shiitake mushrooms, or the Japanese mushrooms, are an edible fungus native to Asia. Shiitake mushrooms are the second most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world.

How to store Mushrooms:

Once home, mushrooms can become slimy, and develop brown spots within just a few days. If the mushrooms are pre-packaged, leave them in the packaging. If the mushrooms are loose, place them in a brown paper bag and loosely fold the top of the bag over; then, stick the bag in the main compartment of your refrigerator. The bag

Can eating “hot” food keep us cool? A moderate amount of spicy flavours can actually help cool down our bodies. By their increasing body temperature, pulse rate, and the tendency to perspire, the body is helped to remain cooler. Spices like fresh ginger, cayenne, or black pepper, may temporarily increase warmth, but serve to disperse the heat on the body’s surface. By increasing blood circulation, the spices induce perspiration, which is our body’s natural way of lowering its internal temperature. Establishing a regular routine, including going to bed early, eating meals at regular times, and a daily oil massage with sunflower or coconut oil, can help balance the ‘pitta’ in the body.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week

In general, vegetables and fruits that take less time to grow, and grow above the ground, have more of a cooling and energising effect on the body. Some of these include leafy greens, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, zucchini and yellow squash. In addition, certain herbs such as mint, coriander, fennel, cilantro, chamomile, dill, fennel, turmeric, cardamom and aloe vera have a more direct cooling effect. In addition to water, liquid in our solid food counts toward our daily total intake of fluids. The best foods to help us keep cool during the summer are high water content foods such as:  Fruits with over 90 per cent water content: watermelons, citrus fruits, cantaloupes and berries. Other high wa-

absorbs excess moisture from the mushrooms, so they don’t get soggy or moldy. You can also place them in a glass container, and cover it with a dish towel or moist paper towel. Be sure to allow air circulation. Canned mushrooms, and oiled mushrooms marinating in jars, have a much longer shelf life, and are good for specific recipes – but they lack the flair that a fresh mushroom can add to a regular meal. Do not store mushrooms in the crisper drawer – it’s too moist an environment. Avoid placing mushrooms near foods with strong odours or flavours – they’ll absorb them like a sponge.





Mushrooms are a valuable source of dietary fibre: a 100g serving of mushrooms contains more dietary fibre (2.5g) than 100g of celery (1.8g), or a slice of wholemeal bread (2.0g).

Mushrooms & Vitamins:

Mushrooms are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. They also contain Vitamin B1 or Thiamin, that controls the release of energy from carbohydrates. A 100g serving of mushrooms will give you 27 per cent of your recommended daily dietary intake of thiamin. Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Folate are also found in mushrooms.

Grated cucumber applied over the face for fifteen minutes and then washed with water, can help prevent pimples, blackheads and dryness of the face.

ter-content fruits are grapes, pineapples, apples, pears, peaches and plums.  Vegetables with over 95 per cent water content: cucumbers, celery, lettuce, zucchini and radish. Several others like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplants, peppers, asparagus, spinach and tomatoes have over 90 per cent water. Pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, okra, bitter gourd, green beans, bok choy and snow peas are also good candidates for adding variety to our food. During summer, choice should be exercised in favour of white meats, seaweeds, tofu, ‘mung’ beans and lentils. Yoghurt is ideal, and other dairy products can be consumed in moderation. Olive oil and Flax seed oil are best suited for salads; and home-made ‘ghee’ or coconut oil for cooking. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Mushrooms & Minerals:

Mushrooms contain virtually no salt. They contain more potassium than most other fruits and vegetables; one medium Portabello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana. Mushrooms are a source of iron, which is essential to most life forms, and normal human physiology. Mushrooms are one

of the richest, natural sources of selenium. Selenium works as an antioxidant, protecting body cells from damage. Health Benefits: The most sought after health benefit of mushrooms is ‘weight loss’. All mushrooms share certain characteristics that help you burn fat, and keep illness and disease at bay. u


4–10 May 2012


Do It The Right Way

ast week we carried the cover story on the Right To Education – It Must Be Right. Even the Supreme Court has weighed in on a point that cannot be disputed. Every Indian citizen must have a right to be educated. The Supreme Court has had to step in, in the arena of the executive, from time to time – and probably increasingly so. The Court does not really have this mandate; or dare we say, the expertise. But the intention is of course noble; and perhaps comes more out of anguish and frustration with the nonperformance of successive governments, in areas that impact the common person.




have fallen in love with Gurgaon. This 16th March,’12 was my first ever visit. I did not know many people or places. I had called on two conglomerates of “Pepsico” and “Wrigley” of India. Where (in Wrigley’s) I got hold of one copy of your esteemed weekly and with keen interest I was gulping down all news and views. I took interest in reading most of the pages and I developed feeling to write to you to say you are building a great city and your city has tremendous potential to become one at par city (within cities) like Manhattan in New York. I don’t know your city fathers and unaware of their planning and ambitions. But I would like to know them intimately. Please get me to know them and I shall try to call on them in my next visit sooner or later. By the way, I read your 1st page coverage of the latest social happenings and I hope you will come out successful in fighting out the menace right from the beginning. Hoping for the best development of Gorgaon I remain for today with best compliments. A F Rahman CEO, Liberty Group, Bangladesh.


The noble Supreme Court direction has significant implications. But before that, what of the core issue - that of non-delivery by the govt., for a role that it was constituted to play? The responsibility and accountability is squarely at the govt’s door. It is not in the charter, but in the process, the implementation, that it has gone horribly wrong. It is the Central and State Govts. who are charged with providing education to the masses (and who collect taxes for this). Surely these govts. need to be strongly taken to task; and not allowed to change course or even the charter - by asking others who are not mandated, to chip in. And that too with little offer of support, for the cost or the process or other challenges. There is not just a lack or deficit of schools and infrastructure; there are severe teacher shortages. And where appointed, they are mainly absent. Where present, they make little difference. Even the underprivileged shy away from govt. schools, at the first opportunity. Can there be a bigger indictment! The Court interjection has perhaps allowed the govt. to feel vindicated in its prescription, rather than accepting accountability as the chief culprit. This manner of walking away from accountability will only embolden the govt. to walk out of all the disasters. The plan seems to be to put the onus on everyone, make it such a ‘khichdi’, that no one will specifically be accountable. Just announce something big and new, knowing that it is not implementable. Like they did for corruption. Made a big noise that the Lokpal Bill put up by civil society was not encompassing enough. Innocently questioned whether it would really stop all corruption. Asked that everyone should come under the Bill – though knowing well that 80% of the problem and malaise is at the door of the govts. (maybe 99%, as far as the common person goes). It is all obfuscation and smoke screens. The govts. continue to live in denial. Why has no Education, Health or Food Minister been chastised by the Supreme Court, for not ensuring an effective PE (Primary Education), PDS (Public Distribution System), PHC (Primary Healthcare Centre) system? Why has none resigned, if there has been negligible change after decades, and after thousands of crores have been spent? Has even the most Supreme of Courts also given up on the ability of the govt. to deliver? To fight corruption? To govern?

health – without any private sector help. But what does the RTE tell them, and their citizens? And the private sector there? Fortunately, different parties rule these islands of excellence. What works there can surely be tried elsewhere. At least every party HQ can be held accountable for States where they hold a clear mandate, and have their own CM. Let the Congress start with their bases/States (unfortunately just a few), and shame the BJP. They can even shame the Left, the messiahs of the proletariat. Why is the Congress not able to take care of effectively implementing their programs even in the few States they rule? If you cannot deliver where you rule, why talk of coalition issues. Why use coalition partners as excuses for non-implementation, or lack of decisionmaking. It seems just a lack of leadership; or maybe two much leadership. And now, the implications. The failure is not just in Education – among services (some even more basic) for the common person. If this is the way forward for ‘Rights”, then surely, with the PDS and PHCs failing us on Food and Health, all private food companies and establishments must start serving 25% of their food to the under-privileged; and all private clinics and hospitals should ensure 25% of their patients are the under-privileged. It can even get better and bigger. Consider Housing. Tomorrow, all organized builders would need to provide 25% of their houses and apartments for the under-privileged (never mind that hundreds of EWS apartments in Gurgaon lie vacant and rotting). Or maybe even in Security – with the police unable to do the job. Which would lead us then to jobs too. Finally, it may be back to the courts - with private law firms mandated to have 25% of their clients from the under-privileged. Look at the pendency of cases in the courts. There are many land cases, impacting the poor. Unfortunately, the only Right that the UPA has probably succeeded in, and helped institutionalize, is the Right to Corruption. What about a common citizen’s Right to Governance – to be Rightly Ruled? It is time the govts. first own up their inadequacy, their failure; accept the enormity of the problem; ask for help and solutions, from the outside; ask for partners, through a delegated PPP model; adequately share their resources (taken from the citizens) with the partners; and make it worthwhile for all – the partners, the teachers, and the taught. Thrusting a solution on private schools is not the answer. Even within them, there are distinctions – so where, and for whom, would we draw what line? We cannot experiment for 65 more years. Those years will come and go fast – and we may still be among the world’s worst on human and social parameters. The population is not stopping soon. And the solid additions thereof continue at the poor end.

Religious schools have been kept out of the ambit of the RTE. Somewhere our India view on secularism, social strata, and poverty do not seem to merge. Minority religion and caste rich always win versus the majority poor. It seems under-privileged also has a context.

Meanwhile, the RTE bandwagon is on a roll. It will not stop. More than the physical infrastructure, we must pay attention to the interactions at school. Between the teachers and the 25% to be taught; between the new 25% and the 75% students. Our privileged children will behave the way we show them – by our talk and action. They will look to us for clues and answers. We should not let them down.

The silver lining, and the path of light, is that there are clearly villages, towns, cities, even States that are doing a commendable job on education, food, and

Should we expect different in the land of Jugaad (and Quick-Fix and Band-Aids) ? We just fix it even if it is broke – till the next broke. u

4–10 May 2012

B on V ivant


{ Srimati Lal }


ine Architecture being an aspect of High Art, the effective artistic restoration and preservation of India’s spectacular historic landmarksites requires intensive aesthetic knowledge and specialised artistic skills – as well as a deep and abiding love of art and culture. Monsieur Francis Wacziarg, the affable and talented French-born Indian citizen—a partner of the now-legendary ‘Neemrana Non-Hotel Resorts’, along with Delhiite Aman Nath—has managed to restore 28 of India’s most artistically-stunning Heritageproperties. Wacziarg and Nath have artistically-renovated ancient Indian structures that were in decline and disarray, into beautiful, relaxing Designerresorts with a difference. Wacziarg and Nath’s restoration-adventure began 3 decades ago, with the opening in 1991 of Neemrana Fort Palace on the Delhi-Jaipur Road – 3 hours from Delhi. The recent restoration of The Pataudi Palace near Gurgaon has added a muchneeded getaway-destination for those artistically-inclined. The Palace is a majestic, refreshing and delightful vintage retreat. Impeccably-restored, this classical 1930s-built Nawabi Palace showcases wonderfully landscaped gardens, a vast swimming pool, displays of rare antique photos and personal art of the Pataudi family, a special gift-shop, and classic heritage furniture. A tempting 10-course buffet is laid out daily for day-visitors. Royal suites, gardens and halls are available for special holidaying and parties. In an exclusive interview specially-conducted for FG, I spoke at length with Francis Wacziarg, on his aesthetic restoration of The Pataudi Palace, and his future plans:Srimati Lal: Francis, congratulations on your wonderful work, restoring 28 of India’s heritage sites with such dedicated artistic fervour, in three adventurous decades. Pataudi Palace is now an aesthetic, peaceful holiday-retreat. Tell us how your passion for Indian architecture, art, culture, and its preservation came about. Francis Wacziarg: After completing an MBA in France, I first came to India in 1970. Initially, I was the Commercial Attache at the French Consulate in Bombay (now Mumbai). Subsequently, I headed the representative office of the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) in New Delhi. On gaining Indian citizenship

Pataudi Palace Restored by choice, after an active 20-year love-affair with India—which is a country I found intensely beautiful—I joined Aman Nath, with whom I had co-authored a book. We founded our ‘Neemrana Hotels Pvt. Ltd.’ about 30 years ago. SL: Are you a trained Architect? What was the inception of your deep love for the Arts and Indian History? FW: I am not a trained architect. However, I have been an art-lover all my life.  I am a founding member of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage). I am also a trustee on IFA (India Foundation for the Arts), and the Alliance Francaise.  I am actively involved in promoting the arts and culture, with an emphasis on building bridges between different people and varying cultures.   SL: How is France connected with your restoration and design activities?    FW: Yes, France is wellknown for the conservation of its heritage. From a young age, therefore, I was always interested in monuments, art, old houses, and period furniture.   SL: When did you decide to renovate Pataudi Palace? How

did the negotiation with the Pataudi family occur? FW: In 2005, the former cricketer Late Mansur Ali Khan, the ninth Nawab of Pataudi, was mulling cost-effective options to maintain his palace, which was built in the 1930s – and is a few kilometres off  Delhi. He had been running it like a resort on his own – but with limited success. He informed me – “It is making money, but I am not an hotelier, and I am not comfortable.”. His basic concern was “the aesthetic, cultural and historic maintenance of this beautiful 90-year-old property, over the longer term.”  Although a particular section of the property has been kept exclusively for use by the Pataudi family, the rest of the estate is run as an aesthetic ‘Non-hotel Hotel’,

according to Neemrana’s concept. SL: Describe how you supervised Pataudi’s artistic renovation. What was the stylistic pattern you applied to the rooms? How long did it take for the design-work to be completed?  FW: At Pataudi, we tried to be as conservative as possible, and respectful of the old charm of this classic Palace. We brought in some essential modern amenities, like airconditioning. We added a large swimming pool, to meet the requirements of our clientele. We have restored the existing furniture, and  have changed the furnishings and textiles.  We wanted to keep the original, old atmosphere as intact as possible. Thus, the restoration did not take very long – except for the large swimming pool, which took us approximately 8 months.   SL: What kind of artworks did you select to decorate Pataudi Palace, and where have they been acquired?  FW: The artworks were already there, as well as many interesting and rare vintage photos dating from the early 20th C. –  and also antique chandeliers and fittings. We have added a few special paintings and unique textiles.

Neemrana is an awesome, massive Palace of 60 rooms and terraces, a joy to behold. It was built in 1464, by the descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan III. The spectacular bird’seye-views from this medieval fortress’ high terraces, built atop a hill, can beat the views from many a skyscraper. SL: Do you have a favourite suite at Pataudi? FW: Sher Mahal, on the first floor, is my favourite suite. The long shaded verandahs overlooking the rose garden, and the swimming pool, are particularly nice.   SL: How has the presence of the Pataudi Resort affected its surrounding environment, the economy of its village people?  FW: The Pataudi village people are extremely respectful

towards, and proud of, The Pataudi Palace. Like at other Neemrana properties, we try our level best to employ as many local people as possible. The word ‘Neemranification’  has now come to symbolise a viable and sustainable ‘Heritage-Tourism,’  involving all of India’s local communities. SL: How has the response to Pataudi been from travellers both in India and from abroad?  FW: Pataudi Palace, being the closest palace to Delhi, remains the  weekend favourite of Delhiites, along with Neemrana Fort-Palace. We also have travellers from all over India and overseas – and French nationals top that list. Further, the Pataudi Palace has also become a favourite venue for hosting business conferences, parties and weddings – from both India and overseas.   SL: What kind of cultural activities have taken place in Pataudi, aside from social events like parties and weddings? Would you like to host Book readings, Exhibitions, Crafts, Literary and Art festivals, as is the practice in Neemrana Fort?  FW: We have conferences and celebrations on a regular basis at Pataudi. However, 15 rooms is too small an inventory to have extensive cultural programs, as of now – unlike Neemrana Fort-Palace, which has 60 rooms. We will see in the future.   SL: Do you have any plans for adding similar designerresorts? FW: We get 3-4 proposals a week. We are always open to doing interesting projects that come our way. We take this opportunity to announce that Neemrana now means 28 Non-hotel Hotels, having added Deo-Bagh in Gwalior, Divan’s Bungalow in Ahmedabad, and Tijara FortPalace in Rajasthan – which will be opening its doors soon. (There is a Glass House by the Ganges in Uttarakhand).   SL: How often do you go to these Palaces?  FW: I try and visit The Pataudi Palace at least once a month. Since Neemrana FortPalace is the flagship property, Aman Nath and I are usually working there every weekend.u Artist, Writer & Curator

18 { Bhavana Sharma }


arot Spreads range from very simple to extremely complex ones. Basically, a Spread refers to a pattern in which the Cards are laid out, and the order in which they fall. Some Spreads will help you to gain a general overview of your life, while others are more specific. For example, the Three Card Spread addresses just three particular areas of your life – namely the past, present and the future. On the other hand, The Celtic Cross Spread gives an impression of the current situation, the inner and outer influences, and the psychology of the questioner (the querent). It gives a fairly detailed picture of the current circumstances, and is one of the best Spreads if you are looking for answers to a definite question. You can also experiment, to find out Spreads with which you are most comfortable. Remember, the longer you work with the Tarot, the more you will intuitively choose the right Spread for a particular situation.

The Celtic Cross Spread

The Celtic Cross is one of the best known and most popular Tarot Spreads. It provides an overview of the questioner’s particular situation, and is helpful as a general reading – as in answering specific questions. It consists of two parts: a small cross, and an upright or staff typical of the standing cross. This Spread can be laid out using Cards selected just from the major arcana, or with Cards

Divining With The Tarot Spreads 10

chosen from the entire deck. 5


Shuffle the Cards and cut and then lay them out in the order (as shown in the figure). Cards16 form the cross, and the vertical line to the right is formed with the four remaining Cards. Although each Card has a specific position that determines its interpretations, you need to synthesise the meaning of the whole Spread.





he good news for television viewers is that a range of new shows are being launched on various channels, to keep the viewer transfixed to the small screen. Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan’s new show, premieres on Star Plus and Star World on May 6, 2012. The show is reported to be based on social issues relating to the common man. The promos of the show have Aamir Khan saying, “Entertainment is not only about making people laugh. Dil par lagni chahiye.” Aamir, to my mind, is referring to a deep emotional connect with the viewers. Star Plus is taking a gamble with this expensive show; but has hedged its bets by involving Aamir in all aspects – including marketing. The documentary nature of Satyamev Jayate sets it apart from all other reality shows; and the promos have built the much needed curiosity factor. Although the



Case History of a Querent:-

When a querent of 51 years went for a Tarot reading, he was working as a professional photographer. He was no longer feeling fulfilled in his career, and wanted a change. His real passion was music, and he was an accomplished guitarist too. His ambition was to work full time as a musician; but he was concerned about whether he could make a living of it. He hoped that the reading would shed some light on his dilemma. Position 1 - Present Position -The Tower The Tower shows that the querent feels bounded by a false image, and finds it increasingly hard to live within the confines of his present job. Position 2 - Immediate Influence - The Nine of Swords The Nine of Swords describes his anxieties about leaving the security of his established career. It is impor-


3 7

show will occupy the ‘prime’ time slot that Ramayan and Mahabharat occupied years earlier, TV viewing habits have changed drastically. Let us see if Aamir can bring the flock back. Meanwhile, Balaji Soap Factory is set to launch a new extravagant show, based on the historical love story of Mughal Emperor Akbar and (his wife) Jodha Bai. The queen of Indian soaps, Ekta, is expected to add some fictional elements to the tale, apart from making a few dramatic additions to the love story. Last year, Ekta was to have started on a show based on the period romance of Bajirao-Mastani. But when Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali

to overcome. Courage will be needed to meet the challenge. Position 7 - The Querents Feelings - The Star The Star is the wish fulfillment card, and indicates a new life in the offing. He can now see light at the end of the tunnel. Position 8 - Outside Influence - The Queen of Pentacles The Queen of Pentacles describes the qualities of his wife. It indicates that she will be a strong source of support for him, and will help him to launch his new career. Position 9 - Hopes and Fears - The Hanged Man The Hanged Man indicates the querent’s fears of sacrificing his security. It also suggests that he will gain something of greater value. Position 10- Outcome – The Fool The Fool predicts a fresh start for the querent, and an opportunity to develop his potential. This will necessitate taking a leap of faith.

tant to emphasise that these fears, although understandable, are ungrounded.

free of his self imposed way of thinking, otherwise he will remain trapped forever.

Position 3 - The Querent’s Life - The Chariot The Chariot in this position reflects the conflict that the querent is experiencing, as he struggles to make a decision.

Position 5 - Past Influence - The Eight of Swords The Eight of Swords implies that the querent has been feeling very restricted by his job. He needs to be patient and strong.

Position 4 - Root of the Reading - The Devil The Devil suggests that it is up to the querent to break

Position 6 - Future Influence - The Seven of Wands The Seven of Wands indicates a challenge that he has

So we can conclude that The Fool as the outcome card suggests the need for him to take risks, by letting go of his fears and taking the plunge. There could also be a sudden opportunity, and he will need to abandon his old ways and start something new and untested. Henceforth, he should be willing to travel the various paths of knowledge, development and self-awareness. u Author, Tarot Card Reader

ous celebrities. The first episode was telecast on 29th April, Sunday afternoon. The format is a facsimile of Dr. Oz’s health show on Zee Trendz, but is peppered with some song and dance. The show was a little shallow on the main purpose – the health problems discussed. Coming back to Satyamev Jayate, Aamir, known for his calm and strategic planning (remember his ‘all izz well’ formula?), is supposedly extremely nervous about his television

debut. When Aamir recently attended an auto driver’s son’s wedding in Varanasi, his detractors were quick to call it a gimmick. Many felt it was an attempt to display a bond with the aam aadmi, as part of a publicity stunt for his forthcoming show. However, we feel that there is no reason for Mr. Perfectionist to have doubts on the success of Satyamev Jayate. The audiences are eagerly waiting to see what he serves, after a relaxed Sunday morning breakfast. u

New Mega Shows { Alka Gurha }

B on V ivant

4–10 May 2012

expressed plans of reviving his film, that revolves around the same subject, she apparently shelved the idea. Tanushree Dasgupta, Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms, revealed, “Our plan is to launch the show on a majestic scale, as it is an epic love saga – from a different era. The show, based on Jodha-Akbar, will be on the lines of the actual events.” According to her, fresh faces will be chosen for the lead roles,. Extensive auditions are currently being held across the country. Colors Television launched a new health show called ‘All is Well’, that focuses on the holistic well being of people. It aims to focus on the common ailments that plague our society – ranging from heart attack to miscarriage. The show is hosted by Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia, a celebrity doctor who has treated Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Woods. Now that is an impressive lineup of patients! For those interested in trivia, the good looking orthopaedic doctor was a resident of Los Angeles, and was in the news for his divorce with actress Pooja Batra. In order to make the show interesting, Colors has roped in vari-

Hic Hic Haryana { Sujata Goenka }


urgaon is different – even in India. Yes, it is cosmopolitan. But the uniqueness is in what is very visible. While liquor shops in our major cities are tucked away shyly in a corner, in our City you will amazingly find one every kilometre or so – proudly displaying its wares. From the elegant Blue Label to country liquor—and wine— all are available under one roof. Truly, like Hong Kong, one can enjoy a drink almost anywhere. Yes, there are no dustbins on the roadside – for disposing empty bottles and cans. But then that is the role

of the State – right? And only in our Haryana, are liquor shops supposed to provide a place to drink too; so not surprisingly each shop has a dhaba running by its side. A very convenient arrangement for all. There are places like Meat and Treat; and Lucknow Mail. These are upgraded dhabas, serving the usual dhaba fare – but with live bands playing, and waiters serving. The liquor can be bought by the bottle, from the shop along-side. On weekends they are packed. They are easy on the pocket. An ideal place for the gang to hang out. Cheers! u

B on V ivant

4–10 May 2012


{ Ekta Saxena }


his house is an art lover’s delight and rightly so, as Anju Kumar is a renowned artist who dabbles in pottery, paintings, murals, stained glass, sculptures, et al. Anju moved into this 3-floor house three years back, and is loving every moment of staying here. Having moved from Delhi, Anju simply admires the open spaces in Gurgaon, and has built her house to let in a lot of natural light and air. The house displays understated elegance.


tive energy.” From the living room, the marble stairs take you to the second floor of the house, where son Anmol’s bedroom and a guestroom are located. Anmol, a pilot with a private airline, is often away. But, whenever he is in town, he loves to spend time in his room, which has a ‘reading corner’ near the window. Nature is flown into this house, with a terrace garden on this floor. A patch of green, with loads of plants, adds beauty as well as unparalleled charm to this soothing place. Anju, along with her family, likes to unwind here. She is quite fond of yoga and meditation, and this green patch provides her with her own moments.

Art Home Located in South City-I, artist Anju Kumar’s house is truly an artist’s haven. There is a soothing yet a grandeur ambience, which sets this house truly apart. Anju decided to dedicate the entire ground floor to her studio. Done aesthetically in white and black, Anju’s artwork consisting of terracota art pieces, her abstract works of art, and some great ‘jaaliwork’ that truly stands out. Anju says, with a sense of pride, “This is my very own space, and I just feel so contended working here.” A very unique feature here is the wooden logs stacked on the ceiling, giving quite a dramatic effect.

Adds Anju, “These are actually sleepers used for railway tracks. I just innovatively used them here, only treating them with linseed oil.” Innovation at its best! A lifesize abstract painting in hues of gold and red greets you at the entrance. This is pious Ganesha. The pattern flows through out the house, with abstracts mostly in the hues of red adorning the walls. Anju says, “ I love to paint abstracts, as it is completely at the viewer’s discretion, to interpret in his or her own way.” Anju’s creativity is evident everywhere – with her pots, jaalis, and of course the beautiful paintings. She started ‘doing up’ this place with an architect, but then midway through, the architect had to leave for Australia. Then

Laughing St

Anju, with inputs from her other architect friends, decided to do it on her own. The lady with a high creative streak has put her heart in this place. The living room is quite spacious, done in beige, with Anju’s paintings’ red hues giving a beautiful contrast. This floor has the master bedroom and the kitchen. There are large windows and balconies attached on all sides. Says Anju, “It’s a treat sitting in the balcony, with my hot cup of tea, and enjoy the open spaces. I always wanted my house to be flooded with natural light. It is so important that the house gets ample light and air; it infuses a posi-

Live In The Present


A little girl was wearing a Medical Alert bracelet. 
Someone asked her what the bracelet was for. She replied, “I’m allergic to nuts and eggs. 

The person asked, “Are you allergic to cats?” 
The girl said, “I don’t know. I don’t eat cats.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A group of tourists were being guided through an ancient castle in Europe. “This place,” the guide said,” is 600 years old. Not a stone in it has been touched, nothing altered, nothing replaced in all those years.” 
“Wow,” said one woman, “they must have the same landlord I do.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An amateur photographer was invited to dinner with friends and took along a few pictures to show the hostess. She looked at the photos and commented, “These are very good! You must have a very good camera.” He didn’t comment, but, as he was leaving to go home, he said, “That was a really delicious meal! You must have some very good pots.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A little boy opened the old family Bible, looking at the pages as he turned them. An old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages, fell out of the Bible.”Mommy, look what I found”, the boy called out. “What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked. With astonishment, he answered: “It’s Adam’s suit!”

Anju says philosophically, “My work is like a therapy for me. Thankfully, my husband and son truly understand it. The studio is where I spend a lot of my time, but this also allows me to simultaneously monitor the house jobs as well.” Vivacious and full of life she is, and the house truly reflects that. Her zeal for life, and her work, is evident – and the house buzzes with a calming effect! This house embodies art, but there is nothing overthe-top about it. The Zen-like effect flows throughout this space. When you come out, you carry a feeling of warmth and calm. An art home should leave you with just that! u

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


nuj came to see me because he feels that his life has become meaningless, since he missed out on a promotion. Many people feel this inner emptiness at some point of time in their lives. It is not unusual. Anuj should be happy. He has a good wife, and successful children settled in Canada. He owns a comfortable house, and a sedan car. At work he holds a senior position in a public sector bank. He has income that is more than adequate for his needs. Somehow, it does not make him happy. In his career, he has grown up thinking and believing that he will attain happiness only if he is promoted regularly. He feels that he has been tricked. In his mind, he has done all the right things; but the desired reward has not arrived. He feels that he has kept his half of the bargain – while the other party has not kept his/her/their word. Who the other party is, he is not sure. And in order to mitigate the feelings of ‘failure’, he quite often drinks more alcohol than he should. He has been taken in by the promise that worldly success will make him happy. Anuj does not really participate in his job – or his car, or his nice house. The ‘happiness’ he thinks

is his due lies beyond these things. In his mind these are means to an end, not the end in itself. He is in flight from the ‘failures’ and ‘suffering’ in his life – rather than enjoying the actual pleasures that are already available to him. He is not focused in the present moment. These ‘failures’ and ‘suffering’ are not unbearable – in the sense of being acutely painful, like a severe physical injury might be. However, the psychological pain of being ‘in flight’ from the present reality of one’s life can be more disabling than the effect of a physical injury. I advised Anuj to visit some of his old colleagues and friends; specially those who have never ‘achieved’ regular promotions, and are yet leading happy and contended lives. After meeting a few of them, he reached a greater acceptance of the position he had already attained, and became happier again – like a flower opening in the sunshine, after the storm clouds have passed. He started living in the present. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.


4–10 May 2012


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


espite the talk of correction in the real estate prices in Gurgaon, the slow growth of infrastructure, and the advent of the proposed Real Estate Regulatory Bill, Raheja Developers is betting big on the Millennium City. The Group will be handing over about 1500 newly-built apartments to their customers in the coming months, in addition to launching a couple of mega projects in the near future. Nayan Raheja, Executive Director, Raheja Developers, says that his Company has inherent faith in the Gurgaon growth story, and no talks of an impending slowdown will shake it. “We will deliver on our promise to buyers as soon as we get the necessary certificates from the authorities. Apartments in Raheja Atharva, Navodya and Raheja Raisina will be handed over soon, as they are complete in all respects,” says Rajeha. The Company has also started work on the Raheja Revanta (in Sector 78), that will be the tallest tower in Gurgaon with sixty storeys. The test piling work began on May 1, and Raheja says that the entire project has been booked in advanced, as the people in the City know that his company delivers on time. Raheja Aranya is another major project that the Group has launched in neighbouring Sohna. Aranya Mega City, to be launched on May 8th, will be a completely integrated township, with all the facilities one needs and aspires, to enjoy a comfortable life-style, says Raheja. This project will be spread over 107.85 acres. Raheja told Friday Gurgaon that these projects, and those already developed in Gurgaon, are premium projects developed for the niche customers looking for a discerning lifestyle. To ensure that the quality of construction, and the delivery of projects, is as promised, Raheja Group has tied up with the world’s best construction companies and product suppliers. “We have an in-house design and construction team that works on the projects. Raheja Developers has tie-ups with Thornton, Arabtec and several others, to ensure that promises are delivered,” says Raheja. When asked why was there so much post-purchase dissonance currently among the apartment buyers in Gurgaon, he says that builders have to ensure that they have a professional team that assesses the projects, buys land rationally, and makes promises that can be delivered on. Many a time, he says, land has been bought at such astronomical prices, that apartments can never be sold at the promised price – or with the promised facilities. “I think every one has to be a little rational here. The price of steel, cement and labour is going northwards, and the curve is very steep,” says Raheja. He predicts that these prices are going to first rise, and then hold steady. In addition, he says, the apartment owners also need to realise that builders have stakes in the projects, and they can help

Rahejas – Full Speed Ahead the RWAs in learning to manage them. Raheja Group believes in hand-holding the RWAs for few years, helping them choose good maintenance companies, and then exiting to concentrate on new projects. “I don’t think that it is the job of the builder to maintain a project after a couple of years,” says Raheja. But he is of the opinion that Common Areas and other Facilities in a building project need to be taken care of by the builder for a few years, before they are handed over to the RWA. For those who are planning to buy a house, Raheja suggests that this is a good time, as there are plenty of options available – in and around Gurgaon. Properties on the National Highway 8 and the Dwarka Expressway (NPR) will offer maximum appreciation, as the Expressway is likely to be completed by the end of 2012, he believes. Instead of holding their purchase decision, buyers should keep in mind the location and brand that they are investing in, to make a wise decision, he suggests. Gurgaon, he says, will continue to grow, as it has become a manufacturing and IT hub. “We have had a great experience in Gurgaon, building and selling quality real estate. The people in the City have a taste for the good life, and that is what we promise to deliver,” he says. However, for the Gurgaon story to hold good, he be-

lieves that the Haryana government will have to streamline its policies and processes. “There are delays on the Expressway, and the sewage, power and water connectivity in new sectors is way behind schedule. Despite this we are going to deliver the projects to our buyers on time,” says Raheja. The HUDA and the Department of Town and Country Planning should take up these issues on priority, as thousands of people are likely to live in these new sectors, he says. He suggests three areas where the authorities can improve their functioning: streamlining of the processes, single window clearances, and policy making through consensus. “We have to move so many papers for getting licenses and clearances from the Fire department, TCP and HUDA, that valuable time and resources are lost,” he says. The projects are also delayed. The government also needs to work on improving and building new infrastructure, in and around Gurgaon. The Northern Peripheral Road (NPR), Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) and Kundli-Manesar Palwal (KMP) Expressway should be completed expeditiously – as these would boost the economy of the City, and integrate it with the entire NCR. Another major challenge to the real estate industry, particularly in Gurgaon, is the shortage of labour. “There is an impending labour crisis, as

Realty Rates

the manpower from Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan is not coming as much as earlier,” says Raheja. His Company is putting up advertisements in local dailies in these States, to recruit labour and supervisory staff – so acute is the situation. When asked about the failure of the much touted Special Economic Zones, about which the entire real estate industry was quite bullish, he admits that they have failed to take off. “The government had promised special tax incentives for the SEZs at the time of launch of this policy; but some time back it brought these zones under the ambit of Minimum Alternate Tax, making these projects non-feasible,” he reveals. His own Company has

also ventured into SEZs, but may think of backing out, he hints. How is Raheja Group different from other builders in Gurgaon? Raheja says that the fundamental difference between his Company and other builders is that Rahejas are debtfree, and an unlisted company. “We are not under huge debt burden like others, and therefore are not stretched. Raheja Group is answerable only to its customers, and that gives us the freedom to look beyond the mundane,” says Nayan. In terms of work culture as well, the Group companies have robust processes, and the structure is very tight. “Although the manpower is less, IT is used as an enabler to help in integrating the work. There is a special focus on quality of work, and top professionals are hired to execute projects,” he asserts. According to him, the future of the real estate industry depends on building efficiency, productivity, and quality, to offer a superior lifestyle to the buyer. “I think any builder who is not moving in this direction would be losing in the long run, because the customers have become very aware,” he says. In addition, the Real Estate Regulatory Bill will also bring in more transparency, and is a good move, he believes. “I think that there should be a more balanced approach towards this Bill. It should ensure that interests of all the stake holders are safeguarded,” says Raheja. His own Company, he says, is looking towards a steady growth path, to build on its rock-solid foundation. “We are here for the long run, and with the intention to serve the customers loyally,” concludes Raheja. u

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Film And Fashion { Monica Vallejos / Buenos Aires / dpa }

were available in abundance. In 1942, the Academy issued a special appeal to actors, to dress down for the Oscar awards ceremony. Joan Fontaine followed the rule strictly, wearing a sombre black dress and Spanish mantilla, when she picked up her Oscar for “Suspicion.” She still managed to look stunning. Once the war was over, glamour returned to the prize-giving event; with it came fashion and Christian Dior’s “New Look” – that involved deep cleavages, tight waists and generous skirts. The Oscar awards were televised for the first time in 1953, magnifying and spreading the effect on fashion. For example, Fainberg said, the dress Grace Kelly wore in 1955, when she won the Oscar for best actress in “The Country Girl,” became iconic in the world of fashion. Designed by Edith Head, the pale ice-coloured silk dress had spaghetti straps and a slightly draped waistline. Together with the ethereal Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, another female image emerged in the 1950s: the voluptuousness of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Strapless necklines, draped busts, corselets, and billowing skirts would be key to that image. The winds of freedom and youth culture blew in the 1960s –and actresses said goodbye to ‘the princess look’. Audrey Hepburn once again chose an unforgettable outfit; a long black dress cut in imperial


picture alliance / kpa

ollywood creates concepts and fantasies, and also sets an ideal shaping of the female silhouette each decade. Movies have an effect on fashion through film celebrities, because so many women long to look like them. Conversely, movies absorb current fashion trends, and portray them on the silver screen. Possibly the best example of how film and fashion feed into each other is the 1954 movie “Sabrina”. When Audrey Hepburn was offered the starring role, she chose outfits that French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy was still sketching; and that were redesigned by Oscar-winning Hollywood costume designer Edith Head. Since the movie was such a hit, “the Sabrina dress” was imitated all over the world. The black dress with a boatneck, tight fitting around the waist, and with a large flared skirt, was simple, romantic and youthful. Hepburn would continue to work with Givenchy in other movies; and her dark, expressive eyes and sculptured features would make her a trendsetter – both on-screen and off. After the androgynous 1920s, that saw loose-fitting, straighthanging dresses, the 1930s brought elegance and couture models that are still fashionable today. There were bias-cut cocktail and evening gowns, that clung to the body and highlighted curves; draped fabric that fused elegance and simplicity; and bare backs for a surprising seductiveness. The female figure was thin, and it would remain so until the 1950s – when the buxom hourglass shape took hold. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered French designer Coco Chanel a million dollars to dress stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. The Academy had created an award for best costume design in 1948. “Wardrobe is crucial when it comes to defining a character’s personality. The intention is to illustrate what is happening in the story through the wardrobe, which is itself a character,” says Argentinean costume designer Cintia Fainberg. In the 1930 and 1940s, the head of costume design at MGM, Gilbert Adrian, created the cinematographic image of stars such as Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo, using haute couture. French designer Jacques Fath, who did not sketch, but rather draped the fabric directly on the model, would be Rita Hayworth’s favourite in the 1940s. Shortages in the Second World War forced fashion designers to replace natural fibres like wool and silk with synthetic fabrics – so evening dresses were mostly made from rayon. There were no restrictions on sequins, since there was no place for them in the war effort; so they

Audrey Hepburn in her unforgettable outfit, in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961).

style, with a rounded neckline and long black gloves – for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961). It would shape the image for a young, carefree, but sophisticated woman. Faye Dunaway in “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) established the “Bonnie look” – involving a pencil skirt, a scarf and a beret. Ten years later, New York designer Ralph Lauren contributed to Diane Keaton’s androgynous appearance in “Annie Hall”; with items from a man’s wardrobe – such as a blazer over

Jerzy Dabrowski

4–10 May 2012

Julia Roberts in a vintage Valentino gown, as she receives the best actress Academy Award for her role in “Erin Brockovich”, in 2001.

a vest, broad pants and a hat. Aware that her look had caused a furore, Keaton received the best actress statuette dressed as Annie Hall. The 1980s came with their “dress for success” code – both at the office, and at the elegant parties. Thick makeup and costume jewellery, shiny fabrics, and intense colours would do away with the elements of classic style. An example was the emerald green dress worn by Jessica Lange, when she was awarded the best supporting actress prize in 1983 for “Tootsie”. Hair was brushed up and worn high, as Elizabeth Taylor did in the 1987 Oscar ceremony. The 1990s brought a minimalist approach to style, led by Italian designer Giorgio Armani – who became a favourite because of his elegant and discrete designs. Dresses returned to a single colour, with an emphasis on the classic black, red and white. Marisa Tomei boasted a splendid white silk organza dress, with black accents by Chanel, when she received her best supporting actress award in 1993 for “Vinny’s Cousin”. Uma Thurman would become the most copied actress of the decade, when she chose a simple Prada dress for the 1995 Oscar awards ceremony. The 21st century heralded a return to elegance, a few cases of extravagance, and plenty of vintage models. Thanks to television and the Internet, that guarantee a millionaire, worldwide audience, the choice of what to wear to the Oscars has become very complex. “The decision no longer just depends on what the actress and the designer like;

but rather on what an image advisor will suggest, knowing the effects that television will create,” Fainberg says. She adds that top advisers are also in the know about what other actresses are planning to wear, to avoid double-ups. Tall, lanky actresses like Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron have been ideal models for Chanel, Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. But medium height or short actresses such as Renee Zellweger and Salma Hayek have also been praised for their Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino designs. At this year’s Oscar ceremony, some of the top actresses became fashion hits, without taking home any award. The 2012 notables included Michelle Williams (red peplum, Louis Vuitton) Streep (gold, Lanvin) Glenn Close (dark green, Zac Posen) and Viola Davis (emerald green, Vera Wang). Fashion critics raved over Rooney Mara’s Givenchy Haute Couture gown by Riccardo Tisci, Angelina Jolie’s Atelier Versace black dress (especially the legshowing), and Gwyneth Paltrow‘s daring draped gown by Tom Ford. u

Spectacular Swiss Art Robbery Solved { Albert Otti / Zurich / dpa }


olice have recovered two paintings, by Cezanne and Degas, that were robbed in 2008 from a Swiss museum, prosecutors said in Zurich. They were announcing the resolution of one of Europe’s most spectacular art crimes in recent years. Paul Cézanne’s Boy in a Red Waistcoat, worth 100 million Swiss francs (110 million dollars), and Edgar Degas’ Ludovic Lepic and his Daughters, worth some 10 million francs, were found in Serbia. Thirty investigators and undercover agents, in six countries, were involved in the search for the art works – belonging to the Buehrle collection in Zurich. Three Serbs and one Macedonian suspect were detained in Belgrade on April 11, and the Cézanne portrait was found hidden in a car. The Degas was recovered months earlier. Three masked men robbed the Buehrle museum at gunpoint in early 2008, taking a total of four impressionist paintings worth some 180 million francs. Two of the works, by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, were found in Zurich a few days after the robbery. u

The Medal Honours { Anne Walters / Washington / dpa }


diverse group of figures, including music legend Bob Dylan and astronaut John Glenn, will receive the nation’s highest civilian honour from US President Barack Obama, the White House said. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded for contributions to US interests, world peace or cultural endeavours. The White House tapped 13 recipients from the world of diplomacy, arts, sports and sciences. Madeleine Albright, who served as the first female Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, from 1997 to 2001, and Israeli President Shimon Peres, are to be honoured for their contributions to foreign policy. Civil Rights figures John Doar, Gordon Hirabayashi and Dolores Huerta were tapped, along with William Foege, who worked to eliminate smallpox. Also honoured will be author Toni Morrison, former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens and women’s university basketball coach Pat Summitt. World War II Polish underground fighter Jan Karski, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, and Hirabayashi will be awarded posthumously. u


4–10 May 2012

{ Pratibha Tuladhar/Pokhara, Nepal / DPA }


Adventurers Of The Year


hen life begins, adventure begins,” says Sano Babu Sunuwar, one of the two men who climbed Mount Everest, paraglided to base camp, cycled to the nearest river, and kayaked all the way to the Indian Ocean. “Who knows what will happen in life?” Dressed in a polo shirt, shorts, trainers and a golf cap, the 28-year-old could easily pass for a teenager. It is hard to imagine him as someone who hadscompleted such a feat. “I had conceptualized the Ultimate Descent - Summit to the Sea Expedition, in 2006,” he explains, stirring a chocolateflavoured yoghurt drink. But it was several years before it became possible. “Edmund Hillary went from the sea level to the top of the world,” says Sunuwar. “My concept was to do just the opposite.” He was working as a professional kayaker and paraglider, when in December 2010 he teamed up with Lhakpa Tsheri Sherpa, 37, a mountaineer who desperately wanted to learn to paraglide. “The deal was, I’d teach him to paraglide if he’d take me up Everest, and I’d fly him down from there,” he says with a smile. Sunuwar had never climbed a mountain, and Lhakpa couldn’t swim. They

Sunuwar and Sherpa, flying down Mt. Everest on a paraglider (Top); and kayaking through an Indian village in Jharkhand.(Bottom)

Fitness Cycle { Johanna Uchtmann / Berlin / dpa }


t is worth having a bicycle helmet ruin your hairdo every morning. Cycling, after all, is healthy – but only if the cyclist has a suitable bike, and cycles with the proper posture. Having a healthy attitude is important, too. Cycling is a good way to incorporate “measured” amounts of exercise into your daily routine, said Detlef Detjen, spokesman for the Campaign for Healthier Backs (AGR),. The two other main aerobic sports are swimming and jogging. So why should leisuretime athletes choose a bike over running shoes or a bathing suit? Andreas Strack, educational director of the German University of Applied Sciences for Prevention and Health Management in

Saarbruecken, offered two compelling arguments: You go farther, and you go faster. “They get around a lot more,” Strack said of cyclists – which is a motivating factor. Experiencing the thrill of speed is another. Cyclists know - quite literally - what it is like to be on a roll. Riding a bicycle strengthens mainly the leg muscles, but also has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, Strack said. It is also easy on the joints. “If you’re not well conditioned, jog too often and for too long, and maybe are overweight to boot, at some point you can develop minor or major orthopaedic problems,” he said. Cycling’s risks are much lower, because the bike carries your weight. But other sports out-

pace cycling in efficiency. “With cycling, you’ve got to allow for substantially longer workouts,” Strack said, pointing out that cyclists needed about twice as long as joggers to achieve the same cardiovascular benefits. Swimming is roughly comparable to jogging in this regard. The reason: Cycling does not work as many parts of the body simultaneously. According to Detjen, the key to healthy cycling is having the right bike. The wrong bike, or a wrongly adjusted one, can negate the positive effects of exercise, he warned. Since “there’s no bike fit for everyone,” as Detjen said, the AGR has put together a list of bike-buying tips. One of them is: Don’t be afraid to buy a lady’s bike, even if you’re a man. “A conventional man’s bicycle has a crossbar; but it doesn’t have to,” Detjen remarked. He said that building a bike with a crossbar made it structurally sounder. Getting on requires swinging a leg over the bar, which puts a strain on the back. A lady’s bike, with a “step-through” frame, is easier to mount – especially for older people. The best sitting posture is not completely upright, but with the upper body bent slightly forward – at a maximum angle of 30 degrees, according to the AGR. The ball of the foot should be directly over the pedal axle, which puts less strain on the joints. Cycling for an extended period

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had a deal! Money and equipment were borrowed for the trip. They decided to keep it low profile, and use local equipment as far as possible – and seek no corporate or government assistance. “The government delayed our travel permit, saying the nature of the trip was unusual,” he recalls. Impatient, the adventurers started their ascent of Everest, without permits, on May 18, 2011. When they arrived at the Death Zone, above 8,000 metres, where the wind can gust at 120 kilometres per hour, Sunuwar thought he might die. “Lhakpa forced me to drink two cups of coffee; and with that, I started again. As we went up in the freezing dark, I found it hard to understand why people climbed Everest, or what I was doing there,” he said. On the morning of May 21, they arrived at the summit. “I was standing high above the clouds; the sun came out looking up at me; and the Tibetan plateau stretched below me,” he recalls – finally understanding what drives some people to climb Everest. But their adventure had just begun. Stretching the blue, white and red canopy, the colour of Nepal’s flag, on the 42-squaremetre summit, the duo prepared for free flight from the roof of the world. “The winds were strong, and gliding down the mountain was both amazing and challenging,” he says. In 45 minutes, they landed at Syangboche airport, near base camp. It would have been a 10-day trek downhill. “We were greeted by the locals, but the government had issued an arrest warrant – for flying down Everest without permits!” he exclaims. They were promptly arrested, then released on bail. They walked to Namche district, paraglided a short distance, then cycled to the confluence of

the Dudhkoshi and Sunkoshi rivers. On June 1, they set out in a kayak, filled with instant noodles, rice and bottled water. “As we moved down Bihar, villagers ran to the riverbanks to watch us,” says Sunuwar. “They asked us where we had bought a boat like that.” They told the villagers they were pilgrims. Often, wild fruit and water were their only source of sustenance. “We had no food, but Lhakpa would stop to buy cigarettes,” he recalls with a laugh. “Once, when we stopped at a village to buy cigarettes, we got robbed of 4,000 Indian rupees, all the money we had. And in Jharkand, we were attacked by a mob because the locals thought we were thieves from Bangladesh.” They barely managed to escape in their kayak. On June 28, they arrived at their destination in the sea, and the journey was complete. They were picked up by a ferry, and spent a night at a Kolkata hotel, boarding a bus to the Nepal border the next day. “Rowing in the sea was tougher than tackling river rapids,” Sunuwar says. They needed to go far offshore to reach the zeroaltitude point. “No matter how much you paddle, you’re still in the middle of the ocean.” The National Geographic Society named the duo Adventurers of the Year, on the basis of 72,000 votes by the members of the public. Sunuwar, who lives “for the thrill of being alive”, will join the Red Bull X-Alps crosscountry trip, in July 2013. The trip covers five countries, from Austria to Monaco, during which 30 athletes will run, and use paragliders to complete a continuous race of more than 800 kilometres. “There’s no limitation to dreams,” Sunuwar beams. “Life is a challenge, and dreams are never-ending.” u

on the wrong kind of bike, and with the wrong posture, can lead to acute problems, Strack said. Those who constantly cycled incorrectly could even develop chronic joint or back problems. To keep this from happening, cyclists should take care

not to overdo it. Regular rides of moderate distances are healthier than mammoth tours, advised Bettina Cibulski, spokeswoman for the German Bicycle Club. “Thirty minutes a day will definitely make you fit,” she said. u

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4–10 May 2012

2012 Olympics ­­­–­­ Venues

{ London / dpa }


he London 2012 Olympics will take place at 30 venues; which, apart from the Olympic Park facilities, include the iconic sites including Wimbledon (tennis), Wembley, Old Trafford (football) Lord’s Cricket Ground (archery), The Mall (cycling, marathon) and the Horse Guards Parade (beach volleyball).

The 30 venues: Olympic Park: - Olympic Stadium:

- athletics, opening and closing ceremony - Copper Box: handball, modern pentathlon fencing - Aquatics Centre: swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, modern pentathlon swimming - Basketball Arena: basketball, handball (men from quarterfinals, women from semi-finals) - BMX Track: BMX-cycling - Riverbank Arena: field hockey - Velodrome: track cycling - Water Polo Arena: water polo London outside Olympic Park: - Earls Court: volleyball - ExCeL: boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling, weightlifting - Greenwich Park: equestrian (dressage, show jumping, eventing, modern pentathlon equestrian) - Hampton Court Palace: cycling time trial - Horse Guards Parade: beach volleyball - Hyde Park: triathlon, open water swimming - Lord’s Cricket Ground: archery - North Greenwich Arena: gymnastics, trampoline, basketball (men from quarter-finals, women from semi-finals) - The Mall: marathon, race walking, cycling road race - The Royal Artillery Barracks: shooting - Wembley Arena: badminton, rhythmic gymnastics - Wembley: football Wimbledon: tennis Outside London: - City of Coventry Stadium: football - Eton Dorney: rowing, canoe sprint - Hadleigh Farm: mountain bike Hampden Park (Glasgow): football - Lee Valley White Water Centre: canoe slalom - Millennium Stadium (Cardiff): football - Old Trafford (Manchester): football - St. James’ Park (Newcastle upon Tyne): football - Weymouth and Portland: sailingu

The Game So Far Year

Host City










( 0/241 )







( 22/975 )




St Louis



( 6/645 )







( 37/1971)







( 48/2359)




Berlin (Not held due to World War I)





( 65/2561)







( 135/2954)







( 277/2606)




Los Angeles



( 126/1206)







( 331/3632)




Tokyo (Not held due to World War II)


London (Not held due to World War II)





( 390/3714)







( 519/4436)







( 376/2938)







( 611/4727)







( 678/4473)




Mexico City




























Los Angeles




















































( -/- )




Rio de Janeiro



( -/- )



All figures from IOC website - Arts/events from early Olympics are not included.

Announcing Our Arrival at Gurgaon

Sidheshwar NISSAN Ground Floor, Universal Trade Tower, Sohna Road, Near Subhash Chowk, Gurgaon 122 001 Phone: +91 124 492 8888 Mobile: 8130692012 / 25 E-mail:

Set-34, Plot No. 34, Near Hero Moto Corp. Plant, GGN Phone: 8130692008, 8130692006, 8130692007 Email:


4–10 May 2012


Nightlife In Gurgaon

May 4-10, 2012  

Friday Gurgaon May 4-10, 2012

May 4-10, 2012  

Friday Gurgaon May 4-10, 2012