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Vol. 1 No. 6  Pages 32  ` 7  30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

{Inside} Millennium Art


eportage from the recently held Art Mart III— the three-day art festival, held annually at Epicentre— that is a meeting ground for art connoisseurs and art amateurs alike. ...Pg 6

Know Your Councillor


Time to Act


spotlight on iamgurgaon, an NGO of concerned citizens, that believes in being the change it wants to see; and is behind the million trees plantation drive at the city’s bio-diversity park. ...Pg 10

School City


double-page spread on the city’s premier day schools and boardings, highlighting the positives of each and then differences. ...Pgs 12 & 13

School Sex Education


he debate behind the introduction of sex education in schools, with inputs from leading child psychologists. ...Pg 23

Deserves Credit for the Development of Gurgaon­–A Core Competence Area, and the Main Responsibility Deserves Blame for an Inadequate Role in the Maintenance of Gurgaon – A Role HUDA is not Well-Equipped for, and Needs to Hand Over Completely { Hritvick Sen / FG }


itin Yadav, HUDA Administrator, is in charge of Gurgaon’s arguably most influential public body. It is a post where the average tenure is under two years. He has been at the helm for over a year. He seems to relish his responsibility, and is articulate – and fairly forthcoming. As a body that has responsibility for the civic maintenance of a major part of Gurgaon City, HUDA is at the centre of Gurgaon’s most apparent shortcoming – an extremely poor civic infrastructure; especially of roads and sewerage/sanitation.

Excerpts from a meeting with Nitin Yadav.

“Every public body has its core competency. Ours is spearheading development, not carrying on the supply chain. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) can come forward and take the sectors. They’re welcome to it. In fact, Sector-14 was given to MCG (then Municipal Committee) as far back as 1989. It wasn’t taken over. The maintenance is still managed by HUDA. The State Government has asked us to transfer HUDA sectors north of the national highway, to the MCG. This will happen, but with the assent and assistance of the Corporation. This would be similar to the framework in Faridabad,” he says. “MCG needs to assess

heartwarming report about an outreach by the muppets of the world famous Sesame Street— or Galli Galli Sim Sim, as its called in India, that is being broadcast to the city’s schoolchildren, using a community radio channel. ...Pg 24

whether they have the appropriate trained and experienced staff, to undertake the task”. It is said that HUDA staff are not willing to move to MCG – for personal and commercial reasons. Yadav is direct, “We have identified the staff, and also issued letters for the proposed transfer.” It is also said that the MCG officials are refusing to take over the HUDA sectors, because the ownership is not being transferred. . There are also issues of unsold plots.


Muppets & the Media



ontinuing our series, this week we meet Ravinder Yadav, the councillor for Ward No. 2 Palam Vihar and its surrounds; and Monika Yadav who represents Ward No. 3. ...Pg 9

HUDA—Prime Developer of Gurgaon, and Haryana


he toll plaza shooting has some valuable lessons for us. We should recognize that, despite claims of being a polished Millenium city, we have our severe rough edges. Also, that for certain folk, taking a life is not a big deal—still. And that modern firearms are seemingly easy to obtain (and of course afford). What was a welcome sign, was the capture of the assailant, in fairly good time. We have almost got used to killers/terrorists getting away far too easily—and not being traced for years. Till it becomes a mere memory for most. The police also should be recognized for a well planned search operation – in terms of the areas of coverage, and the force deployed. In quick time. What remains is the lessons, and actions for the future.

Now that the city is developed, using funds collected from elsewhere, shouldn’t Gurgaon contribute to the benefit of other towns of Haryana?

“See, the HUDA Act has no provision for this. The terms of the Act allow transfer of services, not of property itself. We have invested a significant amount of time and money building these sectors from scratch. And the fact is, we are not the original owners of these land tracts. HUDA had, and has, to buy them from the original owners. Example, in some areas today, the collector rate itself is Rs 1 crore per acre. ” he says “We bought the land, and developed it.

Contd on p 8 

Both at the police level; as well as the toll concessionaire. Not just for the obvious items like camera or guards or police supervision—but a step ahead. And in other similar locations (like parking lots, malls, pubs). It is important that the guilty be punished severely—and soon. And the family of the deceased well taken care—now. Update from the Police Commissioner’s office The CCTVs at the toll plaza would now more effectively capture the vehicle registration number, and face of the driver – they were more focused inside the cabin, on cash. Also, the congestion at toll plazas needs to be brought down urgently. Instead of looking for space width (for increase in number of gates), perhaps staggered gates (like a Z) on a length basis, may be a very effective solution. A letter has been sent to all relevant commercial establishments, on effective placement and use of CCTVs. Those that already have good CCTV surveillance, suffer very little by way of theft or eve teasing. u


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011


Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up


painting exhibition of over 100 artworks by a group of international contemporary artists; that includes Sunil Das, Rini Dhumal, Jogen Chodhury, Harpreet Khullar, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Krishen Khanna, and D. Jayalaxmi.

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Navratri Celebration

Sr. Photographers: Money Sharma Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Kamlesh Pastor

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


SOJOURN-III @ Me Creations Art Studio, C-751, A, Sushant Lok I Date: Oct 1 to Oct 31 Time: 11 am – 1 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm


he exhibition is a preview of the paintings made by Sanjay Mehta and Sajal K Mitra. The duo is taking this exhibition to Bangalore in November 2011.


Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

Vinyasa 2 (Vibrant 2011) @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Oct 7 – Oct 9 Time: 11 am – 7 pm


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


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free of cost complete health check-up and blood donation camp. The tests are conducted by Medanta—The Medicity, Gurgaon, under the guidance of renowned cardiologist—Dr. Naresh Trehan. The camp is organised by Syadvad Sewa Sanghthan, in association with Rotary Blood Bank, Tughlakabad, New Delhi and Medanta—The Medicity.


n Odissi dance performance by Moumita Ghosh, disciple of Madhavi Mudgal. Ghosh has been giving solo Odissi dance performances for the last 10 years.


Durga Puja Celebration


LF City Durga Puja and Bengali Cultural Society is organising a five-day long programme for Durga Puja. The programme starts with puja in the morning followed by bhog; and arti in the evening followed by a range of cultural programmes.

Odissi Dance Performance @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Oct 7 Time: 7:30 pm

Thumri and Dadra Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Oct 5 Time: 7:30 pm

dandiya festival on the occasion of Navratri. Enjoy the live performances of singers from Gujarat, Mumbai and Delhi, and play dandiya to Bollywood beats. For tickets, call: 9711056554, 9582810927 and 08527859537

Durgapuja 2011 @ DLF City Phase I Date: Oct 1 to Oct 6 Time: 8 am – 2 pm & 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm




Blood Donation and Free Health Check-up @ Jain Dharamshala, Main Road, Jharsa Date: Oct 2 Time: 9 am – 3 pm


vocal recital by Deepti Bansal, disciple of Savita Devi. Bansal will perform ThumriDadra, and its allied forms, from Benaras Gharana.

Gaslight @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Oct 2 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 120 mins Tickets: Rs 350, 250 & 150


Kidars Jewellery and Antique Furniture @ B-903, Park View City 1, Sohna Road, Sec-48 Date: Till Oct 4 Time: 11 am – 8 pm


display of Kidars jewellery, and a range of antique furniture and replicas. The jewellery is handcrafted in silver, and plated with 22 carat gold, with real kundan and authentic gemstones. The price range starts from Rs 1000.


aslight is a classic thriller written by the British playwright—Patrick Hamilton. The movie version of the play won a Swedish actress—Ingrid Bergman—an Oscar. The play is popularly known as Angel Street in the US.

Zardosi: Reviving Royalty

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


DhoomEctric Dandiya Nite 2011 @ Ambience Gardens, Opp. HSIIDC Apartments, Near 32nd Milestone, Jharsa Road Date: Oct 1 Time: 7 pm Tickets: Rs 1,000 (incl taxes) for stag & Rs 1,650 (incl taxes) for couple. Free entry for children below 4 ft in height

Health Camp

Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana.

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ndian women and their love for embroidery has been eternal. Due to their strong affinity to this art, embroidery over the ages has evolved in various forms in India. The kind however, that rules the kingdom of design and patterns, is Zardosi—a form of embroidery from Delhi, done with gold and silver thread; famous all over the world for its intricacy and finesse. Tikora is a gold thread spirally twisted for complicated designs. The dull zari thread is called kora and the more shiny one is called chikna. In a metropolitan city with a cosmopolitan outlook, Zardosi’s glitter and old charm has been donned by various kinds of silhouettes, giving each one a touch of royalty. This Persian metal embroidery form,  which attained its summit in the 17th

Get a taste of Delhi at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams

century, starts with the craftsmen sitting around the Addaa, the wooden framework, with their tools. The tools include curved hooks, needles, salmaa pieces (gold wires), sitaaras (metal stars), roundsequins, glass & plastic beads, dabkaa (thread) and kasab (thread). The fabric is then stretched over the wooden frame and the embroidery work begins. A

needle is used to pull out each Zardosi element and then, it is integrated into the basic design by pushing the needle into the fabric. Pearls and precious gems are also studded with the Zardosi to make it more attractive and elegant. With revival of fashion, and the rush-in of the glory of old eras, the fashion capital of the country surely has imbibed this beautiful artwork onto many, much desired home and fashion accessories and trinkets; providing ethnic fashion lovers with the best they could ever get. From bags to shoes, silhouettes to jewellery, curtains to cushion covers and wedding outfits to stylish trench coats, Zardosi has come a long way from the courts of Akbar to the ramps of many chic fashion weeks. An artwork that demands patience of the craftsman makes sure that heads turn when it is donned. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011


Talent Hunt @ BAHI T

ucked away in a corner of the city, a pub—BAHI organised a talent hunt—Verses & Strings. This is a three week long quest, to find the best talent in acoustic and vocals. Auditions began last week, and will go on till the first week of October. Some of the crowds’ favourites were solo performance by Dhruv and The Next Heaven band. A cash prize of Rs 25,000, and a Spanish guitar, await the winner.


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Gurgaon’s Date with Bollywood G

urgaon celebrated a star-studded night, when Bollywood stars and singers descended at the Kingdom of Dreams, to participate in the Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA). While Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg dominated the Global Indian Music Awards, winning seven trophies including the Best Music Director award and the Best Film award, SRK and Director Nagesh Kukunoor were here to promote their upcoming films, RA.ONE and Mod. The ceremony, hosted by promising newcomer Ranveer Singh, and Neha Dhupia, featured stellar performances by renowned singers—Usha Uthup, Shubha Mudgal, Kailash Kher, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan, Sonu Nigam, and ShankarEhsaan-Loy.

(From L to R): Jacqueline Fernandez, Sophie Choudry, Neha Dhupia and Shahrukh Khan grace the Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA) at the Kingdom of Dreams.

For a Cause T

he city also saw an array of charity events this week. Bharti Walmart celebrated International Girl Child Day to promote gender equality. Raj Jain, Managing Director and CEO, Bharti Walmart Pvt. Ltd said, “It is of utmost importance that corporations, citizens and government take impactful steps to promote gender equality.”

FIGHT FOR EQUALITY: Raj Jain, Managing Director and CEO of Bharti Walmart distributes gifts to underprivileged children on the International Girl Child Day

Tiny Tots Walk the Ramp


t was like any other fashion show, followed by a party—yet there was something unique about it—it is not every day that one gets to see little ones walking the ramp, wearing funky clothes and footwear. This is exactly what was on display at the Baby Show, organised by Manav Rachna International School (MRIS). The day also proved to be informative for parents. A talk show and rapid question and answer sessions, were held for the parents with a focus on Healthy Child. The event was judged by Dr. R.N. Sachdeva, Rtd. Additional Director General Health Services, Haryana and Dhriti Malhotra, Principal MRIS (Sec – 46 and Sec – 51), Rajesh Kalra chairman MRIS (Sec – 51), along with Sunny Bansal and Gaurav Rai, Executive Director MRIS (Sec-51). Participants were given the titles of the most healthy baby, best dressed baby, most curly hair baby, most active baby, baby with a sparkling smile, and most charming baby. There even was a mom and baby ramp walk round. TODDLING IN STYLE: Children at a fashion walk—Baby Show at Manav Rachna International School

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30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

reviews FOOD


Of Brews and Burritos Aalok Wadhwa pair tea with food? What about with Mexican food? These questions Careanteaatone the top of my mind as I enter the Tea

Room Co., situated in a deserted DLF Star Mall on NH-8 (a newly-released flop film running in the mall’s multiplex may have contributed some more to its emptiness). “The Tea Room is all about tea,” says proprietor Mridu Gupta, “We serve the food keeping the tea pairing as the starting point.” She recommends that I have the citrose infusion blend (Rs 59) with my food, and the marista tea (Rs 59) as my meal’s finale. Interestingly, both protagonists here— tea and Mexican food—have rich histories. The usage of tea as a beverage was first recorded in China in the 10th century BC. And Mexican cuisine has evolved through a blending of indigenous and European elements since the 16th century. The first to arrive is what the restaurant has chosen to call mushroom enchilada (Rs 175). What I expect is a tortilla roll with mushrooms and some chilly-based sauce inside. What is served is a mushroom dish looking somewhat naked without the customary tortilla wrap. The menu describes the sauce as a ‘tongue-tingling paprika lemon sauce’, which is partly correct. The lemon is conspicuous by its absence, but the tongue sure does tingle. Although a spicy explosion in the mouth, what saves this dish from numbing the tongue is the citrose infusion, a blend of rose, lemongrass and orange peel that soothes the palate and makes the experience close to enjoyable. Presumably to make the dish more suitable to the Indian palate, the chicken fajita (Rs 410) is an adaptation of the Tex-Mex staple. Strips of grilled chicken are cooked in a sauce very similar to the enchilada and finished with cheese and bell peppers. This is accompanied by freshly prepared guacamole, sour cream, salsa and tortillas. Not for the faint hearted, this dish too is spicy hot, but does become a trifle less fiery when rolled into a tortilla with guacamole and sour cream. The chicken is well seasoned, and the sauces are fresh—though the guacamole could have been chunkier. The chicken burrito roll (Rs 410) feels like the gentle breeze that follows the storm. Like a roomali roll in concept, the burrito traces its origins to the Aztec people

ART Manjula Narayan


TORTILLA TIME: A Mexican platter

of Mexico who used tortillas to wrap their food. Burrito means “little donkey” in Spanish and is derived from the bedrolls that donkeys used to carry. The roll has a filling of chicken chunks and cheese, baked and served with Mexican rice and frijoles (rajma cooked and mashed in its own juices) and the usual trio of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. The plate presented spells and tastes comfort food. The combination of soft tortilla, a cheesy chicken and condiments hit the spot. The accompanying Mexican rice is missing the vital tomato tang and tastes like a pulao; the only misfit in this dish. And it’s time now for a cup of marista tea from the Nilgiris: the proprietor’s recommendation. Deservedly so, it is a perfect end to the meal, because of its fennel (saunf) flavour and clean taste. The food at the Tea Room Co. is good but not extraordinary; at best it can be called an attempt to create an Indo-Mex taste. What makes it worth visiting though is the ambience of the place—comfortable and languid. And, of course, its selection of some unique teas and infusions. Head for this restaurant if you want to hang out with friends, or be alone reading a book. u The Tea Room Co. UG-29, Star Mall, Sector 30, NH-8, Gurgaon Ph: 0124-4203509 Cuisine: Tea, Mexican, Others Timing: 10 am to 11 pm

Contrived, Flat, Boring

Vijaya Kumar

could have borne with that too, but for the fact that the story looks extremely conQuestion: If there were to be an trived and lacks a reasonable dose of reuniversal award, for a movie in any lanalism. Even the manner in which the love guage, for having included in its story line story develops between the protagonists references to at least five of the followlooks shallow. As if to compensate for ing catastrophic man made events in the the lack of depth and passion in the love last two decades, how many contestants story, Pankaj Kapoor flirts with patriotism would be there? and when even that fails, tries to bring in The events are: The disturbances the concept of the faceless aspect of terin Kashmir, The Babri Masjid demolirorism. The end result is a flat and boring tion, The Kargil War, The Mumbai Bomb Blasts, The Twin Towers Tragedy and The experience for the viewer. Both Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor hardly make Gujarat Riots. any impact; it is a big let-down for Shahid Pankaj Kapoor’s maiden directorial after his superb performance in Kaminey. attempt, Mausam. In fact, Mausam Sonam has still to click despite being in should get a special mention, because moviedom for the last five years or so; a its story line features all the six events poor justification would be that she has listed above. played roles in only five or six films till Mausam could also be credited with date and with the exception of Delhi 6, the perhaps the first movie featuring various films have been emimeans of transportation. nently forgettable. From the humble I could draw paralhorse drawn carriage, lels between her first the bicycle, the auto disaster Saawariya and rickshaw, the tractor, the Mausam; both movies automobile, the trains had generated huge in Indian Railways and expectations. The first the Glacier Express one was touted as a from Switzerland to classic by the famed the fighter jets, the director Sanjay Leela movie spares no efforts Bhansali and Mausam to give adequate is by the phenomenally mileage to each of talented actor who held these transportation MOVIE: Mausam us in awe in the role devices. Also, in Directed by: Pankaj Kapoor of the carrot chewing terms of the varieties CAST: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Karamchand or the of locales where the Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Supriya aging don of Maqbool. action happens, there Pathak Both movies, curiously may not be many have towel dropping scenes; in the first contestants. The lush mustard fields of one, it was Ranbir Kapoor and in Mausam Punjab, the theatre in England featuring it is Sonam Kapoor who does the act. And Mozart’s concerts, residences in the of course, Saawariya had outstanding rural heartland of Punjab and the chic music; Mausam too has some excellent towns of Scotland, the Kargil site, the by songs composed by Pritam with beautiful lanes of Ahmedabad and the interiors lyrics by Irshad. of a Gurudwara, the railway station After watching a few movies in which in Switzerland all feature in the script there are more than two Kapoors at play, penned by Pankaj Kapoor himself. I have come to the hypothesis that such I will readily pardon the reader, who by movies would be a disaster. This rule has now must have visualized Mausam as a held from the time of Raj Kapoor (his flops grand epic. Well, perhaps, Pankaj Kapoor include Mera Naam Joker and Dharam had visualized it to be one. The story Karam); the only exception seems to be builds up at a very leisurely pace, but the enormously energetic Jab We Met. because the director quickly realised that Was it because of the two English words this was not a multi-episode TV series, in the title? he steps in to chop the scenes rather If Mausam had been titled as Season, abruptly; despite that, the movie stretches would it have made any difference? u for over two hours and forty minutes. One

That Quality of Surprise

alk into Seema Singh Dua’s show at the Quill and Canvas gallery and your eyes are at once drawn to a bust of a thoughtful woman encrusted with stainless steel washers. You wonder what she’s thinking about if her delicate features are frozen in agony or ecstasy; if she’s pondering about the state of the world, or laughing mirthlessly at its foibles. You marvel at the texture of her fibre glass skin and the gleam of the unexpected metal accoutrements, and wonder at the quirky imagination of the artist who has incorporated a lowly plumbing accessory in a work of art.

Indeed, all of Dua’s work has that quality of surprise. You see it in Nirvana 2, where a serene Buddha emerges from drift wood, reminding the viewer of the moment when the Master had his great revelation under the Bodhi tree. It’s evident in pieces like Majestic—that uses fibre, jute and seeds; and in the cubist Ganeshas that effectively use wood and copper, to convey the deity’s playfulness. And it’s clear too in the lovelorn Yeh Nazdikeeyan series that recalls some of Rodin’s work. “When my mother saw these, she commented that perhaps I should clothe them,” laughs Dua pointing to the delicately wrought couples caught

in passionate embrace. Thankfully, the sculptor didn’t follow her mother’s advice this once, and the fluid lines of these pieces seem to transcend the sensuous—to attain the spiritual. Some of her works, like Majestic Heights ,that features sombre silver and gold streaked heads—on pillars of what look like solid pebbledash, but are actually light fibre glass—are monumental. But they too have that delicate touch, that indescribable essence, that’s evident

when an artist strives to render a thought in a solid material; to capture the ephemeral in a work of sculpture. Seema Singh Dua’s work juxtaposes materials to present concepts that gently lead the viewer to think about the unity in the disparate, the singular thread that ties diverse fragments, and ultimately of the oneness of the universe. As you give the thoughtful woman encrusted with stainless steel washers one last look, it occurs to you that perhaps she too is pondering about this big idea. u Sculpture show by Seema Singh Dua At Quill & Canvas, 122 South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase V Date:From Sep 16 to Oct 16


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011


Art Mart III

Re-Think, Re-Invent, Re-Create { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

A passionate photographer as well as a marketing professional, Rajesh Ramakrishnan has conceptualised and shot the calendars themed on media personalities like Gul Panag, Chitrangada Singh—to raise money for underprivileged and autistic children. He combines his passion for photography with his love for travel, and likes capturing the nuances of life on the streets in different cities. Speaking of his work displayed at the exhibition, he says, “Although there isn’t a theme to the photographs in this exhibition, they are shot to give you a little flavour of India.” Participating for the second time in Art Mart, Rajesh had already sold two of his photographs, and hoped to sell the rest by the end of the exhibition. u


t’s an event the local art community looks forward to, so that they can showcase their talent in the most diverse of art shows in town. Art Mart III—a three-day art festival, held annually at Epicentre, Sector-44 (from September 23-25)—is a meeting ground for art connoisseurs and art amateurs alike. It is a forum for artists, and provides independent artists the opportunity to exhibit as part of a multi-dimensional mega art event. Art Mart, in addition to the main event of art buys and sells also brings together a host of related art activities—including discussions, workshops, art appreciation courses, competitions for children, and portrait painting—to name a few. The opening show stealer: Sanjoy Mondal and his group— a music group of Tangra orphans. A finalist at a popular television talent show, the Kolkata-based band is a bunch of street kids, with a happy-go-lucky-attitude— notwithstanding a lifetime spent on the streets. “Our enthusiasm translates into our passion of making music out of waste and discarded stuff—that wouldn’t take you seconds to chuck into the bin,” said the lead band member, Sanjoy Mondal. They bring life to inanimate objects like broken metal pipes, used mineral water bottles, metal tin cans, water dispensing bottles, can containers, metal pencil boxes, and soft drink bottles. They are perhaps the finest example of the motto “Where there is a will, there’s a way.” So does poverty bother them? “Yes, it is a real hindrance. With no regular instruments, no scope for training, and always worrying about bringing bread to the table, we have found this unconventional way to make a mark for ourselves,” explained Mondal. Themed as re-think, re-invent, re-create, re-make, this year’s Art Mart III focuses on ‘Art out of waste.’ With over 1,000 art pieces on display, the venue is nothing short of an art bazaar; and almost all local artists will agree that art is becoming a common form of investment. This is why a majority of them have priced their work under the Rs 1 lakh figure. Perhaps one of the most popular of the lot is a series called ‘Seven Senses.’ A group show between Aparna Battish, Nirupam Borboruah, Boishali Massot, Mickey Raina, Nandita Richie, Surekha Sadana and

Simona’s Symphony

DIFFERENT STROKES: The event showcased various types of art media, including body art

ARTISTS ALL: Mickey Raina, Shalini Mahajan, Asha Vivek, Aparna Battish & Sangeeta Malhotra

Nandita Richie with her artwork

Asha Vivek show—Seven Senses, is a celebration of inner calm, peace and joy. “Inspired by Buddhism”, said Sangeeta Malhotra, curator and artist at Finesse Art, a Gurgaon-based gallery, “We encourage new artists to participate in such events. While 70 per cent of our artists are established, the remaining 30 per cent comprise of budding talent. Today people are looking at art as a form of investment, which is a good sign for the artists.” It is because of this encouragement that local artists like Surekha Sadana and Shalini Gupta (residents of DLF, Phase IV) are stepping out of their comfort zones. They have held several group and solo shows. Many a homemaker in the city are now utilising their spare time to participate in such events.

For Simona Bocchi, who presently lives and works between Verona and Carrara in Italy, and India, sculpture is the only order she has ever known. “In the making of the sculpture, I can find balance, harmony and also intensity. This provides a necessary silence. I let my forms explore some instances of communication,” she says. Holding a waste material workshop for children, where she teaches children how to utilise jute in some of the most basic of ways, she says “In 2002, when I began my research on how to work with jute, I was attracted to the look and style of the Indian nomadic people. Jute, when sculpted and moulded, began to reveal characters and portraits depicting the features of the rural people of India. Now I see those faces in my daily life, eve r y wh e r e. These wandering people have

given my life a new sense of spirit, a return to the essence, and a renewed appreciation of nature.” Speaking of her art Bocchi explains, “Sculpting requires discipline, focus and physical strength; repeating endless movements which eventually reveal the shape of what is to come. My sensitivities have been sharpened towards each moment of artistic creation: thought becomes energy, and by means of a tool the energy is transformed into a gesture, which in turn meets the matter. Natural and ancestral—the matter, being given a new life with every stroke, is reborn as its own entity, which will be eternal—as is art.”

08 HUDA... Now, if someone says, ‘hand it over’, it is difficult. Sectors are sold at highly subsidised rates. That is why the common man is able to afford plots and houses in newly-floated sectors. We’re not earning anything from them. We earn from auctions of commercial property. It is a kind of cross-subsidy – for residential, and for the running of HUDA”.

Of charges... internal and external

However, HUDA, through Town and Country Planning, has collected a vast amount, through charges – EDC and IDC. Talking about External Development Charges (EDC), Yadav explains, “You have to understand what is the basis of EDC. A builder comes to us and asks permission to build a township. Now, it is impossible for it to be totally self-contained. There have to be main roads linking the township to the city, water and sewer lines and so on. Therefore, we charge a fee for providing these amenities. As for Infrastructural Development Charges (IDC), this is charged for providing large/ not sectoral targeted/common to city civic amenities – like the NCR water supply channel, water treatment plants, the Metro.” Talking about the issues around EDC charges, Yadav says, “It is only in the last seven to eight years that the EDC has come centre-stage, especially with the new sectors – broadly Sector 57 upwards. From these we have collected about Rs. 1,500

{ Manjula Narayan }


hen lawyer Indira Unninayar and her husband Billy Chatterjee, a senior executive with a market research agency, moved to Gurgaon from Delhi in 2003, it was a dusty outpost where nothing much happened. “We were tired of paying rent and wanted to buy our own home. But most of the properties in Delhi were too expensive. If they were affordable, they had a black component, which we didn’t want to get into,” Unninayar reminisces. Rates in Gurgaon were comparatively affordable with a four-bedroom apartment in an upscale complex priced at Rs 28 lakhs. “Also, as we were the original allotees there was no question of paying anything in black,” says the 46–year-old when you meet her at her neat home in Belvedere Park, DLF Phase III. Though most of their friends in Delhi continued to think of Gurgaon as the back of beyond, the couple quickly settled down. At that time, commutes were quick and since very few buildings had been built, congestion was low. “This entire cyber city stretch was vacant. The only buildings here were the Sony Ericsson and the Ship building,” she says as you try hard to visualise the area without its bustling office blocks and gleaming towers with their glass bubble ecosystem. “You could get to Gulmohur Park in Hauz Khas, where my father lived, in 25 minutes and we could make instant plans to see

crores. The amount of money is collected by the Department of Town and Country Planning. There is a common EDC pool for Haryana.” On a specific question about the details of EDC and IDC collection to date – receipts, and uses of these funds, Yadav is less forthcoming. “The details are available centrally.”

Civic infrastructure

“People think they should get world-class facilities as a right. That cannot happen. The fact is, you’ll only get infrastructure according to the money that you have paid. Infrastructure was developed by HUDA, with the EDC charges collected, as per different localities, colonies. If they need maintenance now, we need separate funds for that. The model of HUDA as a developer is different from MCG. The Corporation has the right to tax the city’s inhabitants.We don’t have the authority to levy municipal taxes. Of course, we do have a funds base. We have decided to allocate Rs 200 crore for (Old) Gurgaon. At a different level is the recent project between HUDA and DLF, for revamping the Golf Course Road. As per the specifications/expectations from DLF, our assessment was that it would involve a cost of well over Rs. 400 crores. That is not our planned specification; based on charges collected, and our experience. So, we have confirmed a maximum investment of Rs. 160 crore from HUDA. DLF would invest the balance. The area gets a boost, and we get resolution

of a civic infrastructure issue.” When asked that if this example is a proposed base for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with HUDA, he says non-committally, “This is only a one-off case.” “We have also taken steps to ensure longevity of roads”, he said, explaining, “We now have a 5 year maintenance clause, rather than a 1 year clause. This ensures that the initial work quality improves.” Briefly, on sewage and sanitation, “HUDA and Public Health department have set up a new sewage treatment plant at Berhampur. The basic problem regarding sewage is not collection,

But there are silver linings. The dedicated efforts of many individuals and bodies are coming to fruition – in Sohna Road, in matters of Apartment Owners. or transportation; it is disposal”, he says. “We are also setting up a water treatment plant at Chandu Budhera”. The operational issues clearly have not caught as much attention.

Problem crossing--Hero Honda Chowk

A problem that has festered for 5+ years ! “Why do people always point to us when it comes to this crossing? Do they know how many bodies have a share in this?

C ivic/Social

The Hero Honda Chowk is a responsibility shared between HUDA, MCG, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC). Talking about sewage water, he says, “We have installed a 10m wide, 500 cusec discharge sewage line there. Last year, we have also completed a 30km drain system from this Chowk, and connected it to the Najafgarh drain. However, unless MCG (with its nearby villages), and HSIIDC (with its factories) also find a solution for their water/sewer flows, the Chowk will overflow. The matter of a foot-overbridge on the Chowk has been caught up in litigation”, he says.

Sohna Road’s story

Talking about the development on Sohna Road, Nitin Yadav says, “This stretch was actually with the Public Works Department (PWD), and has now come to us. Recently, we had asked the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) to conduct a survey, and to suggest road specifications. The report has come, and we’ve forwarded it to higher authorities for the sanction of funds. Sohna Road is different, in that it is also a highway (goes to Alwar). Naturally, the frequency of heavy vehicles would mean that this road’s specifications would be different from the set standard.”

Of city-specific development body

Touching the much-discussed point on the need for a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA), Yadav asks, “Do you believe that a city-specific development body will be that much better? If GDA is being proposed now, would there be future demands of a

The Embattled City Money Sharma

Û Contd from p 1

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

AT HOME IN THE CITY: Indira Unninayar chatting with her mother

a movie at DT City Centre as it used to take us just five minutes to get there,” she says wistfully. As the years went by and as they grew more comfortable in the “millennium city”, Unninayar moved her 80-year-old mother into a flat in the same complex so she could be close to her. Gurgaon, however, has not turned out to be the lovely suburb the family expected. Unninayar, who works in the lower courts on cases related to the protection of fundamental rights—she was part of the body that drafted the petition that saved the livelihoods of six lakh

cycle rickshaw drivers in Delhi—believes the city is headed for disaster. “The story of Gurgaon is one of utter greed and rapid expansion. Basically, the government sold everything to the builders for a song,” she says adding that none of the people who initially came to Gurgaon had budgeted for its massive expansion that has come at a humongous cost to human life. She points out the number of problems the city faces: traffic snarls are endemic at key junctions; garbage lies piled up at street corners; while there are

a number of expensive private hospitals, the only government run hospital is the Gurgaon Civil Hospital, which does not have good facilities; much of the work force—the domestic workers, security staff and construction labourers—who form the backbone of the city live in squalid conditions in sprawling slums; the crime rate is soaring with gruesome incidents like the recent gunning of a toll plaza attendant becoming frequent, and residential buildings survive on water and electricity that they generate themselves. Indeed, recent reports have

city-specific NHAI ? “ Clearly not comparable; but obviously Yadav does not see GDA as a workable, effective solution.


“Seed money is given to develop a city. Even Gurgaon was developed like that,” he says. “Now that the city is developed, using funds collected from elsewhere, shouldn’t Gurgaon contribute to the benefit of other towns of Haryana? Gurgaon is a part of Haryana, and it will be treated as such.”


The resolution of the issue of poor civic infrastructure, the most important requirement for the residents in Gurgaon, is stuck in red tape. Unfortunate – for one of the richest local bodies/cities of India. HUDA, a body that should have developed the city, and moved on, to new pastures (Pataudi, Sohna), is now running the developed sectors – for decades. It neither has the mandate, nor the core competence. And maybe not the running funds required for maintenance. The tragedy is that the Municipal Corporations, and the elected Councillors, are waiting in the wings – and Chandigarh does not act. We, the residents, suffer daily issues on extremely poor civic infrastructure, for the State’s inability to settle issues between their local bodies. We are being taken for granted. It’s a matter of gross insensitivity and neglect ! But there are silver linings. The dedicated efforts of many individuals and bodies are coming to fruition–in Sohna Road, in matters of Apartment Owners. There is also regular questioning and pressure from the media, and elected Councillors. u shown that, in the period between 2003 and 2009, the amount of groundwater that the city’s residents have consumed is equal to what is usually consumed in 25 years. Sadly, the government has implemented no rainwater harvesting initiatives despite the plentiful rains. “It is a scary state of affairs. While the builders have constructed buildings the intention seems to be to milk land to get rentals with no supporting systems and infrastructure in place,” says Unninayar who, nevertheless, clings to the hope that the city will turn itself around some day. “Right now, Gurgaon lacks soul. But it can so easily be made into something that’s pretty if only the developers invest a little in making it better,” she says elaborating on her dream of living in a place that’s safe, clean, provides comfort to both the rich and the poor and has a vibrant street culture like the best cities in the world. “Today, Gurgaon has pockets of absurd affluence and pockets of absurd deprivation, squalor and filth,” she says. “It has generated lots of employment but that rests on a nebulous foundation. You feel that there are a lot of glass buildings but nothing is ever going to happen here. It’s a situation that just cannot be sustained,” she adds. Hopefully, the civic administration and the area’s developer lobby will wake up and Unninayar and the rest of us can finally enjoy the Gurgaon of our dreams. u

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

C ivic/Social


Know Your Councillor

Different Wards, Common Problems PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Ravinder Yadav (Ward No. 2) Area: Chauma Khera Village, Moulahera Village, Palam Vihar, Sector 22, Sector 23 For a city, scattered prosperity is a dangerous characteristic—it causes dissatisfaction in the have-nots or the less privileged. Gurgaon has this characteristic in abundance. Almost half of the city is reeling under the non-availability of basic needs. It is a tinder box. “My ward covers all types of areas— from the developed area of Ansal’s Palam Vihar to the mildewed and century old villages. Most of the problems lie in the villages Maulaheda and Chauma, where the whole civic system is on the verge of collapse. Be it roads or sewage , everything is at the brink of extinction,” says Ravinder Yadav, Councillor of Ward no2. Yadav has a reasonable explanation for the situation. “The sewage system in Maulaheda and Chauma is almost three decades old. Gurgaon has developed at a rapid pace in the last two decades, and the population has almost tripled (70,000 approx). Authorities were not wise enough to anticipate this perspective, and that’s why now—its very difficult to replace this old system,” he explains. People, more often than not, criticise the authorities for neglecting their basic needs; but Yadav speaks wisely before reaching any conclusion, “In the last House meeting, Rs 1.5 crore was sanctioned for the sewage and other developments of the area; but there have been some problems of encroachment, which have once again, halted our progress,” he adds. Transfer of sectors to MCG, from

HUDA and other private builders, has been a bone of contention amongst the elite administrative bureaucracy of the city; and Councillors are also affected by this. “People from Ansal’s Palam Vihar and HUDA sectors have voted for me in the elections, and now they ask me to solve their problems; but Councillors neither have the power to work outside the MCG area, nor the budget. We are nothing but fall guys who have to face the wrath of masses,” adds the young Councillor. When asked about the level of correspondence with the Commissioner and other high-level officers, and if they listen to their problems, he says, “During House meetings, everybody listens to each other and Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal is very forthcoming.There are some problems that need to be tackled. However, in my Ward, there is no Junior Engineer (JE) to make an estimate of the work that needs to be done, and that’s why most of the work is lying pending,” he adds.

Gurgaon Envy! { Manjula Narayan }


nce upon a time, foreign publications sent intrepid reporters to war zones. Now they push them to slog it out as ‘exotic’ telecallers in Gurgaon. The result is usually a long piece in the New York Times or Mother Jones. That piece, among other things, underlines the universality of the human experience—from Manhattan to Manesar—and marvels at the self-sufficient corporate islands that have risen magically in the Aravalis, with minimal help from the government. The articles are also usually accompanied by pictures of gleaming glass towers, with a magnificent pig rooting around a garbage dump in the foreground. No doubt, many a western reader spluttered over his morning cuppa when confronted with the picture, and immediately afterward, decided to rear livestock and then unleash them on the street— in an attempt to replicate the India success story. But that sort of thing wouldn’t work out there, simply because the ambience isn’t right. I mean, would Gurgaon have been as successful if it had smooth roads and perfectly sane drivers? No sir, all our rage, that is channelled into productive nation building, comes from our constant struggles on those roads. This brilliant thought occurred to me a few days ago while I was driving around the Millen-

nium City, trying to avoid being crushed by a bus. The road had been washed away in some parts, but I didn’t worry too much, since in another decade I’d be flying over all this nonsense in the Rapid Metro. I wasn’t going to let any stupid bus kill me before I took that ride. The driver, who had a handlebar moustache, and had probably driven straight from the Chambal, obviously didn’t give a damn about my Rapid Metro ambitions—and leered as he edged me towards a pothole the size of the Damdama Lake. So there we were, me in my tiny battered car, and this giant bus, fighting it out on the road. I would eventually have squeezed past him, I would have won… if it hadn’t been for the biker ahead of me—who, blissfully unaware of the battle being waged behind him, suddenly decides to stop in the middle of the road. Then, before my bewildered eyes, he rushes to the side to relieve himself. The monster bus roared past me with Mr. Chambal cackling at the wheel. I was alternately crestfallen and enraged, before I recalled a chapter in some long-ago self-help course—and immediately decided that every trying moment on the streets contributed towards making me a stronger person. Now, I’m wondering when NYT and Mother Jones will fly in reporters to write long essays on the fantastic character-building qualities of driving regularly on Gurgaon’s roads. u

Monika Yadav (Ward No. 3) Area: Dundahera, Dundahera Village, Sector 21, SECTOR 22-B “The whole of Gurgaon city has the same set of problems. Poor sewage system, broken roads and inadequate water supply have been the prime problems of the city, and my ward is not an exception,” says Monika Yadav, the Councillor of Ward No. 3. Monika Yadav’s ward is again, a conglomeration of the HUDA sectors and MCG village abadies; and Dundahera village is one of the city’s biggest villages. “Dundahera has a lot of problems. Apart from sewage, which is not good in any part of the city; other necessities like roads and water supply are also in a pitiable condition. A decade ago, Dundahera’s population was around 40,000 and now it’s above 150,000. Udyog Vihar has

drawn a lot of floating population to this village,” says Monika . The Haryana Councillor Act (HCA) has granted no powers to the Councillors. Unlike Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra, it doesn’t provide any budget to a Councillor, “Haryana, Himachal, and Punjab are still following the norm of the erstwhile undivided Punjab state, and that’s why no powers have been constituted for a Councillor in HCA,” explains Monika Yadav. Like Ravinder Yadav, she also speaks about the short sightedness of the authorities, “ Dundahera has an old sewage system with narrow pipelines. Now, the population has grown three times, and this sudden increase is bound to to give rise to serious civic issues,” adds Monika. Monika seems optimistic about the solution to the problems, “In the last House meeting, a substantial budget was sanctioned; and I hope in the coming months, the residents will get some respite from these problems,” she informs. Water supply has been another prime issue across the city, and Monika shares the reason behind its poor status. “In Gurgaon, most of the water pipelines have been drawn parallel to the sewage lines; and since sewage pipes are narrow and old, they break; and the sewage contaminates the drinking and household water,” she adds. Monika does not exempt HUDA sectors and their needs from the discussion. “We don’t have any jurisdiction here in HUDA sectors. People complain to us, but we are not entitled to do anything here. I often go to the HUDA administrator, but he seldom pays heed to our requirements. Once these sectors, along with sectors developed by private builders, come under MCG, all the concerns of the residents can be tackled with adequate solutions,” says Monika. u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Do you have this in my size? Mere naapey ka ya mil jaa ga?

Naapey – Naa pay

2. How much is this for? Iska kitna le ga? 3. That is too expensive Yo te ghanna mehenga hai

Ghanna – Gh as in ghost + un na

4. I am looking for something cheaper Main te kuch sasta sa chahiye 5. You are cheating me Tu manne dokha de hai

Dokha – Do + kha

6. I am not buying this Manne na lena yo 7. Ok, I’ll take it Chal, le lyun hun

Lyun – as in Kyun(why, in Hindi)

8. Can I have a bag? Ek jholla mil jaa ga?


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

One with the City


I am Gurgaon

C ivic/Social

An NGO that believes in being the change that it wants to see { Shirin Mann / FG }


could feel the cool, rather clean, breeze pass through my hair, as I stood amidst 547 acres of land—where, for miles my eyes could witness large patches of green, natural terrain; with no sight of litter anywhere around; a sight I hadn’t seen in a while. No, I was not up in the hills, nor was I in a foreign countryside. I was in the heart of Gurgaon. The Millennium City, that has become a concrete jungle, with a multitude of high rises and corporate offices, is suffering from dysfunctional infrastructure, bad sanitation and polluted air. But not here. This patch of the Aravalis, overlooking the crowded area of DLF Phase III, is a bio-diversity park (based on the concept of re-use, re-cycle and renew), maintained by the NGO—Iamgurgaon (IAG) and its volunteers.

Iamgurgaon was conceptualised almost two and a half years ago, when three like-minded women—Latika Thukral, Ambika Agarwal and Swanzal Kak Kapoor—residents of the Millennium City for over a decade, came together with a common ideal of improving the state of affairs. They recognised sanitation, environment, and water as the main issues that required immediate attention. Iamgurgaon believed that a lot of people wanted to do good and make a change, but had no platform to express themselves—so they decided to provide that platform. Today, Iamgurgaon has a functional core team of eight like-minded professionals—Atal Kapoor, Gayatri Singh, Gitanjali Mathrani, Deep Kalra, Harish Capoor, Rohit Kapoor, Latika Thukral and Sarat Chopra. “Being core members, we divide the work based on time, preference and expertise—taking care of ground work; working with media and communication; looking after volunteer management; designing; and marketing and branding,” explained Gayatri Singh, co-founder Q2A

Media, and a core member of Iamgurgaon. Based on several discussions with the authorities, and feedback received from other working organisations and citizens of Gurgaon, Iamgurgaon identified cleanliness, green cover, water, physical environment (roads, sidewalks, signage, bus stops, lighting) and traffic as the top five IAG issues, and worked towards them. Atal Kapoor, leading architect and consultant to MCG for the bio-diversity park said, “Having a living room conversation over how bad things were, and how we really needed to do something about it, was not enough. Instead of just talking, the need of the hour was to act. Starting with only three individuals, tons of like-minded people joined in the campaigns— planting drives, talking to schools etc. We went to Galleria Market

Having a living room conversation over how bad things were, and how we really needed to do something about it, was not enough. and Arjun Marg, and spoke to shopkeepers about not using plastic bags, and encouraging people to get their own bags. We also broached the idea of water harvesting, but realised nothing was going to come out of creating a hue and cry. We believed in understanding problems, chalking out solutions and consulting the authorities. Environment and infrastructure were our immediate concerns. I have been living in Gurgaon for the past 20 years and have watched it deteriorate. People don’t realise

the importance of our environment. We are trying to recreate the environment that we have completely lost, but it will take about five to seven years, provided we get support from the citizens of Gurgaon.” “We are also creating bio-reserves”, adds Atal, whose brainchild, and one of Iamgurgaon’s most important projects running, is the bio-diversity park—just off the busy Guru Dronacharya Metro Station (fenced by DLF phase III on the left, and stretching out to Delhi’s Vasant Vihar region on the right). An enhanced tree plantation drive to plant one million trees was initiated at the park, with the participation of as many as 30 corporates, several GREEN CAMPAIGNERS ALL: Volunteers at the million tree plantation drive organised by iamgurgaon

schools, institutions, authorities and citizens. The saplings planted in the park were on the verge of extinction, and were brought from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country, after consulting tree plantation experts. The bio-diversity park is the only place in Gurgaon that has a four and a half kilometer walking trail, and an equally long cycling track. “Each and every trail was built on only pakh dandis, so that we didn’t cut through the hills. We walked through the pakh dandis, cleaned them and built the trails. We didn’t want to disturb the ecology of the place” says Atal. Despite not many being aware of the park’s existence, at least 150 walkers and cyclists visit the park daily; and it is also quite a favourite spot for pets! But the significance of the bio-diversity park project is not just limited to tree plantations and trails. This vast park land pockets 14 spots, that can become large water reservoirs—aiding up to 200,000 people of Gurgaon— that will also help in reinforcing the ecology of the area, and pro-

viding for an aqua culture, along with great fauna. “The park area is just behind DLF phase III. During the monsoon, that area is totally clogged up, causing hours of traffic jams and broken roads. We are talking with the authorities to make a connecting canal, that will drain out the water from the roads into the canal. This will make the area congestion-free during the monsoon, as well as prove to be beneficial for the trees, ” said Gayatri Singh. Sanitation is another area that has been intensely worked upon by the NGO. Piles of garbage lie around the roads, sometimes right in the middle of it, and vehicles try to dodge it. The problem of sanitation or garbage disposal has become a major concern in every Gurgaonite’s life. With most of us doing nothing more than complaining about it, Iamgurgaon took up the initiative to rid Gurgaon of the menace. “We started with talking to people about how and where they were dumping the garbage, and its quantity, and realised that it was collected and gathered at a few places. We spoke to the authorities, came up with solutions, and asked them to find a way to execute them. We monitored Sulabh employees cleaning the roads; assisted in improving their techniques; and worked with citizens living in apartments, to maintain the cleanliness of their area, and manage their own garbage.” A vital and successful sanitation and cleanliness project is currently being carried out, behind Garden Estate at Vidya School, DLF Phase III from where 800 truckloads of garbage has been removed, and 1,500 trees have been planted—to clean the area and provide a green cover. “It was impossible to stand there. The stench was unbearable, and there was always a swarm of flies around. With the cleanliness and the plantation drive, we want the schoolkids to have some open space, without their fun being

dampened by the smell and grime” said Atal Kapoor. Iamgurgaon today is working on larger projects, like the upgrading of the existing rainwater nallah at the Genpact crossing on the Golf Course Road—this will not only help smoothen the pedestrian traffic, but also help channelise rain water. With support from MCG, HUDA, NGOs, corporates, administration, police, media, police representations, RWA’s and citizens— Iamgurgaon gathers strength to combat the issues that are hampering the growth and development of our Millennium City. Preeti Sanwalka, ex-CA with Genpact and volunteer with Iamgurgaon concludes, “It is fulfilling to be a part of an organisation that is working so hard and so selflessly to make Gurgaon a better place for us. I don’t regret quitting my job at all, to be a full time worker with this NGO. In fact, my 14-year-old son is also involved in the tree plantation drive. He woke up at 4.30 am for the marathon, and has since devotedly participated in every plantation drive; even his friends are getting motivated and helping us. It is great to see the kids of the city work for the betterment of their home. Iamgurgaon is the perfect stage for creating awareness and involvement among these kids, because they are our future.” u

HOW YOU CAN HELP To volunteer or contribute to a project, log onto You can also follow them on Facebook at ‘I am Gurgaon’. They also welcome suggestions; and any problems that you may want them to take action on, they will take up with the authorities or take action themselves.

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

C ivic/Social


The Last Nawab The title may have long gone, but the legacy remains

ROYAL EXPANSE: The Pataudi Palace, once a heritage of the nawabs, has now been converted into a hotel

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


othing is immortal, except glory. People forget men soon after their bones turn to dust; but it’s the glory of their deeds that makes them immortal. The Nawabs of Pataudi neither had a great empire to cherish, nor large armies; it is their deeds of bonhomie that have made them immortal in the minds and memories of their erstwhile subjects. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the ninth and the last Nawab of Pataudi, who took his leave from this mortal world on 22nd September 2011, was no different from his ancestors. In modern India, a cricket field is the place where men are forged into gods; but Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was different. He enjoyed godly status from the moment his parents—Nawab Iftikar Ali Khan aka Pataudi Senior and Sajida Sultan—heard him cry the first time in the winter of 1941 (born on 5th January 1941). Cricket further added to his unmatched and already glittering glory, globally. Now, even after sixty years of independence, and the inclusion of Pataudi into the Republic of India, the august lineage of the nawabs is still the toast of the town; and even the greatest dividing force of all time—religion—has succumbed to the larger-than-life image of nawabs in the eyes of their erstwhile subjects. “Not only Mansoor, but all his predecessors were also very kind to their subjects. Religion, caste, creed and any other social hierarchy never mattered to the Nawabs of Pataudi; and that’s why we did not even think of going to Pakistan in 1947. Pataudi was the only place, in those satanic days, where communal harmony was alive,” said Shahzad Khan, an 85-year old-man, who came out of the mosque (built by Nawab Iftikar Ali Khan the father of the late nawab), after delivering the afternoon namaz. Time doesn’t spare anyone; not even the mightiest of the empires. But the Nawabs of Pataudi are still alive in the hearts of the residents. “The Nawabs of Pataudi will always be remembered

MADE FOR EACH OTHER: Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan with his wife, Sharmila Tagore

as true lovers of humanity. They never showed any difference in the treatment to their various subjects. My grandfather used to tell me about them. Pataudi’s Ramlila is famous in all the surrounding areas. It was started by the grandfather of Nawab Masoor Ali Khan Sahab. He

used to come with his wife to burn the effigy of Ravana on Dussehera,” said HB Saini, former Councillor of Pataudi. The legacy of the Nawabs of Pataudi is not confined to their palace only— which now has been turned into a hotel; it is spread all across the town. “Pataudi

Nawabs of Pataudi Nawab Fa´iz Talab Khan Akbar Ali Siddiqui Khan Mohammad Ali Taqi Siddiqui Khan Mohammad Mokhtar Siddiqui Ali Khan Mohammad Momtaz Siddiqui Khan Mohammad Mozaffar Siddiqui Khan Mohammad Ebrahim Siddiqui Ali Khan Iftikhar Ali Hussain Siddiqui (aka Pataudi Senior) Mansoor Ali Hussain Siddiqui (aka Pataudi Junior)

Reign 1806 – 1829 1829 – 1862 1862 – 1867 1867 – 1878 1878 – 1898 1898 – 1913 1913 – 1917 1917 – 1952 1952 – 1971

GRAND EDIFICES: Pilli Kothi, Sabarmati School and a Masjid—monuments built by the Nawabs of Pataudi, as a contribution to the town

is full of buildings and monuments, that speak volumes of the services done by the Nawabs for the town. Apart from the palace, Pilli Kothi is another monumental building constructed by Nawab Iftikar. Mansoor Sahab went one step ahead of his father, and donated a large share of his land for the cause of social welfare. Even the first English school of the town was started in the building donated by him, in the 1980s. He also set-up an eye clinic in the town, where all the residents of the town get free treatment. All the people, irrespective of their religion, loved the last Nawab of Pataudi. May Allah bless him in the after life,” said Julfikar Ali Khan, whose forefathers spent their lives in the service of the nawabs of Pataudi. “Nawab Sahab himself has donated his eye to the Venu Eye Clinic, started by him in Pataudi,” added Julfikar. The current councillor of the town Kabir Khan, also praised the last Nawab’s valuable contribution to the town, “He was a noble man. He did good work for Pataudi. Nawabs and their riyasats have long faded in the pages of history, but the people of Pataudi have always respected Mansoor Ali Khan Sahab as their Nawab— even years after the inclusion of Pataudi into the Indian republic,” he says. However, the luxuries of being a nawab have not vanished completely, and Pataudi’s first family still owns large tracts of land in the town. Saif Ali Khan, the son of Mansoor Ali Khan aka Tiger of the cricket field, has been left with plenty, as the next nawab sans the title (which was abolished in 1971). “I saw Nawab Sahab only a few times, when he used to visit his fields. We work here on their land as workers, to earn our bread and butter,” said Rahim Khan, a farmer working behind the palace. The gates of the palace were closed for outsiders, yet a large crowd was waiting outside. “We are here to deliver our last offerings to our loving Nawab in the form of afternoon namaz. May he rest in peace,” said Ruksana Bibi, a wizened old lady. u



30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

C ivic/Social

What’s Your Child’s Alma Mater? { Maninder Dabas / FG }


urgaon is no novice to education and its hallowed concept; the city was once called Gurugram – where princes of the Bharat dynasty trained under guru Dronacharya. Much water has flown out of the Yamuna since then, and Dronacharya’s Gurugram has snowballed into Gurgaon, aka the Millennium City. However, the city has not lost its old values, and the sanctity of that hallowed concept of education still prevails. Gurgaon has a gamut of boarding schools (earlier known as gurukuls), along with a plethora of day schools, that claim to provide the best education to help us compete in this world. However, unlike the erstwhile Gurugram, Gurgaon doesn’t provide it for free, or for a few kilos of wheat; it takes a handsome amount annually, to keep our wards in the race. Lets start with the gurukuls...the Boarding Schools.

Why a boarding school?

Who send their children to boarding schools, and why?

When it comes to boarding schools, be prepared to spend a fortune. “Boarding schools

in today’s world are out of the reach of a common man. Only rich people can afford it. In our school, 60 per cent students are the children of corporate heads, eminent politicians, NRIs, and big businessmen. We have students from forty nations. It is far away from the reach of middle class people,” said Alka Verma, the head of Admissions and Communications, of Pathways World School. When asked why parents send their children to boarding schools, she replied, “Most of the parents who are in business remain busy in their work, hence they cannot give their children enough time. A boarding school is the only option that ensures the safety of their ward from harmful exposure.” Principal Dargan

Life in a boarding school Wake up time: 6:30 am Instructions for discipline: 8 am (Including prayer) Schools hours: 9 am to 3 pm (Lunch 12:30 pm) Rest: 3 to 4 pm Self study: 4 to 5 pm Games: 5 to 6:30 pm (different types of games, ranging from football to squash) Personal time: 6:30 to 7 pm Study: 7 to 8 pm Dinner: 8 to 9 pm Bed Time: 9:30 pm for the kids till primary level. It varies for the grown up students, since they need to devote more time for studies. (According to GD Goenka School's schedule)

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adds, “No school can provide a guarantee of success and security. Students bunk classes and breach the walls even in the best boarding schools. But, yes, we try to make them better human beings, and capable enough to compete in the world, once they step outside the campus.” Asked whether the poor academic record of the children compel their parents to send them to boarding schools, he replied, “Yes, to some extent. More than poor academic record, it’s the interest of the parents to make their children independent, that draws the major chunk to the boarding schools.” Nita Bali too didn’t deny this, “It may be a fact, but most boarding school children aspire for a safe and secure future. A poor academic record may be a reason for their arrival in some cases, but after landing here, we try to transform them.”

However, Raka Kaul, Senior Head Mistress in Chiranjivi Bharti School, Palam Vihar, has a different opinion, “My husband is in the Merchant Navy, and once I had the option of sending my child to boarding, and travel with my husband. But I didn’t exercise that option, and stayed in Gurgaon, with my child studying in a day school. I don’t say that boarding schools are bad, but the affection and care of parents play a huge part in the upbringing of a child.” Mrs. Kusum Khurana, whose son Chirag studies in Delhi Public School in 12th standard, also reaffirmed Kaul’s statement, “There can be various reasons for people to send their children to boarding schools—like their busy schedule, child’s poor academic records etc. But, boarding schools can’t fill the gap created by the absence of proper parenting.” PRAKHAR PANDEY

“The concept behind a boarding school was to develop self-confidence and independence in a child, from the very beginning; and all the old schools (hill boardings like Sanawar, and Doon) in India were established keeping this theory in mind. Now, times have changed, and so has the concept of education; but the basic reason for a boarding school remains the same,” said Sumit M Dargan, Principal of Pathways World School. Sudha Goyal , Principal of Scottish High International School, a day school, differs, “I am not saying that boarding schools have lost their sanctity and importance, but now there are schools that provide good allround education, along with that unfathomable and irreplaceable affection of parents. Our school falls in that category.” GD Goenka is another big boarding

school in Gurgaon, and it’s Principal Nita Bali reaffirmed Dargon’s statement, “People consider boarding schools for the better grooming of their child. Certainly, boarding schools provide a better environment for a child to become self-reliant and confident.” Students are perhaps the best judge, and their opinion can seal the debate, “I have been here for the last six years; and believe me, a boarding school makes you an independent man sooner than any day school. There are pros and cons for everything, but in my view, boarding schools are certainly better than the day schools,” said Tanvir Singh, a student of 10th standard in Pathways World School. However, Amit Bansal, a student of 12th standard in Chiranjiv Bharti School, a day school, disagreed, “I don’t think life in a boarding school is better than the day schools. Here we have good teachers, and students are also scoring good marks. The biggest advantage is that we live with our families, which is a great benefit—because nothing can replace home.”

SPLASH TIME: Young students of Scottish High International School, taking swimming lessons at the school’s large pool

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Curriculum difference

Along with Pathways, all other major boarding schools follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. According to them, CBSE doesn’t fit in the criteria of being a world school. “We follow IB curriculum, to provide the students the best possible exposure to the world. Here we have students from 40 nations, and if somebody wants to leave for any reason, that student can start in another IB school, in any other city of the world. This is the basic concept behind a world school,” said Dargan. Some of the city’s day schools are not far behind, “We have IB Curriculum in our school. Most of the day schools in Gurgaon, that claim to be international schools, follow the CBSE pattern; but our school is among the few authentic international day schools,” said Sudha Goyal. “For the CBSE pattern, no school has to pay anything; but for IB, we pay in lakhs annually. That is why our fee is higher than the CBSE international schools,” she added. “IB curriculum is far better than CBSE, or any other curriculum being used in India. It provides international exposure to a child, which helps him or her


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30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

C ivic/Social



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Moolah matters

If you want to send your child to a boarding school, be get ready to shell out a hefty amount. Any boarding school in Gurgaon costs about Rs 4 to 5 lakh annually; and if you are thinking of Pathways Aravali, then get ready to spend at least Rs 5 lakh per annum. Though the status at day schools is different, it doesn’t provide much respite to a middle class citizen. Goyal, who did not reveal the amount, said, “Among all the international day schools, our fee is the most affordable; but yes, it is not in the domain of a lower middle class family.” However, Gurgaon still has affordable schools with good education, and Chiranjivi Bharti School is one of them. “My fee here is Rs 6,000 for three months, and my brother is in Blue Bells; my father pays around 21,000 quarterly on his fee,” said Pradeep Kumar, a student. Kaul reaffirms this, “Our fee is very af-

they stress hard on training. “There is a lot of competition amongst schools everywhere. A school ought to have good teachers to establish itself as a competitor,” said Nidhi Maan, an M. Tech from IIT Delhi, and a teacher in Chiranjiv Bharti School.

Activities on campus

This is where the real difference lies, between the boarding and day schools. “As far as activities are concerned, boarding schools are way ahead of day schools. Apart from the studies and games in the evening, there are many activities that create a bond, and a sense of camaraderie, among the students. In a day school, most activity is over once the school hours end,” said Bali. “Though nowadays, even good day schools have games like cricket, basketball, horseriding, golf, swimming, the real difference is the life our students live—from the very start of the day. Students wake up around 6:30 am, and they attend school from 9 am to 3 pm. This is when the life in a day school gets over.

From 5 pm to 6:30 pm, we have a sports session. Dinner is served at 8 pm. They are constantly encouraged to discuss issues related to their studies, and campus life. Life in a boarding school provides an opportunity for a child to become independent,” she added.

Does tuition help?

People who advocate not sending wards to boarding schools, often claim that regular tuition after school hours can help the student in the same way, as it does in the boarding school. But Nita Bali doesn’t buy this theory, “Tuitions can’t provide the environment necessary for proper grooming. Boarding schools are not all about studies; they are far more than that. Here we provide a great environment to a student, without exposing him to the outer world.” However, Kusum Khurana rejects these claims of a suitable environment, “ Tuition helps immensely. We spend Rs 3,000 per month on Accounts and Economics tuitions for our son. Though PRAKHAR PANDEY

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later in life. Here we prepare global citizens,” said Bali.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITY: Students of Pathways World School, during a basketball practice session

financially it’s a huge burden, especially after paying a hefty amount as school fee, at least our child is with us.”

Beyond books

Nowadays, education is not confined to books and classrooms. Most of the schools in the city— boarding or day—focus on the education outside classrooms. “Here we have amenities for children—like swimming pool, horse riding, golf, tennis, football, and many other games. We have separate coaches for each game. We want to give the child an all-round exposure,” added Goyal. Of course, day schools also have extra-cur-

CUE IT RIGHT: Young pool enthusiasts from Pathways World School, enjoy the game in their free time

fordable, and we provide quality education.” The hidden cost, especially for day schools, lies in private tuitions. And sometimes this cost, in higher classes, can match or exceed the school fee!

Teachers: backbone


Teachers are the backbone of any educational institution. Be it boarding schools or day schools, teachers are equally important. “We select our teachers after a gruelling interview, and our students’ opinion also matters when it comes to the renewal of the contract of a teacher,” said Sumit Dargan, the Principal, Pathways. Not only Pathways, but all schools boast of having a well qualified, and experienced, teaching staff. “Teachers are directly proportional to the success of school; and our teachers are highly trained and experienced. Our management selects them after various rounds of interviews,” said Goyal. Teachers too, are aware of the great competition between the schools for better results; and that’s why

ricular activities. “Along with sports, we also focus on extra curricular activities like debate, plays. For example, today our students are staging Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice in the auditorium,” explained Kaul. For centuries, our ancestors have been telling us that education is the only asset that can’t be snatched or stolen from you. How true they were; and in today’s world of cut-throat competition in every sphere of life, it is even more important. Your child’s education is your first priority, because he or she deserves the best, to excel in the never-ending hunt for success. u

Food Take

As of September 28, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

HUDA Sector 14

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sushant Lok 1


Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)




12 / 24

8 / 16


















20 – 35














80 -150

80 - 100

80 – 100

80 - 160

90 –100



120 – 50










Ladies’ finger



















280 – 300

280 – 300


280 – 300






150 –160

140 – 150

160 – 170






14 EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

The Z generation


am a millenium child. Born in Gurgaon on January 1, 2000. In the land they call India.

I really do not know much of this land. Or even how it looks (though the smell needs disinfectant and a deo). From my bedroom window, I sometimes see some movement—mostly cars. My weekdays are predictable—school and home; computer and laptop; mobile and iPad. Weekends just flash past—movies, eating out, playing (hardball). Ok, predictable. My parents tell me odd stories of how they grew up in a town the other side of this country. Of houses without ACs, in fact without much of electricity! No computers, no mobiles. There was even a time in their lives when colour TV was a luxury; and a washing machine non-existent! That is why the smell will not go away. They say it is still true in many parts of India. In fact, there is this other side of this city that I am told still lives in those times. We have to change our name! We are the Z generation. Always awake. In global time. We reside and work in Gurgaon; the G(lobal) City. Boy the pay is good; life is good; all of India is here. Even the “whites” are flocking here. Can only get better by the time I start working—or do I need to? The only bad spot is “on the road”—the scene outside is gross—the potholed roads, traffic jams, piled up garbage, and animals—and people! Why can’t we just have it all in our complex? If we can have a gym, a club, a shop; and so much on call and delivered home—why is it so difficult to have a school, restaurants, cineplex, metro inside? Better still—why can’t we just detach from India? We are anyway the Divided State of Gurgaon. Welcome to G City. The future of India. What Gurgaon does today, India will do tomorrow... (Happy Puja. Pray – Dad.) u the change you want to see

Longest Living Indian { FG Bureau }


ast year a part of SouthWest Houston, Texas—home to a large population of Indians—was officially renamed ‘Mahatma Gandhi District’, in respect and honour to the leader, on his 141st birthday. Also, recently, an Italian space enthusiast, Matteo Ianneo, claimed that his latest finding located at 33°12’29.82”N, 12°55’51.21”W, looks like a picture of Mahatma Gandhi. This face profile was noticed on Google Mars—a new online map drawn from satellite images of planet Mars. The words Gandhi and Gandhian are now part of dictionaries worldwide. Such is the popularity and respect of an Indian leader, who along with his contemporaries, gave India its identity as a free and independent state; with the faith that India could sustain itself and produce a line of intelligent, forward-thinking and sensitive leaders—who would contribute in making India a secular, democratic state where people were happy and prosperous.

Tough Time Ahead for Gurgaonites { Abhay Jain }



30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

n the millennium city, the already stretched facilities of public utilities—like roads, water, electricity, sewerage, sanitation, transport—would be severely strained, as a large number of new residential and commercial projects (in sectors 58 to 115 as per the new Gurgaon Urban Master Plan) would be completed within a couple of years. New residents would start pouring in. Gurgaon presently has a population of around twenty lakhs (including a five lakh floating population). New projects would add an equal number of residents, if not more, in the coming decades. An additional area of more than 50,000 acres—35,000 acres for residential, 14,000 acres for industries and 3,500 acres for commercial purpose—has been added in new Master Plan (2021), to accommodate the 15 lakh additional population. HUDA and the private licensed colonizers have already developed a residential area of 20,000 acres in various sectors (1 to 57), catering to a population of 20 lakhs. Despite the fact that 50 per cent of this area is still lying vacant, residents living in HUDA sectors and private approved and unapproved colonies are crying hoarse, and demanding improvement in civic infrastructure. Recently, HUDA proposed to hand over some of its sectors to MCG, for maintenance; but the latter has refused to take over on the grounds that it does not have enough staff and other paraphernalia to manage them. MCG would face rough weather in providing facilities in the new upcoming sectors.

Some of the major private developers that are developing residential townships as per the new Master Plan include—DLF in 2,000 acres, Unitech in 1,500 acres, Emaar MGF in 500 acres, BPTP in 1,000 acres, IREO in 700 acres, M3M in 650 acres, and Chintel Paradiso in 400 acres. Ansal, Vatika, Tata Housing, Ramprastha, Sobha developers, Tulip are other leading developers. A large number of projects in these areas would be completed within two/three years. Though Raheja developers’ three projects: ‘Vedaanta’ in sector 108 and ‘Atharva’ in sector 109 (both on Dwarka expressway) and ‘Navodaya’ in Sectors 92 & 85 near IMT are near completion, the public facilities are still a distant dream there. The administration still has no concrete plan to decongest the HUDA City Centre crossing where a new mall at the Metro station and a huge Fortis hospital are coming up shortly. To add to this, the newly approved Appu Ghar amusement park (on 25 acres of land) near the crossing and the occupation of institutional plots (which are still lying vacant) at the adjacent Sector 44, would make this crossing a nightmare. There is still a logjam at IFFCO Chowk and Signature Tower crossings at NH-8, What would happen when the entire commercial sector of 29 is functional? Presently, only 20 per cent of the area is operational. The six kilometre stretch from Rajiv Chowk to Badshapur village on Sohna Road, is presently in bad shape. No sub-ways, foot-overbridges, bus-bays, service road, have been planned on the stretch. This road would be overburdened when

new sectors (58 to 67) at Golf Course extension road, and Sectors 68 to 73 on the west side of this stretch, come up. Hero Honda crossing at NH-8 is a prime example where the administration has failed to decongest, for long. In a number of places, the sewage lines in the city are not connected to the main line, and some private colonies’ sewage is dumped on open ground—which creates unhygienic conditions around. The Gurgaon police always laments the shortage of manpower. Some of the buildings of police stations and police posts are in a miserable condition. The police seem to be not well equipped to handle the new population coming in. Presently the MCG’s head office is running from a house, and HUDA’s Estate Office (11) is running from a school building. These departments are still setting their houses. Once a senior officer had suggested that new projects should be confined to a cluster of new sectors (eg; Sector 58 to 67), and simultaneously all other facilities should be developed accordingly. Only after development of this area, should a new area be taken up for development. But now, it is too late, as projects in the hundreds are on at a fast pace, in all the new sectors (58 to 115). Now the entire responsibility rests with the Administration to make extra effort to provide the requisite public facilities, as it had already taken a huge amount as External Development Charges from the developers. Otherwise, the city may be doomed. A lack of funds is not the issue; intention and willingness shall win the day. u

Today, as we approach his 142nd birthday, and complete 64 years of independence, for which he fought endlessly, we need to think if we are really living his faith and dream? It is the need of the age and the hour to re-educate ourselves, and our children, on Gandhian philosophy, so that the generations that become tomorrow’s leaders are imbued with an understanding of peace, mutual tolerance and truth—for in this lies the respect and relevance of the ‘Father of our Nation’. Prof. Dilip K. Singh, Retd. Professor of History and Culture, Punjab University, and present day historian says, “Eternally, Gandhian philosophy will exist. He was not less than a Mahatma— that was rightly attributed to him by Rabindranath Tagore. In those times, there was a sense of brotherhood amongst our country men, but today there is violence in every corner of our country. Thus, it has become very important today, to understand the importance of Gandhi and his philosophy of peace and peaceful co-existence.” “As the saying goes, battles will be fought, won and lost— but there will always remain a butterfly. And here the butterfly is Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace” concludes Prof. Singh. u



amaare paas maall hai aur mall bhi hai. Plenty of them. Malls have become a destination of sorts. A definition of enjoyment—Our ticket to “Nirvana.” Be it watching a movie, eating, or the simple bliss of shopping. (Guilt will settle in later, and be dealt with). Our closets have become bloated, for we are spoilt for choice. At any given opportunity—occasion or no occasion—we land up in one of the malls to celebrate. Birthdays in the mall; children are happy, mothers are relieved. Thank God for the choices. And by the way, what should we do on a holiday? Where else would we go on a Sunday? Do we really have options? Are we really spoilt for choice? Is there a choice to go to a Disneyland to experience the thrills, the excitement of different rides? Perhaps even get scared on a roller coaster. Or an option for a safari, where we can come face to face with a variety of animals—with a look of wonder and excitement; a train ride inside the zoo that is an absolute joy. Is there a choice to go to a lakeside, have a picnic, lying and just lazing around (I think we don’t have picnic baskets)? Our historical monuments are lying in a state of decay; which if restored, will give us glimpses of the past and  a glance into the lives of our kings and queens. Another holiday well spent (but when ??). So many choices—not an impossible task for sure—can bring variety. Also, as many detours are needed to unburden the burden of shopping bags. Well! Is this possible, or will all roads—broken or otherwise—continue leading   to malls? Let’s hope not, let’s pray not! Let’s bring choices and let’s change the definition of enjoyment! Let’s get closer to nature and give it a chance to survive. Let’s welcome animals and birds and butterflies in our world. Let’s come face to face. Let them know we are friends. Is anyone listening? Let’s hope and pray! Nita Malhotra

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

Kid Corner


Workshop on nt Nurturing Tale derstand

un To make teachers fying gifted nti ide in e rol ir the ring children, and nurtu School, A CC t, en tal ir the hop— organised a works d Talent an ren ild Ch d Gifte urie s conducted by La wa It Center for nt. Developme lank International -B lin Be the m fro r ato of Iowa. uc ty ed rsi an ive , oft Cr t development, Un len Ta d an on ati Gifted Educ

A Revolutionary Tale

Safety First

A series of works hops on School as Home Ground, was organised in the Scottish High Int ernational School. The aim of the workshop was to make the students aware ab ou t safety issues. Th actively participa e students ted in the worksho p, and took centr demonstrate the e stage to ir understanding of safety and we ll-being.

king? Who’s Coomo ms were

Young dads and ir culinary seen exhibiting the ational ern Int skills at Ryan nt of fro in 0 c-4 Se ol, Scho ipped wh ts ren their kids. Pa kids and for at tre ty tas a up pared teachers. They pre ged by the hes and were jud dis v, on the ing ter wa uth mo libur, Mr. Inder De ca Ex t lec Se ne rtu Fo dish. ef, the executive ch tritional value of tion, taste and nu nta se pre of sis ba

Celebrating Hin

di Delhi Public Scho ol, Sec45 celebrated Hi ndi Divas, which was dedic ated to the great Hindi poete ss—Rakesh Nandini Gupta. Fr om the prayer so to the choreograp ng—Sahas Do hed sequence on Gupta’s poem— se Pare, the highli Dwandwon ght was on the va rious facets of he excellence. This r poetic was followed by an award ceremony, the students receiv where ed prizes and sc holar badges for achievements, in their academics and co -curricular activitie s.

Arjan Gujral, a kindergarten student of Excelsior American School, takes you through a space journey { Arjan Gujral }


ll the planets were making fun of Earth. You know who started all of it? It was Uranus who started making fun of Earth. While Uranus was making fun, Earth became sadder and sadder and became hotter and hotter. Uranus said, “Earth is a toilet” because he doesn’t want to be called a ‘stinky planet’. He wanted Earth to stink and not him. Saturn made fun of Earth and said, “You can be me and I can be you. I don’t want any rings. I am tired of them.” Jupiter made fun of Earth because he doesn’t want to be heavy anymore. He actually wanted to be light like Saturn and float like Saturn. He wanted to have the ring power of Saturn. Mars said, “I no longer want to have red sand. I want to have green sand like Earth.” Venus said, “I no more want to be the hottest planet. I want to be the coolest planet in the entire solar system.” Mercury said, “I no longer want to go fast. I want to go slower like other planets.” Neptune said, “I don’t want to

be cold and have pink snow.” He told earth, “Can you be like me?” When Earth heard all of this she said, “You all are very bad friends. You are being mean to me. If you will be mean to me, I will be mean to you too!”

Then all the planets said sorry to Earth and promised not to be mean and bad and make anymore jokes about Earth. So, Earth forgave all of them. And all the planets went around the Sun happily after that. u

Fun Facts About Planets Mercury – is the fastest planet to orbit around the Sun. Venus – is the hottest planet. Mars – has red sand. Jupiter – is the biggest and heaviest planet. Saturn – is a very light planet and can even float in water. Uranus – has bluish-green colour because of methane, a stinky gas that makes up Uranus’ atmosphere. Neptune – is the coldest planets and has pink snow. Earth – has life, water and air.

Artistic Strokes

Literary Flourish

Springtime Springtime is here again Wish it stays forever in the woods With greenery all around And lots of chirping sounds Blooming flowers in each nook and corner Looking around for fun and charmer Plants bearing flowers and fruits Amazed are ones who hear nightingale Singing in her sweet voice Sending the message so deep and nice Spring through ages is a lovely time With joy all move the spirits so fine Blue skyline calling all the times Whether it’s lunch or time to dine — Angad Shahi, Class VII D, The Heritage School

Title: Rural India Romit Bishayi, Class VI F, Delhi Public School, Sushant Lok I 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

Kids Brainticklers


Spot The Difference


Spot The Difference

Sudoku Kids

16 30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

K id Corner

Gurgaon’s Own Newspaper

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30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

K id Corner

The Buddha often used stories to explain his teachings. In the Jataka Tales, the Buddha described adventures in his former lives, when he took the form of an animal. Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.





Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ven though the art market in Gurgaon is at a nascent stage, the pace at which new galleries are setting shop in Gurgaon clearly points to the immense potential of the Millennium City. The arrival of new money, the increasing presence of corporates and expats, as well as the growth of the real estate industry, is pushing the envelope as far as the art market is concerned. Gurgaon today is being described as the new mecca for art lovers, as more people are patronising painting, sculpture and other forms of artistic expression. Being educated and more detail oriented, buyers in the city are not only art aficionados, but also keen investors—and are using art as an asset, to diversify their investment portfolio. With art prices witnessing correction due to global recession, Sangeeta Malhotra, who runs Finesse Art, a Gurgaon based art house, says that the number of people buying art as an investment is increasing. “There is heightened buyer interest”, she says, adding that her firm tries to ensure that investing in art is not a risky proposition. Her firm specialises in analysing market trends, researching the artwork and artists, evaluating, and selling. “We also give an option to buyers to build their art portfolio, by paying in monthly instalments,” says Malhotra, (an approach akin to an EMI scheme). Like Finesse Art, there are a number of art galleries in Gurgaon, that are helping to hone into the buyers’ interest. These galleries are educating buyers, helping them understand and appreciate art, as well as guiding them in making the right investments. However, depending purely on gallery owners could be fatal, warn analysts. The buyers must develop their own sense of defining art; know why they are buying it; and understand how it is related to their own aesthetic sense. Artists as well as critics observe that art cannot be treated as a commodity, and a buyer should go for an art piece that he likes, and can live with for life. While art as an investment has given good returns, Vijaya Bagai, a veteran artist based in Gurgaon, says investing in an artist is like putting money on a race horse. “Unless one likes art and buys it for pleasure, investing in art could be a lost cause. One must buy to enjoy art, as it is like an addiction; and think of profits later”, she says, cit-

Unless one likes art and buys it for pleasure, investing in art could be a lost is like an addiction

The Business of Art

Business sometimes create superficial impressions of artists, and boost egos that are bigger than the art itself. Her mantra for buyers is that they should visit art galleries, read about art, and understand the medium— if they want to enjoy and benefit from art as an investment.

Art as an investment

Alka Saran, curator at Nayans Gallery in Gurgaon says that she has young clients, who buy art both for pleasure and future investment. “Most of the buyers opt for limited edition prints from masters; as well as works from emerging artists, that have the potential to appreciate with time”, she says. Saran concurs with Singh of Art Farrago, when she says buyers in Gurgaon have the resources, knowledge and information about art and artists. She has also come across many collectors, who want to encourage young artists; to invest in them. The price of art can offer huge appreciation, informs Malhotra. If you had bought a masterpiece in the nineties, for say Rs. 2 lakhs, the chances are that it could sell for Rs 20 or 30 lakh now. Experts, however, suggest that instead of looking for dark horses, newcomers should settle for art funds promoted by Copal, Crayon, Osian and others. Since not many can buy a Hussain or Tyeb Mehta, buyers should invest in emerging and second rung artists, who

What to look for while buying art

ing cases where people invested heavy amounts in top artists and that could not recover their investments. This also reiterates the fact, that not all works by great artists are masterpieces. Malhotra says that buyers should first learn about art, research the artists, understand the language and style, before investing their hard earned money. Most of the buyers in Gurgaon are knowledgeable and discerning, says M.P. Singh, owner of Art Farrago, a Gurgaon based gallery. “The people here prefer to buy emerging artists, and those sell between Rs 20,000 to Rs 200,000”, he says, adding that the art market in Gurgaon has evolved in the past 10 years. Another observation is that buyers in the Millennium City prefer contemporary art that can be used in homes and offices. Smaller canvases are preferred, as these can also be gifted to friends, and business associates. In addition, the lack of space, or smaller living spaces, are also influencing the buying decisions—most people prefer canvas paintings. Sculptures occupy too much space. Arun Sawhney, who manages Studio Geeta Vadhera in Gurgaon, says expatriates also play an important role in the local art scene. “People from abroad spend a lot of money on art, as they buy for pleasure, and keep an eye on future appreciation as well”, he adds.

When buying art, Malhotra says, one must look at the brand value of the artist, his or her education and background, his mentors, where he has exhibited, and who is promoting the art work; and most importantly, the pricing. “We get 10 to 15 applications daily, and it is only after a thorough scrutiny that we pick the artists we represent”, she says. In addition, art as a product should be

—Sangeeta Malhotra, owner, Finesse Art

have the potential, says Singh. Although risk is involved in this venture, such artists also allow investors to take a dip in the market, and offer a reasonable opportunity for high profits. Since many people in Gurgaon buy paintings, they can also buy media which are less expensive, opine gallery owners. Oil on canvas is the most expensive medium, followed by acrylic on canvas, acrylic on paper, water colour on paper, limited edition prints, sketches, pen on paper, charcoal on paper, prints, digital prints, serigraphs.

Risks associated with art as an investment


—Vijaya Bagai, a veteran artist

APPRECIATING ART: The art market has evolved over the last 10 years in Gurgaon

We get 10 to 15 applications daily, and it is only after a thorough scrutiny that we pick the artists we represent

packaged well, and bought from a trusted gallery. It is also important to get a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by the gallery and the artist. The gallery should also be able to explain the past, present and future of the artists they are selling, adds Malhotra. Another important aspect is to see whether an artist has used top quality material, as it affects the durability of the creation. Seeme Murtaza, Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department of Jamia Millia Islamia, stresses on the importance of material used in the work, apart from technique and style. “These days both the galleries and the buyers want to know about the quality of canvas used for paintings, the colours, and similar details—which affect the durability of a work”, says Murtaza, who herself is an avid painter. The language and style that an artist has developed over years of work must also be taken into consideration. Buyers must understand the medium and tools of expression, so that they enjoy the work, says Vijaya Bagai, a Gurgaon based artist. She is also critical of the media, who

Although art as an investment has given good returns in the past, the recent meltdown gave it a severe jolt as an asset class. The galleries in Gurgaon were also seriously affected during that period, and the sales went south, admits an owner. He says buyers must realise that art is not a liquid asset. Owning a masterpiece does not ensure that you can sell it instantly. Secondly, unlike the art market abroad, the Indian art industry is still not very organised and transparent. Art valuation could be a tricky proposition, aver experts. Another problem in India is that the supply exceeds demand. The art market in Gurgaon does not have the depth to absorb enough quality work, agree some of the gallery owners. High transaction cost is also hurting the industry, 30 per cent of the deal is charged by the galleries during a transaction. In comparison, none of the other investment products are as expensive as far as commission is concerned, decry art critics. Also there is no secondary income like rentals, dividend, bonus or interest with art investment. The cost of maintenance and storage is high; and insurance is necessary and expensive.

Buy art for the intangible benefits, money is a bonus

Buying art is a tricky proposition, and most of the people associated with it contend that only those who have a passion should buy it—both for love, and to make profit. Art should be bought for the sheer love and joy it brings, says Vijaya Bagai. “There are many intangible benefits of owning a piece of art.” u


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30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

R eal Estate

Gurgaon Calling India Despite a late entry, the Tata Housing CEO & MD, Brotin Banerjee, is confident of cracking the Gurgaon market

residential areas of major cities, Tier II cities—and in land. Tata Housing, however, has bucked the industry trend. Given our track record in delivering projects on time, coupled with the Tata brand, our company has grown by a 100 per cent, over three years.


How does the company plan to sustain growth and harness opportunities in the next few years?


Currently, we have two projects in Gurgaon, and they will continue to be our focus area.


How do you see the property prices in Gurgaon in the short and long run, with reference to commercial and residential space?


It is clear that across India by and large, prices have moved up due to market forces. Some micro areas are seeing excessive supply, and yes, prices are

Tata Housing Projects in Gurgaon TATA Housing has recently launched a new residential project in Gurgaon—Primanti, a premium luxury housing complex. Spread over 36 acres of land, Primanti is a green haven, with 80 per cent of the property reserved for open spaces. TATA Housing offers homes at ‘Primanti’ starting from Rs. 1.5 crores.

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Ongoing work at the Tata’s premium luxury housing project—Primanti


fter missing the first phase of the property boom in Gurgaon, that helped companies like DLF and Unitech to become industry leaders, a slew of top Indian construction and real estate companies, which hitherto had no presence in the Millennium City, have decided to home in on Gurgaon. Top corporates like Tata, Godrej, Shapoorji Pallonji— who are traditionally strong in Western India—have now announced big ticket projects in Gurgaon. This is to ensure they do not miss the opportunities offered by the next phase of growth in the second largest real estate market in the country, (after Mumbai).

Brotin Banerjee

Tata Housing, one of the most respected brands in the country, has made a late entry in Gurgaon; but the company asserts that its unique offerings, and understanding of consumer needs, will help it crack the market.


What is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Tata Housing in Gurgaon. How are the offerings of the company different from competitors?


As a quality conscious and responsible real estate development company, Tata Housing always believes in creating

homes based on an in-depth understanding of consumer needs and preferences. We are committed to offer our consumers a unique and differentiated product that would provide them a great lifestyle, while at the same time the project would abide by the tenets of sustainable and green development—under the guidelines of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). All our projects are landmarks in themselves; and coupled with high quality, timely construction, we are a preferred developer. Our most recent project Primanti, is a green haven with 80 per cent of the property reserved for open spaces. Primanti offers premium villas, duplexes and luxurious tower residences, with elevated courtyards, open terraces and private gardens. Our first project in Gurgaon—Raisina Residency, is a modern residential complex, revolving around the theme of art and culture. In Raisina Residency, the project master plan is envisaged as a dynamic contemporary composition, of dynamic fluid land forms—the entire site being one large land art installation. The apartment blocks have been conceived as dynamic forms, like leaves on a branch. The blocks overlap, creating a strong sweeping gesture.


What is Tata Housing’s perspective of the real estate market in Gurgaon. Has it developed a blueprint to crack the market?


The growing industrial and technological townships in Gurgaon have led to the development of a large and flourishing real estate market—located within 30 km proximity to Delhi. Hence, Gurgaon has become one of the hottest destinations for real estate developers / investors. Since Gurgaon is well connected by all major means of transportation, it has gained a lot of traction among people from all walks of life and geographical locations. With our pro-active, enthusiastic approach and dedication, we have recognised the unmatched potential Gur-

gaon has, and hence tried to convert the Millennium City into a truly world class city in terms of real estate—by providing quality residential luxury projects.


With rising property prices and loans becoming dearer, are there any chances that this would lead to correction in property prices and low offtake. How does Tata Housing plan to handle this situation?


Buffeted by rising interest rates that has seen home loan EMIs soaring, the rising cost of construction and labour, and negative sentiments, property sales have dropped significantly over the last six to eight months. The Indian property market is going through an anticipated correction in property prices in specific areas. Longterm trends continue to be positive though, and selective short term opportunities exist even today in prime

yet to come down there. The NCR region is going through a transition phase, with prices fluctuating—but the demand remains high due to the excellent connectivity, and the infrastructure development. While demand for office space will increase, low premium segment in housing will gain further momentum this year. With buyers becoming highly conscious about ensuring minimal environment damage, eco-friendly lifestyle will be an emerging trend that developers will have to be accountable for in 2011. u

Realty Rates

Sohna Road

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Tata Housing has also developed Raisina Residency—a luxury residential property in Gurgaon, located at the Golf Course Road extension. Aedas, one of the top five firms of architects in the world, has designed this unique project. Spread across a 11.73 acre campus, Raisina Residency has nine aesthetically designed towers that complement a modern lifestyle, and are packed with unmatched luxuries.

(in Rs. as of Sep 28, 2011)

Pioneer Park 6000 / sq ft

Pioneer Park Presidia 6700 / sq ft

M3M Golf Estate 9000 / sq ft

Ansal Essencia plots 48,000–50, 000 / sq yd

Ansal Essencia Floors 65 – 95 lakh

Nirvana Country The Close 6100 / sq ft

Nirvana Country Ireo Grand Arch Fresco 6700 / sq ft 7800 / sq ft

Ireo Skyon 72007300 / sq ft

Ireo Uptown 6500/ sq ft

Bani Ground Floor 14000/ sq ft

Vatika City 7500 / sq ft

Emmar MGF Marbella Emmar MGF Palm Emmar MGF Villas Drive Emerald Estate Rs 4 crore upwards 5700 – 5800/ sq ft 5800 / sq ft

Bani First Floor 12,000/ sq ft

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

Normally, the body can handle free radicals. The living organism is an amazing self-correcting system. It uses natural processes like inflammation and its own antioxidants—like glutathione— to combat the damage oxidation does. But excessive free radicals can overwhelm our natural defences; especially if the free radicals take electrons from proteins, fat or DNA. Free radicals also interfere with our immune system. This can lead to premature ageing, as well as a whole host of chronic diseases—including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis. Eventually our vital organs get compromised. In addition to metabolism, environmental factors (pollution, radiation, chemical additives), as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and stress, can significantly accelerate the formation of free radicals in our body. This is where antioxidants step in. What are antioxidants? These are vitamins (especially vitamins A, C and E), minerals, and other nutrients like Superoxide dismutase that neutralise the effects of oxidation, and are key to protect and repair cells, from damage caused by free radicals. This, in turn, helps to keep our immune system strong.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Durgadutt Pandey

The root cause of ageing and disease

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


n aerobic form of life developed on our planet three billion years ago. Ever since, thanks to the photosynthesis-led abundance generated by plants, various life forms have thrived on oxygen. So, how can the same oxygen be one of the root causes of ageing and disease? As strange as it sounds, oxygen is indeed a double-edged sword. On one hand, life cannot exist without it. On the other, oxidation is considered to be a prime suspect, when we try to understand



Tip of the week

Can we get antioxidants simply by popping pills? As a poor substitute, perhaps. It is important to remember that, to create harmony as in an orchestra, the body needs an array of antioxidants, and other nutrients, to strengthen the immune system. This can be found only in a balanced diet containing natural, whole, minimally processed and organically grown food. Some foods are higher in antioxidants than others. The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene( vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E. We find them in colourful fruits and vegetables – especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. For maximum benefit, we should avoid over-cooking or boiling these foods; the best is to eat them raw or lightly steamed. However, these vitamins aren’t the only antioxidants in food. Other antioxidants that may help boost immunity are Zinc and Selenium. These are found in oysters, meat, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products. With antioxidants, moderation is key. Vitamins A and E, for example, are stored in the body and eliminated slowly. Taking too high a dose can be toxic. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

how ageing deteriorates the cells of our vital organs and tissues. Oxygen is used by the body as a fuel for producing energy. Oxidation reactions occur when oxygen combusts within the human body as part of metabolism. This produces highly unstable byproducts, referred to as free radicals. To make up for their own electron deficiency, they lurch around grabbing electrons from the nearest stable molecule. This results in a chain reaction, and new free radicals are formed. In metals, we call this rusting; in people, the same phenomenon is called ageing.

Learning About the Birds and the Bees { Harsimran Shergill / FG }


emember that age in your life, when it became impossible to ignore sexual innuendos being aired on television? Remember changing channels to avoid embarrassing scenes in front of your parents (and viceversa for them)? That situation has only aggravated, considering the level of X-rated content children are exposed to—be it through the internet or television. Parents today often debate about the correct time to have “The Talk” with children. There are several theories on sex education. One school of thought explores whether it is time to introduce sex education as a part of the school curriculum; while others feel that adolescents face an extraordinary lack of credible information about sexuality. Also, are children reaching puberty faster, as compared to twenty years ago?

Treat it like a subject

As a person who has dealt extensivley with children over the years, Director of Excelsior American School, Sushant Lok Phase 1, Shalini Nambiar feels it is important to introduce the subject to children, without it being a cause of embarrassment. Nambiar says, “Sex education has to be so well integrated in the curriculum, that teaching

is imparted without the child knowing that he is learning a specific subject related to sex. We all are aware of the fact that integrated studies provide more information and understanding to the child, than a subject being taught in isolation. I don’t think one needs parents’ consent in this, as it is an important part of the curriculum, which we all tend to shy away from.”

Start early

Every child has a different level of maturity; while some children mature faster physically and emotionally, others might take longer. It is for this reason that Child Psychologist Simi John, of Mayom Hospital, Sector 41, feels that apart from learning in schools, parents should play an active role during this sensitive period in a child’s life. “In the old

days, children were constantly under the supervision of family members—be it in the form of grandparents or extended families. Today that scenario has changed, wherein children are spending more time with maids, ayahs and drivers—who may not shower natural affection towards the child. Therefore, we hear of cases of abuse. It is crucial to teach a child, early on in life, about

the right and wrong kind of touch.” According to Nambiar, providing basic information works as a foundation— on which more complex knowledge is built up over time. Hiding information only adds to more curiosity, especially in today’s fast-paced world, that provides information at the snap of a finger. Information that can be misleading. So, it’s the duty of social institutions like the family, and school, to provide the right information at the right time, and in the right manner. We should talk more openly about sex and other related issues; provide the right information, and create awareness, because we cannot be like ostriches—putting our heads into the ground every time we hear the word sex. Dhannasika Kumar, a grade IX student of Pathways Schools says, “I don’t understand what the taboo behind sex education is. I feel it is better to know and be informed, rather than be ignorant about it.” Although at times it can be difficult for parents to judge the right time to discuss such issues, what’s important is to maintain an open relationship with children. The purpose of sex education is to help children make informed choices; so that they can feel confident and competent about acting on those very choices. u


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

Muddling Along

pub crawl { Vikram Achanta } MONEY SHARMA


Monday evening is perhaps not the best time to visit Attitude Alive; but a deadline is a deadline. So there’s no crowd outside beating down the doors. But, as I duck inside Oaktree, and walk up the stairs to Attitude, the unmistakable sound of a live band gets me to hasten my step. From my entry till I leave, 45 minutes, down the line, the 7 piece Toya Band plays its heart out—belting out standard after standard, with a particularly nice version of Killing me Softly, and the strains of No Woman, No Cry, carrying me down the stairs. I head towards the bar, settle into a bar stool, and ask for the menu. The menu has a fairly standard set of beverages: classic cocktails, some cocktail pitchers, a Martini selection, and 3 signature cocktails. A small selection of beer, and a decent array of malts, round off the list. The BoB (Bottle of Beer) index is 1.79, and malts are priced in the mid 300’s for a small peg. In the mood for a cocktail, I quiz the first guy behind the bar, on the cocktail list. This is clearly beyond his depth, and he quickly hands the baton to Pankaj, who appears to be the senior bartender at Attitude—a tall Jeetendra look alike (the light is dim!), with a pleasant smile. Pankaj soon puts my fears to rest and assures me that the “Attitusion”, which is described as ‘Gin, Fresh Pomegranate’, is made by muddling fresh pomegranate with lime chunks. Fresh is the operative word, and its nice to see that Attitude is alive to the fresh fruit trend—sweeping cocktail bars around the world.


FIERY CONCOCTION: The bartender at Attitude Alive plying his trade

Pankaj is true to his word, and in an old-fashioned, salt-rimmed glass, sets about muddling some pomegranate and lime chunks; and then adding what appears to be a dash of pomegranate syrup, a large shot of domestic gin, some lime juice, Sprite and soda—all with a lemon wheel perched on the rim. As I munch on the gratis peanuts, I order a plate of Calamari, with garlic mayo, to accompany my cocktail. The rigours of a long drive, from Dhaula Kuan, ensure a long gulp as the cocktail arrives; which is followed by several more, as it’s a really nice cocktail. Tasty, and well balanced, which is always the hallmark of a good cocktail. I can’t stand a drink that is too sweet, or too tart—and this

BoB index—price of a domestic pint of beer. 1 on the index = 100, so 1.79 = 179 INR Muddling—a technique used to gently extract flavour from fresh fruit and herbs, and using a tool, which resembles what you use to make Lassi

cocktail passes the acid test. Pankaj assures me that Attitude comes to life Wednesday onwards; and come the weekend, they would be upwards of a 100 people at least thronging the fairly large area. Apart from Toya, the house band, they get guest bands on a frequent basis; which reminds me that I missed hearing Avial, the band from Kerala, a couple of weekends ago. Thermal and a Quarter, another band with Kerala roots, is playing on the 7th of October; and if you want to hear them belt out their signature Hey Jose, you must visit. On these nights, it’s normal to charge a 500 rupee entrance charge, which also gets you a beer or a small whisky. My Attitusion finishes quick-

ly, and I spoon up the pomegranate from the bottom of my glass (the anti-oxidants you see!), as I wonder what to have next. I’m in Happy Hours, which run Sunday through to Thursday, from 6 to 9 pm. However, I can only have another gin based cocktail. If I have a cocktail with any other base, it’s liable to send their computer system around the bend! So I settle on a Dirty Martini (a Martini, with a splash of olive brine). Pankaj has been at Attitude, for around a year now, and spent four years prior to that at Shalom, honing his craft—with the added qualification of a bartending course. It shows, as he’s turning out well-crafted cocktails, and not taking any short cuts. The first step towards making a Martini is always to chill the glass, and before I can say Boo, a martini glass is in front of me— filled with ice and water to chill it, prior to receiving the cocktail. The Dirty Martini is made as it should be (and I head out to the loo, prior to leaving). In case nature doesn’t call, while you’re at Attitude Alive, the loo is still worth a visit, as it’s got interesting pictures of what appears to be most of the bands, that have played here. u Vikram is with Tulleeho, a beverage education and training consultancy, that has also recently released, the Tulleeho Book of Cocktails—Instant Karma, Anarkali and other mouthwatering mixes.

Attitude Alive C 002, 1st Floor, Supermart 1 DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon Ph: 0124 4077788 Hours: 6 pm – 2 am Tuesday closed

Sesame Workshop

Chamki & Grover Make Learning Fun Sesame Street’s muppets team up with a local radio channel to reach school kids

GALLI GALLI MEIN: Chamki interacts with kids on their way to school

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


alli Galli Sim Sim, the Indian adaptation of the popular American television series, Sesame Street, —and currently the only radio show for kids—is bringing a wonderful learning experience through the use of radio and mobile phones. This unique initiative will reach out to schools in Gurgaon, and bring access to a quality educational experience—by combining radio broadcasts with in-classroom learning material, through the Radiophone School program. The program is designed keeping in mind the children and the families of migrant workers. Its primary aim is to provide them quality health education. Galli Galli Sim Sim, aired on POGO and Cartoon Network, is one of the most watched shows, by children. The radio programme was launched in June, to

reach out to children across 11 cities— Alwar, Jodhpur, Udaipur (Rajasthan), Bilaspur, Raigarh (Chattisgarh), Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Jallandhar (Punjab), Jammu, Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), and Jamshedpur (Jharkhand). With television viewership being low among the lower strata of society, public radio helps cover 91 per cent of the population nationwide. Galli Galli Sim Sim’s favourite muppets, Chamki and Grover launched the Radiophone project with The Restoring Force (TRF),—that also runs Gurgaon’s popular community radio station Gurgaon ki Awaaz—and HSBC, in association with Sesame Workshop India Trust. Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Trustee, Sesame Workshop India Trust says, “Galli Galli Sim Sim is a proven model of educational delivery in India. With the expansion of this initiative into community radio and mobile phones, we are

building an innovative and sustainable model that can be replicated to bring quality, early learning experiences to disadvantaged children across India.” Galli Galli Sim Sim, is a multi dimensional, 360 degree model, that facilitates kids’ school and life skills through an educational pattern—combining with multimedia; building their overall physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development. Reaching out to children upto the age of 8, who are under-privileged or lack resources to achieve quality education, the show is also aired by All India Radio and community radio stations— now combining with cellphones. Anuragini Nagar, Program Manager, Sesame Workshop India Trust, says, “If the episode is about listening skills, the activity will also be about how to inculcate those skills amongst children. We will have 31 such activities provided to the teacher, and also train the teachers about how to use these activities over a period of time. The teachers will also get kits, which will have story books and flash cards—on kids nutrition, health and hygiene. Again, the children will listen to the episode and link the episode to the material we have given them. So if you have heard—Chamki roz brush karti hai, then the teacher will show the flash card with a brush and ask them— ’have you brushed today?’ and so forth.

We have Sankalp working as part of the program.” These classrooms of government schools will be given mobile phones and speakers, so that the kids are able to listen to the Galli Galli Sim Sim radio programme being aired on Gurgaon Ki Awaaz—a community radio station— during school. “TRF has partnered with Sesame Workshop India Trust, to research the possibility of long term behaviour change in health and hygiene habits, among young school-going children of migrant workers. One key objective of this partnership is to explore if such behaviour change can be achieved by combining the reach of community radio, the deeper access of mobile telephony, and the already popular, tested and validated content of Galli Galli Sim Sim; and the results we get when it is supplemented by in-school print material,” said Arti Jaiman, Project Manager- Gurgaon Ki Awaaz, TRF. Catch the radio aired episode of Galli Galli Sim Sim at 107.8 FM, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00 am. And if you have missed it, don’t worry! The episodes are repeated every Saturday at 2:00 pm. u Visit to know more about your muppets, and also get to play loads of fun games.

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011



Money Sharma

DLF Masters Begins Big boys of Indian golf battle for the big purse { Maninder Dabas / FG }


LF Masters, one of the top events in the Indian Golf calendar, started on Wednesday at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon. This three day event is the fifth edition of the DLF Masters, and has some of the biggest names of the Indian golf circuit—locking horns to win a mammoth prize money of Rs 9.5 million (Rs 95 lakh), that makes it one of the richest events on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) calendar. 120 top professionals took to the field; some of the big names participating are— Jyoti Randhawa (2007 & 2008 champion), SSP Chowrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar (2009 champion), Ashok Kumar (defending champion), Himmat Singh Rai, Anirban Lahiri, Mukesh Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Feroz Ali Mollah, Chiragh Kumar, Shankar Das, Rashid Khan, Manav Jaini, Mandeo Singh Pathania, Gaurav Ghei, Shamim Khan, Raju Ali Mollah, Digvijay Singh and Harmeet Kahlon.“Playing in DLF Masters is certainly a

Money Sharma

Gymnasts Bag Laurels Gurgaon boys shine in the State Gymnastic Games

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


he Gurgaon boys team won the sub-junior level State Gymnastic Championship that began in the city’s Nehru Stadium on Wednesday. During the three-day Championship,, sub-junior, junior and senior level competitions are taking

place. Police Commissioner S.S Deswal was the chief guest at the opening ceremony. District Sports Officer (DSO) Kulvinder Singh told Friday Gurgaon, that the championship began with the sub-junior competitions, and was followed by the junior and senior competitions on Wednesday

and Thursday respectively. 150 gymnasts from all over the state are taking part in this Championship. Gurgaon boys team performed brilliantly and finished with 156.30 points, whereas Bhiwani and Faridabad finished second and third, with 119.70 and 97.70 points respectively. In the girls

different experience. This is my home course, and I love to play here. My victory in the Asian tour has further boosted my confidence, and I think I stand a fair chance of winning here too.” said Himmat Singh Rai, during the launch of the tournament on Tuesday. Jyoti Randhawa, Himmat Singh Rai, and SSP Chowrasia, all started their day brilliantly, by teeing-off from hole 10. Amateur golfers also have something to cherish, as they have been given an opportunity for the first time by DLF Masters, to play alongside some of the biggest names in Indian golf. The hallmark of the DLF Masters is its unique & exciting Pro-Am, which is played on the last two days. An amateur golfer will be playing alongside the professionals, while they play their main championship. In another significant development for Indian golf, Aakash Ohri, the director of DLF Golf Resorts, hinted that the DLF Masters is likely to be included in the Asian Tour Calendar (ATC). u

category, Rohtak finished first with 80.20 points, and Jhajjar and Bhiwani finished second and third, with 62.80 and 40.80 points, respectively. In the individual girls category , Rohtak’s Pooja displayed great skills, and finished first with 24 points. Bhiwani’s Seema and Gurgaon’s Megha finished

second and third, with 19.20 and 18.30 points, respectively. In the boys individual section, the first position went to Ambala’s Yogeshwar with 52.70 points. The second and third position went to Gurgaon’s Afzal and Bhiwani’s Rahul, with 44.00 and 40.90 points, respectively. u


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

Baby Blues Tiger

The Better Half

Two Wise Men The Born Loser Ipso facto Solution 11. A blue ski boot costs 8 units. A yellow one costs 13-8= 5. A red boot costs 15-5= 10. A green boot costs 17-10= 7. It follows the gray boot costs 23-7-5= 11.

Daddy’s Home Andy Capp Zits 30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

T ime Pass 27


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

G lobal

Filmmakers Flock to Buenos Aires Its good infrastructure and low prices make the city the fourth most sought after location worldwide


POPULAR CHOICE: Roland Joffe (C) directing a scene in There Be Dragons in Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires Filming Set office—cooperated in 127 international audiovisual projects in the first half of 2011

which handles permits to film in public places, cooperated in 293 audiovisual projects in the first half of 2011 (127 of them

dpa-Film UIP

orty years after her death, 3,000 extras working on the film Evita got to see her when she stuck her head out of a balcony at the Casa Rosada government building in Buenos Aires, to address the masses gathered at the Plaza de Mayo square. It was actually Madonna embodying the “humble people’s heroine” during shooting for Alan Parker’s 1996 rock opera about Evita. The movie was much criticised by die-hard Peronists (followers of Evita Peron’s husband) who could not stand the idea of their beloved “Saint Evita” being played by such a provocative figure who was not even Argentine. But ever since Madonna came to Buenos Aires many other foreign directors have chosen to come to Argentina to produce their movies. Some of those directors were Robert Duvall with Assassination Tango, Francis Ford Coppola with Tetro, James Ivory with The City of Your Final Destination and Roland Joffe with There Be Dragons. Spanish director Santiago Segura also travelled to the Argentine capital to recreate Madrid streets in the third part of his police thriller movie series. A survey last year by Variety magazine which interviewed hundreds of producers and location hunters found that Buenos Aires is in fourth place in the ranking of the best five international spots to film, after Prague, Morocco and France, and before the United Kingdom.

Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of South America, has long attracted international filmmakers because of its cosmopolitan air, its photogenic plazas, elegant avenues, historic monuments, good infrastructure and favourable attitude toward film, Variety said. Local production company San Telmo Productions says on its internet site that, “for the film producer looking for cheaper options to recreate Victorian England, Second World War France, or even Bombay, the train stations in Buenos Aires offer a great opportunity. In fact, the Retiro train station was one of the sets for Evita, and Constitucion station was chosen by Roland Joffe for his biography about the founder of the religious order Opus Dei, Catholic priest Josemaria Escriva, during the part involving the Spanish Civil War. According to the Buenos Aires government, the Buenos Aires Filming Set office,

Ricardo Ceppi

{ Astrid Riehn / Buenos Aires / dpa }

STAR PERFORMANCE: Madonna in a scene from the 1996 movie Evita (by Alan Parker), which was shot in Buenos Aires

Aung San Suu Kyi Awarded Chatham Prize

international). Two-hundredeleven were advertising projects and 21 were features, including two international features and three co-productions. Overall, 50 per cent of audiovisual productions are destined for the international market. One foreign film made in Buenos Aires was the Dutch Body Language, by Jeffrey Elmont, a movie about young street dancers who aim to triumph in New York. Elmont’s first film was shot in February in downtown Buenos Aires—where the famous obelisk is found, Barracas district and the tony shops in Palermo district. German-Argentine director Jeannine Meerapfel also filmed her The German Friend, about

children of Jewish and Nazi parents that emigrated here. Chilean director Andres Wood chose Palermo district for his sixth film, the ChileanArgentine coproduction Violeta Went to the Heavens about Chilean folk singer Violeta Parra who travelled to Buenos Aires in 1962. American actor Viggo Mortensen was also in Buenos Aires acting under argentine director Ana Piterbarg. Low costs, buildings built in the European architectural style, and skilled technicians make Argentina an attractive filming location. The San Telmo Productions blog sums it up nicely: “Argentina has all the infrastructure of Hollywood, but the prices of Bollywood.” u

Liz Taylor’s Jewels and Art on Show in London

emony in the British capital on December 1. “Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of democracy and peaceful resistance,” said a statement released by Chatham House. “She remains the overwhelming symbol of opposition to military rule in the country.”

{ Anna Tomforde / London / dpa }


yanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been awarded a prestigious British prize, honouring individuals who have made a “significant contribution to the improvement of international relations,” it was announced in London last week. The prize, awarded annually by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London, is to be collected on behalf of Suu Kyi by Madeleine Albright, the former US secretary of state, at a cer-

Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest in November 2010, said that receiving the prize showed “the unique link between national and international issues.” “International awareness helps our struggle for democracy in Burma, and our struggle provides us with an insight into the yearnings of all peoples for peace and freedom,” she stated. u

CROWNING JEWEL: The Mike Todd Tiara, valued at $60,000 to $80,000, is among 269 of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels to be auctioned on Dec. 13-14. The collection will be exhibited that month at Christie's in New York.

{ Anna Tomforde / London / dpa }


he glittering diamonds, designer dresses and precious paintings owned by late Hollywood star Liz Taylor, will be on show in London over the weekend—before auction sales later this year and in 2012, Christie’s in London said last week. Diamonds, precious pearls

and dresses from Versace and Chanel will be displayed from Saturday to Monday before auctions in New York in December, and in London in February. Taylor’s precious jewellery alone is expected to fetch upwards of 30 million dollars at the New York auction, where her dresses will also be for sale.

The collection includes the sunflower yellow silk dress Taylor wore when she married British actor Richard Burton, her co-star in Cleopatra, in 1964. It is expected to sell for up to 60,000 dollars. Burton gave Taylor the Elizabeth Taylor diamond, which is expected to sell for up to 3.5 million dollars, and which she wore almost every day. u


30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

G lobal

The Healing Garden Arco Images GmbH

J. Pfeiffer

Medicinal Plants to Brighten Up Your Garden

LEAFY PANACEA: A gingko leaf rests among stones. Gingko is one of the most popular plant healing remedies on the market.


mong the most popular plant remedies on the market are those that contain gingko, nettle and St John’s wort. They’re made from the flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds, bark and roots of trees and plants. But, aside from their healing powers, these plants also have a decorative value in the hous hold garden. For small gardens, Isabelle Van Groeningen recommends planting decorative medicinal plants among herb plants. She is head of the gardening school at Berlin’s Koeniglichen Gartenakademie. “You should take special care when deciding where to put your plants,” she advises. Only by selecting the correct spot will your medicinal plants stay healthy and develop to their full potential. Van Groeningen’s advice for getting a plant bed right is

as follows: “Tall plants such as mullein or wolfsbane direct the eye skywards.” By combining tall plants with smaller ones the eye’s gaze is returned to earth. “That helps create a peaceful atmosphere in the garden,” she says. Small plants such as yarrow or fennel serve as a kind of “landing strip” for the eyes. Insects are also very fond of them. Plants with large, single-coloured petals can also contribute to a garden’s harmony. The spherical flowers produced by leek and coneflowers can play an important role in giving a garden structure and shape. But Van Groeningen says a bed made solely of healing plants is quite okay. “The simplest way to organize them is by planting them according to their medicinal use,” says Joachim Roeschenbleck, a researcher at the Botanical Gardens in Munster in northern Germany. One set of plants that can be

HEALTHY AND A VISUAL TREAT: Among the most popular plant remedies are those that contain St John’s wort. Aside from their healing powers, these plants also have a decorative value in the household garden.

When growing medicinal plants you should always be aware that some can be very toxic and therefore must not be accessible to children. That applies in particular to the seeds of the castor oil plant. Castor oil plants are decorative and their seeds can be crushed to make oil which is used as a laxative. “But what a lot of people don’t know is the seed capsules contain ricin, which is extremely poisonous,” warns Roeschenbleck. Even a tiny amount of ricin can cause death.

A Journey of Love Humpback whales travel 8500 kilometres to mate

Kenny Fernando Bacares

{ Simone Augustin / Berlin / dpa }

AMOROUS GIANTS: A humpback whale swimming in Colombian waters

{ Rodrigo Ruiz Tovar / Bahia Solano, Colombia / DPA }


very year from July to November a section of the Pacific off Colombia turns into a honeymoon spot—a breeding site—for humpback whales that have travelled 8,500 kilometres from the cold Antarctic in search of the warm waters of the tropics. Scientists identified this migration route several years ago, when they first began to take photographs of whales at

the southernmost edge of the Pacific Ocean. Some time later, the same whales were frolicking in Colombia’s territorial waters. But how could it be known for sure that they were indeed the same whales? For the experts the answer was easy and lies in the shape of their tails, unique to each whale specimen. When it comes to whales, tails are like fingerprints. Whales begin their journey halfway through the year because their warm blood does not allow them to mate

in cold waters. It is also impossible for whale calves, with a gestation period of 10 to 12 months, to be born in such unfavourable conditions. “Whale calves are born lacking that layer of fat needed to be able to bear the cold,” Cesar Isaza, manager at the El Almejal reserve in Bahia Solano, Choco province, told the German Press Agency, dpa. Although the humpback whale is not the world’s largest whale when compared to the blue whale, which can grow to 30

grouped together are true flax, castor oil and fennel, which are all used to treat stomach and intestinal ailments. True flax is one of the oldest medicinal plants and is often used to treat constipation. Its flowers bloom between June and August and are a pleasure for the eye. True flax is an annual plant and can grow to between 30 and 150 centimetres. Another attractive plant in the garden is the biennial fennel. “It’s a magnet for many insects and, thanks to its tall size, it serves perfectly as a plant to have in the background,” explains Roeschenbleck. Fennel loves sunshine and well-drained soil. As a medicine, it can be drunk as a tea to combat bloat-

ing and respiratory ailments. “Sage, thyme and true primrose are used to treat coughs,” says Roeschenbleck. The perennial primrose blooms from mid-March with bright yellow flowers. Although it needs little care, primrose is becoming rare in the wild and, in some countries, it’s even protected by law. Its roots and flowers are processed to make teas and tinctures for use as a decongestant and to treat cramps. Van Groeningen has a tip for use in the barren areas of the garden: “Marigold and cress flower bloom for a long time and attract useful insects.” These annual plants are very effective at decoratively filling an empty spot. u

metres long and weigh 150 tons, it can be said that it is the whale that provides humans with the most entertainment. Measuring up to 16 metres and weighing 40 tons, the humpback whale is not frightened of humans and swims not far from the coast. Nonetheless, catching a glimpse of a humpback at sea is not an easy task. It can take several hours on a boat passing through the best spots along the coastline in Narino, Valle del Cauca and Choco. But, with luck, tourists and nature lovers can finally catch sight of a single whale or a few of the cetaceans swimming together. First there will be the stream of water from the blowhole, up to seven metres, and then the humpback will surface for a brief moment above water. Some specimens engage in spectacular leaps above the water—an activity that biologists cannot agree on the significance of. Some say that it is so that the whale will be able to shake off the thousands of parasites that latch onto their skins and make them itch, while other zoologists say male whales leap above the water so as to show their agility and strength during courting. For Guillermo Gomez, a whale protector living in Choco for the last 30 years, those leaps

are a sign of power and elegance without aggression. Although humpback whales normally eat a tonne of plankton, krill and small, schooling fish per day, on the trip from Antarctic to Colombian water they will eat nothing, losing up to 25 per cent of their body weight. There was a population of about 120,000 humpback whales in the mid-20th century, but because of hunting in several countries, numbers have dropped to about 35,000 according to scientific tallies cited by Isaza. Other animals also migrate along Colombia’s coast, off Choco province on the border with Panama. Josefina Klinger, director of the community tourism organization Mano Cambiada Corporation in Nuqui, about 100 kilometres from Bahia Solano, says turtles and different kinds of birds also make their way to Choco from other places in the Americas. That is why the Utria Nature Park, comprising coastal and forest regions in Bahia Solano and Nuqui, last year launched the “Travellers Without Luggage Festival” to inspire local children to become nature lovers and defend all of those migrating animals. The moniker embraces the humpback whales, turtles and birds. u

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

G lobal


Master Plan 2021 An artist’s impression

Total land

37,512 hectares

Total urbanizable area

30,223 hectares (8,000 today)

For a population of

40 lacs (22 lacs today)


15,148 hectares (8,000 today)

New construction 250 persons per hectare

Min. road width


Min. area for parks/open spaces

2.5 sq. m./person

1,429 hectares (480 today; of which Cyber City 90 acres)

Mainly big commercial malls and corporate commercial complexes. Commercial belts of 200m width, along select roads.


5,431 hectares (1,246 today; of which Manesar 700)

New Industrial area on expressway, adjacent to IMT, Manesar

Transport & Communication Road links

Manesar link – ISBT to Manesar.

Public Utilities

609 hectares, (new)

Public & semi-public uses

1,775 hectares (135 today)

Open Space

2,688 hectares

Sectors 100, 101, 107.

Average net residential density


Southern link – along Mehrauli Road Sector 28-29, upto new road link from Delhi via Gual Pahari, and then via Southern Peripheral Road, upto ISBT.

4,289 hectares

Auto market today at Sector 10 – 16 hectares; Transport Nagar at Sector 33 – 28 hectares. Future – Transport Nagar and Container Depot, alongside Delhi-Rewari railway line.

Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) corridors Northern link – From Dwarka, along Northern Peripheral Road, upto Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) cum MRTS depot – near Kherki Duala. The 400 acre planned ISBT will suffice for a common ISBT and MRTS depot;

(Govt. and semi-govt. offices)

(900m wide strip around Ammunition Dept; Sector 72, 72A artificial water body)

Special Zone, Agri Zone Defence Land

106 hectares


4,570 hectares

633 hectares

Current – DLF, Unitech, Orient Craft, Metro Valley etc. Current town, village abadies

834 hectares

Delhi-Gurgaon link roads 150 m wide – Northern Peripheral Road – Dwarka to Gurgaon NH8, before Toll Plaza 90m wide – Vasant Kunj to Mehrauli Road 90m wide – Andheria Mor to Gurgaon Faridabad Road, through Mandi and Gual Pahari; and then linked to 90m wide Southern Peripheral Road to Gurgaon NH8, before Toll Plaza Storm Water Drain – Nallah – along the Southern Peripheral Road 75m and 60m wide sector dividing roads

Aditya Arya Archive

30 Sep–6 Oct 2011

Gandhiji was the change he wanted to see

Jaane Kahaan Gaye Woh Din... Woh Neta ?

32 G -scape

Profile for Friday Gurgaon

Friday Gurgaon, September 30 - October 6, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, September 30 - October 6, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper