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RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Vol. 1 No. 11  Pages 32  ` 7  4–10 November 2011

{Inside} Know your Councillor

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ouncillors Virender Singh Yadav (Ward No. 23) and Kalu Ram Yadav (Ward No. 24) reveal their plans for their constituents, and their attempts to resolve the major issues plaguing their area. ...Pg 9

City Transport, City Roads Don’t Take Me Home

Discover Yourself

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urgaon abounds in ways to keep oneself engaged, with society and nature. This week the spotlight is on Let’s Walk Gurgaon—a hobby group that offers a simple, healthy and free option, to have fun and explore nature on foot. ...Pg 19

The Buck Stops Here

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Business of Education

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he demand for coaching centres, competitive entrance exam training centres, and software institutes is increasing—as opportunities abound in Gurgaon. ...Pg 23

New Age Cycling

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he sport of randonneuring has just made an entry into the city. Coverage of the first trip to Agra and back—’brevet’ in randonneuring parlance—by the initial eager converts to this thrilling cycling event. ...Pg 24

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines Food Prices

Meanwhile the public is being transported to a new millennium { Maninder Dabas / FG }

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ome was not built in a day.” Neither Rome, nor any other great city, was the product of a day’s labour. It takes ages to build a city, and there are various factors that testify to its greatness. An indispensable public transport system is one of them. Gurgaon didn’t take much time in eclipsing the horizons of success; and it has various factors contributing to its inexorable rise. But public transport doesn’t feature in that long list. A lot has been written and spoken about the poor status of public transport in the city; and the authorities too didn’t play ostrich in admitting that the city falls seriously short on this infrastructure. “Yes, we know that the city’s public transport system is not as good as it should be. A city like Gurgaon, where lacs of people come daily for jobs, ought to have a great public transport system; and we are committed to provide the city

with what it deserves. We are working on a plan to give Gurgaon such an indispensable system, that it stands as an example for other cities. I hope, in the next three to four months you will notice a sea change on this front,” said Yashender Singh, the General Manager, Haryana Roadways, Gurgaon. Around five lakh people daily use the city’s public transport (both buses and autos); such a huge number of commuters can make any city sweat. A public transport system does exist here; yet its presence is seldom felt. About 720 buses come daily to Gurgaon. There are about 18,000 autos to meet the rising demands of transport. But statistics often perish at the altar of pragmatism. Gurgaon’s bus stand is one of the oldest and biggest, bus terminal of the State; and yet the masses of the city have to rely more on autos, to meet their travel needs. The city has no dearth of buses; but most of them are

NEW HUDA ADMINISTRATOR

...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 11 Sector Watch ...Pg 12 Realty Rates ...Pg 23

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As of now

“At present our city depends largely on autos, for commuting from one place to another. We

have buses, but most of them ply to the other cities of the state. At the Gurgaon bus terminal, around 720 buses come daily, from various parts of Haryana, and other neighbouring states. We have around 190 buses of our own depot, and the same number of Haryana Roadways buses come from other depots across the State. Add to this about 220 DTC buses from Delhi, and about 50 buses from other states—like Punjab, Himachal, and Rajasthan. And finally a number of private buses (around 70), come from neighbouring cities. Even such a huge number of buses is not enough to meet the demands of the people, as about 2.5 lac people use these buses to reach their destinations daily,” informed Kripal Singh, the incharge of Gurgaon bus terminal. Haryana Roadways does have an intra-city bus service; but it is too small (around 30 buses). Mercifully however, Haryana Roadways’ fare is inexpensive. Contd on p 8 

‘Change Work Style, Or Face Consequences’

{ Hritvick Sen / FG } ...Pg 7

used to connect Gurgaon to other major towns and cities of the State. Intra-city bus connectivity has never been a priority by Haryana Roadways. The arrival of the Metro certainly brought some positive change in the lives of the people. But the Metro too doesn’t provide a solution for the public’s intracity transport woes. It covers a small portion of Gurgaon and is more helpful to those who travel to Delhi on a regular basis. Another commonly used mode of intra-city transport is the cycle rickshaw; Gurgaonites depend on them to cover short distances. The city has around 25 thousand cycle rickshaws; but they can’t be a substitute for motorised transport, especially in this ever-expanding city. There is also the humane viewpoint to consider.

n a press conference on Thursday, the new Administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Dr. Praveen Kumar, spoke on the goals of the State’s developer under his leadership. “We have common destinies,” he said. “Our country is on the verge of transformation. We must embrace it,” Dr. Kumar said, adding that it would be a challenge. “If you don’t stop the wrongdoings of the past, be ready to face the consequences,” he said ominously. He addressed the contractors and officials alike, “Every person who has done wrong can improve, and should. Otherwise, don’t say that I didn’t warn you,” he quipped. “The State wants improvement in overall work and image, and it will be done. We

have perhaps become insensitive in our dealings and work,” Dr. Kumar commented. “If we have to build on Gurugram, we have to build a city on the pillars of honesty. We have to change our working style. The quality of the work will show, if we can instill good values we have,” he stated. “We will start a pilot project of green belt beautification (in Sectors 21, 22, 23), and the result should be there to see in two months. We will also try for thematic plantation in the green belts of the City,” he affirmed. On the subject of encroachment, he said, “There are two types of encroachments. One is where there are shanties. We’ll try not to remove that. The question is of merit and genuineness. We’ll take a lesson from the Mumbai model (transforming slums into multi-storeyed housing). u PRAKHAR PANDEY

e catch up with Ashutosh Garg, Managing Director of Guardian Pharmacy, who began with a small chemist’s store in Gurgaon, and now runs the country’s second largest pharmacy network—with 283 stores in 26 cities. ...Pg 22


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4–10 November 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–11  4–10 November 2011

Editor:

Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

THEATRE  ART  CINEMA  COMEDY  MUSIC  DANCE  EXHIBITION-CUM-SALE

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play based on sound, light and shadow; conceptualised by the Russian artist, Lidiya Kopina. The performance is a part of Delhi International Art Festival.

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Dance

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

Bharatnatyam Dance Performance @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44 Date: Nov 10 Time: 7:30 pm

Shirin Mann Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

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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

213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails: editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

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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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World Music @ Zorba the Buddha, MG Road, Ghitorni Date: Nov 8 Time: 7:30 pm

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world music performance by an Iranian group—Vabat Ensemble—comprising renowned artists like Anoosha Farnoosh Asadpoor, Eisa Ghaffari, Soheil Razzaghi, Aliakbar Dadashzadeh, Alireza Daryaei, Babak Mirzaei, and Mir Saee. The performance is a part of the Delhi International Art Festival.

Comedy

Mumbai Meets Dilli (English) @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44 Date: Nov 5 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 100 mins Tickets: Rs 350, 250 & 100

Bharatnatyam dance performance by Ruchi Gupta, disciple of Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan.

Individual/Society @Gallerie Alternatives, 102 Mega Mall, Golf Club Road, DLF Phase I Date: Nov 9 to Nov 28 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

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sculpture exhibition by artist Trupti Patel. Trupti expresses her creativity through the use of clay and uses it to address contemporary and modern issues.

Exhibition-cum-sale

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Home Decor Life & Style @Leisure Valley Ground, Sec - 29, Gurgaon Date: Nov 4 to Nov 13 Time: 2 pm to 9:30 pm

tand-up comedy by the quartet—Ashish Shakya, Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, and Rajneesh Kapoor. Their Local Heroes is quite the riot in Mumbai.

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n exhibition showcasing 200 stalls of furniture, electronics, home décor, home appliances, consumer durables, crockery, health products, and more.

New Delhi Times @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 6 Time: 7:30 pm

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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.

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political drama in Hindi, starring Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Om Puri, and Kulbhushan Kharbanda. The film won three National Film Awards, and one Bengal Film Journalists' Association Award

Theatre

Settinama @ Zorba the Buddha, MG Road, Ghitorni Date: Nov 10 Time: 7:30 pm

Revival Of The Spirit, In God’s Own Country!

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erala is blessed with tranquility in its air, enchanting beauty, a sacredness of culture, and a heritage guarded with secrecy (about its exotic ayurvedic treatments and remedies). Located at the Southwestern tip of India, Kerala boasts of introducing, to the country and the world, the ancient medical science of India, with a long record of clinical experience— Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a natural holistic healing system, that uses a variety of techniques and herbal remedies. Panchakarma, a purification process, is used for cleansing the toxins from the body. Herbal medicines are prescribed for some ailments, while other conditions are treated with therapeutic massages. According to Ayurvedic science, the main factors that cause illness are poor digestion and weak immune systems and so, bracing and introducing a proper diet, an exercise routine, and conditioning and relaxing one’s mental

state, form an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment regimen. Kerala is the frontrunner in providing the best wellness Ayurvedic therapies, after years of research and practice, in this one of a kind medical science that looks at holistic treatment and wellness. From basic wellness treatments to luxury spas, God’s own country has a cure for all. From headaches to heart aches, this strip of green, amidst a long shoreline, serene beaches and tranquil backwaters, makes one experience freshness of body, mind and soul—with a healing touch of mother earth in every inch of its lush hill stations, exotic wildlife, waterfalls, sprawling plantations & paddy fields, Ayurvedic health holidays, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic & cultural monuments—and an array of divine delicacies to savour—to offer you an unique wholesome wellness experience. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.

Avial

Meen Poricha thu

Makkacholam

Meen Moilee


4–10 November 2011

The Fright Night A

t the Halloween Massacre in TAB 1 hosted by five DJs— Nischel, Rudhir, Shail, Soul, and Nipun—the guests came all prepared to scare, sporting masks and scary costumes of vampires and witches. The party went on till 2 am. With all the creeps, thrills and spirits, Gurgaonites spent the night partying with ghosts and ghouls. Footthumping music and drinks kept the crowd in the highest of spirits.

03 Gauti Starts A New Innings S

tar cricketer Gautam Gambhir tied the knot with city girl Natasha Jain, in a quiet ceremony at Westend Greens. Though the wedding involved only a close-knit group of people, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and Gambhir's teammates—Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel—were also on the guest list. While the bride looked resplendent in a lehenga, kundan necklace and a colourful waistband; the groom chose a simple black colour Nehru suit.

A NEW PARTNERSHIP: Gautam Gambhir and his bride Natasha Jain pose for photographers

NAYA NAWAB: Haryana CM greets actor Saif Ali Khan

Royal Rasam Pagri

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aif Ali Khan was anointed the 10th Nawab of Pataudi, at the Ibrahim Palace on Monday. Also present were his mother Sharmila Tagore and sisters Soha and Saba. To honour the Nawab, villagers tied a turban (pagri) on Saif. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also present at the ceremony.

Star Friends At BluO

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he star cast of My Friend Pinto, Kalki Koechlin and Prateik Babbar, came to enjoy bowling at the country's biggest bowling alley—Pepsi BluO, in Ambience Mall. The star cast was joined by ace designers Sanjana Jon, and entrepreneur Arpita Bansal. Talking about his experience in the city, Prateik said, "It is a pretty cool place to hang out with friends."

FRIENDS IN TOWN: Kalki Koechlin strikes a pose (L). Designer Sanjana Jon and entrepreneur Arpita Bansal were also spotted (R).


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4–10 November 2011

reviews FOOD

Fluteful Fare Aalok Wadhwa

Bahi 2nd Floor, South Point Mall (Next to Genpact), Golf Course Road, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon Phone: 0124-6468201 Cuisine: Rural Assamese Timing: 1 pm – 10 pm

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ntrigued by tip-offs from foodie friends about Bahi, I make my way to the second floor of the near-deserted South Point Mall. I have been told that this restaurant transforms itself into a gastronomic heaven every Sunday at noontime, serving the rare Assamese village cuisine. Chef and owner Leon Baker describes Bahi (bamboo flute in Assamese) as a “no pretense hangout pub”. Having left a successful corporate career, he decided to follow his passions— good food, good spirits, and good music—culminating in Bahi. Sundays are special for him; when he, along with his wife Roshmi, personally shop for fresh ingredi-

ents. Armed with authentic tribal and village recipes, the couple then create a chef-d’oeuvre, a meal that changes every Sunday. It is time to examine the evidence. The starters—aloo pitika (mustard infused mashed potato), pura maas bilahi (roasted fish and tomato mash), pura begana pitika (Assamese baingan

bharta), aloo bhaja (fried potato), chicken chops (cutlets), and the assorted pickles—do a great job of making the palate sing. A great accompaniment is anaras ambol (pineapple chutney), with its perfectly spiced flavours and chunky texture. The main course consists of a gentle yellow dal, veggies stir-fried with bamboo shoot, and three traditional delicacies. The pork mising is tribal in its origin, and easily ranks among the best pork dishes I have eaten. It is a combination of pork chunks and pulled pork, which is slowcooked with bamboo shoot and the fiery bhoot jolakia chilli. The kukura aloo jhol is a home style chicken curry, which captures the heart with its sheer simplicity and comforting taste. Bhojor maasor jhol is a mild bhetki fish curry from the Goalpara region. The region’s proximity to Paschimbanga (West Bengal) is evident in the taste of the curry, which is light, fresh and flavourful. I end the meal with a minimalist bora saulor pulao, sweet sticky rice flavoured with cinnamon. Many little things that make a visit to Bahi memorable. The ever smiling personal touch of the owners, Leon and Roshmi, the comfortable setting, the live music, and the amazingly tasty food. But most of all, their ability to transport you to one of the most beautiful regions of India. u

CINEMA

For The Child In You Vijaya Kumar

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am a ten-year-old boy. In this article for my school magazine, I will be writing on how I felt after seeing RA*One. My name is not Khan; and although I am mischievous, I am not a terrorist. I like seeing cartoons and movies— which have heroes like Superman RA*ONE and Batman—because then I Directed by: Anubhav Sinha imagine myself being a super hero. A few weeks ago, when in school CAST: Shahrukh Khan, my friends started bringing new toys Kareena Kapoor, Arjun like G*One and RA*One, I went Rampal home and asked my Amma and GENRE: Sci-Fiction Appa about these toys. They looked into each others eyes with joy, and immediately switched on the TV set. Thereafter, every five minutes, I could see ads for the movie RA*One; and seeing my interest, my parents immediately booked tickets for all three of us to see the movie. I was very excited; and this was going to be in 3D as well!. In the beginning, when the hero started talking in a funny accent— supposedly spoken by Tamilians—I laughed. But later on, I thought that they were making fun, and got angry. My Appa does not speak like that. He does not mix noodles with curd; and he does not eat in a messy manner. The story was about a video game; and how the bad guy becomes a real person. I began enjoying the movie. I also liked the music and special effects. I had seen such effects in Superstar Rajni’s Robot. I somehow liked that better. When Rajni Sir came on the screen, I clapped loudly. Amma seemed to be disturbed when she saw Appa staring at the screen whenever Kareena aunty made an appearance. I also thought that aunty looked beautiful, but I felt that the width of her saree was small. I noticed Appa never objected when Amma craned her head, every time Shah Rukh uncle came on the screen. He looked good when he flexed his muscles. Even the villain, Arjun uncle had super muscles. Both Appa and Amma seemed to be a little bored after the interval; I could hear them softly grumbling about what they called “improbabilities”. And that perhaps too much money had been spent on the movie. I also did not understand when Appa remarked, “If only Anubhav, the director, had more anubhav”.u

BOOK

THEATRE

Promises To Keep

Lessons For All Time

Alka Gurha

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e have repeatedly heard media stories of innocents being implicated, of women being raped, and of mourners being fired on, by the police in Jammu and Kashmir. But we have rarely heard the inside stories. Wajahat Habibullah’s book My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light is a personal account of his tenure in Kashmir, during its most difficult times. He recounts his experiences as a bureaucrat in Kashmir, starting from his first assignment in 1969. A Lucknawi by birth and a Kashmiri at heart, he portrays an account of systemic failures—of how New Delhi has dealt with Kashmir, and how successive governments have failed to deliver hope and opportunity to the besieged residents of the Valley. The book encompasses the historical perspective of the intricate Kashmir issue, but is interspersed with interesting anecdotes. He narrates an incident of how a young Rahul Gandhi ate octopuses. When Wajahat asked, “What does it taste like?” Rahul replied,

“Chewing gum.” My Kashmir also provides insightful information about the duplicity of Kashmiri leaders, as it analyses the intricate web of issues. In an account that is part history, part memoir, Habibullah draws from his long personal experience in the state administration. In an unbiased manner, he tracks the blunders of the Indian government, the state’s religious politics, the inevitable polarisation of communities, and the omnipresent political intrigue—that repeatedly undermine hopes of peace. Unlike others who have written on the subject, Habibullah gives evenhanded treatment to both the Indian and Pakistani perspectives, and keeps the interests of the Kashmiri people at heart. My Kashmir, through Wajahat’s discerning eye for detail and an ear for nuance, is a perceptive account of Kashmir’s history, and its search for everlasting peace. u

My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light GENRE: Non-Fiction Author: Wajahat Habibullah PUBLISHER: Penguin Books India PRICE: Rs 499

Manjula Narayan

patriarch Bhishma— with ‘flashbacks’ to the brutal killing of he story of Abhimanyu— the play Abhimanyu, looks at the loss of the boy hero of principles, the ideas the Mahabharata, of right and wrong, who is trapped and the cutting down of treacherously killed by whole generations a group of seasoned by the holocaust of warriors—who in happier the great war, and times would have been the bereavement his benevolent uncles, that such destruction his father’s guru, his leaves behind; before kinsmen—is one of the ultimately making many episodes in the a comment on the epic that continues to human condition. resonate with modern Arjun ka Beta The acting is generally Indians. Perhaps it’s because competent; though it is he is the son of the Pandava, Director: Atul Surya Koushik Satyender Malik, the actor Arjun; is a 17 year-old, a venue: Epicenter, Apparel House who plays both Abhimanyu child, as yet unschooled in Presented by: The Films and and Yudhishtir, who carries the ways of the world and the Theatre Society the show. The real hero of battlefield; yet eager to prove the production, however, that he’s a worthy son of a is definitely the writing that flows smoothly and worthy father. Perhaps we see in his story the mellifluously. And then there is the very well crushing of innocence by an establishment that’s thought out last word from Krishna. His profound corrupt; see hardened men who could have been perspective broadens the understanding of the compassionate, but instead chose to behave like a audience, and allows them to apply the lessons of lynch mob—with no morality and no feeling. the ‘chakravyuh’ to their own lives. The handling of Written and directed by Atul Surya Koushik, that sudden moment of clarity lifts this production Arjun Ka Beta—presented by The Films and to a different level. Theatre Society, at Epicenter last Sunday—is an After the show, an audience member was heard interesting examination of this story. Decidedly murmuring “But I was expecting something like minimalist—the Pandavas are indicated by white the Peter Brooks Mahabharata!” Am I glad Arjun clothes, while the Kauravas are dressed in black; ka Beta wasn’t yet another attempt to replicate and everyone battles with lathis instead of the that fine work. This production isn’t lavish; but it glitzy over-the-top weapons made famous by is honest, well-written and energetically enacted. television productions—the play still manages to The writer and director has also clearly chosen bring alive the characters of the Mahabharata, and to work within a traditional version of the epic. make the audience think about the issues it throws In a theatrical world that is now constantly up; issues that will probably remain relevant as experimenting and retelling stories from different long as humankind exists. perspectives, this, surprisingly, comes as a relief. Structured as a conversation in verse between Definitely worth a watch. u the eldest Pandava, Yudhisthira, and the family

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4–10 November 2011

Lifestyle

Crèches

Baby’s Days Out Day care centres are a stark reality this millennium { Harsimran Shergill / FG } “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body,” —Elizabeth Stone.

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he feeling of being separated from your child is similar. In an age of home loans, car loans, credit card bills and a new millennial lifestyle, parents are having to make this choice much faster than expected. In some cases, even when their child is as young as three months. In these financially constrained times, women are returning to work after childbirth earlier than before. The biggest concern for such mothers is childcare. Vasudha Roy’s son, Jeet, is

10 months old. He’s been a regular at the daycare and crèche in South City-I, for the last two months. Vasudha works with an export house near Hero Honda Chowk, and helplessly says, “No parent would want to be away from their young child. It is because of my my family compulsions that I have to do it.” Her husband is an accountant with a construction company. “We leave Jeet at the

Checklist Visit the childcare facility as often as you wish, especially when there are children present. This gives you an insight into the quality of childcare, and the atmosphere. Look for: A warm responsive interaction between the carers and the children. Do the children look happy and content? Your gut instinct in judging this is often the best—will your own child be happy there?  A friendly, welcoming and safe environment.  A good structure and routine to the day; and hygienic arrangements for meals.  Lots of stimulating activities, toys and materials, that are appropriate for the age of your child.  Opportunity to play outdoors as well as indoors.  The policies and procedures on matters such as discipline, infectious diseases, and contacting parents when a child is sick.  Whether they welcome parents’ involvement and contact. The more you can be involved with the crèche while you child is there, the more you will be reassured about his/her welfare. Also, ask for names of parents whose children are/have been there. Of course, a recommendation from a trusted family member or friend is often the best choice. (Source: http://www.mychildcare.ie/whattolookfor.asp)

Chhath Puja

crèche from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. Every morning it seems like a mammoth task, but for the moment this seems like the best option available to us,” explains Vasudha. Depending upon the time a child spends in a daycare facility, crèches can cost between of Rs 2,000 – 4,500 per month. With more families converting from extended set-ups to nuclear households, young parents are looking to crèches—for childcare during their work hours. Even families that have grandparents living with them say that crèches and daycare centres are a preferred choice. Ravinder Bains, who runs a daycare centre for adolescents in South City-I, explains, “There was a time when people lived in joint families, and young children could be left in the care of elders. Most households were constantly filled with relatives and family members. Today, that has changed. And even where parents feel safe leaving their child with grandparents, they are also looking for professional help. Also grandparents are now not so robust and themselves require special care,” says Bains. The youngest child she has admitted at her crèche is a three month old boy. Bains, a stickler for rules and discipline, says she started a crèche because of her love for children. Unlike other crèches, where children are left with toys in a baby room, she has set up a routine for the children. “When a child is away from the parents almost all day, it is important for us to understand that we are playing the role of a parent. We have to look into every aspect of their growth—which means that I tell the parents what food to send, when to stop sending nappies, potty training, eating meals on time, and sleeping on time,” says Bains. She consults with a dietician on the best food habits, and adds that the only criteria

prakhar pandey & jit kumar

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Children at a day care centre in the city

she has before admitting a child is that the parents have to cooperate with her. Bains’ exceptional skills with children were perhaps what caught the attention of the Sharma family, who had been searching for childcare facilities. “One of our biggest worries was how good the care was; and also the hygiene of the place. We were satisfied on both counts. We checked out many childcare facilities in Gurgaon, and finally zeroed in on Mrs Bains, simply because she is excellent at handling children,” says Vikas Sharma (31), an employee at Accenture Gurgaon. Even though both Vikas, and his wife Samta, are extremely satisfied with the crèche facilities, both agree that companies should start taking a more pro-active role, when it comes to childcare facilities within company offices. Citing a study conducted by

NASSCOM, its Vice President, Sangeeta Gupta says, “The emerging ITES-BPO segment is hiring more women than the traditional IT services industry. In the software industry, the male-female ratio is 76:24. In the ITES-BPO sector, the ratio is 31:69. With the rising number of women in the industry, it is only a matter of time before crèche facilities become mandatory at ITES-BPO companies.” At the moment there are just a few in Gurgaon; unlike places like Bangalore, where most companies are facilitating crèches on campus. “Even though there are hundreds of crèche facilities available in Gurgaon, parents would prefer to put their child in a crèche at their workplace— so that once in a while they can check up on them. There are some companies that have a tie up with crèches,” says Samta, also an employee at Accenture. u

Young India’s Sanskriti on Show { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

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Devotees offer prayers at Surya Mandir Ghat on Sohna Road

articipants from 21 states are huddled together backstage, to showcase the performance of their life. To these participants, the 11th Annual Dance and Drama Festival, organised by the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch, is their opportunity to showcase talent that has been nurtured from as young an age as three. Says Vishakha Sharma a student of Class V, who was readying for her solo dance Bharatnatyam performance, “We look forward to this event every year, and start practicing for it months in advance. I have been practicing for this competition for the last six months.” Vishakha, who’s travelled from Madhya Pradesh, to participate in the competition, adds that she’s hoping to win a prize in the solo category. Organiser and President of the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch, Prof. Sanjay Bhasin says, “We want the children to understand the importance of our culture and heritage. This is why we encourage regional music and dance performances from various states. It is also a good opportunity for children to understand cultures and traditions of other states.” On the day we were there, some of the performances that stood out in the solo category included Sheetal Shivangi’s Odissi dance, and Sanskriti Pander and Kiranpriya Verma’s Bharatnatyam performances. Also popular in the group category, were the Bindaas dance by participants from UP, and the fusion dance. The results will be announced on November 4. With over 600 amateur artistes, 12 dramas, 18 groups dances, 100 solo performances, the states that stood out were Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. u

Pics on back page


4–10 November 2011

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 9.45 am, 12.20 pm, 1.00 pm, 3.25 pm, 4.15 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.40 pm, 10.20 pm Mile Na Mile Hum (U) Time: 10.30 am, 3.15 pm, 8.00 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 10 am, 12.50 pm, 5.35 pm, 10.45 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com

C ivic/Social

07

Time: 10.05 am, 10.30 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

Address: DT Cinemas, DLF Star Mall Ph: 9650599777 2nd Floor, Opposite 32nd Milestone, Sec-30, NH 8 Website: http://dt-cinemas.com/ DT City Centre: DLF Phase-II Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 12.35 pm, 5.45 pm Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10.25 pm, 1.30 pm, 4.35 pm, 7.40 pm, 10.45 pm Tell Me O Kkhuda (U) Time: 5:20 pm Mile Na Mile Hum (U) Time: 10.00 am, 10.50 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 10.25 am, 3.35 pm, 8.45 pm, 10.55 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 12.10 pm, 4.25 pm, 8.40 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A) Time: 2.20 pm, 6.35 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Phase II, Opp. Beverly Park, M.G Road Ph: 9810421611 Website: http://dt-cinemas.com/

PVR: Ambience Premiere Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10.00 am, 1.00 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.40 pm, 10.55 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.30 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 10.10 am, 2.30 pm, 6.50 pm, 11.10 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A) Time: 12.20 pm, 4.40 pm, 9.00 pm The Rum Dairy Time: 10.00 am, 12.30 pm, 3 pm, 5.30 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.30 pm Dolphin Tale (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 9.15 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH 8 Ph: 0124-4665543 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Europa: MGF Mall Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 11.10 am, 2.30 pm, 5.50 pm, 9.10 pm 7 Aum Arivu (Tamil) Time: 10.20 am The Rum Dairy Time: 1.30 pm, 4.00 pm, 6.30 pm, 9.00 pm, 11.30 pm

PVR: Ambience Gold Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 12:15 pm, 3:35 pm, 6:55 pm, 10.15 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 11:00 am, 4.45 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 8.00 pm The Rum Dairy Time: 2.15 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A)

PVR MGF: MGF Mall Dolphin Tale (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 3.15 pm, 5.30 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.00 pm

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase-I Ra.One (2D) (U) Time:10:30 am, 1:35 pm, 3:25 pm, 10.50 pm Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 11.20 am, 2.25 pm, 7.40 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 1.15 pm, 6.25 pm, 8.35 pm, 10.55 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 5.30 pm, 10.45 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A) Time: 11.10 am, 4.35 pm, 6.40 pm, 8.45 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase-I Ph: 0124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: http://dt-cinemas.com/

LIST OF POLICE STATIONS POLICE STATIONS (SOUTH) Badshahpur Police Station........................ 2394062 Bilaspur Police Station.............................. 2379580 Bhondsi Police Station.............................. 2267100 Farrukhnagar Police Station....... 2375228/2275100 Heli Mandi Police Post..........2671039/9467111319 Khirki Daula Police Station...................... 26370499 Manesar Police Station............................. 2290100

DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10.40 am, 1.40 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.40 pm, 10.40 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 10.00 am, 12.10 pm, 2.20 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.40 pm, 8.50 pm, 11.00 pm

Nimtoh Police Post.................................... 2260059 Pataudi Police Station................ 2672970/2272967 Sohna Police Station................................. 2362225 POLICE STATIONS (EAST) DLF Phase-I Police Station....................... 4059084

Mekudu (Telegu) Time: 12.15 pm Mile Na Mile Hum (U) Time: 10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.30 pm Time: 1:05 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 10.05 am, 12.15 pm, 4.45 pm, 9.15 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A) Time: 10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10.30 am, 12.15 pm, 3.30 pm, 6.45 pm, 10.00 pm Loot (U/A) Time: 1.45 pm, 9.15 pm Mekudu (Telegu) Time: 4.00 pm Mile Na Mile Hum (U) Time: 10.00 am, Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124-4048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

DLF Phase-II Police Station...................... 2566387

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Police Commissioner S.S.

Deswal, and HUDA Administrator Nitin Yadav transferred. ♦ New Police Commissioner is S.S. Sandhu, ex-Police Commissioner of Ambala-Panchkula. ♦ New HUDA Administrator is Dr. Praveen Kumar, ex-Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad. ♦ Joint Police Commissioner Alok Mittal also transferred.

ASSOCHAM issues an eco-

nomic report on Haryana; pride of place for Gurgaon on various parameters.

11th National Dance and

Drama Festival, hosted by the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch, opens in Rotary School, Sector 22. Closes on November 4th. ♦ Metallica show, coinciding with the NOIDA Grand Prix, cancelled; organizers issued notice by the Police; security money held back. (Blot on Gurgaon; Kudos to NOIDA).

Hookah bars were raided, to

check whether they were operating under licenced norms.

Pollution levels reported better this Diwali.

State power plants face coal shortage.

DLF Phase-III Police Station ..... 4066705/2566380

Gautam Gambhir weds local

Sadar Police Station ...................2201476/2201152 Sec 29 Police Station................................ 2396700

girl Natasha. ♦ Virender Sehwag launches the Sehwag Sports Academy in Jhajjar ♦ Yuvraj Singh launches a Cricket Academy (Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence), in Pathways School. ♦ State to honour two local Kabaddi players, of the winning India team, at the Junior Asian Kabaddi Championship held recently in Malaysia.

Sec 40 Police Station................................ 2381567

Police ................................................ 100

Sec 56 Police Station................. 2578101/2574100

Fire Station ....................................... 101

Sushant Lok Police Station ...................... 2386231 POLICE STATIONS (WEST) Arjun Nagar Police Post ........................... 2329977 Civil Lines Police Station .......................... 2224233 Khandsa Road Police Post ....................... 2307300 New Colony Police Station........................ 2304600 Palam Vihar Police Station ....................... 2360148 Rajendra Park Police Station.................... 2469210 Sec 4/ 7 Police Station ............................. 2313332

Saif Ali Khan given honorary title of Nawab of Pataudi, in a Rasam Pagri ceremony.

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

Sec 5 Police Station................... 2254610/2254100

Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.............................. 0124-4787828/817/853

Sec 9 Police Station.................................. 2251437

DMRC Helpline..................................... 011-155370

Sec 10/A Police Station ............................ 2370490

Disaster Management Helpline....................... 1077

Sec 14 Police Station................................ 2300365

Municipal Corporation (MCG)............ 18001801817

Sec 17/18 Police Station........................... 2398140

Ambulance Service for Animals........................................... 9873302580

Udyog Vihar Police Station ........ 2340200/2342100

Food Take

As of November 3, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sohna Road

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes (old/new)

25/15

10/25

7/20

10 / 22

8/15

10/20

9.90

6/12

Onions

25

25

18

22

12/20

20

19

16

Tomatoes

36

30

28

30

25

32

28

28

Cucumbers

32

30

24

30

24

24

26

24

Apples

120-160

100– 160

100 – 120

80 – 150

70 –120

100 – 150

66-89

75 – 150

Spinach

20

20

16

20

16

20

9.90

20

Ladies’ Finger

48

30

36

40

30

32

36

26

Cauliflower

24

25

16

20

20

20

14

20

Mutton

280 – 300

280 – 300

320

280 – 300

280

280

--

--

Chicken

150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170

140

140

140

--

--


08

4–10 November 2011

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Poor City Transport

 Contd from p 1 “Roadways buses are quite affordable. We take 62.5 paisa per km in a normal non-AC bus; whereas autos in the city charge much more—and they don’t have any fixed fare,” said Yashender Singh. Autos are omnipresent in Gurgaon, and they bear the maximum burden. Gurgaon has around 18 thousand autos. Unlike Delhi, where people get to see only one ‘breed’ of autos (yellow-green), Gurgaon has many breeds. They target people

living in places ranging from ghettos to bungalows, and shanties to gleaming condominiums. Gurgaon is also different in other ways. Our transport department has no fixed fare plan for these autos; and so they take the liberty of charging anything as fare. “We have written to the Transport Commissioner in Chandigarh to set the auto fare, and I hope some decision will be taken soon,” said Sohan Lal, Assistant Regional Transport Officer. Now you know where Gurgaon is in Haryana’s scheme of things!

Tentative route chart (Newly Proposed Intra-city Bus Service) 100 Buses (AC, standard); 6 am to 10 pm; Tickets-Rs. 5, 10, 15 (standard bus); frequency 10 minutes Route-1: Mahavir Chowk–Palam Vihar–Maruti–Atul Kataria–Mahavir Chowk. No of buses: 12 Area: 20 km Time: 20 mins Route-2: Mahavir Chowk–Hero Honda–Mahavir Chowk No of buses: 14 Area: 18 km Time: 70 mins Route-3: Huda City Centre–Signature Tower–Ardee City–Gold Souk–Sec 29 No of buses: 14 Area: 20 km Time: 70 mins Route-4: Sec 29–Huda City Centre Metro Station–Sec 41–Sec 45–South City–Sec 40–DLF Phase 4–Sec 29. No of buses: 14 Area: 22 km Time: 70 mins Route-5: Rajiv Chowk–Medicity–Sec 32-39–Glory food court–Sec 3–Sec 40–Bhakhtavarpur Chowk–Rajiv Chowk. No of buses: 12 Area: 18 km Time: 60 min Route-6: IMT Manesar–Rampura–Kherki Dhaula–Narsinghpur–Khandsa–Hero Honda Chowk–Anaj Mandi– Palam Mor–Dhaula Kuan–Karol Bagh. No of buses: 24 Area: 44 km Time: 120 mins Daily arrival/departure—Gurgaon bus terminal Gurgaon Depot buses: 190 Haryana Roadways buses from rest of Haryana: 190 DTC: 220 Other States: 50 Private buses: 70 Total: 720 Total autos: 18,000 approx Share auto: 12000 approx Green-Yellow: 6000 approx Radio Tuk Tuk: 50 (Ph: 2343434) Auto Call: 30 (Ph: 4844444) Total cycle rickshaws Standard cycle rickshaws: 25,000 Battery rickshaws: 23 (An Uthaan initiative)

“Radio Tuk Tuk, Auto Call, Yellow-Green and share autos are the various auto services that the city banks on,” said Sohan Lal. “We know the real picture of Gurgaon transport. I came here for a job, but when I saw the pathetic state of city transport, I thought of starting this auto service—to provide the masses some relief. And of course it’s a lucrative business,” said Vineet Goel, the CEO of Auto Call. He further substantiated the Assistant RTO’s statement on the non-availability of any fixed rate as auto fare. “Gurgaon has no benchmark set by the government as auto fare; so before coming into this business, I discussed it with the local people here. We take Rs 10/km, which I think is reasonable,” said Vineet. However, Sulabh Mehra, owner of Radio Tuk Tuk service has a different proposition, “We take fifty rupees for the first three kilometres, and Rs 8/km thereafter.” “We provide quick transport at a minimal charge, and I think Gurgaon needs a more frequent and flexible auto service; because the state transport is incapable of meeting the city’s demands.” Share auto service bears the maximum burden of this millennium city. “We have 12,000 autos in Gurgaon, and we have a fixed rate of Rs 10 per passenger. We have fixed routes, hence we don’t go beyond a fixed distance. Most of the people in Gurgaon take our service, because it is cheap as well as quick,” said Mahavir Singh, the leader of Badshahpur share auto union. The city certainly has a huge demand for autos, and Vineet Goel spoke about it. “We get around 700 calls a day; we only manage to respond to about half of them. The demand is escalating by leaps and bounds, and that’s why we are increasing our fleet from 30 to 54 in a month’s time.” Share auto owners also spoke about the city’s high demand, “We make around 20 trips a day, from HUDA Metro station to Subhash Chowk; and every time we tell two or three people to not board the auto, because we cannot exceed the limit of 10 passengers. The demand is huge, and we are working on increasing the number of trips,” said Ramnarayan, a share auto driver.

People’s plight

Lack of any civil amenity seems not to cause any dismay

C ivic/Social

to the bureaucrats or the politicians. It’s the common people who suffer, for the sins they have not committed. Scarce public transport infrastructure haunts the common man to such an extent that he has lost all hope of a worthwhile bus service. “Intracity bus service is like a dream often shown by the transport department; but now we know that nothing is going to happen, and we have manage our lives with these yellow-black share autos. They have become the lifeline of this city,” said Satish Kumar, waiting for a share auto at Rajiv Chowk. “The Metro is fine till the HUDA station; after that we again enter into a traffic jungle. Taking an auto at an inflated price is the only option we are left with. The city administration should think seriously, because in Delhi they have a feeder bus service attached to almost all metro stations,” said Payal Sharma, a working woman, who goes to Delhi daily. A large crowd, waiting for buses at Rajiv Chowk and IFFCO Chowk, in the early hours of the day, is one of the most common

sights. And when any bus does appear, by breaching the confines of uncertainty, it gets full in no time—with those left behind looking at the heavens and praying for another one to come. “I leave home around 7 am. I catch these private city buses, to reach IMT. It is a struggle. I seldom see any roadways bus in the morning; and even if any bus comes, it is full to the last inch. Had there not been these private city buses, it would have been virtually impossible to reach for work,” said Rajender Yadav, a middle age man who works in IMT Manesar. Autos cannot be a daily answer, even if available— it is too expensive an alternative. “Sometimes these autos charge the earth; and if we do not pay them their desired fare, they start misbehaving with us. They are operating without a meter. This is injustice to the common people,” said Sushant Bhardwaj, a senior citizen looking for an auto at Galleria market. Yellow-green autos are an individ-

ual run service, which doesn’t have any association, to monitor the routes or the fare.

Future prospects

“Haryana Roadways is committed to provide a good intracity transport system to the people of Gurgaon; step in this regard have already been taken. Arun Kumar, the Director General Transport, was here a few days back, and he announced an intra-city bus service plan— that will also act as a feeder bus service for the Metro rail,” informed Yashender Singh. The Roadways will boost the intracity public transport fleet by 100 buses (AC, non-AC, as well as low floor), operating on the Mudrika format being used in New Delhi (a clockwise as well as anti-clockwise route). “The fleet of 100 buses will consist of 40 semilow-floor buses, 20 AC buses, and the rest standard buses. Most of the buses will run on diesel; only 20 buses will run on CNG. All these buses will be fitted with the GPRS system, for effective monitoring,” he informed. Gurgaon today needs an

effective intra-city bus service; and this initiative is in the right direction. “This bus service will cater to the long-standing demand of people for an intra-city bus service. Tentative routes have already been selected. We have invited suggestions from the residents of Gurgaon.”

Future ISBT

“We have plans to build an Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Sector-29. Three acres of land have already been purchased by the Transport department, from HUDA,” said Yashender Singh. However, Singh didn’t speak about the actual time frame for the commencement of the ISBT. “It will take some time, probably a few years, to make the ISBT here. In the meantime this land will be used as parking for the Haryana Roadways buses.” However, an ISBT is being proposed by the Director of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) at Kherki Dhaula, in the Master Plan 2025. u


4–10 November 2011

C ivic/Social

09

Know Your Councillor

“This Role Is Big Enough For Me” { Abhishek Behl / FG }

Virender Singh Yadav

S

purred by the defeat in the Sarpanch elections in 2005, Virender Yadav, popularly known as Anup, worked hard for five years—building relations and helping people in Saraswati Vihar, Sector 10-A and Khandsa village—to win the MCG election. He not only won their hearts, but also the important votes; and now represents Ward number 23 of Gurgaon Municipality. Yadav says that helping people, and doing social work, has been a passion for him. “I have lost three elections, but always knew that I will make it one day”, he says, beaming with pride sitting in the Mayor’s office in Gurgaon. He wants development to take place in his ward. Like most other areas in Gurgaon, it has bad roads and poor water supply—but his ward houses the big perennial problem of the Hero Honda Chowk. “The lack of coordination between the MCG and HUDA is the main reason the traffic jams and waterlogging problems at Hero Honda Chowk cannot be resolved”, says Yadav. Some of the areas around Hero Honda Chowk are owned by HUDA, and the MCG cannot

start work there. He is also critical of the administrative machinery, and alleges that it works more towards creating roadblocks, rather than solving problems. “Out of hundreds of tenders, only a few are passed by the MCG officials, who use various rules to stop the same”, he alleges. He points to the fact that work on the Khandsa road has faced problems due to the imposition of Lal Dora around the village. “Lal Dora was imposed by the British in 1905, and it should have gone with them. But officials here are still using it, and this is causing problems”, says Yadav. He has been working with different agencies, to ensure that the condition of roads improves. He also questions the decision of MCG to charge House Tax in unauthorised colonies, as the Municipality is not doing any development work there. “Why should people pay taxes, when MCG is not working for the development of these areas, and considers them illegal?” he wants to know. The working of MCG has also failed to impress the Councillor. Yadav says that while money from the village panchayats has gone to the MCG, the work has come to a standstill. “Earlier the development took place faster, due to the panchayat system; but the switch to MCG has proved detrimental”, he complains.

Ward No. 23: Khandsa Village, Old Industrial Area Khandsa Road, Pace City 1, Pace City 2, Saraswati Enclave, Sector 10A, Udyog Vihar Phase 6

Need Very Broad Shoulders { Hritvick Sen / FG }

filth and garbage lying for days.” What has he done so far for his ward? He brightens up, “First off, from Kherki Daula to the Shani Mandir, we’re getting the road, pavement and other amenities put into place. The work is already going on. Then, I’m getting a Rs. 73 lakh project sanctioned, for a water tower in

Kalu Ram Yadav

C

ouncillor of Ward 24, Kalu Ram Yadav, says, “I’m the youngest of my brothers, so I had the freedom of doing what I wanted.” What made him stand for the municipal elections? “I spent six years in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), after which I got my discharge. I dabbled with supplying building construction material for a while. My time in the village was spent running after officials for water, power and roads; so I already was a sort of social activist. When the elections were announced, my village asked me to stand. So I did, and I’m proud to say that the people of two villages put me where I am today,” he says with a smile. For a Councillor who has the largest villages and abadi areas, how does he cope with work? “I don’t have any working hours, for the simple fact that people come to me at all times,” he shrugs. “There are so many issues impacting my people. There has never been any significant development work done in my areas. I know it because I’ve been living in these areas all my life. There are no roads, water supply, sewerage, or power supply. The majority of the people in my ward have to get water from borewells, have illegal power connections, and walk on broken roads and floating filth in the monsoons.” “If you want to traverse my ward, you’ll need nothing less than an SUV; the roads are so bad,” he says. The Councillors have no or little power, and feel specially helpless in the Haryana Urban Development Authority

He wants the sewage and drainage system to be improved in his area, particularly in Khandsa and Saraswati Vihar. There are approximately 40,000 people living in the Ward, and there is also urgent need to improve water supply, he adds. Being a people’s man, Yadav begins his day meeting with people. He then comes to the MCG, to attend to the daily chores; and in the evening also listens to the problems of his voters. “I help people with domicile certificates, caste certificates, ration cards, water and power connections”, says Yadav. He surprisingly has no bigger political ambition. “I dont want to become an MLA, as I am satisfied here. This role is big enough for me”, he says. Yadav’s family is also supportive of his political and social activities. His son, who is doing an engineering course, worked hard for his victory during the elections; while his daughter, pursuing an MA course, is also very happy with his decision to be a public personality. When asked how much he spent to win the elections, he becomes coy and replies with a smile, “I have given the account of spending, and it is around Rs. 55,000”. In future, he says, he will continue to work for the people, and ensure that Ward No. 23 becomes a model for the entire city. u

Harsaru. The ward desperately needs a Community Centre. The proposal has been passed, and the land and the funds are being finalised. There was an immediate need for a cremation ground, and I’ve had it sanctioned for Rs. 14 lakh. Plus, I have ensured development work (roads, water and sewer lines) in Kherki Daula, Sihi, Mohammadpur Jharsa and Narsinghpur villages.” What about the unauthorised areas? “I’ve asked the Corpo-

ration to survey the area, and make them a ‘lal-dora’ space. The process is going on.” “I’ve got a ward that needs attention on an immediate basis. The people have been waiting for an opportunity to get their issues resolved, and I’ve been given this responsibility.” Does he feel he’s doing a good enough job? “If someone feels it can be done better, let him come up. The people have trusted me so far, and I don’t intend to disappoint them.” u

Order and Law Ward No. 24:

Gharoli Khurd Village, Harsuru, Harsuru Village, ISBT, MRTS Depot, Kherki Daula, Kherki Daula Village, Mohammadpur Jharsa, Mohammadpur Jharsa Village, Narsinghpur, Narsinghpur Village, Sector 36, Sector 37B, Sector 83, Sector 84, Sector 88, Sihi, Sihi Village) (HUDA) sectors. How does he manage? “I’ve been rebuffed so many times that I’ve lost count. Every time I try to get an issue resolved, the HUDA officials come up with their own problems. How can one get anything done?” he mourns. Going on, he says, “Cleanliness is a massive issue. Officially, we have 14,000 people in Ward 24; but factoring in the floating population and immigrants, the count is somewhere between one lakh and 1.14 lakhs. For this population, the Ward has 35 sanitary workers. If the number were one worker for 100 ‘official’ people, it would still be acceptable for me. But even this is not so. Plus, the contractor does not even have the full complement of workers. The result:

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

S

itting in his residence in Civil Lines, Commissioner Deswal talks about his time as the police chief of the city. “The comparisons to New Delhi’s force have always been there and it will continue. It’s what happens when you’re a part of the National Capital Region (NCR). But we’ve certainly done a good job, and it is for everyone to see. For example, New Delhi SS Deswal has a population of around 1.42 crore, and one lakh police force. Gurgaon has a population of 20 lakhs. In that respect, we should have a 13,000-strong police force. But everyone knows Gurgaon Police does its job with a fraction of that number.” Deswal goes on, “With that limited force, we have ensured no ransom call or kidnapping, for the past two years. Before that, there had been statistics like 80 dacoities in a year. For a city with such numbers of high-income population, this is a very worthwhile achievement.” What about increasing the manpower? Gurgaon’s police is heavily supplemented by the Haryana Armed Police (HAP) and the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). “Gurgaon, as a city, needs more senior police officials in the ranks of Assistant Sub-Inspector upwards. We need a more educated, informed police force, that can address the people’s KK Sandhu

security needs.” What does he have to say about the infrastructure of the city? “The city needs good roads. It is a necessity, and something that needs to be addressed immediately. We have inter-disciplinary meetings, in which we discuss pressing public needs such as roads and streetlighting,” he says. Talking about the traffic in the city, he ponders, “We have several hundred statutes of the Motor Vehicle Act, under which we can challan the city’s commuters; but doing just that would not do us much good. Education about traffic rules is more important. That’s why we concentrate on four simple, straight aspects that would make commuting safer for everyone. If we can nail down drunken driving, overspeeding, helmetless travel, and under-age driving, the city’s traffic fatalities would plummet.” He explains, “This is what I have tried to do. See, just giving out challans is not going to be of much use. You have to reinforce the positive aspects of safe driving. If a child has bad habits, beating him will not work. You have to make him understand that not doing a bad thing is beneficial for him. That is how he learns.” A focus more on order, rather than law. Gurgaon has benefitted. What would he like to tell the new incumbent? “He (KK Sandhu, IPS batch 1986) is a good official, and I have full confidence in him.”u


C ivic/Social 10 Bringing Back The Lost Years 4–10 November 2011

A

s we walk through the large iron gates of Harmony House, we are welcomed by a colourful display of rangoli, and a bench full of children seated for lunch. They quickly stand up and greet us, “Good afternoon, welcome to Harmony House.” Soon after, they shuffle their way back onto the benches, fold their hands, and shut their eyes in prayer— before they start their meal. We stand in admiration, watching these underprivileged, but grateful, children. An independent, non-profit, charitable organisation—set up in April 2010, by Lucy Bruce, a British national married to Gaurav Sinha—Harmony House serves as a community centre for women and children. The organisation takes care of the food, clothing, shelter and education of the underprivileged children living in the slums near by. Operating in a villa in Sector 17, Harmony House offers language skills, applied sciences, music, arts and craft, social studies, mannerisms and etiquette; besides the core subjects of English, Hindi and Mathematics. Lucy Bruce, Founder and active fund raiser says, “Harmony House has only been made possible by the support of the people who have shared our vision, and then helped make it happen. Without their support there would be no Harmony House. It is humbling and heartwarming to know that so many people care about the lives of strangers, who desperately need of help. Our prayers and thanks to them.” Harmony House today accommodates 180 children—the youngest is a year and a half old, and the oldest is 16. Divided in five groups—Teddy Bears, Pandas, Rabbits, Lions and Elephants—the children are allotted their groups based on their age and learning capacity. The Teddy Bears group has the toddlers. “We encourage our children to go to ‘normal’ schools, because here at Harmony House we provide an overall learning experience, but not school certificates. We also get children in batches. Out of 180 students, 80 to 90 go to Government schools, and come to us after 2 pm, to attend English classes (that are not provided in their school). Some others that go for afternoon school first attend Harmony House from 9:30 am to 2 pm. The ones that stay the whole day (from 9:30 am to 5 pm) are usually the toddlers; or those who don’t go to school at all” says Meenakshi Khanna, Head Teacher, Harmony House. The House also lays equal emphasis on providing the children with a safe and loving environment, a contrast to the difficult surroundings of their homes. The caretakers of the House not only take care of these kids, but also devote their time to counselling their parents. Saroj Khanna, teacher at Harmony House, says, “Earlier we used to get several complaints from the children that they were getting beaten up at home because they wanted to study. Whenever we hear this

prakhar pandey

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

OF ONE ACCORD: Children at play at Harmony House

from the kids, we call the parents and counsel them, telling them about the importance of education. We usually tell them that if we, being strangers, are looking after their children, how can they be so harsh on them. And now, when they see the improvement in their kids—the ability to read and write in English, and the changes in their behaviour—they are very pleased. Today we also have some parents who want to study.” “These children had lost their childhood, and we are trying to bring some of it back. They get to play with toys, build houses, paint pictures, watch cartoons on TV—and all other activities that normal children take part in,” says Saroj. Luciani Barla, 13 years old, is a student at the Harmony House; and attends school post noon, when she is done with working with her mother as a domestic help. “My father wanted me to work because we needed more money in the house, and so would beat me up when I insisted on going to school. But my mother stood by me, and said that this is the only time when I can study and learn; because I will never get this opportunity again. We used to have a lot of fights in the house initially; and then my uncle interfered and asked me to listen to both. So my mother and I convinced my father to let me come here. Now I go to work in

the mornings with my mother, and then come here to learn. I love coming here—I paint, draw, write, read story books, and also play with toys.” With a strength of eight full time teachers, and a few volunteers, Harmony House functions five days a week. It depends entirely on funding and support provided in the form of donations—ranging from monetary contributions, to books, sta-

ing, playing and watching TV; and finally, a communal kitchen and dining area. A similar setup is also in place on the first floor, due to the increasing strength of the children coming in. The activity and learning rooms are equipped with bright furniture, white boards, alphabet and number posters, paintings made by the children themselves, arts and crafts resources, and stimulating games and toys—-making

L’IL NAP: Children rest a while during the afternoons at Harmony House

tionery, classroom furniture, toys and school resources. The House has four main areas in the villa—There is a room for the toddlers, that also works as a creche for 0-4 year olds—where they can play and take a nap in the cots stationed for them. Another room is for 5-16 year olds, where they read, write and learn core subjects. Then there is an activity room for painting, draw-

this a child’s paradise. With facilities available, that ensure a balanced development of the child, Harmony House is now proud to see the progress that some of the children have made, in receiving admissions to public schools. Priya Singh, sixyear old daughter of a driver and domestic help, has been admitted to Gyan Devi Public School in Kindergarten, based on clear-

ing a competitive test, along with an interview. An early student of Harmony House, Priya is now entitled to free education till Class 12. She will also be provided with free books, uniform, shoes and stationery from the school. Priya still attends Harmony House activities in the evenings. “I like both my new school and Harmony House. After I am done studying, I come here to play—and I love it” says Priya with a big smile. Apart from education and learning, Harmony House also provides medication, hygiene facilities and social services to women and children. Every Tuesday a doctor visits the school, for a general health check of the children. As per need, the children are provided with vaccination and medicine, free of cost. The school also arranges E.N.T and health care camps. For new or would-be mothers, the school also arranges prenatal and post natal camps, where the doctors provide them with important information related to wellness and hygiene. The founder of Harmony House, Lucy Bruce, was awarded the prestigious Emirates Woman of the Year award in the Humanitarian category, in November 2010. Currently living in Dubai with her husband, Lucy is in India every two months, to be a part of Harmony House in person. With increasing requests for admissions, the House is looking to expand—and will add 70 children over the next few months. “We have seen a lot of positive change in our children— from developing good manners, to improving in their subjects, and learning. Apart from the improvement in them, we have seen great improvement in the behaviour and response of the parents. And what can be more satisfying then when a child comes to you and says, ‘Ma’am you are my best friend’.” concludes Meenakshi Khanna. u

TO VOLUNTEER OR DONATE

IN UNISON: Children study at Harmony House

log on to www.harmonyhouseindia. org or call 0124-4017616. You can also email them at meghna@harmonyhouseindia.org.


4–10 November 2011

P

awan Soni (37), is an aware citizen. Maybe because he has seen a fair bit of India. Pawan grew up across various Indian cities, due to his father’s transferable job. Having completed schooling in Ghaziabad and college in New Delhi, Pawan’s home is where his job takes him. He works with a multinational firm in Gurgaon. The Sonis—a family of five— have made Gurgaon their home, for the last five years. “Our decision to move to Gurgaon was not something that we had planned. My parents were living in Ghaziabad. Since we moved to Gurgaon some five years ago, we’ve always lived in Divender Vihar, Sector 56. Over the years, we have seen many a mall and apartment come up. With the growth in disposable incomes, we had the option to move to a ‘posher’ locality; but we felt this area offered everything we were looking for,” says Pawan. “We chose this area because, apart from being close to my husband’s workplace, it offers everything—safe housing facilities, ration shops, restaurants, a choice of social activities— all within the neighbourhood,” adds Anuradha Soni, a homemaker, and a mother of two. Her daughters, Navya (4) and Bhavya (9), are students at the DPS Sushant Lok.

Positively Critical

but make comparisons. In the last five years, a Millennium City like Gurgaon hasn’t come up with a single new flyover. Apart from NH-8, which was initially made to bypass Gurgaon smoothly, the local administration hasn’t made a single flyover. The point being that, our State government isn’t looking at the situation two years from now. Comparatively, Noida is have the wall repainted. Since we don’t have the money to hire workers, I was thinking that if we buy the whitewash and the lime, I could ask the children and the parents to help in painting their park. If the parents put in a couple of hours each, it should be enough to repaint the whole brick structure. And the children can use plastic paint to graffiti the walls to their delight. When you put in your sweat and time in something, you develop a sense of belonging,” she muses.

Sitting on a bench in the park, Anju says, “It’s satisfying when you see people heading to the park in the evenings. Now the flood-lights are on, and youngsters stay on after dark to play. And around ten at night, I see pregnant women coming out to the park, with their husbands for a quiet stroll. The park today has instilled a sense of security in the residents. When I see all this, I feel happy that all the haggling and the frustration has been worth it.” u

HOUSE PROUD: The Sonis share a light moment at their Divender Vihar residence

Even though the Sonis consider Gurgaon home, they unanimously agree that the “pace” of the city, in comparison to its growth and development, has taken a serious beating. “We have seen the city change demographically, socially and culturally, in a matter of a few years. There was a time when travelling from Sector 56 to Cyber City took 15 minutes. Today, getting

to work in that time frame has become completely impossible,” says Pawan. He firmly believes that the local administration should look to Noida for some serious administrative answers. “With the recent success of Noida’s mega Grand Prix event, and Gurgaon’s failure to pull off one of the most awaited concerts in town, you can’t help

A Park Less Ordinary PRAKHAR PANDEY

A Sector 23 resident takes the community park under her wing

11

far ahead when it comes to development. The administration is solving local problems that it foresees two years from now. A fast moving city like Gurgaon should learn from Noida’s example,” says Pawan. Nonetheless, the Sonis are conscious about not sounding too pessimistic. “Every city has its highs and lows. Gurgaon has come a long way. Five years ago, the only form of transportation was private vehicles. Before coming into town, you had to organise how you would go about the city. The local administration has worked extremely hard to make this city more accessible. Today, the city can not only boast of the Metro, but some connectivity through local buses, taxis and auto rickshaws. It is also the first city to plan its own Rapid Metro Rail,” says Anuradha. And somewhere, sometime their roots beckon. Despite enjoying the entertainment buzz of the city, with places like the Kingdom of Dreams and the Ambience Mall, what the Sonis miss at times is the small town life.“Although going to malls and watching movies are considered an ideal family pastime, what we miss the most are small places known for street food; or simply a place to meet friends, without having to enter a mall. u

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }

C ivic/Social

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo MOTHER NATURE: A proud Anju Kapoor, sitting in her ‘adopted’ park

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

R

eclining on a sofa in her Sector 23 home, Anju Kapoor says, “I had taken the children to the community park in the afternoon. Lately, employees of a telecommunication company have taken to spending their lunchtime there. One day, I found one of them merrily relieving himself behind a park bench. I blasted him then and there for ruining public property,” she states determinedly. Anju Kapoor has ‘adopted’ her community park. “We shifted from Greater Noida to Gurgaon two years ago. I’ve seen the land prices of this area shoot up, but the services and amenities have gone south.” In fact, as residents put it, the services and amenities were never there to begin with. “There are so many issues to be dealt with. Roads, sewerage, encroachment, you name it,” she says. “Among these was our park. Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA)

made it, but never took care of it. Then, the officials handed the parks over to the Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs). The maintenance pay-out is based on the area of the park, and the money is hardly enough to hire a gardener for a month, let alone supplies. It was unacceptable,” Anju recounts. “I made numerous requests to the RWA and the Councillor. Someone almost challenged me, ‘Why don’t you take it up, since you feel so much for it?’ And since June, I’ve done exactly that,” says Anju. Before she took over the park’s maintenance, there was garbage, construction material and strays, in and around the park. Little by little, the park improved, and is now in good shape. “The residents don’t want to shell out even Rs 100 a month to help maintain the park. With the pittance we receive in the name of maintenance charges, there was, and is, so much to do. I made sure the

main gate was closed, to keep out pigs and stray dogs; and helped the gardener put the park back into shape,” she says. “Water is a big problem. We get hardly more than a trickle, to water the plants and the grass. I appealed to everybody, even the Junior Engineer (JE). The JE came over to my house, and flatly refused to provide a tubewell supply. So now, we water one section of the park a day,”Anju says. “To appeal to the children, I’ve had slides and see-saws put in here. The Sector 23 RWA pitched in and provided able assistance in the form of two swing-sets. And a friend of mine gave two more slides. We have also installed flood-lights and park benches. It makes it easier for grandparents to sit in the park, while the youngsters play,” she says proudly, leading the way into the park. Ask her what’s on the roadmap, and Anju points to the chipped and faded wall bordering the park, “I was planning to

1. Where are you going? Tu kit jaa hai? Kit - as in Ki+t

(as in Taar, wire in Hindi)

2. I am going home Main gharran jaa hun

Gharran - Ghar+r+aan (soft n)

3. Please repeat that Ek be aur kahiye Be - (as in baitho, sit in Hindi) 4. I do not understand

Meri samajh mein na aaya

5. Please do not speak fast Ghanni tej mat boley


12

4–10 November 2011

C ivic/Social

{Sector 4}

Oldest, Yet Comfortable

What’s good

♦ Abundance of parks ♦ Good schools (CCA, Blue Bells, Nav Jyoti, Govt School) ♦ Good market ♦ Old age home ♦ Good multi purpose hall (Community Centre) ♦ HUDA Gymkhana Club ♦ Dharamshala ♦ Peaceful environment ♦ Sewage

What’s not so good ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Roads Power Water Security

Gurgaon’s Sector-4 is the first sector developed by the Haryana Urban Development Corporation (HUDA), in the state of Haryana, in 1967. Despite being the oldest organised living place, it still stands tall as one of the best sectors in (Old) Gurgaon. Wide roads bisecting at 90°, 22 lush green parks, 3 good schools, a nice market, one large Dharamshala, an old age home,

MANINDER DABAS

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

and a HUDA Gymkhana Club— are a few key features that elevate the Sector much above the others. “The Sector is clean, and it has a lot of parks to provide fresh air to the residents. A nice market has also been developed by HUDA, and it has provided great comfort to the residents. The city is battling with poor sewage system, but here it is in good shape” said Dharam Sagar, Chairman, Federation of Residence Welfare Association (FORWA). Sagar has been living here since 1969; and he has seen a sea change in sectors, as well as the whole city. “Gurgaon has grown manifold, and now there are better places to live in. While Sector 4 is still one of the better places in Gurgaon, it is not as good as it was in the 80s or 90s,” added Sagar. “Earlier, there was a small market here, and if we wanted to have pizza, we had to go out. Now we have good pizza and other famous food outlets here. We get almost all the things of daily use in this market,” said Sarita Yadav, a resident, while enjoying a pizza. Apart from good parks, market, and a community hall, the sector has a huge old age home. “This is one of the key features of our sector. No other sector has a home where the elderly, homeless people can live a comfortable life. Just last Sunday, we

FIRST AMONG UNEQUALS: Sector 4’s market is its pride and houses several top brands

held a function for them,” said J.C. Sharma, another resident. Gurgaon is an example of flawed perfection, as the city seriously feels the heat of the crumbling civic infrastructure. Sector 4 has its share of problems too. “Sector 4 has many issues— like roads, water, electricity, and security. The roads are in a pathetic state, and I don't think HUDA is serious enough to resolve this problem. Let's see if the new Administrator can do something about it. Dhanvapur road has been in a mess for the last one year or so; but till now

Well located; green covers Civic issues unresolved

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{Sector 46}

THE YIN AND YANG: Sewage problems alongside good wide roads

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }

A

t first, Sector 46 feels like a quiet corner tucked away somewhere in the greens. Not far is Unitech's Cyber Park, which is bustling with corporate energy, that its employees carry from their offices to the food courts, or to the nearby popular Ahata. Buzzing with activity, Sector 46 has emerged as one of the most vibrant sectors in Gurgaon.

The Good

Investing in a property, especially with one's life's savings, can be a daunting task. When Babita Kaul and her family moved to Gurgaon, their concerns were similar to that of any house hunter—safe locality, prices within budget, proximity to schools, regular water and power supply. They chose Sector

46. She recalls vast green fields surrounding her new house. Being one of the first residents to move into their Sector 46 home, Kaul talks like an old timer—one who has earned the right to expound on the nitty gritties of her sector. Like most residents, Kaul's family too saw a better life for themselves, on moving to Gurgaon. With expanding families, coupled with the children's need for individual space, Gurgaon seemed like an obvious choice; in comparison to the closeted over-priced apartments of New Delhi. “We moved into this part of town some 12 years back. When we invited people over, it would be hard to give them directions; there weren't any landmarks,” says Kaul. She believes that Sector 46 continues to be one of the best areas to live in the city.

Vista Villas is a vast spread of landscaped meadows, with spacious homes of varying plot sizes. The security is maximum—with an exclusive entrance into the complex, and high surrounding walls. Another residential complex located opposite Unitech Cyber Park is Greenwoods City. The apartment and houses are well connected by public transport, and are in close proximity to National Highway 8. There are numerous schools in the vicinity. Greenwoods City, Vista Villas, Golden Apartments, and Mayfield Gardens are some of the well known residential areas of this sector.

The Bad

One of the drawbacks of living in this sector is traffic snarls at the Cyber City roundabout. Says Colonel Arya,

nothing has been done. HUDA officials say that the soil doesn't suit the material used in road building; so they have to bring soil from other areas of the State, to build the road on. According to them, it will take another six months,” said Sagar. Security is another issue, especially in the evening when women come out of their homes to buy something in the market. “In the last few months, there have been few instances of eve teasing and chain snatching in the market. PCRs make a round at night, but that is not enough

to make the people feel secure. One PCR van should always be present in the market,” said Sonia Rana, a college student. Sector 4 has one of the biggest community centres of the city; and it is used well by the residents, for cultural programmes and other gatherings like marriages. “The Community Centre is good, and we use it frequently. It is just opposite the market, which makes it easier to organise functions and other cultural programmes here,” said Ishwar Lal Garg, another resident. u

President of Greenwoods City RWA, “We usually don’t face any maintenance issues in our part of the sector. The only problems that residents continuously complain about is the traffic, that gets clogged at the Cyber City roundabout. Because it is the business hub, the worst time in this area is around their peak hours. We have requested the administration to do away with the roundabout, since it is the main reason why traffic gets blocked in this area. In order to manage the traffic, we have requested the authorities to replace the roundabout with traffic lights.” Neeta Bhargav, a resident and treasurer of Sector 46 RWA said, “Earlier, Gurgaon was a city in progress. The problems we face today weren’t so prevalent then. Today one of the major problems in the Sector is the clash between HUDA, MCG and private builders.” “It seems like Sector 46 is no one's baby. One of the biggest civic issues here is the sewerage system. Since the sewerage lines in the locality are not connected with the main line, we have to depend on private companies to maintain it. These are provided by the builder—in our case, Unitech,” explains Bhargav. “We dread the monsoons. One shower makes the sewers overflow, blocking the main and only entrance to the sector. The children have to walk through the muck, to enter the locality. And if this isn’t enough, there is the tussle between Unitech, MCG and HUDA,” explains Bhargav. “This time of the year is a perfect time to sort out the issue of sewerage, as the monsoons are over. It gives the

administration enough time to address issues like sewerage, roads and sanitation; however they are all busy passing the buck,” explains Neeta. Even though all residents we spoke to maintain that the condition of their sector is far better than some of the other sectors, this lack of responsibility, and mismanagement, have left them frustrated. “It is a clear case of shirking responsibility. When we go to Unitech for clarifications, they shrug it off, saying that the company is pumping out sewerage privately; and it is the jurisdiction of the Administration—to link the sewerage lines. MCG, on the other hand, passes the buck to HUDA—saying that HUDA is responsible for the maintenance of this sector. We have been running from pillar to post,” states Seema Puniya, another resident of Sector 46, in exasperation. u

Schools in the sector • AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SECTOR - 46, GURGAON www.amity.edu/ais/aisg2 0124 - 2581001, 2581002, 03 Mob: 9810983009 • AMADEUS HIGH SCHOOL BLOCK - F, GREENWOODS CITY, SEC 46, GURGAON Mob: 9312684049 / 50 • MANAV RACHNA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BLOCK - F, GREENWOODS CITY, SEC 46, GURGAON 0124 - 4638600, MOB:9560063888 www.mris.edu.in


4–10 November 2011

Lights, Sounds, Colour—The Indian Way

A

13

Comparison of Service Charges S.No.

Society

Maintenance (Rs./Sq Ft) (Incl of Service Tax)

Club Charges (Rs./month)

DG (Rs./ KWH)

1

Vatika City

2.08

500

12.98

2

Orchid Petals

1.74

Not started

9.85

3

Uniworld Gardens

2.00

Not charged

4.05

4

Heritage City

1.25

Stay Order from Court

10.00

5

Nile

1.85

350

12.50

6

Vipul Greens

1.80

300

11.00

7

Park View 1

1.80

Not charged

12.00

8

Park View 2

2.00

Not charged

12.00

9

Valley View

1.55

Not started

10.00

10

Sushant Estate

1.40

Stay Order from Court

5.25

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

11

DLF Ridgewood

1.00

Club not available

5.31

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

12

Wembley Estate

1.65

1000

13.00

13

Eldeco Villas

3.67

Not charged

9.00

Variable depending upon total expenses

14

Parsavnath Ville

1.80

Not started

12.50

Variable depending upon load conditions

15

DLF Carlton Estate

1.35

Not started

5.06

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

16

DLF Royalton Estate

2.00

Not started

4.59

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

17

DLF Princeton Estate

1.40

Not started

4.58

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

18

DLF Wellington Estate

1.40

Not started

4.58

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

19

DLF Western Heights

1.40

Not started

4.54

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

20

DLF Belvedere Towers

1.40

Not charged

6.00

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

21

Unitech Close (Nirvana)

2.00

Not charged

6.00

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

{ Hritvick Sen / FG } t the DLF Phase-I Market on Diwali eve, a father drags his boy away from the pastry shop. “Absolutely not! We have more than enough sweets at home.” The boy wails, “But you also stopped me from buying any crackers; and I hate the sparklers you bought.” The exasperated father reasons, “Beta, it’s not proper, with the smoke and everything. There have been visible efforts to lessen the smoky explosions this Diwali. There have been reports of children shunning crackers, and going for a more eco-friendly, ‘green’ festival. But why should we stop a tradition of fun, of festivity—of also being boys! Mind you, it’s good to be a ‘green warrior’, and cut down on pollution whenever and wherever you can. It’s admirable, and should be emulated. Go car-pool, use electric stoves instead of LPG ones, buy a Reva instead of the Prado, and switch off the AC. Try to smoke less cigarettes, for that matter. Do that, and you’ll be making a significant change. Plant trees. Even better, make sure you take care of those trees, and water them. But why shrug off crackers in the name of pollution? It wasn’t such a problem when there were lesser cars, or fewer factories. Now, when everyone is polluting away merrily, the axe has to fall on history, and tradition. On fun. We are shying away from a 10-metre long string of crackers in the name of air and sound pollution, but can’t switch off our car AC at traffic lights. Or use a bus or the Metro to commute once a week. If we conserve through the year, we can blow crackers to kingdom come for just that one night. Diwali is adhuri without the bags of sparklers, aloo bombs, cracker chatais, Catherine’s wheels, and hawais. Teaching a kid how to light a sparkler rekindles the child in everybody; and lighting a bomb reaffirms the man. And it’s not just Diwali. We are promoting ‘eco-friendly’ Holi celebrations. Because it’s just too much bother washing off the colour and the muck from our hair. And sasta colours harm the skin. So now, people have a sedate Holi, and a quiet Diwali. Quite Western, aren’t we? Prim and proper; and developed. It’s a different matter that we’d love to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night with crackers! The point is, being eco-friendly should have little to do with our celebrations. We have not created our history at a Friday night bar. So, why is it ‘fashionably’ taboo now to blow up a few big crackers, or make an extrastrong concoction of rang and bhaang? If we really want to be green, we should probably take a good, hard look at what we do the rest of the year; instead of taking the colour, the light, the sound... and fun... away. The Western world has less of history and tradition. Don’t fritter ours away— that too in the Age of India. u

C ivic/Social

Remarks

DG & EB supply - both charged @ same rate

Food Take

As of November 2, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sohna Road

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)

25/15

10/25

7/20

10 / 22

8/15

10/20

9.90

6/12

Onion

25

25

18

22

12/20

20

19

16

Tomato

36

30

28

30

25

32

28

28

Cucumber

32

30

24

30

24

24

26

24

Apples

120-160

100– 160

100 – 120

80 – 150

70 –120

100 – 150

66-89

75 – 150

Spinach

20

20

16

20

16

20

9.90

20

Ladies’ Finger

48

30

36

40

30

32

36

26

Cauliflower

24

25

16

20

20

20

14

20

Mutton

280 – 300

280 – 300

320

280 – 300

280

280

--

--

Chicken

150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170

140

140

140

--

--


14

Comment

4–10 November 2011

Anno Anna

I

n general, we want to be left alone. Times are good. Yes, the country is faced with enormous challenges—lack of food, health facilities, housing, civic infrastructure, civic sense, governance, honesty, community... But someone else needs to take charge. After all, we are not running the country.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Anna did try and take charge—of a core issue. An issue that has an all round impact. We happily lent our voices, and a precious day (or two). The media were on our side (or was it the other way round?) Now, suddenly, we are very confused. We also do not have THAT much time. Too bad that our messiah’s disciples were found to be ordinary folk. And even the media agrees (or is it again the other way round?) We thought they were divine, like Anna. They turned out just like us—ok, not so bad, but still… After all, an inch is as good as a mile. (“Tell that to the child who was hit violently —not playfully; or the girl who was raped— not teased; or the family of a person who was killed—not beaten up.”) Maybe the government can now cite Jesus. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. What if Anna has done something? Told a lie? Was not politically correct? Did he say—Proud to be a Hindu? The media has perhaps to take the hardest rap.

What, where, how, and in what context we write or speak, is a big responsibility. We carry it too lightly. Moving from drama to drama (more made, than happening), we attempt to make heroes of mere mortals, gods of heroes; and then gleefully reverse the process. What power! We justify our megalomania in the name of the people, the society. A society that is defined by me, myself, my family, and friends; four guests in the studio, and two on the phone. We love drama. We love TRPs and circulation even more. We love ourselves most. Yes, unfortunately, the media focus was, and is, on individuals—not the cause. We continue to miss the forest, in our love for those trees. And unfortunately, the government has its own twisted maxims. Those who can, don’t; or won’t. Those who can’t, talk; and justify why others don’t. For once, can we have the doers do? (For talking, we anyway have the perfect recipe—ex-lawyers; ex-communicated once in a while. And ever ready for a bite of the media apple). There is seldom a perfect time, or a perfect answer. There must now be only one agenda—the passing of the over 40-year-old Lokpal Bill, in the winter session of Parliament, Anno Anna—in the year of Anna. No ifs, buts, bigger picture, constitutional remedy. Failure to do so should be treated as treason unto the Constitution—and, ergo, the People. u

Haryana: Have The Gods Arrived?

H

aryana, a state carved out of the mammoth state of Punjab on November 1, 1966, has its roots much beyond the vastness of eternity; and its significance is deeper than the human gaze, later penned down in the form of history. Be it Kurukshetra, where humanity was bestowed with the preaching of the Gita by God himself (Haryana means the arrival of God), or the three battles of Panipat—in every era, ancient or medieval, Haryana has seen the rise and fall of many empires (Harshavardan and Mughal empire in particular). Now after 45 years of its identity being constituted, it has again risen to the canvas as one of the fastest developing states of the country. Although, like the ancient times, it is not significant in deciding the political fortunes at the Centre, it surely is an economic heavyweight. In these 45 years, Haryana has come a long way and has created its own identity, by shedding its former tag of being a poor cousin of prosperous Punjab. Apart from being the first state where every village was electrified (in 1970), Haryana is one of the largest producers of food grains and milk products in the country. Haryana contributed significantly to the Green Revolution, that made the country self-sufficient in food produc-

tion, in the 1960s. On the industrial front as well, Haryana is one of the front runners. Gurgaon’s inexorable rise in the last twenty years, as an industrial and corporate hub, testifies to the state’s calibre in being an economic force to reckon with. As per an ASSOCHAM report 2009-10: A total of 1,356 medium and large scale industrial units are operating in Haryana, with an investment of Rs 25,750 crores, a production of Rs 170,000 crores and employing 2.4 lakh people. Gurgaon itself has contributed heavily in this rapid rise of the State—despite only having < 10% of the people and land. It accounts for more than 2/3 of Haryana exports (Haryana exports 43,031 crores, of which IT/Software is 22,700 crores), and FDI; and a large portion of industrial output. Out of 10,300 registered factories employing 7.41 lakhs workers in Haryana, Gurgaon accounted for over 1,700 factories and 2.28 lakhs workers. Of the total of 2.93 lakhs people employed in the state’s organised private sector, Gurgaon accounts for about 30 percent (86,200) of the total workforce. Apart from Gurgaon, Panchkula, Panipat, Yamunanagar and Faridabad are other major industrial hubs in the State. Apart from cars and two wheelers, Haryana

is the largest producer of tractors and other agricultural equipments. On the agricultural front, despite having an area of 44,212 Kms, Haryana is way ahead of some of the biggest states of the country. It is the one of the biggest producers of wheat, rice, mustard, maize, and sugarcane. Almost 70 percent of the State’s total population (2.53 crore approx) is engaged in agricultural activities as an occupation. 86 percent of the state’s total land is arable, of which 75 percent is irrigated by tube-wells. In the last 45 years, Haryana has developed a large and effective canal system, through which water is provided to barren districts like Sirsa, Jhajjar and Hisar. Haryana has the third largest per capita income (Rs 45,000) after Gujarat and Goa—and has the largest number of rural millionaires in the country. Everything that glitters is not gold—and Haryana is not an exception to this proverb. Haryana has a few scars on its glittering image of being a model state—the fastest growing state of the country. Unemployment and poor sex ratio are two of the ugliest stains on its garb. Haryana has the worst sex ratio of 834 girls per 1000 boys, which the lowest in the countryfollowed closely by its cousin Punjab. Female foeticide is a

horrible menace the State is battling with. The Government of Haryana has taken a few steps to eradicate this horrible practice of killing the fairer sex even before their arrival in this world. Unemployment among

Haryana now and then 1966

1966 5100 kms

7

21

Population 75. 9 lakhs

212 lakhs – 253 lakhs

Males 40.6 lakhs

Females 97 lakhs

Electricity consumption 5429 lakh kwh

166070 lakh kwh

Transport fleet (Roadways) 567

3500

Kms operated per day 10.60 lakhs

1 lakh

38,274 kms

Drinking water supply and sewage (villages covered) 170

7,385

Urban areas 37

115 lakhs

35.3 lakhs

2011 Roads

2011 Districts

Passenger 0.98 lakh

youth is another big challenge the State is facing today. Almost 25 percent of the youth of Haryana, aged between 18 to 25, remain unemployed- and add to the already burdened agricultural sector of the state. u

11.56 lakh

80

Other statistics at present Districts: 21 Sub-Divisions: 60 Tehsils: 80 Sub-Tehsils: 50 CD Blocks: 119 Towns: 110 Inhabited villages: 6,764 Parliamentary constituencies: 10 Assembly constituencies: 90 Rajya Sabha seats: 5 Area: 44,212 kms Population: 253 lakhs Metro: Gurgaon already has a metro line. Gurgaon–Faridabad, Delhi–Bahadurgarh and Delhi–Sonepat are also in the pipeline.


4–10 November 2011

Kid Corner

15

Blue Bells Shines in CBSE Debate Competition

K

irti Arora and Ashneet Kaur Nanda of Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4, Gurgaon emerged regional winners in a debate competition organised by CBSE Panchkula region. In a keenly fought contest, the Blue Bells duo beat St. John’s School, Chandigarh. The debate topic was—“Need for Lokpal Bill, when there are provisions for checks and balances in the Constitution”. With this win, Blue Bells qualifies for the national-level debate competition, which will be held in New Delhi during the second week of November. While congratulating the students for bringing laurels to their alma mater, Principal of Blue Bells Model School, Mrs. N. Bhatti said, “I am immensely proud to have students like Kirti and Ashneet, who always make Blue Bells proud.” Regional Officer of CBSE, R J Khanderao gave away the trophies to the winners. Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula hosted the event.

Just Dance G

ood Shepherd School witnessed much action and foot thumping as the tiny tots battled it out for the school dance competition. Sporting dashing costumes, kids performed with oodles of energy. The little ones performed on recent Bollywood chartbusters— Chhammak Chhallo, Character Dheela, Dhinka Chika, amongst others. The competition was won by Avni Sharma.

Diwali with a difference T

hough Diwali is usually celebrated by bursting crackers and lighting diyas in the evening, the manner of celebrating the festival of lights differs from culture to culture. To help students know about these cultural differences, Lotus Valley School organised a number of activities—ranging from Rangoli competitions, to Kathak recital and singing competition. While Anandi Ray of Grade IV presented an outstanding Kathak recital, the students of Grade VIII presented a modern version of Ramayana. The celebration ended with a Ganesh Stuti and a beautiful song “Itni shakti hamein dena Daata”. The students of Grade II also spread the environment-friendly message by saying “No to Crackers”.

Melodious Treat

E

xcellent renditions of classical music stole the show at the Annual Solo Song Contest organised by CCA School. Though students of both junior and senior wings participated in the initial rounds, it was only the truly melodious voices that got the platform on the final day. Judges Reeta Dureja and S P Tiwari agreed they had a tough time making decisions, because of the superb performance by several participants. The first prize was bagged by Pooja of Class XII. Prizes were given away by the School Principal.

Imbued with culture

W

ith an aim to inculcate Indian tradition and culture in the minds of young children, a shloka competition was conducted by Salwan Montessori School, Sector 5. Children dressed as Pandits, Lord Vishnu, Naradmuni recited the shlokas with a lot of confidence and clarity. Accent, diction and presentation formed vital factors in the selection of winners. Children also explained the meanings of shlokas in Hindi.

Sharing is Caring F

or students of Ryan International School, Sector 40, this year Diwali was not just about crackers and sweets, but also about sharing and giving. The students of the junior wing visited an orphanage close to their school, and gifted diyas and candles to the underprivileged children. The visit brought a lot of joy and cheer to children. “The visit to the orphanage was an enlightening experience for the students, on this special occasion of Diwali,” said Dr. A. F. Pinto, Chairman of Ryan International School. Thrilled with their visit to the orphanage, Class V students of the Community Service Club have decided to educate underprivileged kids. School Head Peeya Sharma revealed that the school’s next project is village adoption.

Artistic Strokes

Literary Flourish

Rainy Season I like the rainy season I like to see the drops of rain Falling on my window pane Roads are wet and the sky is grey I like the smell of wet clay Are just some of the reasons Why I like the rainy season Ishita Garg, Class I, Scottish High International School Title: The Zoo Prateek Sharma, Class V, Govt. Boys Sr. Sec. School, Badshahpur 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 contributions@fridaygurgaon.com


4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 November 2011

K id Corner

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. One more puff of smoke. 2. Stripe on trousers vanishes 3. Extra feather. 4. Canoe paddle longer. 5. Branch shorter. 6. Wigwam disappears. 7. Canoe tip curled. 8. Background bushes bigger. 9. Blade of grass disppears. 10. Thumb bigger.

Solutions

Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

16


4–10 November 2011

Kid Corner

17

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

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

Facilities

Lawn Tennis

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

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swimming pool

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Story Writing { Alka Gurha } Trivia around short stories

Writing is like opening a window to your soul. Children, blessed with vivid imagination, should be encouraged to weave stories and write poems. Learning to write a short story is like learning to ride a bike. The start is shaky, but a little practice and passion makes the ride worthwhile. The best way perhaps is to let your thoughts flow around the imagery. Norms related to story writing are easy yet worth remembering.

“I had always dreamt of doing something special for my fans, who have supported me through my good and bad times. Through my Academy, I finally get this opportunity to not only fulfill my Father’s wishes of training deserving cricketers but this also gives me an opportunity to connect with my fans, who dream of playing for India. I also want to thank the TechShot Digital team in helping me make this initiative a successful one.”

Clarity of thought and the plot

A plot is a prerequisite for any story. It is the plot that keeps the reader hooked to your story. Once the plot is set, then writing is all about communicating your thought to the reader.

Span of time

Short stories usually cover a short span of time in the life of a protagonist. The story could just be about one life changing moment in the life of your lead character.

Limited Characters

Effective short stories have limited characters and incidents, unlike a novel.

Conflict

Most short fiction is woven around a conflict. The clash or disagreement could be with nature, society, relatives; or even personal.

Ending

A memorable story should end with an ‘Aha’ moment. Any predictable end will disappoint the reader. My suggestion would be to avoid a clichéd ending like, ‘then she woke up to realise that it was all a dream’ or ‘then she picked up a revolver and killed him’. Above all, your story has to be entertaining and gripping. Do not worry if your first draft is not satisfactory. Like everything else, practice makes a writer perfect. Patience and perseverance will go a long way in honing your skills as an accomplished writer. u

Virender Sehwag

Sehwag Sports Academy (SSA) aims to be a premier sports academy in India. A passionate initiative, SSA will offer a rigorous and challenging sports program with the best in sports training and facilities in a nurturing environment for young people. SSA lives by the mantra of “Arise Awake Ascend”. The thirst for knowledge, the willingness to learn and the quest to be the best, defines an SSA Trainee. While wishing to realize his father’s dream, Sehwag however, wishes to satiate his fan’s dreams first.


18

4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 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.

1

2

3

4

Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved


4–10 November 2011

Pastimes

19

Early To Rise, Makes You Healthy, Happy And Nice!

UP WITH THE LARK: Members of the hobby group, Let’s Walk Gurgaon

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

I

t’s healthy, simple, lots of fun and absolutely free of cost. Let’s Walk Gurgaon (LWG), a hobby group, offers a perfect break from the monotony of corporate life—giving you an opportunity to explore nature, on foot. Walking through the Aravallis, exploring structures and watering holes, and observing wildlife—is a picnic. The LWG group meets every Wednesday and Saturday, and walks the trails, to explore the area in and around the city. Sehba Imam, founder of LWG says, “I am a writer, and once I am done with my meetings, I am just sitting in one place and writing. It doesn’t involve any physical activity; which is how Let’s Walk Gurgaon came up. Normally, when we have free time, like on weekends, we go out to socialise and party. I had done enough of that, and wanted a healthier and simpler life. One day in June last year, I was working till 4 am, and after I finished, I decided to take my dog out for a walk. We went to the Bio-diversity Park, which is behind my house; and it was such a pleasant start to the day. I loved the walk, and the next morning shared the idea of early morning walks with three of my friends. They loved it too, and that’s how LWG came about. We made a group on Facebook.” Within the first two weeks, LWG collected about 200 members; that today has grown close to a 1000. “Initially the walks were organised in an informal way. One of us would think of a place, or check it out on Google maps, or sometimes I would drive by a spot, and decide to have the walk there. But now that we have grown to a large number, there is a core group of two people each month, who decide and organise the walks—and upload the event on Facebook. This is how the walkers know about the next walk, and we all get togeth-

er at the spot early morning, and begin our walks” adds Imam. Starting with 15 to 20 walkers, today each walk has at least 25 to 40 walkers, on trails that last for about 3 or 4 hours. The walkers start at about 5 am in the summers, and about 6:00 am in the winters. And if they veer off the trails, it’s no worry—it’s just a bit more fun, along with a bit of extra walk! The youngest member of the group is about 5 years old, and the oldest active member is over 60. Nanao Rajkumari, 10, and a member of the LWG says, “ I am very excited for every walk, because they make us explore a lot. The best ones are when we climb the mountains I don’t even realise when the walk starts, and when it ends. Earlier, among the young walkers, it was only me and another friend; but when I told the others how much I like it, and how much fun we have, many of my friends joined in. Now we are nine or ten young walkers. My favourite was the walk from Bio-diversity Park, all the way to Vasant Kunj.

AMAN BHUTANI

It rained so much that day, and we were jumping in all the puddles. It doesn’t matter to me how early the walks are; I can wake up as early as required, and will do anything to go for the walks.” Nanao’s mother Anushree, a development professional with an international NGO and a walker, adds, “I love the walks. Of course, sometimes you want

to just stay in bed, because its so early; but my daughter drags me out of my bed, and makes sure we go.” “LWG is like a big family now. Unlike other groups, where people strike out on their own, walkers in LWG are very sensitive to each other. Like sometimes my daughter goes ahead of me while walking, but I know that someone will look out for her. Or if there is a hard spot ahead, when we are on mountain walks, I know she is safe because there will be someone with her. This is the beauty of the group. And she is also now comfortable with the rest,” adds Anushree. The last walk was an organised ‘Food Walk’, that took about 35 walkers to Chandi Chowk— and involved walking and eating, for the day. The walkers took the Metro to Chandni Chowk, explored the area, and tried different foods. Apart from the morning walks, LWG also organises monthly moonlight walks (on a full moon night). Somanshu Kalra, IBM employee

WALKERS’ DAY OUT: One of the many walks; sometimes you can hitch a ride

and a walker, says, “For one of the moonlight walks, some of us went to the Bio-diversity Park early morning with some whitewash, and marked a 3-4 kms trail that led to a temple. Then all the members got together, around 8.30 pm, and followed the marked trail—and enjoyed a beautiful moonlit walk up to the temple, where we had some chai and lots of fun.” “Most of us work in high pressure jobs and are tied by deadlines, timings and rules. LWG is the perfect opportunity to do what you want to, without any rules. You can just go in to the middle of the jungle, and have a picnic. You also connect with like-minded people, and make new friends. Like today, I am going to a walker’s birthday party, who is now a good friend.” adds Kalra. Besides exploring new trails and going for fun walks, the walkers believe in talking up initiatives to contribute to society. This Diwali, after the early morning walk, the walkers decided to celebrate the festival with Arushi—an NGO that works for shelters for the homeless and orphans. The walkers distributed sweets, made rangoli, and danced and sang songs with the inhabitants of the NGO. “Also last winter, we found out that there are several homeless people—around the temples, mosques, gurdwaras, the railway station etc.—who were exposed to the cold. So we collected warm clothes and blankets, went there one evening, and distributed them among the needy,” says Somanshu. So if you are looking for an experience where you can feel a spring in your step, have fun with like-minded people, explore the city beyond its concrete structure, and do your bit for society, Let’s Walk Gurgaon is for you. Sehba concludes, “We are not here to achieve any goals. It’s all about exploring, and being one with nature.” u


20

Wellness

4–10 November 2011

production of infection-fighting T-lymphocytes and interferons. Andrographis is a popular herb, known as Kalamegh in India and ChuanXinLian in China. This particularly bitter tasting herb is sometimes called ‘Bhui-neem’ (‘neem of the ground’) because it is similar in appearance and taste to Neem (Azadirachtaindica). It enhances the body’s ability to resist infection, by stimulating the production of antibodies and large white blood cells. It can also aid in alleviating sleeplessness and sore throat. Black Elderberry—found in most parts of Europe—has important antioxidant and healing properties. It enhances the immune system by stimulating cytokine production. These act as messengers in the immune system, to help regulate immune response—thus helping to defend the body against disease. Ginseng—although the exact mechanism of how it works is yet to come to light; regular consumption of ginseng has many well documented benefits, including increased energy, stress resistance and convalescence. Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs in America today. It was recognized over a century ago, as a natural infection fighter. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Tip of the week

Everyone’s immune system is unique. Each person’s physiology responds to active substances differently. However, some rules are universally applicable. Successfully managing the interplay between four interdependent pillars, goes a long way towards building a bastionlike robust immune system. The four pillars are: 1. A proactive stress-coping strategy is of paramount importance. Stress related hormones affect the thymus, and its

The Natural Immunity Boost ability to produce cytokines and interleukins—which, in turn, are required to stimulate and co-ordinate white blood cell (T cell) activity. 2. Immunity enhancing diet: Following a fruit and vegetable diet rich in antioxidants is essential to supporting our immune system, because antioxidants combat free radicals. Choosing healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids available in oily fish and flaxseed helps increase the body’s production of immune enhancing compounds. Oats, barley, yeast and me-

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

Cure for an aching back

For all lower back pains, slipped discs, inflammation and muscle spasms Kati Basti is the best and safest bet. It is especially helpful for chronic problems. Hot aromatherapy towels are used to warm up your back, and your lower lack is bathed in warm, herbal oil that is poured into a dough dam (flour ring) built on your lower back. The herbs are lipid soluble, and are easily absorbed into the stiff or painful area.

Fix for problematic knees

Similar to Kati Basti, Janu Bati is a specialised treatment for curing chronic and acute knee joint pain, muscle spasm, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, stiffness of knee joints and ligament injuries. A dough circle is made over both knee joints, and warm medicated oil and herbal extracts are slowly poured into

tion. Exercise also promotes good circulation, which in turn enhances effective distribution of the cells involved in building immunity. 4. Quality sleep is invaluable in building our immunity levels. This explains how we catch infections easily, after several late nights in a row, which might compromise the total quantity and quality of sleep—one of the most important detoxifying and regenerative processes of our body.

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week:

Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

Certain herbs stimulate the

Ayurveda, For Your Aches And Pains

M

ost of us have gone home, complaining of stiffness or pain in the joints, and have heard our mums react “At this age! You are so young, you should complain of these problems when you are my age.“And yes, mothers are right. But such problems have become a part of our fast paced, ‘high living’ lifestyles—where we are struggling between our corporate jobs, nuclear families (raising children with no help), and our late night party life. Striking a balance between such a lifestyle and maintaining good health is not easy. Popping pills is no answer . So, here are some natural, Ayurvedic solutions for these ‘new age’ or rather ‘early age’ problems—like stress, joint pains, obesity, insomnia, hair loss—that can be treated in a painless, natural way.

dicinal mushroom derived glucans are notable for their ability to modulate the immune system. Zinc is abundant in oysters, crab, beef, turkey (dark meat) and beans. Garlic has important virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and ward off infections. 3. An active exercise protocol contributes in a big way towards building a healthy immune system, by mobilizing white blood cells (T cells) that guard the body against infec-

PRAKHAR PANDEY

P

revention is better than cure. A stitch in time saves nine. Health is better than wealth. We know it... but don’t live it. Even for our own personal health. We tend to underestimate the benefits of building our immune defences, in advance of the onslaught of infections— seasonal or otherwise. The immune system is our body’s first line of defence, to ward off harmful infections. It involves the close interaction of specialized cells. The skin, the mucous lining, and the lymphatic system, communicate seamlessly with the nervous system and the endocrine (hormonal) system, to produce a well orchestrated army of protector cells.

DURGADATT PANDEY

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

also alleviates diseases like coryza, hemiplegia, mental disorders, sinusitis, shoulder pains, headache, stiffness of neck and jaw, tonsillitis, tetanus, stammering, and heaviness of voice. Nyasa is a part of Panchakarma therapy. Panchakarma (five actions) means five types of therapeutic measures.

Say goodbye to fat and cellulite

the circle; where it stays for a specific period of time. This therapy not only strengthens the knee joints, but also improves blood circulation, that eases out the stiffness.

Royal treatment for all body aches

Popularly known as the “King’s Treatment”, Pizhichil, was used in ancient times by the Maharajas, for extremely high Vata doshas symptoms, such as muscular aches and pains, osteoarthritis, rheumatic problems, as well as insomnia and depression. At the start, a suitable oil will be applied all over your body. Then warm medicinal oil is squeezed from a cotton cloth, while you lie on a straight wooden bed. This special form of Ayurvedic treatment combines rich oil massage with a heat treatment, enhancing muscular tone as well as rejuvenating your entire nervous system.

The Stress and Tension Cure

One of the main problems that accompany our hectic lifestyle is stress and tension. A purifying and rejuvenating therapy, Shirodhara, involves pouring of warm medicated oils or herbal extracts over the forehead, or the third eye, for a specific period of time. This greatly helps to relax and calm our minds, harmonising the Vata dosha of our body, and restor-

According to Ayurveda, the 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) combine into the 3 energies (doshas) of Vata (ether and air), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth). Imbalance of the doshas makes us unhealthy.

ing the nerves. This medicated and calming Ayurvedic therapy also stimulates the body and the mind. It not only increases intelligence and cognitive powers, but is also a curative therapy for eye disease, anxiety, stress, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, high blood pressure, headache and excess fatigue.

Udvartana, an Ayurvedic deep tissue massage, helps reduce fat pockets from your body, known as cellulite; along with toning of your muscles, improving blood circulation in your body, and reducing joint pains caused due to excess weight. The massage, using dry herbal powders is not only good for reducing cellulite, but also increases the metabolic rate. For people suffering from excess weight and obesity caused by a sedentary lifestyle there is Gharshan. Especially effective for the Kapha dosha types, this massage and the friction caused from it, increases blood circulation, removes toxins from the body, and helps oxygenate the cells. Gharshan helps weight loss, and clears the clogging of impurities, that may cause formation of cellulite.

The perfectly natural E.N.T therapy

The most ancient therapy for overall well being

A beneficial therapy for problems related to eyes, ears, nose and throat, is the Nasya Panchkarma. This involves pouring of medicated oils into the nostrils. This therapy helps in increasing the oxygenation process, thereby improving the functionality of the brain, by cleaning the channels of the head through the nose—which is the gateway to the head. Along with making sense organs healthy, increasing hair growth, preventing greying and early aging, this treatment

Abhyanga is the classic Ayurvedic oil massage. The key to this massage is the use of a specified hand movement, and pressure for a specific period of time. One of the earliest massages in the field of Ayurveda, Abhyanga was an integral part of daily routine, for overall health and well-being. A great therapy for nourishing the body and increasing stamina, vitality, flexibility and strength, it also helps to relieve body pains. u


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22

B usiness

4–10 November 2011

Write Your Own Prescription PRAKHAR PANDEY

The buck stops at Guardian

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

‘W

hy can’t a Bania play hockey or football for India? Because every time he gets a corner, he opens

a shop!’ This is what Ashutosh Garg has been doing for the last 8 years, after setting up Guardian Pharmacy in 2003. From a single store that was opened in Galleria market, less than a kilometre from his residence, Garg has come a long way. Guardian is now the second largest pharmacy retailer in the country—with 250 own stores, and 33 franchise stores, in 26 cities. Garg says that the beginning, with a single store, was the toughest—as he ran the store single-handedly for three months; even as people close to him found it difficult to accept the decision. He opened the store, mopped the floors, sold medicine, and closed it—while praying for more customers. A tough task indeed for a man who had scaled

The best thing about the Millennium City is that it has new communities that have global exposure and young people with no legacy of the past corporate heights at a young age, and was used to the perks and privileges that come with it. At 35, Garg had become the youngest Managing Director of ITC Global Holdings Private Limited. He left the company in 1995, after serving it for 16 years. He moved on to the aerospace industry. However, bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, Garg quit the job in August, 2003, to set up a venture of his own. Only, he did not know what to begin with. In his autobiography The Buck Stops Here, Garg writes that there was no super business plan that could be immediately put into action. He and his wife had planned many things—to launch Enid Blyton books in India, to launch a food chain, and also take the McDonald franchise for a part of the country; but

nothing materialised. In hindsight, this might have been a blessing in disguise, as the ‘Bania’ in Garg smelled an opportunity in the pharma retail business. “It was while helping a friend set up a hospital in Gurgaon that I noticed a chance in the pharma industry”, he says; adding that being at the right time at the right place (Gurgaon) was a great help. “I also wanted to ensure that fake and spurious drugs are not sold in the market”, he says. He adds that, to ensure Guardian sells the best, they deal directly with the manufacturers, and also keep a close watch on the stores. There are 800,000 chemist shops in India, and they are doing a business of Rs. 1 lakh crore, he says. This provides a great opportunity to the organised retailers to grow. It was based on this premise that Garg wrote his business plan, and the first line he wrote was—“to build a Boots in India”. Boots is a UK based pharma retail company that is considered an icon in the industry. Being in Gurgaon, and starting from here, has been one of the most important reasons for his success, asserts Garg. He

A man with varied tastes, Ashutosh Garg has built a wonderful art and curio collection over the years—mainly from his foreign travels. The pride of place is occupied by a ten-headed Ravana from Indonesia, and a 200-year old brass plaque from Russia. Not satisfied with his real estate in Gurgaon, Garg has bought 1,400 hectares of land on the moon, though his peers made fun of him for doing this. Garg says that he likes to buy unique things; and in his pursuit of the rare, he bought a piece of the erstwhile Berlin wall. While not selling medicine through the Guardian stores, Garg helps young entrepreneurs, and mentors them as a charter member of the The Indus Entre-

wants to be the biggest and most trusted chemist in the country. “Gurgaon is a very open market, where people are ready to adapt new formats, and want better quality and service”, he says. The best thing about the Millennium City is that it has new communities that have global exposure and young people with no legacy of the past, reveals Garg. Not only this, people are ready to give feedback and suggestions—and this helped us in many ways, he adds. That the success story of Guardian is built on the strong foundation of Gurgaon is quite clear—as his company operates 33 of the 250 stores in the city alone. “It is because of Gurgaon that we have grown across the country”, he adds. Within 2 years of setting up the chain, Garg clocked a turnover of Rs. 7 crores; but the challenges cropped up soon. The biggest challenge in this business is to manage a complex supply chain, that suffers due to poor infrastructure. And managing the stores is tough, due to an extremely high number of active ‘Store Keeping Units’, called SKUs in retail parlance. The exceptional experience and

preneurs (TIE). He also is a board member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and is the only Asian on the board. His wife Vera, he says, has been a great motivation in his life, and has helped him in making important transitions. One of his sons is pursuing an MBA at the London Business School, whereas the other is a brand manager with Procter and Gamble in Canada— perhaps preparing himself to put Guardian on the global map. It is a scenario reminiscent of a Jeffrey Archer novel. Some things that he wants to do in the near future is to play the flute again; and most importantly, write another book. “There is another story inside of me”, he says, with a broad smile.

management skills from his 16 years in ITC proved handy in managing these issues. Garg says he invested heavily in technology, and networked all the Guardian stores. “All our transactions can be tracked from headquarters, and even stores, can be observed centrally, through in-store cameras”, he says. In addition, Garg says he has worked to ensure that the company does business in an ethical manner, and earns the trust of the customers, as well as all other stakeholders. Pharma retail business, he says, is a very different ballgame, and many bigger names have moved out, finding the going tough. “We are the only pure play pharmacy in business. We manage large number of SKUs, store only medicine, and ensure supply reaches stores efficiently”, says Garg. “The pharmacists in our shops play an important role, and they are trained well. Other than medicine, we are the largest players in nutrition”, he says. In addition, Garg has also launched a number of private labels, that can be sold to customers—particularly those that are loyal to Guardian. This will perhaps not only add to profits, but also help in offering variety to the buyers. Winning customer loyalty is the most important thing, he says. Guardian runs special loyalty schemes like Advantage Card, free medical camps, prescription order reminders. The loyalty programme now has 3,50,000 members, and they are offered medicine and other services at discounted rates. Another milestone that boosted Guardian is the hospital store format, wherein the company has set up stores in hospitals like Banaras Hindu University,

Guardian is now the second largest pharmacy retailer in the country— with 250 own stores, and 33 franchise stores, in 26 cities Medicity in Gurgaon and 45 others. This not only gives them captive buyers, but also volumes—and has been a major revenue earner for Guardian. Garg, however, wants to grow faster, and wants the government to allow FDI in pharma retail. “FDI should be allowed, as it boosts organised retail, and helps businessmen like me to raise money easier and cheaper”, he says. He believes it will also help in bringing down the prices. To young managers, he says, it’s the most opportune time to jump into the entrepreneurial bandwagon. Learn the basic skills in large companies, network with people, and learn from others before staring a business, he says. “It is also important to separate management from ownership; and I first think of myself as a CEO, then the founder”, he says. Being a resident of Gurgaon for the last 12 years, he is not happy with the current situation in the Millennium City. “When I came to Gurgaon, I expected the city to grow in a planned manner; but my hopes have been belied. The roads are in bad shape, power supply is poor, and civic infrastructure needs a massive boost”, says Garg. He warns that it may not be long when capital takes flight, as it has slowly happened in other cities. The shift of Maruti, he suggests, should be taken as a warning signal. “The people in Gurgaon are some of the most successful professionals, and they must be given the minimum enabling infrastructure and space to grow here”, he says. Gurgaon, he asserts, has become a golden goose for the politicians. They must resist the temptation to kill it, else the Millennium City will lose its edge. “The government has to hold the hand of the community, and let them grow”, says Garg; a spirit that he incorporates in his business. “I want to build an ethical business that outgrows the promoters”, he asserts. u


4–10 November 2011

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

B usiness

23

Powering Student Dreams

he inability of the Indian education system to produce employable graduates has led to a situation where students, even after completing three to four years in colleges, find themselves staring at a blank future. IMS offers courses not only They are neither equipped for industry nor entrepreneurship. for MBA entrance, but also Most of the colleges—whether Bachelors Courses in Busigovernment or private—offer ness, BCA, CA-CPT, and the them degrees that make them el- national law entrance called igible for jobs, but do not impart CLAT, informs Bhushan. The Institute has permanent as well skills to perform complex tasks. This gap in the system has as part time faculty, that teach spawned an industry of coach- the students various techniques ing institutes, entrance exam to crack these tests, he adds. While there is no harm in training centres, and software institutes; that promise to make joining such institutes, the the Indian youth dream come teachers caution the students to true. Whether it is to help stu- join only renowned institutes; dents to go abroad for university and not those run by fly-by-night education, to enter the premier operators that also dot the area. MBA institutes, or to get a bet- “We have many cases where stuter job in software companies, dents are duped by people who (or even to learn the Queen’s are not serious”, they aver. Old DLF in Gurgaon is not language), Gurgaon’s Old DLF area in Sector 14 has emerged only a hub for those seeking salas the mecca training ground vation in MBA programmes, but also for people seeking greener for aspirants. Hundreds of students can be pastures abroad. Institutes like seen marching every day to in- Jamboree, Princeton Review, stitutes like TIME, IMS and Ca- Achievers Point prepare stureer Launcher; and also some dents for GMAT, SAT, GRE IELTS—that are to smaller ones for MBA coaching, and a course seen as a passport to corporate riches and success in the private sector. Tanuja Chandra, Director of TIME Gurgaon, who herself is an IIT and IIM alumna, says that her institute prepares students for the CAT entrance in a very structured manner. The students, she says, are made to understand the concepts of different subjects from a basic level; and Bharti Sankla Monika Prasad thereafter trained for speed and accuracy. “The students in Gurgaon are smart and very competitive, and they are ready for toil and hardwork to achieve success”, she says. Her words are echoed by Tarannum Raza, English faculty at TIME, who says even average students have achieved top ranks by working diligently. Another interesting facet is that the Bhupesh Saini Rajbir Kaur students are not only drawn from the New Gurgaon area; the MBA train- be cleared, to get entry into ing centres have students from foreign universities. Sohna, Manesar, Dharuhera, ReRajbir Kaur, a faculty at wari— and even Mahendragarh. Achievers Point, tells us, “There “Though some of the stu- are many who want to pursue dents from these areas find Eng- serious studies, and others who lish difficult initially, they man- want to apply for permanent age with hard work. We not only residency abroad. Australia, teach CAT success skills, but New Zealand and Canada are the also mentor them—so that they most popular countries; while develop confidence,” Raza adds. US is a bit tougher to enter,” An MBA today is the most she adds. sought after programme. The Jamboree is another institute demand is not only powered by that is popular. Centre manager fresh graduates, but by hun- Ankit Matta states, “Most of dreds of engineers and other the students are working profesworking professionals; who sionals, particularly engineers. want to enroll in a quality MBA “Every month we get 50 to 60 programme, and enter the man- students, and a batch begins evagement side of business. ery second week”, he says, pointShashi Bhushan, Market- ing to the popularity of their ing Manager IMS Gurgaon, says courses in English and Maths. that demand for MBA coaching While a large number of stuin Gurgaon is greatly boosted dents are looking to go abroad, by working professionals, who there are lesser mortals seekwant to grow higher, faster. “We ing entry into university and have a good mix of students; college degrees, through the and with business schools seek- private route. There are a numing experienced graduates, we ber of institutes here offering are well prepared to cater to the value for money graduate and needs of the market”, he avers. post-graduate courses, par-

Training institutes plug the holes in/enhance our education system prakhar pandey

FLOCKING TO LEARN: Students at the Gurgaon branch of ZAD, a global study centre of MDU-Rohtak

ticularly of Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak. Bhupesh Saini, Centre Manager of ZAD, Gurgaon, a global study centre of MDU-Rohtak, says that there is a great demand for university courses in Gurgaon, as there are just a few government colleges— and the Millennium City still does not have a university. “We fill the gap by offering diploma and degree courses, that are recognised by the industry and academia,” he says, adding that students get a chance to advance in life after going through these courses. Many of the students in such institutes are working in private companies, and did not earlier get an opportunity to pursue higher education, he asserts. There are at least a hundred institutes in Gurgaon offering courses from MDU, Rohtak, and several other institutes. Experts caution the need to assess one’s career needs, and only then decide to spend on a particular course—as many of the degrees, even those that are technical, offer no practical training and knowledge. Even engineering, MCA and technical diploma holders have to join specialised courses to become industry ready, claims Bharti Sankla, who runs Global Vision Technologies (GVT), a training centre for software professionals. Sankla says that the courses taught in colleges are not in touch with ground realities, and are centred around theory. “Most of the B Tech. and MCA students who come to GVT want to learn the latest technologies, that are part of their course but are not taught to them”, she says. She adds that private institutes can fine-tune the courses, and arrange part-time faculty who are experts in their domain. Most of the courses at GVT are industry-specific, and teach

students programming, web designing, testing, SEO, and other skills that are in demand, says Sankla. While Sankla’s institute offers courses in the range of Rs. 5,000 to 40,000, there are institutes like JK Technosoft that specialise in particular technologies like SAP. Swati Sharma, Counsellor, at JK Technosoft, reveals that they charge Rs. 3 – 3.5 lakh for the course—that takes a month and a half to complete. “We get 20 to 25 students every month; there is good demand for this course”, she says. E3 Innovations is a similar venture, offering students highly specialised courses on mobile phone operating systems—such as Android, Apple, Blackberry and Meego. Monika Prasad, Partner in E3 Innovations says, “Most of the aspirants are technical students, and they are able to get jobs after learning the nuances from mobile technologies here”, she says. “We act as a bridge between the students and the corporates”. DUCAT Gurgaon, a recent entrant, has met with good response. Sanjeev Sharma, who is Administration Manager, says that the number of students opting for software courses is increasing by the day. “We offer courses in all the technologies, and also help students in getting jobs”, he adds. In addition to software, a number of industry-ready courses are also available, that offer students professional certifications in accounts, finance, architecture and other fields.

Vishwajeet Singh, Manager Operations, IIFCA, an institute that offers courses in accounts and finance says, “We get a lot of students from Old Gurgaon and adjoining rural areas, as many of them want to join the companies that are setting up operations in the city. This course enables the students to apply for industrial accountancy, and ensures that they secure reasonable salaries”, he says. IIFCA Gurgaon also helps its students get placement in companies. Many of them are now opting for even ERP courses, informs Singh, who has been in the education industry for the past several years. Bright Professionals is a CA training centre. Mamta, Gurgaon centre incharge, says that all subjects of CA are taught here, and it is ensured that students excel in their chosen course. There are many such institutes in Gurgaon, and in Old DLF in particular, that are offering a way forward for people in the Millennium City. This story would not be complete without mentioning the role of English-training institutes, that have mushroomed in the city, offering help to improve the basic spoken and written language skills. Inlingua, English Guroo, Achievers Point, English Express and many more are flocked to by the youth. “Speaking English is a necessity in this country, despite the fact that Hindi is our mother tongue”, says a teacher who had to forego his MBA dreams, as he was not, then, well-acquainted with the Queen’s language. u

Realty Rates

(in Rs. as of November 2, 2011)

Sector 52 HUDA plot 100 sq yds 67,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 HUDA plot 160 sq yds 65,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 200 sq yds 65,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 360 sq yds 75,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 400 sq yds 65,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 500 sq yds 55,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 Sushant Estate 3 BHK 1.1 0 cr

Sector 52 Sushant Estate 2BHK 95 lakh

Sector 52 Ardee City plots 75,000/ sq yd

Sector 52 Ardee City 2 BHK flats 70 – 75 lakh

Sector 52 Ardee City 3 BHK 90-95 lakh

Sector 52 Ardee City 4 BHK 95 lakh – 1 cr


24

S ports

4–10 November 2011

It’s All About The Journey { Shilpy Arora / FG }

T

he city was abuzz with sports activities in October. It was not only the 25th Haryana State Olympic Games that made the city a proud host, but also a cycling event that took a few to glory. Nine men have created history, cycling from Gurgaon to Agra— to spread the green message. For the first time in North India, a cycling group, called ‘Team T3’, was given permission to organise randonneuring—a cycling sport in which participants attempt to cycle long distances within a predefined time limit. “It was a proud moment for us when we got permission from Audax Club Parisien—a French cycling group—to conduct what is known as a cycling brevet from Gurgaon. The best thing about this sport is all randonneurs receive equal recognition, regardless of their finishing order. This instills the spirit of sport. Unlike competitive races, cyclists are expected to keep within minimum and maximum average speed limits, and they have to be self-sufficient between the check points—which are a few tens of kilometres apart,” says Manas Arvind, co-founder of the team T3. Randonneuring is a rare sport in India, as it requires immense physical strength, good road infrastructure, and even better traffic management. However, a congested national highway, rough stretches of Nuh, and muddy lanes of Mathura, couldn’t discourage this hardy group of cyclists. “The journey was a brutal mix of dust and awful bumps, coupled with sleep deprivation. Roads in India are not meant for randonneuring. It was due to the organisers’ support that all the nine riders could complete the brevet in time,” says Amitabh Bhattacharya, an advertising professional from Mumbai—who completed the ride in 22 hours, against the set time limit of 27 hours. Gurgaonites Nitish Bajaj, Satish Kumar Singh and Umesh

Mutta also completed the brevet in 22 hours.

On the Road

Nine randonneurs were flagged off from Lemon Tree Hotel in Gurgaon on October 29. The trail took them through Nuh, to Hodal, Mathura, and finally Sikandra (near Agra); from where they turned back, to hit Lemon Tree Hotel on October 30. Amitabh pedalled like a seasoned professional. He was the first at the check post at Nuh; and then checked in first at Dab-

Upcoming Brevets S.no

Brevet

Date

1

200 km brevet from Gurgaon to Hodal via Nuh

Dec 4, 2011

2

300 km brevet from Gurgaon to Singhana Dec 17, 2011 via Riwari

3

600 km brevet from Gurgaon to Alwar via Bharatpur

Challenges ahead

chick also. Equally talented Nitish was distinctively unlucky, as his bicycle had a puncture on the way to Dabchick. However, it didn’t bring down the sporting spirit. “Fellow riders helped me fix the bicycle. And also this sport is not about finishing first, but finishing with a good spirit in the specified period of time,” says Nitish, a marketing professional based

{ FG Bureau }

C

Jan 28, 2012

in Gurgaon. Four randonneurs—Amitabh, Nitish, Satish, and Umesh touched Sikandra, at 3 pm on October 29, after cycling a distance of 207 km. The quartet returned to Lemon Tree Hotel in the wee hours of October 30. All the randonneurs were the cynosure of all eyes when they completed the 400 km + ride. “It was a historic moment. I was missing the joy of cycling, as during this brevet I decided to be the road marshall (a person who follows randonneurs, and provides them support at the check points). But at the end, the joy of seeing everybody finishing the brevet was more than doing it.” feels Dr. Chiro Priyo Mitra, one of the founders, and a major force behind Team T3.

ricket is religion in India. The country has many academies, where thousands of youngsters come to learn and master the game. Lately, the big stars of Indian cricket have entered into this business-cum-promotion of the game. After Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag (the latter recently launched his academy in Jhajjar district), Yuvraj Singh has also launched his Academy— ‘The Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence’ (YSCE), in Gurgaon’s Pathways World School. “I have been to various academies since my childhood, to polish my cricketing skills; but none of them provided me the desired outcome. Most of the academies lack the basic infrastructure. Here, we are going to provide excellent facilities, to nurture the best talent for the country,” said Yuvraj Singh, after inaugurating the Academy. Yuvraj spoke about his availability for the Academy, “I will remain in touch with

Although the future of randonneuring in India looks bright, as more cycling enthusiasts are evincing interest in this sport, it is hard to pursue as a career. “I am very much into cycling since childhood. But I can’t think of becoming a professional cyclist, because it is really difficult to get sponsors for such events in this cricket crazy nation. If you go to an elite party, you will be covered in the newspaper. But if you ride for 27 hours, you won’t get any acknowledgment,” laughs Harjot, 17, the youngest participant of the T3 brevet.

Yuvraj Launches Cricket Academy

Despite the slew of challenges this sport faces in the country, there are a few people who promise never to give up. “We are looking at a bigger goal— to form a pool of talented cyclists, and train and equip them to participate in international events like Race Across America (RAAM)—which is considered to be the toughest bicycle race in the world. Our target is to send a solo participant, and a team, to RAAM in 2013,” states Dr. Mitra. Besides RAAM, Team T3 also looks at promoting cycling as a daily mode of transportation, and making Gurgaon a greener city. u

How to participate? Cyclists must meet the following pre-requisites: ► Should have experience of some century rides (a bicycle ride of 160.9 km or more within 12 hours) ► Should be mentally and physically fit ► Should not have any respiratory or cardiac problems Beginners can join Team T3 every morning, on a 50 km ride— from Gurgaon to India Gate, and back. For more information, contact – Team T3, 371 A, C-Block, Sushant Lok-I, Gurgaon. Email: brevets@teamt3india.com

coaches and the players of the Academy through the internet. My main motive behind this academy is to enhance, as well as unearth, the best possible talent for the country.” I will definitely invite senior players of Team India to give tips to youngsters here. I hope my guidance in this Academy will yield some bright prospects for Indian cricket,” he added. Learning cricket professionally has always been considered a costly affair; and the academies in and around NCR, charge a huge fee for admission. “No doubt, cricket is a costly game at the professional level, and bearing the expenses is not a cakewalk. However, this Academy will also help children from humble backgrounds. If we come across a talented player from such a background, we will definitely provide support,” added Yuvraj. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) Secretary Anirudh Chaudhary, were also present at the launch. u


26

4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 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


Baby Blues Tiger

The Better Half

Two Wise Men The Born Loser Ipso facto Solution 9. The sum of the points on two cans in the back row is equal to the number of points on the can in front of them. So 4+2= 6, 2+7= 9, etc.

Daddy’s Home Andy Capp Zits

4–10 November 2011

T ime Pass 27


28

Apple’s Sassy Siri A secret weapon in battle with Google

A

pple’s legendary co-founder Steve Jobs has a posthumous hit on his hands— with the launch of the iPhone 4S, which was unveiled one day before his death on October 5. Perhaps inspired by the passing of the peerless tech visionary, customers have been streaming to Apple stores to buy the company’s latest smartphone. In the first weekend alone, they snapped up more than 4 million of the devices. Few could have predicted such a rush. On the day that it was presented to the public, the reaction of the blogosphere, Apple fanboys included, was almost universal disappointment. Instead of treating its customers to an all-new iPhone 5, they moaned, the relentlessly innovative Apple had merely settled for an upgrade to the iPhone 4—the same design, with a better screen, processor and camera. Jobs died the next day; and with the benefit of hindsight it emerges that he was right— yet again—and the critics were wrong. He bet that one single inno-

{ Renate Grimming / Berlin / DPA } t wasn’t until a universal connector came along, towards the end of the 1990s, that people could hook up their printer, scanner or camera to a running computer, without a lot of fuss. That’s when USB (Universal Serial Bus) connections came along. The first one was released in 1996, and created a revolution. Since then it has become universal indeed; with all kinds of computers and components using its connections to communicate. Of course, nothing can last forever, and a successor system, Thunderbolt, seems to be waiting in the wings. It is capable of multiple times more performance, which could one day put it ahead of USB. But USB remains a draw. Chip manufacturer Intel has recently released an ad campaign acclaiming staff member Ajay Bhatt, an American of Indian descent who helped create the USB standard, as a “rock star.” The creation was a big step. Finally, it was possible to do without a multitude of connections, and use devices as plug and play components; without first having to go through a lengthy software installation process before the computer would recognize them. Nowadays, no-one thinks twice before plugging a USB stick into a computer, to download data. It’s become so common that almost every producer of computers and peripherals builds the sockets into their products in an effort to ease communication. It makes sense, since USB 2.0 is still widely used in the industry. The newer USB version was first released in 2000. It was a high speed interface that could theoretically transfer data at rates of 480 megabits per second (Mbps). Since it could transfer

vation in the Apple 4S would be enough to silence detractors, establish the new phone as another must-have device, and perhaps forge itself as Apple’s secret weapon in its death-battle with Google. That weapon goes by the name of Siri: Apple’s new

combo of voice recognition and artificial intelligence; that is the closest that humankind has yet seen to the kind of digital servants long portrayed in Hollywood fantasies—like the computer HAL in the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sven Hoppe

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

I

G lobal

4–10 November 2011

Clever Siri even speaks German to this user. The artificial-intelligence software in the latest Apple iPhone 4S could be a game-changer.

Like HAL, Siri is both smart and sassy. In the US it is female, in Britain it is male. But both versions seem to know the answers to lots of questions, and are able to elegantly deflect comments that would be inappropriate if made by one person to another. Siri’s deft sense of humour has already spawned numerous websites devoted to quotable answers. Thus a comment like “I love you Siri” may prompt an answer like “Oh, I bet you say that to all your Apple products.” Ask it to “talk dirty to me” and it might answer “the carpet needs vacuuming.” Questions about the meaning of life have prompted retorts like “I find it odd you would ask that question of an inanimate object”; and “Life: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter.” But Siri is far more than an amusing conversation piece. Apple bought the basis of Siri from SRI International, the famed Silicon Valley research institution, that in past decades was a key player in the developments of the internet and the point-and-click interface, which dominate modern computing. While Google’s Android operating system has enabled voice commands and dictation for a couple of years, Siri goes one better, by seeming to understand natural language questions and providing decent answers.

Universal Connectors, USB, and Thunderbolt data 40 times faster than its predecessor, it could finally be used with video players. Of course, as data files have grown ever more complex and common, USB has become something of a bottleneck since people want today’s larger files transferred as quickly as those from 10 years ago. Many external hard drives connected to computers can now hold hundreds of gigabytes of data. Of course, it’s not always USB’s fault. Other components, like controllers, can play a role in slowing the movement of data. USB 3.0 went on the market this year, promising an increase of speed by a factor of 10. That would mean a gigabyte (GB) of data could be transferred between a flash drive and a computer in just 3.3 seconds. A high definition 25 GB film would, thus, only need 70 seconds to upload to a computer, instead of today’s 13.9 minutes. In the mean time, Intel has teamed up with Apple and Sony to come up with a faster, cable-based transfer standard. Dubbed Thunderbolt, Apple has already incorporated it into its Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, and its newest Mac mini. Sony also uses it, under the name Lightpeak, in its Vaio 721, providing a connection between the laptop and its docking station. LaCie is working on the first peripherals using Thunderbolt, including a just-released, Apple-compatible, 2-terabyte external hard drive. By transferring data at speeds of up to 10 Mbps, Thunderbolt could transfer a full-length high definition

movie in less than 30 seconds. Speeds like that could quickly turn Thunderbolt into an industry standard. “We’ve made our idea about a simple and fast way to transfer data between devices and PCs reality,” says Intel manager Mooly Eden. Thunderbolt has another advantage beyond speed. It can simultaneously transmit

audio, video and files, while also transmitting power. “Thunderbolt is perfect and universally useable,” says Johannes Schuster, an editor with the German computer magazine Mac & i. But the system’s transmission cables are expensive, even when copper is used instead of the more expensive glass fibre. “Thunderbolt will

You can tell it to find restaurants, check the weather or set reminders. But Tim Bajarin, the doyen of technology analysts, believes that the all-knowing digital assistant is also a Trojan Horse, linking its users to huge databases—that will allow Apple to circumvent the search engines of rivals like Google and Microsoft’s Bing, to bring information to its customers. He likens the introduction of Siri to Jobs’ championing of the mouse and the touch screen — two watershed moments in the history of computing. “Jobs and the Apple team have given something to the world that it will look back on and regard as the next major user input technology: voice and speech. But we will also realize that the real breakthrough is in Siri’s applied artificial intelligence (AI),” Bajarin commented. “Use of voice coupled with AI on a consumer product like the iPhone is going to change the way consumers think about man-machine interfaces in the future.” Analysts are already speculating when Siri will be integrated into other Apple products. They are salivating at the prospect of a Siri-enabled Apple TV—a device that some believe could hit the market next year; and grow to become even bigger than Apple’s iPhone success, in a 100-billion-dollar per year sector. u more than likely remain a highend market item.” Apple is using its new monitors to showcase the standard. Along with USB ports, Ethernet connections and a Firewire port, the Thunderbolt port is there to turn the monitor into the command station and a high-performance docking station for a laptop. What Thunderbolt does with its potential remains to be seen. But USB 3.0 will definitely get cheaper, says Schuster. “That means USB has more chances as a mass-use port.” As an added bonus, USB 3.0 is reverse compatible with all its predecessors. u

YouTube’s New Channels To Challenge TV { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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et the TV wars begin. Google’s YouTube is getting the biggest revamp of its short, but spectacular, life—with the web search giant sinking a reputed 100 million dollars into an effort to create 100 professionally produced channels; from the likes of Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and the Wall Street Journal. Google announced the initiative on the weekend, just days after revealing that it was revamping its Google TV technology, which it hopes will marry existing television services with the interactivity and searchability of the internet. The Google TV platform is included in some television sets from Sony, and in set-top boxes from Logitech. It aims to give viewers the ability to find, program and record (with ease) the content from traditional cable and satellite television, as well as from YouTube and other web providers such as Netflix. But Google hopes that its new YouTube initiative will help elevate the world’s most-popular video site from a repository of cute home and music videos, to the go-to place for filmed entertainment—enabling it to finally attract the levels of advertising that its massive audience warrants. “Our goal with this channels’ expansion is to bring an even broader range of entertainment to

YouTube, giving you more reasons to keep coming back,” said Google executive Robert Kyncl in a blog posting. “And for advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers.” YouTube said some of the channels will go online soon, though most will start next year. Some of the other personalities and media organizations involved in creating new channels include basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, who will pilot a comedy channel; rapper Jay-Z, skateboard legend Tony Hawk, production company Lionsgate, and news organization Thompson Reuters. Google is said to have paid the producers an estimated 100 million dollars in advance fees against future advertising revenue. Some of the payments are thought to be a large as 5 million dollars per channel. News of the new effort comes amid increasing speculation that Google’s rival Apple is also reinvigorating its efforts to extend its reach into the living room, with a new Apple TV device. The speculation intensified last week when the biography of the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, quoted him as saying that he had finally cracked the conundrum of how to make an easy-to-use interactive television, and from analyst reports that Apple was ordering TV-related components from suppliers. u


4–10 November 2011

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Magic Ship To Visit Palace Of Heaven { Bill Smith / Beijing / DPA }

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henzhou-8 is the first of three Shenzhou, or Magic Ship, spacecraft that China plans to dock with the orbiting Tiangong-1 over the next two years. It will rendezvous with Tiangong-1, or Palace of Heaven, within two days of the launch, Wu Ping, a spokeswoman for the China Manned Space Engineering Office, said on Monday. Shenzhou-8 is a standard three-part, 8-ton spacecraft consisting of the reentry module, an orbital module and a power module. It will stay linked to the Tiangong-1 space capsule for about 12 days, and then perform a second rendezvous and docking manoeuvre, before it detaches again to allow the re-entry module to return to Earth— about 16 days after the launch, Wu said. “The main tasks of the mission are to perform China’s first space rendezvous and docking tests with Tiangong-1, and to make a breakthrough and demonstrate the automatic docking technology,” she said. Astronauts are scheduled to visit Tiangong-1 next year, on one or both of the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 missions, which will set up a mini-space station comprised of linked capsules. Tiangong-1, which has a planned orbital life of two years, consists of two modules. The power module controls the spaceflight, while the work module contains equipment for space experiments—and has a 15-cubic-metre space designed to accommodate up to three astronauts. The unattached end of the work module houses a docking mechanism, for linking it with the Shenzhou spacecraft,

CHINA’S SHENZHOU-8 : Ready for lift-off

to form a small space laboratory. If the Shenzhou missions and docking technology prove successful, two more Tiangong missions will follow over the next five years, with spacecraft linked to form a larger space laboratory. China will then begin the launches that are scheduled to lead to the assembly of its first permanent space station—around 2020. Key to its success are the heavy-duty Long March-5 rockets under development, to carry loads of up to 25 tons to build the 60-ton space station—which will have an 18-metre-long main capsule linked to two 14-metre work modules. The modules for the space station will be sent into orbit from a new launch centre under construction on the southern island of Hainan.

China achieved the biggest landmark in its human spaceflight programme in 2003, when Yang Liwei, a former air force pilot, became the first Chinese astronaut in space on the Shenzhou-5 mission. Yang’s mission was followed by two more piloted Shenzhou missions. Astronauts on the latest one in 2008 completed the nation’s first spacewalk. Wu said earlier that China was also using technology from its Tiangong and Shenzhou missions to prepare for unmanned lunar landings and deep space exploration. But scientists were “only doing concept research and preliminary feasibility studies on manned moon landings, without a timetable,” she said. China has already launched two lunar probes in its Chang’e programme, which

is named after a Chinese moon goddess. Chang’e-2 was launched in October 2010, to prepare for the country’s first unmanned moon landing scheduled for 2013. Chang’e-3 will feature a first lunar rover, designed to be followed around 2017 by another rover capable of returning to Earth with mineral samples. Scientists said last year that one focus of China’s lunar soil analysis would be the level of helium-3, an isotope that could potentially be used in nuclear fusion in the future. International scientists have studied the potential of helium-3 for use in nuclear fusion since the 1950s, but the Earth contains only an estimated 15 tons, making the mineral a “holy grail” of lunar exploration. As part of its long-term plans for deep-space exploration, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp is researching the building of a lunar base, Yu Dengyun, the deputy chief designer of the Chang’e programme, said last year. The whole space programme is closely supervised by the ruling Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, both of which are led by President Hu Jintao. At a ceremony in December, to mark the success of the Chang’e-2 mission, Hu said the lunar programme reflected a “strategic decision based on China’s goal of building an innovation-driven nation, and achieving rapid economic development.” Yang Liwei, a national hero, who remains an astronaut, and is analternate member of the party’s Central Committee, said in 2007 that once China established a permanent space station the astronauts would “carry out the regular activities of a (party) branch in space.” u

Debt Crisis Forces Young Greeks To Run For The Hills { Christine Pirovolakis / Athens / DPA }

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tock broker Giannis Pantoulis never imagined himself crouching in the dirt, tending to grapevines, in a small town in central Greece. But that, he says, was before the financial crisis caused unemployment to spiral, and major cities such as Athens to descend into chaos—with daily protests and increased violence. “I could foresee that the massive bubble of fake growth, prosperity and wealth would one day burst; and I wanted to get out before it happened,” said Pantoulis, 40. Two years ago, he packed his wife, their two children and all their possessions into a truck; and made the 50-kilometre trip from the northern port city of Thessaloniki to Katerini. Looking down at his winestained hands, Pantoulis admits the journey has not been easy, and the business will take years to become profitable. But he does not regret the move. “Initially everyone thought I was crazy to move back to my father’s town, and take up winemaking; but now they too are seeing that the big cities have nothing to offer,” said Pantoulis. “Our politicians have failed us,” he said. “I am not the only one who has had enough— others are also looking to leave.” Pantoulis is part of a grow-

ing number of Greeks returning to their ancestral villages to take up farming, as the country struggles with its most serious economic crisis since World War II. The government’s efforts to reduce Greece’s massive debt, and qualify for international bailout loans, have been met with anger and disappointment —as Greeks endure cuts to salaries, pensions and benefits amid rising costs. “As more people lose their jobs, they are looking for a stable line of work and cheaper lifestyle... something which will put food on the table; and farming offers this,” said Dimitris Michaelidis, from the Young Farmers Association of Greece. “We are having a hard time keeping up with all the requests for information, from people asking about what crops grow the best in a given area,” he said. Evi Papadimitriou, 30, is among the estimated 60,000 Greeks who have joined the farming community in the past two years, reversing the trend of migration to the cities. Papadimitriou struggled to make ends meet after studying marketing in Athens, working at odd jobs unrelated to her field— before deciding to return to her parent’s town of Arta, in northwestern Greece, to start her own snail farm business.

“I could no longer afford to stay in Athens... so I took the risk. If I make just enough to cover what I need to live on, I will be happy,” said Papadimitriou. She believes the economic crisis may turn out to be a good thing, as more young people will be forced to move to the countryside, bringing abandoned villages and towns back to life. Many educated, young Greeks are now also seeking to emigrate to the United States, Australia, other parts of the Europe or the Middle East. More than five decades ago, hundreds of thousands of poor farmers and blue-collar workers left Greece to seek a better life abroad, most of them working in factories or restaurants. During the prosperous 1980s and 1990s, a large number opted to return. Others were lured back by Greece’s economic success—after joining the Euro, and jobs opening up as Athens prepared to host the 2004 Olympic Games. According to Europass, which provides employers and employment agencies with resumes of mainly young people from all over Europe, 13,300 Greeks sent in their resumes in September; compared to 2,200 the same month in 2008. More than 63 per cent where under the age of 30. “I could not get a job here, and I just do not see things get-

ting any better for several more years to come,” said biologist Evgenia Tsakili, 27, who found work as a laboratory researcher on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. An October seminar on Australia’s migration policy and visa procedures, organized by its embassy in Athens, caused its website to be backlogged with thousands of applications. In Frankfurt, officials at the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, a group that represents and assists the Greek diaspora, said they have been swamped with requests for information on employment in Germany.

“Every day we get calls, the majority of which are young professional people between 30-35 years old, who are unemployed, seeking our advice and help about working in Germany,” Giorgos Amarantidis from the council said in a phone interview. He estimates that 4,000 people have emigrated to Germany in the last three months; the majority without finding work. “Greek doctors are being lured to the United Kingdom, and Germany is asking for technical professionals such as engineers,” said Amarantidis, who emigrated to Germany in the mid-1980s. “Young Greek people are coming here, terrorized by the state that Greece is in, and for their future,” he said. “They tell us that they have no trust in the country’s system, and that they will not go back.” u


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4–10 November 2011

Shakespeare Film Anonymous Stokes Old Controversy Nestor Bachmann

{ Andy Goldberg / Los Angeles / DPA }

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irector Roland Emmerich has always kept the sparks flying, in blockbuster disaster movies—like Independence Day, Godzilla and 2012. But it is in his latest film, a supposedly cerebral drama set in 16th century England, that he is facing his greatest flashpoint. Entitled Anonymous, the film revives the old and much-debunked theory that Shakespeare did not actually write the greatest plays in the English language. Whereas previous proponents of such conspiracy theories at least attempted to make a bona fide effort at historical accuracy, critics claim that Emmerich has played fast, and loose with the facts in a bid to come up with a dramatic narrative. Normally placid literary scholars like James Shapiro of Columbia University admit to getting “cranky” about what they call a “fantasy and counter factual presentation”—in which the Bard is portrayed as a drunken, semi-literate oaf; A Midsummer Night’s Dream is written by a 9-year-old; and the virgin Queen Elizabeth I is a promiscuous harlot who has an affair with her son. Along the way, Emmerich, the German-born master of disaster, can’t resist dabbling in his speciality—and squeezes in a spectacular fire of the Globe theatre, that happens 10 years earlier than the recorded date. The hero of the film is Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who is the long-suffering bard of the traditional Shakespeare

A set from the controversial new Shakespeare movie Anonymous which was filmed largely at the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam near Berlin.

conspiracy theorists. But mere literary intrigue is never enough for a Hollywood blockbuster; so Emmerich throws in all manner of speculation, to juice up his story. The Earl of Oxford is thus Elizabeth I’s illegitimate son, her incestuous lover, and the father of his bastard prince brother to boot. Some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, like Henry V and Richard III, were actually mere political screeds, accord-

ing to the film. They were designed by de Vere to stir up popular feeling for his brother, to succeed his mother as English monarch—a supposed palace plot for which creditable historians have found little to no evidence. Oh, and along the way, Shakespeare murders his colleague Christopher Marlowe, who is about to blow his secret. The inaccuracies, it turns out, are so bad that there’s even a special Wikipedia

section devoted to them. “The film is completely preposterous,” opines Holger Syme, a Shakespeare expert who heads the English Department at the University of Toronto. Not only is it “ludicrous, pompous, ignorant, illinformed and clumsy,” it even aspires to masquerade as educational; accompanied by a documentary and teaching points for high school instructors. The film “presents a compelling portrait of Edward de Vere as the true author of Shakespeare’s plays,” says Sony Pictures, in a lesson plan it has been distributing to literature and history teachers. “This film tells me very little about Shakespeare’s England,” said Shapiro in a Los Angeles Times interview. “It tells me about Sony Pictures and Hollywood culture.... It really suits our cultural moment, and that’s one in which faithbased arguments should be taken as seriously as those grounded in fact.” Emmerich, who concedes that his research on the subject is confined to watching a few DVD’s and conducting some Google searches, insists that the film is accurate. He has conveniently explained away the lack of supporting evidence as the result of Elizabethan England being a “proto-Stalinist state”, in which playwrights were too scared to write the truth. But if there’s one thing that the critics—both academic and cinematic—can agree on, it’s that apart from the minor detail of the inaccurate and incomprehensible plot, the film is well made—especially its computer-generated depiction of 16th-century London. The film “is a vulgar prank on the English literary tradition, a travesty of British history and a brutal insult to the human imagination,” concludes the New York Times reviewer A O Scott. “Apart from that, it’s not bad.” u

How Parents Can Help A Stuttering Child the child’s presence. Though parents cannot influence stuttering, they can create an atmosphere in which their child feels comfortable speaking freely. “It’s important to not interrupt the child, and to maintain eye contact when the child wants to say something,” Bruegge said. Parents can initially observe the child for a while to see

{ Julia Kirchner / Stuttgart / DPA }

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hen 5-year-old Jasmin has a good day, she chatters away without faltering, or having to try more than once to say certain words. On her bad days she struggles with a stutter. Then she says, “Mama, today’s a stupid day. My word doesn’t want to come out,” said Anja, Jasmin’s mother. Anja, who is 35, also stutters. She heads a support group for stutterers in Stuttgart, and has established a network for parents with a stuttering child. She noted that many parents are unable to cope with the speech disorder: “They don’t want to admit that their child isn’t perfect.” Adults do not always intuitively do the right thing when a child stutters. Walburga Bruegge, a speech therapist in the German city of Hamm, and co-

author of a book about stuttering in children, pointed out that it was often best to ignore the disfluency, and not draw attention to it. “Otherwise you’re bringing up a matter that for the child may not even exist yet,” she said. To make an issue of a stutter conveys to a child that he or she is doing something wrong, agreed speech therapist Werner Rauschan. He noted that not finding the right words immediately, or repeating a word several times, did not mean that a child is a stutterer. Gradually learning to speak fluently is “a normal part of speech development,” he said. Because parents find it difficult to overlook snags in their child’s speech development, Rauschan advises them to seek counselling from a speech therapist—but not in

whether the stuttering goes away. Speech therapy should begin if they notice the child avoids speaking, or pronounces certain words with a great deal of effort. The therapy can be prescribed by the family doctor, or an ENT physician. Pre-schoolers who stutter do so unselfconsciously, but this usually changes after they start school. “They de-

velop a fear of speaking in front of class, and the blockages become stronger,” Rauschan said. Speech therapists are not always successful in completely eliminating stuttering. The goal is to get stutterers to stop worrying about stuttering. “They should no longer find it stressful, and learn how to deal with the blockages,” Rauschan said. u


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4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 November 2011

G -scape PRAKHAR PANDEY & JIT KUMAR

11th National Dance and Drama Festival

Presented by Nishtha Sanskritik Manch

Friday Gurgaon, November 4-10, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

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