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Vol. 1 No. 5  Pages 32  ` 7  23–29 Sep 2011

{Inside} Dehaati Dreams

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here's much more to their lives than fancy SUVs and kitschy kothis. An insight into the lives of Gurgaon's rural folks, their problems and their aspirations. ...P 6

KYC—Know Your Councillor

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ontinuing our series, this week we meet Rishiraj Rana, the councillor for Ward No.1; and Poonam Devi, who represents Ward No.28. ...P 9

Corner Curiosity

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urgaon hides many interesting treasure troves in its sprawling expanse. We explore one such, the Museum of Folk and Tribal Art in sector 4's Urban Estate. The museum is built on one man's lifelong passion,and is now nurtured by his children. ...P 10

Wayward Welfare

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spotlight on the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) in Gurgaon. Like in much of the country, it is a hotbed of corruption; benefitting a few, turning many into unwilling crooks, and hoodwinking the beneficiaries at large. ...P 11

'High'way to Hell

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shocking story of the drug addiction menace that is spreading its tentacles towards an ever younger group of kids. Insights from three leading practitioners in the field of de-addiction. ...P 12

Sweet Panacea

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n overview of homeopathy and its ability to provide cures to just about every ailment known to man; with inputs from one of the city's leading homeopaths. ...P 13

Roadside Rendezvous

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e check out the Ahatas—the latest after hours hangouts that are the rage with the city’s yuppies and dehaatis alike. ...P 24

Municipal Corporation Set Up 3 Years Ago Still Awaiting Transfer of Sectors from Developers (HUDA & Private) Corporation Councillors elected this year, feel responsible and accountable for their wards—but have no authority to take action { Hritvick Sen / FG }

The councillors are in place. The Team Mayor has set the machinery in motion. A question most people want answered is: now that the Team Mayor is in place, what is the relation of the MCG visa-vis the mayoralty? Commissioner Rajpal says. “The Councillors and the Mayor are elected representatives. They bring forth people’s grievances and issues to be resolved. They help make the laws. They have no direct executive role or power. That is our responsibility—to implement and enforce the laws—to put things in motion.”

age the city. But in reality, this is not the case.” She adds, “HUDA should have handed over areas to the MCG after developing them. But decades have gone by, and this has not happened. Why? I believe that there are advantages for HUDA in not giving up areas which are profitable to it.” Supporting her claim, a municipal insider comments, “Of course. Why hasn’t HUDA handed over areas to MCG? We have been told that MCG can perform maintenance of areas, but HUDA will retain overall control. Why should we maintain something which is not ours to control? Take Sector-29’s commercial area. It is finished from the developmental point of view, but we don’t see HUDA giving it to us any time soon.” Same is the story with the assimilation of HUDA offices and officers into the Corporation. On both these points, Commissioner Rajpal says, “This is a State-based decision. The State has 9 Corporations. When they see the Corporation fit to manage the sectors, they’ll hand it over to us. When the sectors are given to us, the officers manning them will also become ours. It will probably be a phased handover. The first batch of sectors should be handed over soon.” FG has learnt that the first batch will not include anything on the east side of NH 8 (the “new” Gurgaon).

Developers having their hands full with new developments, are still in charge of maintenance

Meanwhile, the public lives with sub-standard and deteriorating infrastructure (water, electricity, roads, public transport, sewerage)

Sudhir Rajpal, the Municipal Commissioner of the city, is diplomatic. He says that it is only a joint effort which can propel Gurgaon forward. “We have regular meetings with the police and the HUDA, where we discuss civic amenities and issues to be resolved within our purview. We have the meetings on a needbasis, and several items have been resolved.” Councillor Nisha Singh, of Ward 30, says, “In an ideal situation Gurgaon shouldn’t have the problems it’s facing right now. With proper planning, the two bodies are enough to man- MCG Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal

Even the Mayor is impacted. His village, Sirhol, is plagued with bad roads, overflowing sewers, and poor availability of power. Councillors Nisha Singh (Ward 30), and Rama Rani Rathee (Ward 34) gave us exclusive interviews in our edition of 16-22 September. Councillors Rishiraj Rana (Ward 1) and Poonam Devi (Ward 28) have been featured in this issue (Page 9). The story is similar— poor public infrastructure in their wards; high expectations from them, by their electorate; frustration at virtually no Mayor Vimal Yadav progress, in months.

FG focus this week is on the Corporation— the Commissioner and the MCG; and the Mayor and his Councillors.

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CG today handles the old Municipal Committee areas (in “old” Gurgaon), and about 40 town and village “abadis” (old Panchayat areas) across Gurgaon city. MCG is also the regulatory and law-making body for the city.

Builders Colonies Drag Their Feet on Handover Too

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maintenance. So, the handover is pending.” nd it is not just a case of HUDA lands. Even “Two,” he continues, “the builder collects builder colonies ideally have to be handed maintenance charges for residential and over to the civic authorities after a certain period commercial areas for services rendered. The of time. Obviously, this has not been done, as Corporation had separately issued a notice major builder areas have been existing for well that taxes had to be paid to it by the people over decades. Sudhir Kapoor, the Secretaryeven in builder colonies. This was appealed General of DLF City RWA says, “This is not a against, and taken to court. As simple open-and-shut case. One, of now, the Honourable Supreme for the colonies to be handed over, Court has legitimised collection the builder has to get a completion of maintenance charges by the certificate. The certificate can be builders, until the handover takes applied for when all civic amenities place. Three, the people living in such as housing, parks, power, colonies are reluctant to see their water supply and sanitation have maintenance being handed over been provided. Now, for reasons to government bodies, seeing several and unknown, the builders the track record of the maintenance in have not got the completion Secretary-General, DLF certificate, even after decades of City RWA, Sudhir Kapoor their areas.”

On the benefit of having an apex body like the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA), as proposed by some, Rajpal says, “I believe accountability is more important than the creation of such a body. The multiplicity of agencies is not the problem; it is actually needed. Demarcation of duties and responsibilities, along with a system of accountability, is the solution.” Contd on p 8 


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23–29 September 2011

Editor:

Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

THEATRE

Harsimran Shergill Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann Prakhar Pandey Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora Designers:

MUSIC

Manoj Raikwar Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Kamlesh Pastor Sushil Sharma

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik

Mohiddin A Khan

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47,

Workshop

Learn and Grow with Plants @371 A, C-Block, Sushant Lok 1 Date: Sep 24 Time: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm Fee: Rs. 500

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workshop for children, that will help them develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment, and its preservation. The workshop will have an interactive fun session to start with, followed by a range of activities—like painting and decorating a pot, preparing the soil mix, etc. The workshop is open to children aged between 6 and12 years.

Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana

DANCE

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Dance

Virender Kumar Circulation Head:

Art

group show of paintings, graphic prints and sculptures by renowned artists—Shakti Maira, Latika Katt, S H Raza, T.Vaikuntam, Paresh Maity, Trupti Patel, Bose Krishnamachari and Sunil Gawde, among others.

Sr. Photographers: Money Sharma Sr. Sub Editors:

ART

A group show @ Gallerie Alternatives, 102, DT Mega Mall, DLF City, Phase I, Golf Club Road Date: Till Sep 26 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Theatre

Almost, Maine @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Sep 25 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 120 mins Tickets: Entry Free

solo exhibition featuring 20 aquatic waterscapes by artist Preet Khokar. This series, titled Aquatic Photophore, showcases the ups and downs of life and the intimate mingling of humans with nature.

Nritya Kavya @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Sep 30 Time: 7:30pm

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poetic expression of Rabindranath Tagore, Nritya Kavya, is a kathak performance by Nalini and Kamalini, disciples of Jitendra Maharaj. The performance is presented in collaboration with Sangeetika Institute of Performing Arts.

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ith a cast of 19 characters, the play explores love and loss, on a cold night, in northern Maine. According to the top 10 list of Dramatics magazine, Almost, Maine was the most-produced play in North American high schools in 2010, supplanting Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play is presented in collaboration with the American Centre.

Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

Art

Aquatic Photophore @ The Art Floor Private Gallery, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I Date: Sep 26 to Oct 1 Time: 10 am-7 pm

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

ood carving has been practiced by humans since the earliest civilizations, and has been found widespread across the globe. In India, wood carving has a long and distinguished history― especially in the Punjab region. Wood carving in India is a traditional art, that has been passed on by master craftsmen through the generations. Their skill has passed into folk songs―Raati rondi da bhij gaya Ial bhangoora (Weeping last night, my red swing became drenched). Artistic beds with comfortable, skillfully made back rests, fitted with mirrors and carved colourful legs called Pawas, low seats called Peeras or Peerians, were made by carpenters in almost every village. Today, boxes, toys and decorative pieces made out of wood are exported to the far corners of the world, from Punjab. Typically, Punjab is known for giving a lacquer finish to wood crafts, and adorning it with coloured mirrors. Also, the workmen of Punjab have been renowned for engraving wood inlay. Punjab, with its rich heritage and epic history― reflected in its folk dances, folk songs, arts and crafts―is a definite reflection of the fun, carnivalesque and festive spirit inside every heart. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.

The Punjab Pavilion at Culture Gully - Kingdom of Dreams offers a wide range of Punjabi delicacies


23–29 September 2011

03

Mr B launches his Sun Yaara

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r B (Babbu Gulwan) released his new album Sun Yaara. The cover song is a rhythmic, skipping number that sends people running to dance floor. His songs have variations from sufiana to Punjabi to modern songs. He feels, “My songs are different, and they are loved by my fans. I always believe in perfection and try to deliver the best in each of my songs. With those Sufiana and Punjabi pop with Hindi touch songs, I have tried to render different flavors of life.” Whenever on stage Mr B instantly switches his style of singing depending upon the moods of his audiences.

LEND HIM A EAR: Mr B (Babbu Gulwan) (L) launching his album Sun Yaara

CROONING AWAY: Kavita Seth performs with Chintoo Singh

Kavita Seth performs in Landmark

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ktara singer Kavita Seth was in town to enthrall the audience at Landmark DLF Grand Mall. Performing songs from her albums along with her hit numbers like Mora Piya from Raajneeti, Iktara from Wake Up Sid, she was accompanied by guitarist Chintoo Singh. Apart from Bollywood movies, she has three music albums Kabirana Sufiana, Jaam-e-Sufi and Bullehshah to her credit.

Intimate Line of Sculptures

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eema Singh Dua’s sculpture exhibition opened at Quill and Canvas, and showcased 20 sculptures in media like wood, bronze, fiber glass and copper. Dua explains her work as, “An intimate line of figurative sculptures COZY DUO: Shobha Sengupta (L) with that speak in a quiet way Seema Singh Dua to endear, to love and to inspire. My work for me is not just a medium of expressing my thoughts, but a way of engaging a viewer in an active dialogue. My sculptures are not a medium to transfer a message; they are an experience in themselves. Each of my works is personal, and allows you to decide its meaning.”

Seen and heard at the Soundtrack do

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ajeev Khandelwal alongwith Mrinalini Sharma (the Awarapan girl) were in town to promote their new film Soundtrack at Blu-O, Ambience Mall. Although the movie’s heroine Soha Ali Khan was expected to be the main draw of the do, in the event she was a noshow ostensibly as her father, Tiger Pataudi is unwell. The show however, must and did go on. Soundtrack is scheduled to be released on September 30. LOOKING PRETTY: Mrinalini Sharma, the cynosure of all eyes

Singing for a cause

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t was an evening for CEOs to let their guard down and sing for their supper. Organised by the Genesis Foundation, India’s corporate bigwigs captivated the audience by singing—to save the lives of nine children in need of surgery for cardiac disorders. The enjoyable evening saw a great audience turnout to hear CEOs whose passion is singing. The hosts were Prema and Jyoti Sagar and the singers were Shireesh Joshi, Geetu Verma, Pankajj Chaturvedi, Dr. Thomas Chandy, Ashwin Deo, Vikash Gupta, Sanjay Nandrajog, Mehmood Curmally


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23–29 September 2011

reviews

Festive Banga

FOOD Aalok Wadhwa

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olkata’s streets have always bustled with people from the world over—Jews, Armenians, Europeans, Chinese. This has created a cuisine unique to the city. And the one restaurant that succeeds in recreating the magic of Kolkata, is Love and Mustard. Situated in the Galleria market, it has a cozy homely setting, and strains of melodious Bangla songs waft in the air. “I started this restaurant to give fellow foodies the true taste of Kolkata, which is about much more than just Bengali cuisine,” says Chef Meghna Singh. Truly, there are interestingly diverse tastes to discover here. Take mutton chop (Rs 155). Of Dutch origin, this popular Kolkata street food is a wonderful mix of ground mutton and potatoes, with whole spices and onions, breaded and fried. Coming from Anglo-Indian homes, the devilled egg (Rs 95) is a hard-boiled egg coated with kheema, and fried to perfection. The mutton rezala (Rs 255) is a delicacy from Bangladesh. A seemingly simple dish, the mutton is slow cooked in curd, saffron, whole spices and milk making for a texture that melts in the mouth. The adventure in diversity continues. On the menu are two Kolkata masterpieces, part of the culinary legacy of Wajid Ali Shah, a gourmet and the last nawab of

Awadh. The Chelo kabab (Rs 275) is a clear manifestation of the Persian influence on Kolkata. This wholesome dish comprises chicken shish kababs, shashlik, onions, bell peppers and saffron rice, topped with a fried egg. It is a gentle dish, and a meal in itself. Interestingly, the nawab’s exile by the British in 1856 created the Kolkata mutton biryani

(Rs 155), which evolved from the Lucknow style biryani. Wajid Ali Shah brought his personal chef with him, who in turn decided to use potatoes instead of meat, due to the nawab’s forced penury. Potatoes have since been the characteristic of Kolkata biryani, though now it also has meat in it. This biryani is much lighter on spices than other biryanis.

Mutton Rezala

In case you thought Kolkata cuisine was all about fish and meat, Love and Mustard has an extensive vegetarian menu as well. Ghughni (Rs 80), a popular Kolkata street food, has the sweetness of yellow peas, that perfectly compliments the heat of the whole spices and the pungency of the mustard oil, with a crunch provided by bits of fried coconut. Some other delectables include traditional peas kachauri with cholar dal (Rs 105) which has a soft, yielding kachauri with the sweet and spicy taste of the dal; alu posto (potatoes cooked with poppy seeds; Rs 105), patal bhaja (Rs 50), and an extensive Bengali vegetarian thali (Rs 160). I end the meal with payesh (Rs 80), a variant of kheer. The use of patali gur or date jaggery, and special gobindobhog rice, (cardamom and milk) creates a very earthy and exotic dessert. Love and Mustard is the place to go if you are missing Kolkata. This food will take you back to its by-lanes. For others, the tastes that you discover here may even induce you to visit Kolkata. u

Love & Mustard Shop No. 123, First Floor, Galleria Shopping Complex, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon Cuisine: Bengali Timing: 11 AM to 11 PM 

CHELO KABAB: The dish is one of the highlights at Love & Mustard

BOOK

Ingredients - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mutton 15 pcs Onion Paste 200 gm Green Chilli 1 tbsp Green Chilli Whole 3 nos Saffron 1 pinch Milk 1 ltr Green Cardamom 6 nos Cinnamon 3 pcs Ginger Paste 50 gm Garlic Paste 50 gm Curd 100 gm Salt to taste Refined Oil 150 gm Desi Ghee 50 gm

Method

Step – I Marinate the mutton with onion paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste, green cardamom, curd, oil. Mix well and keep it refrigerated for 2 hours. Step – II Take a kadhai, put all the mutton in it, and cook for about 45 minutes on low heat. After 45 mins dissolve saffron in warm milk, and pour onto the mutton. Check that the mutton is tender, and then pour desi ghee over the mutton and remove from heat. Serve it with Lachha Paratha courtesy Karan Bharadwaj, Sous Chef, Love & Mustard

CINEMA

Lustful Literature Touch Me Not! Manjula Narayan

Alka Gurha

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he grand old narrator of tales— Khushwant Singh—shows no sign of a diminished felicity for writing. At the mature old age of ninety six he continues his affair with writing, with amazing chutzpah. Some describe him as a dirty old man, a womanizer and a drunkard, but he himself quotes Hilaire Belloc: ‘When I am dead, I hope it may be said, that his sins were scarlet, but his books were read’. The book, Khushwant Singh on Women, Sex, Love and Lust’ is an anthology of his previous columns compiled and edited by Ashok Chopra. As the title suggests, the book encompasses Singh’s riveting and raunchy escapades but with ample literary moorings. Each section explores a favorite subject through the prism of Singh’s roving eye. The book abounds with Indian as well as foreign quotes, proverbs, poems and thoughts of legends ranging from Shakespeare to Kalidas, from Iqbal to Milton. All chapters in the book open with a quote, and are interspersed with borrowings from the legendary writers, mythological characters and folklore. Singh expertly dissects love, women and sex with an experienced literary blistering knife; with customary wit and engaging prose whether sharing his experiences on a nudist beach or haranguing on about literary and artistic pretensions regarding pornography, obscenity and erotica. Undoubtedly, followers of Khushwant Singh—those who love his confessions, hate his obsessions

Author: Khushwant Singh EDITED BY: Ashok Chopra Publisher: Hay House India Price: Rs 299 but cannot ignore the might of his pen—will love this witty and informative book in the form of a collector’s prized possession. The book however might disappoint those looking for cheap thrills and voyeuristic titillation. u

ou walk into Contagion knowing it will be a high concept flick. No one gives a rom-com or a second rate thriller a name like that. And anyway it’s directed by Steven Soderbergh. He, of the ability to straddle both huge mainstream Hollywood where he’s created such blockbusters as Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brockovitch and the more arty, intellectual end of it as evidenced in his early Sex, Lies and Videotape and Schizopolis, among others. Soderbergh’s latest offering Contagion, already labelled a bio-thriller, seems to be a new superior offspring of the marriage of the two types of films that Soderbergh has made. So it has A listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Lawrence Fishburne and Jude Law who do a fantastic job of making you want to reach for the hand sanitizer less than halfway through and a great supporting cast of unknowns. As the title suggests, the film is about contagion, disease, and it’s saturated with the post-apocalyptic spirit. But the apocalypse itself is very au courant. It isn’t the earlier agonising over whether, as the Frost poem goes, the world will end in fire or in ice. Here, Soderbergh picks up on the zeitgeist and presents a world brought to its knees by a deadly virus that decimates vast swathes of the population and drives the rest over the edge. It’s an examination of how easily anarchy can strike, stripping us of our humanity and exposing us as intrinsically selfish and opportunistic. At the allegorical level, Contagion comes across as a morality tale where the original carrier of the deadly disease seems to represent all that’s corrupt in the modern world with its beautiful exteriors

Contagion Directed by: Steven Soderbergh CAST: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Lawrence Fishburne, Jude Law Genre: Realistic bio-thriller that hide deceit. The acting is remarkable and the excellent sound track by Cliff Martinez makes you twitch. As you leave the theatre determined not to shake hands for the next six months, you realise that Soderbergh has seen the future and it isn’t murder. It’s contagion. u


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23–29 September 2011

Lifestyle

CHECK OUT MY SUV: The flashy cars notwithstanding, farmers in Gurgaon too have their share of woes; and a shopping list of demands from the government

money sharma

It’s Not All About Money Farmers are ribbed about their nouveau riche lifestyles, but their concerns are for their children, as Friday Gurgaon discovers { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

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orty years ago, Rajpal travelled 30 kilometres on a bicycle to sell milk, from his village Ullawas, to scattered households in what we today know as new Gurgaon. Cut to the present; these households have been replaced by large clustered skyscrapers. As for Rajpal’s own house, three generations later, they now live in a spanking new Bollywood-style mansion. All they have to show for the past is a 90-year-old, haveli that is on its last legs. His grandson Anil Kumar was bestowed the task of coming up with a new house that the family could live in. His inspiration—similar to that of thousands of Indians— was Bollywood. With more and more farmers being seduced by a luxurious urban lifestyle, Friday Gurgaon finds that it is not just flashy SUVs and Bollywood-styled mansions that they crave. Like all of us, their needs too circle around education, roads, sanitation, water and electricity. Despite having acquired large sums of money, the nouveau riche farmer of Gurgaon is a worried man. Showcasing his work of art, Anil Kumar walks us through his glass and concrete mansion. Defending his Gujjar pride like an elephant guards her calf, Anil Kumar categorically states, “There is more to our lives than selling land to builders and buying SUVs. The media is quick to tell stories about SUVs parked outside our houses. But has anyone bothered to ask why we buy

them? It’s because no other car would go through our kutcha village roads, without getting stuck in open drains criss-crossing the village. Where are the roads to drive cars in this area?” Rajpal’s family is amongst the many that reside on Gurgaon’s periphery. Their land has become a prized possession for the government, builders and corporates. Back in the old days, Rajpal’s son, Master Nathimal, would read letters aloud to village folk. He was the first man in his village to pass matriculation in 1966, from Punjab University. That is how he came to be known as Masterji. “During those days, Punjab and Haryana were a joint state,” he recollects. Today he sits on a charpoy, guarding his piece of land— off Golf Course Extension Road, in village Ullawas—from government acquisition. Master Nathimal is amongst those who have sold part of their land to builders. “In the village, ours was the last family to part with land. If we don’t sell to builders then the government hounds us—under the garb of Section-4 of the Land Acquisition Act. The farmer is left with two choices. One is to sell their land to the government, and wait for the money to come in; or sell at a better price to a builder.” Earlier this year, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda put on hold the process of acquiring land, till the Centre introduces an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act.

We probe further. Where is most of this wealth going? How are the city’s nouveau riche utilising this newly acquired wealth? After all, upgrading a lifestyle is no crime. In fact, it is natural progression. Master Nathimal explains, “It is true that some people in the community buy cars and houses as a status symbol, to show who has a bigger car and a better house. However, for the majority of us, the one time that we splurge—is during marriages. That is one exhi-

When it comes to land, the government recognises the importance of our village. But when it comes to education, they are nowhere to be seen. –Anil Kumar, Correspondent

bition we don’t shy away from. Today, everybody wants to showcase their social status. It doesn’t matter where this status comes from. In our case, it is from sky rocketing land prices.” Manoj Kumar, who runs Shiva Corporate Management Services, further demystifies the puzzle for us. He has “collaborated” with a leading corporate for the sale of his land. “It is unfair to say that everyone selling land to builders is spending it on cars and bigger houses. Inherently,

we are farmers. We are attached to land because it is a part of our identity. I have collaborated with builders here, who have purchased some of my land. In our community, if we sell land here, we buy more land elsewhere. Because both the government and builders are eyeing land in and around the city, I have bought 200 acres at Sohna, to get out of their way.” But buying and selling land is the least of their concerns. “You can have crores in your bank, but what’s the use if children of the village have to travel eight kilometer to go to a senior school,” says Manoj. A common concern for Manoj, Anil and Master Nathimal, and numerous others residing in Ullawas, is education for the village children. Anil Kumar, 26, is married with two children. Anil adds quickly, “I couldn’t clear BA 2nd year exams, and had to get married. But today, I’m not worried about myself. My time to study has passed. What worries me is that, despite the money, my children still don’t have a decent school in the village. When it comes to land, the government recognises the importance of our village. But when it comes to education, they are nowhere to be seen.” The village has a primary school for children, till Std V. Those who want to continue further education, have to travel eight kilometres, to Badshahpur, to attend a senior secondary school. “We are not worried about the boys, but for girls to travel every day, raises concerns. Also our village has be-

come synonymous with criminal activities. Times are changing so rapidly, I’m scared to send my children to school here.” Add to that the shortage of electricity. “Power supply is for just six hours a day,” says Attar Singh, who sits outside his double storey house, fanning himself with a hand-held fan. “We were promised electricity supply for 18 hours a day. Today, we are lucky if we get six hours of continuous electricity at night.” Similar is the story of other surrounding villages. Recently, a few dozen furious farmers of Badshahpur, one of the villages absorbed into the sprawling new territory of the Municipal Corporation, gathered, frustrated at the MCD office, demanding sanitation and better roads. They said their village was becoming an urban slum. For people like Manoj Kumar, the answers have to come from the village itself. He explains, “We cannot live with false promises. I stood for the last panchayat elections held at the village. Of the 600 votes, I got 250 —the second highest in the village.” Although Manoj lost the election, he hasn’t given up. “It doesn’t matter how many times I lose. For the village to change, it is people like us who have to stand up and address concerns. If that doesn’t happen, there is nothing that will stop us from becoming an urban slum.” As for Master Nathimal, his father’s haveli will stand as long as he does. After him his sons are eager to tear it down, and “collaborate” with builders. u


23–29 September 2011

Lifestyle

07 MONEY SHARMA

Aperture, Focus, Composition and Click Aditya Arya has gained eminence as a travel, advertising and corporate photographer. He is also the founder of the India Photo Archive Foundation, that aims to digitise, document and preserve photographic archives. He is passionate about cameras and has been collecting them for the last 40 years. Friday Gurgaon brings you a showcase of just some of Arya’s prized possessions.


08

23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

MCG, Ready and Willing

Û Contd from p 1

MCG INITIATIVES While the handover of MCG WEBSITE (www.mcg.gov.in) AND ONLINE SERVICES sectors happens, could we Commissioner Rajpal says “The municipality website is definitely something we are proud of.” The site provides the public easy access to getting birth and expect similar initiative and death certificates, licences, marriage registration, application for installing mobile transparency from HUDA, towers, no-dues certificates, and much more. “Also, in certificates, we have a and even private developers? system of unique non-tamper seals, and digital signatures” he adds. The site even hosts a page for airing grievances, and another for sending Right To Information letters to authorities, besides a forum and a blog. Rajpal believes that the website makes it very convenient for the public, and ensures timely and hassle free delivery of public service and documents. For these documents, no one needs to visit, and sometimes wait interminably at, the MCG or any government office. Check out Sanitation Monitoring – Zero Tolerance Sanitation. A Citizen Assistance Centre has been set up, and will work on all days (except National holidays), from 7am to 7pm, on all 7 days of the week. CITIZEN SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE Rajpal says, “We have a system known as Citizen Supervisory Committees (CSC), to check work being done in the city. Individuals from a particular ward, along with the ward’s councillor, are on this committee. This committee checks work being done for satisfactory completion. Any construction, repair or maintenance work being done in the ward, would have to get a clean chit from the CSC to get paid.”

THE MCG FINANCES For the Millennium City of Gurgaon, the total spend on public infrastructure by MCG for a full year, is just over Rs 10 crores! Surprised? Don’t be. MCG hardly caters to the maintenance of Gurgaon. The bulk of it is still with HUDA and private developers (the income and expense too). A Kitty of Almost Rs 400 Crores 2009/10 Financials (Figures Rounded Off) Total Income Total Expenses Surplus

Rs 311 Crores Rs 33 Crores Rs 278 Crores

Major Income Heads From Panchayats From Stamp Duty

Rs 139 Crores Rs 144 Crores

Major Expenses Salary Electrical Lines Repair & Maintenance Solid Waste Management Maintenance Of Parks Sanitation Street Lights Water Supply

Rs 19 Crores Rs 5 Crores Rs 2 Crores Rs 1.28 Crores Rs 0.63 Crores Rs 0.38 Crores Rs 0.34 Crores Rs 0.08 Crores

Major Assets Roads Street Light Poles Tube Wells Water Supply Pipes Fire Equipment Computers

Rs 38 Crores Rs 1.06 Crores Rs 0.25 Crores Rs 0.14 Crores Rs 0.18 Crores Rs 0.07 Crores

A Follow Up With Police Commissioner Deswal { FG Bureau }

I

n a follow-up chat with Friday Gurgaon, Police Commissioner SS Deswal said the request for 1,100 additional policemen has already been passed by the Police HQ, and has been sent to the government for approval. This number of policemen was necessary to manage the multiple traffic points in the city, exacerbated by the poor level of infrastructure on the road (traffic lights, barriers, sidewalks, flyovers, foot-overbridges, etc). On the recent action on making a few roads one-way (the one in front of the Galleria Market, and the HUDA City Centre to Golf Course Road), and the removal of a roundabout (near HUDA City Centre), he affirmed that this was necessary because of very heavy traffic build-up, especially near HUDA City Centre. This would only get worse, with a major hospital and other projects coming up around this area. In terms of markets, Galleria probably gets the highest traffic in a day. However, the implementation is being

monitored carefully, he said. As citizens, we have to accept minor personal inconvenience, for the greater good. Sometimes it may benefit us. Driving an extra mile should not harass us, if it leads to better traffic management. We must avoid cutting corners. Just agreeing with Anna is not enough; we must walk the talk. u


23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

09

KYC – Know Your Councillor

Councillors rue their helplessness Rishiraj Rana (Ward no. 1)

prakhar pandey

“My ward is one of the most neglected areas of Gurgaon. There are no basic amenities like roads, sewage, transport, and proper electric connection. Authorities call New Palam Vihar an unauthorised colony, and they refuse to do development work here. But these people (60,000 approx) also have voted in the MCG councillor election; so why they are deprived of their basic needs?” rued Rishiraj Rana, the councillor of Ward no-1, while lambasting the MCG establishment for neglecting his area. “People now blame me for their miserable life here, and ask me to fulfil the electoral promises. But here in Haryana, a councillor is nothing more than a toothless tiger, who neither has any power, nor the budget to work. The Haryana Councillor Act doesn’t provide for this. Even MCG’s home-to-home garbage collection policy doesn’t bestow its blessing here. This ward is an orphan in the true sense,” mourned a dejected Rana.

MONEY SHARMA

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Area: Jharsa, Jharsa Village, Prem Puri, Sector 31, Sector 32, Sector 32A, Sector 39

lems,” said Poonam Devi, councillor of Ward no-28. “Jharsa is strategically very important for the city, and even the worst of administrators would think twice before neglecting this area. People from all over the world work in Cyber Park, and Medanta; and a major chunk of them use Jharsa as their adopted home (50,000 approx, including the locals). Yet the authorities play ostrich towards the need of the people, and the reputation of the city,” added Poonam. She also spoke about the power exercised by the councillors, “We only write letters to authorities. That’s all we do. Neither do we have the power to undertake any work, nor the funds. In the last four months, not a single penny has been sanctioned by MCG for my ward. We have given them the estimates of the work many times, but it looks as if the words are falling on deaf ears.” Later, she spoke about the ineffective house meetings of the councillors, “Since the election in May this year, there have been only two meetings of all the councillors with the MCG officials. Nothing productive has come out yet. Unless authorities grant some powers to the councillors, or are prepared to listen and act on the problems brought forward by us, these meetings will just be a sheer waste of time.” u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I need a table for two Manney do aadmiyan tahin table chahiye

Mann ey – Mann neh (as in Hindi nehla)

Tahin – taeen

2. Can I have a look at the menu? Menu dikha de

Area: New Palam Vihar Phase 1, New Palam Vihar Phase 2, New Palam Vihar Phase 3, Nihal Colony, Pawala Khusrupur, Pawala Khusrupur Village, Rajendra Park, Sarai Alawardi, Sarai Alawardi Village, Sector 100A, Sector 106, Sector 109, Sector 111, Sector 112, Sector 113 Asked whether the different party connections of the councillors is responsible for the negligence shown by MCG towards some wards, he said, “No, all the councillors are united. There are no differences among us, and we are united for the cause of a better Gurgaon. It is the authorities who neglect our concerns.” He spoke of the little that he has been able to do, “There were no street lights in this area. I have put CFL bulbs from

my own pocket; but still, there are areas where you can see snakes crawling on the non-existent roads after sunset. People don’t come out of their homes in the evening,” rued Rana.

Poonam Devi (Ward no. 28)

Behind the gleaming Cyber Park, which has become one of the prime symbols of Gurgaon’s inexorable rise, lies a victim of filth and negligence. Jharsa Village situated on the threshold of NH-8, is battling desperately to shed its identity of being an urban village. It is difficult, given the broken roads (streets), the poor sewage system, and irregular water supply. “Jharsa village is the biggest victim of administrative gaffes. You will not be able to see a single good road here, and sewers hardly exist. Councillors are often blamed by the people for this mess; but truly speaking we are helpless, because we don’t have power to solve these prob-

3. I am a vegetarian Main te shakahaari hun 4. I don’t eat chicken Main chicken na khaya karun 5. Can I have a glass of water? Ek glass paani milega? 6. Please clear the table Maiz saaf kar de 7. Can I have the check please? Bill de de 8. Can I have some tea? Chai mil ja gi ke ?


10

23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

Curating a Dying Culture A museum that builds on one man’s passion for tribal and folk art MONEY SHARMA

{ Manjula Narayan }

H

oused in a red brick bungalow, the Museum of Folk and Tribal Art, at Urban Estate in Gurgaon, seems like any other family residence. Only the ornate wooden temple pillar leaning against the outer wall, and the weathered wooden cornices on the floor at the entrance, give you a vague inkling of the treasures inside. With its collection of rare bronze ware, tribal and folk masks, patakas or ritual flags, wood and ivory combs, woodcuts and assorted other artefacts—the little known museum is a revelation. Also the home of Indologist siblings, Dr Subhashini and BN Aryan, the museum is a testament to their love for India’s neglected tribal and folk art forms. Started in 1984 by their father—artist, art historian and author KC Aryan— to house the pieces he picked up on his travels across the country, the museum has an extensive collection of objects depicting Hanuman, Haryana’s favourite deity. “This is the largest Hanuman collection in the world. Despite that, few people, including the so-called lovers of Hanuman, come here,” Aryan says a trifle sadly, as he leads you to a magnificent wooden wall hanging and points out to numerous masks of Ram’s most devoted follower. In the hoary tradition of prophets being disdained in their country, the museum is little frequented by locals, and most visitors are foreign scholars who know of the intellectual breadth and artistic beauty of its collection. It’s a collection that defies easy categorisation as, like many impressive endeavours, it is the product of a single man’s passion. So, an ivory inlaid shringaar daan shares space with hollow bird-shaped hanging lamps, objects that were once an intrinsic part of the lives of India’s indigenous peoples; samples of startling tantric art, intricate Kali woodcuts, delicate repousse work, Rajasthani wall hangings featuring flying horses, and intricate paintings of deified rural warriors. Thankfully for visitors, the founder’s passion has been kept alive by his children; who, in turn, add to the collection, by saving pieces from structures earmarked for demolition, and even buying back artefacts from dealers. “A lot of Indian pieces are being smuggled out by the container load,” says BN Aryan sadly. “I don’t have much money, but whatever I make, I put into buying pieces… even if I find them with foreign dealers on my trips abroad,” he adds.

The curators are determined to preserve both their father’s memory, and the last samples of this country’s arts and crafts, many of which have now become extinct. Pieces like the magnificent pataka depicting the Navagrahas, the many tribal masks that look almost modern in their pared down simplicity, and the ferocious giant iron mask that was once a mould for the central head of Ravana’s effigy, are no longer made. Even the brass Mukhalingas, heads of Shiva that are placed on the Shivling in temples in North Karnataka, are being sold by temple custodians who don’t appreciate their cultural value. “My father was collecting all these pieces before anyone else was. Temple priests would approach him and sell him their patakas for Rs 5 back in the 1970s. They have stopped making them now, because the younger generation is no longer interested. Tribal people would seek him out to sell him things. Now that’s all finished. The Bastar tribals too want to wear trousers and work in the cities. They no longer even make these,” says BN Aryan pointing to the beautiful marriage post from Bastar that adorns a corner of the reception room. Apparently, once upon a time, whenever there was a marriage in a family, members would carve and display a post in the village. Though funding is almost nonexistent—the Aryans support the museum by lecturing on Indian folk and tribal art at international museums and universities—they dream of one day moving their spectacular museum to a bigger and brighter space, that will allow it to be better appreciated. The collection, which is world class, definitely deserves more recognition; as do the dedicated efforts of the Aryan family. As you leave, BN Aryan points to the carved cornices placed on the floor at the entrance and recounts how he saved them, just as they were about to be used as firewood at a temple in Himachal! You come away inspired that the Museum of Tribal and Folk Art in Gurgaon is a unique enterprise; a dedicated resolve to save all that’s vibrant, valuable and authentic about this country’s folk and tribal culture. u Address: 2009, Sector 4 Urban Estate, Gurgaon 122001 Telephone: 0124-2321783


23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

11

A Welfare Scheme... Farewell? Hritvick Sen

The Public Distribution System has strayed from its objective of providing relief to the poor sugar and 12 paise in kerosene. All this so called profit excludes the transport cost as well as the labour charges. Tell me how a ration depot holder can earn profit?” rued Sanjay Jain, who own a ration shop in Patel Nagar area in Old Gurgaon. “People think that a depot holder earns in lakhs per month; but the reality is that we have to look for an alternative source of income for survival,” added Sanjay, who runs a CD shop too, along with the ration depot. Devraj Kumar, the former president of the Association of Ration Depot holders, who himself owns four ration depots in the city, reaffirmed Sanjay Jain’s claim, “In ration business, there is no law. Authorities are making the profit, and the depot owner is compelled to follow their will. If we go by the law, we won’t take a single penny back home, after distributing the ration.”

S

ince 1942, the Public Distribution System (PDS) has been a bedrock of our status as a welfare state. It was started by the British, to reduce the starvation occasioned by drought and the Second World War. In independent India, the objective was to provide cheap food to the have-nots of society, and help reduce that unfathomable gap that has bifurcated this country into India and Bharat. But like all other welfare schemes, PDS too has lost its path. Maybe it still provides welfare—but certainly not to the poor! Gurgaon, despite being a fairy tale of success and prosperity, has a plethora of poor people, who need to be uplifted from the nadir of penury.

Some basic facts

Governments are never short of schemes, either in the state or at the Centre. PDS works under three categories, according to the financial status of the targeted section (in doctrine at least). The categories are: Above Poverty Line (APL), Below Poverty Line (BPL), and Antodaya Anna Yojna (AAY); and all three target different strata of people. Gurgaon district alone has around 182 ration shops, including 40 in the city. The city has over 1 lakh card holders. Wheat, sugar and kerosene are the three products being distributed under the PDS, to all types of card holders. APL card holders are to get 10kg of wheat at a price of Rs 4.88/kg, BPL card holders 35 kg of wheat at the same price, and AAY—the poorest of the poor section—are to pay only Rs 2.12 for 35 kg of wheat. Unlike wheat, sugar and kerosene have no demarcation, and all the categories are to get them at the same price of Rs 13.50/kg (for 2.4 kg of sugar) and Rs 13.74/litre (for 7 litres of kerosene). The poor in Haryana don’t have the privilege of getting rice in their meal.

People’s opinion

“We seldom get to know about the arrival of the ration,

and even if we get it, the quantity as well as the quality is not as it should be,” said Shambu, who runs a paan shop in Adarsh Nagar area in Old Gurgaon. Shambu is among the few lucky ones who own a BPL ration card, because a majority of the poor don’t have ration cards here. “I don’t have a ration card, and even if I try to get one, it’s not possible without paying a handsome amount to the authorities.” said Narayan, who sells vegetables in Sadar Bazar. Any scheme ought to have some genuine gainers at least, and Gurgaon has a handful of them. “We get ration here on time every month. Quality is not great, but you can’t expect to get good quality of wheat and sugar under PDS. To us it’s not bad,” said Vidya Devi, who owns a BPL card at the Rajender Park ration depot. “We only buy sugar from the ration shop, and we get it on time. Rest of the things like wheat and kerosene are blackmarketed by the depot owners,”

said Ashu, a young boy at Jacubpura ration depot. In Gurgaon, there are a number of people who have cards, but seldom go to ration shops to buy anything, “We don’t go to the ration shop. We give our card sometimes to our domestic help, so that she can buy food for her family at a cheaper rate,” said Anil Gupta, an APL card holder.

Plight of the depot holders

“We earn 18 paise on one kg of wheat as profit, 8 paise in

Does TPDS help?

Target Public Distribution System (TPDS) was started on 1st May 1997 in Haryana, Tripura and Gujrat to ensure the reach of PDS benefits to the deserving people. Through TPDS, the identification of the beneficiaries is done by the states, based on the poverty estimates given by the Planning Commission. However, none of these efforts have worked in favour of the needy. For example, in 2011-12 itself, 51206 tonnes (APL: 23590, BPL: 17381, AAY: 10235) of wheat have been sanctioned every month under TPDS, for Haryana. However, at the ground level, the poor go hungry.

RAW DEAL: Ration Card holders at a Ration shop

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

don’t get whatever is meant for them,” said Devraj. “The system has totally rotted. From the top to the bottom, everybody has his or her share in corruption. Getting a ration depot is not a cakewalk; it needs a lot of palm greasing and skulduggery. We are forced to become corrupt, and if anyone denies the convention, he or she will not get ration for the shop the next time,” said another depot holder on the condition of anonymity. Black marketing is omnipresent in this country. “According to law, a depot owner ought to have at least 600 cards to file an application for a depot, but here only a 100 cards would do. However, the depot holder gets ration for 700 cards, and therein lies the cream—the depot holder can black market the rest of the ration—provided he shares 60 per cent of his illegal gains with the authorities,” he explained.

Corruption: the inside story

Corruption is not a novel phenomenon in this country, and every scheme of the government succumbs at its altar. PDS is perhaps one of the most corruption infested schemes in India. Right from the allocation of ration, to its distribution to the needy, every single step has its own share of corruption. “PDS is filled with corruption. More than 50 per cent of the card holders don’t deserve the benefits of the scheme. Most of them belong to the middle class, and hence the needy

Kerosene: the real fuel

“The real black marketing happens in kerosene. Eighty per cent of the people having a ration card in Gurgaon have a gas cylinder at home. There is no need for kerosene because the majority of people don’t use a kerosene stove to cook their meals. Hence the depot holders have all the luxury to black market a lion’s share of the kerosene. It is the main fuel behind this engine of black marketing in PDS,” added the depot holder. u

Food Take

As of September 21, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

HUDA Sector 14

Palam Vihar

South City 2

DLF City Phase 1

Sadar Bazar

Sushant Lok 1

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)

20

14 / 20

10/ 20

12 / 26

12 / 16

10/ 20

13.90

15

Onion

25

20

20

26

16

20

19.90

19

Tomato

30

25

25

26

20 – 40

25

24.90

21.90

Cucumber

25

24

22

40

20

25

24

24

Apples

60 – 100

100 – 120

80 – 120

100 – 160

90 –100

80

80

120 – 50

Spinach

25

35

30

40

30

35

32

28

Ladies’ finger

30

35

32

40

35

45

40

30

Cauliflower

60

55

60

100

50

50

50

40

Mutton

280 – 300

280 – 300

320

280 – 300

280

280

--

--

Chicken

150 –160

140 – 150

160 – 170

140

140

140

--

--


12

23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

Young guns on ‘high’way to hell Addiction raises its ugly head, and youngsters are the new victims been working in the Civil Hospital for well over four years in the de-addiction cell. “ It just needs some factors which push the victim in its direction. On an average we see two to three serious cases a week, which is quite a jump from what we treated two to three years ago.”

The Vices

{ Hritvick Sen / FG } I want my fix. I’ll do anything,” said Pratyush. The eight-year-old boy is not asking for a Ben-Ten toy, or the latest Transformers figurine, but for a handkerchief soaked with Erasex ‘thinner’. When his parents realised that he was asking for more change than usual, they did a little investigation to find out why he needed it. They were scared out of their wits when they found out that their darling boy bought Erasex thinner, and sniffed the whole bottle at one go.

T

here is a slow, but inexorable rise in the number of youngsters who succumb to a life of substance abuse. “Once you’re hooked, it is very, very difficult to get out,” says Dr Brahm Deep Sindhu, the resident psychiatrist at the Civil Hospital, Gurgaon. “Over the last few years, we have been treating more and more teenagers and kids who, knowingly or inadvertently, have been hooked to substance abuse.” Attribute it to the fast lifestyle of the city, the growing dissonance between parents and their offspring, or unhealthy peer pressure- the numbers are serious enough to make one sit up and take notice. “Out of 10 patients who come to us for de-addiction and counselling, one would would always be a minor,” says Dr Nitin Bhatt, agreeing that a couple of years ago the frequency of minors coming in for substance abuse was measured in months rather than days. Be it opiods like Proxyvon and thinner, or cannabinoids like crystal meth, youngsters are leaving nothing in their ‘high’ trip. “We had a patient who was around six years old. He was hooked onto sniffing thinner,” says Dr Sindhu. “For him, it was something that was fun. He didn’t have the maturity to understand that he was doing something so bad that it would very well cost him the best years of his life.” Dr Bhatt is a part of a 120-bed de-addiction centre. “We see minors on a more frequent basis now. I’d earlier worked in juvenile reform centres, and I learnt that most of the children knew ‘hard’ drugs one way or the other. Either they peddled it, or used it,” he reveals. “It is a myth that such patients are mostly from the underprivileged or super-affluent classes. This affects all,” says psychiatrist Dr Devinder Kumar, who has

We had a six-yearold who was hooked onto thinner. For him, it was fun. He didn’t understand what he was doing would cost him... – Dr Brahm Deep Sindhu

Starting from the commonly available and legal to more exotic varieties, the list starts from alcohol to heroin ‘cocktails’. “Although seemingly benign, alcohol is the outright winner in this race. It is easily available, and we have heard of many cases where under-age kids were found in the city’s posh pubs and bars,” say both Dr Kumar and Dr Bhatt. “It is legal, the side-effects are temporary, and it is not such a social taboo. Teen drinking is an international problem.” And it is not just Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL); teenagers are hitting the hooch shops too. “It’s a ‘dare’ thing. I see fresh-faced kids driving up in sedans and ordering desi liquor. Who am I to stop them?” says a country liquor vendor on the condition of anonymity.

In the end, leaving an addiction needs love, care and determination. All the things which could have helped avoid the addiction in the first place. – Dr Devinder Kumar

their children, it means they are losing the main support of their lives. The loss of bonding means that the offspring have to seek something else in its stead.” Then there’s the peer group. Today, there’s hardly a child or a teen in his city who doesn’t compare himself with what his friends are wearing or doing. The line is ‘If he can do it, I’m guy enough’. Most

• Addictive drugs can either make you feel euphoric ('uppers') or calm you down ('downers'). • Drugs like opioids (OTC drugs like Proxyvon, morphine, heroin) produce an addictive euphoric feeling. Opioids make addicts physically-dependent, but addicts can be weaned off with a rigorous combination of medicine and counselling. • On the other hand, cannabinoids like marijuana and hashish provide a stupor-like effect. Cannabinoids make addicts psychologically dependent, which makes it much harder to quit the habit.

Out of 10 patients who come to us for de-addiction and counselling, at least one will always be a minor. – Dr Nitin Bhatt

Besides these, substance abuse in lower-middle class kids are- petrol, glue, thinner, cannabis and other cheap alternatives. A very dangerous combination that has come up recently is ‘Power’, which is basically heroin mixed with prescription drugs strong enough to knock out a horse. This combination is popular with both addicts and peddlers. The former find this a potent combination at prices as low as Rs 50 to Rs 90 a hit. The peddlers encourage Power because they can increase the quantity of heroin to almost double, besides jacking up the addiction factor. Going up the ladder, there is crystal meth, E or ecstasy, and D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and other party drugs. They are significantly expensive, and therefore restricted to those with higher ‘allowance’.

The Reasons

There are several factors that have a hand in leading the youth down this winding path of self-destruction. “The family factor is undoubtedly the most significant of all,” says Dr Bhatt. “If the parents fail to spend adequate time with

of the young patients who were caught and sent to rehab admitted to this route of addiction. “They feel that they can shrug off the addiction side of the drugs, that they can ‘handle it’,” says Dr Kumar. “But they can’t. Nobody can. By the time one realises, it’s too late.” At that stage, the physical and psychological dependency on the substance is so high that everything else becomes secondary. And in the cases of kids, “They’re too young, and fail to realise the difference between right and wrong,” says Dr Bhatt.

The Way Out

“When his nose started bleeding, we thought he was playing in the summer sun more than usual. But when he started throwing tantrums when we didn’t give him ten rupees, we were perturbed. But never did we realise that my boy was an addict,” said his mother, weeping openly at the sight of Pratyush begging for a thinner fix in a de-addiction centre in Gurgaon. As the experts admit, once you’re in, you stay in. For addiction of any kind, chances of relapse always remain on the high side. Even after a person has been cleaned up, he or she needs tremendous will-power not to succumb to the vice again, or resort to ‘alternatives’. “Constant family support is very vital for a recovering addict. And more than that, he or she needs an iron will to stay off the addiction,” says Dr Bhatt. The recovery process, using both medication and counselling to tackle the body and mind’s craving, is painful in the absolute sense of the term. “In the end, leaving an addiction needs love, care and determination. All the things which could have helped avoid the addiction in the first place,” says Dr Kumar. u

Maa, Mangoes and Maggie { Alka Gurha }

A

ccording to a survey by Virgin Atlantic, the back-packs of Indian students enrolled in foreign universities are stuffed with Maggie noodles and mangoes. Ready to pay excess baggage fee for them, students are willing to leave books and clothes behind. Other favorites include pickles, jaggery, bhujias and ghee. One creative soul insisted on carrying the traditional broom. Rightly so! What a broom can, a vacuum cleaner cannot. And old habits die hard. If you have ever lived in a hostel, then rewind to the golden years. When I went to a hostel, my mother insisted on carrying umpteen boxes of saccharine savories. On days when the mess food was despicable, which was a norm rather than a deviation, those very delicacies came to the rescue. In desperate situations, girls used their ingenuity to come up with a palatable meal of salad or sandwiches. But boys are helpless souls. They prefer to raid the local canteen. Decades later nothing has changed. The son has similar issues. Always on the day of his departure to college, the house is engulfed in a mist of emotions. As the packing starts, the mist thickens. The father finds solace in mellifluous Mohd Rafi or a voluminous book. The grandmother finds refuge in the kitchen. Dishing out delicacies for the mother is the measure of her emotional connection. If truth be told, kitchen is not my favorite

place. I am in-charge of packing all the food items, and making space for the same in the backpack. Space being inadequate, a silent altercation ensues. For the son, gizmos, wires, hard drives and books are like oxygen cylinders. Naturally space for all the packed food stuff is limited. But ‘ma ki mamta’ knows no bounds! Both parties stick to stated positions and the tension escalates. Suddenly a firm voice of the father breaks the impasse. “Take all that your mother has packed. Throw it if you cannot eat it.” End of the discussion. Poor boy shoves all the ghee dunked delectables, made by the ladies of the house, at the cost of his favorite clothes. Three days later I receive a call from my son, after dinner time. “Mom… hungry.” “Have you finished all the sweets?” “Yes.” “Dry fruit?” “Yes.” “In two days….? Did you throw all the stuff or what?” “My friends finished everything.” As a result I spend the night tossing in the bed, only to be informed later that the boys raided the canteen that midnight, and had their fill of aloo parathas. But, when your child is going abroad, where chances of hogging aloo parathas at midnight are bleak, then surely all the ready-to-eat packets and bhujias make sense. The broom makes sense too. After all one does need familiar things away from home. u


Wellness DURGADATT PANDEY

23–29 September 2011

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Nature’s Green Gift of Life! E

oxygen into the atmosphere. Photosynthesis is the beginning of the amazing journey of energy. In this process, chlorophyll—the green component of the leaf— combines with some molecules from air (carbon dioxide) and water to form our planet’s primary food source. Each molecule is a tiny packet of life-giving energy from the sun. Nature’s bounty, so wondrously made available to us. In turn, when making food and lifestyle choices, we may wish to ask ourselves the key question: are we doing enough to keep this wonderful arrangement intact? Could our choices help

W

Tip of the week

Outbreaks of food-borne illness linked to unclean fruits and vegetables are common.

Pregnant women, children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are particularly vulnerable. Careful control of potential points of contamination, from production to consumption, is essential. Wash hands thoroughly before working with food, after using the toilet, handling animals or helping people who have diarrhoea. Thoroughly wash raw fruit and vegetable in plenty of water. This not only helps remove dirt and bacteria, but also residual pesticides. Wash fruits and vegetables with plain water or water containing 1-3 teaspoons of

Headaches to Heart Breaks—sweet pills treat all DURGADATT PANDEY

hether its flu, burns, a hangover, or grief—homeopathy treats all ailments and problems that the human body and mind struggle with. Dating back over 200 years, this science of medication provides long lasting cure and quick relief, in a safe, reliable, non-invasive, painless way. Its purpose is to heal you holistically. Would you believe that a bee sting is cured by Apis Meillifera, a homeopathic medicine that contains extracts of honey bee? Homeopathy, as a science, believes in ‘like cures like’, i.e. any substance that provokes a symptom in a healthy person, is used to cure a patient suffering from it. For example, when you have severe cold or hay fever, you have excessive watery eyes, like you would have while cutting an onion. As a homeopathic cure to cold and hay fever, Allium Sepa—a medicine made from extracts of onions—is used. Such extracts are diluted repeatedly, in a process that homeopaths call ‘potentisation’. Along with the extracts of plants, minerals etc. that are used to make medicine to cure a certain disease, a line of constitutional treatment is followed in homeopathy—to ensure the right medication for overall wellness of the patient. Dr Vidhi Trikha, visiting homepathic physician, Artemis Hospital says, “ We don’t treat the disease, we treat the person as a whole. We ask for the symptoms, and the patient’s lifestyle pattern, to understand his personality. Its like a head-to-toe

to preserve the dwindling forest cover, and safeguard plant and ecological diversity? In his book, Green Guide,world renowned environmentalist David Suzuki shares an important insight—By eating local, seasonal, organic foods and a predominantly plant-based diet, not only do we improve our health; we also reduce the ecological foot-print (a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems) by as much as 90% !

Homeopathic Remedies —Safe and Reliable

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

exam, where we understand the patient’s temperament, personality, likes and dislikes. Once we understand the personality, we match the medicine accordingly. If the remedy is right—based on the symptoms and personality exam—with just with a single dose, he will improve holistically. For instance, if you have come for treatment for a cold, the medicine given for a cold will also improve your hair fall issues, skin problems or corns, if you have any—and may not have told us about.”

chlorine per 4 litres, followed by rinsing with plain water. Soaking them in a solution made with white vinegar or potassium permanganate or salt is also an effective method. If buying a ‘soak’ from the market, prefer those which are made of 100% natural produce—normally some are made of citric acid. Soak for three to five minutes, stirring & shaking occasionally. Rinse with clean tap water.

Nature’s wonder food of the week cruciferous vegetables—i.e. Cabbage,

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

nergy is vital for life. Plants and animals need energy to live, to grow, and reproduce. In the frenetic pace of life, we sometimes overlook a basic fact—that cellular respiration in all life forms, as well as photosynthesis in plants, depends entirely on energy that we receive from the sun and related sources of energy. Without energy, life as we know it would not have been possible. We are nourished by our humble friends—plants and algae—as they miraculously convert the sun’s energy. Without any fanfare, every minute of the day, they go about producing thousands of tonnes of food, as well as release

13

We got inquisitive and asked Dr. Vidhi for homeopathic remedies for some common ailments that most of us deal with. It is advisable to try these remedies, only after consultation with a qualified homeopath. (The potency of the medication varies from patient to patient) Hair fall is caused due to various reasons and the remedy depends on the causation of hair fall. A patient that suffers from hair fall due to exhausting illness is given Acidphos (made from phosophic acid); hair fall

caused due to dandruff requires Phosphorus and hair fall caused due to eczema of the scalp is given Mezereum. Depending on the patient’s lifestyle, the medicines may vary. The problem of kidney stones is very common, and homeopathic treatment in this sphere has a great success rate. Stones in the kidney, bladder or uterus—up to 10 millimetres— can be treated. Berberis Vulgaris Q (made from the bark of a tree called Barberry), along with constitutional remedy, is given

Cauliflower, Broccoli, Mustard, Kale, Horseradish, Turnip, Radish, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choy etc. No single food group matches this group for integrated nourishment. As a group, the cruciferous vegetables are endowed with important amounts of macronutrients—including fibre, protein, and Omega-3s. They are also anti-inflammatory, and are rich in antioxidants, and detox-related nutrients. Many B-complex vitamins, as well as Vitamins A and C, are unusually concentrated in cruciferous vegetables, as are certain minerals (especially manganese). Importantly, this food group also contains its own unique set of phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plant material) —the glucosinolates. Together with the Vitamin K content, glucosinolates contribute to lowering the risk of certain cancers, as impressive evidence shows. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) to the patient suffering from such a problem. Suffering from depression or acute grief, likely caused due to death of a near and dear one is a common psychological problem; which if prolonged, has a direct effect on your physical health. Ignatia made from extracts of the St. Ignatius bean is given to the patient, that helps absorb the shock of death and overcome depression, reducing the feeling of wanting to cry ever so often. Superficial burns are treated with Cantharis Q, made from extracts of Spanish Fly (a green colour beetle). It works immediately, cooling down the burnt area, curbing itching and stinging. With Dusshera and Diwali right around the corner, Cantharis Q in your pocket might be a great idea; or maybe even adding it to your Diwali gift basket! Hangovers and dizziness after a long night of drinking, are absolutely no fun. Nuxvomica, made from extracts of Poison Nut, works well on those sick, drowsy mornings; and is equally effective on problems related to high living—like smoking, acidity caused due to eating out, stress due to work pressures, or even anxieties. With the added benefits of no side effect, natural strengthening of the immune system, prevention of chronic diseases from further deterioration, and safe consumption by kids and pregnant women, homeopathic medicines help in the natural holistic healing of mind, body and the soul. Dr. Vidhi concludes with a smile, “A homeopath can fail, but not homeopathy.”u


14

23–29 September 2011

Comment

Your Land, My Land T

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

his land is your land, this land is my land… this land was made for you and me. Lines from a wonderful old American song; very appropriate for our land acquisition and compensation policy. Why is someone else’s land acquisition just a commercial deal, a matter of national progress and urbanization; while our own land is our birthright, our constitutional right. For clear public purpose, over decades, there has been very little squabble. The acrimony is when private purpose comes in; and the land owner rightfully feels less obligated to part with his land—or expects a far higher compensation. The proposed policy’s basic assumption needs to be challenged—that land acquisition is primarily a matter of deciding on compensation, in some form. It does not seem to recognize the current angst, and the violent agitations, against land acquisition per se. Land, to different people and families, in different parts of India, at different times, would have different significance. There are some who would happily part with their land for a good compensation, and treat this as an opportunity to make their lives different. There are others for whom this is the only constant, their security blanket. Nothing would make them move, or sell. We need to recognize, and accept, both. So there should never (except for clear overriding public interest) be a situation where a person is forced to sell, if he does not wish to. Too much is made of industry requiring a particular piece of land/location. What industry needs most is transparency and consistency; and independence. And the cost of land, for most projects (except real estate) is hardly a worthwhile percentage of the project cost. The pioneers of industry have set up manufacturing in the remote parts of the country, for decades. States like Gujarat led the move, with industrial growth centres promoted by GIIC and GSFC, starting in Vapi. Maharashtra followed with multiple centres promoted by SICOM. What made the industrialists move was a planned growth centre strategy, where basic industrial and social infrastructure was provided by the state. Today, this has been replaced by financial incentives offered for some special states – where there is very little by way of basic infrastructure, and skilled workforce. And yet industry has gone in droves.

Gurgaon—a Potential Tourist Hub { Abhay Jain }

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iscotheques, bowling alleys, a long series of malls, night golfing, live Bollywood performances, musical fountains, luxury multiplexes, large food courts, state-of-the-art pubs—some of many firsts in northern India, if not in the whole country, have become the pride of Gurgaon. Foreigners, in large numbers from Japanese companies, and also from MNCs, IT, BPO sectors visit the millennium city regularly. In addition, a significant number of patients from across the globe have already started coming to Gurgaon for treatment. Many people from across India, while visiting Delhi, now have Gurgaon as a must-visit on their itinerary. A good setting for Gurgaon to become a tourist hub. On the pattern of Sydney’s Opera House and London’s Broadway, the Kingdom of Dreams (KOD), set up in 2010, has set new benchmarks in the country. Here, one can enjoy a fun-filled evening while watching live musical concerts, and other shows. The magic of Indian cinema comes alive in a stunning, electrifying on-stage spectacle, combining creativity and cutting edge technology, to create an entertainment extravaganza that explodes one’s senses. ‘Culture Gully’ at KOD has 14 state pavilions and theme restaurants—a place to see and feel Indian diversity, under one roof. Golf tournaments at the national and international level have become a routine feature in Gurgaon. Night golfing at the 18-hole, 142 acre course, set up by DLF, has set new standards in the country. Classic Golf Resort, Karma Lakelands Golf Course, Tarudhan Golf Course, Golden Green Golf and Resort, Best Western Golf and Resort, and Defence Golf course are some of the well-known golf courses in Gurgaon. DLF has planned to develop another nine hole golf course to

be designed by Gary Player. For the first time in India, PVR introduced the concept of luxury movie viewing, by starting Europa (2 screen) in MGF Mall and later added ‘Gold Class’ at Ambience Mall. These screens provide digital cinemascope, the ultimate viewing, where one can enjoy movie resting on 180 degrees reclining leather seats, fully dedicated concierge service, and a personalised menu. Gurgaon has presently 33 multiplexes across the city. The three-kilometre stretch between IFFCO crossing and Delhi-Mehrauli border, popularly known as the ‘mall mile’, offers a unique experience for shoppers. The 20 malls located here house all types of goods of leading national and international brands. The biggest mall in the world, ‘Mall of India’, with a proposed 40 lakh sq ft area, to be developed by DLF, will also come up at Gurgaon. This would surpass the ‘Mall of America’ in Minneapolis, USA (which has a covered area of 38 lakh sq ft), and a mall in Shanghai, China that has a 30 lakh sq ft area. Mumbai is known for the best clubs and bars, but Gurgaon is fast catching up. It has a variety of pubs, including five microbreweries. Presently the city has more than 80 bars of repute, where one can relax and enjoy the evening. Modern clubs like DLF City Club, Palm Town and Country Club, Patio are also providing facilities at par with international standards. Different foods courts at Mega Mall, Ambience Mall, Sector 29, Culture Gully, dot the city—and offer a variety of food, to enjoy and relish. The famous Appu Ghar of Delhi is also setting up its amusement rides in a 25 acre area near the HUDA City Centre Metro station at Sector 29. For those who crave wide spaces, open to the sky, Leisure Valley in Sector 29 is the right place. It is a 25 acre park, where

So, the answer seems to be—either set up basic industrial and social infrastructure, for industry to feel comfortable to move in. And the location can be anywhere literally—since the infrastructure will also include basic connectivity. Or make it very worthwhile, by way of incentives. Either way, there is no need to forcibly uproot anyone. There is enough land area in our country. And there is enough diversity in industry, to entice a particular type to location A, and another to location B. Indian entrepreneurs will find an answer—provided the cost and constraints are known up front. And there is transparency and consistency right through. Coming to land for developing real estate, for urbanisation. It is clearly the biggest scam. Politicians, the bureaucracy, and the government clearly do not want to give this up. Treating it as a commercial issue helps them propound an answer accordingly— we will pay 4 times instead of double ! Knowing well that even that will leave millions for the interested parties. The colonial masters threw us natives peanuts; our elected masters throw us cashew nuts. This has to stop. It is also pertinent for some service sectors to introspect. They ask for prime real estate, when actually bigger towns/cities are clearly becoming the “wrong choice” commercially. So not only industry, but the service sector too should think of remote location operations—as long as basic service (IT, telecom, English speaking manpower) and social infrastructure is available. To conclude therefore, let us stop this sham of industrialisation or urbanisation requiring people to give up their land, for a national cause! Instead of any Policy, what is needed is government action—in setting up remote industrial growth areas, and/or providing sufficient incentives in those areas. This should equally apply for SEZs also. Anything in urban areas or suburbs should be left entirely to private enterprise to resolve. The government has no role here, other than to protect the landowners. Those inclined to sell will readily accept; those who do not—leave them alone please. And find profit elsewhere. Fortunately, India offers enough diversity in landowners also. There is no dearth of opportunity in India this century. An Indian entrepreneur should be prepared to play anywhere in India (if not globally), and not only in his backyard. Apni gali mein toh... This land was made for you and me. u

flowers and plants abound, along with musical fountains in the evening. It is a perfect place for winter afternoons and summer evenings. For the culturally inclined, Epicentre offers a wide variety. It houses an auditorium, art gallery, amphitheatre, and exhibition hall. Plays, music recitals, classical dance performances, and exhibitions are staged regularly here. A huge International Exhibition cum Conventional Centre has also been

approved at Panchgaon crossing at NH-8, in Gurgaon. The city offers a host of unique entertainment options—24 lane ‘Blu O’ Bowling Alley, Fun City, Wet N Wild, Sultanpur National Birds Sanctuary, Aapno Ghar are some of the entertainment spots for all age groups. It is high time the administration develops the infrastructure appropriate for this potential tourist hub. Else, we may miss out on a global opportunity. u

A Tale of Two Suburbs { Sunam Sarkar }

I

n the mid-1990s, increasing congestion in the Central Business District forced corporates to start looking further afield for locations that could offer high quality office space. One suburb was already showing the signs of an impending residential boom, and offered the right advantages for commercial development as well. There was ample space for new, grade-A buildings to be constructed, that would lessen the commute for office goers. It provided the opportunity of planning and developing a city, without the inherent limitations of one that has grown and expanded, haphazardly, as a consequence of history. Financial consultants, investment banks, global corporations and domestic businesses now all thrive in this new locale. The largest malls, the finest restaurants and the hippest nightclubs all offer afterhours entertainment therapy, which is the envy of the mother-city’s denizens. World class residential projects complement the office developments, so that the global corporate warrior can retire to an equally international home to recharge his or her batteries. The one area that did not keep pace with the overall urban development, was public transport; for many years, private and shared taxis were the only transport modes of any consequence— until the introduction, recently, of a modern metro system.

Most areas have gone as per the plan of the original visionaries, and today what can be seen is a model of planned development, and a shining example of how free enterprise and the corporate sector, can actually discharge their responsibilities in an atmosphere of good governance, and an enabling administrative regime. Yes, Sandton, in South Africa, is today ‘Africa’s richest square mile’. Surely you did not think I was speaking of Gurgaon? Sandton is a suburb of Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa. Gurgaon has every chance of claiming a similar distinction in India; but unfortunately can look like the aftermath of a war zone, particularly during the monsoons. While concerns have often been expressed about whether Sandton has the necessary road and water infrastructure to cope with its massive growth, that concern has spurred action in the form of adequate infrastructure being first laid, before new developments are now sanctioned. At home, how often do we see whole colonies function for many years without even a basic sewage connection? The similarities in origin are striking, but the current reality could not be more different. An opportunity lost already, or an example that we can still learn from? It is for all of us to decide, and work towards. u


23–29 September 2011

Kid Corner

15

Tips for Parents

Visit to Craft Industry of

dents Kindergarten stu ational ern Int gh Scottish Hi educational an id pa ol, ho Sc ustry, visit to the craft ind y Tower. lax Ga at d ate loc t to be a The visit turned ou kids, perience for the ex by ng rni lea od go of materials used ty rie va sed to a as they were expo ss their ideas. craftsmen to expre

Inter-School IT competition

Blue Bells Prepara tory School, Sector-4 , organised an Inter-School IT competition―Bits & Bites last week. About 20 schools from across the city took part in the competition. Whil galam World Scho e K.R. Manol bagged the firs t prize in the Innov event, Blue Bells ation Public School wo n the first prize in basket event. the Tech

ay Grandparents D s n Celebratioset aside

A special day is Scottish every year in the School to al on ati ern High Int ndpargra ’ honour students end sp nts de stu e ents. Th rpa nd time with their gra by a variety of ed low fol is ich ing respect and ents, wh is aimed at instill ion rat leb . ren activities. The ce ild g ch members, amon love for the family

Inter-house Sci ence Quiz

An inter-house sc ience quiz was organised by Pathways World School for its senior students. After a short video on various aspects of life and physical science s, quiz master Guruc the event. There haran began were questions for the audience too a total of six round . After s, Fire house em erged as the winn Water house as er, and the first runner-u p.

{ Aparna Balasundaram }

P

arenting is one of the most rewarding and yet difficult jobs any of us will ever have! And, it’s the only job that does not require prior experience or academic qualifications. So, how do we learn the very basics of effectively communicating with our children? Trial and error is one way; or you take the easier, more effective and practical way… read, internalise and practice what experts have to say. I am sure all parents will agree that effective communication is the foundation of every healthy family. Positive communication leads to positive parenting, and that in turn leads to positive children. While the basic tenets of communication remain the same, the way you communicate with your child is different from the way you communicate with your spouse, co-workers, boss or friends. I have shared some basic guidelines for a parent— child communication that are simple, practical and can be started right away!

Literary Flourish

Listen to your child

While I am a believer of multitasking, the bottom line is, you cannot multi-task and sincerely listen when your child is talking to you! When communicating with your children, give them your full attention. Stop what you are doing and create a ‘shared space’—where you and your child talk and listen to each other. So, the next time— switch that television off, put away that newspaper, put down that chopping knife and hang up that phone. Try it and see the difference!

Get down to your child’s eye level

For those of you with young children, a simple yet effective technique to communicate, is literally getting down to their level. Eye contact is essential; take it a step further by not towering over your child, but physically lowering yourself, so that you and your child are in the same physical space. You will find that your child listens and retains more when you talk this way.

Beware of the barking dog!

If you know you have had a hard day and your emotions are riding high—you feel like barking at everything is front of you—make sure you don’t communicate with your child in that frame of mind. As an adult, it is your responsibility to calm yourself down, take a breather and then interact with your child. If it so happens that your child approaches you when you are having a ‘barking dog’ moment, give your child a hug and let her/ him politely know that you need a minute and excuse yourself from the room. Return in a few minutes once you are calmer, and initiate a conversation with your child. Go ahead parents, try these techniques and you will see more smiles on your child’s face! And therefore, on yours too. Happy Parenting! u Aparna Balasundaram – USA- Licensed Parent and Child Expert. Founder, Life Skills Experts— enrichment centre for children.

Artistic Strokes

Don’t Kill Animals

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nce upon a time, there lived a king and a queen. One day, the queen said to the king, “I want to eat a deer.” The king called a hunter and asked him to bring a healthy deer for his wife. The hunter went to the jungle and saw a deer drinking water at a pond. The hunter told the deer, “My queen wants to eat you. You have to come with me.” The deer said, “I will come with you, but please let me tell my husband and my children about this.” The deer went to her home and told everything to her family. Her children said, “If the queen wants to eat you, she has to eat us also.” Mother deer and her family went together to the hunter and said, “You can kill all of us.” The hunter replied, “I will not kill any of you. I will take you to king’s palace.” The hunter told everything to the king. The king appreciated the hunter and said, “I want you to be the manager of my palace.” Then, the king introduced the deer’s family to the queen and told everything to her. The queen got very emotional and said, “Animals too have a family, and I have decided that I will never kill animals.” u Tarushi Agrawal, Class II F, Scottish High International School

Title: Underwater World Mridul Goya, Class VI F, Delhi Public School, Sec-45 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


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16 23–29 September 2011

K id Corner


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18

23–29 September 2011

K id Corner

The heroes of these tales value their friends, their families and their honour. They are brave and selfless. Though each one of them is a bird they are almost always exceptionally wise, at times cunning, and often blessed with a sense of humour.

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20

23–29 September 2011

Business

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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reating world class products has never been the forte of Indian entrepreneurs, who are traditionally more interested in trading and services. However, Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, CMD, ACME Tele Power, is an exception—as he not only spotted opportunity early, but also harnessed it well, as he developed world class energy management products for the telecom industry. ACME, a Gurgaon based company, is today a leader in providing energy management solutions to the Indian telecom industry; thanks to the customised products invented by Upadhyay and his R&D team. Under his leadership, the company has also forayed into energy generation, by setting up the country’s largest solar power plant in Rajasthan; whereas another one is coming up in Gujarat. Upadhyay, in a free-wheeling chat with Friday Gurgaon, tells us about his vision, his ideas about entrepreneurship, and what it takes to become an industry leader. He delves into his past, and speaks of the future, with equal passion and hope. While many of the Indians dream of a government job or a management degree, Upadhyay says he always thought of setting up his own company, that would one day create great products. “As a child and as a young man, I wanted to learn all aspects of business, so that I could one day set up a business”, he says. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Upadhyay topped the state Diploma in Electronics and Communication; but instead of joining a large concern, he preferred a small company, to know more about the entire business cycle. “Here I got exposed to manufacturing, research and development, quality assurance, sales and service. This could be possible in only a small concern”, he says, as he went on to become the R&D head within the next six months. After working for 3 years, and getting exposed to the business, his next step was to learn how large companies operated. He joined Benning Gmbh, a German company, that enabled him to know about MNC operations and culture. “Here I learnt to work and understand large organisations, their processes and culture”, he says, adding that he spent a fair amount of time in Germany and created innovative products for developing countries. “The objective was always to identify the problem, give pathbreaking solutions, and add economic value to customers”, he says; a principle, that has stayed with him. Upadhyay, however, was not satisfied being an employee, and the entrepreneurial streak in him always prodded him to do bigger things. In 1999, along with a set of partners he launched Adhunik Power Systems—aimed to the segment of protection from lightning and power surges. Within 4 years, the company grew to a Rs 40 crore enterprise;

PRAKHAR PANDEY

From Energy Manager to Power Producer, ACME Forges Ahead

MAKING A POINT: Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Chairman and MD, ACME Group

but he was not satisfied, and wanted to grow bigger and create even better products. “One day I decided to give the company to my partners, as it was not possible to scale up in this segment”, says Upadhyay, who by now had enough exposure of the telecom industry. The reason for exiting from this business was also partly due to the fact that he found more of a reactive culture, and he preferred to—be proactive to problems and eventualities. Planning for contingency is perhaps not well understood yet, he remarks. The most important step in his entrepreneurial journey came in 2003, when he set up ACME Tele Power, to focus on something new and different from what was being done in the past. “I wanted to provide energy efficient solutions for the telecom industry in India”, he says, adding that he had realized the limitations of the existing energy products. Like most innovators, he wanted to provide an out-of-thebox solution to industry, that would cut costs and benefit all the stakeholders. “I wanted to

spot the opportunity and explore whether there existed a solution that can address the problem and add value to customers, society, environment and us”, he asserts. To solve the problem of high energy costs, and the spend on passive infrastructure by telecom operators, ACME came up with the Power Interface Unit. It is a revolutionary device that reduces the operational and maintenance cost of telecom sites, by improving the energy efficiency in a major way. “Today 70 per cent of telecom networks are fitted with this product, and we are helping save thousands of tonnes of carbon emission”, he adds with pride. However, the process of innovation and quest for new products is a never ending process; and in 2004, ACME developed Phase Change Material and Green Shelter, which helped reduce the diesel consumption across India. “This product further reduced energy consumption in the telecom sector, as millions of litres of diesel is being saved”, he says. ACME products have found acceptability across the globe. In 2008, the company

started exporting to Africa, and is now operating in 17 countries. It was also a time when Upadhyay decided to turn energy producer. After working on various technologies, ACME zeroed in on the solar energy sector. His solar endeavours are also big. In less than 3 years, the company has managed to set up Asia's first solar thermal power plant in Bikaner; and one of the largest SPV plants in the country is coming up in Gujarat. “We embraced alternative energy, as our vision is to be the global benchmark for green energy solutions. Our philosophy is to make the green approach profitable”, he says, while describing his business vision. When asked about the learnings from operating in two diverse but capital intensive industries like telecom and solar power, he says one has to be innovative, a cost leader, and must have the ability to scale up. “The telecom journey, starting from Rs 16/minute to 50 paisa/minute, has to be replicated in the solar industry,” he says, as he wants to produce solar power at the cost of conventional power.

ACME Innovations In 2004, Manoj Kumar Upadhyay developed the Power Interface Unit (PIU) to create an industry in itself. Since then several innovations, through external and internal collaborations, have shaped the company’s future. The company has an integrated R&D and engineering at Gurgaon, into which 2 per cent of revenues are invested. It gives ACME the advantage of timely delivery of solutions to the market. The company has been awarded as many as six product patents, and one process patent.

• • • • • •

In 2004, the company developed Phase Change Material. In 2005, it developed an energy saving shelter for telecom sites. In 2007, the company developed an innovative waste water treatment system. In 2008, the company developed HEER, another energy efficient product. In 2009, it developed the DCDG and in 2010, it developed the Barrack. In 2010, the major development was the H80 Cooling Solution.

Upadhyay smiles when a mention is made about the fictional ACME corporation in a cartoon strip by William E Coyote a company that never produces workable products. “Technology is a risky business, and every one has to deal with products that are not very successful”, he admits, but reassures that products made by his company are of world class quality, and can compete with the best. To the young entreprenuers, he says, the most important thing is to spot the opportunity, create a differentiating product, and ensure all the stakeholders are served. “This is the business mantra I suggest and religiously follow”, he explains. In the next five years, he sees ACME as one of the leaders in energy related solutions, as well as a cost leader in its chosen fields. In the coming years, he predicts more distributed power generation, efficient appliances and lighting. On Gurgaon, the city which he chose to be his karmabhumi, Upadhyay says, it is close to being a world-class city; as it has attracted a number of MNCs, significant investments, has a large reservoir of talented workers, and is close to the international airport. “ I always wanted to live near the workplace, so I decided to live here”, he adds. Upadhyay identifies infrastructure development, governance and transparency as the key to Gurgaon becoming a world class city. If these three aspects are taken care of, he says, Gurgaon would be a world beater in the next 5 years. In his spare time, Upadhyay reads books on ancient Indian history, human behaviour, psychology, and business. All this learning is perhaps to ensure that he continues to innovate and build products that add value to our lives. u


23–29 September 2011

C ivic/Social

21

Auto Industry is Core to Gurgaon, Needs Better Support: President, GIA L

abour unrest in Gurgaon, particularly in large scale industries, is being seen as a threat to the economic and financial growth of the Millennium City. “The unrest among workers is a serious problem because certain vested interests are behind the recurring agitations. It is not due to serious issues”, says VP Bajaj, president, Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA). Making an oblique reference to the current agitation in Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj, who is himself associated with the auto

industry, says that workers must understand that such agitations are self-defeating in the long run. “Why are such things happening only in large companies, where workers are well paid, and given all benefits”, he asks, while mentioning the agitations in Maruti, HMSI and Denso in the past. On behalf of GIA, he wants a firm stand from the government, so that people with vested interests are discouraged, and industry gets reassurance on labour peace and security. A high level delegation of the industry will also meet the Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda soon, in

Prakhar Pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) was started in 1966 to provide support, guidance and help to small industries. The association has since its inception adopted a solution-oriented approach, with emphasis on self-help. The association today has 400 members, and has it own office in Gurgaon, where it is also constructing a large hall for important industry events and conferences. The association is constantly working on all issues related to small and medium enterprises—such as infrastructure development, policy formulation, governance and labour issues. GIA also organises industry related events, conferences, meetings and media interaction to ensure that its members stay updated, and remain in touch with each other. Important members: Maruti Udyog Ltd., Hero Motor Corp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, Denso Haryana (P) Ltd, Siemens Ltd, Munjal Showa Ltd, Bajaj Motors Ltd, Jai Bharat Maruti Ltd, Bharat Seats Ltd, Barmalt India Ltd, Sunbeam Casting Ltd, Purolator India Ltd, Automax, Enkay (India) Rubber Co. Ltd, Cosco (India) Ltd, Mitsubhishi Automotive Ltd., FCC Rico Ltd.,Orient Craft and Pearl Global.

TIME TO PAUSE AND INTROSPECT: VP Bajaj, President, Gurgaon Industrial Association

connection with the labour unrest, he revealed. The GIA also wants the government to liberalise rules and regulations concerning labour, taxes, excise policy, and  particularly the business forms, which Bajaj says impede business. “Various forms that the industry and business have to fill lead to delays and ultimately loss of time—and forces people to take underhand measures”, says the GIA president, who wants most forms to be scrapped. Self certification is the best solution, he asserts. On the issue of the auto-

industry leaving Gurgaon for other places in the country, Bajaj says that it is only a derisking exercise. “All companies want to de-risk their business. They want to ensure that if labour unrest hits one state, then production continues in other states”, said Bajaj. This way, the companies do not face a situation where everything comes to a standstill. Bajaj is also sceptical as far as expansion of industry in Gurgaon is concerned. He says the city is overloaded with all kinds of industry, and it is time to go to other places in Haryana, where

industrial inputs like land, power and water can be procured at a reasonable price. “There is too much pressure on roads, power, and water. New industry should be given incentives to go to non-industrialised areas in the state”, says Bajaj. He is also critical of the manner in which the city has expanded, and says that unauthorised and unplanned development has put a question mark on Gurgaon as a Millennium City. “I have seen the city grow. It is time to pause and have a relook, so that it continues to live and breathe”, he adds. u

Operational Concerns: President, GCCI Prakhar Pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

future investment. Law and order is another concern, says Jain, as he K Jain, a prominent industrialist wants the police to remain and founder president of Gurgaon vigilant, especially during the Chamber of Commerce and disbursal of salary to workers. Industries (GCCI), a leading industry Since a large amount of cash body, identifies poor transport facilities, is moved for this purpose, he mismanagement of traffic, labour unrest wants the police to keep an eye and extortion by illegal truck unions as on miscreants, as snatching the primary problems. He wants these incidents have been reported problems to be resolved at the policy level recently. by the government, in collaboration with Another important issue industry and local civil society. is the arm-twisting of facJain, who has seen the growth of this tory owners by local truck city, says poor commuting facilities and unions, that often do not mismanagment of traffic is affecting the have registration nor reqproductivity of the industry, whether it uisite permission to run is real estate, service or manufacturing. trucking operations. “The executive is today crying for want “Factory owners are forced of good quality transport facilities. The to hire the services of trucklong hours lost in traffic jams, and energy ers who are non-professionals, sapped in share autos, is affecting the and operate from shacks”, says performance of employees,” he avers. Jain, who wants these unions The government, he says, must find BALL IN GOVT’S COURT : PK Jain, Founder President, Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce & Industry to be regulated by the governa solution to resolve the problem at ment, as huge investments in goods are the macro level, and provide last mile endangered by rookie truckers. Creation of space for the service class connectivity. Otherwise this city, which The Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce & Industry was set up about two decades is a major revenue earner for the state, that caters to the needs of residents of ago. The affairs of the Chamber are managed by its Managing Committee, which is will lose the sheen—and industry will gated communities, and of offices, is also elected every year by the members. GCCI serves Gurgaon, Udyog Vihar, Sohna, be forced to relocate somewhere else, high on the agenda. Jain wants the government and private industry to create he warns. Roz-Ka-Meo, Dharuhera and Pataudi Industrial belts. The Chamber is also concerned with space for people who provide housekeepThe aims and objectives of the Chamber are to promote, develop, and encourage ing services—such as drivers, gardeners the labour unrest in Gurgaon. Jain is of commerce, trade and industry. It also aims to forge unity among the members, to the opinion that some vested interests and maids. Unless this happens, there ensure that they work towards the common good, and for the development and are bent upon creating trouble in the will be more and more slums in Gurgaon, growth of industry and economy. Millennium City, and wants government giving this city two different faces—one The GCCI is presently represented formally in a number of committees and of glamour and luxury; the other of povto come out in support of the industry. councils constituted by the State or Central Government. He adds that unrest in any industry erty—like Mumbai. Nothing will have is a deterrent for existing and changed; nothing learnt. u

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Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI)


22

23–29 September 2011

B usiness

In a Slowdown, Go for the Mass Bottom End—Or Aim for the Niche Top End { Abhishek Behl / FG }

E

ARTISTIC IMPRESSION: Godrej Frontier (above), M3M Golf Estates (below)

Connect with us online @ fridaygurgaon.com

jointly launched the Godrej Frontier project. The company ties up with land owners to build properties, and shares either the revenue or the profit with the landowners. It is is a pan India developer, with 82 million sq feet area under construction, and has a large number of locations across India. Brand Godrej, the company claims, brings transparency and assurance of quality to the table – and these are two factors most required in the real estate industry. Godrej is also launching a project on Dwarka E-way, to harness the future potential. Despite the slowdown, Godrej Properties seem to hold the view that the demand is high and that there is a significant shortfall in housing. Like Godrej Properties, Tata Housing is another real estate major that did not have a major presence in Gurgaon. It has launched an high-end project called Tata Primanti, which is a premier offering. Designed by international architect Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), Primanti offers 102 villas, 75 Executive Floors, 89 Executive Apartments and 828

Tower Residences. It also offers a state-ofthe-art clubhouse and sporting zone along with a spa designed to provide the perfect ambience to de-stress and unwind. Also trying to join the big league is Gurgaon based developer M3M, which has perhaps launched the most expensive living solutions for the High Networth Individuals (HNIs) in the Millennium City. Kunal Banerjee, President of M3M, says that his company is betting big on high-end housing, as there exists a solid demand. “There are very few companies catering to this niche segment, and we intend to deliver world class products and services to our discerning customers”, he says, adding that Gurgaon is in a good position as far as premium real estate is concerned. The demand, he says, is coming from young, upward mobile families that have global exposure, and also have the money to support the lifestyle. In future, the real estate companies will have to concentrate on specific segments to grow and make profits, instead of trying to be a jack of all trades and master of none, he avers. u

Realty Rates

Sohna Road

ven as established real estate companies in Gurgaon are reeling under the impact of high debt burden, and low off-take caused by rising interest on loans, the luxury and upper-end housing is one segment, that seems to not have been much affected by the downturn. Smelling a good opportunity, Godrej Properties, Tata Housing and even some of the lesser known players have jumped into the fray in the last one year, knowing that there is enough space for new players in this niche segment. Gurgaon is one of the largest and fastest growing real estate markets in the country - after Mumbai. It is no surprise therefore that Godrej and Tata also want to establish a base in the Millennium City. In future, these companies will spread to the entire NCR, and this could be good for the real estate sector, aver observers. Godrej Properties launched its first project, Godrej Frontier, in 2010. It is an upper-end housing project in Sector 80, Gurgaon, adjacent to the National Highway 8, and comprises of 503 premium apartments having 3 and 4 bedrooms; as well as 18 luxury penthouses. A company official, on condition of anonymity, said that Godrej always wanted to be present in Gurgaon, but since it works on a partnership model, it found it difficult to find good associates. Godrej has now tied up with Frontier Land Developer, a Gurgaon based realtor, and

(in Rs as of Sep 21, 2011)

DLF Phase I Silver Oaks plots 1.5–2.5 lakh/ Apartments sq yd 7000–8000/ sq yd

DLF Phase II plots 1.30–2 lakh/ sq yard

Beverly Park 1, 2 10,000-12,000/ sq ft

Belvedere Tower 8– Belvedere Park 10,000/ sq ft 8–10,000/ sq ft

DLF Phase III plots 1–1.5 lakh/ sq yd

Oakwood Apartments 7000–8500/ sq yd

DLF Phase 4 plots Ridgewood 1.5–2.5 lakh/sq yd Apartments 7000–8000/ sq ft

Hamilton Court Windsor Court 10–12,000/ sq ft

Residency 1, 2 Regent Square 8000–9000/ sq ft

DLF Phase V ICON Apartments 12,000/ sq ft

Western Heights 12,000/ sq ft

Princeton, Carlton, Wellington, Trinity 10,000/ sq ft

Pinnacle 13,000/ sq ft


24

Money Sharma

23–29 September 2011

Gurgaon’s Open Air Watering Holes The city’s partygoers have discovered a new locale to slake their after hours thirst—the Ahata { Shirin Mann / FG }

G

urgaon is today the working and partying hub of the NCR. We have world cuisine restaurants, fancy pubs and packed clubs, where all the ‘action’ takes place. All of these however, are guaranteed to leave a hole in your pocket that would dwarf the city’s potholes, and therefore cannot be everyday indulgences for the bulk of the city’s populace. So where do working Gurgaonites head for that after work drink, or for that after-party. Well, they head to one of the city’s many Ahatas. What’s that, you ask? Read on!

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

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Ummami

Spread over 6500 sq ft, this fine dining restaurant with large glass windows, a wall of world wine collection, open live food stations and soothing music, almost takes you away from the hustle bustle of the Golf Course road, which it overlooks. A Japanese word for ‘pleasant savory taste’, Ummami and it’s food lives up to its meaning. However, the spread is not just Japanese. For starters, the salads are crisp— the squid salad was absolutely delicious. The same holds true for the near perfect salmon and vegetarian sushi, as well as the pea kababs; and these are but a few. The tempura station dishes out crunchy vegetarian and fish tempura served with garlic and radish sauce. There are also pizzas made to a T from a woodfired oven, no less. On offer for the main course is a large spread of Indian and Pan Asian dishes. Eat to your heart’s content. And it is still not over. The corner display of dessertcakes, puddings, cheese, fresh fruits will definitely create that extra space in your tummy. The baked passion fruit cheesecake and the raspberry mousse are a must-have! Where: Global Foyer, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon.

This has given rise to over 65 government approved Ahatas in the city. They look somewhat like a crossover between restaurants and dhabas; ranging from simple to modern in style, service and menu. We found 3 different and popular Ahatas of Gurgaon, that offer you an experience you will not find in the usual pubs and bars.

Route 69

A rather upscale version, Route 69 gives you a Goan shacklike feel, with its wooden chicks, canework lamps, and chimes and candle lamps dangling

around the place. Started with only 6 tables (with 24 covers), Route 69 today accommodates a 160 people, serving delicious Continental and Italian food. The place is tastefully designed, with barrel shaped tables and high stools, and large fans cooling your summer evenings to enjoy the outdoor experience. The indoor restaurant is a contrast-cosy, brightly lit, with frames of various rock stars embracing the walls. Distinct from other Ahatas, Route 69 is quite popular among the women and couples. “We are a cosmopolitan downtown hub”, as mentioned by Joy Sidhu, owner of Route 69. Despite a cover charge of Rs. 500, Route 69 stays busy throughout the week; so make your reservations early for your evening ahead (+91 9871087137). Now also open for lunches! Where: Sector 52, Gold Souk Road.

Cafe Leon

This is a live band Ahata. Cafe Leon hosts live band performances thrice a week, making it quite popular among the young jammers, seen lazing around on bean bags and cane chairs alongside huge posters of Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and other classic rock stars—giving it the 70s – 80s classic English rock cafe look. Adding to their music inspired ambience, Cafe Leon hosts ‘open mic, free jam’ nights, where you and your band have a stage, to showcase your talent to an enthusiastic audience. Cafe

Leon offers an open air space for 45-50 people, an indoor air conditioned space for another 40 and an ample parking area. A must try are its shammi kebabs and biryani! Where: Sector 57, Opposide Devinder Vihar, Gurgaon

Knight Riders

This Ahata in Cyber City is quite a popular hangout for the corporate types working and living around the area. Covering a 300 people seating space, this place is quite inviting for late night matches, that can be watched on LCD screens in private dining rooms-with a bunch of friends or colleagues after work. Comparatively easy on the pocket, this Ahata is open till the wee hours of the night. Giri Ganesh, resident of Belvedere Park says, “it’s a great spot to chill out with friends after work. There is a huge corporate crowd, from around the area; some are regulars like myself, so I’ve made quite a few friends here. And since it’s easy on the pocket, I am here so often, because I live by myself and don’t cook.” Where: Cyber City, opposite IBP petrol pump. There are other Ahatas, like the Machan around the city. So if your are bored of the usual pub scene in your city, you now know a different place to hit. u (Ahata is pronounced with the ‘t’ as in the Hindi ‘tum’)

Wind Up Your Week With a Perfect Sunday Special There are a variety of appetizing options for the Sunday diner Money Sharma

ad a busy week at work and home, with almost no time to sit back and enjoy a meal in peace? Then the Sunday specials offered in your city are the perfect way to leisurely enjoy your weekend with your friends or family over a large variety of lip smacking dishes displayed to please your taste buds. Here are the must-visits for you guysfor that lazy chilled out, tummy filling brunch.

An Ahata is a refreshing BYOB (bring your own booze) concept, hitherto limited to house parties of the young. It’s a place next to a beer and wine shop. You can order your food while carrying your own bottle of booze. If you haven’t carried it with you, you can buy the bottle from the shop next door . “And the best part of it all” says Arjun Mann, commercial pilot, “You don’t have to worry about giving your last order at 10.30 pm, or paying 25% VAT on your liquor bill. It’s a great option, because you do end up spending a large amount of your money on alcohol in bars.”

Pastimes

ALL YOU CAN FEAST: The sumptuous spread at Ummami brings Sunday diners in their droves

When: 12:00 pm – 3:30pm. Price: 1200 + taxes. Additional liquor package at 800 + taxes is also available—includes unlimited beer, wine, whisky, vodka and a variety of cocktails.

Wokamama

Sheer covered gazebos and spray fans out in the open terrace or low zen casual seating indoors, make it quite an invitation to visit this Pan Asian

restaurant. Serving Japanese, Thai, Chinese and South East Asian cuisines, Wokamama’s three course Sunday special is something you must check out. California sushi rolls with spicy deakin mayonnaise, prawn tempura with mirin and saki dip, steamed chicken with celery and basil dim sums are the perfect starters. Following the starters, Wokamama’s main course comprises of a combo meal—a

side order from a variety of noodles and rice with a main dish that you can pick from the menu. We could recommend you Kian Pad Ta- Kria (Lamb with Thai herbs and lemon grass). The last leg of the course brings you to the dessert of the day—date pancakes, Coconut rolls with pickled raisins and cinnamon or fried ice cream. Where: Nathupur, DLF Phase 3

When: 12.00 pm- 3.00 pm Price: 795 + taxes. Pia Sodhi, Interior Designer says, “I love the concept of Sunday brunches, and Gurgaon has some great places. My friends and I try to go at least twice a month; this way you can spend a few hours of quality time with your friends over a good filling meal. You don’t get that time during the week.”u


City Girls Shine in the State Boxing Championship

Sport

25

money sharma

23–29 September 2011

Overcoming all odds, three Gurgaon lasses won gold, silver and bronze

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oxing has been Haryana’s favourite game for half a decade or so, and Virender Singh’s iconic victory in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 has added the much needed fillip. Now, not only boys, but even the girls of the state are surging ahead, by punching away adversities. Three girls from Gurgaon showed their mettle in the recently concluded Girls State Boxing Championship in Mahindergarh district. Surbhi (54 kg), Yogita (54 kg) and Alka (46 kg) won the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively, at the junior level. “Winning a medal in Haryana is enough to prove your worth, because this state has a great pool of talent,

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }

T

ake some golf, add a good portion of school-day nostalgia, mix with rivalry and you have a perfect recipe for an entertaining day. Such was the atmosphere at the ITC Classic Golf course, when India’s four premier public boarding schools battled it out on the field at the Sanawar Invitational Golf Tournament. “We have been planning to have an interschool competition for the old boys for sometime now. It is the first of its kind, where alumni from four boarding schools (The Doon school, Dehradun; Bishop Cotton School, Shimla; Mayo College, Ajmer; and The Lawrence School, Sanawar) participate in a golf tournament. The idea was to get alumni together. For instance, we have a cricket tournament called the Grudge, which Sanawarian participate in. Similarly, we wanted to have an inter-school competition, where batch mates from different schools got to know each other and competed once again like school except this time in a healthier manner,” says Jerry Bains, President of The Old Sanawarian Society. Even though the rivalry between these schools is known and often spoken of, on the field the men decided to let golf supersede any other emotion. “There are 18 players participating from different schools. The top ten scores of each school will be counted and based on those, the winner will be decided. Essentially that’s the format we are playing with today,” said the Captain of the Sanawar Team, Pankaj Sethi, preparing to tee off.

which makes it very difficult for any player to win a medal,” said an ecstatic Rajender Tanwar, the coach of these three girls. He runs a coaching camp in Drona Public School in old Gurgaon. “We have been training here for the last three years, and I am happy that my hard work has paid off,” said Yogita. Sports, and that too boxing, is not every girl’s cup of tea; but Surbhi, who won the gold, is certainly an exception. “My family supported me all through. I was never told to stop or give up practice, by any member of my family,” said Surbhi. Coach Tanwar was also very happy about this achievement. He said, “For the last three years, we have been working very hard, and now our hard work has started paying off. Haryana

PRIZE WINNING PUGILISTS ALL: (From L) Alka, Surbhi, coach Rajender Tanwar and Yogita

has lots of players and coaching centres, and competition here is very stiff. So it is very hard, for any player to make his or her mark. At last, this small nursery of mine has started yielding the fruits of success.” Tanwar works as a boxing coach with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and has held many responsible positions. “I have been the coach of Indian men as well as women boxing teams at the junior level for a few years. I have also worked as a Secretary of the Delhi State Boxing Association (DSBA), and now SAI has given me a new

responsibility of unearthing the hidden talent in the state,” explained Tanwar. Alka, winner of the bronze medal, looks like a true champion and a bright prospect for the state in the future. “Alka is very talented. She is fast, aggressive and full of energy. She just needs proper training and guidance to make her mark in the future,” said the coach.

Survival at the mercy of school

“Sports Authority of India has not provided anything here. With the help of school authorities, I have arranged all

the training equipment for the players,” said Tanwar, ruing the unwillingness of the sports authorities to provide the required infrastructure. This coaching centre has nothing except a cement ring, and that too under the open sky; which means no practice during rain. Players also arrange for equipment here—like gloves and punching pads, “Most of the material is provided by coach Sir and school authorities, and if something more is required, we collect money to buy it,” said Alka. u

Golf First, Rivals After Sanawar Invitational Golf Tournament

TRIUMPHANT OLD BOYS: The victorious Sanawar team

While youngsters participated in some serious golf, there was the army brigade that enjoyed both the weather and the game. Retd Lieutenant General Aditya Singh, and Karan Yadav, were accompanied by Lieutenant General Mandeep Singh, and they decided to play the game at their own pace taking shelter from the rain every now and then. “We are participating only to enjoy the game. Otherwise our group is a little shaky,” laughed Lt Gen, Mandeep Singh. With a good dose of CEO and MNC executives participating in the match, Hardy Gill, the chief organiser of the event said, “We intend on making

money sharma

{ Maninder Dabas / FG}

ON THE GREENS: One of the participants prepares to tee off at the tournament

this tournament an annual affair. The reason we decided to have this event in Gurgaon was because of the proximity to New Delhi, where a large population of old boys reside. This, however, is not a permanent venue for the event. Depending on the organising committee, next year we will decide a new venue around the NCR region.” While some where there for a laidback game, others like Arjun Bartwal of Doon School said, “For me the tournament is more about catching up with batch mates and reliving some old school memories. Up till now the competition has been healthy, considering we have started

hiding the opponents golf balls as yet,” he said jokingly. “On a serious note, it is also a perfect way to exercise.” The competition primarily went back and forth between Mayo College and Sanawar. As for the scores, the closest to pin hole no 5, went to Ajay Kapur of Mayo College, followed by Prasant Sagar of Sanawar. Annauj Mattoo of Mayo College scored the overall best gross. The overall school position were—First position held by Sanawar with 318 points, followed by Mayo college with 309, with Doon School not far behind at 304 points; and finally BCS with 266 points. u


26

23–29 September 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


23–29 September 2011

T ime Pass 27

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution 1-3, 2-6, 4-5. The design patterns are the same on the right and left skis of each pair.

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger

Baby Blues

The Better Half


28

23–29 September 2011

G lobal

Wooden Barrels Back at Oktoberfest A resurgence of old traditions has led to a preference for wood over metal barrels

{ Sabine Dobel / Munich / dpa }

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he traditional wooden beer barrel is back in fashion at the Oktoberfest festival in the German city of Munich, known for its beer consumption, which begins Saturday. Several hundred beer barrels, among them 200 barrels holding 200 litres each, have been built by Wilhelm Schmid, Munich’s only cooper. The first so-called “Hirschen” (stags), whose name is derived from the similar weight of a full-grown stag, were delivered to Munich’s breweries in July. “We have not built so many barrels for many years,” Schmid said. Tradition is in, also with regard to beer, and the wooden barrel is back. Oktoberfest, an annual mass party that centres around huge beer tents where bands play as guests drink beer at long tables, will begin with the ceremonial tapping of the first keg of beer by Munich Mayor Christian Ude, and the cry: “O’zapft is” (Bavarian for, “it’s tapped!”). The festival continues until October 3, with 6 million visitors expected. Despite the heavy drinking, the Oktoberfest—also known as Wiesn, in a reference to its Theresienwiese fair grounds—is famed for operating like a welloiled machine, with strict policing to avert violence. German police said they would deploy 300 officers to keep order. Italian and French police will help to do so among tens of thousands of visitors from their countries.

Even experts do not agree on the question of whether beer from wooden casks actually tastes better than beer from the more common pressurized metal kegs. In any case, business for the cooper from Munich is booming. “For the last few years, it has been uphill,” said Schmid, whose family has been running the business for almost 100 years. In order to make the barrels waterproof, they have to be watered to soak the wood pores– new ones, for two weeks. Steel barrels are easier to maintain, but the taste is not the same. Schmid believes wooden barrels make beer tastier and more quaffable because it contains less carbon dioxide. “Of course, there is also a psychological element involved,” he said, adding that even setting up the heavy barrels for the tap-

CHEERS: Waitresses hold aloft tankards of ale at an event at Munich’s annual Oktoberfest

sters is an event in itself. The tapping of barrels is also considered an art form, as tapping mugs without giant white crests is not easy. “You cannot compare this

TASTE OF OLD: Some say beer from a wooden barrel tastes better

with opening a beer can and pouring it into a paper cup,” Schmid said. The surge in orders is mainly due to the creation of the “Oide Wiesn” (Old Wiesn), which was thought up at the occasion of the Oktoberfest’s 200th anniversary in 2010. This year, the “Oide Wiesn” will be a defined area of the Oktoberfest for the first time. It offers traditional folk music and historic fairground rides. The city council made woodenbarrels obligatory for the “Oide Wiesn.” Formerly, steel tanks had been used at the Oktoberfest for long. The festival has even installed a circular beer pipeline. Only Munich’s oldest existing brewery, Augustiner, which was founded in the 14th century, has always stuck to wooden beer barrels for the Oktoberfest. It has ordered the 200 new Hirschen.

“It takes an incredible effort,” Augustiner’s master brewer Toni Wuermseer admits. “But it is a tradition that we want to keep up—not only during the Wiesn.” Augustiner beer is tapped from wooden barrels also in beer gardens, restaurants and other festivals. Hofbraeu, another Munich brewery, which goes back to the 16th century and owns the famous Hofbraeuhaus, has also ordered 100 casks holding 100 litres and 30 holding 50 litres. The filling takes place only shortly before delivery. “This takes an enormous amount of logistic planning,” Hofbraeu spokesman Stefan Hempl said. Augustiner has its empty barrels collected every night during the festival. Through the night they are cleaned, refilled and brought back to the festival area. Trucks carrying fresh beer run all night. u

Electric Cars Whirr in Frankfurt { Martin Bensley / Frankfurt / dpa }

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armakers at the Frankfurt car show this year are showing a slew of all-electric cars which could revolutionize urban transport within a few years. Mobility is already a big headache in many gridlocked cities around the world. Now with tougher emission regulations in the pipeline and highways getting even more crowded, manufacturers are investing heavily in order to make future cars cleaner. At the moment, only 2,300 of the 42.3 million cars registered in Germany are electromobile. In a bid to change that, the country’s leading carmakers—Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen—are investing large sums of money. Leading the way at the vast motoring expo in Germany’s financial capital is Bavarian carmaker BMW. It is fielding the futuristic i3 city car, due to start coming off production lines in 2013. Designed for tomorrow’s sprawling cities, the i3 seats four people comfortably inside an all-new structure made of lightweight aluminium and even lighter carbon fibre for added strength. The latter is an exotic material usually found on Formula One racing cars According to BMW engineer Oliver Walters, company experi-

The industry eyes the future with a slew of concept cars ence has shown that it is better to go back to the drawing board when designing an electric car from scratch. “Using a structure designed for an internal combustion engine is the wrong approach—we built the i3 more or less around the batteries,” said Walters. The aim was to keep down weight and ensure components are evenly distributed. The BMW i3 uses a 168-horsepower

motor and the batteries are located low in the floor section. This enables connected bench seats front and rear so that passengers can get out from both sides in a tight parking lot. The i3 may cost as much as 40,000 euros (54,650 dollars) when it hits the road, unlike the electrified version of its rival, the Smart minicar. Daimler aims to sell the Smart from next year at a knockdown priced of 16,000

euros. Customers will lease the battery, which would bump up the price by another 4,000 euros. In a recent survey, a majority of 69 per cent of Germans said they would buy an electric car even if it cost more. Economics expert Stephan Bratzel from Bergisch-Gladbach university believes however that many motorists will not switch until both the technology and price are right.

REVOLUTIONARY: The all-electric BMW i3, one of several concepts showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Other electric offerings in Frankfurt include the chunky Audi A2 concept, packed with connectivity in the form of Bluetooth, wireless internet and even Google Earth navigation overlay. The car offers inductive charging, which means a driver can pull up to a garage fitted with a charger in the floor and the batteries will be loaded up automatically. The A2 is a bold concept which could become a reality soon, unlike the quirky Volkswagen NILS which drew the crowds in Frankfurt. With its passenger pod for one person, outboard wheels and over-and-up doors, the ultralight Volkswagen NILS is a real eye-catcher, albeit a fragilelooking one. Designed as an urban commuter machine, the NILS can dash to 100 kilometres (62 mph) in 11 seconds and has a range of around 60 kilometres. Whether it ever goes into production is anyone’s guess. Armin Sue of VW’s research department is enthusiastic. “It’s a Volkswagen and we place a lot of emphasis on safety. “We do need to try it out in real life though and see if people really happy about sitting in one of these next to a double-decker bus. You can’t find out that using a computer.” u


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30

23–29 September 2011

G lobal

Madonna Aims for Oscar

Success with WE Critics however, have not been kind to either of her two films

{ Astrid Riehn / Toronto / DPA }

M

There is a difference when the review is about the film, but not when it’s about other aspects of my life. “When it’s about the film, I pay attention to them.

drea Risenborough), for whom the king went on to abdicate his throne. Critics were not kind on her debut as a director, Filth and Wisdom, and they were not particularly impressed with WE in Venice. Madonna, for all her superstar status, still gets very nervous about what others may think of her work. “Of course,” she says, “it’s new, the same kind of pressure as when my music career began. I had to make my way to be taken seriously in music. I’m aware I have to do the same in the world of film.” Madonna says she listens to critics when their work is “fair.” “There is a difference when the review is about the film, but

Hubert Boesl

adonna is no stranger to success after a 30year career on top of the music world. However, praise has been more elusive in her career as a filmmaker, and she wants that to change with her second feature as a director, WE, which the artist hopes can make it to the Academy Awards. “My legs and my fingers are crossed,” she said at the Toronto International Film Festival. WE, which premiered out of competition at the Venice Film Festival, is to hit US cinemas in December, just in time to have a shot at the Oscars. The film tells the story of a

girl (Abbie Cornish) who becomes obsessed with the love story between British King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and US socialite Wallis Simpson (An-

FOREVER IN THE LIMELIGHT: Madonna at a photocall at the Toronto International Film Festival where her second directorial effort, WE, premiered as an out of competition entry

not when it’s about other aspects of my life,” she notes. “When it’s about the film I pay attention to them.” The Queen of Pop spoke of the process of shooting the film. Sometimes, she recalled, she would appear on set with a guitar and would sing a few songs with her cast: “We had sing-alongs, when it was raining and we were waiting in a dirty shack for it to stop.” Among her directing rituals, Madonna mentioned getting involved in the final touches of dressing her actresses: putting on necklaces and bracelets, doing their hair etc.. “It was an excuse to touch them!” she says. Indeed, some of Simpson’s original jewelry was used in the film. Madonna admitted that she was herself fascinated by Simpson’s story as “a mysterious creature, twice divorced, not conventionally beautiful,” who got a man to abdicate his throne for her. Above all, she enjoyed exploring the past and present “cult of celebrity.” “So many believe to have the truth about Wallis, but I couldn’t find evidence,” she said. “Since Cleopatra, for every iconic figure, we believe things to be true and reduce our historical figures to a sound bite. But they were human beings, with flaws, imperfections.”u


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23–29 September 2011

G -scape

Friday Gurgaon, September 23-29, 2011  

Gurgaon's own newspaper

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