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Vol. 1 No. 3  Pages 32  ` 7  9–15 Sep 2011

{Inside} Official Response

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n response to our story on the sorry state of our roads, indeed of the city’s transportation, Councillors and HUDA officials comment on way forward. ...P 8

Mayoral Pledge

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tête-à-tête with the city’s first citizen—the youthful Vimal Yadav. The

Exclusive interview : gurgaon Police commissioner

‘Good Law & Order a Benefit for Gurgaon’ ‘Happy that traffic management, not crime, is the top issue’

S Mayor shares with us his his story, his dreams for Gurgaon and his plans for achieving them. Yadav tells us it is all about trust— earning it and keeping it. He tells us he has no intention of letting his voters down. ...P 9

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

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olistic Nutritionist Jaspal Bajwa provides a compendium of herbs that can be used to

eva – S u r a k s h a – S a hyo g is the motto of Haryana Police. A good motto for anyone in charge of your security, and that of your city. Of course, no city in the world is free from crime and security concerns, esp. in today’s world. In India, Delhi and Mumbai are under strain. Are we safe enough in Gurgaon? Is our police good enough? We picked up some clear concerns from the public. Of poor traffic management; of car thefts and snatchings; of land mafia; of eve-teasing. There are pockets more vulnerable than others – esp. in (old) Gurgaon. Dharam Sagar, President of FORWA, and Ramesh Vasishta, general secretary of Sector 15 (part 1) RWA confirmed this, and said that theft and chain snatching is on the rise. There is also an expectation that the police should patrol more consistently, esp. at night. Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal, who took charge in February 2009, met with Maninder Dabas & Atul Sobti from FG, and addressed a range of issues, in a forthright manner.

cure a whole plethora of medical conditions. Bajwa also features a ‘Nature’s Wonder food of the Week’ and a ‘Tip of the Week’. ...P 13

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On society today

Every citizen needs to have regard for our laws. Unfortunately, for many, status today is equated with one’s capacity to break the law.

jitender SHARMA

{ FG Bureau }

Sadly, civic sense too is lacking. And we, as a people, do not work well together. We are more selfish today.

On Gurgaon

Gurgaon benefits due to a good law and order status, despite some civic issues. We believe there is a positive sense of security in Gurgaon.

On police and society

I believe in consensus in

action; and transparency. Some of our actions, which were also a response to issues raised by society, were opposed by the same society, once we began implementing them (eg. action against immigrants having no identity proof; stoppage of cycle rickshaws on M.G. Road; protesting – even by women - when we took strong action against men entering women coaches in the Metro). When it affects modern so-

Farrukhnagar’s Forgotten Monuments

ciety (due to maids, drivers, workers), their rules and requirements change.

On manpower

We have conducted a detailed survey of every current and potential traffic point in the old and new city, and have requested for an additional 1,100 policemen for traffic management. Currently we have only 350. Contd on p 8 

Remnants of a proud history, the town’s five historical monuments are today a picture of neglect, one even being used as a dumping ground

M: 9818835009 www.eskapilates.com

For story, read p 10 


02

9–15 September 2011

Editor:

Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

THEATRE

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

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

Printed at Indian Express Pvt Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

FOOD

I

MUSIC

is a group exhibition of more 40 artworks, that highlight Ithetthan journey of life. The exhibition is organised by the art organiser—Karabi Artworks.

Art

Sculpture Art from Tengenenge @ Regalia Art Gallery, 22, DLF Mega Mall, Golf Course Road Date: Till Sep 15 Time: 11 am to 7 pm n exhibition of 40 exclusive hand-crafted serpentine black A stone sculptures, brought in from Tengenenge, Zimbabwe. The collection has been selected by Belgian art promoter Mon Van Der Biest, and Anup Nair.

Food

Theatre

Bade Bhai Sahab @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 10 & Sep 11 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 90 mins Tickets: Rs. 350, 250 & 150

by Dhoomimal Contemporary Art Gallery. The participating artists are Krishen Khanna, Thota Vaikuntam, Seema Kohli, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Suhas Roy, Dharmendra Rathore, MF Hussain, Jai Zharotia, and Laxman Aelay.

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ased on Munshi Premchand’s well-known story, this subtle comedy depicts the delicate relationship between two brothers. It is directed by Siddharth Gautam, and produced by Yatharth Art & Cultural Society. Birthday celebration of Kathak maestro Pt. Kundan Lal Gangani @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 14 & Sep 15 Time: 7:30 pm

Sep 15 – A tabla recital by Hashmat Ali Khan and his disciple, followed by a Kathak performance by Harish Gangani. The programmes are part of a

Onam Celebration @ Vaango – Unitech Cyber Park, C-Tower, Ground Floor, Sec-39; & South Point Mall, No. 22, UG Floor, Golf Course Road, Sector-53 Date: Sep 5 to Sep 11 Time: At Sec-39 – 8 am to 11 pm & at Sec-53 – 11 am to 11 pm

Art

Renew Your Spirit @ The Westin, MG Road Date: Till Sep 10 Time: 10 am to 8 pm

Music & Dance

Sep 14 – A Hindustani vocal recital by Mohsin Khan, followed by a Kathak performance by Shikha Khare.

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.

DANCE

The Collectibles @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 9 to Sep 11 Time: 11 am to 7 pm t is a group exhibition of paintings and serigraphs, organised

Sr. Photographers: Money Sharma Prakhar Pandey Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Art

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Sub Editors:

ART

exhibition is organised by the photographer Aditya Arya.

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

two-day celebration of Pt. Kundan Lal Gangani’s 85th birthday.

Art

njoy sweet delicacies—Ada Payasam and Parippu EPayasam, which are part of

Celebrating Photography @ T 23/5, DLF Phase 3 Date: Sep 9 Time: 6:30 pm

Onam festivities. Both Ada Payasam and Parippu Payasam are available at Rs. 70. Also, you can get Payasam of your choice at just Rs. 49, on a bill of Rs.250 or more.

n exhibition of rare images like original silver gelatine A prints, and a rare camera collection from 1890s. The

Ultimate Live Entertainment Destination! Watch out for this place as we will cover all the art, craft and food offerings at different state pavilions at Culture Gully.

TO SUBSCRIBE Culture Gully: Kashmir pavilion

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lways wanted to look like the delicate and gorgeous A Sharmila Tagore from Kashmir

ki Kali’ or are you tired of trying your best to add the essence of Kashmir to the interiors of your humble abode? Stop fretting, for the Kashmir Pavilion at Culture Gully in Kingdom Of Dreams is the one stop shop to materialize all your dreams. It is a place where the creativity of the artisans goes beyond perfection to mesmerize the art and craft lovers with crewel and chain stitch work, which virtually brings the eternal beauty of Kashmir, with floral in different hues right into your homes. The corner pavilion snitched on the right hand side as one enters the Culture Gully is a mini marvel, for the array of products it offers to suit all pockets. Pick up

amusing trinkets (vases, mirrors, walnut wood boxes, stone and silver jewellery) to gift your loved ones or beautiful papier mâché photo frames to give all your favourite memories a snazzy

twist alongside the stunning wall hangings. And It just doesn’t stop here. Drape yourself in exquisite, soft and graceful Pashmina shawls, a must have for all your winter fashion needs,

or look simply stylish in the very elegant cotton kurtas and kaftans. The pavilion is surely a spectacle of the paradise on earth, for the art, craft and culture it offers to indulge in.


9–15 September 2011

The Avon Ladies Scorch the Ramp

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head of the Men’s Fashion Week in New Delhi, Gurgaon saw models Tina Chatwal, Laxmi Rana, Sapna Kumar, Nolana D’Mello and Aanchal Oberoi walk the ramp in a glittering fashion show, to launch the Indian Diva Collection, by Avon Beauty Products. Avon Fashion Tour also celebrated the successful completion of one year of its International Jewellery Collection. Speaking on the occasion, Hemant Singh, Managing Director, Avon Beauty Products, said, “We are extremely excited to expand our jewellery line with the launch of the Indian Diva Collection. ”

Diya and Zayed Khan Go Bowling

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romoting the first film under their newly formed banner—Born Free Entertainment, Diya Mizra and Zayed Khan stepped into their bowling shoes to promote their upcoming film, Love Breakups Zindagi. Speaking of her production debut, Mirza said, “Love BreakUps Zindagi is a life affirming, contemporary love story, about serendipity and the eternal quest for a soulmate. And how sometimes an unexpected encounter with a stranger can revive the dreams of a love we always imagined but never found. It is a contemporary film with a deep emotional core, reminiscent of the best romantic films in Hindi cinema.”

BOWLED OVER: Diya Mirza, Zayed Khan, designer Pawan Sachdeva (L) and director Sahil Sanga (R) promote Love Breakups Zindagi

A Book Full of Laughs

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ROLLING IN THE AISLES: Romi Chopra regaling the audience, as Santosh Desai, Jug Suraiya and author of the evening, Indu Balachandran, look on

nother Saturday, another funny book launch; my, we Gurgaonites are getting spoilt for comic relief! In case the photograph brings on a bout of déjà vu, we hasten to point out that Jug Suraiya was merely launching a book by Indu Balachandran, Don’t go away. We’ll be right back—The Oops and Downs of Advertising. And they told us brevity is the soul of wit. For support, Indu had along fellow ad veterans Romi Chopra and Santosh Desai. Also among the mainly advertising crowd was author and Indu’s ex-JWT colleague Anuja Chauhan, who came in fashionably late.

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04

9–15 September 2011

reviews

Chocful of Food

FOOD Gunjan Prasad are a dime a dozen in Gurgaon these days, as Ctheafes big players in the coffee-

sandwiches-ice blends domain sprout new branches at every corner—but seldom do you see an espresso with its original Italian accent intact. So it was a reason to rejoice when Choko la, the cafe and chocolate boutique chain promoted by Vasudha Munjal, a third generation entrepreneur from the Munjal Group, opened a branch at Galleria last month. Its façade looks like any other ordinary café—the special is inside. Comfortable chocolate coloured leather seating; mocha and ochre coloured walls, fitted with wooden shelves stacked with breads and croissants, that Choko la also retails, on one side and an artwork with bold splashes of blue, moss green and chocolate on the other; and a wood panelled ceiling— all create a sense of visual jazz. Rows of uniquely coloured cupcakes, cheesecakes and other delectable desserts such as tiramisu and lemon tarts share shelf space with an array of chocolates. Chocolate truffles, handmade pralines, single origin chocolate bars, mendicants, tuiles and rochers—are laid out in full view of the scrutinising diner—over the service counter, and inside the glass display

COMFY CAFE: Choko la, besides being a chocolate boutique, offers a wide variety of comfort food

unit—giving them their due importance. Chocolates, after all, are the raison d’etre of Choko la. No surprise then that the café, that visions itself as being the best chocolataire in the country, derives its name from the Mayan verb, choko la’j, pronounced Choko la, which means, “to drink chocolate together.” The menu opens out to a short chocolate lexicon explaining familiar yet unclear terms such as ganache, couverture and truffle. It goes on to detail Choko la’s signature collection of hot and cold chocolates that come in three cocoa contents: Hot Chocolate with 70.4 per cent cocoa; Choko

Choko la SG-17. Galleria Market, DLF Phase-IV Timings: 8AM – 11PM

la Dark with 53.8 per cent and Choko la Milk with 33.8 per cent. Leaving the chocolates and their derivatives to the end of our meal, my companion and I start our meal with Choko la’s Natural Soups. While traditional minestrone with colourful seasonal vegetables and macaroni (Rs 110) was a great way to start a meal, the winner was my companion’s lightly seasoned and perfectly blended curried

carrot and coconut soup (Rs 95). The Thai Warm vegetable Salad (Rs 140) kept the good taste going; and while an asparagus, artichoke, spinach, dates and raisin salad tossed in a tangy Thai dressing was filling enough, we couldn’t just stop there. While chomping on crispy potato wedges with gently flavoured garlic aioli, we skimmed through the menu. Carnivores beware! Choko la is a vegetarian café. While it does serve mock meat dishes, go with their pizzas (Rs 205) and/ or any of the sandwiches (Rs 125-175) and you will not miss

your pepperoni or bacon strips. We shared the Choko la Club (Rs 175) and were impressed with layers of toasted whole wheat bread interspersed with fresh and sun dried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, cucumbers and emmental. Caprese (Rs 175), with buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil pesto and olive tapenade on rye loaf comes highly recommended too. At last it was time for the Choko la desserts. I decided to sample a roundel of white truffle with mocha filling. As I bit into the hard exterior, the soft filling oozed out onto my fingers. Just as well it’s a casual restaurant, as I almost licked my fingers in full view. While we went on a weekday, if other branches are anything to go by, Choko la’s weekend breakfasts are to die for. American pancakes, crepes, churros, Spanish omelets and eggs Benedict—they have it all. In a rush to serve different and the now popular fusion food, restaurants these days forget to get their basics right. Choko la has a limited menu but each dish it plates is made with the best ingredients, and done to perfection. It is just the place to exchange sweet nothings with a loved one, over an indulgent dessert; catch up on the latest gossip with friends over salads and pasta; meet a colleague over an espresso; take the family for a week-end brunch; or take a moment to enjoy its classic hot chocolates just by yourself. u

FOOD

BOOK

You’re a Better Man Than me...Gunga Din Manjula Narayan ou’ve often wondered about the lives they lead—the hawker sellY ing chhole on the street, the friends

running the chai shop at the corner and the boys with splashes of paint in their hair congregated at the chowk, waiting for a contractor to take them on. You’ve wondered where they come from, and where they go. Then you pick up Aman Sethi’s A Free Man, and get all the answers. A compelling account of the life of itinerant labourer, Mohammed Ashraf, this is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. The Chhattisgarh correspondent of The Hindu, Sethi does a masterful job of delineating the lives of Ashraf and his friends—and through them presenting a vivid picture of a social strata utterly alien to your own. And yet, you are impressed by Ashraf’s earthy wisdom. Take, for instance, his classification of a professional friendship: ‘Medium-type friends are those who do not make chootiyas of each other. If I ask you to help me out, it is expected that you will—on the condition I actually need your help, and am not asking you simply because I’m too lazy to help myself. And the same goes for when you need help. And even then, you won’t give me assistance. You’ll lend it to me. Get it? You’ll lend it; and I’ll return it. So it’s contractual. Dehati friendship, that’s what it is—dehati friendship where everything is out in the open and no one is making a chootiya out of anyone.” Equally insightful are his views on work—“Kamai is what makes work work. Without kamai, it is not work, it is a hobby. Some call it charity; others may call it exercise—but it certainly isn’t

Hill Tuck MN

you are hungry. So, you sit down at one of only seven tables in the cosy space among all the young couples and groups of friends, alk into The Sakleys with its wood sampling toasted sandwiches, sipping chip ceiling, roughly plastered walls Cedar Hill Fruit Beer (Rs 145), and nodding and timber accents, and you are immeditheir heads to ‘I never promised you a ately transported into a quaint eatery of rose garden’—and get down to the serious the sort found in much-loved hill stations business of food. like Landour and Dharamsala. That’s no The menu is a comfort food lovers coincidence, as the original Sakleys was delight. It’s laden with cheese and mayonstarted in 1944 by a swiss chef called Mr naise, features rich pastas, satisfying pizzas Salcheli, in Nainital. and such delightful ‘home “The Sakleys at Galleria made treats’ as Oreo Cookie makes the mountains come The Sakleys Shake with ice cream (175). alive... because there is a 93, First Floor, Galleria The Farmer’s pasta in white little bit of mountain in all Shopping Arcade, sauce (Rs 265) is particuof us!” proclaims a note at DLF Phase-IV larly good, and their All Day each table. The original Timings: 11AM – 11PM Breakfast of bacon sausage Sakleys, the note informs omelette with melted cheese you, was a great hit with (Rs 255), is guaranteed to keep you going students from boarding schools like St effortlessly through the day. Joseph’s, All Saints, Sherwood and St Sakleys has a rare charm, and you could Mary’s. All at once, you are transported easily spend an afternoon there flipping to a world of excitable teenage boardthrough the restaurant’s small but interesters, tuck shops, lovingly put together ing collection of books, as you tuck into their mixed tapes featuring G’n’R and Sting, excellent chicken sizzler in pepper sauce and strangely enough, visions of Shashi (Rs345), and sip a Rainfields Watermelon Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore zipping soda (Rs 45). The portions are good and around a skating rink! the prices aren’t exorbitant either. When You would have continued that paryour bill arrives, wedged in a pine cone, you ticular Bollywood-meets-Enid Blyton-andknow you’ll definitely be back for more. u vintage rock daydream indefinitely, but

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Author: Aman Sethi Published by: Random House India Price: Rs 399 a job. A job is something a man is paid to do—and his pay is his kamai.” Ashraf’s homespun wisdom, his friendships, his exasperation at Sethi’s constantly probing journalist persona and his story, make him an unforgettable character. The blurb describes A Free Man as “an unforgettable portrait of an invisible man in an invisible city”. But it’s much more. It’s a riveting picture of a large chunk of our society. u


06 { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

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urgaon has been in the national news on several occasions. Often times, for malls and corporates, as well as substandard infrastructural facilities. Sometimes, for night life and bouncers. As Malcolm X puts it: “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty, and to make the guilty innocent and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Friday Gurgaon captures the metamorphosis, through the eyes of the watchdog. We speak to the city’s Journalists, to unfold their stories of the city they saw then, to what they see now. Economic Times Senior Journalist CR Rathee’s account of Gurgaon is perhaps spot on. It portrays a picture of Gurgaon—then and now. In an almost romantic account, he writes, “The story of Gurgaon, graduating from a small sleepy village, reads like a fairy tale. Chroniclers offer different versions of this long march. The imperial gazetteers described Gurgaon as a place where British troops

Journo Speak

– CR Rathee, Senior Journalist, Economic Times

{ FG Bureau}

W

hile talking to Anuja, it is impossible to ignore her sense of humour. There are few people, with whom, in your first conversation, you laugh your lungs out. Anuja Chauhan—author of the best seller, The Zoya Factor and more recently, Battle For Bittora has that attribute. Her USP is her sense of humour, and her attitude to not take what life throws at you too seriously. Friday Gurgaon catches up with Anuja, and traces her journey from advertising to books— and now into Bollywood. Excerpts:

– Raj Verma, Correspondent, Aaj Tak

Not a city to live in Sanjeev Ahuja, Bureau Chief at Hindustan Times, says he has seen the city as a child, a teenager and an adult. He was born and brought up here, but unlike many who love their city of birth, Sanjeev looks elsewhere for his peace of mind. “I strongly believe that you can work and live in Gurgaon, but if you are looking for peace, you might consider Dwarka. This is not a city to live in. In fact, it has become a city that never sleeps. That said, initially Gurgaon was just a residential city. The fact that it has become both residential and commercial is because DLF’s

KP Singh invited MNCs to set up shop in this town. Once the big boys started rolling in, people working here needed places to live. This is what set the ball rolling for Gurgaon, which became both a business and residential hub.” Thirsty City Living in Gurgaon in the next few years is going to take its toll on people— according to Bhup Singh Joon of Dainik Jagran. “One thing that a city requires to sustain is water. The water level in Gurgaon is depleting at the rate of two metres per year. The 2025 master plan in-

The Anuja Factor Q

It’s called Guppie—Main Liar Nahin, Shayar Hoon, for Nikhil Advani, (a prominent Bollywood producer/director who has directed hits like Kal Ho Na Ho and most recently, the Akshay Kumar starer, Patiala House). Why mention the flops like Chandni Chowk to China, (she laughs). It is a romantic comedy. This is an opportunity to unleash a different genre of creative writing, unlike ad films that need to be short and crisp. It is the first time I’ve ventured into writing a screenplay for a feature film.

Q A

A

How did campaigning transform into a book? What made you decide on politics as the subject?

When I was campaigning, I realised that politics, that was once out of bounds for so many young people, today

Tell us something about the screenplay, you just wrote?

A

You started off doing brilliantly in the advertising industry, being part of popular tag lines yeh dil maange more, mera number kab aayega and nothing official about it. Tell us about life after advertising and also about your best seller?

Q A

No one Listens Others, however, might not be so optimistic about their take on Gurgaon. Explains Raj Verma, a national news channel correspondent, a resident of Laxmi Nagar. “I have covered the city for over 11 years. The problems of poor roads, sanitation and drainage existed even then. Nothing has changed in the last 10 years. My neighbours come to me and ask me to write on the state of roads and sewerage. We have consistently aired stories on water-logging and broken roads, but is there anyone who pays heed?” he asks. While there are some who believe solutions exist, and need that proper planning, other journalists think that there is a desperate need to off-load some of the weight it is carrying on its shoulders. They also voice the need for an apex development authority, or head for HUDA.u be it ad films, books or screenplays, is what inspires me.

Q

I like writing about what makes me laugh. That is why I started writing The Zoya Factor. It was a summation of everything I had experienced in the advertising world. Having started this, I decided to give up advertising, and become a full-time author and screen writer. Similarly, my second book, Battle For Bittora came about after I went campaigning with my mother-in-law, Margaret Alva.

tends to get 3,500 cusecs of water from the Sonepat Canal Project, for all the districts of Haryana. From this, they are planning to supply 1,000 cusecs to Gurgaon. Why has no one asked the authorities a simple question? Does the government plan to supply only 2,500 cusecs of water to the other 17 districts of Haryana?” asks Joon. According to him, it is relevant to look back at systems that failed, and acknowledge our shortcomings. He believes that there are examples that we can learn from. To begin with, he feels that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model has worked extremely well, and the Rapid Metro is a fine example of such initiatives. “This is the answer to a lot of issues that are currently crippling the city,” he says. Another solution that has worked, according to him, is the community participation method, in the case of electricity generation. “One example of this is the community captive power plant, a model that has been adopted by DLF and Unitech,” says Joon.

I have covered the city for over 11 years. The problems of poor roads, sanitation and drainage existed even then. Nothing has changed in the last 10 years.

Today, the city is so cosmopolitan that the same migrant villagers from the outskirts are rubbing shoulders with CEOs.

would halt, back from their skirmishes with the ‘rebels’ around Taoru (in Mewat district). And as proof, the gazetteer makes a mention of the Cawan Serai, where till recently, the city police station and office of the Gurgaon District Congress Committee (GDCC) were housed.” But today Rathee finds it hard to fathom the change the city has undergone. He says “I came to Gurgaon in 1968. Neher Colony was one of the first residential colonies, after which Gurgaon’s first sector (Sector-4) came up. Today, the level of haphazard development in the city has reached an all time high. Once the nouveau rich started migrating to the city, they started living in unauthorised colonies. Today, the city is so cosmopolitan that the same migrant villagers from the outskirts are rubbing shoulders with CEOs.”

Lifestyle

9–15 September 2011

OYE BUBBLY: Anuja Chauhan’s USP lies in her sense of humour

has become somewhat participatory. Now people are stepping up and are getting more involved in the functioning of their state. It is a story about ordinary people entering politics. The book is about the younger generation changing its outlook towards politics and governance—with, of course, a romance running parallel.

Q A

All your books are infused with a good quantity of humour. What is your definition of humour?

Humour, for most of us, is inherent and inbuilt. I draw a lot of strength from humour, which mostly revolves around observation. You will be surprised to know how funny it is to simply observe people. Creative expression in any form,

You have worked and lived in Gurgaon. How have you seen the city grow with you?

I moved to Gurgaon because the JWT office shifted here. In the last 12 years, the city has completely changed. In the early days, we used to get super excited to have eggs delivered at home. I come from a family that has lived in Haryana from the beginning. I’m talking about charpoi and bajra-from-the-fields-days. There is such a contrast between the old and new Gurgaon. For instance, I went to buy a laltein (lantern) from Old Gurgaon. Now, had I gone to a mall and asked for a laltein, they would have thought I’m crazy. This city has completely exploded. As my sister puts it when she visits India, “Gurgaon is like a pig with lipstick.” u


08

9–15 September 2011

Law & Order

Û Contd from p 1

On the positives

A big positive (a non-negative really) is the low level of serous crime – murder, kidnapping, ransom. For women, we have recently set up an Anti-obscene call Cell. In general, we believe that women are safe in Gurgaon.

Top priority—traffic management

The point of maximum interaction with the police, is on the road. Not even 1% of the population needs to visit a police station, in a given year. While, on any given day, almost half the population sees or interacts with the police on the road. So most opinions of tne police are formed on this basis. On the road, the police today in Gurgaon cannot do too much. For parking, the only answer is adequate public and private infrastructure. Every vehicle actually requires at least 2 parking slots (one at home, one at work). That means over a lac extra parkings are required every year – half of them for cars ! The solution to the traffic issue (for both commuters and pedestrians) lies above, to the side, and below the normal road level – in flyovers, foot over-bridges, footpaths, subways. This will also minimize accidents. With the density of traffic in Gurgaon, we cannot halt traffic for long – the pile up is huge. We have forwarded various specific proposals to the civic agen-

C ivic/Social

cies, over the past year and a half. The traffic policemen are well suited to point out what should best be done for traffic movement. Yet, progress is slow. The way we are progressing, within 10 years, we may have to build an elevated road over Sohna Road, connecting Rajiv Chowk to Badshahpur. There is something known as road strength also.

On crime, deaths, accidents

On land cases, some cases of impersonations have come to

light. However, we have on evidence of any land, building mafia at work. We are vigilant towards a rise in petty crime. Any slowdown impacts the floating population first – in terms of retrenchment; and they have no saving. They can be tempted towards petty crime – eg. snatchings The most preventable of grave casualties is accidents. We had 82 murders last year. There were 450 deaths in accidents; with a further 3,000 injured. 40% deaths are of 2 wheeler riders – mainly due to head

injuries. Non-usage of helmets, and under-age driving are fairly rampant. We believe education, and reminders esp. at schools, is constantly needed. Drunken driving and overspeeding is a menace. 8,000 challans for drunken driving have been issued till date. 651 in 1 day alone – and we were not fully equipped – the incidence is clearly far more. 36 have been convicted – unfortunately, only impacted financially for now. We are working with the courts, to ensure more severe punishment.

Joint Commissioner Alok Mittal adds... The police force

“While Gurgaon Police has a strength of about 3,000 only, for a population close to 20 lakhs, we have additional forces ready for any emergency. We have the Indian Reserve Battallion (IRB) and Haryana Armed Police (HAP) to support us. For example, in the current Maruti strike, we have provided HAP jawans to maintain peace in the plant.”

Tech efficient

From inclusion of “Global Positioning System (GPS)”-enabled “Terrestrial Trunked Radio and Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS)” in 2008, to the latest high tech toy- “Third Eye”, which helps in nabbing traffic violators, Gurgaon Police is keen to make the best possible use of technology. “This helps in solving tough

cases as well as run-of-the-mill violations. After Third Eye, we have two more software, which are highly effective in nabbing criminals. One is “Photo Gallery of Criminals (PGC)” in which all records of criminals are available, along with their latest digital mugshots. All police stations in the city are equipped with this software now. If someone does not want to come to the police station for verification of the criminal, he can verify him by sitting at his home, with the help of Internet. Another software, “Vehicle Registration Module (VRM)” has been included to curb vehicle theft in the city and its surroundings. It carries allthe numbers of  vehicles in the city and its surroundings. If some vehicle theft complaint comes, we can verify the actual owner, and later we can track the thief, by AVLS, in hours.” explained Mittal.

The State of our Roads: The Official Response { Hritvick Sen }

R

esponding to FG’s inaugural issue, on the multiple issues faced by residents while ‘on the road’, various officials have provided some way forward. Yashpal Batra, the Senior Deputy Mayor of Gurgaon said, “Funds to the tune of Rs 125 crore have been sanctioned for the upkeep of the city.” When asked how much of that has been dedicated for the resurfacing of roads, flyovers and the like, he said, “As much as is needed. We’ve an agency which has been assigned the responsibility of finding sites for five flyovers across the city. Plus, we’ve also made plans to overhaul the traffic situation in (Old) Gurgaon.” Adding his voice, Deputy Mayor Parminder Kataria said, “The Railway Road has been lying broken and incomplete for a long time. That will be resurfaced and widened, easing commuting for all. Plus, we’ve also passed a proposal for a ‘green zone’ in Sector-4.” Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) Superintending Engineer-II Ravindra Kak-

On the role of technology

Technology has also been brought in by us, for transparency, eg. for enforcing traffic rules.There can be no dispute on drunken driving, over-speeding etc. There is no one-to-one interaction, where one person’s point of view can be disputed; or compromises reached. We have a modern Cyber Cell, and we are regularly in touch with NASSCOM, and IT, BPO companies, for assistance, and training of our personnel.

On other roles of the police

An under-appreciated role is that of civil services conducted by us – eg. passport verification. Last year we did 26,000 verifications, where we visit houses (we do not ask people to visit the police station). This year we expect 35,000.

On the role of society

We are happy to involve citizens, NGOs. It helps in transparency – they are witness to both the public and police behaviour. Unfortunately, private guards are not taken seriously by the public, for traffic management.

On his message to the public

We also need to be vigilant, in our home and on the road. Also, vigilant with our vehicles. There is technology available today, to help us feel safer, and protect our assets. u

JAFRA May Start a Civil Agitation

I

kad said, “We’ve just inked an agreement in which we’re partnering with the DLF Group to re-do the stretch of road between Shankar Chowk to Sector-52. It’s a good 7-8 kilometres and the plan is to make it on the lines of National Highway-8, with flyovers and underpasses. The plan is to have no traffic lights at all, providing for smooth, uninterrupted traffic at all times.” “Besides that, “we have carried out a number of repairs and road resurfacing in the city,” Kakkad added. From the councillors’ side, Nisha Singh from Ward 30 said, “We’ve passed numerous proposals for the widening of roads. The problem is that we have jurisdiction only in MCG-controlled areas. For any road repair beyond that, we have to seek the assistance of HUDA officials. Eleven councillors, including me have surveyed our wards, and we’re working towards a clear action plan.” She added, “For example, there is no lighting on Sohna Road. The roads which have streetlighting, have no one to operate them. I’ve asked the authorities to look into these issues.” u

n a development on Wednesday, the members of the Joint Action Federation of Residents’ Association (JAFRA) shot off letters to the Haryana Chief Minister, the Commissioner of Police, and the Divisional Commissioner, over the alleged non-action by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). JAFRA President Col (Retd) Ratan Singh stated that, “...there has been virtually no constructive response, and the residents’ problems... have kept on increasing. There also appears to be no accountability in the department.” He added that HUDA is aware of the problems of roads, sewerage, cleanliness, encroachment, parking mafia among other issues–but no action has been taken so far. “In the letters to the authorities, we have stated that if the meetings do not take place soon, we’ll will be forced to take civil action.” Singh added that this action would be taken as a last resort by the members of JAFRA. HUDA Administrator Nitin Yadav was not available for comment. u


9–15 September 2011

C ivic/Social

09

...Be the Change You Want to See { Hritvick Sen / FG }

Friday Gurgaon talks to Vimal Yadav, Gurgaon’s First Citizen Money Sharma

T

aking a sip of cold water, Vimal Yadav says, “Please let me have a copy of this document,” to a septuagenarian visiting his office. “I’ll personally look into it.” Dressed in an unassuming white kurta, pyjamas and sport shoes, Yadav hardly looks the part of Gurgaon’s First Citizen. For that position, which says “I represent Gurgaon”, it is likely you would be looking for a patrician with a shock of grey hair. However, this is Gurgaon—a yong, modern city. At 32, Mayor Vimal Yadav is untiringly polite, through an entire day of complainants. When most people his age, in this city, would be in boardroom meetings in tailor-made suits, or whizzing about in swanky SUVs, he chose to represent the people of his ward. When this is pointed out, he laughs and says, “My day starts at six, and ends at ten—moving all over the city.” A corporate life would have been far more comfortable, he opines.

When the nominations for the councillors began, I realised it would be a good start, to make the changes I wished a reality. A Good Start

The man who has been given the charge of guiding Gurgaon in its transformation as a cosmopolitan city, is quiet; and an excellent listener. It takes prodding, for him to open up about the tumultuous days since his nomination as a councillor of his ward. “I have been given the responsibility of the Mayor, but I still am a citizen,” he says. Ask about how the idea of entering politics germinated, he recalls, “My village Sirhol has always been plagued with problems of bad roads, overflowing sewer water, power issues and the like. Every month, I used to chase the authorities, asking for solutions. When the nominations for the councillors began, I realised it would be a good start, to make the changes I wished a reality.” During the campaigning and the subsequent elections, a candidate always needs a core group of supporters and friends. To whom would he attribute the role of being his Dronacharya? “My biggest support, my strength during the election, and even now, is my father. He helped and guided me in my quest,” Yadav admits. “However busy my day, I always find time to discuss things with my father.”Talking about how he managed to gather the winning number, he smiles and says, “My village is the smallest ward in the city. Everyone knows each other. We went to each home, revealed that I was contesting the elections as the ward’s coun-

Sohna Road is poised to become the new MG Road. Will it become a better version of MG Road, or will it just replicate the problems now faced by the people on that stretch? He replies candidly, “We haven’t started working on that.” On that entire stretch, there are no red-lights, no auto stands or bus shelters, and no sidewalks. “Again, a proper survey of the place is required, to see what is needed where,” Yadav says.

All About Trust

Many people have started to say that there should be work to back up words. What would

The work expected will be carried out, everything promised will get done

YOUNG TURK: Mayor Vimal Yadav is confident he will live up to the Gurgaonites’ expectations

cillor, and my people showed their trust in me, by putting me ahead.”

Making It Work

What has he learnt as a councillor, and as the Mayor of Gurgaon? “Always have an open door for the people. Even now, I remember the days when I ran to get the authorities’ attention. It will never escape my memory. And I want to make it certain, that such a thing does not happen on my watch. If anyone has a problem and wants to meet me, he shall and will have my time and attention.” The phone rings, and he excuses himself. He greets the caller, apologises and says that he’ll call back after a short

while. He runs a hand through his thick hair, as his assistant puts a sheaf of papers on his desk. He signs some, and returns back to the conversation. “Gurgaon’s Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have the advantage of having studied the problems of their area in detail. Like JAFRA’s Col Ratan Singh, we have requested RWA presidents and members to bring their problems to us. They have studied the situation, and have solutions for it. We, on the other hand, can implement the solutions if we have the knowledge.” Putting the papers aside, he says, “We both want the same thing. For this to happen, we can and should work together, to make it a reality.”

The Way Out

In matters of work, Yadav says that the Mayor Team (comprising of Yadav, Senior Deputy Mayor Yashpal Batra and Deputy Mayor Parminder Kataria) have started to grasp the problems the city is facing as a whole. “We have formed committees and sub-committees to tackle the issues of roads, sewerage parking, licencing, and other civic amenities needed by Gurgaon. For example, the Corporation is looking for an agency that will map Gurgaon’s traffic troubles, and point out where flyovers, red lights, underpasses and foot-overbridges are needed. We’re also taking the assistance of a retired chief engineer in this regard,” he reveals.

Yadav say to that? “There have been many cases where repaired roads have broken down in weeks and months . Whatever we do, I want to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Any construction or repair that happens under our supervision, must stand the test of time.” It is imperative that the people’s trust in us be reinforced by our work, he says.” The break from work is nearing its end. He looks at the time, and comments, “Although we live in the same house, my kids hardly get to see me any more. One is studying in Class II, and the younger in Class I. My life has changed, and duties have to be fulfilled.” To the comment that almost 2 million people of Gurgaon look up to Vimal Yadav for a better, cleaner city, the man says, “All I want to say is that the work expected will be carried out, everything promised will get done. The people have trusted us, and I’m working hard to not let them down.” u

Food Take

As of September 8 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Sector 54

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/ new)

12 / 22

14/ 25

7 / 18

15 / 30

16 / 20

12 / 20

8.90 /13.90

15

Onion

25

25

18

25

20

24

19. 90

20

Tomato

20

24

15

25

20

16

17. 90

18

Cucumber

30

32

20

30

20

24

24

25

Apples

100-150

80 / 100

100 /120

60 / 70

70

95

99

60 / 80

Spinach

40

22

30

30

25

24

24

25

Papaya

30

28

25

24

25

24

24

28

Cauliflower

60

60

70

70

60

70

59

69

Mutton

280 / 300

280 / 300

320

280 / 300

280

280

--

--

Chicken

150 / 160

140 / 150

160 / 170

140

140

140

--

--


10

9–15 September 2011

C ivic/Social

Farrukhnagar’s

Forgotten Monuments PRAkhar Pandey

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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ot many people know that Gurgaon has a history, other than Genpact and Maruti, and that a 30-minute drive from the main city, leads to the historical town of Gurgaon district­ — Farrukhnagar. A town like Farrukhnagar, that has a palace of its own, a royal step well, and Mughal and Rajputana style structures, could be a potential magnet for tourists. But, unfortunately, most of these historical structures are in a state of serious deterioration. Once an important trading centre of salt, Farrukhnagar, which can trace its history back to 1732 AD, was designed with five big darwazas (entrance gates), one of which—Dilli Darwaza—is still there. Apart from Dilli Darwaza, the town is also the proud to possess the Sheesh Mahal—the palace of the Nawab of Farrukhnagar; Boali Ghaus Ali Shah—a large octagonal step

FORLORN AND FORGOTTEN: The dilapidated Sethani ki Chhatri stands at the entrance of Farrukhnagar

is, ‘neglect by the locals’. On the other hand, local people blame the authorities for lack of maintenance of the historic structures. They say that the condition of these structures was better in the past. “When I was in school, some 40-50 years ago, I could see my reflection off the gleaming marble-tiled walls of the Chhatri. But now, one can’t make out that these walls even have marble tiles,” says Deendayal (60), who regularly visits the Sethani ki

VANISHING SPLENDOUR: Fading paintings on the Chhatri’s ceiling

cal resident, who shares the wall of her house with the majestic Sheesh Mahal, says, “In over 40 years of my stay in Farrukhnagar, I have never seen any restoration work happening in the building, except the minor patchwork done by ASI last month.” “Of the four crore rupees received by ASI for Sheesh Mahal’s restoration, only a fraction has been spent. In the name of restoration, ASI has put a wooden ceiling and a fence around Sheesh Mahal,” she adds. It is not just the double-storey

STEEPED IN HISTORY: Sheesh Mahal, once a palace of the Nawab of Farrukhnagar, is now a living ruin

well; Sethani Ki Chhatri, a twostorey airy structure; and Sitaram Mandir, a three-dome structure that looks like a mosque but houses idols of Hindu Gods and the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. Not just history, Farrukhnagar also showcases an interesting mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh cultures, having withstood many invasions, before and after independence. Today, despite some efforts put in by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Farrukhnagar is a crumbling mess of clumsy renovations. And, it is craving for our attention.

What Went Wrong? The problem, as cited by the Convenor of the Gurgaon Chapter of INTACH, Atul Dev

Chhatri for an afternoon nap, in its airy complex. “The main issue with the restoration of the Chhatri is that it stands on private land. But, at the same time, it is given the status of Architectural Heritage by INTACH. We have had a few meetings with the land owner, and we are looking to reach a consensus, for restoring the structure,” says Shikha Jain, Chief Convenor of the Haryana Chapter of INTACH. The Chattri, which has an interesting description on the official website of Farrukhnagar, provides a sorry sight with weeds growing all around, broken pathways, and damaged wall paintings. Another important historical structure—the Sheesh Mahal, which was known for its decorative interiors and elaborate mirror work, has no trace of its former Mughal grandeur. A lo-

building of Sheesh Mahal that needs preservation, there is also a one-kilometre long tunnel, stretching from Sheesh Mahal to Baoli Ghaus Ali Shah. It is believed that the queen used to visit the baoli (step well) from the Sheesh Mahal, through this tunnel, for taking a bath—away from prying eyes. The tunnel, which has the potential to attract tourists, is closed for many years. And no effort has been made by the authorities to open it. Archaeologist Ranbir Shastri, who works with the Department of Archaeology (Haryana), says, “It is always easy to blame authorities. We have our own limitations. First, we can provide protection to only those structures that are given the status of Historical Monuments. And very few structures in Farrukhnagar are on this list. Second, ever since its formation, the department is short on funds. Which is why, we don’t have trained labour and the technology to carry out proper restoration at the sites.”

The Way Forward If lack of funds is the issue, then these ruins could be primed as a source of revenue, as they have the potential to bring tourists to Farrukhnagar. A little renovation and maintenance could make a big difference to the lives of more than 9,000 people of Farrukhnagar. Also, cultural preservation, which costs relatively little but could lead to long-term benefits, could be the prime focus. “The Sheesh Mahal could be used for organising cultural festivals, which will in bring tourists, and thus money,” suggests Jain. With over 10 historical structures in Farrukhnagar, and overall 23 structures in the district, Gurgaon is important when it comes to heritage preservation. It is a pity that the tales of destruction of these invaluable structures, are unheard of in the city of Gurgaon. If Gurgaon wants to make its past an asset, and gain from the treasures of history, the people of Gurgaon have to realise the importance of their ancient heritage. And the benefits it can still bring. u

Condition of Historical Structures in Farrukhnagar Structure

Once

Now

Sethani Ki Chhatri

A two-storeyed Chhatri, with eight arched openings on each floor, and beautiful wall paintings, depicting the life of the royal family of Farrukhnagar.

It provides a sorry sight, with weeds growing all around, broken pathways and damaged paintings.

Boali Ghaus Ali Shah

A royal step well used by the queen, to take a bath.

Has become a dumping ground, where local people throw household waste.

Sheesh Mahal

It was the palace of the Nawab of Farrukhnagar, and known for its decorative interiors and elaborate mirror work.

The palace opens to a large courtyard with a water channel, which is completely dried up. Mirror work and red stone work has completely disappeared.

One-kilometre long tunnel (from Sheesh Mahal to Baoli)

It is believed that the queen used to visit the baoli from the Sheesh Mahal, through this tunnel, to take her bath.

It has been closed for many years, and no effort has been made by authorities to open it.


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12

9–15 September 2011

{ Manjula Narayan }

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obody knew how the twoyear-old black Labrador happened to land up at the street-side garage. No one saw the car that dropped him off, and drove away. Luckily, the staff at the workshop looked after him for a while, and handed him over to the owner of a local kennel who, in turn, gave him to wildlife activist Prerna Bindra. Today, three years later, Doginder is a happy member of the Bindra household. Not all stories have such heart-warming endings. Animal activists have noted that a large number of dogs are being abandoned in Gurgaon. “We have received specific complaints about big dogs like St Bernard’s and mastiffs being abandoned on the highway here. Last year, three dogs were found in one month, walking alone down the road,” says Geeta Seshamani, co-founder and vice president of the animal welfare organisation, Friendicoes, which runs a shelter in Gopalpurgaon on the Pataudi road. The increased rate of abandonment of pets can perhaps be linked to rising affluence, and the accompanying urge to flaunt wealth and be seen as a proud possessor of expensive things – a beautiful home, a fine car and to complete the perfect picture, a pedigree dog. “People get a dog, thinking

C ivic/Social

Dog Days in the Millennium City Abandoning pets—an unhealthy trend

NEW LIFE: Prerna Bindra with Doginder, whom she adopted after he was abandoned by his owners

it’s a status symbol. Once they realise it is a responsibility, they lock it out on their balcony, and shut them out of their lives. Since the dog is frustrated, it will tear things or mess up the place, and then the owner will say it’s badly behaved, and will want to get rid of it!” says Bindra, whose dog came to her infested with maggots, and suffering from a lifelong condition called hip dysplasia. “He couldn’t get up, and would cower if I lifted my hands even to pet him! Now, he’s totally changed, and is super confident,” says Bindra, who has come across dogs whose owners had tied them to electric poles and driven off. Veterinarian Dr Premlata Choudhary has also known expatriates who have abandoned dogs at shelters, at the end of their stay in the country. “But Indian dog owners are the biggest offenders. People

want to do everything in a rush, including buying a pet for their child. As a result, they neglect to consult a vet about the puppy, and later learn that it has problems,” she says, adding that unhealthy breeding practices are to blame. “Many poor people who breed dogs here follow unethical practices, like mating females with parent dogs. This leads to genetic disorders in pups, leaving them prone to parvo virus infection and distemper, which affects the heart and intestine. Few survive,” says Dr Choudhary who believes problems occur because people don’t realise that buying a dog is not like buying a toy. “I get many calls from people with incurable puppies. I tell them it’s their responsibility for 13 years. Abandoning a dog really breaks its heart, so I try to convince them not to,” says the vet. Bindra, who has just adopted another homeless dog, a spitz with a slight skin problem who was left at a hotel, believes callousness towards pets is a symptom of our growing disconnect with nature. “We lead busy lives and don’t have the mind space or time to manage things. So, once a pet becomes a responsibility, we mistreat, and finally dump it,” she says. Life might be good for Doginder now, but few of the many abandoned dogs in Gurgaon get such second chances. u

The Two Faces of Development A snapshot of two very different parts of the Millennium City

THE PICTURESQUE AND THE REVOLTING: One of DLF Ph-1’s many parks (left), and one of Sector-12’s many overflowing piles of garbage

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

G

urgaon has been destiny’s favourite child for the last one decade or so. But like any other city in this country, it too has divided the fruits of development unequally amongst its children. Sector-12 (A), and Sector- 26-A (DLF Phase-1) are two such places, where, there is a stark contrast in the development, and provision of infrastructure. DLF Phase-1, has it all- good roads, parks, sanitation, and shopping complexes. As its former RWA president RS Rathee explains, “DLF Phase-1 is arguably Gurgaon’s best place to live in- wide roads (24 metre), huge parks lavished with greenery, an indispensable sewage system, and a very good market.” Sector-12 (A), on the other hand, has colossal and stinking heaps

of garbage, and non-existent roads, “We are in a miserable condition here. Roads hardly exist here, sewers get choked with a slight drizzle, and the stinking heaps of garbage are omnipresent,” said Kultaj Kataria, RWA President Sector-12 (A).

DLF Ph-1: The good life

“DLF Phase-1 is situated at an elevation, hence doesn’t suffer from flooding. Apart from this we also have wide roads, beautiful parks, and a very good shopping complex,” explains Rathee. Another resident Dr Sumesh Gujral, who has recently shifted here from New Delhi concurs, “We have shifted to this place five months back from New Delhi, and I think it was a good decision. This place has a lot of open space in the form

of parks, nice markets and ample space for parking. I think, it’s a nice place to live in.” The whole of Phase-1 seems a perfect example of town planning. There is no litter anywhere and pigs are nowhere to be seen. The Phase-1 maintenance team takes care of the basic infrastructural necessities in the locality, including sewage, parks and sanitation of course. However, no place in this world is perfect, and DLF Phase-1 is not an exception. Rathee readily admits that, “Phase-1 also has some problems—like the lack of regular water supply, absence of jogging tracks in the parks, and the absence of a club and hospital.”

Sec-12 (A): Far from good

RWA President, Kultaj Kataria doesn’t have to tell us much;

what we encounter at the entrance to the sector is enough to tell us about the sorry state of affairs in Sector 12. We see stinking heaps of garbage, with pigs playing on them. “The dumping site at the entrance of the Sector belongs to HUDA, but MCG uses it for its garbage dump, after collecting it from its unauthorised colonies,” rues Kataria. “There is no market here in this sector, not even a milk booth. We have to go outside the sector to buy everything,” goes Kataria’s litany of woes. However, there is a ray of hope, as the main road of the Sector is under construction, “At last their sleep is over. They have started to build one road at least,” says Darshan Sharma, another resident, watching as the concrete

is poured for the road, “Only a cemented road will last, as the sewer system here is pathetic.” Chetan Bhagwat, another resident of the Sector adds, “We don’t have a single hospital or even a small dispensary here. Almost all the sectors of HUDA have one big or small dispensary, but we have none.” HUDA officials could not be contacted for the response. So, does Gurgaon’s lopsided development belie the image of this being a city of the future? Scattered prosperity doesn’t build a happy city; it only increases dissonance. While there will never be equality, due to individual enterprise, and luck, it is the duty of an administration to ensure equality in the availability of public infrastructure, and services. u


9–15 September 2011

Wellness

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

One Man’s Food is Another’s Poison! { Jaspal Bajwa }

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week

A herbal infusion may contain different parts of the plant that give them it taste and contribute to various benefits. Herbal teas and infusions help achieve a more calm, relaxed state of mind, support heart health, aid with stomach and digestive problems, provide cleansing properties for the body and promote energy and wellness.

Tip of the Week

T

here are no silver bullets. Diet fads come and go—each promising to be a panacea. The fact is, each one of us is individually unique. Our genes, personality, attitudes, habits and culture add up to a unique biochemical constitution. functioning of the immune system is dependent on the proper biochemical balance in the body. Different people need different amounts of nutrients to meet the optimal requirements. Ayurvedic medicine is based on the interaction of the five elements and the seven energy centres in the individual; and is referred to as one’s dosha, metabolic type. The traditional Chinese system of medicine recognises five elemental types. Greek physicians and philosophers were more concerned ‘with the patient himself’, recognised the four humors (dosha); very succinctly summarised by the Roman philosopher, Lucretius, “One man’s meat, is another man’s poison”. This principle of diet is seen throughout nature. The human body is designed to be healthy. Every cell in the body knows exactly what to do, provided it gets the right ‘fuel mixture’ for the body’s metabolic type. Optimal metabolism helps to unleash the marvellous healing powers innate to the body;therein lies the secret of the nutritional alchemist.

13

For best results, tea or other herbal infusions should never be boiled. Metal containers can interfere with the purity of the tea.  It is best to use ceramic, glass or clay pots. Bring water to a boil, and rinse the tea-pot with some hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of dried herb (or 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs) to the pot for each cup, plus an extra tablespoon ‘for the pot’. Pour the boiling water over the herbs.  Cover and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the herbs when the desired strength is reached.  Garnish with herb sprigs, honey, or citrus fruits.  Enjoy ! (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) Analgesic / Pain management : Basil, Cardamom, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dandelion, Mint

Licorice

Anxiety, Nervousness : Basil, Catnip, Chamomile, Rose, Sage,

Colds & Flu , Cough : Anise, Basil, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Echinacea, Fennel, Ginger, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Licorice, Mint, Sage, Tea

Arthritis /Rheumatism/Gout : Alfalfa, Basil, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Fennel, Ginger, Licorice, Sage Asthma / Bronchitis : Anise, Basil, Cardamom, Dandelion, Fennel, Ginger, Licorice, Tea Blood Pressure : Alfalfa, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Yerba Mate Calming /Stress : Chamomile, Lemongrass,

Cardiac health : Alfalfa, Dandelion, Fenugreek, Ginger, Green Tea, Yarrow

Diarrhea : Anise, Basil,Cardamom, Cinnamon, Hibiscus,Rose, Sage, Tea, Yarrow Depression : Basil, Cardamom, Dandelion, Echinacea, Licorice, Rose, Sage, Tea Diabetes : Alfalfa, Cinnamon, Fennel, Fenugreek, Yerba Mate

Digestive Aid/Nausea : Anise, Basil, Cardamom, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ginger, Lemongrass, Licorice, Mint, Orange, Raspberry, Rooibos, Sage Fatigue,Fever : Cardamom, Catnip, Chamomile, Echinacea, Fennel, Ginger, Hibiscus, Licorice, Mint, Tea, Violet Menstrual problems : Alfalfa, Calendula, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ginger, Licorice, Mint, Raspberry, Rose, Sage Ulcers : Alfalfa, Calendula, Chamomile, Licorice, Red Clover, Rooibos, Yarrow

Control Type 1 Diabetes with Ayurveda L

earning rhymes and poems in kindergarten also had lessons for later in life. They were not just words rhyming with each other, but a conditioning of a child’s mind or his lifestyle. Remember ‘Johnny Johnny, yes papa, eating sugar, no papa’? That was perhaps, a hint to avoiding a sweet tooth. Unhealthy eating habits, besides genetics, have become a reason for increasing coronary problems like diabetes, (also known as Madhumeha in Ayurveda), among children. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulindependent diabetes mellitus, is usually recognised in childhood or adolescence. It is a result of dysfunctional pancreas— a problem in producing insulin, that regulates the blood glucose level. A large amount of allopathy options in the form of antibiotics and steroids are consumed by Type 1 diabetics, to combat other problems that accompany diabetes—like cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress etc. These further cause side effects, and weaken the immune system. It is maybe time to try the pure herbal option, for the prevention and treatment of diabetes—without any side effect or worry.

Go Herbal

Dr. Sawmya Nayar of Dr. Sudha’s Ayurveda Kendra says, “Out of 10 patients that we see everyday, seven are diabetic; and about a third of them are

Here’s how you can combat juvenile diabetes with natural herbs DURGADATT PANDEY

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

etc. Ayurvedic powders and medications are made of natural herbs that have Aamla (Indian gooseberry) and Haldi (turmeric powder) as a common ingredient. These are extremely beneficial in controlling sugar levels. Amla and haldi mixed in a glass of hot water early in the morning helps maintain blood sugar levels.

Control Sugar Levels

Momordica charantia or karela(bitter gourd) is regarded as one of the best remedies for treating diabetes, and controlling high glucose levels. Consumption of karela juice daily, or alternatively cooking it in ghee and consuming it for a span of three months, will reduce levels of sugar in your blood and urine. One of the main reasons today for the occurrence of borderline or general diabetes is stress. To relax, Takradhara therapy, or pouring of medicated butter milk on the middle of your forehead, and then covering the entire head, is a great stress buster.

Watch that Diet

children that are insulin dependent. Ayurveda therapy provides churans and medicines made of natural herbs, that are taken along with insulin doses. These medicines combat side effects and other problems like stress, rising levels of sugar, blood pressure etc. And we have seen great improvement in our patients.”

Dr. Sawmya Nayar suggested some natural preventives and treatments.

Additional Help

Amritamihari churan, Trifladi churan and Khakdiraki Kashayam are some Ayurvedic powders that can be taken along with insulin, to combat side effects of allopathy, stress, indigestion, urination

A healthy diet, from the birth of the child, is extremely important. A child should receive its mother’s milk till the child is at least one and a half years old. A child that is breast-fed for six months or less has more chances to develop diabetes later in life. Let’s get responsible and secure the health of our children by following a natural Ayurvedic diet/treatment, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. u


14

9–15 September 2011

A EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Lessons

s Gurgaon grows up as a modern global city—a city that others would look up to, we may find it worthwhile to take some lessons from siblings, parents and senior relatives. We should not wish to ignore history, and be doomed to repeat it. Either by ignorance or arrogance. New Delhi is the parent, always near at hand. Like the Capital, we too have an Old and a New. The Capital fairly ignored the old, which led to an isolated and under-developed (Old) Delhi. A Delhi that the modern offspring hardly ever visited—except as a passthrough to College. What would have been, if Delhi were treated differently ? Let us not repeat and regret. Delhi also is civic run by 2 agencies—NDMC and DDA; and never the twain have met. We have imbibed well, and done one better—separate HUDA, MCG, PWD areas. And all with no real power. That vests in another city—our state capital, Chandigarh. Delhi was rarely run well enough, civically. But Delhi always was good at playing Games for its benefit—in 1982; and then just when that was almost played out, in 2010. Without the benefit of Games, we need to find answers to our crumbling infrastructure—on the road, and under. Our estranged brother, NOIDA, although not as successful, has got some things right. A focus on public infrastructure first, then private construction. And, the presence of a single nodal civic body—the Greater NOIDA Authority, headed by a CEO. We also should pay heed to elder cousins being given botox. Rohtak and Bhiwani are  rumoured to enjoy

The Administration of Gurgaon { Abhay Jain }

I

n the absence of proper coordination amongst different Departments—Civil Administration, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), Police Commissionerate, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC)—there is slow progress, on the resolution of civic matters. As the heads of these Departments do not fall under the jurisdiction of a single common senior officer, except the Haryana Chief Secretary who sits in Chandigarh, any one Department is not fully aware of what the other Departments are planning or doing for the city. The miserable position of the important Hero Honda crossing at NH-8 is a good example of non-synchronization amongst these concerned Departments. For the last six years, various Departments have been planning to decongest the crossing, but   no effective solution has yet emerged. The PWD (B&R), National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Civil Administration, HSIIDC, HUDA and even MCG have been willing to share the expenses; and even have developed their own plans, for making a flyover,  an underpass, subways, a clover type flyover, footover-bridges, etc., for the benefit of commuters and the public. However, due to there being no co-ordinated action plan, we continue to suffer. Further, around three months ago, the Deputy Commissioner of Police-Traffic, compiled a list of 81 points—for putting up traffic lights, widening roads, filling pot holes, making slip roads, etc. – to the MCG, HUDA, NHAI,

HSIIDC and PWD (B&R), to ensure  smooth flow of traffic. Sadly, there has been little progress. Why? Do inter-Department memos get easily lost within each Department? Or, are other Department suggestions not very welcome? HUDA recently wrote a letter to the local Health department, asking them to take over the 100 bed Hospital at Sector 10. The Health department refused to take possession, on grounds of lack of funds and other paraphernalia. The MCG stepped in, and conveyed its intention to run the Hospital. However, there has been no decision taken as of date. The casualty of such poor coordination and buck-passing is us, the residents of Gurgaon. Incredibly, the construction of the Hospital was completed in 2006 ! Presently, no Department is making any plan for the 6 kilometre stretch of Sohna Road—from Rajiv Chowk to Badshapur village—where a large number of residential colonies and commercial establishments have come up. If things do not change, Sohna Road may soon become another overcrowded chaotic thoroughfare. We are not learning from the M.G. Road experience. There are many such examples, where various Departments have failed to take responsibility, and are merely passing the buck.  There was a time, before the formation of the Gurgaon Police Commissionerate (June 2007), and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (June 2008), when the Deputy Commissioner’s (DCs) words reigned supreme in the District. He, also called District Magistrate (DM), used to have a monthly meeting of all Departments—around 100 in the District—in which even the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)

Comment

and the HUDA Administrator participated, and put forward their suggestions, complaints, and views on different issues concerning the District. Now, no such meeting is conducted by any Department. As per the cadre, and thereby protocol, of the current senior officers in Gurgaon (in the Police, MCG, and HUDA),   the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner now cannot direct other officers to follow his directions or suggestions. For resolving this critical issue of inter-Departmental coordination and decision-making, the local MP Rao Inderjit Singh has suggested the setting up of the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA)—on the pattern of Noida. This would mean that all Departments would function under its supervision, leading to a cohesive approach for the civil administration of Gurgaon. As an alternate solution, the CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda had also once hinted that a senior officer of the rank of Financial Commissioner & Secretary may be appointed in Gurgaon, to coordinate different Departments. But neither of these ideas seems to have been taken further. A meeting of the Gurgaon District Public Relations and Grievance Redressal Committee, under the chairmanship of a senior politician, is held irregularly—not monthly as per its mandate. About 10 to 15 complaints of the public are taken up for resolution. This Committee consists of all Departments, and a number of members of the public. So while the GDA, or any other effective proposal, is being set up, the mechanism of the Grievance Redressal Committee can be made more regular,

special status. And many others, in India and without, can trip us up. Of most significance perhaps are the lessons from Mumbai. As an adult, almost independent now, Gurgaon has followed more in the footsteps of a senior successful Tau, Mumbai. What Mumbai is to the Maharashtra family, Gurgaon is almost so to the Haryana family—the milch cow; the golden goose. We are a fast growing commercial hub, with very noticeable white collar employment; on top of an industrial base. Like Mumbai, Gurgaon is a land of opportunity, beckoning our country folk from across India—but more with moolah, than stars, in their eyes. There is no Gollywood or Gullywood yet ! Mumbaikars, in hindsight, may  wish to have done differently, in terms of—being more local (affiliation, pride), employing more local, finding alternatives to slums, and clamping down early on crime syndicates and “illegal” immigrants. Would there then have been a different avatar of the Strike, the Shiv Sena, Dharavi, and the Bhai ? We may be going a fairly similar way in Gurgaon. Gurgaonites, and our administrators, do pay heed. The transitory, the temporary—and there are many—have (maybe expectedly) no real affiliation or pride in being a Gurgaonite. They are just happy in the moment—and work, or a job, will take them elsewhere soon. We also do not have some icons—human or otherwise— to show off. No film stars, business magnates, Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Juhu beach.... But—Humaare paas Maall hai. u and broadened. In this meeting, it should be ensured that not only do all the Heads of Departments participate, but also share their   plans and actions,  so that other Departments can take note, and co-ordinate

more effectively. Besides, the  public should be encouraged to lodge their complaints against any Department or person, and be freely allowed to air their views on issues concerning Gurgaon. u

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

I

would like to congratulate you and your team for an excellent inaugural issue of Friday Gurgaon. Design, layout, coverage and contents all are indeed of highest quality. Although I live in Dwarka, New Delhi but visit Gurgaon frequently. I too am affected by the various issues (particularly roads, traffic, Toll Plaza mess, parking etc) facing this city. I would like to know how can I subscribe to the paper for delivery in Dwarka (sector 22). Pradeep Krishan Dwarka, New Delhi

T

he first issue of FRIDAY is in hand. You have a long way to go but wonderful 32 pages, in well laid-out Tabloid format! Keep it up. With about eleven pages for ads the sixtyfive percent content of reading matter was absorbing. All the Best. Looking forward to the next issue. Raji Anand South City

H

earty congratulations on the first issue of Friday Gurgaon. I am delighted that there is now an instrument that will ‘add value, build agendas and be a part of the solution. To not just call attention, and be just a part of the problem; but follow up, cajole, and ensure action.’ I completely agree that ‘there must always be hope; cynicism must not even reign supreme’.

This philosophy exactly ties in with my own thinking. Gurgaon does not cease to amaze me with its contrast of swanky cars and buffaloes sharing the same pot-holed roads, abutting the world finest buildings. The sad reality is that all its posh buildings, good schools and hospitals still cannot compensate for its problems and make existence in Gurgaon far from the bed of roses it is made out to be.   And yet it is possible to move forward from all that plagues it – and i look forward to Friday Gurgaon’s role in this change. Odette Katrak Suncity

M

y heartiest congratulation on the launch of Friday Gurgaon. I really liked the editorial “WHY FG”. It’s good to read the vision of a newspaper which is very nicely explained and I particularly liked the statement, “It’s our own newspaper and it’s the voice of the people”.   I hope that FG will really look into the problems of the people and will cover all aspect of life in Gurgaon.  Sunil Sukhija

Please send your letters to:

letters@fridaygurgaon.com


9–15 September 2011

Kid Corner

15

Money Sharma

Winning Dip

250 students from schools across Gurgaon took part in the Gurgaon District Swimming Championship 2011, that was held at the Kamla Nehru Park swimming pool. Students of Blue Bells Model School, Sec-4 shone in the competition. While Shalu Kataria of a class X bagged seven gold medals, and lifted the trophy of her age group, Kunal Thakran, a class VII student, won six gold as well as the trophy of his age group. Also, Priyank Thakran of class VI won one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

Read to Lead

A Reading Programme was organised in Scottish High International School to cultivate the reading habit among students. The programme was supported by parents of the pre-primary and primary class students. It was motivating for the students to have their parents coming to their classrooms, and sharing stories like Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and stories from the Mahabharata, Panchatantra and Hitopadesh.

For a Cause

CCA School, Sec-4, participated in the Gurgaon Carnival. The students exhibited immense enthusiasm through their mesmerising dance and band performances. The catchy slogans struck a chord among the people. The procession was flagged off by renowned TV personality, Shekhar Suman.

Teacher’s Day Celebration

Students of Blue Bells Model School, Sec-4, presented group dances to enthral their teachers on the occasion of Teachers Day. The teachers were also called on stage to participate in competitions like Musical Chairs, Tug of War, Pyramid Making etc. While teachers Sushma Tyagi and Sunita Yadav won prizes in the Pyramid Making competition, Mr. Praveen Choudhary walked away with a prize in the Musical Chair competition.

Literary Flourish

ROLE MODEL: Payal surrounded by her fans, students of Blue Bells Model School

The Magic Woman { Alka Gurha }

W

hat is striking about Payal Uppal is that her overwhelming popularity, and the fact that her students call her ‘The Magic Woman’, has not dimmed her unassuming earthiness. And what’s more, her students have created a fan page for her, with more than five hundred likes. A resident of Gurgaon, Payal Uppal belongs to an educated family from Rohtak, Haryana. “Each child is special,” says Payal as she reflects in her classroom after school. She started her journey eight years ago, when she joined the Blue Bells Model School, Gurgaon. Armed with an MPhil in English, Payal is now a Post Graduate Teacher (PGT), teaching English to the senior classes. Apart from an unassailable command on her subject, she brings a smile to every student. The fact that she herself has a smiling demeanor helps her cause. According to Payal, “Children spend a major part of their lives at school. My highest level

of satisfaction comes from the fact that I share a bond of friendship with my students.”

Problem Solver

No wonder then, that her students share their first crush, their hidden fears, their cheating temptations, and also their angst with her freely. Being a confidante and a problem solver helps in reforming and moulding students. In seeking help for arranging books, anchoring events or accompanying them on school trips, students know where to turn, when in need.

In Tune with Adolescent Psychology

When a teacher learns to play the Play Station, only to bond with her students, then it speaks volumes about her dedication to strike the right chord. As a mother of two young boys, understanding teen behavior comes naturally to her. Going by her ability to connect with teenagers (and hormonal upheavals!), Payal has now become an adolescent trainer at the Blue Bells Model School.

A Motivator

For students on the threshold of developing wings, Payal motivates them by boosting morales and broadening their horizons. A testimonial from students on her fan page has Hitesh Makkar claiming, “You are my school mother.” Another student named Somendra Agarwal says, “You are the only teacher whom I will remember all my life”, and Archita Agarwal says, “Payal ma’am changed my life.” For her students, Payal is a mother who showers love and affection; a teacher who guides and mentors; a moralist who reforms and channels; and an artist who motivates children to find beauty in life. We need more magical teachers who are a pivot for education, and who are respected from the heart. When asked if she is content with what she is doing, Payal says, “One has to be open and receptive to everything. Sometimes what you do is not the accepted version of success, but it is much sweeter than you ever imagined.” u

Artistic Strokes

A Rainy Day On a rainy day, I go out and play, or just go down, and spin around. When it rains, it gets very cold. Dark clouds come peacocks come and dance, the streets get wet. On a rainy day, raindrops fall on the leaves, If you see from far they look like jewels. If it drizzles a little and sunshine comes, you can see a rainbow that shines – Urja Joshi Grade III B, Excelsior American School

Title: Save Earth Anjali Sachdeva, Class VIII H, Delhi Public School, Sector ­– 45 Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to contributions@fridaygurgaon.com


Kids Brainticklers

Solutions

Spot The Difference

Solutions

Spot The Difference

Sudoku Kids

16 9–15 September 2011

K id Corner


18

9–15 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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Business 20 Unmoved by Failure 9–15 September 2011

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

PRAKHAR PANDEY

S

itting behind a large desk in his corner office at Su-Kam headquarters in Gurgaon, Kunwer Sachdev does not look intimidating; but as soon as he starts talking, something hits you. Full of passion, he goes into a different realm while speaking about Su-Kam —the company he created from scratch. Beginning as a cable TV equipment distributor, Sachdev spotted opportunity early, and harnessed it well, enabling Su-Kam to become a leader in the power back-up industry. He is   also credited with single-handedly organising an industry segment, which was once highly disorganised, and product offerings were of low quality.

Powered by Kunwer Sachdev, Su-Kam innovates to stay ahead

Formula for success

Innovating and learning from failures, he says, are the critical ingredients for Su-Kam’s success. “Every year the products are upgraded and technologically improved, and that has enabled us to be the market leader”, says Sachdev, proud of the fact that China has not been able to dent the Indian inverter market. Although China has captured manufacturing in several areas, Sachdev says, a thorough knowledge of the customer needs, and ability to offer unique solutions and products, has enabled Su-Kam to thwart them. Most of the times, things were not easy, he admits, but his willingness to learn and to make adjustments, helped him tide over the crisis. “I identify problems only as challenges, and one must confront them head on, to come out as a winner”, says Sachdev, who comes from a lower middle class family, that did not put a premium on thinking big and having ambitions.

The inverter business

The early years

Sachdev was educated in the school of hardships early in life, and this perhaps, gave him the maturity to handle tough situations later. Learning to make friends and managing people in college was one thing, but at the back of his mind, Sachdev always knew he was going to sell pens with his brother in Delhi. In fact, the name Su-Kam, which was initially meant for his pen distribution business, was devised during one of the canteen sessions in Hindu College. After his graduation, Sachdev joined his brother, who was doing quite well in business and owned a shop in Nai Sarak, a stationery business hub. For two years, he worked with his brothers, and this period also witnessed growing differences between them over expansion. “I wanted to create a brand like Luxor and aspired for a bigger role than pen distribution, which was anathema to my elder brother”, says Sachdev. This ulti-

seeing better days. He began to sell his products in North India, and also got exclusive rights to distribute products by Echo Star, USA. “I made my first million in cable TV business, but I don’t call it success. Even now, I am trying to work hard as I don’t think I am a successful man”, says Sachdev. Not a stranger to setbacks, Sachdev reveals that none of his projects have been successful from the start. “Most of my projects have failed initially, but they have spurred me on to do better things”, he says. Not being able to deliver quality products due to lack of technical skills, Sachdev dusted off his physics books and embarked on a journey to learn more about electronics. “I started reading books and journals   on electronics, and this became my passion”, he says.

SUCCESS STORY: Kunwer Sachdev believes in action over words

mately led to the parting of ways as he wanted to move on to bigger things in life.

Shaping his dreams

The future at this time, looked uncertain. Sachdev started many ventures, but eventually his stint in a cable company as a salesman, proved handy. He had learnt a lot about the cable business, and despite being ridiculed by friends and relatives, he started the cable TV equipment business. “I had no knowledge of technology and manufacturing, but still I started the business, as I wanted to give shape to

my dream”, he says, adding that nothing could discourage him. Sachdev’s cable TV gambit came at the right time, as cable TV had started becoming a rage in India. In 1992, he launched Su-Kam and started assembling products like dish antennae, amplifiers, modulators and receivers. “I was quite inexperienced at that time, and had no idea of how to run a business—but I was ready to learn from failures”, he said, adding that suddenly he realised life was difficult.

Knowledge to passion

Slowly, his cable TV business started

The Su-Kam Innovation Story ‘Change the market before it changes you’ is the dictum instilled by Kunwer Sachdev in every management system and process of Su-Kam. Constant innovation and spotting the opportunity early have been the organisation’s strength. In view of the peculiar Indian conditions, he customised the product using people from across the electronics industry, while technology was imported from abroad. This led to reduction in size, improved performance and reduced cost of inverters. He later incorporated the MOSFET technology in the inverters, to make them an unbeatable product. Sine wave invertor: Initially, most of the inverters ran on square wave, that was unsafe for sensitive appliances. So Su-Kam introduced the Sine Wave inverter technology, that could withstand India’s extreme power fluctuations. Plastic body inverter: After he came to know that a customer had been electrocuted by an inverter, Sachdev switched to plastic body inverters. Sachdev approached GE for the right kind of plastic, and introduced an inverter that was light, visually good looking, and there was no danger of getting an electric shock. It became a huge

success - but not before Sachdev had to cajole his employees and distributors. Home UPS: This was another masterstroke by Su-Kam as the Company combined the inverter and UPS to create a Home UPS. (The Home UPS is almost like an inverter, as it gives a back up of almost 2 to 3 hours—instead of 15 to 20 minutes.) Small portable inverter: Another innovative solution by Su-Kam, the small portable inverter, could be carried anywhere and could run a tubelight and a fan. This device proved to be especially useful for small shopkeepers costing Rs 2,000, without the battery. Large inverters: Su-Kam is among the few companies in the world that manufactures 100-kva inverters; and perhaps the only company in India. The product has been a success and is slowly finding application in various industries—even being used to run air-conditioners. As an entrepreneur, Kunwer Sachdev says the road ahead is full of exciting challenges. He is getting ready for an era where the people are enabled to generate their own power through solar energy, and upgrade excess power to the grid.

The inverter business, which has now become the bread and butter of SuKam, was also a failure initially. As the cable TV business reached a saturation point, he started looking for new avenues, and one day realised, that inverters could be a major business opportunity, provided the quality and standard was good. “I realised that if the inverters were manufactured and branded well, they offered a tremendous business opportunity”, he says, adding that he imported the machines to study more about them. Sachdev says Su-Kam’s strength has been a low cost, and a hands-on approach, to resolve problems. Constant innovation, is the keyword in the company, as also a commitment to the customers needs—which keep on changing. “My R&D team has been poached twice by competitors, but people have returned as the kind of space, opportunities and freedom offered by Su-Kam is phenomenal”, he asserts. Su-Kam, under his leadership, has patented a number of technologies, and keeps on working on new products. “We have built a multiplicity of products, including different types of inverters and batteries. Solar and LED technology are also focus areas of the company”, he says, adding that Su-Kam is exporting to almost 70 countries.

The way forward

The future of Su-Kam, he concludes, is on secure footing as inverters are being used in various applications. He cites the example of inverters being used to run air-conditioners, and even takes us to the basement of his office, where large inverters run the entire office air-conditioning. As far as youth are concerned, his message is simple—whatever you do, do it with passion and give your hundred per cent. “If you show excellence in your present job, you will get the results sooner or later”, says Sachdev, as he wants people to act rather than ponder over things.

Views on Gurgaon

Unlike the majority of people, Kunwer Sachdev is not critical of the administration in Gurgaon, as he feels the city has grown very quickly, giving little time for development. “It is easy to criticise the government but we must realise that conditions are equally difficult and it is not easy to deliver results”, he says. The officials, Sachdev says, are doing their bit, and local administration is also active and accessible. “The need is to increase the pace of delivery and problems will be resolved easily”, he says. As an industrial destination, the SuKam boss admits there are infrastructure bottlenecks and problems in the Millennium City, but these are present everywhere. Sachdev asks people to become a part of a solution, rather than being a part of the problem. u


22

9–15 September 2011

B usiness

The Share Market Atul Sobti

R

is for the doers, whose shares we buy. We set our targets for them, and they better deliver. Our technical and scientific trend machine cannot be wrong. Their share price is fixed. Their performance has to match up. We are again in an uncertain period. We should have been at a 25,000 level by now! Damn this global phenomenon. Where is the India story ? No problem,

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ith home buyers in Noida deciding to go slow—due to the recent Supreme Court verdict overturning land acquisition—builders and real estate consultants from the city have been caught on the back foot. To tide over the difficult times, Noidabased realtors have hit upon a novel solution; they are now trying to woo the cash rich Gurgaonites. They believe that the Millennium City has enough money to push realty across the National Capital Region. Investors Clinic CEO, Honey Katiyal says that home buyers in Noida have become cautious, and are withholding purchases due to the recent Supreme Court decision. This is a temporary phase and would be over soon, he adds. However, real estate observers opine that this development could have a medium term beneficial effect for Noida— the number of projects have reduced, there is increase in the FSI, and prices are rising, albeit gradually. The Supreme Court order, they opine, could thus result in giving a major fillip to the realty sector in Noida, and make properties dearer.

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are is the Indian who is not addicted to the share market and the Sensex (is that the reason?). We have to thank Dhirubhai Ambani for this, and for our continued reliance on our share basket. It has spawned an industry; and we are not talking of the financial media alone. And a never ending list of experts – served for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and late hours too – after all we live in global times). It is remarkable how we can predict the day; and explain the variance the next day, in totally scientific and technical terms. Without batting an eyelid. And with the confidence of a bull. Our DNA is bull. We make bad bears, esp. after 1991. We can talk up anything. Yes, we can talk. We do not have to walk the talk. That

we are still the best long term bet - so the experts opine - buy shares for the long term (it was short term till 2007, medium term thereafter). Reality check – most CEOs may not be able to predict the next few quarters – let alone mid term. It th­erefore really takes a bold (cocky?) person to predict the buys and sells. Perhaps, like the “will it be a boy or girl,” it is easy, as you would be mostly right one out of 2 times (and lucky you if the right time is on prime TV). For the simple investor, be careful. This does not seem a great time for investment, or staying put, in shares. Things look to be going worse, before they could get better. Be happy with a 10% p.a. post-tax return. A mix of fixed deposits and debt looks good. And hope the world does not end in 2012. u

100 sq yard 65-70/ sq yd 500 sq yd 50-55/sq yd 250 sq yard 60–65/sq yd 500 sq yard 35–40/sq yd 100 sq yard 60–70 sq yd 500 sq yard 65–70/sq yd

The two projects being offered by Investors Clinic at the camp were Aman II and Krescent Homes, which are in the price range of 30 to 45 lakh. A consultant at the camp, who requested anonymity, said that with this price range, they were targeting both investors and end users, particularly those in the IT sector, who would like to have a base in Noida as well, as the city had become a technology hub. Gurgaon based Ravi Taneja, senior finance manager with Dart Energy, who is looking for an investment opportunity, says that Noida is an attractive proposition as the prices are still reasonable, and infrastructure is far better than Gurgaon. “I came here to know about the opportunities in Noida, as it has also become a professional hub, and jobs are plenty. For service people, it is wise to spread their wings, if they have a chance to do so”, he says, while going though a property brochure. The hall at the Leela Kempinski, where the camp was held on Saturday and Sunday, witnessed a large footfall with potential buyers and real estate agents in full attendance. u

(in Rs 000s as of Sep 8, 2011)

160 sq yard 65-70/sq yd

200 sq yard 55-60/sq yd

342 sq yard 50-55/sq yd

200 sq yard 60–65/sq yd

160 sq yard 65–70/sq yd

342 sq yard 45–50/sq yd

204 sq yard 55–60/sq yd

161 sq yard 60–70/sq yd

342 sq yard 65–70/sq yd

263 sq yard 70–80/sq yd

204 sq yard 70–80/sq yd


24

Pastimes

9–15 September 2011

Bag it Today Make yourself a custom-made tote for a lark { FG Bureau }

A

PRAKHAR PANDEY

re you bored with your handbag and desperately want a new one? There is now no need to rush to the mall and pick up a bag worth thousands of rupees, when you can custom make your own stylish purse for under 250 rupees. This season, bright colours make their way through the fashion streets not only with clothes but also with accessories. It’s time to say good bye to the structured, boring leather purses, and put together a bright funky cotton or georgette purse in just There is three simple steps.

Cattle Class Wisdom!

{ Manjula Narayan }

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close and intensive study of the animal life in Gurgaon has proved that the cows of the Millennium City are a particularly intellectual breed. On any given day, you can find them standing in the middle of the road thinking deeply about Sartre, Camus and the meaning of life. This proves they know the extremely sophisticated language French with all its complicated verb conjugations; and if pushed might even expound on which colours and cuts are ‘in’ this season.

Deep Thoughts

There’s no doubt about it—cows ponder about the big issues; about life, death and what lies beyond. And through elaborate calculations have arrived at the knowledge that all life is maya. It’s possibly this realisation that is behind their enviable sangfroid when faced with every sort of motorist. Whether it’s a big hairy trucker honking madly in an attempt to let all pesky holy animals know who’s boss of the road, a dainty lady who’s just dislocated her neck as she slammed a freshly-pedicured foot on the brakes to avoid ramming into a herd, or a supersuccessful CEO of a Fortune 500 compa-

ny; everyone’s the same in the eyes of the enlightened quadrupeds of Gurgaon— who do not discriminate on the basis of caste, class, creed or gender.

Calm & Collected

Unlike the city’s feral pigs, who hurry away on nervous trotters and the stray dogs with silly grins plastered on their naïve faces, Gurgaon’s cows are impassive. Possessed with the spirit of Zen, they wander majestically down roads into oncoming traffic confident that everyone will stop for them. They groom each other carefully on the median so lesser species might learn to stop yelling obscenities at each other and they slump smartly down on the macadam when the stress of modern life gets to them.

Run for Cover!

The only time they lose it, really, is when an amorous bull charges. Then they don’t stop to admire the glass towers of Cyber City, or to low melodiously at the many flashing screens. Instead, they immediately throw all fine feeling to the winds, and hoof it. Ah, the evolved cows of Gurgaon… They have so much to teach us. u

ily make it for you. The stitching charges for the handbag are about 100 rupees. Try to bargain! You could get it for 70 too.

Step 3: Dress it Up

Once you have the tailored bag and are ready to show it off to your friends, wait a minute! Let’s accessorise it. You can use old earrings- some that have lost a side- and pierce the hook on the surface of the bag. That will provide interesting detail and an unconventional look to it. Have some old bandanas? Make use of them. Tie the contrasting colour pieces to the now no sling of the bag, for the retro look. Now be ready need to rush to the to become the centre of Step 1: Buy the mall and pick up a attraction among your Ingredients friends and enjoy the atAll cloth shops are bag worth thousands, tention while you make flooded with stunning when you can that style statement. fabrics that offer you “I made my first several prints and colours custom make your hand bag last year, and to choose from. From own stylish purse for it was a hit amongst my flowers to polka dots, the friends. Everyone loved cloth is available between under Rs. 250 it and I was constantly the ranges of Rs 50 to 100 asked where I got my per meter. A medium size tote requires a total of one meter cloth, colourful bag from. Even now, the bags and a clutch will mould in half a meter. I make myself are appreciated and liked To provide slight stiffness to the cloth, buy more than the ones I buy from stores. an equal amount of lining of buckram And the best part is, that you wont see at Rs 25 a meter. Don’t forget the zip someone else carry it at a party, where for finishing, which can be purchased usually two people are carrying the same branded bag.” says Pamel Khara, for Rs 20. social worker. Why be a part of the crowd, Step 2: Get it Stitched Go to your regular tailor, along with especially when it costs thousands one of your old handbags or even a bor- of rupees. In times of custom makes, make-you-own rowed one as a sample. If you don’t have a be a trendsetter and sample don’t worry, just tell him the size bag, sporting a variety of bags that fit and the shape of it (a semi-circle shape is your budget and are completely designed always the safe option), and he should eas- by you! u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I lost my wallet Mera batuwa khu gya hai

Gya - Kya (in Hindi)

2. How do I get to the railway station? Railway tation kyukar pohunchoon?

Kyukar – Q+kar

3. Where do I find a small hotel? Mannai chhota hotel kit milaiga?

Millaiga - Mill lai ga

4. I want to go to a Tandoori restaurant Main ek Tandoori restaurant mein jaana chaun

Jaana - n like Hindi Ganit (Math) Chaun - like Hindi jaoon

5. How much do I owe you? Mannai kitne paise dene hain tere tai?

Paise - Pye say Tai - like Hindi hai (is)

6. Stop here please Yede ruk ja

Yede – d as in Hindi Pedh (tree)

7. Take me to the airport Mannai hawai adde lay chaal 8. I want to rent a car Mannai gaadhi kiraye pe leni hai


Sport

9–15 September 2011

Few Takers for Hockey

hockey. “Prior to the turf culture, Indian hockey was at its peak. Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) did a blunder by accepting this turf clause of European countries.” He also spoke about the peculiarities of the game on turf, “Turf requires a formidable combination of strength and technique; but the strength of Indian hockey is dribbling, which hardly plays any significant part in modern hockey,” said Kumar.

The national sport needs fresh impetus

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money sharma

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

estitution of anything associated with past glory cannot be a flash in the pan; it requires meticulous planning and flawless execution. Hockey is one game where glory was India’s muse for a better part of the last century. But somewhere in the mid-70s, we lost the path of glory, and landed ourselves in a never-ending muddle of failure. Since 1980, when India last won the gold medal in the Moscow Olympics, Indian hockey has nosedived. Haryana’s story is not an exception. Unlike other traditional games like kabaddi and wrestling, hockey has hardly been Haryana’s cup of tea. However, Gurgaon is among the districts where hockey is in a commendable position. “Gurgaon always TESTING TURF: Youngsters practicing their moves at Nehru Stadium remains in the top four in Haryana. We are a better district as far as hockey is concerned,” said Phool Kumar, hockey coach at Nehru stadium, who has been serving Gurgaon hockey since 1984. the schools, both government and public. After training and giving them the feel of Greats of Gurgaon Men Women turf hockey, we select the “Gurgaon district has given good playbest possible team to repreers, not only at the district level, but also 1. Tina (Capt.) 1. Kuldeep sent the district.” at the international level. Rohit Chauhan, Naresh Saini, Rajesh Saini and Jagwant 2. Rana Praveen 2. Pradeep are a few names that have taken Gurgaon Nehru stadium 3. Anoop 3. Jaibhagwan to the international podium by repreat a glance 4. Pooja (Capt.) senting India,” said Kumar. However, in Nehru Stadium in Gur5. Sonu 4. Pawan (V. Capt.) the middle of the conversation, Kumar gaon, is one of the oldest stalooked highly melancholic, as it has been diums in the state. It has seen 6. Manisha 5. Rohit a while since Gurgaon has seen any of many games being played on 7. Geeta 6. Nitin its sons in that magical Indian outfit. “In its turf, ranging from cricket 8. Kavita 7. Virender the last ten years, Gurgaon’s hockey has to hockey. This is also the place yielded only one international player— where Haryana first played its 9. Anita 8. Sandeep Jagwant got selected in 2008 for the InRanji trophy match against Him10. Rekha 9. Amit dian team,” said Kumar. District Sports achal Pradesh. It has very less to boast 11. Neha 10. Praveen Officer (DSO). Kulvinder Singh also subof, as far as hockey is concerned. “Here stantiated Kumar’s statement, “Hockey we only play district matches. However, 12. Bhanu 11. Jagwant is rapidly losing its grip in the country. the camp for the Indian team has often 13. Priya 12. Ravinder Children do not want to play hockey bebeen organised here. Unfortunately, this 14. Anita 13. Manish cause, according to them, this game has stadium does not fulfill the international 15. Lalita 14. Ved Prakash no future.” requirements, and hence it is not eligible for any international match,” said Kumar (Goal Keeper) 15. Hansraj in a dejected tone. Gurgaon’s levels of fight 16. Priyanka 16. Husain “As far as the district is concerned, we Coach: Roshni Devi. 17. Amit play at the under-14, 15, 17, 19 and senior Turf luck of Gurgaon levels. We are among the top districts in “Turf was laid here in 2003, and since Fitness coach: 18. Sujit the state. In 2008, we won the tournament then Gurgaon’s hockey has managed to Virender Yadav, Coach: Phool Kumar by drubbing Sonepat 7-0 at the senior gain some pace,” said Kulvinder Singh. Nirmala Dagar Fitness coach: level,” said an ecstatic Kumar. The coach However, coach Kumar rued the incepalso spoke about the selection process for tion of turf culture, which was more or Virender Yadav the district team, “We select players from less responsible for the fall of Indian

Reality that bites

“Apart from the turf, we don’t have a single facility here, not even a first aid box. Many times, kids get injured during the game, and we have to rush them to the Civil Hospital nearby,” said Kumar. Physical fitness is the prime requirement for any game, but unfortunately Nehru Stadium does not have a gym, “ The stadium has nothing except a few weight lifting plates; that hardly helps a hockey player.” “The Sports department of Haryana gives scholarships to the talented players, but except for a few pennies of consolation (they call it scholarship), they hardly contribute anything to the district hockey infrastructure, “Players manage their equipment themselves. Neither Haryana Hockey Federation nor the sports department contribute anything to provide hockey players some relief,” said Kumar.

List of the players

Sonepat girls win the State Basketball Championship

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K

CLOSE CONTEST: The girls from Sonepat aiming for the basket at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex

tion, Rohtak and Hisar jointly finished third. The President of Haryana Olympic Association (HOA), and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), P.V. Rathi, was the chief guest on this occasion. At the prize ceremony, he spoke about Haryana’s chances in the London Olympics in 2012. “Haryana has

bright chances in the London Olympics; and again, after CWG, the onus lies on our wrestlers and boxers to win medals for the country.” Rathi also asked for the sports calendar from all the sports federations of the state, so that they could be provided with ample funds, to raise the state’s sports infrastructure. u

Women’s Hockey is no different

“I have been coaching the players here since 1983. I have seen many players climbing the stairs of success. Girls in Gurgaon are talented, but it’s the patriarchal system of this state that ruins the bright future of female players,” said Roshni Devi, women coach at Nehru Stadium. Gurgaon has given quite a few international players, some of whom were sacrificed at the altar of patriarchy, “Pritam Thakran and Rajni Bala were the two girls selected from the district for the national side in 1990, but they succumbed to family pressure,” said Roshni. After a long gap of twenty years, the district has again seen an international entry from its soil—Pooja Chaudhary, an 18 year old girl, has been selected for the Indian team, “Yes, Pooja has been selected for the national side, and at present she is under training at a camp in Bhopal. She will play for India in the 2nd Asian Champions trophy going to be held in Ordos, China, from September 3 to 11,” said Roshni. u

Gurgaon’s DCP makes the country proud

{ Maninder Dabas / FG } onepat girls won the statelevel Senior Basketball Championship held in Gurgaon’s Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, on the 4th of September, Sunday, by beating Haryana Police 47-44. The match was closely contested, and after the first half both the teams were on equal points 22-22. In the boys section, due to rain, Bhiwani and Haryana Police jointly finished as winners. Bhiwani boys seemed to be in fine form, and they finished ahead in the first half 23-18. However, the rain halted their progress, compelling them to share the trophy with Haryana Police. Rohtak and Sonepat remained joint winners for the third position; whereas in the girls sec-

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ulvinder Singh, DCP (HQ),Haryana Police, has made the country proud by winning gold and silver medals, in Golf in the recently concluded World Police and Fire Games in New York, USA. Singh won the gold medal by teaming up with Pushpinder S Rathore, DIG, BSF. In the individual category, he won the silver medal. The  World Police and Fire Games are held every two years, in which policemen and firemen from all over the world, participate.


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9–15 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


9–15 September 2011

T ime Pass 27

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution 21. 1+2= 3, 2+3= 5, 3+5= 8, 5+8= 13, 8+13= 21

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger

Baby Blues

The Better Half


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Hollywood Picks New York Over Los Angeles A

s a megalopolis, Los Angeles has been battling it out with New York for half a century, contrasting their lifestyles, personalities, advantages and drawbacks. But when it comes to film appearances, even though L.A. is cinema’s birthplace, New York wins hands down. The film appeal is so great that tens of thousands of tourists each year are drawn to New York mainly because of the way movies have paid tribute to the city of skyscrapers. In 110 years of movie history, New York has been lovingly presented in so many ways. To cite but a few of the scores of movies that bring New York, and its quirks alive, one could mention King Kong, Manhattan, When Harry Met Sally, The Heiress, and Working Girl. Of course, Los Angeles too has been the setting for dozens of flicks filmed on the warm, palm-lined boulevards of southern California, but the image of the city itself, especially for foreign viewers, remains blurry, expect for iconic spots such as the Hollywood sign or beaches like Malibu. Of the two, New York is by far the city with the most movies filmed within its limits. According to several databases, the number of movies made in the Big Apple is twice that in L. A..

NYC has had two movies shot there for every one shot in LA picture-alliance

{ Liliana Martinez-Scarpellini, L.A / DPA }

MEMORABLE: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in a scene from When Harry Met Sally that was filmed in New York

Since the 1920s at least 1,000 movies have been filmed in New York compared to 500 in the socalled movie mecca Los Angeles. However, Los Angeles is the site for most taping if you count music videos, advertisements and television series, without considering the million-dollar porno industry (90 per cent of

porno films are made in the San Fernando Valley.) Looking at the iconic spots in both cities that have been immortalised on film is a source of never-ending fascination. For example, a whole book could be written just about New York’s Empire State Building and the movies made there.

Natural Fuel Cells Found in the Ocean Scientists discover species of bacteria that feed on hydrogen { Thilo Resenhoeft, London / DPA }

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Marum / Bremen University

he life forms in the depths of the oceans appear almost to be from another planet, surviving kilometres under the surface where the sun’s light and energy fail to penetrate. These organisms rely on chemical energy to generate their carbohydrates, and one of the sources of this energy is hydrogen sulphide, a gas that is as poisonous as its smell is foul. Biologists refer to “chemosynthesis”, much as they do to

a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, which provide them with energy. To date only two “fuels” from which the micro-organisms can gain their energy have been recognized: hydrogen sulphide and methane. Now scientists based in Bremen in northern Germany are adding a third: hydrogen. A team under Nicole Dubilier of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and their colleagues at MARUM at the University of Bremen reported their findings in the

IT TAKES TWO: A mussel bed on the Atlantic Ocean bed. A new form of hydrogen converting bacteria lives in symbiosis with the shellfish

photosynthesis on the earth’s surface, and the bacteria that result form the basis of a largely isolated ecosystem of the depths, along with mussels, worms and crabs. The denizens of this exotic community are often able to survive only by entering into

journal Nature. Hot springs rising from under the sea floor and formed where the earth’s tectonic plates collide, push magma up through the earth’s crust that heats up the seawater. This causes minerals in the earth’s crust to dissolve before

emerging at a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius. The emerging brew is often dark in colour, giving rise to the name Black Smoker, as these hydrothermals are called. The Logatchev hydrothermal field is located 3,000 metres down along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, halfway between the Caribbean and the Cape Verde Islands. In a series of voyages, the team measured the highest concentration of hydrogen ever found at a thermal spring. For the first time they discovered in the gills of the deep sea mussel Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis a symbiont—one of the partners in a symbiotic relationship—that is able to utilize hydrogen to generate energy. This is the reaction used in fuel cells in which hydrogen and oxygen react in a controlled way to become water. Bacteria that use this reaction have long been known, but as a basis for life at the bottom of the sea they are a new discovery. The mussel fields extending around the hydrothermal springs cover an area of several hundred square kilometres, providing home to up to half a million individual specimens. The observations indicate that the mussels in the Logatchev field oxidize up to 5,000 litres of hydrogen an hour, according to co-author Frank Zielinski. u

King Kong hung from the tip of the building’s antenna and some metres below, Jonah Baldwin waited for Annie Reed (Meg Ryan—his ideal mother) to appear in Sleepless In Seattle. Meg Ryan also helped immortalise the Katz cafe on Houston Avenue in lower Manhattan with her wildly humorous sensuous scene there in When Harry Met Sally. Not far off are Wall Street and Washington Square Park, where an aspiring chess player Bobby Fischer played. Then there is Broadway of course and the magic of theatre and to the north, Central Park and the many stories shot amid its trees. This brief review could not

leave out Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which made the jewellery shop on Fifth Avenue even more wellknown, or the gang wars in Upper Manhattan played out in West Side Story. Los Angeles too has its share of movie moments the world remembers. The Hollywood cult and the relaxed lifestyle of balmy L.A. were things the studios focused on. The city’s aura of mystery grew with films such as Sunset Boulevard, and Singing in the Rain. Then came the unforgettable: The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman, John Huston’s Chinatown, and pop-cult hits Grease and Blade Runner. The 1980s brought movies that made Los Angeles a tourist draw: Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid, Terminator, La Bamba and Die Hard with Bruce Willis. But unexpectedly it was a 1990 movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, that would give L. A. the biggest promotional boost. The movie still has followers who want to walk along Rodeo Drive and see the shops and the heart of Hollywood, where the stairs from the final scene are found. There are other movies shot in L.A. that left an impression on viewers: Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, both by Quentin Tarantino, Short Cuts, by Robert Altman, LA Confidential, and the quirky hit The Big Lebowski. The economic crisis has sparked a sharp downturn in shooting in California, but Los Angeles and its ties to the art of cinema continue to be fascinating topics for directors. Which does not mean that New York will be left out in the cold. When it comes to being in the movies, New York still reigns supreme. u


9–15 September 2011

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Zermatt Tourism / Portmann

The Queen of the Alps Beckons Whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or a novice hiker, Zermatt has something for every one

BREATHTAKING: Zermatt is not the prettiest of alpine resorts but its local mountain is the Matterhorn—regarded by many as one of world's most beautiful peaks Ulrike von Leszczynski

{ Ulrike von Leszczynski, Zermatt, Switzerland / DPA }

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LEADING THE WAY: Seasoned mountain guide Rudi Steindl has taken part in expeditions to Europe’s 4,000 metre peaks on countless occasions 


the camaraderie of being roped together for safety or simply the love of unspoilt nature. Sporting ambitions alone seldom explain the fascination. On the Italian side of the Monte Rosa Massif lies another world. The East Face of Monte  Rosa stands nearly 2,500 metres tall and is regarded by many as being Europe’s most impressive rock face. It is the only one with a kind of Himalayan aura.

The eastern and southern flanks of the massive appear gentler than the northern part in Switzerland. Deep valleys lead from the palm treelined shores of Lake Maggiore to the foot of the East Face. Good places to set off for a walk on the Italian side are Macugnaga or Alagna. Swiss perfection gives way instantly to Italian Laissez-faire. The hill villages have managed to retain their rural charm. From  Pecetto hikers can take their time to negotiate the snaking paths up to the Belvedere at 1,800 metres. Two hours is sufficient, even without taking the lift. The “beautiful view” from up here is something of an understatement. With a blue sky arched overhead and ringed by mountains, visitors feel as if they are at the centre of a magnificent natural amphitheatre. u

Zermatt Tourism / Couson

caling the Matterhorn is something best done while you are still young. “Most people tend to wait too long,” said Rudi Steindl. They dream of ascending the famous peak and suddenly find they have turned 66 years of age—too old to conquer a 4,000-metre high mountain. Steindl is 51 and he has been a qualified mountain guide since 1987. Steeled by a fitness regime maintained over decades, he is also a man of few words. He has scaled the Matterhorn more than a 100 times and has taken part in expeditions to Europe’s 4,000 metre peaks on around a thousand occasions. He accompanies climbers to the Andes and also to Nepal. He also fell five metres from the Breithorn in Switzerland two years’ ago, tearing a ligament and damaging his hip. He could have gone straight back to working as a chef but the call of the wild prevailed. A year later he was back in the mountains. Steindl claims they have an alluring effect on some people like magnetism on objects, drawing them in. The solitude aloft is wonderful, says Steindl, especially in autumn when rockfalls are more seldom and the cataracts of melted snow ease off. While not romantic, Steindl maintains: “You’ve go to know what you are risking your life for.”  Provided the weather is fine, the view of the mountains from Zermatt is nothing short of magnificent. The local peak, the Matterhorn towers majestically above the street. It is an iconic symbol of the Alps and many regard it—possibly because of its striking symmetrical shape, as being the most beautiful mountain in the Alps if not in the world. For admirers of fine alpine scenery the nearby Monte Rosa massive with Switzerland’s secondhighest mountain Monte Rosa, is also not without its attractions. It is often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Alps’. What makes people keep wanting to scale these mountains? “I think it’s a crucial experience in people’s lives,” said the mountain guide. It could also be the feeling of elation when the clouds part to reveal a breathtaking panorama or else

Matterhorn is an iconic symbol of the Alps, and many regard it as being the most beautiful mountain in the Alps, if not in the world

HI-TECH VIEW: Swiss high-tech perched at 2,883 metres. The spectacular new Monte Rosa alpine hut uses solar power to generate its own electricity and even has its own wine label



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Bucharest’s New Cathedral to Outdo Ceaucescu’s Palace

{ Kathrin Lauer, Bucharest, Romania / DPA }

people for its services, and will also house two multi-purpose halls, each accommodating 1,000 people. There will be soup kitchens for the poor in the basement, and the building will be served by 14 lifts. There will also be two

Malte Christians

Kid-friendly hotels come as a welcome break to parents that wish to holiday with their children

FOLKS WITH KIDS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN: Just like everyone else, parents with children want to enjoy a stress-free vacation

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ou might love your children, but that doesn’t mean you love the stress of taking them out to a nice restaurant or to a fancy hotel. But what if you could go some place where your child wasn’t the only one having a temper tantrum in the lobby, or messily working his way through a bowl of noodles, gleefully getting food on the floor, his face and all points in between? It might sound like hell to

in the liberal weekly 22, taking an ironic look at the entire cathedral project. Writer Mircea Dinescu suggested mockingly that the patriarchate could simply have put a cross on top of Ceausescu’s palace - said to be the largest civil-

dren, you still want to get away and have fantastic surroundings and food,” says Clare Hammond, general manager of the Woolley Grange children’s hotel in Bradford-on-Avon on southern England. “You don’t want to miss out on that.” Thus, a hotel like Woolley. Grange focuses on making things child- and parent-friendly. Hammond says signs are kept to a minimum so children don’t feel hemmed in. Play areas are informal. At the same time, there are plenty of activities for children if they want to go and do something separately from their parents. As for the parents, they can opt to sit with their children for an early dinner and then get them to bed before heading downstairs for a formal dinner, complemented by a baby monitor provided by the hotel. It’s similar at the Ulrichsof, in

Bavaria in southern Germany, which boasts dozens of rooms and 4,500 metres of play area for kids—including pony rides, a swimming pool and even a miniature bumper car area. There are also babysitters for young children and activity leaders for older ones. Should the kids go off to play, parents can then hit the sauna, check out the Western-themed bar or— dare they dream—nap. “The idea was just a hit,” says owner Ulrich N Brandl. “When we started with nine apartments, we were booked out within two years.” Within a few years, the hotel had expanded by a factor of six. Parents can be demanding, but justifiably so, note both Hammond and Brandl. “It’s just having a little empathy. It’s not just about providing high chairs and bibs. It’s really about everything we do, we have

to think about the children,” says Hammond. That means keeping a lot of specialties for children with allergies. Hammonds said Woolley Grange keeps a supply of wheat-free bread and lactosefree milk. Brandl said his hotel moved to all organic food years ago. “There’s always a problem to solve, but we solved a lot of them with organic food.” Other issues include upholstering lots of furniture to cut down on sharp edges. Staff have to be prepared to change a lot of bedding when necessary. The important thing is having fun and not having to feel nervous that your child’s fun is ruining someone else’s vacation. “They’re just relieved and happy that their children’s happiness is acceptable,” says Hammond of her guests. “And they’ll probably find a family whose children are worse.” u

A MONUMENT TO EXCESS: When it is finished, the new cathedral will, at 125 metres, rise above the neighbouring Palace of the People (above). The bombastic edifice was built by former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu

Stress-Free Hols with Child Friendly Hotels

{ Niels C Sorrells, Berlin / DPA }

inns for pilgrims to stay in, a cultural centre and a social centre. Parking for 700 cars is provided. “There is this dreadful disease that causes the internal organs to keep on growing until the patient dies,” Romanian cartoonist Dan Perjovschi wrote

A resurgence in the Romanian Orthodox Church has led to swelling coffers and a need for a larger place of worship

Sönke Krüger

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he Romanian Orthodox Church is turning a long-cherished prestige project into reality in the shape of the “Cathedral for the Salvation of the Romanian People” in the heart of Bucharest. When it is finished, the new cathedral will at 125 metres rise above the neighbouring Palace of the People, built by 1965-89 dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Not everyone is happy with the project, though there have been no loud protests against it. It can also be asked whether bombastic religious architecture really reflects religious feeling in Romania. Romanian Orthodox churches are in general small, with the saints on their frescoes close enough to reach out and touch. The faithful rarely sit out an entire service, which is often long, and few are interested in the sermons. Romanians would rather make a brief visit to gaze at their favourite icon, much like dropping in on the neighbours. Work on the cathedral’s foundations began a year ago, and it is scheduled for completion by 2015. It will be able to hold 5,000

ian building in the world - thus saving themselves the bother of building a new colossus. The cost of the cathedral is estimated at 200 million euros (285 million dollars). The patriarchate intends to raise it through loans, donations from the faithful and state subsidies, as well as putting in some of its own resources. The previous pope, John Paul II, contributed 100,000 euros during his visit to Bucharest in 1999. The Romanian Orthodox Church is by no means poor. After Ceausescu’s communist regime fell in 1989, it recovered much of its property and is active in a range of businesses. Countering allegations of hubris, the patriarchate has always argued that Bucharest’s Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1656, is too small. It sees the new church as a “liturgical and public necessity.” Religious life in Romania has experienced a rapid revival since the fall of communism. In the past 20 years, more than 4,000 churches have been built across the country. They have largely been funded by donations from nouveau riche believers, who are apparently keen to allay their consciences thereby. u

people without children. But to parents of young children, the option of a place to go where no-one will look askance at your child acting up—because their children will be doing just the same—sounds heavenly. And there are such places for parents tired of shushing their children through holidays. Kidfriendly hotels offer the whole package: fun for kids, relaxation for Mom and Dad, and not a single stern look from disturbed fellow vacationers. “Just because you’ve got chil-


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Friday Gurgaon, Sep 9 – 15, 2011