Page 1

Vol. 1 No. 13  Pages 32  ` 7  18–24 November 2011


Diesel – Saviour Today Nemesis Tomorrow

{Inside} It’s a Teens Life


potlight on teens in the Millenium City, who like their counterparts in across the world, are believed to be enjoying uninhibited freedom ...Pg 6

Know Your Councillors


his week Councillors Mangat Ram Bagri for Ward No. 10, and Taro Devi for Ward No. 16— both from ‘Old’ Gurgaon— hold forth on issues plaguing their Wards ...Pg 9

Service Charge


Rate Chart of maintenance charges paid by apartment and condominium residents ...Pg 11

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

A Life of Shelter


visit to Arushi, the Gurgoan branch of Salam Balak Trust’s home for orphaned or abandoned girls, shows how the NGO is nurturing the lives of these unprivileged children ...Pg 12

Children’s Day


colourful photo-feature that captures Children’s Day celebration across Gurgaon schools ...Pg 16

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Food Prices ...Pg 8 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 9 Laughing Stock ...Pg 11 Sector Watch ...Pg 13 Realty Rates ...Pg 24


ities blessed with fame and glory often construct their own truth—far from reality. In India, Gurgaon is one of those cities whose glittering fame, and ever rising glory, has made even the gods feel envious. But come reality-show-time, this city crumbles like a heap of dry leaves. Electricity- one of the greatest inventions of humanity—was once one of the pillars of this city’s inexorable rise. But today, the situation is grim, as Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) falls drastically short in meeting the city’s demand. This Millennium City is anyway power hungry. It never stops or sleeps, as business and life have inter-twined. The hunger for power needs to be fed continuously.

Enter The Generator; Enter Diesel-to energise that power. At present, the district has a demand of almost 135 lakhs units (13.5 MW) per day; whereas the State only manages to provide 102.74 lakhs unit (10.27 MW) [near Diwali the demand was 188.5 lakhs units (18.85 MW)]. The current supply can’t keep the city alive and agile. Diesel generators balance the deficit, as the City guzzles over 100,000 (1 lakh litres) of diesel, worth almost Rs. 50 lakhs every day, to meet the demand left unattended by the State. This is in the best of times! For a few days in October it was triple. And come summer, this will repeat. And the hunger is increasing by a walloping 20 per cent each year. Gurgaon has about 600 high-rise buildings-commercial and residential- and almost half of them are equipped with these Cap-

tive Power Plants (CPPs)- popularly known as DGs (Diesel Genset). On an average, the City currently experiences a power cut of about 2 hours daily; and diesel fills the vacuum created. Many days in October were far worse; when the city had power cuts of 8 hours a day. “Yes, we know that there is scarcity of electric power. But we are trying our level best to improve the situation. In October, our power plants in Khedar, Yamunanagar and Panipat were not fully in operation, and the import of coal from other states also got delayed. But now things are improving and I hope Gurgaon will get enough electricity to silence these diesel guzzlers. We are committed to provide at least 22 hours of electricity to Industries (including Commercial), 23 hours to residents, 12 hours to villages of the district and at least 8 hours of electricity for agricultural purpose,” said Captain Ajay Yadav, the Power, Forest and Environment Minister of Haryana, during a Summit organised by the Gurgaon Udyog Association in the city recently. On being asked about the increase in the use of diesel, the Minister said, “I know the lack of electricity supply has fuelled the usage of diesel in malls, residential buildings and industries. But this usage is not good in the long run; because diesel is very costly, and it pollutes the environment too. I hope the situation will improve, and in the next coming months we will see a significant improvement in electricity supply— and consequent decrease in the use of diesel.”

Commercial use “Here in DT City Centre Mall, we have three diesel gensets, with a capacity of 750 KVA each. However, post Diwali, the electricity supply has improved. Contd on p 1 

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18–24 November 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–13  18–24 November 2011


Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up



painting and sculpture exhibition, featuring more than 40 works of 16 artists, mostly from Baroda. The exhibition is presented by The Strand Art Room, that seeks to promote contemporary works of artists from India and abroad..

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas


Shirin Mann Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

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Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail

Sunil Yadav


Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana

n evening of ghazals by R Venkataraman, disciple of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. The concert is organised in memory of the famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh.

Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

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


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pm (On Saturday and Sunday) Tickets: Special package at Rs. 750 only (includes Rs 250 for weekday and Rs. 350 for weekend, for the show and Rs 350 spend value at Culture Gully, Rs 100 entry charge for Culture Gully, Rs 50 refundable security for smart card)


My Earth My Duty Peace Concert @ Huda Gymkhana, Opp Signature Towers, Sector 29 Date: Nov 23 Time: 7 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 122001, Haryana.

No. of issues


live music concert by the rock bands—Solar Punch and Parikrama. The bands will be joined by the versatile singer Kabul. The aim of the concert is to spread awareness about environment, conservation, and peace in our society.



Music Concert @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 19 Time: 7:30 pm


Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

Cover price


Black Light Theatre @ Kingdom of Dreams, Sec 29 Date: Till Jan 8 Time: 6 pm, 7 pm, 8:30 pm (From Tuesday to Friday); 3:30 pm, 5 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm & 8:30

Hindi play derived from a folk tale, originally narrated by Vijaydan Detha, and interpreted as folk theatre by Habib Tanvir. The popular children's film of 1975— Charandas Chor— is an adaption of this play.


Negotiation Skills @ Infinity Business School, Plot No. 34, Institutional Area, Sector 32 Date: Nov 19 Time: 12 noon


workshop on negotiation skills for MBA aspirants. It will introduce students to topics such as 'Prisoner's Dilemma' and 'The Art of Negotiation'. The workshop will be delivered by Neeraj Batra, Chairman and Founder of the Institiute, and an IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus. For free registration, call – 9811158196, 9999318214, 0124-4171202/06.



theatrical performance characterised by the use of black box theatre, and augmented by black light illusion. The theatre comes to India for the first time from Prague, Czech Republic.

Yatra @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 22 Time: 7:30 pm

Gestures of Love @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 17 to Nov 22 Time: 11 am to 8 pm


kathak dance performance by Anita Agarwal, disciple of Ghansyam Gangani, along with her troupe.


SPIC MACAY Gurgaon Heritage Series @ Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sec 14 – on Nov 22 @ DAV Public School, Sec 14 – on Nov 24 Time: Nov 22 – 11 am Nov 24 – 9 am


Sattriya dance performance by Guru Ghanakant Bora Muktiyar, a renowned instrumentalist, choreographer and author. Sattriya dance a folk dance of Assam. The event is organised by SPIC MACAY Gurgaon Chapter, in collaboration with ICCR.


Charandas Chor @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 20 Time: 7:30 pm

Chennai: Many Communities, Many Flavors To Savour! E

ver been to a city where the taste and preparation of food changes with every new community you meet? Well, meet the 31st largest metropolitan city in the world– Chennai, known for its hospitality and traditional food. An auto mobile capital by the day, the city caters to every taste, and offers menu served throughout the world. The cuisine of Chennai is prepared to reflect the various communities and their qualities. Food and dining have a different notion in Chennai. The Iyers and the Iyengars are absolute vegetarians, and their cuisine is equal to the Holy Grail of vegetarian food. The purity of a fluffy white idli,

To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, email us at or SMS FGYES to 8447355801 *circulated only in Gurgaon Mixed Fruit Dosa

Chicken Chettinad Dosa

the delicately thin dosa, the enticement of the uber favourite Pongal— is the satisfaction of a Tamil soul. With a deep love for deep fried pappadams and vathals (red chilies dipped in curd & dried) in their meals, the Tamilians enjoy a meal that is nutritionally balanced with rice, a curry, a porial (side dish), salad, rasam, & curd­— thus tickling all our taste buds. However the trading community (Chettiars) or Chettinad is

Kanjipuram Dosa

known especially for their rich & flavourful cuisine. Loads of spices—black pepper corn, star anise, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon & cloves— are pounded in proportion, just before they are cooked into a scrumptious meal. The region’s fame lies in dishes like spicy chicken Chettinad, fish varuval & uppu Kari (mutton curry). Ground masalas and coconut are central to its unique flavour; mutton being the essential meat in lip-smacking preparations like’ aatukaalkuzhambu’ (a rich soup made from sheep trotters) ‘chuppalkari’ (meat cooked with aromatic spices) &‘kariperattal’ (a meat curry laced with dill and fenugreek leaves). Be sure not to mix up the two individual groups, for they savour their own flavours! Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.


18–24 November 2011

reviews FOOD Aalok Wadhwa

Next Time A Different Route


oute 69 is the north-south highway corridor in the US. I enter a very dimly lit restaurant, with beer neon signs, other pub paraphernalia, some low tables—some high ones, and Jim Morrison singing ‘This is the end’. I perch myself on a high stool; which has the added advantage of a clear line of vision to the television. After consulting Chef Ishwar, I start with the basil fish soup (Rs. 150); the first spoonful of which is overflowing with salt. The restaurant staff replaces the soup, and I now taste a dish that is quite palatable. By this time I am quite engrossed in the movie Rocky IV playing on the telly, where both Mr. Balboa and a Russian hunk are busy building their bodies for the fight. The next dish that I order is a rustic Irish staple. Irish stew (Rs. 300) is traditionally made of lamb, potatoes, onions, and parsley. Here the chef decides to add a French touch to it by adding béchamel sauce—which makes

Route 69, Cybercity, Building No.9B, DLF Phase III, Gurgaon Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timing: 12 noon – 11 pm


the stew look creamy white, and masks the hearty taste and flavours of the stew. Not something an Irishman would approve of. The next dish, roast chicken (Rs. 350) arrives just as Rocky and the Russian chap are starting their fight. The chicken has to be sent back because it is ruefully underdone. Fifteen rounds of boxing and 30 minutes later, the chicken returns—this time as tough as leather; as it has to be, given its long stint in the oven. The chef steps in and recommends scrapping of this dish, and going with the safe option of shish touk (Rs. 350). It arrives relatively promptly in ten minutes; and is well cooked—bringing relief to me and the staff at the restaurant. The restaurant has an impressive looking bar, with draught beer on tap. And to be fair, restaurants do have bad food moments. u


How The Bubble Burst Ranbir Rocks; Movie Gets Iceland stopped fishing—their primary occupation—and became investment bankers. The Irishmen walked off the fter investigating the American trawlers, and fell straight into the net of financial crisis in his critically acmaking claimed book, The Big Short, Michael million dollar Lewis has come up with another financurrency bets. cial caper, Boomerang – the Meltdown Lewis goes on to describe the GerTour—with a focus on Europe. Havman obsession with filth with an amusing studied at the London School of ing journalistic might. According to him, Economics, and worked at The New the world’s largest red-light district in York Times, Michael is a very credible Hamburg had naked women wrestling in narrator. a ring of filth. He says, “Germans longed The first chapter—The Wall Street to be near the shit, but not in it. This, as in the Tundra— is a brilliant start to the it turns out, is an excellent description of unraveling of the saga of greed and their role in the current financial crisis.” temptation. The book provides an inside And that is precisely the role the Gerview of the economic woes faced by mans have been playing in the current Ireland, Iceland, Greece and Germany. financial crisis. Lewis reveals that in Greece, the In the final chapter, easiest way to the lampooning belaunder cash was to comes dark, as Lewis invest in real estate focuses on American as the country had greed. He says, “When no real working land you borrow a lot of registry. The State money to create fake jobs paid three times prosperity, you import of that in the private the future into the pressector; and people ent. But the imported systematically lied future is not the real about their income, future.” to avoid tax payMichael Lewis’s way ments. of explaining compliInterestingly, in cated details, imparts Greece, men can rea tinge of freshness tire at 55 and women to the unfortunate at 50, and collect financial meltdown that pensions immedicurrently has Europe in ately thereafter. its grip. Another chapter Lewis’ journalistic provides an intriguskills make this book ing glimpse on how Boomerang – The appealing to readers the Irish built glitzy Meltdown Tour who do not compreexpensive homes— GENRE: Non-Fiction hend financial intricabeyond their means Author: Michael Lewis cies, and yet wish to and needs. The PUBLISHER: Penguin investigate the crazy author elucidates PRICE: Rs 599 times we live in. u how the residents of

Irrelevantly Irreverent

Alka Gurha


character, and that of Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met. he scene that I A.R. Rahman’s liked best in Imtiaz music, coupled with Ali’s third directorial Irshad Kamil’s lyrics effort, Rockstar and Mohit Chauhan’s (after Jab We Met vocals, makes the and Love Aaj Kal), movie album one of is the one where the the finest in its genre. late Shammi Kapoor While it may lack roars about the cage melodious strains, being too small for a it has as many as “bada jaanwar” (a big a dozen original animal). The reference tunes—a few of which is to the latent talent have chart-busting of Janardhan Jhakar potential. Chhammak in the musical arena. Chhallo has receded But it could well be Rockstar to the background, a reference to the Directed by: Imtiaz Ali in the wake of acting prowess of his CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Saadda Haq. grand nephew, Ranbir Fakhri However, despite Kapoor. Ranbir essays GENRE: Musical, Drama the outstanding the role of Janardhan, performances and and the fluid transformation to Jordan, the the music, Rockstar fails to click as a Rock Star, with such consummate skill, whole. That is primarily because of the that it is difficult for anyone to deny that implausibility of several parts of the story. he is the most talented of all the Kapoors. Yes, this is a movie about the “irreverent Rockstar is about a tame and timid and illogical” behaviour of the lead street singer; and his transformation into artistes. But Imtiaz Ali, unfortunately, an irreverent and errant rockstar. Ranbir has got so carried away by the need to Kapoor, in his finest performance to date, continuously focus on these aspects, is truly remarkable. Whether it is in the that the script has failed to touch upon display of awkwardness—when initially other relationships. Because of this, proposing to Nargis (playing the role of the audience does not feel the tragedy Heer)—or an expression of irreverence of even tragic circumstances; the more and angst; Ranbir fits the role like a conservative members of the audience glove. Quite in contrast to how his father, may even question the prospect of the Rishi Kapoor, wielded the guitar in Karz, forbidden being attempted (and for no Ranbir handles the Gibson model like real reason). It could be argued that a professional performer! Nargis, as the protagonists in the movie are not as the debutant female lead, is also quite much in love, as they are with just being convincing—as someone who has a irreverent. The audience perhaps does bindaas streak in her. There are certainly not expect to be treated so! u a few shades of similarity between her

Vijaya Kumar


18–24 November 2011


L ifestyle

Damn Lucky Fellow’s Birthday Bash

arties in the Millenium City seem to be growing more lavish by the day— what with Bollywood stars making a beeline to perform at private birthday bashes. The latest is that of realty czar Kushal Pal Singh (K.P.Singh), of DLF fame. While Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Akshay Kumar, and Farhan Akhtar danced to the tunes of the latest hits, the musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy belted out some of their best numbers. The party had over 300 guests in attendance. Singh, credited SINGH IN TOWN: Puneet Issar speaks to a media person with developing the modern township in Gurgaon, is having a month long amous Actor-director Puneet Issar was in the city to probirthday bash. mote his next movie I Am Singh. However, unlike “Singh is King”, this Singh flick is not to be taken lightly. “I am Singh portrays the trials and tribulations of men whose stories were never highlighted. After the 9/11 tragedy in the U.S., the Sikhs were targeted all over the world, and were the victims of mistaken identity. The film highlights what happened to such people, and their fight against it,” says Issar. The event concluded with a few numbers sung by the music director Arvinder Singh. The event took place in Pepsi BluO at Ambience Mall. Puneet will soon leave for a Punjab Tour on bike, to promote the movie.

A Fight for Identity


Gurgaon Rocked by Delhi


AHI reverberated to the beat of some of the best roc k bands from Delhi—“Bare Faced Lia r” (BFL) and “Fire Exit”. Known for playing their distinctive sounds, the bands gave an electrifying performan ce at the bar. While BFL rocked the hous e with some great songs like “Back in the USSR”, Fire Exit was quite mellow, an d fully acoustic. The performance was sp onsored by Bacardi.

BRING ON TH E MUSIC: BF L takes to th stage at BAHI e

DRUMMING IT UP: Naval Officers Band performs in Ambience Mall (Top), Commanding Officer INS India Cdr Vinay Garg addresses the gathering (R)

From The Navy


or music lovers in the city it was an evening to be remembered. The Naval Officers Band kept the audience enthralled for nearly two hours, on Saturday evening— with their eclectic mix of classical, pop, rock, retro, and Bollywood numbers. The Naval Officers Band is the only band from the Indian Armed Forces that was invited to the White House, to perform at a function for the US President. GM of Ambience Mall, Sandeep Datta, Commanding Officer INS India Commodore Vinay Garg, and Gunnery Officer Commodore Jaya Charan were seen having a gala time at the event.



{ Alka Gurha }


he Gurgaon-bred liberated teens, like their global brethren, are facing that confused stage of maturity. Not quite adolescent, and not quite adult. Yet they are all fired up. They have so much to do. Facebook, drink, chat, tweet, browse, download, shop, sms, party... and (maybe) study. And if one is born in affluence (with unlimited choice), the confusion is compounded. I have long been intrigued by what goes on in the minds of our millennium teens. How do they struggle with the social and academic pressures? Nikhil*, aged fifteen, a resident of Park View City, agrees to open his heart— though reluctantly. “Please don’t name my school,” he says. Nikhil tells me that two in five boys of his class smoke; four

18–24 November 2011


Millennium Teens out of five consume liquor; most watch porn; and almost all are on Facebook. “But where do you drink? Surely not in school?” I was surprised when he told me that many drink in the school premises. They carry Breezers and vodka in water bottles. “Often, we visit pubs and cafés after school. Happy Hours at the pubs offer two drinks at the price of one. It suits us fine.” But do the pubs allow school children to enter the premises? Nikhil’s friend Jayant* says, “We have friends living in The Heritage City, Beverly Park and in DLF II—next to the malls. A change of clothes after school

does the job. As for girls, an older boyfriend makes the entry easy.” The boys are reluctant to talk about the three letter word, but a gentler probing reveals—‘If you are sixteen and haven’t done it, you have lost it’. The reaction is, “Dude, I feel sorry for you.” Cars, school toilets and dark corners are all fertile grounds for action. “It’s not that boys are not responsible or anything. Most carry protection, just in case… you know,” one of them grins sheepishly. Since boys are uncomfortable talking to me about their secrets, I ask them about social networking; and they suddenly brighten

up. Most of the students who are not even thirteen are on Facebook. They fudge their ages. On an average, two hours each day are spent on social networking and YouTube. “Boys are not that vain; but some girls change their profile picture on an hourly basis,” says Nikhil. The idea is to flaunt your latest acquisition, or post a picture taken in the back drop of an exotic location (while bungee jumping or para-sailing). Also, making the friends’ tally to four digits on the Facebook profile is cool, as is changing the relationship status. What about the dangers of cyberspace? “We are not stupid. Privacy settings

She Lived Next Door { Shirin Mann / FG }


ay no to drugs’—four words that we see pasted on every public pathway and billboard, flashed on every broadcast channel, and propagated by most social welfare groups—have now become an anthem. But these words have failed to impress a few thousands, that mistake reality with hallucinations of wonderland; slipping away into a coma—or in some cases, death. Twenty six years of age, Behnaz Nikahd was a beautiful Iranian girl, who lived in Apartment 409. Light brown eyes, short dark hair—and an extrovert; a complete opposite to the stereotypical ‘hijab’-clothed-tilltoes girl from Iran. She loved her fish-net stockings, lace dresses, high heel boots and ‘J’s (her marijuana rolled cigarettes). We met while unlocking our apartments, and soon exchanged phone numbers. Being neighbours, we often called each other over for dinners and social gatherings, and soon became friends. Having met in London, maybe the proximity of our countries made us instantly fond of each other. We understood each others’ food, culture, and most importantly—humour. Soon we were a group of eleven ‘brown’ girls—studying, socialising, eating and living together. Naz (as we fondly called her),

was the most outspoken. She was like a mother to us. She helped us with our problems, guided us through our assignments, even cooked for us—though, for herself, she made do with two slices of bread a day. What was always eating her hunger were her ‘J’s, we soon discovered. Each of us tried our hardest to persuade her to quit smoking ‘J’s. We hid her cigarettes, flushed down the pieces of marijuana that we found in her bag or room, and even informed her uncle-but all in vain. She was addicted to the drug. Before we knew it, the year was over. Goodbyes are the hardest, and no one knew it better than the eleven of us, when we handed over the keys to our landlady. We bid farewell to each other, promising to meet in ten months time for our graduation ceremony. “Make sure you come back, we must have a reunion” Naz said to me just before I left for my departure terminal. Life moved on for me, as well as for the rest of them. Some got busy with work, some with family, and others traveling around the world. In this age of internet and social networking, keeping in touch

with someone from the other end of the world is probably as easy as talking to someone in the next room. So we emailed each other, updated each other through Facebook, and discussed new haircuts through video conferences on Skype. A week had passed, without a chat or a message from any of the girls. That cold evening, I had come back from work, and was relaxing on the swing stationed on my front porch, as a part of my weekday routine, sipping on coffee—when my mo-

bile phone rang. It was Sam, one of my London friends, who frequently called me up. I was tired and not really in the mood for a chat, so I put my phone on mute. After a couple of hours, when I reached out to my phone, I saw 31 missed calls, and voicemails from Sam. She sounded nervous, upset and distressed, “I need to talk to you urgently. Call me, please call me.” The first thought that came to my mind was that her boyfriend had broken up with her. I called her. She answered immediately, and said “Naz is no more. She died last night.” I was dumbfounded. Taking a couple of minutes to recover from the shock, I asked “When and how”? In a trembling voice Sam replied, “Last night. I spoke to her boyfriend this morning, and he said that she had flu-like symptoms, and everything just caught up with her. She died on the way to the hospital.” Tears rolled down my face and I choked. On the other side, I heard Sam howl. Trying to console each other we hung up, with nothing else to say. This was not the first time I had experienced personal loss, nor was it a feeling I had never felt before; but each time it feels like the first time. There is no bigger reality than that of death. We learn about it in books, religion, and then through experiences in life; but still, are

allow us to keep our secrets, especially if the parents are also on Facebook.” “What about the pressure of entrance exams or Board exams?” The boys inform me that most of them prepare for the SAT exam—so that they can go abroad. Only those who do not plan to do so, prepare for the entrance exams. Typical teen talk, isolated cases, sign of the times? It seems to be the spirit of the times. Technological progress, uninhibited freedom, globalised environment, and nuclear families—have all contributed in shaping the teenagers and creating anxious moments for the parents. The parents, oh yes... they can chill. u (Names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals) never prepared. I couldn’t stop thinking about her single mother, of whom she was the only child. I couldn’t gather the courage to dial her number. Naz was very close to her mother, and often talked about her. She told me how her mother had struggled to raise her, and how she was looking forward to her daughter getting married. I had wished to meet her mother, but never got the opportunity—and now it was too late. “It was a cold December night when Naz made her third and last call to the ambulance,” James her boyfriend told me. “I had asked her to leave her ‘J’s so many times; look, they have now become the cause of her death” he went on to say. We later learned that Naz was down with flu a couple of days before her death, and she was still smoking her ‘J’s. She was also consuming high doses of paracetamol, every three or four hours. The nicotine, and starvation, got her. Her body gave. “Make sure you come back, we must have a reunion”. We were meant to meet in two months, for our ‘reunion’. It’s still going to be a reunion, but with Naz’s grave; that still lays fresh and un-cemented in Gloucester cemetery. Say No to Drugs. Fight the cause. Continue the fight for your family, friend or any person that may be suffering from the addiction. Let’s not just leave messages on billboards and pathways; let’s bring it home. Save a Naz. Save a life. u

18–24 November 2011



Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Rockstar Time: 10.15 am, 12.05 pm, 1.30 pm, 3.05 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.10 pm, 7.35 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.45 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 2.00 pm, 7.15 pm Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 11.15 am, 4.15 pm, 9.45 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase-I Rockstar Time: 10.25 am, 1.35 pm, 3.10 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.55 pm, 9.30 pm, 11.05 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 2.30 pm, 8.40 pm, 10.40 pm Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 10.00 am, 12.35 pm, 6.55 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase-I Ph: 0124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: DT City Centre: DLF Phase-II Rockstar (U/A) Time: 10.00 am, 11.30 am, 1.10 pm, 2.35 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.15 pm, 10.40 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 12.20 pm, 4.30 pm, 8.35 pm Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 5.40 pm, 11.20 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Phase II, Opp. Beverly Park, M.G Road Ph: 9810421611 Website:

Happy Feet 2 (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 9.15pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: PVR: Ambience Gold Rockstar Time: 10.20 am, 10.45 am, 1.15 pm, 5.05 pm, 8.15 pm, 10.30 pm, 11.20 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 1.30 pm, 8.15 pm Happy Feet 2 (3D) Time: 3.45 pm, 6.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543 PVR MGF: MGF Mall Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 1.10 pm, 2.40 pm, 3.25 pm, 4.20 pm, 5.50 pm, 6.35 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.00 pm, 9.45 pm, 10.40 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.15 am, 12.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 9.15 pm, 11.30 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 10.05 pm The Ides of March Time: 2.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.15 pm Happy Feet 2 (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 9.00 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall Rockstar Time: 10.45 am, 5.05 pm, 8.15 pm, 11.20 pm, Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 11.00 am, 1.45 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.15 pm Shri Rama Rajyam (Telegu) Time: 1.55 pm Ra.One Time: 4.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website: PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.40 am, 1.10 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.40 pm Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 9.10 pm Shri Rama Rajyam (Telegu) Time: 2.50 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124-4048100 Website:

♦ K.P. Singh launched his autobiography ''Whatever the Odds: The Incredible Story Behind DLF'', on the ocassion of his birthday. ♦ "Shiksha Ka Haq" (Right To Education, RTE) was launched from Nuh, in neighbouring Mewat district, Haryana. RTE offers free and compulsory education to students of the age group 6 to 14 years (i.e. upto 8th standard). The students would also get free books, uniform, and lunch. ♦ A scheme for providing Homes for homeless children and orphans in Gurgaon, has been approved. ♦ Blood donation camps were organized in 3 educational institutions - ITI, Dronacharya Govt. College, and Govt. College Sector 9. They were organized by the District Red Cross Society, Bhartiya Cultural & Social Development Association,

Barbeque Nation: Address: Ground Floor, Ansal's Sushant Plaza, Block A, Sector 28, Sushant Lok Phase I; Ph: 0124 6456297, 0124 6060000, +91 9350392873; Timing: 12:30 PM to 3 PM, 7:30 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: European, North Indian, Mediterranean Berco's: Address: Central Plaza, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4143002; Timing: 12:30 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, Thai Curry n Phulka: Address: Shop No. 2 & 3, Behind Genpact, DLF Phase V; Ph: +91 9654369337, +91 9873441578; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: North Indian, Chinese Dawat-e-Khaas: Address: Ground Floor, Central Plaza, Sector-53; Ph: 0124 4290028, 0124 4290028; Timing: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian Dominos Pizza: Address: DT Diner Food Court, 3rd Floor, DLF Phase 1, Mega Mall, Golf Course Road; Ph: 0124 2563236, 0124 2563237; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Italian, Fast Food Gali Paranthe Wali: Address: Food Court, 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase 1; Ph: +91 8447000903; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: North Indian Golden Dragon: Address: LG24, DLF Mega Mall, DLF City Phase 1; Ph: 0124 4058000, 0124 4102900, 0124 4102901 ; Timing: 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese Grand Plaza: Address: Shop No. 6, Central Plaza Mall, Main Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4008151 ; Timing: 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM; Cuisine: Fast Food Hachi Ba: Address: Gate No. 2, Near Ardee City, Sector 52; Ph: +91 9818317963, +91 9818318064; Timing: 12 Noon to 4 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM Cuisine Chinese



Hao Shi Nian Nian: Address: GF and FF, Central Plaza, Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4258888; Timing: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Chinese Ikays: Address: 211, 2nd Floor, DT Mega Mall; Ph: 0124 427864; Timing: 12 Noon to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, North Indian, Italian, Muglai

Lucknow Mail: Address: Near Gate 2, Ardee City, Sector 52; Ph: +91 9810360900, +91 9958686189; Timing: 12 Noon to 11 PM; Cuisine: North Indian Machan: Address: Golf Course Road, Sector-56; Ph: 0124-2578629, 3250072; Timing: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian, Italian Moti Mahal Delux Tandoori Trail: Address: G-18, Ground Floor, Central Plaza Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4050220, 0124 3533220; Timing: 12 Noon to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: North Indian McDonalds: Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Mega Mall, DLF Phase 1; Ph: 124 66000666; Timing: 7 am to 11 pm; Cuisine: Fast Food

and Rashtriya Rajeev Sena. ♦ A festival of art and culture will open at the HUDA open air theatre in Sector 29, on November 18th. - and will conclude on November 21st. This Haryanvi Dhamal is being organized by the Haryana Govt., Sangeet Natak Academy, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Ram Niwas Mirdha Foundation. ♦ Charges have been framed against Shivraj Puri and accomplices, in the Citibank fraud case. ♦ A local property dealer was cheated of Rs. 20 lakhs, by sellers who showed allegedly false documents. ♦ A person was found dead, on the tracks of the Delhi Metro, at Sikandarpur station. ♦ The drive to check drunk-driving has also focused on women. ♦ DSC Ltd., the concessionnaire for NH8,


restaurants On DLF golf course road Bahi: Address: 3rd Floor, SouthPoint Mall, Near GENPACT, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase V; Ph: 0124-6468201, 9971091022; Timing: 1 PM to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian, Continental

Jing: Address: Vatika Towers, Golf Course Road, Sector 54; Ph: 0124 4313399; Timing: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: Chinese

PVR: Ambience Premiere Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 1.10 pm, 2.40 pm, 3.25 pm, 4.20 pm, 5.50 pm, 6.35 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.00 pm, 9.45 pm, 10.40 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 4.45 pm, 11.30 pm The Ides of March Time: 1.20 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.40 pm Shakal Pe Mat Ja (A) Time: 10.40 pm, 3.20 pm, 8 pm


C ivic/Social

Nirulas: Address: Shop No. 18, Ground Floor, DLF Mega Mall; Ph: 011 44010101; Timing: 11 AM to 10 PM; Cuisine: Fast Food Northern Spice: Address: Ground Floor, Central Plaza Mall, Sector 53, Golf Course Road, DLF City Phase V; Ph: 0124 4290028; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: North Indian Pizza HuT: Address: SCO 33, Sector 56 Address; Ph: 0124 4284444; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Italian Prince Ki Rasoi: Address: Near Western and Carlton Height, Sector 43 Road, DLF Phase V; Ph: +91 9899714826, +91 9210381804, +91 9250500499; Timing: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, North India Purple Bar & Hookah Lounge: Address: LG-46A, DT Mega mall, DLF City Phase 1; Ph: 01244383767; Timing: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Indian, Chinese, Continental Ristorante 56: Address: Vatika Atrium, Sector 53; Timing: 11:45 am – 2:30 pm, 7 pm –11:30 pm; Cuisine: Italian Royal Castle: Address: Sector- 53 & 54 Circle, Near Audi Car Showroom, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 6464333; Timing: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 6 PM to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian, Chinese Shahi Bites: Address: Shop No. 3, Sector 42, DLF Golf Course Road; Ph: 0124 2386442; Timing: 11 AM to11 PM; Cuisine: North Indian Shreyas Restaurant: Address: DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4077300; Timing: 12 Noon to 4 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, North Indian Spice It - Hotel IBIS: Address: Hotel IBIS, Block 1, Sector 53, Golf Course Road; Ph: 0124 4755000; Timing: 24 hours open; Cuisine: Multi-Cuisine Staying Alive: Address: 210, 2nd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF City Phase I; Ph: 0124 4380352, 0124 4380353; Timing: 12 Noon to 12:30 AM; Cuisine: Lebanese, Mexican, North Indian, Chinese Striker Pub and Brewery: Address: 23, Global Foyer Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 43; Ph: 0124 4040101; Timing: 1 PM to 2 AM; Cuisine: North Indian, Chinese, Continental Subway: Address: Food Court, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase I; Ph: 0124 4015577, 0124 4015588; Timing: 11 AM to 10:30 PM; Cuisine: Fast Food The Mozart Cafe: Address: South Point Mall, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4069674; Timing: 11 AM to 1 AM; Cuisine: Mediterranean, European, North Indian, Cafe, Asian Uma Dhaba: Address: 88D, Saraswati Kunj, Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 2573751; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, North Indian Ummami: Address: 1st Floor, Global Foyer, Golf Course Road, Sector 43; Ph: 0124 4558000, +91 9958810000; Timing: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: Continental, European, Mediterranean, Italian, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, North Indian Vaango!: Address: Ground Floor, South Point Mall, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4252430; Timings: 10:30 AM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: South Indian

Wai Yu Mun Ching: Address: Shop No. 5, 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase I; Ph: +91 9953961023, +91 9953961063; Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese

could face legal action for taking decisions on re-financing/changing of lenders, without requisite approval. ♦ The Department of New and Renewable Energy has invited applications from institutions for installation of Bio Gas plants in their premises. The State Govt. will give a 40% subsidy on total cost of installation. ♦ Haryana Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) Gurgaon conducted a 3 day Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Disaster Management Training Course, in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior. ♦ Advisor to PM Mr TKA Nair lauded Haryana as being more progressive than other states in disaster management. Haryana has disaster management authorities at both the state and district levels.

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

08  Contd from p 1 Now, we face a power cut of maximum 2 hours a day. On an average, each of these gensets consume 150 litres per hour- although we seldom use all three at one go. In the month of October the problem was very serious, and we had to keep the mall alive on gensets for almost 6 to 8 hours,” said Rajender Singh, the maintenance officer of the City Centre Mall. Gurgaon has a large number of malls, along with other commercial buildings; and most of them have CPPs which are used, whenever the city’s electricity fails to entertain them. “This is comparatively a smaller building, and the load here is not that much. We have two gensets of 750 KVA each; and usually one genset meets our demand when there is a normal power cut of 1-2 hours. In October, we spent around Rs 1.5 lakhs extra on diesel,” said Rajesh Kumar, the maintenance officer at Ansal’s Time Square building. “Gensets are the lifeline of MG Road and its Malls. I don’t want to mention the actual consumption of diesel for these gensets; but yes, the number is quite huge. This city runs on diesel,” said an official of a wellknown and big mall on MG Road. However, amidst the critics there are a few admirers, of the DHBVN officials and their efforts— which have provided welcome relief recently. “After Diwali there has been a sea change in the electricity supply to the city. Now it goes for an hour or so only. This provides great relief, as diesel operation is far costlier in comparison with the electricity charges of the State,” says SS Gupta, Maintenance Manager, Ninex Mall on Sohna Road.

Residential use “The supply of electricity has improved, and now there are no long power cuts— which is a great relief for the residents of the city. As far as diesel usage in residential sector is concerned, it is far less in comparison to the commercial or industrial sector. In DLF, most of the households have invertors, and some have gensets of 10-15 KVA-which don’t consume more than 2 litres of diesel in an hour. Overall, only 20 percent of the diesel usage in this city is for households. Price is again a big factor, because in both condominiums and plotted houses, if some back up is provided, the charges are around Rs 10 per unit— which is more than double the rate charged by the State Electricity Board,”

18–24 November 2011

C ivic/Social

Diesel – Saviour Today Nemesis Tomorrow said Sudhir Kapoor, Secretary General, the DLF City RWA. The city has around 60 condominium apartments; 25 of which belong to DLF. “DLF has 25 condominiums in Gurgaon, and the power backup is provided by diesel gensets. On an average, around 100 litres of diesel is consumed by these gensets daily,” said a senior official of DLF. “Diesel has become a prime need for the Gurgaon citizen. Long power cuts are common here; and diesel gensets provide quick and fast relief. Some of the malls like Sahara have DG sets of over 1500 KVA,” added another official from a prominent real estate company.

Industrial use “Gurgaon has around 5,000 big and small industrial units, which are the backbone of the state’s economy. But the power situation here is very grim, and the industrialist—big or small—has to spend lakhs of rupees on diesel, because there is inadequate power supply. Forget Maruti, Hero or Honda—they are too big to talk about, and have their own solutions (furnace oil, gas); even the small industries are facing great problems. According to my estimate, each mid-size industrial unit on an average uses around 100-150 litres of diesel daily, to keep their machines in motion. This not only increases the input expense of the industrialist, but

Relief for Badshahpur, Silokhra { Hritvick Sen / FG } The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) is going to table a relief package for Badshahpur and Silokhra villages today (Friday). In this package, Rs 40 crore is proposed to be dedicated towards building of a community centre, relaying of roads, and extensive laying of sewerage and storm drainage lines. Mayor Vimal Yadav says, “Along with this, a Rs 5 crore package for Silokhra village would be taken up by the Committee. This corpus is proposed to be spent on building roads and sewerage lines for this village. We've been getting repeated requests from the villagers, and we want to assure them that the Team Mayor and the Corporation is working to fulfil our promises.”

also sometimes effects the delivery of the final product,” said Praveen Yadav, the President of Gurgaon Udyog Association. “Small industries are leaving this place, and shifting to Rajsthan and Himachal Pradesh- where the cost of production is cheaper. Excessive use of diesel further adds to input cost,” said Manish Kumar, a small industrialist. SK Sharma, who owns Ganga Overseas Pvt Ltd, an export company in IMT Manesar, has installed a small diesel pump inside the company premises, “We purchase 12,000 litres of diesel per month from Hindustan Petroleum (HP). We have three DGs, of different capacities (125 KVA, 250 KVA, 500 KVA), and we use them according to the amount of load we need. On an average, each day we use 100-150 litres.”

The Supply Of Diesel “Gurgaon has around 30 petrol pumps, of four different companies. But there is not a single big oil depot in the city, from where these pumps can purchase oil. Gurgaon’s demand for diesel and petrol is taken care of by the two big oil depots in Rewari and Piyala. Tankers bring the diesel to the city. As far as large users like malls or commercial houses are concerned, they purchase diesel from the depot directly. Big industries too purchase the fuel directly,” said Cherian, the manager at the HP petrol pump in Sector-47. Apart from Rewari and Piyala, Hisar also has a smaller oil depot for the needs of the surrounding area.

Environmental Impact “Gurgaon is very different from other industrial towns like Panipat, Faridabad or Yamunanagar. Here, we hardly have any polluting industries. Diesel run gensets used in industries, commercial and residential unit also don’t cause that much pollution,” said Dinesh Yadav, the Assistant Environmental Engineer (AEE) of Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), Gurgaon. Yadav may advocate the non-polluting industries in the city, but the excessive usage of diesel does indeed cause pollution. Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are the main components on which the ambient air quality of a city is measured; and in Gurgaon these four main components are present in abundance. “Burning of any fuel will certainly cause pollution. No matter how modern and nature friendly their technology is. Now in India, we are using Bharath Stage3 (BS3) DGs in our country. Western countries have gone to the equivalent of BS6, which effectively curbs the emission of harmful gases,” said Vivek Kumar, an air scientist at the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. u

The Cost Of Poor Governance ♦ Over 5 lakh litres of diesel used per year ♦ A cost of over Rs. 200 crores per annum ♦ Add cost of DG Sets Rs. 300 crores ♦ The cost of pollution could be staggering. ♦ There is no solution in sight.

Food Take Area/ vegetables Potatoes

As of November 16, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Palam Vihar Sohna Road

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23


Reliance Fresh




8 / 22

































120 – 150

100 – 140

60 – 100

60 – 120

80 – 100

100 – 150


99 – 130










Ladies’ Finger



















280 – 300

280 – 300


280 – 300






150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170







18–24 November 2011

C ivic/Social


Know Your Councillor

Demonstrating For Development { Hritvick Sen / FG }

Mangat Ram Bagri What’s Not-So-Good: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Roads Drainage/Sewerage Water quality and availability (Illegal) power connections (Illegal) constructions No numbering of houses

What’s Good:

♦ Yet to come

When one asks Ward 10 Councillor Mangat Ram Bagri for his address, he replies, “Come over to Laxman Vihar Phase-II, and ask anybody.” Despite his office being several bumpy lanes away from the main arterial road, everyone knows the way to it. “Everyone knows me here. I’ve been working for the area for near a decade, and have gone on demonstrations and protests with almost every person living here,” he says. “I was born in Jharsa. When I was six, my family moved here. Since then, I’ve been a part of Laxman Vihar.” His father (Late Duli Chand) had been active in the freedom struggle, and was a lifelong social worker. “To work for the community is something we have in our blood. Even before I became a Councillor, people

Ward No. 10: Laxman Vihar Phase-I, Laxman Vihar Phase-II, Sector 4, Cancon Enclave

would come to me for resolving their problems,” Mangat Ram reminisces. How many demonstrations has he led? “I genuinely don’t remember the number; they have been so many,” he laughs, “Give me an issue worth fighting for, and I’ll agitate for you.” Coming to his Ward, Mangat Ram says, “This whole area has been a slum, right from the time when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. The other Sectors, and whatever else has been built, had a foundation,

Harsimran Shergill

Representing The Invisible

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }

Taro Devi


ard No. 16 is nobody’s child—crowded alleys, open manholes, broken roads. Perhaps, it would be easier to find your way through a maze, than through the traffic on the streets of Rajiv Nagar. According to Councillor Taro Devi, it is neglected, disorganised and unwanted by local authorities— who refuse to address some of the most basic issues. Seated in a room that overlooks her gully, Taro Devi says, “It would have been better living in a village. There, although people have to walk a couple of kilometres to fetch water, at least they get water. Here, the authorities have refused to address the problems.” “One of the most critical problems in my Ward is water supply. The area is surviving on submersible pumps. And

Ward No. 16: Rajiv Nagar, Sanjay Gram

each pump costs at least Rs 2 lakhs.” She adds, “Every now and then, you will hear of people fighting for water supply. This is because, over the years, quite a few households have saved, and purchased a submersible pump. With thousands of pumps being drilled next to each other, it is not possible to get uninterrupted water supply. It is a common source.” Chipping in to explain the issues further, Devi’s husband—a former employee at the nearby Maruti Plant—Darshan Lal says, “When people elect a Councillor, they have the right to voice their issues. Unfortunately, we cannot resolve the issues; because, according to the State authorities, these areas are unauthorised colonies. If

these were so, then why did they spend the time, money and energy to hold elections? Why give 1.5 lakh people hope in the first place, when you have no intention of addressing their grievances?” What makes areas like Rajiv Nagar unauthorised, is the 900 metre demarcation enforced by the Haryana Government, around the Ammunition Depot of the Air Force. According to the order, the specific zone should be a 100 metres from an Air Force station, and 900 metres from an ammunition depot. “When the Government gave these orders, they should have taken into consideration the lakhs of people living around these areas. There should have been schemes for rehabilitating people. When the authorities knew that there was an ammunition depot in the vicinity, why did they allow colonies to come up in the surrounding areas?” questions Devi.  “It is because of these regulations that our area has been sidelined. Today, issues that we take up to the authorities—be it roads, sanitation or water—are ignored. They have standard answers prepared for us. This is the reason why we have never managed to get a single road repaired. The only road that the authorities are maintaining is the revenue road that connects to Sukhrali. We have to look after our area on our own. If we have to do this all by ourselves, then what is the need of municipal elections?” asks Devi. u

was elected the Councillor of the Ward? “For one, I’ve got 100 street lights installed. Even before I was made the Councillor, our appeals had got us 340 street lights. Then, the outer road of Sector-4, till the Shiv Temple, is being remade—at the cost of Rs. 3.23 crore.” “I’ve also asked for a survey of the area. The houses need numbering. People get the land

municipal authorities to acquire land for a community centre and the school; but nothing has been done as yet,” he says. What about the other Sectors in his Ward? “I’ve had the streetlights repaired, and they’re functioning. My team and I go on an inspection every week, and note down what’s needed. “I’ve got some of the inner roads repaired, but there’s more work to be done,” he says.

for building houses, but what about the address? I’ve asked for sign boards at every turn and crossing, informing visitors of what houses are in every lane. That said, a proper survey still needs to be done. My Ward does not have a community centre, or a government school. Tell me, how will the children of financially weak families get a chance to study? I’ve asked the

Most of the Councillors complain that they get a cold reception from Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials. How does he get the work done in the Sector, from the state development body? Mangat Ram snorts, “You have to know how to get work done around here. Those who can get it done, will get it done.” u


some sort of planning— whatever you want to call it. This place grew like a weed. There has been no planning, nothing whatsoever. So whatever development we will now do, has to be done from scratch.” What are the problems facing his Ward, that need immediate and urgent attention? “Sewers and drainage,” comes the reply. He goes on, “As I said, there has been no planning. In the monsoons, the situation gets from bad to worse. It’s impossible to step outside your home. With proper drainage and sewerage, the condition of Laxman Vihar will improve immensely.” “Secondly,” he says, “The roads need to be metalled. Then, we need proper water supply. The amount of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water here is several times the level fit for human consumption. Yes, we have to use water that is nearly toxic!” This Colony was approved by the authorities as far back as 1982, Mangat Ram says. “Yet, there is precious little done in the name of development. On 31st March 2008, the then Municipal Commissioner, Rajesh Khullar, came here for an inspection (after we led a number of demonstrations). He promised us development; and the roads of Gali No. 3 and Gali No. 4 were metalled,” he recalls. What has he done since he

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I need a car for the day Manne ek din tahin

gaaddi chahiye

2. How do I get to the electricity office? Bijli ghar kyukar pohchun?

Kyukar - Kyu (as in (kyun, as in why in Hindi) + kar (as in do, in Hindi)

3. I need to pay my bill Manne apna bill bharna hai

4. Can I pay by cash? Nagad de diun?

Nagad - Na+gad (soft d) Diun - Di (as in din, day in Hindi)+ un (ungali, as in finger in Hindi)

5. I want to meet the officer-in-charge Manne afsar te milna hai


18–24 November 2011

C ivic/Social JIT KUMAR

The Not-So-Good Gaon { Manjula Narayan }


alk into the pretty bungalow—that Neena Haridas, Editor of Marie Claire, shares with her husband Vinod Nair and three excitable dogs in Palam Vihar—and you are immediately struck by the happy aesthetic mingling of tradition with contemporary. Sheer curtains, traditional brass lamps, a stunning series of photographs by Bharat Sikka, and a magnificent nettipattom (ornamental headgear worn by Kerala’s temple elephants) catch your eye. As you sink into the comfortable sofa, you are greeted by a cheerful pug; that is, apparently, fluent in Malayalam! Mugs of coffee arrive, as Haridas plunges into an account of her adventures, in her six years at Gurgaon. The couple originally lived down the road, in another pretty bungalow. “I wanted space, and was keen on buying my own house by the time I was 30,” she says. Since that was an impossible dream to achieve in Delhi, they settled on Gurgaon. The house they bought was everything she had dreamt of. “Every blade of grass there was planted by me,” she says wistfully. Then, one night, “We got back late after a Suneet Verma show; and found the house in darkness. The door was open, the dogs weren’t around; and an eerie silence enveloped the house. My husband jumped the gate, and found the lights wouldn’t come on. So he went around the back, to turn on the inverter,” says Haridas. She, in the meanwhile, had called out to the helper, a 60-year-old Tamil woman—who she finally found lying on the floor in the kitchen. “At first, I thought she had suffered a heart attack; but when I touched her, blood came away on my hands.

IN HIGH SPIRITS: Neena Haridas and Vinod Nair in their Palam Vihar residence

That’s when I realised what had happened,” she said. The other house help, Bharat, a young man from Orissa—who had been with the family for many years—had killed the old woman, and run away with all of Haridas’ jewellery. “I still don’t understand why he had to kill the poor woman. He could have just locked her up,” she says; recounting how the inverter had been switched off, and the dogs locked up in the spare room. “The lady—I used to call her “Amma”—had been stabbed with our kitchen knife, and strangled with my pyjamas.” After the police stepped in and recorded the details, Ha-

ridas cleaned the blood splashed on the kitchen wall “because no one else would touch it”. She now believes the Haryana police did everything they could to confound the case. “It was obvious who had done it. The murder weapon was around; but the police said they couldn’t get any evidence, because the surface of the handle was not conducive to finger prints!” More bizarre stonewalling followed. “We knew Bharat’s family, every detail about his life; and we gave that information to the police,” she says. But the police team said they could not go to the man’s native area, because it was full of Naxals. Once a con-

tact had even called her, with very specific information about the suspect’s whereabouts; but the police still managed to return empty-handed. It’s a scenario reminiscent of Aatish Taseer’s latest book Noon, where the police seem to be colluding with the burglars. “The whole problem with Gurgaon is not water or electricity, really; it’s policing,” says Haridas. After the murder, the couple couldn’t face living in the same home; so they lived with her parents in Delhi for a year. “When such a thing happens, it changes you fundamentally. You can never be the same again. Even my dogs were effected. After that

day, my boxer started to bite!” she says. Her attempts to catch the killer also brought her face to face with one of India’s more unpalatable truths: “A person’s life is worth only his social status.” However, the story has a happy ending. Haridas and Nair sold the house to a Kashmiri family “for whom it has proved very lucky”; and moved into their current home, which was once rumoured to be haunted! Perhaps the resident ghost decided that the family had been through enough from human adversaries, to be perturbed by paranormal activity—for there have been no sightings. u

Musically Settled In { Harsimran Shergill / FG }



hen the Karnik family moved to Gurgaon, it took them six months to find a temple. It came as a rude shock to Prasad Karnik’s father, who was in the habit of visiting a temple everyday- after his morning prayers at home. However, after this huge culture

shock, Prasad today feels that he fits in like a glove. “Although my family belongs to Indore, I have studied and lived in Pune since my college days. So much so that I got my first job in Pune. However, after a promotion at work, I moved to Gurgaon about three-and-a half-years back,” says Prasad. He works with Max New York

LENDING VOICE: Prasad and Suchitra Karnik

Life Insurance. Prasad admits that initially it was difficult for the family to adjust to Gurgaon’s pace and lifestyle. He says, “Of course there are advantages and disadvantages that come with living in any city across India. This is why we were open to change. Either you can block a city in your mind— which makes it extremely difficult to fit in—or you can be open to experiences. Unlike Gurgaon, Pune is a very controlled and cultured city.” Early apprehensions for the Prasads revolved around late nights, “Initially both my wife and I were scared to be out late at night. Unlike Pune, where we didn’t have to worry about the women being out late, this was one of our prime concerns here. Earlier I would worry a lot; however, over time, I adopted a simple philosophy about the locals— “If you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you,” explains Prasad. Prasad and his wife Suchitra Karnik (29) are working in the same profession, as voice-over artists. Adds Suchitra, on the cultural aspect, “There were times when we couldn’t tell that the city was celebrating a local festival; in Pune you know when Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated.” This is when the Karniks decided to find like-minded people. They joined a local singing group, that got together every week, to share

their common passion. For the Karniks this group has become like their extended family. “Now every weekend, we get together with people who enjoy music as much as we do, and sing our weekends away. From brining home-cooked food, to enjoying old Rafi songs, this is a group that celebrates and appreciates music as much as we do,” explains the couple. “Both my husband and I come from a musical background. Therefore music has been a significant part of lives. In addition to this, we both work in the creative field- like making documentaries and recording voice overs,” says Suchitra. In addition, Prasad has worked on several educational documentaries, and as a voice over artist, with All India Radio and Doordarshan. He also enjoys photography as a hobby. The only change Prasad would like to see in Gurgaon is in local transportation. “Every city has its highs and lows. Overall Gurgaon has fared well, to become one of the leading global cities. One of the improvements that the city desperately needs is better modes of local transportation. People who don’t have cars face tremendous problems, when it comes to road transport. Before my wife got her own car, it was very difficult for her to travel on her own within the city. Apart from that, I’m an extremely satisfied resident of the city.” u

18–24 November 2011

C ivic/Social


Making New Friends

{ Alka Gurha }


yra was moving into her new apartment, along with her parents. It was a beautiful complex—with landscaped gardens, a swimming pooland a basketball court. Myra’s parents were very excited. Her mother was looking forward to decorating their new house with paintings and murals. Amidst all the excitement, Myra was sad. She hated this change. She was already missing her friends from her previous neighbourhood. They meant everything to her. She couldn’t imagine life without Sonia, Anushka and Preeti— her childhood friends. Nothing excited Myra—not the pool, or the clubhouse; and not even the children’s play area. At the age of twelve, friends mean everything. Her parents would never understand her predicament. Grown-ups never did. Myra’s heart ached so badly for her old friends that she closed her heart to any new ones. One day, her mother saw Myra sobbing in a corner. She

tried to comfort her daughter, “This is life dear, and we all have to move on. You can always talk to your old friends over the phone. Try to make new friends here. Every change is an opportunity, sweetie.” Myra wiped her tears and looked at her mother, who continued, “Once the school reopens after the summer holidays, you will be busy. “Fine, but how am I going to spend these two long summer months?” Myra asked teary-eyed. “Why don’t you join the swimming and music classes on offer within the complex?” “I will think about it,” sulked Myra. There were many children of Myra’s age in the apartment complex; but Myra was in no mood to make new friends. A week passed by. Her parents were busy with their office and household chores. Myra kept herself occupied by watching television and reading books. One day, an advertisement in the newspaper caught Myra’s attention. It was a poster-making competition, for creating awareness on the environment. It was

a great opportunity to channelise her energies in a creative way. Myra decided to enter the competition. Every day, when her parents would leave for office, Myra would spend hours on the poster. After a week of hard work, Myra was pleased with the outcome. Her parents were delighted to see the brilliant concept, depicted artistically. The results were declared a week later—on June 5, the World Environment Day.

Myra couldn’t believe her eyes, when she saw her name as the winner of the poster-making competition. Many children from her apartment complex came to congratulate her. They all wanted her as a friend. The very next day, Myra was felicitated in her complex. She felt like a queen. When she returned home that day, she brought along many new friends. And she was engrossed in playing with her friends when

her mother came into her room. “Myra, your old friend, Sonia, is on the phone. She wants to congratulate you.” “Please tell her I will call her back. I can’t leave the game now.” Myra’s mother sighed in relief, as she walked away from her daughter’s room. She was content that her daughter had finally opened her heart to new friends. And to change—the only constant in our lives. u

Comparison of Service Charges S.No.


Maintenance (Rs./Sq Ft)

DG (Rs./ KWH)






Belvedere Towers








Exclusive Floors



Variable depending upon total expenses





Variable depending upon total expenses





Variable depending upon total expenses


Gurgaon One



Variable depending upon total expenses









Variable depending upon total expenses


Oakwood Estates



Variable depending upon total expenses


Orchid Petals



Variable depending upon total expenses










Regency Park-II



Variable depending upon load conditions





Variable depending upon total expenses


Trinity Towers



Variable depending upon total expenses



Vipul Belmonte




Work. It isn’t just for sleep anymore.


Wellington Estate



Variable depending upon total expenses


Windsor Apartments



Variable depending upon total expenses


DLF Plotted Colonies



Provided by Owners


Oriental Villas



DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

Laughing St


One liners @ the workplace The Pope has the best job in the world: he has one boss only, and even Him he only meets after his death. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To err is human. To forgive is against company policy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You have the capacity to learn from your mistakes. You will learn a lot today. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My job is secure. No one else wants it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.


The reward for a job well done is more work.


Variable depending upon total expenses

12 “H

ello didi”, some 20 voices and hands waving in sync cheered, as we made our way through the doors of Arushi—a non-profit organisation working for underprivileged girls. Before we could ask them for the office or their teacher, six-year-old Madhu held my hand and guided me straight to the office; sat me down, and quickly exited the room. As we began talking to the co-ordinator about the organisation, Madhu 2 (that is what the girls called her, to avoid any confusion between the three Madhus that reside in the house) came in with a glass of water, and a huge smile. Born five months ago in a residential colony of Gurgaon, Arushi is the fifth branch of Salaam Balak Trust—a Delhi based NGO that provides shelter to under-privileged children. It is a girl child project, that aims at providing shelter to girls—orphans, or those abandoned by their families, due to poverty or any other reason. Forty seven girls, aged between five to 18 years, are provided shelter, food, clothing, education, medical; as well as vocational training—ensuring a safe and nurturing environment, that is essential for a child’s upbringing. Olive, Head Co-ordinator says, “They are under-privileged girls—some orphans, some ‘missing children’, children off the street; also some who were sex workers. Here they are taught all the regular subjects—like English, Hindi, Maths. Twenty of our girls also go to English medium schools like Little Flower, Rotary Public School and others; and 15 girls are studying through the National Open School. The girls are also given vocational training, and are provided with job placements after they have completed their education.” One of the girls from Arushi is now an assistant fashion designer with Ritu Kumar, one of India’s leading fashion designers; while some others have jobs as teachers, and dance instructors with some leading dance groups. As we talked, Olive led me to the house where the Arushi family studies, plays, dines and lives. A rather unfinished, unplastered exterior leads on to a surprisingly neat and polished

C ivic/Social


{ Shirin Mann / FG }

18–24 November 2011

Shelter For The Abandoned red brick home; with dining room, classrooms and dorms on a three-level structure. High ceilings, supporting a huge sunroof, make the area look wider and more spacious than it is. The five dorms, normally housing 14 to 16 girls, consist of bunk beds and lockers—reminiscent of old boarding school dorms. There is a separate dorm for the girls who receive vocational training, or work. “We encourage them to take up jobs only after they have finished their education, and are fairly mature and independent. Also jobs that provide hostel facilities are ideal for the girls; and we try to find such a set up for them” adds Olive. The walls of the dorms displayed charts of alphabets, numbers, and the human biological system. Two girls lay read-

We encourage them to take up jobs only after they have finished their education, and are fairly mature and independent

A LIFE SHELTER: Arushi, a girl child project

ing story books, and another was settling her locker. As we walked down the stairs, I saw a row of paper planes hanging off the ceiling. This was done by volunteers who had come to celebrate Diwali with the girls, informed Olive. As we proceeded to the open basement, a few girls began to follow me, and were inquisitive. “Didi what’s your name, where are you from?” asked Karuna, a twelveyear-old. After I obliged, she went on to ask, “Where do you live? Do you live with your parents?” Bending down I replied, “No I live alone, but I love how all you friends live together; it’s so much fun.” But that did not distract her from further asking me, “Do you miss your parents? I really miss my mother and fa-

ther.” I noticed her voice go a bit weak, and sensed the abandonment. But she smiled when I asked her to show me where they danced and painted; and where their favourite computer class was. Earlier when I had asked the group of girls surrounding me what their favourite class was, they had all yelled ‘computer class’. Karuna held my hand, Madhu-2 held the end of my shirt, and we proceeded to the basement. There was an amphitheater—where they danced, played and painted; and a piano lay on the side. The walls embraced an entire sea world; the girls had painted various kind of fish, sea animals and sea weeds. There was also a TV area, where they watched their

cartoons and movies. Hearing giggles and commotion from the other side of the hall, I walked up to the classroom, where some girls were in the middle of their computer class. Most of their screens flashed wallpapers of Salman Khan; while the other (older lot) were checking their Facebook pages. On seeing us, some girls eagerly ran towards us, and asked us for our email id. “We will send you emails; please reply, OK?” We sure were very pleasantly surprised. Tristram Hill, an English volunteer at Arushi, says, “I have been here only two weeks, so am still trying to find my feet here; yes, it is a lot of fun—but very challenging. I teach Math. and Science here, in English. The children here range widely in their ability to grasp a subject—for some it’s very easy to understand, while others take longer; but they are all eager to learn. Indians have a reputation, of being very hard working; and I definitely see that in these children here— much more than kids back in England.” Standing close to Hill was Shehnaz (age 17), studying in Class 8. She also teaches English to the junior girls. Noticing me with a notepad, she was most obliging. “Didi, I will tell you what we do all day. Our day starts at 5.00 am. We pray, and then have breakfast. From 8.00 am to about 10.00 am, we clean up. After that we study, till lunchtime— which is at 1.00 pm. Around 3.00 pm, those girls that go to outside schools come back, and do their homework. Some attend their computer class till 5.00 pm. After that, we have Yoga, martial arts and dance classes; post which is our snacks time. At 6.00 pm we clean the house again; 7.00 pm is television time (a smile brightens her face); 8.00 pm is dinner time. After dinner we can watch TV again till 9.00 pm. Then we pray, and go to sleep.” Realising that we were interrupting their Yoga and dance class, we said goodbye. As we unlocked the gate, Madhu wrapped herself around my knees to give me a hug. Soon Karuna followed. “Didi come back very soon.” With lots of hugs, and exchange of email ids, we left—with a promise to be regular guests to their house, Arushi. u

18–24 November 2011

C ivic/Social


{Sector 1 and Sector 2} ABHISHEK BEHL

Palam Vihar: An Eclectic Mix { Abhishek Behl / FG }


ector 1 and 2 harbour the posh Palam Vihar colony, that has witnessed a steep rise in rentals and property prices—but the quality of life for the citizens has remained quite the same. An inadequate security set-up managed by a private company, usage of colony roads as throughfare, and an exponential increase in the population of nearby unauthorised colonies are some major issues. Despite these problems, Palam Vihar is still one of the best areas to live, as it retains the old world charm. It has wide roads, some of which are well maintained; and a lot of greenery and open spaces make it a perfect address for those looking to avoid the heat and dust of ‘new’ Gurgaon. As soon as you enter the colony, there is a marked difference—as it lies on one side of Old Gurgaon, away from corporate offices, and manages to avoid the traffic and floating population of nearby Udyog Vihar. Jagvir Singh, president of Palam Vyapar Kendra, and a long time resident , says that sewerage and the drainage system need to be ramped up; as they fail regularly during the monsoons. “There is lack of security and poor upkeep of the colony, that is making life difficult for the residents,” he says; adding the condition of some inner roads is bad. The issue of maintenance of the Vyapar Kendra has also been a bone of contention between the local RWA and the builders (Ansals). Singh says that Ansals have left the traders to fend for them-

LOCAL MALL: Palam Vihar Vyapar Kendra, the hub of commercial life

selves, and the maintenance is being taken care of by these local traders. “There is no service from MCG, HUDA—but demands for new taxes are being made from the residents here. Why should we pay taxes when there is no development?” he wants to know. He also says that lack of upkeep and irregular cleaning of the colony has shattered its image. Sunil Yadav, spokesperson of Palam Vihar Residents Welfare Association says that the developer has left a lot to be done. “We want the Community Centre, which been wrongly included inside the Celebrity Suites apartments to be made available to local residents. The issue of the local club and its functioning needs to be made transparent”, says Yadav. He adds that the Association is also going to court against the developer, for involving a company, Pro Fac, for maintenance—though the Buyers Agreement had named SFML as the maintenance agency.

The RWA is also critical of the developer as well as the government agencies, for failing to develop and maintain the area. Despite paying the Internal Development Charges, there are no walkways in the parks, alleges Yadav. Harish, a local shopkeeper, wants the authorities to evict illegal encroachments on the roads. He also wants illegal vegetable mandis to stop functioning in the area. “The authorities need to wake up and take action, else people will start moving out”, he asserts. The colony roads have become major thoroughfares particularly after closure of the Bijwasan railway crossing—as most of traffic now comes through Bajghera. “There is need to widen the road and railway crossing, for people to take the road to Old Gurgaon without entering Palam Vihar”, he adds. Security is another issue of concern to the local residents. Inadequate se-

Twilight Homes HRITVICK SEN

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


n Sector-4, there’s a small community centre-like building, with a faded nameplate that says ‘Tau Devi Lal HUDA Old Age Home’. The spartan surroundings set the mood of the place. Ten women sit at the entrance, soaking in the early winter sun. Inside, Sister Amy comes out of the kitchen and welcomes an elderly visitor. Giving us a start, she says, “We are three missionary sisters who are managing this place.” She adds, “We take care of 19 women in this old age home. Everything— from food to medicine to cleanliness—is taken care of by us.” She brings out plastic chairs for us to sit on. The elderly visitor offers some money, to sponsor a day’s lunch; and Sister Amy makes out a receipt for the same. He comments, “Ever since my wife passed away last year, I make it a point to sponsor lunch or dinner once a month. It gives me peace, in a way.” On a tour around the house, Sister Amy says, “Right now, we’re having a tough time, as one of our inmates is critically ill. The doctors can’t do anything about it, so we’re just trying to be there for her.” How do inmates get here? “Whenever the police come across a homeless woman, they drop her here. Or, like some, they just drift over.” Smiling, she says, “We welcome everyone.”

curity by private security guards, and too much pressure on the local police, has led to a situation where the colony is vulnerable—for miscreants to strike at will. Residents want the number of guards to be increased, and also use of CCTV cameras to check the movement of suspicious people. They also say that security in Blocks A, B and E in particular is bad; and there are many cases of chain snatchings. Transport facilities in the area are also inadequate, says Sanjeev, who lives in Block A. It is very difficult to commute, as only a few buses are available, he says. People have to rely on autos, to travel to Old Gurgaon, Jwala Milla and Kapashera. However, someone seems to have heard the prayers of the residents—as the Haryana government has approved the proposal for extending the Delhi Metro, from Dwarka to Gurgaon—and Palam Vihar has been selected as one of the stops for the Metro. Palam Vihar has some of the best schools in the city—that include the Chiranjiv Bharti School, Gems International School, Maurya Public School; as well as the nearby Swiss Cottage School. Columbia Asia and Umkal Hospitals are the two premier health destinations. Palam Vihar Vyapar Kendra, though an expensive shopping destination, offers a variety of products and services. However, the market needs a makeover, as the parking area has broken tarmac; and waterlogging is a permanent feature during the rains. Ansal Plaza, a recent addition, also offers a great shopping experience to residents—and has lessened their dependence on malls in New Gurgaon. Jagvir Singh, says that they are working towards improving the facilities in the market; and in the last one year many changes have taken place. “We will improve things, but it will take time”, he asserts. u

Walking over to the dormitory, she continues, “In the morning, we start with cleaning; and then provide the inmates with breakfast. They then they go out and sun themselves till lunch. After that, it’s nap time for the old ladies. There’s a early supper, and then bedtime.” Why are there no activities for the inmates? “You have to realise that they have a multiplicity of problems. Nearly all of our inmates have debilitating mental health problems. We have doctors come here regularly, on a pro-bono basis, from the Civil Hospital. We also don’t have the funds for arranging any activities.” Gesturing towards an inmate, Sister Amy says, “Neelu is a Ne-

HOME CARE: Inmates taking in some fresh air

For the Moneyed... Across the city, a Kolkata-based organisation, Divya Chaya Trust, runs an old age home in Palam Vihar. “No photographs, please,” says the manager Upendra Singh. “This old age home has been around for five years now. We provide full care for the people who come to live with us. There is a panel of doctors who come here regularly, and we run a tight ship,” he says. “We charge Rs. 13,000 a month, for a room and services. With this, comes a large single room with an attached bathroom, laundry service, and food. TV, A/C, cable and Internet are chargeable facilities. There is a lounge, with a library, and indoor games like chess. There is also a lift for those who find climbing difficult.” The home takes an interest-free security deposit, which ranges from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh. “Besides the home, we also own a free school for underprivileged children. We have a fully-functional computer room, where children from government schools can come to hone their cyber skills. The senior citizens also come down to teach the children, along with the regular teachers. This gives them something to do, and offer their service to society.”

Sister Amy and colleague

pali inmate, who came in some time back. She has to be taken care of almost all the time.” Neelu is engrossed with the camera, and is overjoyed when Sister Amy informs her that she’s going to have her photograph taken. She rushes out, gets a shawl, clears away the wooden stools from the garden—and poses for the camera, giggling wildly. Leading the way inside, Sister Amy says, “It is all we can do; taking care of their food and

health. Right from bathing them, feeding them, and making sure they take their medication— everything has to be supervised. If you give them a brush, they’ll keep holding it for hours; until someone brushes their teeth for them. The sleeping pills have little or no effect on them; and everything goes haywire if someone starts screaming at night.” What about funding? “Earlier, the Red Cross used to run its operations from here. Then last year, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda made this into an Old Age Home for women, and handed it over to our charitable trust. Only the ground floor of the building is ours,” she says. What about funding from the government? “Apart from the building, we have got nothing. The food is sent to us by our organisation, and they also bear the running costs. If someone comes across and donates something, well and good. But apart from this gentleman today, we haven’t had any donation in a long time.” Do they face any problems in their day-to-day operations? She looks away, and says, “Actually, the senior citizens around here hassle us sometimes. They want to make this into a recreation centre, even though there is already a community centre in this sector. Everyone wants to forget that there is an old age home in this sector.” She gathers everyone around for a group photograph. The listless faces light up at her calling. “We get so few visitors. That’s why the response.” u


18–24 November 2011


It’s Just Not, Not Just Cricket


s we try and take our place at the high table, in the comity of nations, we need to seriously reflect on our evolved DNA.

Let us start with games. In words that would make our erstwhile rulers proud, we parrot - “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” And specifically in cricket, we echo - “Why don’t we make fast, lively cricket pitches; instead of these slow, low dead ones? It is so frustrating for the big fast bowlers.” And further – “if a batsman cannot face chin music, on fast bouncy pitches, he is not top-class.”


Well, for one, the ex-rulers have clearly moved on from their maxims – or perhaps never lived by them anyway. It’s called gamesmanship; win at any cost sounds crude. And then, how come not a single non-South Asian country player or commentator or official has ever talked of making slow, lively turning tracks in their own countries? Or echoed the frustration of the spinners, at the lack of spin or turn on offer, on their hallowed pitches? Or stated that a batsman is not top-class if he cannot handle spin (with or without music)? That is just not cricket, sir. We have already handed over Hockey decades ago; by succumbing to the exclusive use of astroturf for tournaments. The art of the dribble died, against the science of hard and fast passing. Do we want to hand over cricket too? And it’s not just cricket. Can we also stop saying : To all and sundry, and the Pacific Islands – “We deserve to be in the Security Council”. We need to hark back to the wisdom, and daring, of Allama Iqbal - “Khudi ko kar buland itna, ki har taqdeer se pehle khuda bande se yeh pooche, bata teri raza kya hai”. In this New Age of India - with a $ 2 trillion economy on the threshold; with a robust domestic market; and with a huge demographic dividend – can we please stop pleading? Let us just add good military muscle (10 pack), with appropriate show and tell – and we will be invited in; like China. (stop saying) To Pakistan – “Actually the problem is with the government (and army);

6 Words That Have Changed Meaning (additional definitions) (The Chambers Dictionary, 12th. Edition) acid

1901 1972

one of a class of substances, usually sour… LSD…


1901 1952 1977

a small piece of wood…; (slang) a sovereign a thin slice, esp. of fried potato a minute piece of silicon…


1901 1952 (slang) 1998 (computing)

a short, sharp clack or sound to fit into place…succeed …with a person of the other sex to press and release one of the buttons on a mouse…

1901 1972 1988 (computing)

a little rodent animal… a timid, shy, colourless person a device which is moved by hand…


1901 1972 1983

rotten wood used as tinder anyone or anything worthless a follower of punk rock, often recognisable by the use of cheap, utility articles..


1901 1972

a small flat surface… a small flat cake of any solid material, especially medicinal… a small personal computer with a touch screen…



on a people to people basis, we love you; after all, we are one people – (and will gladly hand over Kashmir)”. That statement makes a mockery of history; of evidence to the contrary; of non-reciprocity; of our stand as a nation (yes, that includes us); and of the sacrifice of our armed forces. Yes, it is only us who have had to face the attacks from the neighbour (official and otherwise). The attacks are carried out by people within those people – people with family and friends in that same country. Wonder what our familiar neighbours would say if they were attacked by people from India? Without doubt, there would be cries for blood. We are getting soft; the underbelly is being fed on economic growth. We are insensitive, till it hits home. It is time for reciprocity; for some show and tell – and do. And our bite has to be far worse than our bark. Respect, if not love, will follow – maybe grudgingly. Like for the US and China. Uncle Sam is still top gun, because of his guns – and not his economy. Uncle Dragon of course has both. (stop saying) In the UN – “We are non-aligned. We believe in non-violence. (We are nonexceptional)”. The government may not be aligned with our people – ok. That is our democratic right; and it is between us. But surely there is no harm in aligning ourselves externally, for our own benefit. We try and help those that will not help themselves. When push comes to shove, all those non-aligned friends align themselves with the top guns. We are taken for granted. Non-violence is a most potent weapon; but it can only be truly practiced by maha atmas—and there are very few of those today. Bottom line – every country plays to its rules, and its advantage. The Nuclear Deal should teach us. Look also at how Pakistan has played up US and China – despite being declared a rogue, a sponsor of terrorism. We need to align ourselves, whenever and wherever it is of benefit to us. We need to take direct action against those that hurt us. We need to remove our blinkers. We need to be less predictable. Maybe the answer to all this lies a generation away – a new DNA away. But surely we cannot wait that long. It is time to make an India Rules Book 2012 – at least before the world comes to an end. It would Just Not Be Cricket….to not do so. u

Launch Of RTE In Haryana O

n the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, which is observed as National Education Day, “Shiksha Ka Haq” (Right To Education, RTE) was launched from Nuh, in neighbouring Mewat district, Haryana. The RTE program was flagged off by Lighting of the lamp Lok Sabha Speaker Ms. Meira Kumar, Union Human would also get free books, uniResource Development (HRD) form, and lunch. Minister Mr Kapil Sibal, and The rights of teachers have Haryana Chief Minister Sh Bhualso been looked after. The teachpinder Singh Hooda. er-student ratio should be 1:30, RTE offers free and compuland teachers should be qualified. sory education to students of For unqualified teachers, training the age group 6 to 14 years (i.e. classes would be organized. upto 8th standard). The students There should be a separate

class room for every class; and proper sports facilities, a games period, and separate toilets for boys and girls. The Haryana CM was praised by Mr Sibal, for refunding Rs 17 crores to the students of poor families, who had deposited the fee before implementation of RTE in the State. u



iking FG more and more. Good feedback from friends. FG could become an unshakeable habit. Congrats to your team. Karti Inamdar Please send your letters to:

18–24 November 2011

Kid Corner


Poster Children


he students of Bagia School—armed with crayons and acrylics—displayed their creativity, turning the small premises of the school into a riot of colours. From block painting to simple crayons, children used a wide variety of techniques— to make posters and cards. While Suman of Class I bagged the first prize in the poster making competition, Ajay of Class III won the first prize in the card making contest. An essay competition was also organised, which was won by Rupa of Class VII.

Indo-French Confluence At DPS


elhi Public School, Sector 45, hosted a farewell function for the teachers and students of Cite Scolaire Saint Exupery, France, under the Indo-French Student Exchange Programme. The occasion was a festive and colourful display of the two diverse yet rich cultures. A cultural show was put up by the students of DPS Gurgaon, showcasing the best of Indian and French cultures. The students danced to popular Indian music. Marie Annick Verguet and Severine Gillier—who had accompanied the students from France— shared their experience in making this exchange programme a reality. Principal Aditi Misra acknowledged the enthusiastic cooperation of the Indian and French host families, to make the exchange programme a success.

Kirti Rao – Mastermind Of The Year


ith an aim to develop a scientific temper among the young generation, Colonel’s Central Academy (CCA) school hosted an inter-school Science Quiz, called ‘Science Mastermind’, for Class X students. The quiz covered all the aspects of science, to ensure a holistic approach. The rapid fire round emerged to be the most exciting part of the quiz—questions were directed to the participants in quick succession, with little time to think. Quite a few public schools from Gurgaon took part in the competition. Kirti Rao of CCA school emerged as the Mastermind of the Year; followed by Isha of Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4 as the first runner-up; and Himanshu of S.D Adarsh Vidyalaya, as the second runner-up. The event came to a close with the prize distribution ceremony, and an address by the Principal, Nirmal Yadav.

Flower Power On Founder’s Day


Child Development Workshop


workshop on Child Development was conducted for the parents in Ryan Global Montessori School, Sector 40. The workshop was conducted by Tammy Hoskins, International Curriculum In-charge for Ryan Group of Institutions. Stressing on common children behavioural patterns, she spoke at length on how parents can help their kids develop both mentally and physically.

lue Bells Model School, Sector 4, celebrated its 31st Founder’s Day last Thursday. The event was flagged off with a havan ceremony. Director of Blue Bells Group of Schools, Suman Gulati, along with teachers and students, offered prayers. The highlight of the day was the flower decoration competition. The competition saw exquisite flower arrangements, set in elegant patterns. While Junior students displayed their aesthetic skills by taking part in flower decoration ceremony, students of classes VI to VIII made informative paintings on ‘Blood Donation’. These paintings were put on public display in the HUDA Sector 4 market.

Artistic Strokes Literary Flourish

Pollution Pollution do we have a Solution for you? Pollution, Pollution do we have a Solution for you? No, we don’t but we will try. Oh, I have a solution! Why don’t we stop burning plastic! Oh, I have another solution. Why don’t we carpool as the burning fuel increases pollution, Isn’t it? Pollution Pollution, now we have many solutions. Now we can stay without having a problem. Anandi Ray, Class IV (Asokas), Lotus Valley School

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

Title: Nobita Shreyas Srivatsa, Class IV, Amity International School, Sec-46

16 a

18–24 November 2011

K id Corner

18–24 November 2011

The Many Joys of Children’s Day



FOR A CAUSE: Famous Kathak dancer Jayashree Acharya performed for the students of Bagia School, a school for the underprivileged.

Gurgaon celebrated Children’s Day with a lot of enthusiasm. While schools organised the usual music and dance revelry, some organisations conducted a kids’ carnival, took underprivileged children to theatre shows, and organised tree plantation drives. We take you through the Children’s Day celebrations in the city.

CLOWN AROUND: A teacher dressed up as a clown surprised the little ones in Ryan Global Montessori School.

O MARIA: Teachers shed all their inhibitions and turned into pure entertainers to enthrall children at Scottish High School

GO GREEN: Over 100 children planted Mulberry tree saplings at Nangal Pathani Village in an plantation drive organised by Shiksha Jyoti Mahila Shakti.

Toddlers participate in a fancy dress competition at Panchatantra Montessori School

CULTURAL BONANZA: Kids of Lotus Valley School got a glimpse of folk dance forms on Children’s Day.

DREAM COME TRUE: Managing Director of Kingdom of Dreams Anumod Gagan Sharma, posed with the children of Pardada Pardadi Education Society, Bulandshahar, UP. The children were invited to watch Zangoora and the newly launched Black Light Theatre at Kingdom of Dreams.

KIDS’ DAY OUT: Funcity at Ambience Mall opened up its premises for the kids of American Excelsior School

A GLOW OF HOPE: Students of Gurugram School offered prayers in a havan ceremony, along with their Principal Anita

MY NEW LOOK: Teachers of Manav Rachna School, Sec 51, donned fancy dresses to entertain the children.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: A toddler on stage in Good Shepherd School

COLOURFUL TREAT: Students of Sylvan Trails School participated in a painting competition to mark Children’s Day.

GALA TIME: More than a hundred kids participated in Kidz Carnival organised by the World of Kidz magazine. Kids took part in variuos activities like pottery making, painting competition, singing and dance contests, and a fashion show.


18–24 November 2011

K id Corner

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.





Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

K id Corner


Solutions Spot The Difference 1. One less flower. 2. Drainpipe on side of house. 3. Another bubble. 4. Sponge bigger. 5. Striped blouse. 6. Wheelbarrow altered. 7. Window curtain vanishes. 8. Dog gains tooth. 9. Tree loses branch. 10. Butterfly vanishes.


Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

18–24 November 2011

Pastimes 20 Won Ki – The Korean ‘Yoga’ 18–24 November 2011


on Ki, the ancient Korean energy therapy—a 5,000 year old treasured art—is now on offer to Gurgaonites; after setting up successful centres in Shimla and Panchkula, and making its mark all over Australia. Launched under the name of New Millennium Health about a year ago, this non-profit organisation helps heal physical and emotional discomforts, through its healing as well as training sessions. These are performed by a team of specialised Korean instructors, knows an ‘Sunsas’—which means ‘an honest teacher.’ Won Ki means the vital energy of life, that a person receives inherently at the time of birth. During the course of life, this energy depletes—which lowers the immune system, causing several health problems and chronic disease. Once this energy completely diminishes, it results in death. The Won Ki healing and training aims at renewal of such energy. It cannot be revitalised through just simple exercises and food. Won Ki training cultivates our mind and body, and further brings it in sync with the universe. The traditional art of Won Ki has been refined to suit the contemporary needs and problems of the present day, by Grandmaster IL Kwang— with over 71 years of practical experience and research. The New Millennium Health Centre daily receives a batch of 20 to 30 people, that come in for healing as well as training. “A lot of people come here with joint pains, muscle spasms and other physical problems. The healing process involves transferring of positive energy, while chanting SooRyon ChunMoon (this chant tunes your own frequency with that of the universe), without touching the body. Once you join the training sessions and learn the process, you can heal yourself. Many people have been healed from their physical problems, and yet joined our


{ Shirin Mann / FG }

ENERGY CENTRIC: Won Ki training aims at cultivating the mind and body, by renewal of energy

The traditional art of Won Ki has been refined to suit the contemporary needs of the present day, by Grandmaster IL Kwang

The Inside Story { Alka Gurha }


f you ever want to unravel the heart of a city, nothing better than a loquacious taxi driver. Last week, while travelling to Noida, my local cabbie narrated stories about Gurgaon’s endearing penchant for inclusiveness. Not only the high profile sing paeans to Gurgaon’s multiculturalism; the workers and labourers from other states also feel at home here. An innocuous question from me, “Are you from Bihar?” and the taxi driver was fuelled up. En route to Noida, in the throes of a traffic jam, I heard stories about Gurgaon that I never knew. “I was an auto driver in Mumbai, until the Sena goons thrashed me one day, and smashed my auto rickshaw. Then the

policemen started issuing challans for no rhyme or reason.” For any writer, what can be more interesting than a talkative informer? I continued responding in monosyllables, as my cabbie shared nuggets of his life. He reduced the volume of the FM channel, and continued, “After Mumbai shunned me, I decided to come to Gurgaon. The city accepted me with open arms. No one calls me a ‘bhaiyya’ here. I belong to the city.” He finds Gurgaon police a benevolent lot. “They don’t trouble us. The bullying, if any, is reserved for Bengali speaking labourers. They are illegal migrants from across the border!” “How do you know they are from across the border?” “It’s obvious. They speak in Sylheti

training session.” says Jinsong Kin, General Manager of New Millenium Health, and a Sunsa. The training session is divided into a basic training and an advanced training; and involves healing, meditating and exercises. The basic course is offered for a period of 100 days, and is recommended after the healing process. Each session is for an hour. The trainee learns how to renew Won Ki energy through special exercises; how to remove toxins (that cause various imbalances) from the body; and how to meditate. After one has graduated from the basic course, the advanced course offers another 100 days, conducted daily for an hour. All the classes are performed in custom-made blue and white uniforms; and are taken by Korean Black Belt Masters. Kin informs, “We have kids as well as the aged come to us for healing and training. A kid can start training as soon as he starts to speak. We also conduct camps outside the premises—like in various parks—where we heal over a hundred people a day. When I came to India, we had our first camp in Pune, where over

and Chittagong language, which is unlike Bengali. But if you ask them they will say they are from Midnapore or Malda.” My cabbie then went on to lament the price rise. Because living in Gurgaon is exorbitant, he told me that he shops at the local Bengali market, near Sector -56. “I bought a sari for my wife, the kind you get in the malls - chamak chamak. Only for two hundred! Can you believe that?” As the taxi crawled, his topic switched gear from inflation to corruption. “Madamji,” he informed, “The going rate of a village sarpanch in my village, bordering Gurgaon, is twenty lakhs. When a contestant pays a hefty amount to get elected, vasoool bhi to karega na?” “I guess so,” I said, and alighted in a hurry, only to find that I had no change. I needed another fifty bucks. “Don’t worry madam. You are already late. I will take the money some other time.” And as he drove off, I realized that stereotyping warps our judgment. This cab driver was blessed with a heart of gold. u

300 people turned up each day. We have got great responses in Shimla and Panchkula too.” He adds, “It is much easier to heal and train people in India, as compared to anywhere else in the world. When we give energy, people must know how to receive it—with an open mind and heart—and people here know how to do that. They know how to respect God.” The health benefits provided by Won Ki exercises have been captured by journals worldwide. The 2000 American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1996 American Journal of Chinese Medicine and 1995 American Journal of Chinese Medicine have recorded progress made by the human body while performing Won Ki. Though Won Ki has an holistic effect on one’s body and mind, it has been recorded as being specifically beneficial for heart health and blood pressure regulation and control; diabetes; thyroid and other hormonal problems; weight loss; bone, muscle and joint health—with improvement in conditions like arthritis, back and other body pains; improvement in conditions like constipation and acidity; and great for stress and fatigue reduction. Sarita and Ravi Chadha, of Beverly Park 1, are trainees at New Millennium Health. Sarita says, “Won Ki training has brought about great mental calmness and relaxation. Physically I feel more energetic throughout the day. I am grateful to Won Ki training which has helped me recover from tremendous weakness that I suffered after a prolonged illness.” “Of many spiritual practices that I have tried, this Taoist system is the one that delivers.” concludes Nikhil Khandelwal, trainee. u

To volunteer The trainers at New Millennium Health are Korean, and often face difficulty in translation. Translators who understand, and can translate Korean to English and Hindi, are required to assist them in providing training to locals. You can also volunteer to provide space for a Won Ki centre in and around NCR. To volunteer please call 0124- 4057180, 9289369969, 9218074819. or reach them at M-4/16, 1st Floor, DLF Phase 2, Gurgaon.

18–24 November 2011

W ellness


Meditation is Action, Feeling, Understanding and Being { Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati }



he first step in meditation is at the level of action. It is being mindful of what we are doing. Learn to meditate whilst performing action. This is done with a sense of service, and an awareness of being an instrument in the hands of a higher power. Any action done with an attitude of offering, bestows feelings of joy. It is not necessary to sit at one place, or go to Rishikesh in order to meditate. With the right attitude kept in mind, even when a person fights for his country, he is in meditation. Observe great singers, dancers and artists— when they perform, free of any ego or pride, they tune themselves, becoming instruments in the hands of the Lord. Then what flow through is perfect. This is meditation in action. The next step in meditation is at the level of feeling—to experience the feeling of love for God and for all His creatures. Meera Bai and Tulsidas were in a constant state of meditation; because they loved and saw God in everything around them. Being in a state of love is to be in a state of meditation. Then, even with our eyes open, going about our daily work in the world, we are ‘in meditation’. When we express deep feelings of love and respect towards what we love and revere—in thought, word or action—we are in meditation. Seeing the whole world as an expression of God, and being in love with Nature or the inner self, is being in meditation. Once Narada muni saw a gopi sitting alone, lost in her thoughts. The gopi was yearning to be with her beloved Lord Krishna. The muni asked if she had studied the Scriptures and learnt how to reach the Lord; or whether she had gone through the different stages of meditation, to attain the ultimate state of one-

ness with Him. The gopi innocently said that she only knew that she was in love with Krishna, and whenever and wherever she thought of her Lord, she found herself with Him. Her love was her meditation, and not the study of the Scriptures. Through devotion and love alone, she experienced ultimate bliss. Meditation is feeling compassion, friendship, humility, and love for that principle of Oneness—pervading all beings and objects of this world. When Jesus Christ was being crucified, he cried out in prayer, “Oh Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. They are acting out of ignorance.” In that state of

forgiveness, Jesus was in meditation. Meditation is not just sitting erect, controlling the breath and fighting the mind. We are in meditation by loving God, nature, and upholding higher values in our heart. We experience meditation in understanding the true nature of the Universe, through the intellect or buddhi. The philosophy of division sees differences, creates hatred, violence, misery, and agitation in the mind. This cannot give us peace and quietude. The Vedanta philosophy of Advaita views the whole cosmos and every thing in it, as pervaded with Ishwara or God.

Through touching, seeing, smelling, hearing and tasting we transact with God alone. See the whole Universe as one family—Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. In this understanding of oneness, we are in a state of meditation. The highest state of meditation is at the level of being. To reach that state of meditation, we do not have to do anything, because just being is meditation. That is why we are called human beings! In this state, we identify with the core or divinity in us—the Principle of Consciousness and Bliss. A person in this state of joy is in a state of meditation. All realised masters reached that state of effortless meditation, by just being aware of the present moment. Learn from the past; plan for the future; but live in the present, in the ‘now’—aware of your real self. Living in the present alone, gives the necessary alertness to effectively respond to all kinds of situations. To experience peace, happiness and fulfillment in life, practice meditation—in action, feeling, understanding and just being. To achieve the best, perform actions with complete awareness and mindfulness, combined with a sense of service. Consider yourself an instrument in the hands of a higher power. Recognise negative emotions such as greed, jealously, fear and anger. Endeavour to overcome them with feelings of love. Love is divine; love is giving, not demanding. We do not fall in love; we rise in love with God. Realise your oneness with all living beings, nature, and the cosmos. Succeed in the practice of meditation and experience the joy and bliss of being. Chinmaya Mission Delhi is organizing a three day Spiritual Carnival ‘THE WINNING WAY’ from December 9 to 11, 2011 The writer is the spiritual head of the Chinmaya Mission—New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. u

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


as the very first yoghurt a planned act, or merely the result of an accident? No one will know for sure. Centuries ago, in the deserts of Africa, it was common to carry milk in goat bags, strapped onto camels. Given the difficulty of storing milk in the searing temperatures, natural fermentation was but one short step away. Conditions were ideal for lactic acid-producing bacteria to get to work, to produce the first yoghurt—a form of soured milk, that has reduced fat and calorie levels and high Vitamin B levels. Since then, man has fermented many other types of foods—for developing new tastes and improving shelf life. Nearly 4,000 years ago, the early Indo-Iranian civilization recorded the widespread use of yoghurt. In combination with honey, it was called “the food of the Gods”. Maintaining a healthy microflora in the intestinal tract, is essential to aiding complete digestion and good health. The friendly bacteria also aid in the production of many of the needed B vitamins. Yoghurt contains good bacteria. ‘Live’ or ‘active’ yoghurt is considered one of the best natural probiotics. Probiotic microbes help the body’s ongoing fight against infectious diseases, by competing with harmful bacteria for food and survival. Probiotics can raise antibody levels; boosting the immune-system.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Nature’s Friendly Bugs

Tip of the week

When added to spicy dishes, yoghurt makes the dish well rounded, with a creamy texture. However, when adding it to hot dishes, yoghurt can disintegrate and become uneven. To get the optimum results stir in 1 tbsp of flour or cornstarch into 1 cup (250 ml) of yoghurt. Before adding it to a hot dish, remove the pan from the fire, and stir in the yoghurt gently— till a uniform creaminess has been achieved.

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week

Yogurt is not just delicious and nutritious, it is easily the best superfood available widely. Many people turn to yogurt to help them get enough calcium. Typically, a cup of yogurt has 450 milligrams of calcium—compared to 300mg in a cup of milk. This is 30 to 50 per cent of our average daily needs. Furthermore, yogurt is packed with high-quality protein, magnesium and a variety of vita-

mins. The protein in yogurt is easier to digest and absorb. The fat content is linked to the milk that is used to make the yoghurt. For those who cannot tolerate milk because of the lactose (which is the sugar in milk), yogurt is a good option. Live yogurt is often recommended for patients on antibiotics, to replenish good bacteria in the gut. There is evidence that live yogurt may also reduce the occurrence of colds, allergies and hay fever. In addition, it may also improve inflammatory conditions with an autoimmune component— such as asthma, eczema and Crohn’s disease. Yoghurt is easyto-digest and is beneficial for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, travellers’ diarrhoea, paediatric diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Dahi is a yoghurt of the Indian subcontinent, known for its characteristic taste and consistency. Dahi (Sanskrit dadhi) is one of the five elixirs, or panchamrita, often used in worship rituals. It is also used in cosmetics—mixed with turmeric and honey. Sour yoghurt

is used as a hair conditioner by women in many parts of India. Lassi (buttermilk) is a refreshing yoghurt-based beverage that is usually slightly salty or sweet, with all the benefits of yoghurt. It provides good nourishment, with a reduced fat content— while remaining high in calcium and protein. Frozen yoghurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream. In addition to being relatively lower on fats and sugar, it offers good protein. It serves as the body’s builder and repairer of tissues, as also a reliable producer of hormones and enzymes. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

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Website: E-mail: Sector 39/310, Gurgaon-122001 INDIA


18–24 November 2011

B usiness

Tuitions: The Extra Class, Or The Substitute?

concerned about completing the syllabus— rather than teaching real concepts and ideas. “During tuition, we start with some basics, even if they are from class 12,” she asserts. The couple is also critical of the much acclaimed Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) System that is being implemented in schools. “Under this system children are not failed— even if they have not learnt the basics of Maths, English, Physics and Chemistry”, they add.

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Abhishek Behl

Gurgaon 1: Neha Shukla is an Upper KG student in one of the leading schools in Palam Vihar. Her father paid an exorbitant amount for her admission— in a school that boasts of world class teachers and facilities— to ensure a great future for her. Gurgaon 2: Nandini Sharma and her sister are studying in a local Hindi medium school in Gurgaon, and they are now aspiring to enter a top public school in the City. Their father passed the pre-admission interview on Monday, and they will take an entrance test at the end of the month. Mr Sharma wants his daughters to study in an English medium school.


hough seemingly different, the parents of these girls— and of many more kids in Gurgaon— have one thing in common. They are desperately searching for home—tutors, to improve the prospects of their wards. While Neha’s mother wants the tutor to help in her home-work, the Sharmas want their kids to be able to crack the entrance exams. In both cases, the parents seem to have little faith in the schooling system— even of a world class public school. Tuition classes after school have become the norm. The situation has come to such a pass that students now consider the school to be a fun place used for social networking and cultural activities— and the tuition is the temple of learning. Friday Gurgaon talked to a number of school teachers, home tutors and heads of prominent institutes, to understand why the tuition culture has become all pervasive— particularly in the last decade. “Fifteen to twenty years ago, tuitions were meant for weak children. Later, the bright students, who wanted to clear entrance exams went for tuitions. But now every one goes for tuition/ coaching”, says Sanjay Jain, a home tutor for the last 14 years— along with his wife Shelly Jain. Jain teaches accounts and mathematics to students of class 10, 11 and 12. He is critical of the schools, and says that recruitment of teachers is done on basis of only degrees, the communication skills and the passion for the profession is not given weightage (or even checked). “Not every good student can become a good teacher,” he asserts. His wife also echoes this view, and says that schools are more

Shelly Jain and Sanjay Jain

Vikas Sethi

Manju Saini

Another problem being faced by teachers, both at schools and during tuitions, is the increasing disconnect between the students and their parents. The general observation is that parents consider paying the high tuition fees, and ensuring admission into top schools, as their only job. “Most of parents these days do not have time for their kids, as they are either both working, or involved in socialising in this Millennium City”, says a teacher, who works in one of the leading educational societies in the country. As a result of this, he says, the generation gap is increasing year on year; and students look more towards their friends for relationships, rather than parents. It seems unthinkable, particularly in India, where family bonding has always been great, says the teacher. Social networking tools, internet and mobile phones are also coming in the way of learning. The attention span is reducing, the social etiquette is more westernised, and students are becoming more individualistic, warn the Jain couple. Dinesh Pratap Singh, a leading Chemistry teacher of the city, whose wards have made

it to the IITs and AIIMS, says that private tutors fill the gap left by schools and coaching institutes. The tutors understand the language of the students. Their reputation has been built on their achievements; and the students come by good word of mouth. “Academically, the students in Gurgaon are very good but the time spent in schools is not utilized well. Students spend 6 to 7 hours in a school, but the teachers can not help all of them”, he says. Also, the emphasis on NCERT syllabus does not help. At private tuitions, the lectures can be repeated, and customised solutions can be found, he says. In the pursuit of higher marks, and entry into top professional colleges, students are also using many innovative tricks. Many of them take dummy admissions, and then stay at home and preparing for the entrance exams— much to the consternation of the teachers. “Schooling is a very interesting phase in the life of a student, and they should not give it a miss at any cost. If they do so, their personality development would be impacted. They may do well in maths and physics, but may lack communication skills, leadership qualities and moral


values”, says Manju Saini, a senior teacher at DAV School in Sector 14, Gurgaon. Saini is unequivocal in her opposition to the coaching culture, and asserts that it has become a fashion. “Most of the schools in Gurgaon have excellent teachers; and the students need to focus in their classrooms, rather than thinking that they can learn the lessons at tuition, while having fun at schools”, she says. If students utilise their 5 to 6 hours at school well, there is no need for tuitions— at least till Class V, says Saini. She scoffs at the notion of tuitions for KG/ UKG students. Parents must take ownership and start connecting with their children, she adds. The CCE system, she says, is a wonderful development, in the sense that it checks both the subjective and analytical knowledge of the students. “Most of the coaching institutes teach tricks and shortcuts to solve problems— that inhibits the creativity of the students”, she alleges. SN Nayar, Director, Children’s Paradise Preparatory School, has been teaching the tiny-tots for the last 11 years. He says the parents must devote time to their wards, and help them discover the latent talent. “Pyar, mohabbat aur khulus jo parents de sakte hein, who tutor nahin de sakta. Hamein apne bacchon ke lie waqt nikalna hoga”, says the veteran teacher, who has worked his entire life in the education field. Nancy Sharma, Principle SD Adarsh Vidayalya, on Sohna Road, says that the new CCE system does away with the need for tuitions— as these lead to stress and over burdening. “The CCE system helps the students to learn by doing and playing”, she says. In her own school, the weak students are given extraclasses during holidays, and on weekends. Charulata, a teacher at Gurgaon’s Our Lady of Fatima Convent School, however, has a different take. She says that parents do not have time for their wards; and it is due to this that tuitions are required.

“No teacher or parent forces the children. They go for extra-coaching because it is needed”, she says. Another teacher says that private tutors can be really helpful, as all their focus is on the single student. They can build a mentoring relationship, and a student can share his or her experiences. “A private tutor can also help beat the stress, as a student can share personal things”, she adds. The CCE system, that has become the focus of discussion in schools, has been developed by NCERT to assess the students throughout the year. It has two types of assessments, one is called the Summative, and involves the pen and paper type testing; whereas the other, called Formative, is done on a daily basis, and it includes projects, daily activities and quiz competitions. School teachers think that the CCE system helps in the creative and critical development of children. The private tutors hold a contrary view, saying that this system robs the students of any chance to learn— as there is no pressure to pass the exams. Sanjay Jain says that this system makes the task of teachers too easy, as no one needs to be failed, and every one passes. Vikas Sethi, a prominent Maths teacher in New Colony, however disagrees, and says that it helps schools play an important role in the development of the children. “Students from Gurgaon schools have well-rounded personalities, and, are fairly adept”, says Sethi, who has been in this profession for the last 10 years. He says that the tutors work only on the academic side, and mainly help with concepts. The schools, he says, have a bigger responsibility to build character and personality; and they are doing this in a proper manner. “We should give them due credit,” he says. Most of the teachers, however, want a more active role for the family. They assert that students whose parents are more concerned and involved, usually prosper. The roles of the school, the tutor, and the parents, need to be more effectively balanced. u

Su-Kam: Socially Responsible

eiterating its commitment to help the less fortunate and weaker sections of society, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd celebrated Children’s Day with underprivileged children. Officials of the company visited Tagore International School, and interacted with children from Family Vision, an NGO working for children. Around 1000 children aged 5 years and above were present on the occasion; and they presented a number of cultural programmes—that included music, dance and theatre. On this occasion, students were treated with food, gifts and new school bags. The Su-Kam team that met with these students was impressed by the enthusiasm and love for life shown by them, and promised them more such events in future. Helping the underprivileged is the part of the company culture, and Su-Kam will make all efforts to TALENT HUNT: Underprivileged children took to the stage, at an event help those in need, said an official. conducted by Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd.

24 Handle (Business) With Care

18–24 November 2011

B usiness

Anil Sachdev espouses business with a soul { Abhishek Behl / FG }


he School Of Inspired Learning (SOIL) in Gurgaon, founded by eminent Human Resource leader Anil Sachdev, is helping management students become more grounded, ethical and mindful— in their drive to become successful leaders. Having realised that corporate greed and the vicious focus on revenue (top line) and profit (bottom line) targets had almost brought down the world economy, Sachdev set up SOIL in 2009— with a different mission. With Sachdev is a consortium of 32 top companies. SOIL helps young managers understand that business does not function in a vacuum; but derives its roots from society. “If business does not care about society, and sustainability, then it is a wrong model. There is a need for developing a sense of compassion and responsibility, even while searching for profit”, says Sachdev. Most of the business schools, he says, are imparting technical knowledge to students— but this is not useful, if learnt without context. While people with the highest analytical ability join BSchools, they are not taught how to think creatively, and look at problems holistically, says Sachdev. It is here that his business school has an edge over the others. Being creative and finding solutions that are more humane, ethical and sustainable is the bedrock of SOIL. And all this is achieved by adopting a do- it-yourself approach. “All the students have to participate in a social innovation programme, that involves working with local NGOs. The students look at various problems in society from very close quarters, and work with these organisations in understanding how things work in the real world. Then they create programmes for these NGOs,” informs Sachdev. This makes people realise the enormous challenges business and society face today. Citing a successful example, Sachdev tells us how his students have started a school for slum children in Kanhai village, in the heart of ‘New’ Gurgaon. These things are difficult, but students have learnt how to win over people and build confidence in the community, he says. In addition, SOIL also uses theatre effectively, to help the aspiring managers learn the various aspects of management. “Leading theatre artists come to the school every year and work with our students. Live case studies are used; students are asked to play the role of real life characters”, says Sachdev. This helps the students not only to understand various aspects of decision making, but also improves their personality.

“The focus is on becoming better and inspired leaders. We want to teach our students to win the battle in the mind, and find the inner being in themselves”, says Sachdev. Every year the institute organises an Inspired Leadership Conference, where the students learn the various nuances of being a leader and how to perfect it as an art. Industry leaders from across the country and the world attend the conference, and share their experiences and ideas— to enlighten the students, informs the SOIL founder. Mindfulness and being in the present is the virtue of saints and leaders. At SOIL students are taught to be more mindful and aware; and this is done by teaching them meditation and the sewa bhav (a feeling of service). “This helps them in becoming more grounded, and ethical”, he says. Every morning the students meet in the institute for a ritual called ‘morning meeting’, where they share experiences, and a sense of community is developed, says Sachdev. “We take these students to Chinmaya Ashram at Sidhbari in Himachal Pradesh, for the annual Himalayan Retreat. They live close to nature, meditate, and understand the spiritual side of life and management”, he says. This also helps the leaders of tomorrow to learn about sustainability, and need for conservation of the planet’s resources. The students also participate in the social work carried out by the Chinmaya Mission, and based on that, they make then presentations. They interact with villagers to learn about their issues, problems and perspectives—and how matters are resolved. “This is a very special programme and it helps the aspiring managers to know about ‘Bharat’, the core of India. All business schools must teach the students about the vast swathe of rural India that needs development and growth”,

SOIL Citizenship Mindfulness: The self-awareness and discipline of ‘living in the present’, so that leaders give their best at every moment—without regrets of the past and anxiety of the future. Compassion: Empathy for the less fortunate, and the drive to make a difference in their lives. Ethics: The right things to do rather than our right to do things. Sustainability: Balancing our needs of today, versus our tomorrow, as we use our planet’s resources. Diversity: Respecting and leveraging the uniqueness of every person.

asserts Sachdev. At SOIL, the students are made to understand that they must have a higher vision. The need to create opportunities and help the society to grow— along with their personal growth. And there should be no compromise on integrity. “That honest people can grow and become big in life, is the principle we instil in them”, he asserts. When asked what qualities a prospective candidate must have to enter the institute— SOIL does not use the traditional CAT and MAT exams, Sachdev says that they have developed their own test called the CALIPER. To enter this institute, the aspirants must have a very strong desire to do something, and make a positive contribution to the world, says Sachdev. “We test the emotional, creative, analytical and executional

Elements of Life at SOIL Morning Circle: Creating Communities. Celebrations: Joy of Learning. Annual Retreat in the Himalayas: Appreciative Enquiry. Annual Conference on Inspired Leadership: Coming together of the entire SOIL Ecosystem. Annual Conference and Family Day: Recognising achievements. abilities of a person. He must be excellent in one of these aspects, and have a minimum threshold in the other three, to enter SOIL”, reveals Sachdev. During the interviews, the focus is on the positives of a candidate; and it is also ensured that the entrants are a healthy mix from different sectors and background. “We also encourage women to enter the programme, and provide scholarships to deserving students—to ensure that they are not left behind in the pursuit of knowledge,” he says. SOIL, he says, is trying to increase the intake of women, and at present they account for 30 per cent of the students. “We want this to increase to 50 per cent; and also want more women in the business leadership programme”, he says. While helping the management graduates to understand different aspects of business and management, Sachdev says, India must draw from its great pool of spirituality and religion. “I am proud to say that I am a follower of Chinmayananda Ji, and follow his tenets in educating and inspiring the youth. Spirituality will teach them the power of being silent, mindful and aware—all great leaders have these qualities”, he asserts. When asked how the Western understanding of leadership can be fused with the Eastern wis-

jit kumar

dom about the working of the mind, Sachdev says there is need to learn from each other. “In the West, the people are good at knowing and doing things on the material side. Here in the East, people have worked wonders on the spiritual side and understand the concept of ‘Being’. To achieve perfection—knowing, doing and being have to combine,” he says. “We have a very strong family system and have a firm belief that there is a higher power working for us”, says Sachdev. This is a great positive for Indians; but the managers must harness this advantage. The documentation and sharing of knowledge is another thing that India must learn from the West, says Sachdev. “The sharing of information is crucial in a globalised world. Also, the teaching abroad is more projectbased, and less emphasis is given on lectures; and this should be adopted in India as well,” Sachdev reveals. He adds that focus on rote learning will not produce leaders—but instead develop people with a limited view and little technical skills. To manage the increasingly complex business conditions, management schools today need to develop leaders—not just managers, he asserts. Being a resident of Gurgaon for the last many years, Sachdev says that the Millennium City

holds the potential of becoming a world class city. He cites the world class talent pool, as well as the melting pot of culture, that gives it the strength. However, the administration must take note of the poor roads, water supply and security for the residents. “I came here in 1997, and was one of the early residents here. All my friends from Eicher bought a house here, as we had great faith in the city’s future”, says Sachdev. He believes that the city has delivered, and is poised for a transition. SOIL, he says, is ready to help the local and Haryana government in finding solutions to problems. “We have worked with complex organisations in the past, and even developed programmes for the Planning Commission. We are ready to work with the government, and share knowledge and management skills”, he says. The institute is also working with a number of local NGOs in Gurgaon and Delhi, to improve the quality of life of those in need. “This programme not only helps the weaker sections of society, but also helps our students expand their vision, and become more humane”. His message to aspiring leaders: “There is a lot of goodness and potential inside everyone. To harness this potential, we need a powerful dream and a goal. u

Realty Rates

(in Rs. as of November 16, 2011)

Sector 67 2 BHK 5,000/ sq ft

Sector 67 3 BHK Apartment 52,00/ sq ft

Sector 67 4 BHK Apartment 5000/ sq ft

Sector 67 Plots 4500/ sq ft

Sector 67 Office space 9000/ sq ft

Sector 67 Shops 13,000/ sq ft

Sector 69 2 BHK 4400/ sq ft

Sector 69 3 BHK 4200/ sq ft

Sector 69 4 BHK 4200/ sq ft

Sector 69 Office space 65,00/ sq ft

Sector 70 Office 7200/ sq ft

Sector 70 Shops 10,000/ sq ft

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be the change you want to see


18–24 November 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

18–24 November 2011

T ime Pass 27


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution Screw 5. Each pair of screws has two screws, which are a reflection of each other along the horizontal axis.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half


18–24 November 2011

Don’t Worry, Be Happy { Christiane Loell / Berlin / DPA } hild poverty, a rising divorce rate, and pressure to perform at school are just a few of the aspects of life that mean we can no longer take for granted that a child will be happy. Parents, and schools, in Germany are working on methods to increase child wellbeing. However, adults and children do not share the same perception of what happiness is. Parents should also be careful that they don’t add to the pressure

13. “More than 80 per cent of the children described themselves as happy,” says Bucher. The survey identified friends, free time and recognition from parents as the most important elements of child happiness. Sabine Andresen, an educator at Goethe University in Frankfurt, believes a healthy balance between welfare and autonomy is very important for a child’s happiness. “Children want to be cared for,” says Andresen. “That’s

their child is under—by expecting them to be happy all the time. “Perception of happiness is extremely subjective. A child can be happy performing a task that an adult could not relate to,” says Swiss educator and author Anton Bucher. In 2007, Bucher published the findings of a survey he conducted, of more than 1,200 children between the ages of 6 and

why they need an adult who will be there to look after them.” But in other areas of their lives, children want to make decisions on their own such as what to do in their free time. Caring for a child does not mean avoiding conflict, Andresen says. She believes it’s important to quarrel once in a while in order to make it clear what the parents’ wishes are.


Mixed Doubles { Lea Sibbel / Berlin / DPA }


hen couples decide to work out or play a sport together, they should remember that while it can strengthen their relationship, too much competition also can bring it to a frustrating end. There are some couples whose competitiveness starts in the living room—over which one of them holds the remote control. He wants to watch football, while she wants to turn on the latest celebrity gossip show. Before the argument heats up, they should consider a very simple solution: Turn off the TV, put on trainers, and head outside. Shared activity, or doing a sport together, can reduce stress in the partnership. Bente Klein, a psychologist in Germany, has written a book about happiness and overcoming stress in a partnership. Those who play a sport for fun, and people who pursue a set goal, such as completing a marathon, can feel many positive emotions. Sport psychologist Jens Kleinert, of a sports academy in Cologne, views sport as a partnership from a socialpsychological perspective. “Each partner in a relationship has his or her own identity, and a collective identity,” he said. Sport can be a means to develop both identities. “It is important to strike a balance. When a couple already does a lot together, sport should serve to promote the partners’ self identity. If the couple

shares few other activities, sport takes on a huge meaning for the couple’s collective identity,” Kleinert said. “I would choose a sport that involves teamplay,” advised Kleinert. “Canoeing, for example. Something that strengthens the ‘we’ feeling.” Christian Thiel, a partnership and singles advisor in Berlin, advocates sports that allow chances to talk. Swimming is not a good sport for couples to take up together, he said. Jogging also isn’t a good sport, because joggers can’t easily hold a conversation. A basic rule is that whatever both like can work as a shared sport. Even when couples find a sport they can do together, there can still be problems. “Men often want too much and are too competitive,” said Thiel. “Many think back to their youth when they were fit, and they take that feeling into the relationship— and want to prove that they are

Most parents try to avoid bickering because they’re afraid their child will feel bad if they do. “We need to work against the superficial thinking about what child wellbeing is. Children cannot laugh all the time. Being happy for a child does not mean being in a good mood all day long, and wish that they are never sad,” she says. Many of the learning steps a child has to take in life are connected with conflict; such as breaking the nappy habit or eating healthy food. Bucher believes happiness is about experiencing contrasts. After a sad experience, humans are apt to have a more intense feeling of happiness. “When parents say their child must always be happy, then it’s possible to describe that as enforced happiness,” says Bucher. In 2007, the Willy Hellpach vocational school in Heidelberg in south-west Germany began teaching happiness as one of its courses. The school’s director, Ernst Fritz-Schubert, has written several books on the subject. “A happy upbringing is not about turning a child or a teenager into a happiness-hunter, who is always on the look out for the next kick, and how to maximize the next moment of joy,” he wrote. In another book, he provides this insight: “We are not helping our children when we remove every barrier in their way.” In FritzSchubert’s opinion, a person is happy when they learn to master a difficult situation in life. u still stunningly athletic.” When their partner can’t keep up, it can be frustrating. When one partner always thinks he/she has to outplay the other, it could be linked to a lack of self-esteem. Klein said when one partner recognizes he/she is too competitive, he/she should ask the larger question of whether it could be because he/she feels inferior in the relationship. “Competition is a normal part of sport,” said Kleinert. But is competition also OK in the relationship? Kleinert is certain it can work, but it depends on the relationship. “Some couples can clearly separate it. They take each other on for an hour on the tennis court, then go home arm-in-arm,” he said. As long as competition remains on the court - or wherever the sport is played - competitive behaviour is not a problem. Getting instructions in a sport from a partner can be much more difficult. It doesn’t remain on the objective level; it goes directly to the relationship level. “While being instructed,

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Democracy, The Bhutan Way { Siddhartha Kumar / Thimphu / DPA }


s the winter sun sets over the streets of the capital Thimphu, the signs of Bhutan’s modernization are few and far between. In nearby paddy fields, the evening mist settles, as farmers gather their tools and head home. Inside the city, most of the shops and establishments are closed by nightfall. The tranquil, isolated nation of 700,000 has only allowed tourists since 1971. But it is being haltingly dragged into the 21st century, by its forwardlooking monarchy—some times reluctantly. The Wangchuck dynasty, which chose to keep the country isolated for a hundred years, has in recent years been turning it into one of the world’s youngest democracies. In 2008, it held the country’s first general election, two years after current king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s father abdicated, to make way for democracy. Jigme Khesar’s coronation the same year came with newly introduced constitutional caveats, such as the possible removal of the monarch by a twothirds majority in parliament. Democracy and other changes—including the growth of a free press and constitutional institutions—are slowly taking root, as the nation gradually opens up to the world. But many Bhutanese have reservations about their newfound democracy, and some have questioned its utility. There is a widespread wariness of politicians, after recent corruption scandals—such as a medical procurement scandal involving 300 million ngultrum (6 million dollar)—have raised concerns about standards of governance. “It is distrust about politicians. People feel they could create corruption and other complications,” said Phuntsok Wangdi, a 20-year-old student on Norzim Lam, Thimphu’s main avenue. “I prefer kingship. Bhutan’s stability and progress is due to the monarchy’s rule, that promoted development, environmental conservation and our culture.” Recently, tens of thousands joined national celebrations for the wedding of Jigme Khesar—seen as more of a people’s King than his reserved father—showing the monarchy has grown even more popular.

a feeling of insufficiency can arise rapidly,” said Klein. Thiel advises showing a “red card” to the partner who is playing the teacher. It’s true that one partner can teach the other how to play a sport, but it requires very special educational skills, Kleinert said. But when everything runs well, and the partner feels that his or her skills are accepted, the positive effects of pursuing sport together can unfold. Above all, doing a sport together can be

“If there were a crisis, people would turn to the king, not any other leader,” a senior government official said, on condition of anonymity. “I am a staunch royalist; and well, so are our two political parties.” Unlike transitions to democracy that usually come about rapidly, in opposition to the state, changes in Bhutan are being instigated by a reigning monarch—at a pace society can accept. Many changes are accompanying the advent of democracy in Bhutan; including the emergence of a free press that exposes government corruption—which was not possible a few years ago. A new, independent judiciary has also cut its teeth, overturning the cabinet’s decision to raise taxes in the country’s first constitutional case last year. Institutions are asserting themselves with intense debates and tussles within the parliament and government agencies, over laws and policy. But “formidable challenges” remain on the path to fully functional democracy, opposition leader Tshering Tobgay said. “It is up to the politicians, civil society and institutions to make democracy work.”   How the country deals with challenges of development, cultural diversity and modernization, will determine its future, said Tashi Dorje, editor of the Business Bhutan daily. “Democracy is a work in progress. We are yet to see how it evolves, and how Bhutan fares in this crucial period of transition.” Bhutan’s young monarch recently admitted to journalists that democracy is at a nascent stage.“We are in the process of strengthening institutions, with a focus on good governance,” said the king, who in an ombudsman-like role also ensures people’s grievances are addressed by the new ministries. The Dragon King said he is always careful not to cross the line between personal ambitions and the country’s interests. “My main ambition is to work as hard as I can for my people,” he said. His own respect for the new government’s structures, and the royal endorsement of the democratic experiment overall, perhaps give it its best chance of success. “After all,” said Tshering Tobgay, “it is a sacred duty entrusted to us by our king.” u

a big plus for communication. “Men feel especially good about doing something together. The couple tends to have conversations that they otherwise wouldn’t have had,” said Thiel. The other experts agree. When having fun is in the foreground, and the goals are defined, sport can be good for a relationship. It’s important that societal pressure on couples to do everything together is not the reason they do it. u

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18–24 November 2011

“Barry” Obama Returns To His (Hawaiian) Roots

{ Bill Smith / Honolulu, Hawaii / DPA }


estled among the garish Aloha shirts, Hawaiian Kona coffee packs, and toy ukeleles in a Waikiki souvenir shop, a grinning Barack Obama sports a garland of red flowers over his sober suit. The lifesize cutout of the US president stands behind a few dozen cartoon-like “Obama bobble-head dolls”, depicting him holding a Hawaiian-shaved ice cone; or running into the sea wearing swimming shorts, and carrying a surfboard under his arm. Shops in Honolulu’s popular Waikiki tourist area stock up on Obama souvenirs whenever he returns to Hawaii— the state where he was born. “You can’t really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority quotes Obama’s wife, Michelle, as saying. “There can be no doubt that growing up in this idyllic, multicultural setting was a major influence in shaping who Obama is today,” the authority says on its official website, Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, and lived here for most of his youth; when he was known as Barry. “Mr President: Barack Obama ‘79 makes history,” said the cover headline of the Punahou Bulletin after Obama’s inauguration as the 56th US president in January 2009. The magazine is run by Honolulu’s Punahou School, where Obama studied and took part in basketball teams and school choirs in 1971-79, according to the school’s alumni records. Local Obama aficionado Rob Kay, a former journalist, recommends starting a quest for Obama’s roots in the area around the school, and the nearby apartment where Obama lived with his grandmother. “You can still see the general demographics,” said Kay, who runs the website, and helped produce a map of Obama-related sites on Hawaii’s Oahu island, which includes Honolulu. The Maikiki district where Obama lived was “certainly an ethnically diverse area,” Kay told dpa. “This is not your typical neighbourhood,” he said. “This is not your typical American president.” Punahou, whose esteemed alumni also include Chinese republican leader Sun

Yat-sen, is an “upper echelon” school, Kay said. “But the neighbourhood itself is pretty much working class.” Kay said he started compiling his archive of Obama-linked sites because he “felt there was a need to understand where the president came from.” Other popular sites identified by Kay and the Hawaii Tourism Authority include the nearby Zippy’s restaurant, which has expanded into a thriving chain since the 1970s. The original diner near Obama’s grandmother’s home is at the rear of a complex, including several Zippy’s restaurant brands. At the entrance is a framed copy of a local newspaper story exhorting Obama to “return to Zippy’s.” Specialities include Portuguese bean soup and a chicken and chilli-con-carne combination platter. Not far away is the more run-down Rainbow Drive-in, said to be another haunt of the young Obama. Several tour companies offer Obamathemed days, such as the “Obama Presidential Tour” by Pleasant Holidays. “The government is very proud of the fact that the president of the United States was born here, grew up here and went to school here,” Ann Chung, the economic development director of the Honolulu city government, told dpa. But City Hall has so far refrained from promoting Obama tourism. “In terms of the places where Obama grew up and so on, that’s really the private sector,” Chung said. “But I think it is starting,” she said of growing interest in Obama-related tourism. “I see more and more of that.” “They want to go to his favourite icecream shop or see where he worked,” Elyse Petersen, a voluntary information officer for the city government, said at the Hawaii Convention, a venue. The ubiquitous ABC stores in Waikiki stock a dozen different designs of Obama T-shirts, including one with likenesses of him and Martin Luther King— that carries the legend: “I have a dream. The dream has come true.” One of the latest designs has a drawing of Obama holding up his thumb and little finger in a traditional Hawaiian “shaka” gesture. The shaka symbolizes Hawaii’s laidback “Aloha spirit”— and means to “hang loose” or “stay cool.” u

Obama Alludes To The “Ohana” Spirit { Bill Smith / Honolulu, Hawaii / DPA }


ere we’re a single ohana—one family,” US President Barack Obama said as he introduced his native Hawaii at a banquet for AsiaPacific leaders on Saturday night. “We remember that beneath the surface, behind all the different

languages and some very long names, we all share the same hopes, the same struggles and the same aspirations,” Obama said. “And we’ve learned that we’re more likely to realize our aspirations when we pursue them together. “That’s the spirit of Hawaii,” he said. “It’s what made me who I am.” u


landmark exhibition, bringing together most of the surviving paintings of Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, has opened at London’s National Gallery. The blockbuster show, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan’, is hailed by the gallery as a unique chance to see the rare works— all in one place— and to “feel and see” the paintings. “Something of this kind has never been seen before and will probably not be seen again,” said curator Luke Syson. It took the National Gallery five years of painstaking work to bring the nine paintings lent to the gallery from over 30 institutions and collections to London. Altogether, some 15 oil paintings of the 15th century master are thought to have survived, the most famous among them being the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris. The London exhibition, which opened November 9, differs from

Art Media

US President Barack Obama, paying a visit to his birth state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, drives through the Marine Corps Base, Hawaii in a motorcade

{ Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }

Tim Brakemeier

Kent Nishimura / Pool via CNP

The Da Vinci Parade

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, from the National Gallery, London

previous shows in that it looks at da Vinci’s aims and ambitions as a painter, rather than his talent as an inventor, scientist and draughtsman. “He took up painting and turned it into something of a kind never seen before. He transformed painting forever,” said Syson. Da Vinci’s work from his Milan period represented “everything that was visible and invisible in the universe,” he added. The exhibition aims to show how da Vinci’s art developed from “being a mirror of nature to something able to depict the invisible.”

The Lady with an Ermine – Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani by Leonardo da Vinci

The show has been hailed as the “most complete display” of da Vinci’s paintings ever seen. The London Times newspaper said it was amongst the “most sensational shows of our century.” Out of the nine paintings on show, seven have never been seen before in Britain. They are flanked by more than 60 of the famous da Vinci drawings, sketches and studies, as well as some paintings by his pupils. Loans have come mainly from the Louvre in Paris, but also from the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Vatican, and the Ambrosiana in Milan, among others. The highlight of the exhibition is The Lady With an Ermine which, loaned by the Czartoryski Foundation in Cracow, Poland, recently proved a resounding hit at a leading Renaissance exhibition at the Bode Museum in Berlin. The London exhibition includes da Vinci’s breathtaking Madonna Litta from the Hermitage Museum and two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks, which are being shown together for the first time. The National Gallery’s own later version, which it bought in 1880, is juxtaposed with the first, loaned by the Louvre. Da Vinci’s preparatory drawings for The Last Supper are also on display, together with the earliest-known fullscale copy of The Last Supper, painted by one of his students. About a third of the loans made for the exhibition are drawings from a collection owned by Queen Elizabeth II. “Their generosity in lending has made this whole exhibition possible,” said Syson. With attendance predicted to hit record levels, the gallery expects some 2,500 visitors daily to pass through its doors — between now and the close of the exhibition on February 5, 2012. u


18–24 November 2011

Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes { Alvise Armellini / Brussels / DPA }


ll cigarettes sold in the European Union are to comply with new mandatory safety standards, aimed at reducing the risk of fire. The introduction of socalled Reduced Ignition Propensity (RIP) cigarettes, that self-extinguish when left unattended, would “save hundreds of lives each year,” the European Commission said in a statement. Around 1,000 deaths and over 4,000 injures in more than

Jobless Youth

30,000 cigarette-ignited fires were recorded in the EU, between 2003 and 2008, the commission said. National authorities are to enforce the new measure. The commission cited data from Finland, where the number of victims of fires cause by burning cigarettes was reduced by 43 per cent, following the introduction of RIP cigarettes in April 2010. Fire-safe cigarettes are already mandatory in the United States, Canada and Australia, it said. u

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18–24 November 2011


Shri Mata Sheetla Devi Temple

Profile for Friday Gurgaon

Friday Gurgaon  

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