Page 1

Vol. 1 No. 2  Pages 32  ` 7  2–8 Sep 2011

{Inside} Sufi Soirée

We Can Marvel at our Metro With Eyes Wide Open

Arenowned painter and tête-à-tête with

filmmaker Muzaffar Ali, on his plans to introduce Gurgaonites to Sufi culture and music, through his Jahan-e-Khusrau festival —and his plans to start the Gurgaon chapter of the Rumi Foundation. ...P 6

Lonesome Library

T

he government library is a picture of neglect. Despite being located in the heart of town, it’s a veritable ghost house. Everywhere you look, you see books piled to the rafters—quite literally—and nary a reader in sight. The whys and hows of its current state. ...P 9

Yoga and Pregnancy

P

racticing yoga can prove to be highly beneficial for mothers-tobe. A guide to the various asanas that can ensure easy labour, and a smooth delivery for the mother and good health for the baby. ...P 13

MONEY SHARMA

We Can Shut our Eyes But the Stench Won’t Go Away

King of Dreams

Athe man behind such

numod Gagan Sharma,

iconic Gurgaon landmarks as the Kingdom of Dreams, Galaxy Hotel, 32nd Milestone and Apra Motors, tells us his story; and shares with us his dreams and plans for the future. ...P 20

A Taste for Ale

Ghappening set have urgaon’s hip and

acquired a new taste; for the flavour and aroma of customised ales brewed in microbreweries. An overview of the city’s active microbrewery scene. ...P 24

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

H

idden behind Gurgaon’s inexorable rise, cowering in the shadows of its highrises, is a dark, dirty truth—the city’s sanitation and sewerage infrastructure is at best crumbling, at worst non-existent. Everywhere the eye roams, one can see colossal heaps of garbage, and overflowing sewers that spill onto roads and choke traffic—stains enough to besmirch the supposedly shining reputation of India’s Millennium City. And this is not just the opinion of a few, or even of those on the fringes of society. A meeting with the city’s mayor Vimal Yadav sees him bemoaning the fact that, “Our city has grown by leaps and bounds in the last one decade, and our civic infrastructure just does not have the capacity to bear the pressure of this sudden prosperity. Despite being overwhelmed by problems like sanitation, garbage disposal, broken roads, illegal parking and traffic jams, the Municipal Corporation is working hard to improve the civic infrastructure. In the last three years alone, we have spent Rs 130 crore in this regard.” The problem of poor sanitation affects Gurgaonites across the board. Belying the claims made by the authorities, of Gurgaon being a great place to live in, Udhay Bhan Grover, a senior

citizen living in New Colony tells us, “I was born here in Gurgaon, and believe me, the condition was never so bad. Everywhere you look, you can see broken roads, gridlocked traffic, and pigs scrounging for food atop stinking garbage heaps. Gurgaon was far better in the 80s.”

MCG’s efforts

Perhaps the most candid acknowledgement of the gravity of the problem is provided by YK Garg, Superintending Engi-

neer of MCG, when he admits that, “Yes, sanitation is one of the biggest problems of the city, and the Corporation is working hard to mitigate it. In order to do that, we have employed different agencies to collect garbage from the doorsteps of the people. Things won’t change overnight, it will take time.” MCG has the largest area in Gurgaon under its service, and some of the prominent colonies like New Colony, Mianwali Nagar, Rajender Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and

Laxman Vihar come under its area. “MCG disposes around 400-450 tonnes of garbage daily. From door-to-door garbage collection, to the removal of garbage from the streets, MCG is making every effort to keep the city clean and healthy for the residents,” informs Birender Sharma, the Chief Sanitation Officer, MCG. However, a check around the neighbourhood does not confirm this. “I settled in Gurgaon in pursuit of a nice

Contd on p 8 


02

2–8 September 2011

Editor:

Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

THEATRE

ART

DANCE

FOOD

Food

Midnight Biryani Buffet @ Lemon Tree Hotel Date: Till Sep 30 Time: 11:30 pm – 2:30 am

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Indrani Thakurata Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Anita Bagchi O. Bandyopadhyay Shilpy Arora

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Kamlesh Pastor Sushil Sharma

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

Mohiddin A Khan

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

midnight buffet for biryani lovers, priced at Rs. 199 per A person (plus taxes). Relish a

variety of biryani, ranging from adraki murgh pulao, to kacche gosht ki biryani and Hyderabadi mirch ka salan.

Art

Born Free @ Quill and Canvas, Galleria Date: Aug 9 – Sep 15 Time: 11 am – 7 pm painting exhibition by a Gurgaon-based artist— A Vallery Puri. Her works are

strongly influenced by the powers of nature, and are primarily figurative in nature.

Art

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

Home Spun @ Devi Art Foundation Date: Aug 27 – Dec 27 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

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including Subodh Gupta, Sakshi Gupta, Zarina Hashmi, Pramanick Chinmoy, Sunarshan Shetty, LN Tallur, and Srinivas Prasad. The artists have worked on daily-use articles—like sofa sets, brooms, ceiling fans, typewriters—and remade them into artefacts, through sculpture, painting, photography, digital prints, video.

` 164 52

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n exhibition of contemporary South Asian art, showcasing A the works of over 36 artists,

Theatre

Tyagpatra @ Epicentre Date: Sep 4 Time: 7:45 pm Duration: 90 min Tickets: Rs. 150 for ACAC members, and Rs. 250 for non-members

Music

Dhrupad and Sitar Recital @ Epicentre Date: Sep 7 Time: 7:30 pm recital by Barna Maitra, and a sitar recital by Subrata De. The performance is presented by Swaranjali, a non-profit institution that provides a platform to upcoming artists.

Music

Yaadein @ Epicentre Date: Sep 8 Time: 7:30 pm enowned artistes from Delhi and Mumbai present R Yaadein, unforgettable golden

melodies and Sufi songs. The programme is presented by Sur Sarita, a society of music lovers based in Delhi.

Dance

Odissi Recital @ Epicentre Date: Sep 9 Time: 7:30 pm

Food

Lunch Special @ The Beer Factory Time: 12.30 pm – 4 pm

n Odissi recital by Jyoti Shrivastava and her disciples. A Jyoti Shrivastava is disciple of

ake your afternoon meal a big one. The four course M lunch, comprising starters,

soups, main course and desserts, is available at Rs. 250 (vegetarian) and Rs. 300 (nonvegetarian). Also, enjoy happy hours on both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

Emails: editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana.

MUSIC

Adhrupad

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

Nath Raut, and Durga Charan Ranbir.

play is a dramatised of a short novel, Tby heversion Jainendra Kumar Jain,

published in 1937. It is about a young woman who is struggling to escape from traditional social bonds. It is presented in collaboration with Aravali Centre for Art & Culture (ACAC).

Ultimate Live Entertainment Destination! India’s new global destination

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in India that brings you live entertainment, art, crafts, cuisine, culture and heritage. The most amazing architectural extravaganza at a never before scale, blended with state-ofthe-future technology, for an experience that will stay with you forever. Taking its pride of place, is the lavish Nautanki Mahal, a

modern day royal theatre that seats 839 people & features the biggest Bollywood musical ‘Zangoora’, specially designed, directed and produced for Kingdom of Dreams, using the most renewed talent & cutting edge computerised visual wizardry.

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03

2–8 September 2011

Friday Gurgaon Launch

TWO FOR A LAUGH: Jug Suraiya releasing his book with Prita Maitra, his er... muse?

Another Dose of Laughter

S

erial funnyman Jug Suraiya unleashed another book on his adoring readers recently, and organised a reading at Quill and Canvas—this upcoming haunt of the literati. With his trademark tongue-in-cheek style, Suraiya began the reading with, “I never wanted to be a journalist.” Guests included Prita Maitra, who Jug insists was the reason behind him authoring this book. “If it hadn’t been for the constant nagging of Prita, I would have never ventured into writing a book,” said Jug. So, you know who to send the brickbats to.

Living it up with Art

S

aturday night saw the crème de la crème of the art world cram together at the spanking new gallery in Sector-44—Art Alive. The initial exhibition—Form & Formlessness, was curated by Anirudh Chari and showcased the work of Akbar Padamsee, SH Raza, and Jahangir Sabavala to name a few.

group show: Jayashree Chakravarty, Manisha Parekh and Krishnamachari Bose at the exhibition

Bikers Bond with Anna

I

f there’s one thing Anna Hazare has achieved, it is to attract followers from every strata of Indian society. And we mean EVERY strata. The city’s super bike owners’ community gathered at La Cabana Resto Bar in Sector 29, to celebrate the victory of social activist Anna Hazare. After the obligatory round of highfalutin speeches, the bikers hightailed it to Medanta to drop in on Anna. Whether Anna was fortified or mortified by this show of biker love is anybody’s guess. But we’re told he left the hospital soon after, and hotfooted back to his good ol’ gaon.

BIKER BHAICHARA: Super bike owners en route to wish Anna a speedy recovery


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2–8 September 2011

reviews CINEMA

FOOD

For Salman Fans

A Taste of Nippon Vijaya Kumar

B

ORIENTAL FLAVOURS: A Japanese platter

Aalok Wadhwa

I

n Sector 15 market, lies a quaint little restaurant called Kyoto. It is known for its authentic, homely Japanese food. As I enter, I see a restaurant with modest oriental décor bursting at its seams with hungry gents of Japanese origin. “99 per cent of our clientele is Japanese,” says Nepal-born Chef Suryanarayan, somewhat distracted, and understandably so, given the teaming crowds eagerly waiting for their afternoon repast. As he hurries back to the kitchen, the chef who started his career as a sous chef in Tokyo, does recommend that I try the daily special bento box as well as a few other dishes. I settle into the traditional low table and am pleasantly surprised to discover a Japanese menu that goes way beyond the regular sushi and tempura. The first to arrive is the complimentary jasmine tea, mellow and refreshing. Thereafter, the food arrives. The weiner butter sauté (Rs. 180), though as Japanese as Boris Becker, does not seem out of place as a starter. The sausages have a great bite. What is amazing, startlingly so, is the accompanying yellow wasabi. A generous chunk of it in the mouth at first threatens to explode the top of the head, and then leaves the palate tingling for more. The day’s special is the tenderloin fillet ginger sauté combo (Rs 580). What gets served on the table is a beautiful Shōkadō

odyguard is writer-director Siddique’s maiden directorial attempt in Bollywood; Siddique has a string of commercially successful Malayalam movies to his credit, and just like another successful and prolific Malayalam moviemaker Priyadarshan, has turned to a remake for his first film. Priyadarshan’s first few remakes were not classics; but certainly brought attention to him as a reliable director of comedies. It looks likely that Siddique, following the success of the Malayalam original, may also have the same success story in Bollywood. The unique point about Bodyguard is that, perhaps for the first time, anyone in the world has directed the same story in four different language productions. The movie was remade as Kaavalan in Tamil, and the Telugu version, titled as Ganga—The Bodyguard, is being filmed. Coming in the wake of Salman Khan’s commercial successes like Dabaang and Ready, Bodyguard makes no pretensions about being anything different other than projecting Salman, and capitalising on his image and timing the release at Eid. Of course, this seems to have a story line (it even has a twist in the end), which is stronger than either Dabaang or Ready, and although it appears to be incredulous, does manage to hold viewer interest. Dabaang, however, scores better in all other respects. Bodyguard does have its lighthearted moments, but since the focus seems to be on projecting Salman as a person with a tough

Bodyguard DIRECTED BY: Siddique PRODUCED BY: Atul Agnihotri exterior but a tender loving heart, the director is not sure which part of his personality should get the greater focus: his muscles or his heart! Kareena’s portraying the role of a college going girl is obviously in conflict with her age, notwithstanding her attempts to fill her role with life. A younger and perhaps a fresher face might have delivered a better impact. Amongst the other actors, Raj Babbar makes his presence felt, and Rajat Rawail helps lighten the mood occasionally. Both Dabaang and Ready had songs that immensely added to the value of watching the movie, and this is another area where Bodyguard disappoints. Yes, one must acknowledge that Himesh Reshamaiyya scores

by not singing his compositions, and in fact, one soft number sung by Rahat Fateh Ali and Shreya Ghoshal stays with you after the movie gets over. The remaining numbers are barely passable. In terms of execution, Siddique is an experienced hand and despite the length, the movie progresses quite briskly. That the movie does not appear to drag is a tribute to the director’s. capabilities. Ultimately, however, it must be accepted that the movie‘s appeal is primarily on account of Salman Khan, and therefore, hard core Salman Khan’s fans will gloss over all the glitches. But if you are not a Salman fan, then, you might find it difficult to digest all the happenings. Bottom line—since such an inane presentation like Ready had a great box-office reception, I would not like to hazard a prediction of a lacklustre performance for this at the box-office. u

Thrilling and Chilling Manjula Narayan

bentō, a traditional black Kyoto Restaurant lacquered Japanese bento box, Plot No-20, Sector 15, Part-2, Gurgaon accompanied by a bowl of fresh Cuisine: Japanese miso soup. The server takes Timings: 12PM – 3PM; 6PM – 10PM off the lid of the box to reveal cost: Rs 1500+ for two a collection of dishes, each (without alcohol) looking like a part of a colourful and composed piece of art. The bento box looks very much like the Indian thali in concept, there are many elements to the meal. The miso soup is a wonderful combination of miso paste, wakame seaweed and tofu. The tenderloin is cooked just right, retaining its moist texture. And the there is Tamagoyaki (a type of Japanese omelette), a grilled dumpling with pork stuffing, a combination of chilled black and white soba noodles, a simple chilled mashed potato salad, a regular salad, Japanese sticky rice topped with toasted black sesame seeds as well as a delightful plum chutney and Nikujaga, a dish of carrots, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce. All in all, a feast for the taste buds. The Tonkatsu (Rs 560), a popular dish in Japan, is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet sliced into bite-sized pieces is light and crisp. Some other recommendations from the chef are the prawn tempura soba (Rs 480), and ramen in spicy sesame sauce (Rs 380). The daily special bento box (Rs 580) has exciting options for all days of the week. Kyoto is a great Japanese family restaurant. The clientele throngs at its doors every noon and before six in the evening, when the restaurant opens. On weekends, Japanese families congregate here and the party atmosphere is infectious. Though the restaurant welcomes all customers and treats them equally, it is not difficult to understand why Indian customers here are an exception rather than the rule. If you would like to consider a change from the usual spice laden oily food of the mainstream restaurants in favour of some light, fresh food with mellow yet wonderful taste and textures, a visit to Kyoto is strongly recommended. u

T

here’s something supremely satisfying about the best British crime fiction. The usual favourites include PD James, Ian Rankin, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, Quentin Jardine and Caro Ramsay, among others. From the high Anglican morality and preoccupations of PD James to the neurotic murderers of a Rendell and the mean streets of Rankin’s Edinburgh, the work of each of these novelists has its own little

patch of handkerchief to richly embroider… or should that be splatter with a bloody Rorschach? Whatever the metaphor you use to describe British crime fiction, there’s no denying that the best of these writers recreate an entire world that holds up a mirror to your own, blotches and all, while also making you think about the larger question of the human condition. Scottish Noir is a wonderful subset of the genre. Featuring morose hard drinking protagonists with an unsentimental world view, Scottish crime writing is darkly satisfying much like the best Scotch. So far, Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus, a grouch with a wry sense of humour, great taste in music and the superpower to rub his superiors the wrong way, has been the favourite of those who love ‘tartan noir’. Lately though, Rebus has been showing signs of tiring. Just when you despaired of ever finding an equally gripping Scottish character who rages against his demons as he pursues devious villains, along came Tony Black with Inspector Rob Brennan. Brennan, like the best heroes is damaged. In Truth Lies Bleeding, he’s just back GENRE: Crime Fiction from psychiatric Author: Tony Black leave. The unsolved murder of Published by: Preface Publishing his brother has Price: Rs 550 left him enraged and numb. His family life is in a bad way and he isn’t popular with his boss either. Life couldn’t get worse when the mutilated body of a young girl turns up in a dumpster. How Brennan sets about uncovering the filth in Edinburgh’s twisted alleys while attempting to rise above the miseries of his own life forms the gripping action of Truth Lies Bleeding. ‘Tony Black is my favourite British crime writer,” Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting proclaims on the cover of this book. 25 pages into it you know why. It is, quite simply, a fantastic read.u


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2–8 September 2011

Lifestyle

Bringing Sufism to Gurgaon MONEY SHARMA

A

thing more than what modern development can provide. A lot of people came to me saying we should introduce such a festival to Gurgaon.

Punjab has been a vital gateway to this enormous subcontinent. It has opened minds, to create seekers of truth, from Guru Nanak to Bulleh Shah. The book is meant to showcase the synchronic culture of Punjab, which has been devoured in the last 60 years. Before partition, people could not tell the difference between different religions; afterwards there has been a sharp divide, which is also amongst the greatest tragedies of the subcontinent. It might not be a movement, but I thought this book brings forth all the ideas that unite the two Punjabs.

Q

You are also starting a Gurgaon chapter of the Rumi Foundation. Tell us something about the foundation, and its functions in the city.

A

A MAN DRIVEN: Muzaffar Ali explaining the raison d’être of the Rumi Foundation

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }

H

is tall stature and sheer presence make him stand out in a room full of people. Deeply influenced by Sufism, painter and film maker Muzaffar Ali started the Rumi Foundation to propagate the message of love, peace and harmony. Driven by a sense of beauty and oneness of the human race, Muzaffar Ali started the Jahane-Khusrau festival, a celebration of Sufi culture through music across borders. Ready to infuse a bit of Sufism into the lives of Gurgaonites, Muzaffar Ali speaks to Friday Gurgaon of his plans to introduce the popular festival in Gurgaon, and the cultural importance of such festivals. Excerpts:

A

To begin with, we thought we could create a nucleus here, which would act as a base, and have some interesting people support our work. This is when the idea of having Jahan-e-

Khusrau in Gurgaon came up. On the face of it, Gurgaon has a very glossy, mercantile kind of culture. Despite that, somewhere I feel the people are in quest and looking for some-

Rumi Foundation was conceived with a mission to create a one world vision based on the mutual respect of communities, religions and regions; and to spread the word of love. It aims to do this through the medium of creative art forms. We organise activities that create awareness among people, about the present crisis the world is facing, due to the widening rifts of misunderstanding between nations and seek to awaken hearts, to come together for a solution. One of the introductory events through the Rumi Foundation will be the cultural festival.

Q A

Being a Sufi at heart, what does Sufism mean to you?

Sufism means oneness and love. It is about seeing the beauty in every culture and community, and imbibing their essence, to foster tolerance and global unity. The ideologies of the foundation are based on this spirit of Sufism, that exists in every heart and soul. The world has become one monolithic socio-cultural entity. If one part of the world is troubled, the other is affected. Rumi Foundation’s objective is to create a world without boundaries.

Q

Misunderstanding between nations is also the subject of The Sufis of the Punjab, the book that you launched in Gurgaon. What is the thought process behind it?

Q

When do Gurgaonites expect to the see the first Jahan-E-Khusrau festival in the city?

A

We want to do it in a better season. There are logistics that we need to get in place. When artists from across the border are involved, such events require sponsorship. Also, there is the issue of location. Considering we have always held the festivals in ancient monuments and ruins, for Gurgaon I would love to organise the festival in the wild—say somewhere close to the Aravallis. We could do it in an auditorium, but then the festival wouldn’t be the same. u

Q

Jahan-e-Khusrau has been the highlight of the Rumi Foundation, and for many years has been associated with Delhi. What made you feel that Gurgaon needed such a festival? CELEBRATING SUFISM: Nizami Bandhu performs at an event organised by the Rumi Foundation

{ Manjula Narayan }

W

Memories of Home A group exhibition inspired by the domestic setting ash. Entering it and inhaling its vegetal scent instantly transports the viewer to an earlier time. The structure gives the viewer a sense of having journeyed to some recess of his racial memory! Equally startling is L.N. Tallur’s Panic Room which comprises jute bags, four blowers and a CCTV with a camera. The piece looks innocuous. But stand within the square of jute, and press a button, and the sacks will rise to form a bunker. Suddenly, the art lover is transformed into a young soldier in a war zone, far from home, fearful of the dangers beyond the looming walls of his temporary shelter. Bani Abidi’s video So He Starts Singing, replays a familiar domestic routine— the recounting of a Hindi film story. Slowly the realisation dawns that she’s recounting a particular story, and every story ever told in Bollywood,

Prakhar pandey

here would you find a ‘home’ built entirely of cow dung, a mirror that spews red liquid, and a velvet covered commode hanging on the wall? Well, at Home Spun, an art show curated by art critic Girish Shahane, at the Devi Art Foundation. Featuring the works of 36 artists from India, Pakistan, UK, Sri Lanka, Iran and Oman, Home Spun examines the idea of home. A place of relaxation, a sanctuary, an actual physical space or one that’s locked away in memory, home is where you return both in the flesh and in dreams. The idea of home is real, and of the imagination. And this is what Home Spun examines through painting, sculpture, video projection and film. Giving the show a conceptual backbone, are panels highlighting excerpts from, among others, Joyce’s Ulysses, the writings of Babar, Pink Floyd, the Mahabharata, Arthur C. Clarke and the Kama Sutra. Among the most thoughtprovoking works on display, is Subodh Gupta’s My Mother And Me, a single circular home, built from dried cow dung cakes and

WOODWORK: Chinmoy Pramanick’s A Spatial Study of a Known Being

with national favourites—the Kapoors of every generation, Mithun Chakraborty and Ajit— making appearances. Abidi manages to make the viewer laugh and think —of the national obsession with storytelling, of Bollywood and our collective yearning for continuity, and of our preference for generations of movie stars from the same gene pool! Many of the pieces that are part of the show are not monumental—like Rashid Rana’s Desperately Seeking Paradise, a flashing monolith reminiscent of Mumbai’s towers—or serious, like Abbas’ In This There Is a Sign for Those who Reflect, where the walls close in. Home Spun also has much to make you smile—like the plaited broom, an obelisk of steel glasses, weeping spectacles and even a table—holding what look like alcoholic drinks—that lurches drunkenly on its legs. Home Spun is a remarkable show, that makes you think about the mundane and the profound, within the idea of home. Venue: Devi Art Foundation, Sirpur House, Plot 39, Sector 44, Gurgaon Tel: 0124-4888177 On until 27 December, 2011u


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2–8 September 2011

C ivic/Social MONEY SHARMA

The Stench won’t Go Away

Û Contd from p 1 peaceful life after my retirement from the Indian Navy, but here our life has become miserable. Our area stinks, and you can see pigs playing on these huge heaps of garbage. The MCG garbage truck only comes once or twice a week. I regret my decision to move here,” says Shankar Lal, a resident of Laxman Vihar area. Lest you think this is an isolated case, New Colony’s OP Taneja too echoes the same sentiment as he says of the MCG’s sanitation efforts, “They don’t come regularly to collect the garbage. Sewage system in our locality hardly exists; even a 15-20 minute drizzle is enough to fill the roads, with water daring to invade our doorsteps. The Corporation should seriously do something about it.” MCG officials of course refuse to buy this at all. Sharma is quick to defend his department, “Yes, there are problems

in the city; sewage is one of them, along with the disposal of garbage. But this does not mean that the corporation is not serious to the cause of a clean Gurgaon city. We are working very hard to eradicate the garbage menace.” To its credit MCG has hired private agencies to augment its sanitation efforts. Anthony KLNV Tek Pvt. Ltd, Sulabh International and Balaji Securities are the three agencies working for the MCG in this regard. “MCG has the largest area of Gurgaon under its service area. We have 54 villages, along with 90 big and small colonies of the city. We are responsible for the removal of the garbage from homes as well as the streets. We have all the necessary infrastructure for the removal of garbage, ranging from the small tempos for door to door collection, to big trucks to dump the garbage out of the city,” Rajesh Kurup, project

incharge of Anthony KLNV Tek Pvt Ltd, is quick to point out.

The HUDA story

“We do not collect garbage from homes, but we take care of the sanitation and removal of the garbage from the streets of the sectors. Contracts have been awarded to dispose garbage from HUDA sectors,” explains SK Rana, Sub Divisional Engineer, HUDA. “We have 400 sweepers here in Estate Office–1 area, and they all do their jobs well, to keep the sectors clean. They sweep the streets, and later contractors collect the garbage and dispose of it outside the city.” Here again, the bureaucrat’s claim is belied by street-level realities. Dharam Sagar, President of FORWA and RWA, Sector – 4 tells us, “We have made private arrangements. The contractor charges us Rs 40 per month to take garbage from our homes. HUDA people come to sweep daily, but the garbage contractor takes weeks to remove the accumulated sweepings from the streets.” Rakesh Sharma, a shopkeeper in Sector-12, one of the worst maintained sectors, narrates a heart rending tale. “Roads hardly exist here, sewers are not working, and you can see pigs roaming on the heaps of garbage which seldom get removed by the contractor. This sector is on the brink of an epidemic, and the authorities barely blink an eye,” said. Contractors are quick with their defence. “Residents engage private collectors for their home litter, but these private garbage collectors often dump it all onto HUDA’s garbage heaps, by the roadside or in parks!” says Jagdish, a HUDA contractor. Jagdish provides garbage pick-up services in major sectors of HUDA, including 4, 7, 9, 9 (A), 10, 10 (A), 15, 17 (1) (2), 29, 31, 41, 45, 46, 47, 55 and 56. “I have 20 tractors to collect the garbage from different sectors, but they are not enough to remove the garbage fully. HUDA sectors under me itself generate around 150200 tonnes of garbage daily. We have trucks and JCB machines to take the garbage out of the city to Bandhwari treatment plant on Faridabad road,” he

says, by way of explaining the enormity of his task.

Private builders’ bit

The scenario is decidedly better in the gated communities that dot the city. “We also have hired agency Balaji Securities, on the recommendation of MCG, to take care of the removal of garbage from the Unitech housings,” informs Mohan Singh, maintenance manager, Unitech Greenwoods Sector-40. Garbage collection here in Greenwoods happens on a door to door basis, and Unitech bears all the expenses of garbage collection. “The company does not charge people living there for the garbage collection, but it does levy a monthly maintenance charge from the residents (Rs 1/sq yard),” said Singh. People living in Greenwoods are relatively less stressed as far as the garbage menace is concerned, “Yes, they collect garbage on a daily basis, and I don’t think garbage removal is a big issue here,” says Kailash Jhingan, a resident.

Bandhwari: Gurgaon’s dumpyard

Ever wonder where it all ends up? Well, it ends up in Bandhawari, a nondescript site on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, about 20kms from the city. On an average, Bandhwari treatment plant hosts around 600 tonnes of garbage a day, being collected by different civic bodies of the city. “Bandhwari Treatment plant is for both Faridabad and Gurgaon. Nearly 900 tonnes of garbage come here daily from both the cities,” explains KK Rajan, project in-charge, at the plant. The larger than life image that Gurgaon has created for itself is seriously dented by its woefully inadequate civic infrastructure. The poor state of sewage, roads, electricity and transport are among the few realities that stop us from giving ourselves that much delayed pat on our backs. Gurgaon shines when it comes to private enterprise. It is high time the civic authorities too do their bit, to make this city a place to be proud of.. u


2–8 September 2011

Fading into History’s Pages

Abandoned by their families, yet at home

PRAKHAR PANDEY

T

Being Choked by Apathy

The most active and hardworking beings in the library campus are probably the flies and the silverfish, scurrying in and out of the thousands of books housed in every nook and cranny of the building. A few people, some of them children, lounge around in the reception. A man, who came in NO TAKERS: A never-ending pile of books

to donate books and get a membership, was handed over a form non-committally. There is no sound of the flipping of pages, no rustle of books being taken out of their shelves. “We have around 4,500 members,” says Mohini. “But the thin stream of people who come here are enough to fill the reading hall.” Upstairs, the reading hall is so full of books that chairs have to be stacked on top of the almirahs, so that people can stand. On asking the regulars, it was found that this was the usual crowd for any day. “It’s a good thing, because if even a hundredth of the members turned up, there won’t be place for people to stand up, let alone sit down and read,” says a member.

Problem of Plenty

A library should have books. This particular one has so many books that there is no place to keep them. “The number of books here should be properly housed in a four-storey building.” There are books on the top of bookshelves, and underneath them. They are scattered and

Ask Mohini about the expansion of the library to accommodate the books, and you unveil a history of step-motherly treatment. “We got the funds, the land, and the books. The government didn’t have to invest a penny, only authorise the expansion to go ahead. Yet, even this small step has taken over three years,” she says. The Raja Ram Mohun Roy Foundation had authorised Rs 15L for the modernisation and expansion of the library building. One-third was set aside for a new building behind the existing complex, another third was earmarked for renovation and upgrading the technology of the library, and for restoring old books, each. After a meeting attended by the Commissioner of Higher Education, the principal of the Government college, and the then Divisional Commissioner, a request was sent to the Chief Architect in Chandigarh, for the renovation of the building. But somehow, the plans they received were of an entirely new library. They were therefore

sent back, with the clarification that a new library was not needed, only an extension and renovation. Since then, no reply has come from the Chief Architect’s office. “Even the funds have gone back,” says Mohini.

Ignoble Decay

Retired librarian S.D Trivedi says, “This place has the potential to be a great library. There is so much land behind the existing building, that a four-storey structure with a connecting corridor can be erected without any hassle. But I’ve seen that even a fresh coat of paint needs to be sanctioned from Chandigarh.” “Gurgaon, which has the best of malls and offices, needs a public library which its citizens can be proud of. But it is a dream for us now,” says Mohini. u

5

0-year-old Sita leaped out of her bed to open the door, probably in anticipation of seeing her child at the doorstep. No, it wasn’t her house that I was visiting, and she isn’t the only one waiting for her family to come and embrace her. Tau Devilal HUDA Old Age Home in Sector-4 Gurgaon, houses 19 female destitutes, from all over the city and beyond. Also known as Snehadham, this home is an initiative of the St. Joseph’s Service Society. “This building belongs to HUDA, and they had given the building to various NGOs for the past few years, to run an old age home effectively. But none of them really worked, so finally we took over. We have been running a few social programmes in Faridabad, and they are doing well. So, we took up this initiative on March 29, 2010,” says Father Rajan Punnackal, Director, Snehadham. Located in a quiet locality of old Gurgaon, this old age home exudes a calm, which is ubiquitous to most old age homes across the country. But there is something unique about this home. 14 out of the 19 inmates are mentally retarded, with no recollection of who they are, or where they come from. And this beautiful coexistence of normal and mentally affected women in this home makes it different. “What binds them is their present. Most of them have been brought by the police, or the local hospital, since they have been abandoned by their families. They were on the streets—abused, used and thrown. For us, serving them, is serving God. So, we are giving them shelter, food, clothing, medication—and above all, love and care,” says Sister Anila. Most of these women can’t function without medication. “Most of them need constant monitoring. We have a doctor on call, apart from taking them to the Civil Hospital for regular check ups,” says Fr. Rajan. “We have a humble setup

PRAKHAR PANDEY

his place is like an orphan,” says Kaval Mohini, the librarian in-charge of the district library in the city. Home to over 44,000 old and new books, the only government library in the city is facing extinction. In one of the busiest parts of the city, with concrete and glass all around, it is a startling change to see a small redbrick building in the middle of a forest of wild grass and old trees. The noise from the street fades as one enters the quiet of the library. And it is not due to the peace of the rules of the library; but the stillness of nothing happening.

Babudom, Red Tape, Neglect

here, with the bare necessities in place. The local people finance most of our needs. And the society has also taken a loan of Rs 5 lakh to meet the needs. We see an abundance of local support in kind and cash. We have a board at the entrance, that lists down the ‘need of the week’, which the locals take care of. We avoid MNCs, since we want to carry out social work with social support. An individual will have a personal touch, while carrying out a social service— which an institution may lack. Thus, the emphasis on local support,” elucidates Fr Rajan. Amit Agarwal, a resident of Gurgaon, finds the work in

{ Indrani Thakurata / FG }

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

WELCOME TO ISOLATION: Entrance to the library

09

Love is All They Need

The city’s only public library faces neglect, from the administration and the public alike

piled on the floor, and everywhere. Newspapers are stuffed haphazardly all over the ground floor. “We receive so many books, but where do we keep them?” asks Mohini. “The Raja Ram Mohun Roy Foundation in Kolkata sends us large quantities of books regularly. Plus, we receive donations.” What happens is that all these books end up piled on the floor. Most even unpacked.

C ivic/Social

FORSAKEN: A regular day for inmates at Snehadham

this home, humbling. He says, “When I visit this place, I understand what I can do for humanity. I try to do whatever I can.” Care for the aged with compassion. You never know—at the sunset of your life—a similar fate might await you. u

Contact Us

Snehadham Sector-4, Tau Devi Lal HUDA Old Age Home. Gurgaon Ph: 9891540075

How You Can Help

Send in your donations to Account no: 13550100086619 Bank: The Federal Bank Ltd, Gurgaon IFSC Code: FDRL0001355 Website: www.sjssindia.com

Food Take

All Prices in Rs.

Area/ vegetables

Sector 54

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/ new)

10 / 20

12 / 20

7 / 18

20 / 30

12 / 20

8 / 22

15 / 25

10 / 15

Onion

20

24

18

30

24

22

25

22

Tomato

20

28/20

20

40

25

18

24

20

Cucumber

30

24

18

20

25

22

32

24

Apples

80 / 100

80 / 100

80 / 100

70 / 80

60 / 70

95

100 / 120

110 / 135

Spinach

20

24

30

35

22

24

32

25

Papaya

30

25

25

30

25

24

30

28

Banana

40

32

32

40

40

24 / Kg

30 / Kg

25 / Kg

Mutton

280 / 300

280 / 300

320

280 / 300

280

280

--

--

Chicken

150 / 160

140 / 150

160 / 170

140

140

140

--

--


2–8 September 2011

C ivic/Social

PRAKHAR PANDEY

10 Committed to Gurgaon This story will uplift you. Make you act { Indrani Thakurata / FG }

A

bout 70 per cent women in our country can’t afford sanitary napkins. 88 per cent of women, primarily in rural areas, resort to crude alternatives such as cloth, ashes and husk. At the same time, in urban India, MNCs are promoting ultra-modern sanitary napkins, spending crores to attract women. Amidst this anomalous scenario, a Gurgaon Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Uthaan, has set up a unit in Kotputli (Rajasthan), producing a sanitary napkin, for as low as Rs 1.75. Women empowerment, vermiculture, organic cultivation, herbal planting, animal welfare, green movement, and conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels—Uthaan has chosen many causes to take forward. It is an NGO that is trying to create awareness, and initiate concern amongst people, for the critical need of environment conservation and animal welfare. Sanjay Kaushik, a horticulturist, set up this NGO, to work on environmental issues. “Seven years back, the city was bar-

ren, and in desperate need of green patches. I started to plant trees that require less water— like Champa, China Rose and Enermy. With time, I found a few more areas that needed attention. So, we took up those challenges too,” says Kaushik, who is the President of Uthaan.

The Green Drive

“With all the construction work going on, it is necessary to balance the concrete with “green”. We have developed a green patch near HUDA City Centre Metro station, with the help of MNCs. We are also planting trees on the dividers on Sohna Road,” says Kaushik. Many companies like DLF and KR Mangalam are partners in the Go-green drive by Uthaan. The organisation has also roped in a few top schools in Gurgaon to be a part of its eco-club. Uthaan has planted approximately 50,000 saplings, with a survival rate of 85 per cent. Uthaan has also carried out herbal and medicinal plantation drives. “The Aravalli area was famous for a plant called guggul, that was nearing extinc-

GOING GREEN: The green patch near HUDA City Centre Metro Station, developed by Uthaan

tion. We carried out guggal plantation in the Aravallis, and we see an increase in the numbers now,” he says. Talking about organic farming, he says, “We have tried moti-

vating farmers from the nearby villages, to adopt organic farming, by showcasing its benefits.”

Vermiculture

As an unknown facet of farming (to many city dwellers), Uthaan is also propagating earthworm-rearing. “Many don’t know that vermiculture or earthworm-rearing is an ancient method of soil upgradation by organic means. As of now, we rear earthworms in Kotputli.”

Care for Animals

Riding in a Soleckshaw

Soleckshaw

An initiative against pollution, also designed to help the socio-economic development of the rickshaw-pullers, Soleckshaw is fast gaining momentum. “We have introduced batteryoperated rickshaws in Maple Crescent and Sushant Estate. We have also regularised the rates for various places. Though the initial cost is much more than a normal rickshaw, the monthly earning is double,” he explains. A native of Rajasthan, and now a passionate resident of Gurgaon, Kaushik chips in for issues that need attention. He says, “Many Gurgaonites have little sense of belonging. People treat this city as a transit city. Once they start calling this their own, you will see the difference.” u

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Disparate Slums

Uthaan has tied up with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the GurgaonKotputli section of NH-8. If any animal-related accident is reported, volunteers coordinate with the NHAI to shift/bury the animal. “We have an animal rescue centre in Kotputli. We try providing the initial first aid to the

injured animal on the highway itself,” says Kaushik.

A slum is not just a slum. A profile of residents living in two of Gurgaon’s many slum clusters { FG Bureau } Cluster 1

A

arti Gaur Barman walks out of her 8x10 feet shanty, from the cluster behind Sector-46, to welcome us. While others come out of their shanties to enquire about the intruders, her glowing face, charming demeanour and warm smile puts us at ease. Her face doesn’t give away the hardships of her life. “It’s motherhood,” she chuckles. Four months pregnant, Aarti is happy being at home, after four years of continuous work. “I was working as a domestic help in

the nearby kothis. Now, my husband, who is a gardener in the Sector-46 school, doesn’t want me to work.” Living in a 8x10 shanty and paying Rs 1,200 as rent, Aarti is one of the well-offs in the slum. The huge land, behind the posh Malibu Towne, is owned by a local Gujjar , and houses approximately 100 families. Most of the dwellers are natives of Bengal coming from Malda, Berhampur and Burdwan, for work. “This is a predominantly Bengali slum, with a few Biharis here. We all are working here to earn money, and then return to our home-

town. There is a lot of work in Gurgaon, unlike in West Bengal,” says Ram Mondol, Aarti’s neighbour, who lives in a 6x10 feet area. Living in narrow lanes, in matchbox houses with asbestos roofs over their heads, these slum dwellers barely earn Rs 5,000 a month. “We spend what we earn. And we manage two meals a day, and pay a hefty rent for shelter. At the end of the month, we are left with no money,” explains Aarti. A beautiful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims, this slum defies the usual notion of disharmony between

HAPPY HOME: A family in the Sec-46 cluster, watching TV

the two communities. With common toilets, and water and electricity in place, the dwellers aren’t complaining about the basic amenities here. Not only that, almost all of them have television for entertainment, a cooler and a bed. “Each of our families has not more than 2-3 kids, and we send them to school when the age permits,” says Aarti.

Cluster 2

FULL HOUSE: The cluster on the Delhi-Gurgaon road, packed, with hardly any basic amenities

In sharp contrast to the slum in Sector-46, is the huge cluster on the Delhi-Gurgaon road. Engulfed in darkness, the cluster, just opposite Country Inn, is a disputed land between three owners. The cluster is one of the oldest and dirtiest in Gurgaon. Marred by extreme poverty, it is in a miserable condition. A land inhabited by more than 200 families, it is shocking to learn that there are no toilets. “We have been living here for more than 30 years, and this slum is more than 50 years old. We don’t pay rent. Most of us are from Uttar Pradesh (U.P), and we have settled down here for

good. We don’t have water or toilets,” says Lajjo from Etah, U.P. Each family here has more than four kids, and they are against education. “It’s unsafe to send our girls to school, as they get kidnapped by miscreants. We need more hands to earn, not to become babus,” mocks Jitender, who makes straw mats. The straw mud houses have nothing fancy other than a television, which acts as a lifeline for these dwellers. Jitender says, “We barely manage roti and sabzi in a day. We have to go to the fields to relieve ourselves. So, it’s no wonder then, the slum stinks with flies all around.” In the hope that we would better her life, Lajjo starts to plead for a ration card. “People keep visiting us, giving us hope. But nothing changes. Only once we got Rs 1 lakh from the government, that was when our cluster was burnt three years back. We see money only when someone dies.” With an estimated of 5 lakh slum dwellers, is the Millennium City breeding a Dharavi? u


12

2–8 September 2011

PG–The Bachelor Pad PRAKHAR PANDEY

Single? Landed a job in Gurgaon? Welcome to Paying Guest land

A CHORE FREE LIFE: Girls at Mrs Khurana’s PG in Sector-23

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

I

t is known that Gurgaon has a fount of jobs, and that young people from all over the country come here in droves to make their future. But where do they stay? And how? Hailing from West Bengal, Laltu Jar says, “I’ve been living in Gurgaon since June last year, and I have been in both rented accommodations and PGs (Paying Guest).” The city has a plethora of options in PGs. Despite being an unregistered business, PGs provide housing for tens of thousands. Laltu continues, “When I came here, my friend and I took up a two-bedroom apartment in DLF Phase-III. We had a maid, but when my friend got married, I shifted to a colleague’s PG near Hero Honda Chowk.”

Talking about how living changed when he entered a PG for the first time, he says, “Both PGs and rented accommodations have their pros and cons. The biggest consideration is, of course price. Rented accommodations are more expensive, but they offer better flexibility in terms of food and timings. You can choose what you want to have in terms of food when you have a maid, and the cleaning of rooms is much better in case of rented accommodations.” “When I shifted to a PG, although they do provide food, I haven’t eaten there at all. That said, I found out that PGs score in several areas over rented accommodations. The fact that there is one consolidated bill for all facillities is certainly better. Plus, one of the biggest reasons PGs flourish in this city is the

W

hatever happened to the news of hope and optimism? Barring a few moments when the sensex kisses dizzying heights or the home team lifts the world cup, the daily news is a harbinger of bad news. In print or pixels, headlines are hogged by civic apathy, natural disasters, murders, controversies or political slugfests. One is slammed with all the bad in the world. Have you ever wondered that the ‘Morning News’ is where the anchor begins with a smiling ‘good morning’ and then proceeds to tell you why it isn’t? A ‘good morning’ that is. How about one positive development of the day for some semblance of balance? A glimmer of hope! Presumably, the negatives are highlighted on the premise that bad news sells. And what sells makes sense. As a result the only moral in the newsroom, is that of the market. That brings me to the question – Is good news not saleable? The jury is out on that, but undoubtedly the most belligerent show is aired on prime time television. Night after night, a new debate

great. If he’s not, it’s terrible,” he smiles. Echoing the sentiment, Raj says, “I’ve been living out of home since I gave my Class X examinations. I’ve lived in rented accommodations in Bangalore, and it’s been more than two years for me in Gurgaon. For me, a good roommate in a PG makes or mars your stay.” Coming from Hyderabad, he works as a resource manager in a firm in Iris Tech Park on Sohna Road. Raj says, “My best experience of staying outside home was in a PG in Sushant Lok. The landlord was a paying guest’s dream. The food was great, and even my fellow paying guests were the best I have ever known.” Relating an anecdote, Raj says, “I had to move out of Gurgaon for a couple of years because of a project I was handling. When I shifted back, I hailed a cab straight to the Sushant Lok PG. I walked in to the drawing room, plonked myself on the sofa and started

TAKING IT EASY: Boys at Sandip Singh’s PG in Sector 46

fact that they have power backup. Rented accommodations do not provide anything. When there are so frequent power failures in the city, this is a big brownie point in PG’s favour,” Laltu says. “If you’re living in sharingrooms, I feel that a very important factor is the room-mate you’re getting. If he’s good, it’s

What’s the Good News? { Alka Gurha }

C ivic/Social

rages where aggressive participants display cerebral, verbal and guttural skills. Given the penchant of the argumentative Indian, the news hour debates become a combative arena for shadow boxing, social purging and collective catharsis. Eyeballs are up for grabs when two opposition leaders dig up dirt and indulge in a cacophonous slanging match. Fights and bites, both are assured. To be fair to the news channels, they simply feed the hidden voyeur in the viewer. Johnny Depp once said, “I am only interested in news such as– Woman’s bra bursts, eleven injured. That kind of a thing.” Undoubtedly, the news caters to such viewers too. Yet it is also true that problems are the price of progress. Surely, a nation undergoing social churning will be faced upheavals and tribulations. Ahh…then that explains it! Since we are a developing nation, bad news is good news. Gone are the days of ‘no news is good news’. We will continue to be seduced by dreadful headlines of disorder and destruction. What you get is what you want. But honestly, is this what we want? u

flipping through channels on the TV. It was probably the biggest shock of my life when girls came out of the rooms. There was absolute pandemonium for some time, and the guard rushed in hearing the commotion. I had to explain my dilemma that I had stayed in this PG two years ago, and didn’t have a clue that now it

was a girls’ PG.” Talking about his criteria of PGs, Raj says, “My biggest factor for selecting a PG is that it should be affordable. That taken care of, it should be clean and the kitchen not too sloppy. I don’t mind cramped quarters as long as the area is airy, and a spick-and-span bathroom.”

Food, Food, Food...

If you’re staying away from home, eating out without needing parent’s consent is the best thing possible. But since this is not possible every day and every time, the PG provides decent home-cooked food. And the ones in Gurgaon have surprisingly good menus. Gone are the hostel’s half-baked rotis and watery yellow dal. “We offer a menu in which no dish is repeated in a fortnight, unless asked for,” says PG owner Kusum Khurana. She, and her husband Vinod Khurana, have been in this business since 2003. The paying guests are equally happy. Bharkha, a flight attendant, says, “I was recommended this place by a friend when I came over from Mumbai. I have everything I need here.” Navneet, another of Khurana’s paying guests says, “After coming back from work, I really don’t have the energy to cook and clean. A paying guest place takes care of everything.” “I opened my first PG three years ago. Since then, there’s been no looking back”, says Sandip Singh. He runs four paying guest houses in the city, and is proposing a fifth in DLF PhaseIII. “When boys start hunting for PGs, the prime factors are cost, location, and food. In the case of girls, it is security, cleanliness, and food.” “In the end, it is a case of comfortable, affordable living when you’re in a new city. People come here for jobs, and they want a clean bed, hot food and ironed laundry. We aim to keep them happy.” u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Can you help me? Meri maddad karayga?

Maddad – soft d Karayga - kar eye ga

2. It is an emergency Emergency hori hai 3. I am sick Main bimaar hun 4. I have been injured Meray chot laag ri hai

Meray - may rye Chot – ch as in chashma (spectacles)

5. I need a doctor Manne doctor chaiye 6. Please call an ambulance Ambulance bula de 7. Where is the nearest hospital? Sabtay dhorrai haspatal kit hai

Sabte – sub tey( soft t) Dhorrai – dhor-as in shor (noise)+rye Kit – as in pita (father)

8. Can you hurry up? Jaldi karega ke?


2–8 September 2011

Wellness

13

Yoga for mothers-to-be! Exercises for mother and baby

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

and Badrasan can also be practiced in this period.

P

racticing yoga during pregnancy can prove to be highly beneficial for mothers-to-be. Detouring from the habitual course of life during pregnancy, many women, particularly those experiencing motherhood for the first time, may find it hard to make physical and emotional adjustments. These changes are varied—morning sickness, weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, the physical ‘baby bump’. “Pregnancy is that period in a woman’s life when she experiences the creative energy, Shakti, in abundance. At this time, she is empowered to create and manifest the divine energy in human form—that is bearing a child,” explains Sidhharth Joshi, yoga consultant. Prenatal yoga, through varied low-stress asanas, followed in three trimesters of the pregnancy can be very effective throughout the period of nine months. Practicing the right asanas in the right way, can ensure easy labour and delivery— by strengthening the muscles and relieving tension around the cervix, opening the pelvis. We learned some easy, lowstress yoga exercises that even beginners can follow. But, it must be kept in mind that these exercises, especially for the beginners, must be practiced under the supervision of an expert and after consulting your doctor.

First Trimester (Week 1–12)

In the initial phase of pregnancy, the child has less prana or life force. Simple breathing exercises—performing Pranayam—help the mother supply more oxygen to her foetus, thus infusing more prana to her child. One should start with Nadishodana, then gradually move to Pranayam, gentle Bhastrika and Samanu breath, and continue to practice these throughout your pregnancy. Also, in the first phase of her pregnancy, the mother must conduct some pelvic exercises

Durgadatt Pandey

Final Trimester (Week 28 – 42)

like, Titli asana, Chakki Chalan asana, Marjari asana. Along with yoga asanas, you must also practice neck and shoulder rotations. Rotations will help strengthen and relax your muscles as well as relieve stress. Caution must be maintained, by practicing them slowly, to avoid over-stretching and damaging ligaments. Along with these asanas, you can also practice Supta Udarakarshana Asana, Kati Chakrasan, Tadasana and Kandhrasana.

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

L

ast week we had alluded to the need to remain in the prime of our health; especially when we live in large cities. Urban life can indeed be both, a thrill as well as a challenge. We may have heard the Trojan Horse story. The Greeks fooled the Trojans by hiding their soldiers inside a large wooden horse. Once the horse had been pulled inside and everyone went to bed, the hidden soldiers emerged to unlock the gates and permit the main army to flood in and over-run the fort. In a similar vein, it is important we remain alert to toxic foods or lifestyle choices, which can infiltrate our body’s defences. One critical aspect is to always keep our body’s fluids in balance, while at the same time eliminating toxic build-up. Avoiding junk food or allergens in our diet is equally important to keeping our immune system strong.

Second Trimester (Week 13 – 27)

Being an important phase of child development and adverse physical changes, yoga asanas in this semester must be performed cautiously. Avoid exercises which involve strain on the back, stomach and lower abdomen. Exercises like Titli asana and Chakki Chalana asana can be continued in the second trimester, along with other low intensity asanas. Other recommended exercises are Vajrasana, Utthanasan,

Meru Akarshananasan and the Anulom Vilom. Shoulder rotation and neck rotations must be continued, while sitting. The mother must also meditate and relax during the day, as well as before sleeping, to get a comfortable and peaceful sleep. Exercises like Yoga Nidra (a state of conscious deep sleep, where you appear to be sleeping but you are conscious and aware) are highly beneficial during this period. Other asanas like, Kati Chakrasan, Tadasana,

The Health Connection

Tip of the Week

Taking a glass of water immediately on waking in the morning, is a great way to start the day. This can be followed by a ‘Master Cleanse’ drink. Add freshly squeezed lime juice (half a lime per person)to a little warm water. Add a dash of salt & pepper. Apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp) and/or a slice of ginger can be added. This is the best way to ‘break the over-

night fast’. It kicks the digestive juices into top gear at a time when the natural cycle is favourably inclined. Having detoxified during the night, the digestion system is nicely primed from 7 and 11 am.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week

Water is fundamental to life. It is unsurpassed in its ability to heal. Yet it is most often overlooked. Sixty per cent of

The baby has now grown twice its size, making its presence felt with its every little movement. There is also increased pressure on your legs, pelvis and bladder, making it uncomfortable to do regular chores, sometimes causing back and hip aches. Yoga asanas can be performed till the very end or until it doesn’t cause you discomfort. However asanas that compress the belly must be avoided in favour of light asanas. Shavasana, Titli Asana, Marjari asana, Sukhasana, and neck and shoulder rotations along with wrist and ankle rotations, can be continued as long as you don’t strain yourself. The expectant mother can also practice Anulom Vilom but with no retention. Also, Siddh Yoni and Moola Bandha asanas can be performed to ease labour pain and help easy delivery. Along with yoga asanas, moms-to-be must regularly practice Yoga Nidra and several breathing exercises during the last phase of pregnancy, as these play a vital role in reducing cramps, that are caused due to fluid retention. Yoga helps in relieving such fluid retention, making this crucial trimester easy and comfortable. Yoga during pregnancy, is considered the most beneficial form of exercise, and is practiced by many even after. During practice, precautions like standing against the wall to practice balancing exercises and avoiding lying on the back or stomach while performing asanas, must be adhered to, by the mother. Drive away your fears and nervousness about pregnancy, and bring your knitting needles out for those little booties that you will now need very soon. And don’t forget to get your hands on those baby names books, for your tiny tot! u

our body is water. Every system in our body depends on water. It is vital for good digestion and metabolism. It carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells through the blood, and helps to cool the body through perspiration. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and provides a moist environment for our lungs as well as ear, nose and throat tissues. Most people have no idea how much water they should drink. In fact, most of us are dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can leave us drained. Worse still, we could end up with excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive complications, sore muscles, or water-retention issues. The average recommended daily allowance for water is 8-10 glasses (about 2 litres). Men, in general, and people who are either overweight or involved in heavy activity require more. Fluids like tea/coffee, soft carbonated beverages or alcoholic beverages do not count (these are in fact dehydrating fluids). Last, but not least, it is a very good idea to invest in getting access to good quality, filtered drinking water. And, as far as possible, we must avoid storing it in plastic bottles. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)


14

2–8 September 2011

Comment

The Anna Effect The Anna effect is upon us.

W EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

hy are we at this crossroads? Because the Executive has failed, over decades, to control a disease called bribery—a disease that impacts every citizen of India, everyday. Food, healthcare, prices—any of these could have finally sparked a movement. All these frustrations, and more, have just cascaded into the Anna movement—it is not just about bribery alone. Anna has succeeded because he is endowed with solid moral authority. The movement is unique, focused and non-violent. This is not blackmail—it is moral authority— something we seem to have forgotten. It would be some time before anyone else tries something similar, let alone finding acceptance with the ordinary citizen. Talk of precedent is just that. What is the alternative? Do we just let things be? Let the people wait forever for deliverance? Because only Parliament will decide when, how, where deliverance will occur? Parliament has already thrown its hands up. It is not able to arrest the severe leakages for decades. It is not able to tackle corruption—in fact, there seems to be a surge, of late. Or maybe we should just be happy with some symbolic visits to underprivileged homes; or symbolically take some pledges; or conduct a yajna. And the genie will return to its bottle. There is always a tipping point. In this case, Anna sensed that the tipping point was nigh; he sensed the mood of the people, and the frustration. At such moments, rationality is tipped. Emotions take charge. Unfortunately, the only mood that seems relevant to the government is that of the vote banks. And of course, vote banks can always stage just

Food for Thought

East is East, & West is West { Abhay Jain }

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n idea that Gurgaon may be divided into two cities - East Gurgaon and West Gurgaon - seems worth more than thought. From the administration point of view, these two parts (east and west of NH 8) seem poles apart. West Gurgaon can be named Gurugram, while East Gurgaon may be christened the Millennium City. The Millennium City boasts of  all modern hi-tech facilities. High rise buildings, clubs, malls, metro trains, five star hotels, IT and IT enabled services, multiplexes, super specialist hospitals, 25 acre leisure valley park, giant corporate buildings – all modern conveniences exist there. On the other hand, Gurugram, mainly has old government buildings, narrow and congested roads, old bus stand and railway station, small approved and unapproved colonies, limited parks, old civil hospital, government schools and colleges, old Sadar Bazar market; and requires a different kind of administration. It is time that the Haryana government starts managing Gurgaon’s two cities separately, as far as the administration is concerned; taking the services of expert and specialist persons, and using latest technologies and techniques. It appears it would be easy for the administration to manage these two areas differently, as they have different types of problems, issues, expectations, aspirations, demands - and above all, a fairly different profile of persons live in these ‘two cities’. The Millenium CIty, which has 34 functioning sectors (24

to 57), and upcoming 23 sectors (58 to 80), has mostly basic profiles – the rich and the poor. The presence of a middle class is insignificant there. The majority of them are well educated and IT savvy. They have different types of problems and expectations. As each house has at least one car, they have a parking problem. They are comfortable if the bills of their public utilities are sent by email, and these can be paid electronically. They wish the polio drop volunteer should come only after an appointment. They expect senior administrative officers to listen to their problems, and solve them quickly. On the other hand, Gurugram, esp. the south side, has different types of problems and issues. Residents of this locality want that their narrow and congested lanes are cleaned regularly. Local officers should sit in their offices to attend to them and redress their grievances, as they do not mind visiting the government offices to lodge their complaints in person. Gurugram consists of 23 sectors, from 1 to 23. Upcoming new sectors from 81 to 115, fall to the north west. All three major industrial clusters - Udyog Vihar (Phase 1 to 5) at Gurgaon-Delhi border, Udyog Vihar Phase 6 near Hero Honda Chowk (except a small portion at Pace City, and the Hero Honda factory), and Manesar’s Industrial Model Township—fall in Gurugram. Issues of labour unrest, transport facilities, disposal of industrial waste and safety of female workforce keep haunting the industrial sector. If an officer, expert in handling industrial issues, is appointed to look after this sector, it can be managed.

In the residential area, a SHO at Rajender Park Police Station, a very congested area, should be expert at digging out criminals who are illiterate or less educated, and are engaged in adulteration, stealing, fleshtrade and other such crimes. Likewise, across the road in Millenium City, a Station House Officer (SHO) at Sector 29 Police Station should have a good command of the English language, and should be capable of handling senior working and retired officers, and educated sections of the society. Two different types of police officers are required to handle these two different types of policing roles. Most of the offices of BPO, IT and IT enabled services are located in Millenium City. This sector requires an altogether different type of approach to their issues and concerns, which can best be handled by experts in this field, and not by an ordinary administrative officer. All new sectors, from 58 to 115, which are coming up on both sides of NH8 (in Gurugram and the Millenium City), may be temporarily managed by an officer who has vision, and can think at least 10 years ahead. He must be capable of drawing up and implementing the plan accordingly. HUDA currently has two Estate Officers – one looks after Eastern part of the city, while another looks after the Western part.  Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has divided its areas into four parts – North, South, East and West. Likewise, Gurgaon Police Commissionerate has also divided the district into three zones – East, West and South. Besides that, the civil administration has divided the District into three parts - North, South and Pataudi - each area looked after by a separate Sub-

a local loud protest, and action would be taken within a few days—however unreasonable the demand. We all have safely railed against the Government, taken swipes at politicians and parliament, on less substantive issues, on prime time and prime space. The Supreme Court has not been found wanting on this either. And why would we expect anything different, if Parliament itself finds it difficult to ensure parliamentary behavior. What you get is what you see. Yet, of all people and events, we (so called intellectuals, alongside parliamentarians this time) chose Anna and his movement to suddenly remember parliamentary behavior; and as suddenly ask for a panacea instead. The message from the intelligentsia seemed to be petulant; since we were not there on the scene with Anna, we somehow must decry it as a tamasha—or hide behind the discovery of the supremacy of parliament. Guilt, perhaps? Anna rightly called it a half victory. He knew the moment of deliverance had passed. The sudden burst of “rationality” has robbed Anna, and more importantly us, of a decision on Lokpal within this session of parliament. Yes, for a bill that has been 40+ years in the making, it surely was possible to have passed it expeditiously. The answer to this Bill cannot be normal; cannot just be rational. So yes, even in Parliament, in rare moments, the heart must rule. The mind games can always come later. We can only hope that the Bill is passed within a few months, and honestly. If not, we truly will have missed a moment. Cannot help fight a premonition that hum Anna ki jaan lekar rahengay. We would have killed the messenger; and lost the message. u

Divisional Magistrate (SDM). But these three officers have mixed type of areas to manage, and that is why, some times they are unable to effectively resolve the problems of the masses. But, with the change of time, more professional alignment is required, as these are merely geographical zones. The time has come when the

Haryana government should utilize the services of experts and specialists, in different fields, and fulfill the rising aspirations of the citizens living in different areas of Gurgaon today. Who would look after the stretch of NH-8, which divides the City(ies)? Maybe it would be a good LOC.u

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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ongratulations on the launch of Friday Gurgaon. I wish you the very best for your new venture. Your front page article on the deplorable state of roads in Gurgaon would have been more interesting if you had added some facts and figures to it. For instance, who is responsible for the roads being the way they are and how much money has the developing authorities spent on its repair each year? After all, this is the tax payers money and I think all of us would like to know why, despite being repaired sometimes twice a year these roads seem to crumble the minute it rains. The authorities should get an award for inventing soluble roads. Padmini Sharma

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ongratulations on the first issue of Friday Gurgaon. It has a good mix of articles on varied subjects and excellent pictures. However, I have a few suggestions to make it more readable: 1) On page 3 you have given certain activities­ —but no addresses. For e.g. A group exhibition at The Art Floor, DLF Phase I. Where exactly in DLF I? Food at The Beer Factory—where is it? 2) Your pictures show all

that is bad about the Gurgaon roads, water-logging etc. Maybe you can print an interview with the person concerned—e.g roads with the HUDA chief, waterlogging with the head of PWD etc. You can ask really hard-hitting questions and ask for a timeframe when things can be expected to improve—a la Anna style. The Government schools are in a total mess. Maybe the BEO or DEO can answer some really important questions. 3)   The article about Anand Ashram was good but there must be some really thought provoking articles—something that makes the paper stand out from so many other papers about Gurgaon. 4) If possible, include travel—a place close by enough to Gurgaon where one can go for the weekend, with full details about distance, hotels, cost etc. for people with different interests like birdwatching, monuments, leisure places and wildlife. I know this is the beginning and I am sure you have many interesting things lined up. Wish you all the very best. Kamal Capoor Please send your letters to:

letters@fridaygurgaon.com


2–8 September 2011

Thought-Provoking Debate

Books, Books Everywhere

DPS Gurgaon, Sector-45 organised a Book Fair to encourage the habit of reading among its students. It was done in collaboration with Scholastic India, a renowned publishing house. Ritu Mathur, Principal Integrated Indian School, Kuwait, inaugurated the fair, which was followed by a performance by Class IV students. The Chief Guests were R.P. Gandhi, President and group Chief Financial Officer, RJ Corp and Ritu Mathur.

Eid Celebrations

Students of Good Shepherd School celebrated the festival of Eid with great fervour. Dressed up in Pathanis Salwar suit, the little students of this prep school, enjoyed the festival as the school distributed sweets and Eid greeting cards. Teachers also spoke about the relevance of the festival.

Inter-School Debate

Chiranjiv Bharti School, Palam Vihar (CBSPV) hosted the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Inter School Debate on the topic—The Government Is Non Committal About Corruption Free India. Each participant was given three minutes. Arpita Sahoo of the host school, CBSPV, got the title of Best Speaker, and Nakul Yadav of DAV Public School, Sec-14 got the title of Best Interjector. DPS Maruti Kunj emerged as the runnerup, and DAV Sec-14 emerged as the second runner-up.

Nail-biting Children Need Parents’ Support to Stop { Bettina Levecke, Berlin/DPA }

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e it a reaction to boredom or to stress, nail biting is a disagreeable habit that is prevalent among children. “About 10 per cent of children and adolescents nibble (on their nails),” said Klaus Fischer, a family therapist in the German town of Schmallenberg. The habit often begins in infancy or at kindergarten age, when a child’s oral fixation is still strong. To be weaned away from it, the child needs a lot of support from its parents. What starts as a harmless oral preoccupation can become a ritualized activity in stressful situations. The medical term for nail biting is onychophagia, which comes from the Greek “onycho-” (combining form of “onyx”, i.e. “finger-, toenail”) and ”phagia,” (i.e. “eating”). “In many cases nail biting is an innocuous, temporary habit that goes away by itself,” said Ulrich Gerth, chairman of the Federal Conference for Child Guidance Counselling, a group sponsored by Germany’s federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth. “It’s important that parents don’t immediately get worried if a child begins biting its nails.” Before parents attempt strategies to get the child to stop, they should observe the child’s behaviour over a period of time. When does he or she bite their nails? How often? In what situations? Karin Hauffe-Boje, a Bremenbased child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, also advises parents to do some investigating. “Regular nail biting by a child could be a sign of inner tension,” she said. “Something is wrong” and parents should find out what. “For some children, a lack of self-confidence is the reason,”

Flying like a Balloon I saw the Moon, One windy night, Climbing like a balloon, Flying so fast all silvery night.

15

Mascha Brichta

Scottish High International School, Sushant Lok-II hosted the annual Inter-School English Debate Competition with an enthusiastic participation of eleven school of Gurgaon and New Delhi. The thought provoking topic for the debate was—Should children be legally obligated to care for their parents after they become adults? The title of Best Speaker was awarded to Apoorv from Amity International, while the hosts bagged the Best Team award.

Kid Corner

INNOCUOUS HABIT: Nail biting is a temporary habit, say experts

Regular nail biting by a child could be a sign of inner tension. Something is wrong and parents should find out what. – Karin Hauffe-Boje,

child psychiatrist

Fischer said. Problems at school, stress due to school results and studies, or bullying are possible causes as well. Nail biting has a double effect. “Occupying oneself with one’s fingernails is first of all a strategy of diversion,” Hauffe-Boje said. It also serves as a release by relieving inner pressure. A talk with the child’s

teachers can be instructive. If stress turns out to be behind the nail biting, parents should speak to the child about it, Gerth said. The first thing they then need to do is see how to restore the child’s emotional equilibrium. When the child feels more secure, stopping the nail biting will be easier. Gentle support from the parents is important here. “Please: no coercive measures like forbidding the child from watching television or leaving the house,” Fischer warned. “That only creates more stress.” Praise and positive reinforcement raise the chances of his or her success. Finger and fingernail care strengthen the child’s perseverance. “Care for your child’s nails with a bath or nice lotion,” Gerth advised. “And be glad about every new millimetre of fingernail.” u

Drawing & Painting Competition

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I saw the Moon, One windy night, Flying over the sky, like a toy balloon lost its string. Then everyone feels it’s the cloud that fly, Moon and stars stand still in the sky, But I know I saw the Moon, Sailing away like a toy balloon. Title: Ganesh Chaturthi Toyam Khanna, Class III F, Amity International School, Sec.­–46 – Tarushi Agrawal Class II F, Scottish High International School, Sec 57

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


Kids Brainticklers

Solutions

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Sudoku Kids

16 2–8 September 2011

K id Corner


Friday Gurgaon Launch

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Trusted by Celebrities

Instructor Trained & Certified in Canada by Stott Pilates Contact: info@eska.in

M: 9818835009 www.eskapilates.com


18

2–8 September 2011

K id Corner

In ancient India many teachers taught lessons to their students through stories, just as it is done today. In fact, a teacher called Pandit Vishnu Sharma wrote all the stories of the Panchatantra just to teach four young princes about kingship! Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.

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or many people in Gurgaon, the name Anumod Gagan Sharma would not immediately ring a bell. But you just name Kingdom of Dreams, Galaxy Hotel, 32nd Milestone and Apra Motors, and people across the National Capital Region, and even in other parts of the country, would immediately recognize these as some of the iconic destinations of the Millennium City. Anumod Gagan Sharma is the visionary behind these projects, and the head of Apra Group of Companies—which have given Gurgaon an identity beyond being a major BPO and IT hub. His 32nd milestone, conceived and set up in the early nineties, had given Gurgaon an entertainment hotspot rivalling Delhi. Now his latest venture, the Kingdom of Dreams has once again put Gurgaon on the entertainment map of the country, and even the world. Despite the success and clout at his command, Sharma is humble, when he says “I would like to make it very clear that whatever I have achieved is due to the Hand of God. It is the vision of the Almighty that is being executed through me.” Sharma’s business journey started with a chemical factory, which he set up in Gurgaon to manufacture activated earth. It was during this period that he was inspired to set up 32nd Milestone, a restaurant complex that boasted of a Bowling Alley and a discotheque—at a time when Gurgaon was a sleepy suburb.

Business

King of Dreams MONEY SHARMA

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

2–8 September 2011

Gagan Sharma at the Kingdom of Dreams

“There was no place for my workers to sit, relax and enjoy”, says Sharma, who thereafter left for Australia to know how the first world works. Down under, he observed the system and took note of the best practices - but later realised that it also had its own issues. “I found business problems were also prevalent in Australia

Gagan Sharma and his Projects Kingdom of Dreams: The Kingdom of Dreams, is the latest

entertainment project set up by Apra Group. The objective is to showcase Indian art, culture, food and handicrafts from all across the country. Set up in Gurgaon, the first Kingdom of Dream has been developed as a confluence of art and technology, to overwhelm the audience.

APRA Auto: Apra Auto (India) Pvt. Ltd. is one of the larg-

est automobile dealers of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.” With six showrooms, six authorized dealer workshops and a True Value® outlet, APRA Autos has more than 50% of Maruti Suzuki Sales & Service Market Share in Gurgaon. Sharma says APRA Auto has the highest Customer Service Index in the country, and leads in volumes too.

Galaxy Hotel: A five star deluxe hotel in Gurgaon, that

Sharma says redefines luxury and custom defined “Hospitality”. The decor, ambience, service and facilities are on a lavish scale, and ensure guests have an enjoyable time.

Apra Motels: Popularly known as 32nd Milestone hotel,

this iconic establishment was set up in 1991. It has been one of the most popular entertainment destinations in the National Capital Region, comprising restaurants, discotheque, rooms and other entertainment.

Gcell Technologies: It is an IT firm that used to serve the inhouse demands of APRA Group of companies. The IT firm has now come into its own, and blossomed into a full fledged IT company, providing state-of-the-art solutions to customers across the globe. InsuringIndia.com: It is India’s first multilingual online insurance portal, set up with the objective to serve users across India. The aim of the project is to serve the customers at their doorstep.

ROIDEC: ROIDEC India Chemicals (P) Ltd. has been set up by Gagan Sharma, to counter the environmental changes taking place in the world. To conserve nature and to make the world Green, the company has developed chemicals that would provide green solutions to all the problems caused by plastic.

and this motivated me to come back to India”, he says. After his return, he set up the Galaxy hotel, a landmark boutique hotel that raised the bar for other five-star hotels in Gurgaon. The idea behind setting up Galaxy was to give users a unique experience, says Sharma, adding that most of his projects are far ahead of their time. Refusing to be painted as a businessman or an entrepreneur, he defines himself as an artist, who has been chosen by God to create things, that have a combination of art and entrepreneurship. “Even my wife asks me how i define myself. I think of myself as an artist who loves to create things”, says Sharma, adding that while artists paint and dance, he sets up new projects. This is the reason, he says , the costs of his projects go haywire. It is the process of creating something that is more important to him, than the creation itself. All his projects, be it in entertainment or automobiles, aim to give back to the society and create jobs for the people, he says. “I would never like to make money at the cost of society”, says Sharma, adding that most

of his projects are labour intensive and create job opportunities. Despite having different businesses, the values and principles are uniform across the Apra Group of Companies. They are honesty, integrity and a sense of ownership. The value of sharing and caring for the society, he says, comes from his father Vishnu Dutt Sharma, who was a businessman by profession, but a social worker at heart. “When my father died, he had stood guarantee for about 4,000 people, to ensure that they got bank loans for setting up small businesses”. His family hails from Palam village in Delhi, and moved to Gurgaon when the Delhi airport was set up, and land was acquired from people. About his business, he asserts, “I am proud to say that even after 35 years of existence, and with 6,000 employees, there has been no talk of creating a union or a similar association. We take care of our employees”. On his latest and most ambitious project, the Kingdom of Dreams, Sharma says the idea is to showcase the culture, traditions and customs of India. His Great Indian Nautanki Company, which is co-owned by APRA

and Wizcraft, is planning to take this unique project across India and the world. “We are planning to sell a stake in Kingdom of Dreams, to generate funds for expansion”, he says. The plan is to set up a Kingdom of Dreams in Mumbai, as well as in four locations across China - which would be done in partnership with a Chinese major. When asked about his forays into unrelated sectors like hospitality, entertainment and auto, Sharma says he likes to experiment and innovate. “Once a project has achieved critical mass, I hand it over to professionals, and move on to create new things”, he adds. Passionate about nature and conservation, the Apra Group, in order to save the earth from the scourge of plastic, has been investing in research for the last 15 years. And the good news is that one of his companies, ROIDEC, has managed to achieve a major breakthrough. “After years of hard work, our research team has managed to develop chemicals that can treat ordinary paper and give it plastic like strength - but ensure that it remains bio-degradable”, says an ecstatic Sharma. The other projects he is equally proud of are the Gurugram Gaushala, and Saksham, a school for needy children, which has emerged as one of the top philanthropic institutions in Gurgaon—a city he is passionate about. When asked what was holding back Gurgaon from becoming a global city, pat comes the reply. He identifies lack of responsiblity and spirit of ownership among the citizens, and says “People get what they deserve”. He exhorts the people of Gurgaon to come out and spend time, ponder over the issues, and work with others to find solutions to the problems. “Gurgaon has enough money, what we want is active participation from the stakeholders, to ensure that a common minimum agenda is developed and acted upon”. After reaching the pinnacle of success, he wants a romantic signoff, and says that five years from now he and his wife could be found in a roadside tea stall amidst the hills in Himachal Pradesh—selling tea and talking to people about conservation of water. This could perhaps be the most difficult project of his life... u


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2–8 September 2011

R eal Estate

Making the Right Choice To avoid real estate pitfalls, invest in a licensed agent in Gurgaon PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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HOUSE THAT: A real estate consultant dispensing advice in his office

dealings of some of them. To bring back the trust, he says, the government must enforce discipline and ensure only registered people ply the trade. His firm, Goel says, deals with builders on behalf

of customers and follows transparent practices. With Gurgaon expanding fast, and new players coming in everyday, real estate analysts opine that it is difficult for individual operators to serve

Property Dealers, Marketers Lap Up Real Estate Course

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t 11 am on Tuesday, there is pin-drop silence in the Banquet Hall of DLF City Club opposite the Galleria market. A group of around 20 men is listening with rapt attention to an industry expert , on taxation in real estate. The lecture is part of the ninth three-day Real Estate Management Course being organised by REDCO Institute of Real Estate Management (RIRM) in Gurgaon. During this course, the participants are acquainted with various aspects of real estate planning, development, investment and licensing. A number of industry experts and analysts deliver lectures, and hold presentations, to make the participants more aware of good practices to be followed in the course of day to day business. A participant Pradeep Bhatia, who is a manager with Godrej Properties says that this course helped him to know more about licensing and the regulating environment in real estate. “It also helped me in meeting like-minded professionals, which will be of great help in the future,” he adds.

Major Suresh Yaduvanshi, a real estate consultant, also agrees that there is need for more such courses, as the real estate industry has become complex and agents need to have updated information and knowledge. An interaction with participants reveals that most of them are already working in the real estate sector, and have the basic knowledge. For them this is a refresher course, as it enables to know more about impending rules and regulations, latest marketing and brokerage techniques and helps in building relations. The objective of the course is to create a forum where important issues can be discussed, and helps the business become more ethical, transparent and fair, says Meenakshi Sharma, course coordinator. RIRM chairman Colonel Prithvi Nath says that it is the only course that is linked with licensing as the participants are helped in getting the licenses.

The concept of property agents is an old one and it comes from the time when village elders in medieval times stood guarantee for property deals. While in the beginning it was not done for material gains, with the passage of time it assumed a commercial character and people started getting paid for such services. – Sumit Goel Real estate consultant

that can streamline the real estate industry in Gurgaon, and bring transparency and fair play in property deals. Those looking for property in Gurgaon must approach a licensed dealer, whose address can be obtained from the MCG website. Real estate investment is many times a once in a life decision – it is always better to be safe than sorry. u

Realty Rates Old Gurgaon

hoosing a real estate agent can be a tricky job in Gurgaon, as the market is highly unorganised, and every second person wants a share in the real estate pie. A good property agent can help the client in making the right decisions while buying, selling or leasing propety; whereas someone with wrong credentials could force him into a hasty decision. Industry experts says a good real estate agent should be able to make a proper need analysis, and understand the clients requirements. He should offer all the options in a fair manner, and ensure that your expenses are kept down. He should be a good listener, network with others in the trade, and maintain confidentiality. He should also be ready to tell you about the risks in a property deal, help you with paperwork, and must know the local market. He should also be aware of the rules, regulations and practices of the local real estate sector. When you are finalising an agent, you much check the track record, background and references from his clients. Meet him and try to gauge his knowledge about the local real estate market. Avoid agents, who are pushy and before finalising one, meet a couple of them to find the best option. Choosing the right agent will help in finding the appropriate property in less time, and also at the right price, aver experts.

HUDA Sec 9

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the complex needs of the buyers. Many people from abroad, and even those in India, have burnt their fingers in projects after getting half baked advice, they aver. They suggest moving to bigger, more specialised firms. But not everyone can do that, as large firms are interested in big deals or prefer to deal with High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs), says Yadav. “I am dealing with tier 2 and 3 properties in the bracket of 30 to 40 lakhs, where the end user is the buyer”, he says, addin g that not many in the trade want to touch the lower end properties. For the middle class, the solution thus is to do a thorough search of the market, and find a good agent, who is licensed. The buyer should also search for properties on the net, and try to find the rates of the property he is looking for. Yadav avers that individual property agents are able to cater to specific needs, as they know the pulse of the market. He asks the buyers not to touch the unregistered agents even as there are many fly-by-night operators. However, Suraj Garg, who has just recently entered the property trade begs to differ. He says honesty and trust cannot be ensured through a license,

HUDA Sec 4

Choosing a Real Estate Agent in Gurgaon

HUDA Sec 5

hattar Pal Yadav has been working as property agent in Gurgaon for the last six years and has seen many ups and down in the trade. He has seen people becoming millionaires by investing in the right property, and also a large number of them being trapped by conmen working under the guise of property dealers. His advice is simple. He asks people to go to a property agent who not only has a good reputation in the market but is also registered with the government. A property agent operating without a license should not be trusted, he suggests, as this is illegal and against the provisions of Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act 2008. Yadav says there are three kinds of agents working in Gurgaon handling different aspects of real estate. First are the large firms that offer a complete bouquet of real estate services; second are agents, who work in groups or individually but are licensed; the third are the individual agents, who are neither registered with trade bodies nor licensed. The registration of agents takes place under the Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act 2008. Although the law was implemented in 2009 it is only recently that the Gurgaon administration has become active in enforcing the rules and regulations. Sumit Goel of Not Just Flats, a real estate consultancy on Sohna Road says that the concept of property agents is an old one and it comes from the time when village elders in medieval times stood guarantee for property deals. “The benchmark at that time was trust and honesty, and this can not change, as the same values are needed today - and even more so”, he asserts; although he admits that people have become wary of property agents as a tribe due to the unscrupulous

and wants people to me more aware and do their homework thoroughly before embarking on a property deal. Colonel Prithvi Nath, Hon. Secretary of the Real Estate Development Council of Haryana (REDCO-Haryana), says that it is very important for agents to be educated and trained, in addition to having a license. REDCO, he says has been in the forefront in training real estate agents and helping them get licenses. “It is because of our efforts that there are around 1,000 registered agents in Gurgaon who have got licenses and are trained to deal in real estate”, claims Nath, who also runs the REDCO Institute of Real Estate Management – backed by real estate majors in Gurgaon, as well as the Haryana government. It is thus clear that training and licensing are the two tools

(in Rs 000s as of Aug 25, 2011)

New Palam Vihar

Ashok Vihar

Sheetla Colony

Dwarka E-Way Apartments

27–40/sq yard

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350 sq yard 30–35/sq yd

160 sq yard 40–35/sq yd

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500 sq yard 35–40/sq yd

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24

Pastimes

2–8 September 2011

What’s Brewing in Your City? MONEY SHARMA

Microbreweries are a hit with Gurgaon’s hip set, that swears by their unique and fresh ales. { Shirin Mann / FG }

M

ost of us have enjoyed a cup of freshly brewed coffee coming out of a whistling machine, but not many have sipped on fresh brewed beer, poured straight out into a mug. This international idea of brewing beer in the pub was first welcomed by the Haryana government, when it permitted setting up of microbreweries. Howzatt, the trendsetter of brewpubs, opened in the year 2008 at Galaxy Mall, and introduced people to the new concept of brewing the beer at the place where it is sold. Guntas Randhawa, a regular customer at Howzatt, claims, “This is the best beer in town. I was not a beer drinker until three months ago, and now I am here at least once a week. Fresh brewed beer is definitely different, in taste and aroma, from bottled beer.” Howzatt is known as the STRAIGHT FROM THE BREWERY: A bartender pours in fresh beer at Striker cricket pub-brewery. In a country that eats, breathes and dreams the beer we get back home. with the expats. Also, on Thursdays cricket, a place like I really like it” says Robert we have live bands performing for our people Bach, a German employee guests”. Cabana-style seating, with this is quite the invitation during matchat SMS Seimag. spray fans, a beer of mug, and can now enjoy a mug or es, with its multiple On the right hand side a flavoured hookah—all make more of fresh brewed screens showcasing of the Bavarian, as the pub for a great evening at the open cricket matches. On an is called, is situated the au- terrace of Vapour. In winters, beer in microbreweries. evening out at Howzatt, ditorium—Rockdome. The it becomes the ‘hot’ spot, with angithis It is low in calories, be ready to get bowled cave-like entrance to this audi- (mini- furnaces). out by Googly, Doosra or torium leads you to a hall with A recent addition to Gurgaon’s vessel – A favourite, made thereby making it Bouncer, which are its wide sofas, where you can enjoy of beer is Striker—situated at the first with 100% wheat malt, lowest easy on the belly premium, light and dark beer while watching a live per- floor of Global Foyer. With walls and ceilin-house lagers. formance. Rockman’s is known ing engraving the names of some of the alcohol content—4.2% and 5.2%. Another microbrewfor its lager, lager premium, best artists of all times, it is a quite an – A product of ery, which is ‘not so miwheat and dark beer. Also, chal- invitation for all the rock stars. Hemant cro’, Rockman’s Beer Is- is unpasteurised lenge yourself with the ‘boot glass’, Nautiyal, General Manager, Striker says, barley malt, it contains the same land, is the first German and free of that contains 1.5l of beer—and can- “We have an unplugged live band playing alcohol content as wheat beer. Brewery in India. It is lonot be shared with anyone! every Monday, and a live rock band playcated on the third floor of preservative. If you are looking for something ing every Thursday. We also have many – Churned out of the Ambience Mall. From Fresh brewed extra within a limited budget, en- expatriates coming for our music and roasted barley, that gives it the the brewing vessel, to the joy happy hours at Vapour, from bands, beside our beer. Gurgaon Conbarley and malt, every- beer conserves 3.00 pm to 7.30 pm, at the nection is one of our regular expatriates’ deep colour—about 5.6% alcohol thing is brought in from Megacity Mall. Prince clubs, that meet here Thursdays or Frithe unique taste of content. Germany. Just the water Philip, Director of days.” Striker has fresh beer, named after hops and malts; which is used is desi (local). RockVapour, says, various genres of music—Jazzy Light, – The strongest man’s also takes pride in “You can try Country Pilsner, Weiss Blues, and the Rock impacted over time in the case of is barley malt beer, that contains being the first microbrewour steaks or Bock; with the Country Pilsner, the prebottled beers. ery to brew Wheat Beer fish and chips, mium beer, being its hot seller! Also, for alcohol content from 6.8% to 7.2%. in India. “It’s almost like which are a hit ladies, Striker hosts Ladies Night, every

Did You Know?

Health conscious

Glug in Style

Wheat Lager

Fresh beer

Premium Lager Dark Lager

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Strong Lager

EVENING OUT: Friends brewing tales at a popular microbrewery

Tuesday from 6.00 pm onwards, serving unlimited free cocktails. This is not all. Hops N Brews, in Sec 29, with an open terrace, sunken couches and shack-like feel, is another one on the tap. And if you are interested in a night of pub-crawl, next door to Hops N Brews is the new brewpub, called Downtown. With fresh ales to sip on, try its lip-smacking cheese olives and mini lamb hamburgers. To sum up­ —with the unique taste and aroma of their fresh brewed wheat, premium and dark beers, the essence and process of brewing is similar in all microbreweries. The gigantic tanks displayed behind transparent glass windows, overlooking the bar counters, are quite an extraordinary sight. As someone is always there to educate you about its functioning, you can also ask for a couple of free samples. Also, the much awaited ‘Beer Fest’, that begins in September, is a rolled-over concept from Munich, and is likely to get the Gurgaonites in a wet festival season mood. Check out these places if you’ve not had fresh brewed beer. Whether it’s a final match, a regular evening out, or mood for some rock music, Gurgaon offers great microbreweries where you can experience brew at its best. u


2–8 September 2011

Sport

25

Kickstart f r Football With a new football academy on the cards, Gurgaon is set to raise the bar for the sport

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n 11 July 2010, when Spain won the World Cup and got themselves immortalised in the pages of football history, the whole world was jubilant. India too, came out of its obsession of being a cricket dominated country, and celebrated the Spanish achievement with the rest of the world. Football in India, is way behind any small European country; but now, football seems to have embarked on a new journey. Haryana, the sports medal mine of India, has pulled up its socks to improve the condition of football in the state. Gurgaon district, the state’s economic hotbed, is certainly among the best for football in Haryana. “Here we have good infrastructure, which is , a prime requirement for the development of the game,” said Sunil Bhardwaj, general secretary of Haryana Football Association (HFA).

Gurgaon’s Achievements

“Gurgaon is certainly one of the best districts in Haryana, as far as football standards are concerned. We won the Haryana Football League (HFL), a tournament organised by HFA in 2008,” said Mahinder Singh, junior coach at Tau Devilal Stadium. Apart from one HFL title, Gurgaon has other achievements to cherish. “In the 2006-07 Santosh Trophy, Haryana, for the first time, reached the quarterfinals. Five players of that team were from Gurgaon district,” said Singh.

Legacy of Tau Devilal Stadium

“Tau Devilal Stadium is the centre as far as Gurgaon football is concerned. All the district matches are played here,” said Singh, who is also proud of his association with Salgaokar FC and East Bengal FC. “This stadium hosted the Under-19, Asia Cup qualifier (Women’s) match

between India and Iran in 2007, which India won 3-0.” While he rued the closure of JCT Mahindra, the only face of football in North India, he looked optimistic about the rise of football in Gurgaon district. “Tau Devilal Stadium has hosted the Super Cup, the match played between the champions of Federation Cup and I-League,” he said. The prestigious ONGC Nehru Cup 2007 also had some association with this iconic stadium. Also, “Prior to ONGC Nehru Cup 2007, which we won by beating Syria 1-0, a two- month camp was hosted at the stadium.”

SITE OF THE ACTION: The Tau Devilal Stadium

fected by the game.” MDH group is facilitating this initiative, and Rs 25 lakhs have already been given to HFA by them. “Apart from training, accommodation and food, the players will also be given pocket money by HFA. Every player will get Rs 1,500 per month in the first year, and Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 in the second and third year respectively,” added Singh.

Haryana’s First Academy

Tau Devilal Stadium, one of the main grounds of HFA in Gurgaon, is in good shape, and getting ready for the soon-tobe launched football academy. “HFA is soon starting a football academy in Gurgaon, to unearth the best talent for the country. The ground is almost ready. Soon, all HFA officials will meet to decide the date of opening,” said Bhardwaj. “” Singh elaborated, “Yes, we are coming up with the academy at Tau Devilal Stadium. 31 players have already been selected by HFA for training.” Asked about the module of training, Singh said, “All 31 players will be kept in the HFA hostel, and will be provided with every possible facility - ranging from education to pocket money. We have selected players up to the age of 20, and HFA is keen to see that the education of the kids doesn’t get af-

STEPPING UP TO IT: Coach Mahinder Singh puts the youngsters through their paces

Other Academies in Gurgaon

“Almost every private school of Gurgaon has its own football academy. However, most of them are hardly serious about

money sharma

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

the development of the game. There are around 20 football academies across the city schools, but the level of learning is far inferior to the required standards,” said Jagdeep, one of the new coaches at the academy. However, the principal of Heritage school, Mahesh Prasad, refused to buy this theory of inferior standards, “Our school is equipped with all the required facilities for football, and I think we are contributing in a nice way to develop the city’s football,” he said. Apart from school academies, there are a couple of private academies as wellRaghav Football Academy and Brazil Football Academy (BFA) are the prominent ones.

With the state’s first football academy round the corner, the future of football in Gurgaon looks to be bright. But, to turn dreams and expectations into reality, HFA, along with All India Football Federation (AIFF), needs to work extremely hard. It is time to treat football as a serious sport, and not just a simple timepass. u

List of players 1. Naresh Kumar (Captain) 2. Pradeep Kumar (Vice Captain) 3. Pradeep aka Pajji 4. Birender Kumar 5. Amit Kumar (Haryana Police) 6. Nitin Kumar 7. Ashish Dahiya 8. Ravi Kumar (Goal Keeper) 9. Amit Raghav 10. Mahinder Singh 11. Ashok Kumar 12. Rampal 13. Ravi Kumar 14. Kunal Kataria 15. Pradeep Balhara 16. Machender Balhara 17. Bablu 18. Vicky 19. Devender 20. Ishwar 21. Surender

Chief Coach: Sumesh Bagga Assistant Coach: IC Vedya Fitness trainer cum goal keeping coach: Mahinder Singh Saroha.


26

2–8 September 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun


2–8 September 2011

T ime Pass 27

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger

Baby Blues

The Better Half


28

2–8 September 2011

ARMIN WEIGEL

Enhancing your Emotional Intelligence

G lobal

Just as you can train your body to up its endurance levels, you can also grow your emotional intelligence { Berit Waschatz, Berlin / dpa }

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helps at work as well. “People with a high level of emotional intelligence are professionally more successful, especially if they have the will to succeed,” Blickle says. Managers especially need to train their emotional intelligence. “If you want to lead a team, that is a complex assignment, because you have to win over the people under you,” Von Kanitz says. To be able to master a management position, you have to have feelings for other people. Good managers cannot simply plough their own furrow, but need to convince their staff to cooperate. If you do not have JENS KALAENE

t an early age children feel empathy. When a child hurts itself and starts crying, another child will often begin to cry as well. But depending on the environment in which they grow up, some children have little chance of living out these feelings, says Anja von Kanitz, a communications trainer and consultant. When they grow up they tend not to have the ability to express their feelings, to recognise their own feelings or to respond to the feelings of others. “But you can also train your emotional intelligence,” says

themselves when angry or quickly say things that they later regret. The self-testing process also looks into whether the person concerned recognises the feelings of others or is completely helpless in the face of them. If the end result is that the person concerned is unable to feel very much, then his or her emotional intelligence is seen as in need of training, Von Kanitz says. The training is exactly the same as in sport. When you start jogging, you don’t run very far at first. “That does not mean that you can’t do it any more,” she says. Improving emotional intelligence means listening to

OFFICE POLITICS: A tricky situation in the workplace? Emotional intelligence will help you cope with it.

Professor Gerhard Blickle of the University of Bonn in Germany. The starting point is that people need to know how high their level of emotional intelligence is. Anyone aiming to establish their emotional intelligence is confronted with questions in a self-testing procedure. They are required to imagine whether they are usually conscious of how they feel and whether they react to their own feelings at all. Also significant is whether people aiming to enhance emotional intelligence can control

yourself, Von Kanitz believes. If you do something, you should ask yourself what your reactions to it are. “Training your internal observation is one of the foundations.” People aiming to raise emotional intelligence also have to train their bodies, as bodily perceptions are important. They should constantly be asking themselves how much energy they have, whether they are enjoying physical exertion or the opposite. Knowing your own feelings

the antennae for this, for how to talk to other people, it becomes difficult. “This then jeopardizes your own career.” But ordinary employees also work better if they pay proper heed to their own feelings. Those who listen to their own warning signs are less often subject to office harassment or burnout, according to communication trainer Ingryt Paterok. If you know yourself well, and accept all your failings, you can set your limits better, making others respect you more. u

For subscription and delivery please contact: 0124 – 4219091/92/93 or Prem Gupta on 9999799081 or sms FGYES to 8447355801.

Twitter no Flash in the Pan at Five Many can’t imagine life without its 140 characters notes { Christof Kerkmann and Peter Zschunke, San Francisco / dpa }

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oth news ticker and squawk box, Twitter has worn many faces in the five years since it started up as an online short message service (SMS). For many users, life without it and its 140-characters notes is unimaginable. Those notes now influence stock markets and help depose dictators. It’s valued in the billions, though its ability to turn a profit remains questionable. Though first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006, the service didn’t pick up until July 15 of that year when Michael Arrington wrote for his then blog, TechCrunch, that the company Odeo had started a new service, then called Twttr, that offered a way of sending text messages to large groups of people. Odeo, a small firm based in San Francisco, was working on a podcasting service. But, during a brainstorming session, developer Jack Dorsey suggested short status updates that could be sent to all members of a team using SMS technology. Four months later, the company opened up its little side project to the general public—and was surprised by its success. A good year after the first tweet, Dorsey founded a new firm, along with Biz Stone and Evan Williams, under the name Twitter Inc. The concept is simple. Users broadcast messages of no more than 140 characters—less than what fits into an SMS. Thanks to hyperlinks, they can also share longer texts, images or videos. Anyone interested in reading what another person is tweeting becomes a follower, subscribing and calling up the notes on a computer or internet-ready mobile device. The only thing missing is a sustainable business plan. Twitter’s advertising has so far failed to bring in the hoped-for revenues. And many of its users eye those ads skeptically. Twitter is also working to bring software linked to the service under its control. Thus, in May, it bought the popular Twitter service TweetDeck. Despite the uncertanity, investors are lining up for shares in the company valued at 7 billion dollars. u


30

G lobal

2–8 September 2011

Teenage Sick Room to YouTube Fame Ailing Illinois teenagers’s funny impersonations earn him global renown

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rare illness may have stopped Keenan Cahill from growing beyond a very small size, but it certainly has not prevented him from gaining global fame through funny music videos posted on YouTube. This 16-year-old from Illinois, USA, has made a name for himself by imitating the stars. He looks directly at the camera from behind his thick glasses, and then the show starts. He rolls his eyes, makes faces, moves his shoulders, puts his head to one side and lip-syncs. In the background, there is an untidy child’s room. In the foreground, Cahill’s round face uses playback to imitate pop stars like Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Justin Bieber, and rapper 50 Cent. Lots of teenagers post homemade videos on the internet in the hope of getting famous. Keenan, who is only 1.25 metres tall due to the rare MaroteauxLamy syndrome, stands far above most of the crowd. The teenager, who lives near Chicago with his mother and a younger sister, is a YouTube hit. His viral videos are played mil-

lions of times, and he has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. He is invited to talk shows, takes the stage in nightclubs and meets celebrities who shoot videos and adverts with him. But success appears not to have gone to his head—yet. “I really don’t know why people like it so much,” he tells the German Press Agency dpa in a telephone interview from Los Angeles airport, on his way home to Chicago. It is not easy to interview Cahill. His agenda is packed, but he has no trouble remembering how it all happened. “I got a desktop computer for my 13th birthday, and then I recorded myself and I put it on YouTube and it got really big!” he recalls. His initially small fan community suddenly grew huge when Katy Perry came across Cahill’s version of her hit PINTSIZED CELEBRITY: Keenan Cahill, 16, has won global fame through funny music videos posted on YouTube that have earned him a million followers. 


David Graham

{ Barbara Munker, Los Angeles/ DPA }

Teenage Dream. She liked it, and she tweeted Keenan a delighted “I heart you.” That was last September, and since then Cahill’s Katy Perry playback has been played more than 40 million times. Only a few months earlier, he was forced to excuse himself before fans for a brief break in his video production. He showed the camera a fresh scar at the back of his curly head, left over from brain surgery. The disease that Cahill was born with leads to bone malformations and a short stature. The head is often oversized, the body is stocky, and life expectancy is brief. He has to go to the doctor every week. He has already had surgery nine times, and he is set to undergo another operation in late June, on his knees and hips. “The disease never holds me back,” a determined Cahill notes nonetheless. His parents treat him “like a regular kid,” he says. He goes to school, although his everyday life is no longer quite normal. On weekends, he flies off to perform

or appear on shows, in the Bahamas, Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Keenan has already linked up with Spears, via satellite, for Cahill’s version of her hit Till The World Ends. With Nick Cannon, the husband of Mariah Carey, the teenager sync’d the song Famous. He did an advert with Jennifer Aniston, and another for Justin Bieber’s biopic. Rapper 50 Cent likes the young impersonator too. In one video, in his room, Cahill moves his lips to Down on Me as the hip hop star suddenly comes in and sings with the right voice. But not everything is perfect. The YouTube star does not only have fans—there are also angry voices who slam him as an untalented freak. “I do get hate mail sometimes, but I don’t listen to that.” He can certainly keep himself happy with the thousands of messages from his admirers. One female fan recently wrote on his YouTube site that she loved his “cool” videos, and she had more than that to say. “PS: Thank you for showing me that dreams can come true (:” u

An iCloud on the Horizon Jochen Luebke

How Apple’s offering compares to the three other players on the cloud computing scene

CLOUDED: A woman works on an iPad at the CeBIT Fair in Hanover.

{ Jay Dougherty, Washington / DPA }

A

pple turned heads recently with the announcement of its new iCloud service, which is slated to provide online storage and allow you to sync your files and data across many of Apple’s popular gadgets and computers. But iCloud isn’t a reality yet. Other cloud-based services are. While iCloud will no doubt appeal to die-hard Apple fans, much of what it is set to offer is already available from a number of cloud-based offerings. Get acquainted with the best of these now, and you’ll know whether iCloud is worth waiting for—or whether you can jump on another cloud now and let Apple take its time in rolling out its latest headline grabber. Amazon.com has been in the cloud business for a long time now. Its Simple Storage Service (S3) offering, in fact, has been available since 2006. The catch: it was primarily targeted at businesses or power users. Now, though, with Cloud

Drive (https://www.amazon. com/clouddrive), Amazon has a full-fledged consumer-oriented offering that’s both easy to use and free. The “free” part includes 5 gigabytes (GB) of online storage, which you can use for backing up or synchronising your existing files. The “easy” part means that, for anyone who has ever purchased anything at Amazon, signing up is a two-click process. Once your Cloud Drive is activated, another click allows you to start uploading files. As you might expect, Amazon has also worked to integrate Cloud Drive with the Amazon store to provide additional features to Cloud Drive users. For instance, if you purchase MP3 files from Amazon, you can save those purchases to your Cloud Drive so that they’re available where you are. You can also set up Cloud Drive to back up your purchased files automatically. A free Cloud Player app will search for an allow you to upload your excising MP3 files as well. Also, if you shop regularly

at Amazon anyway, additional Cloud Drive incentives await you. The purchase of an MP3 album from Amazon, for example, automatically nets you an increase in storage space to 20 GB for one year—and you won’t be automatically charged in the next year if you don’t purchase another thing. Your storage limit simply goes back to 5 GB. What Amazon’s Cloud Drive lacks, Dropbox (http://www. dropbox.com ) has loads of. For starters, Dropbox, like Apple’s iCloud, is designed as much with synchronisation in mind as it is with storage. Upload music, files, and videos to your Dropbox space, and you can set up the service to make those files available

to your notebook, computer, or phone - wherever you are. Microsoft’s Live SkyDrive (http://explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive ) cloud offering is compelling for anyone who uses Windows or another Microsoft product, which amounts to a lot of people. Like other cloud services, SkyDrive offers storage - and lots of it. A compelling benefit of using SkyDrive is that it comes with free access to Microsoft’s Office web apps, which include online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Getting started with SkyDrive could hardly be easier. Those who already have a Hotmail or other Windows Live ac-

count merely need to log on to the SkyDrive site and provide their user ID and password. Uploading of files takes place via the web browser. So what exactly will Apple’s iCloud bring to the table that these other offerings do not? Tight integration with Apple’s devices and services is the primary answer. With existing cloud-based offerings, though, you can do much of what iCloud promises - and you can do it today. At the very least, signing up for one or more of these best-ofbreed cloud services will get you acquainted with the concept of cloud computing, which is destined to be with us for some time to come. u


PHOTO : PRAKHAR PANDEY

TOUCHING THE SKIES : DLF Phase IV against a cloudy backdrop

MONEY sharma

32 2–8 September 2011

G -scape

Friday Gurgaon, Sep 2 – 8, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

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