Friday Gurgaon, Sep 16 – 22, 2011

Page 1

Vol. 1 No. 4  Pages 32  ` 7  16–22 Sep 2011


Councillors’ Chat

RWAs–Working for a Better Gurgaon


t’s been a few months since our Councillors took up their responsibilities. A look at the plans and progress made by some of them. An interview with Councillors Nisha Singh and Rama Rani Rathee ...P 9

Epicentre— Culture Hub


chat with Nitin Mathur, Unit Head, Epicentre. ...P 6

Wildlife Rescue


he inspiring story of an animal rescue organisation that takes care of wild animals in Gurgaon, and is the one to call when a scary critter drives you up the wall. ...P 10

ESKA PILATES Gurgaon’s first women’s-only, fully-equipped, centrally located Pilates Studio

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Instructor Trained & Certified in Canada by Stott Pilates Contact:

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The officials’ perpetual stand of ‘work in progress’ will not work here. The RWA aims to provide and maintain quality service, which we do.

Bureaucrats have no long-term solution for us, as they have a short tenure; and many of the lower staff, being relatives of ministers, are passing time. – Ratan Singh

– Sudhir Kapoor

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


hen people in India think ‘welfare’, they associate the word with the Centre, the State Government, or at the very least, the Municipality. However, Gurgaon thinks differently. Ask anyone what they think of the word ‘welfare’ here, and prompt comes the answer: ‘Resident Welfare Association’. Out of the scores of letters reaching the Municipality and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) asking for a change, a good portion are sent by the numerous Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) of the city. If Gurgaon has a surfeit of problems, it also has an ace up its sleeve in the form of RWAs. These bodies survey, catalogue and present their neighbourhoods’ and the sectors’ problems to the authorities—performing a valuable service in itself. And even if officials term some of them busybodies, they also admit that they do more good than bad. Whether it is the problem of traffic management, greener cover, water, sewage, or roads, the local RWA will always be the most aware and informed. “We have regular meetings of the Federation of All Residents Welfare Association (FORWA), in which we discuss the problems afflicting the sectors of this city. The people come with their issues, and we then address them to the appropriate authorities,” says Dharam Sagar, President. Likewise, President of Gurgaon Citizen Council (GCC) RS Rathee says, “Why can’t citizens come forward to work for their city? We have, over the years, brought several issues to the attention of the authorities.” For Joint Action Forum of Residents’ Associations (JAFRA), President Col (Retd) Ratan Singh says simply, “We’re the oldest RWA in this city, operational since 1978.” The Sec-

tor-14 RWA of this association has been decorated with the ‘Best RWA’ award twice in a row- for 2008 and 2009. Each RWA association has a different set of priorities. Some of them lay emphasis on civic amenities, some have an interest in furthering the city’s cultural maturity, and some have an eagle eye on the civic authorities’ work. But all roads lead to the same destination. Even if Gurgaon may not become a global Millennium City in reality, these associations help push it towards a cleaner, better future.

tenance. At night, travelling on them is especially hazardous. The section of road from house no. 1230 to 1217 is in a frightful condition.” YK Srivastava, the senior vice-President of the Sector-56 RWA, says, “Right now, we have serious issues regarding maintenance of power infrastructure, roads, and water supply. We have shot off innumerable letters to the authorities in HUDA, and we’ve had no resolution till now.” Pointing out that electrical maintenance work in Sectors 40, 15 (Part I and II), 4, 7 and 56 have

Voice of the Residents Steps for a greener city

At a scheduled FORWA meeting, Dharam Sagar moderates the members who have brought forward issues like broken roads, security, park maintenance, encroachment and sanitation. Sagar says, “We have beautified and maintained the parks in our area. It is a matter of pride for us. We have also asked for, and got, several roads resurfaced.” On pending matters, RP Tayar spoke on the bad condition of roads in Sector-15 (Part-II). “It’s been over three years that the roads have seen any main-

been sluggish at best, Sagar says that he has requested the HUDA Administrator Nitin Yadav that monthly meetings of civil, electrical and horticulture engineers should be resumed. YK Srivastava adds, “The water supply is just once a day in the entire Sector 56. How can that be even justifiable? Plus, when it comes, the water pressure is pathetic.”

Gurgaon Citizen Council’s efforts

RS Rathee adds, “I’ve been actively pursuing civic and social matters on the behalf of this city

We have raised some of the biggest, dirtiest problems. Some of them are forgotten, some are pending; but we’re determined to make this city an ideal one. – R S Rathee

for several years now.” On how he balances his busy schedule as a businessman with the hectic work of a social activist, he says, “What has to be done, should be done. It’s as simple as that.” “We have raised some of the biggest, dirtiest problems and scams of the city’s administration. Some of them have been forgotten, some of them are pending; but we’re determined to make this city an ideal one,” says Gaurav Singla, the public relations officer of GCC. When asked about the successful initiatives of the GCC, he shrugs, “We can always say that our efforts to beautify parks in the sectors have borne fruit, or that we got benches installed in them for the public; but that would be small fry for us. We admit that the real issues like traffic management, encroachment and illegal parking have not yet been resolved, despite several intimations; but we’ll keep at it till it happens. That is the real test.” Talking about some of the issues, Rathee says, “The real problem of the city, the main one, is traffic management. When Rajesh Khullar was the Municipal Commissioner, we had prepared a full plan on how the traffic snarls of the city could be reduced by over 85%. Among the suggestions were the construction of elevated tracks for light vehicles. Giving cost estimates and figures about traffic congestion, we had suggested the best, and also the most costeffective solution. As we see, the suggestions have not been implemented, or even considered.” He says, “We had expert advice from Engineer-in-Chief (Retd.) Ram Nivas Malik on the traffic solution. We had studied the problem, and came up with five sites for fly-overs, and three for traffic lights. Nothing came of it. But we’ll keep trying, nevertheless.” In Chandar Lok Housing Society in DLF Phase-IV, the GCC Contd on p 8 


16–22 September 2011


Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up





Anna To Anna @ Studio Art, C-751 A, Sushant Lok I Date: Till Sep 30 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

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

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


n exhibition of sculptures made of wood, bronze, fibreA glass and copper. Around 20

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


Classic Milds @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 23 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 120 mins Tickets: Rs. 400, 300 & 200 collection of six short plays— A Seduction, Porcelain and Pink, The Still Alarm, The Open

Door, A Separate Peace, and A Defenceless Creature. The plays are written by famous playwrights—Neil Simon, George Kauffman and Tom Stoppard, among others.


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

Mandavandalism @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 18 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 90 mins Tickets: Rs. 350, 250 & 150

artworks of the artist Seema Singh Dua are on display.

stand up comedy by the director-actor Raghav A Mandava. He is famous for an

irreverent style of comedy. The show is presented by Cheese Monkey Mafia.


Flute Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec-44 Date: Sep 21 Time: 7:30 pm


flute recital by Janani Venkataraman, disciple of Akhila Krishnan and P.N. Krishnan. Janani will play the Shankharabharanam, Gowlai, Kalyana Vasantham ragas, to name a few.


display of paintings, that depict important social and political A issues like corruption, 2G scam, CWG Games, price rise and more. Participating artists are Sanjay Mehta, Hem Rajni, Veena Karki, Mange Ram Sharma, Sajal K. Mitra, and Raja Deory.


Sculpture Show @ Quill and Canvas, 122 South Point Mall, DLF V Date: Sep 16 – Oct 15 Time: 11 am – 8 pm

display of artworks by the artists—Aanchal Wazir and A Tuttu M Tomy. The duo have

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


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Delayed Departure @The Courtyard by Marriott, Plot No. 27 B, Sector Road, B-Block, Sushant Lok-1, Sec-27 Date: Till Sep 27 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

designed artworks for hospitality projects such as The Yum Yum Tree, Urban Café, and Art Café.

On the first anniversary of Kingdom of Dreams, National Geographic celebrates this magical wonder. Watch the broadcast of “Inside Kingdom of Dreams” tonight at 9pm.


fter giving the viewers an ultimate tour of London’s Theatre Albert Royal, to discover the outstanding musical production—The Lord of the Rings LIVE; behind the scenes from one of the biggest Rolling Stones concerts on the beaches of Brazil; and following the centre of the world famous Rio Carnival – NOW for the first time, the multiple award winning show—Inside—on National Geographic Channel, takes you to India’s most vibrant new entertainment destination – the magnificent Kingdom of Dreams located in Gurgaon, India. The documentary unveils how Kingdom of Dreams brings together the best of modern technology and wizardry, integrated perfectly with traditional Indian performing arts, cinematic entertainment and India’s rich cultural heritage. It is a proud moment for all citizens of Gurgaon that an iconic destination from our city will be showcased on this

prestigious platform. You too can join and celebrate Kingdom of Dreams’ first anniversary & 400 spectacular shows of Zangoora; watch this historic episode on National Geographic at Nautanki

Mahal on Saturday. Also, there will be a lot of festivities at Kingdom of Dreams with a carnival like set-up with a live band, fireworks, rides for kids, laser shows, magic acts and lots more.

MUST SEE: Tune-in to National Geographic for the insightful episode of ‘Inside’ on 17th September 2011, at 9:00 pm With repeats on: Sunday 18th September at 12:00 am & 12:00 pm


16–22 September 2011

LIGHTS, ACTION, CAMERA: Aditya Arya shows off an old camera—Sinar p2

History Retold


ditya Arya made public the-first-ofits-kind exhibition in the city. The exhibition showcased photographs clicked by the legendary photographer Kulwant Roy. Roy’s collection of

SPOTTED: PM’s daughter Upinder Singh Tankha shares her thoughts with a guest

candid moments of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and other stalwarts of early 20th century India, amazed the guests. His collection was inherited by his nephew Aditya Arya, who himself is a professional photographer.

In the Name of Art


he city’s ardent art lovers browsed through some interesting art works at a group exhibition organised by the Karabi Artworks at The Westin. “Such exhibitions provide a unique insight into the progression of inspiration— how a feeling, an era, a painting or a film leads to a new creation” said Sonia Arora Sood, Business Head at Karabi Artworks. The guests bonded over some art talk and special wine and cheese.

ARTY PARTY: Fashion Designer Sanjana Jon (L) strikes a pose during an art exhibition at The Westin A REAL BELLY LAUGH: Amish Tripathi flips through his new book at its launch

An Ode to Shiva


hile launching his second book—The Secret of the Nagas, Amish Tripathi said that the book turned him from an atheist to

a believer. “I was an atheist and had never written any fiction, not even a story in school. But writing this book has changed me completely,” said Tripathi, at Gurgaon’s popular book cafe Quill and Canvas.

Shooting Star


iss India World 2011, Kanishtha Dhankhar shot a few hoops with NBA Star Steve Smith at Ambience Mall, in an event organised by the NBA and the Basketball Federation of India. To promote the game among youngsters, Smith said that the media have a huge role to play in promoting basketball in India. Smith, former Olympic gold medalist was in Gurgaon to launch NBA JAM—an interactive basketball clinic. SPORTING STYLE: Miss India World 2011 Kanishtha Dhankhar aims at the basket

BRILLIANT STROKES: Artist Anjanna Kuthiala (R) smiles for the camera at the launch party of her painting exhibition

Luxury Personified


urgaonites gathered to attend the painting exhibition of artist and philanthropist Anjanna Kuthiala. The exhibition was titled— Luxury through the eyes of the artist. Giving finishing touches to her painting, in front of a packed ballroom, Anjanna had played a cameo in the film—Page 3 on the insistence of her director friend Madhur Bhandarkar).

GLAM MA’AM: Entreprenuer Shalini Kochar (L) and Socialite Lisa Sharma (R) with a guest at Kuthiala’s painting exhibition


16–22 September 2011

reviews FOOD

­A Slice of Goa

Aalok Wadhwa hat does it take to be a restaurant that, in its eightW year-long existence, changes

location six times (across South Delhi and Gurgaon), and is still followed by its loyalists? Well, here is what seems to be Bernardo’s recipe—take a small space, decorate it simply, serve up authentic and fresh Goan food…and add the personal touch...some old black and white photographs from the family album, lovely Goan music, and cane furniture adorned with brightly coloured table cloth. “I cook home-style Goan food”, says Chef and co-owner Crescentia Fernandes, “This is the kind of food you will find in any Goan Catholic home. I have resisted any attempts to pander to the taste of Delhi, because then I cannot call my place a Goan restaurant.” So, on her recommendation, I start with the exciting sounding prawn recheado (Rs 375), which is succulent prawns filled with recheado masala made from red chillies and spices, ground in vinegar and shallow fried. The prawns are fresh, and retain the crispy bite. The heat of the masala is a perfect balance to the mellow taste of the prawn. For the main course the chef suggests a Goan staple—caril de peixe (Rs 295) or the Goan fish curry cooked with spices (red

notes, and the crisp yet perfectly cooked bite of the diced pork and liver. The accompanying pau is ideal to soak up the gravy. Among the other popular dishes here are the prawn curry (Rs 395), chourico (Goan sausages; Rs 280), and chicken xacuti (Rs 220). The vegetarian options are fewer. There is veg xacuti (eggplant cooked in a thick paste of roasted coconut and spices, Rs 130), fugad (Rs 130); a dry dish of stir fried finely sliced cabbage with grated coconut; and temperade (Rs 130), which is okra simmered in mild coconutbased gravy. It is customary to end a Goan meal with Bebinca (Rs 50), an

intricate dessert baked in 16 layers. The dish resembles a slice of a cake, and is as rich as, though thankfully not as sweet, other Indian desserts. The texture is gooey and soft. Bernardo’s also serves many homemade cakes. Bernardo’s promises and delivers the true, authentic taste of Goa. A place to refresh memories and tastes of holidays past. u

Bernardo’s B 229, Super Mart 1, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon CUISINE: Goan Timing: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm; 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Caril de Peixe – Fish in Coconut Curry Ingredients

SCRUMPTIOUS: A slab of bebinca

chillies, coriander and cumin), simmered in coconut milk and flavoured with cocum. The curry wonderfully captures the true taste of Goa. The peixe ambotik (Rs 295), a pretty hot fish curry, is cooked with red chillies and cocum, and served with rice or pau (I choose rice). It is fiery, and is truly enjoyable. The sorpotel (Rs 280) is finely

diced pork and liver, boiled, fried and then cooked with ground spices and vinegar, and matured for a couple of days. Like its richer cousin, the vindalho de porco (Rs 280), it tastes better when kept for a few days. This is a multilayered dish—sweet and tangy at first, with a background of heat. What the palate discovers soon thereafter is the meaty



- 8 Kashmiri chillies - 1 and 1/2 tsp coriander seeds - 3/4 tsp cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp turmeric powder - 1 and 1/4 cups coconut, grated - 3/4 tsp garlic, minced - 20 grams tamarind, cleaned or

Grind all spice ingredients with ½ cup of water to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion for a few minutes. Add the ground spice paste and sauté for two to three minutes. Add the water, green chillies and curry leaves. Bring the mixture to the boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add salt and sugar to taste, and then add fish. Cook for five minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Adjust seasoning, and serve hot with steamed rice.



An Unforgiving Portrait Manjula Narayan

Well Begun...Half Done Vijaya Kumar was keenly awaiting the release of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan for at least three Ireasons. The more prominent reason was


e good Indians aren’t supposed to get enraged by the inequalities within Indian society. We aren’t supposed to fret at the depredation of the environment, or think about farmer suicides. We shouldn’t bother about migrant labourers or the dispossessed. Because the good Indian is not touched by those things. We, the upper caste and crust, belong to that sliver of India with gated communities and glistening malls, and believe we can mould our life to our dreams. We need the dose of reality that The Beautiful and the Damned delivers. In this combination of a personal narrative, reportage and analysis, Deb tells the stories of many Indians across geographical, caste and class lines. He talks to everyone. Embittered activists, desperate farmers, prosperous seed traders, and pimps. And each of them has a sympathetic story to tell. In a curious way, there are no real human villains in the book— only the faceless government, and the forces of globalisation that have altered the way India lives. The book’s first chapter, which deals with IIPM’s Arindam Chaudhuri, has been excised from the Indian edition owing to a defamation suit. Deb’s need to understand leads him to the engineers of Bangalore, to the heart of the red sorghum battles of Andhra Pradesh, to migrant labourers wandering the country in search of work, and in a touching final chapter, to meetings with Esther—a girl from Manipur who works in unfriendly New Delhi and Luni, a sex worker in rural Manipur. Deb’s people are memorable, and the reader keeps wondering if their dreams would come true long after he’s finished

use pre-made about 1tbsp

- 1/2 lb fish (white or black pomfret), cleaned and sliced - 2 tbsp vegetable oil - 1 medium onion, sliced - 2 and 1/2 cups of water - 3 green chillies slit - 5-6 curry leaves - Sugar to taste - Salt to taste

Author: Siddhartha Deb Published by: Penguin Viking Price: Rs 499 with the book. The success of The Beautiful and the Damned lies in how it nudges the good Indian, to reflect that perhaps he isn’t as different from that migrant worker in the blighted factories of Kothur; or that prosperous seed trader on the verge of bankruptcy. We aren’t as cocooned as we thought. u

that it featured Ali Zafar, the Pakistanbased actor who had us totally charmed with his debut performance in Tere Bin Laden, his timing and fluency added zest to that wonderful and racy script. The second reason was that I thought (mistakenly, as I now realise) that the same Ali Zafar had written and directed (his maiden effort) this movie. It turned out that while it was Ali Zafar who had written and directed the movie, it wasn’t the same Ali Zafar, but an Indian Ali Zafar from the Yash Chopra camp who was making his debut, after having been an assistant director till now. The third and the least important reason was that the title sounded quite catchy, although it would have sounded just as catchy, if it had been titled as Mere Bhai Ki Bride. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan begins on a very racy note, and the first half moves at a brisk pace. In fact, I would like to draw a conclusion that movies that have their female protagonists playing aggressive and bindaas personalities create a blistering pace in the beginning. We saw that happening in the immensely likeable Band Baaja Baarat last year (also from Yash Raj Films) and also in the less successful Tanu Weds Manu earlier this year; of course, Jab We Met in the same genre having female leads playing feisty roles was in a distinct class, thanks to the spirited performances of Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor; and the deftness of Imtiaz Ali’s direction. Katrina Kaif’s performance in MBKD is perhaps her best performance to date. In the role of the feisty “Rock Star” with all the quirks, Katrina fills it with zest and life. Ali Zafar continues the spontane-

ity and excellent timing from his efforts in Tere Bin Laden. The weak link is the character played by Imran Khan. Whether the chocolatey role was tailor-written for Imran, or whether Imran cannot portray any other personality, I am unable to say in an unambiguous manner. Ali Zafar, the director, dilutes the impact of what could have been an interesting script, by adding liberal doses of the USPs of Rajshri Productions in the second half—and that is what makes the movie lose its bearings. It is nice to have a goody-goody feel, but if it looks unreal,

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Directed by: Ali Zafar Produced By: Aditya Chopra then it begins to have a cloying, syrupy texture. The music by Sohail Sen is quite peppy, but I wonder whether any of the songs will become chart busters. MBKD has no fight sequences, no dances with pelvic thrusts, no cheap comical interludes, and no serious drama. It has a decently clothed Katrina despite her playing a rock Star, a goody loveable Imran, excellent acting by the actor Ali Zafar, and a convoluted story in the second half. But, it is still watchable, particularly the first half. u



16–22 September 2011


Teentotallers on a High Teens are experimenting with their drinks without a fear { FG Bureau }


Nitin Mathur, Unit Head, Epicentre

Epicentre: Culture, Cuisine, Convention { Harsimran Shergill }


riday Gurgaon brings to you an exclusive interview with head of Epicentre, Gurgaon—Nitin Mathur.

(with a seating capacity of 312); Lynx; an art gallery; and an amphitheatre. The art gallery is flexible, depending upon the requirements of the artists. For instance, a group show requires more space than a solo one. In such a case, we have the capacity to hold both group and solo shows at the same time.

you tell us the how, when and why of Epicentre in Gurgaon? QCould A Who owns Epicentre, and what kind of a business model is it? Q Where do the proceeds go? Epicentre is Gurgaon’s cultural destination, with a of motto Culture, Cuisine, and Convention. It is the city’s own cultural hub, for visual and performing arts, along with a much needed convention destination. Like Delhi’s India Habitat Centre (IHC), we realised that people wanted a place that would become the nodal point for cultural activities in the city. It is operated by Old World Hospitality (OWH)—a company that is also responsible for the operations and programming at IHC Delhi. It was natural for us to expand to Gurgaon, and apply through tender for the running of Epicentre. Today, we have five different categories: Theatre, Music, Dance, Film and Art, that we focus on. Every week, we showcase musical and dance performances, and recitals by known artists. In addition, every week we have theatrical performances by upcoming artists. All costs of production houses and artistes are borne by OWH.

What are the various events that one can hold here, and how does Q one go about it?


To begin with, we have a screening process for artists, who send their work/auditions to us. We have a dedicated team in New Delhi that goes through the material, to zero in on artists. Sometimes, in case of theatre, we may ask the production house to come audition for us. Similar is the case with new singers and bands. Apart from this, we have a convention hall (40,000 sq feet); an auditorium


Apparel House, the building that houses Epicentre, is owned by the Ministry of Textiles. Epicentre is owned and operated by OWH, a Delhi-based company has leased the ground floor for its office space for nine years from January 2008. The auditorium was initially used for government functions and workshops. Epicentre uses the auditorium premises on a profit sharing basis with the ministry. Theatre is the only activity in our weekly calendar of events, that we charge for. Music and dance performances are free of cost. When starting Epicentre, we never looked at it from a corporate point of view. The idea behind Epicentre was to bring to Gurgaon, the city’s own cultural hub. Therefore, from the inception Epicentre wasn’t based on a for-profit business model. The profits mainly come from corporate meetings and functions held at the convention hall; as well as from our popular restaurant—Drift.

What are some of the things you do to make Epicentre more accessible Q to people? A

Firstly, we have done away with the concept of membership. We want people to participate, and enjoy cultural activities that are happening in town. There is a certain exclusivity that comes with memberships. We wanted people to be able to pay for events that

ressed in a black shirt and stone-washed jeans, 19-yearold Vikrant Sehgal is all set for an evening out. It is Saturday night and he heads for a restobar at a nearby Mall. For company, besides a fake driver’s license, he has his group of seven friends, all under the age of 25 (the permissible age for alcohol consumption). Friday Gurgaon peeps into the lives of the youth today, to see what gives them a high, and what their poison is. Vikrant and his friends’ tastes vary from vodka to beer to whisky to Daiquiri, Bloody Mary, to what they call a super drink - Absinthe. Sipping her Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT), Sujata Kapoor, a 20-year-old, says, “We generally begin with vodka since it is our preferred drink, but there are girls who mostly go for LIIT. After two or three LIITs, we either switch to vodka or tequila.” The thought of taking two LIITs isn’t easy because even one LIIT can knock down an average drinker. But for Siddharth Arora, an-18-year old, LIITs are passé. While being dismissive of LIITs, he says that he’s proud to be the whisky drinker in the group. “Single malts only,” he adds with an air of superiority. Ask him whether his parents know about his drinking habits and he mellows down. “Of course, my parents don’t know that I drink, but then what else do you do when you go out to a bar with friends?”

are of interest to them, rather than first having to invest in huge membership fees. Despite not having permanent members, we have managed to build a sense of community amongst people who come here. For instance, we have regulars who have been coming to Epicentre for the last couple of years. Almost 70 per cent of customers are repeat clientèle. This in itself is extremely rewarding for us.

all your efforts with Epicentre, how has Gurgaon responded? QFor A

The feedback has been extremely positive. In fact, it fills me with pride when people say they find solace in visiting Epicentre in Gurgaon. For most, it also means not having to travel all the way to Delhi, to catch their favourite play. We constantly receive feedback from people, which we implement in our service output. The Epicentre’s most popular annual events are –Art Mart in September, Independence Day and Christmas Carnival. In summer, we also host numerous workshops for kids and on puppet theatre.

From Nai Sarak to New Gurgaon, how has the change been? And Q when not at work, how do you like to enjoy your time off?


From catching bus no 753 from Nayi Sarak to go to college in Pusa, to starting off as an intern in Bristol, the journey has been humbling. I have always liked the vibrancy of Gurgaon. Today I find it much calmer, peaceful and greener than Delhi. I have family who continue to live in Delhi, but Gurgaon is what I call home now. As for my free time; it means spending time with my six-year-old son. Whether it is taking him to Fun City for his gaming session or just spending time with him at home, he takes all of my time. u

Chandini Khosla, who has an 18-year-old son, has an interesting take on teenage drinking. Unlike parents who forbid their children from drinking, Khosla says, “We are living in an age wherein if you ask your teenage son/daughter not to do something, rest assured that they will do it. When my son wants to have a drink, I ask him to join us for light cocktails. That way, we can guide him, so that in future he knows what to drink and what to avoid.” From whisky to vodka, the youth today are clearly experimenting. The group introduces us to the super drink called Absinthe. So what is it? “It contains anywhere between 60 and 74 per cent alcohol, and is served with a sugar cube.” But why a sugar cube? “So that the alcohol doesn’t burn your throat,” says Ayesha Jha, who then proceeds to give a demonstration. She also adds, “Since it’s illegal to sell a drink with that much alcohol content, bars usually disguise it with different names.” Just as you begin to wonder if these bars are only for the wild, high-spirited, screaming people dancing and jumping on the dance floor, you come across teetotallers like Aditi Saxena. Aditi, who is at her friends’ farewell party, says, “All my friends drink. But I don’t feel the need to get high on alcohol. There are other ways to find a high in life.” Having never tried an alcoholic drink, Aditi says she’s not sure for how long she’ll stay a teetotaller, “When I find a really good reason, maybe I will try it once.” After a few shots of vodka and tequila, Vikrant, offers ready information about rave parties. “I could tell you about ‘other’ parties too.” Well, we save that for another time, another story. u (Names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals)

16–22 September 2011

{ FG Bureau}


ood has the ability to make you feel at home, even though you may be a few thousand miles away. Thus started the trend of multi-cuisine restaurants sprouting in the city. Today, a Gurgaonite is challenging his tastebuds to ever more subtle and sophisticated flavours in food. He is willing to experiment. Friday Gurgaon talks to the top chefs in the city—to understand what drives the average Gurgaonite into fine dining restaurants. Perhaps a fine example of this cosmopolitan exchange of cuisines is best described by Austrian-born Thomas Figovc, the Executive Chef, Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon. Instrumental in opening some of the best fine dining restaurants in Gurgaon, Chef Figovc says, “As a chef I have to understand why someone would go to a restaurant and eat, more importantly, spend money for something they can get at home. This is the reason we are constantly innovating with our recipes, to give our customer an experience they would want to come back for— be it celebrating an anniversary, a birthday or simply dinning out with family.” One such example of innovation is their bajra recipe with a twist. “We are constantly experimenting with local ingredients, to serve the Indian palate. This is our way of experimenting with traditional recipes. For instance we take home grown Bajra and make kachoris. Similarly we have experimented with a local mango drink (Aam Panna), to add our twist to it.” Having travelled the world over to understand international cuisine, he says, “For an executive chef working in Gurgaon, it becomes pertinent to understand different kinds of cuisines. Often times people who are living in Gurgaon are working with multinationals, and have travelled all over the world. For instance they come to us and ask us to prepare Siu mei (Siu mei is meat roasted on spits over an open fire, or a huge wood burning rotisserie


City chefs reveal ways to keep menus interesting



Chef Speak

INNOVATIVE: Trident’s Executive Chef Sandeep Kalra

oven) that they’ve eaten in a Cantonese restaurant in some obscure part of the world. This is why experience and understanding of multi-cuisines is extremely important today.” With challenge comes innovation. Executive Chef at the Trident Gurgaon, Sandeep Kalra has been working in the hospitality business for over 15 years. Kalra says that nowadays we are dealing with an aware customer, “Today, the customer is willing to experiment, and that is the reason we have to be constantly on our toes. This is why we have to change our menus every three months. Time was when the concept of food for an Indian was based on a flood of flavours and spices, clearly not identifying any particular

EXPERIMENTER: The Galaxy Hotel’s Executive Chef Yip Wai Leong

As a chef I have to understand why someone would go to a restaurant and eat, more importantly, spend money for something they can get at home. flavour. Today we have become more subtle with our flavouring and cooking. Individuality is what matters today. To cater to the large presence of Japanese in Gurgaon, we have included a wide range of

Sushi and Sashimi, and also a complete Kaiseki menu with Yakitori, Teriyaki, Donburi— and the recently introduced Bento Boxes, in our restaurant. The cuisine is complemented by an exclusive range of Sakes and Shochus,” explains Chef Kalra. However, if you ask him about his favourite places to eat, he still heads for Delhi’s China Garden. While some get lucky with experimenting, there are those who feel the average Gurgaonite likes his food with an Indian twist to it; or at least such is the case with the most popular and loved cuisine by Indians—the Chinese cuisine. Itching to experiment with his dishes, the way he would do during his heydays in Malayasia, Executive

Chef Yip Wai Leong at the Galaxy Hotel, says, “We serve Pan Asian cuisine, including Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. Yet most people who come to the restaurant opt for vegetarian food. One of my best selling dishes is the crispy fried vegetables,” he says with the astonishment of a representative of a meat eating nation. Despite being a multi-cuisine restaurant, Chef Yip describes the restaurant as a noodle bar with an Indian twist. With the emergence of up market cuisine specific restaurants, Gurgaon caters to an array of palates—be it Chinese, Indian-Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Pan Asian. A little bit of mix and match of different cuisines never hurts. u

THINKING CHEF: Leela-Kempinski’s Executive Chef Thomas Figovc


16–22 September 2011

C ivic/Social

Working for a Better Gurgaon Û Contd from p 1

has forwarded complaints of poor sewage system, electrical works, and dumping of garbage. “Besides that, the roads in that area need to be resurfaced at the earliest. They have not been looked into since God knows when,” says Gaurav. “Even in Sector 27, the same problem of poor sewage system exists. The sewer lines were not cleaned before the monsoons, and this had led to widespread water-logging. “When the stagnating water mixed with the garbage, you can imagine the stench in that sector. The chances of diseases like malaria and dengue are quadrupled in such unhygienic conditions.” Speaking on, Gaurav reminisces in anguish, “We were shocked when we learnt of the blunder in Sector-58. There was a natural dam in that area, which had recharged the local aquifer for centuries. Suddenly, that area was sold to developers, who razed it and built on it. How can one put a value on the loss? When the city is parched for water, the authorities perform such activities for money.” Meanwhile, Rathee speaks on his mobile to someone who was complaining of illegal parking of school buses in his area. Promising action at the earliest, he instructs his assistant to prepare a brief on the matter. Says

Col Singh had said that amongst all, HUDA has the maximum funds. But despite this, the top three problems of the city are electricity, law and order (property, parking mafia, etc), and roads. Gurgaon is being given a step-motherly treatment in Haryana. He feels it is time to have a unified command, the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA). JAFRA’s Senior Vice-President BD Pahuja says, “We’ve been active since 1995. That time, we had 20-25 RWAs with us. It’s been a long journey since then.” “Our priorities are first the basic amenities of the people: namely power, water, sewerage and roads,” Pahuja says, “Our major achievement would be of getting a single-window system in the MCG and the HUDA offices. People needed simplified services, and we got that for them. Besides that, we had asked for concrete roads on the Old and New Railway Roads, GurgaonMaruti Road, Kazipur Road, and Sheetla Mata Road. And we are proud to say that around 90% of the work has been done, and the rest would be completed soon by the authorities.”

Raising the culture quotient

The Secretary General of the DLF City RWA Sudhir Kapoor says, “For all the people living

We have beautified and maintained the parks in our area. It is a matter of pride for us. We have also asked for, and got, several roads resurfaced. – Dharam Sagar

Rathee, “See, things like these will always happen. The authorities need to know that the public is aware, and ready to take action. GCC has been working for the people, and will keep doing so.”

JAFRA’s story

Col. (Retd) Ratan Singh is the chairman of Joint Action Forum of RWAs (JAFRA)—a forum that represents 152 RWAs in the HUDA and the (Old) Gurgaon areas. He is ably assisted by Mr Bhagwan Das Pahuja. It is based on their trustworthiness that five of the 25 candidates supported by them have won the municipal elections. Col Singh believes that bureaucrats have no long-term solution for us, as they have a short tenure; and many of the lower staff, being relatives of ministers, are passing time. The Municipal Corporation, more than three years old now, has few permanent staff—most of them are on deputation. HUDA officers and workers do not want to go to the Corporation, despite HUDA having handed over sectors that were over five years old. The transfer itself had taken a year to complete. In an earlier conversation,

in DLF areas, we are the facilitators.” Sitting in his plush office in DLF Phase-I market, Kapoor talks about how the RWA functions. “The area managed by us is neat and efficient, and we take pride in it. We can’t do much outside the limits of DLF, but we do what we can on roads, water, cleanliness, and sewage here. Each resident pays a certain amount, determined by the size of his plot, and the fund collected is used for maintenance and repair of the civic services,” he says. “We are one of the oldest RWAs here, with 7,000 members,” he says. “I’ve spent a significant amount of time in Gurgaon, and I’ve kept hearing the city officials say that they can’t manage Gurgaon, as the city has shot beyond what they had imagined. The officials’ perpetual stand of ‘work in progress’ will not work here. The RWA aims to provide and maintain quality service, which we do.” Talking about the association, Kapoor says, “People come to us on an hourly basis. They are hassled because they’re paying for quality services. When they have lapses in the services, they come to us. Over the years, that I’ve served in this RWA, I’ve seen that providing a helpful

shoulder is the best thing that one can do. Besides looking for the resolution of the problem, people need someone to unload their woes on. I do that, and it is worth it, when hassled people walk out of here with a smile. They trust us.” “Gurgaon has two things in plenty. One is job opportunity, and the other is entertainment in the form of malls and multiplexes. That is what keeps drawing the people here, not roads and civic amenities. We have an aim to raise the cultural quotient of the city,” he says. Going on, “Through events planned during and after the festival season, we aim to entertain and culturally educate the people young and old. We host regular cultural programmes.” In fact, they’re the only RWA to provide an ‘Advantage Card’. Besides being a photo-identity card, it also allows the members to get offers and discounts from vendors and outlets across the city. “We are proud to say that, knowing the people living in DLF, we’ve set up a fully-functional website, in which residents can log complaints, suggestions and opinions from their homes. Again, the resolution time for complaints is the same as of someone who had dropped in to our office,” Kapoor says.

The Sohna Road Story

Raman Sharma, the President of the Progressive Gurgaon Forum (PGF), says “Sohna Road can be what MG Road could not be, but the authorities are sleeping—and will wake up when there are too many problems to handle.” There is not a problem that PGF has not touched upon, he says. “PGF has 26 RWAs as members. Whether it is roads, green belts, sanitation, sewerage, or water-harvesting, we have filed Right To Information (RTI) complaints and have made a difference.” “I’ve lived in Sector-32 until I came to live here in Malibu Towne, and before that, I was in Ludhiana. In Gurgaon I learnt that what the administration does in other cities, the RWA has to do here.” “Involvement in your community certainly changes your attitude. I’ve met the HUDA officials so many times on so many issues. Some of them have been resolved, some are on track,” he adds. “Also, the PGF had earlier filed an RTI with HUDA, regarding bus and auto shelters for the hundreds who are dependent on public transportation on this road. HUDA has taken action, and has said that there will be 24 such shelters constructed from Rajeev Chowk to Badshahpur (12 on each side). This was just two months ago, and the construction will most probably start by October,” he says proudly. On asking what are they currently working on, he says, “HUDA officials call me a busybody, I’ve filed so many applications and RTIs demanding information and action. PGF has filed RTI applications for information on why there is no system of checks and balances in the system. For example, why have there been no checks to see that water-harvesting systems

In Gurgaon I learnt that what the administration does in other cities, the RWA has to do here. Community involvement changes your attitude. – Raman Sharma

are installed in buildings? Gurgaon needs to save every drop of water, and it is not happening. Builders are supposed to take water connections when they start on projects, and that is not happening. Money is passed around, and they use illegal borewells. This should stop.” “Also, we’ve filed applications to know whether there have been any auditoriums and complexes planned for Sohna Road. When we got the reply, we were shocked to know there is no plan for even a public toilet, let alone an auditorium or a cultural centre. How will people relieve themselves on a road that goes on for several kilometres? Everyone can’t visit a mall for this. They use the bushes, which is highly unhygienic. Again, this

has to be rectified; along with provisions for traffic-lights, footoverbridges and underpasses for this road.”

Working for a common cause

It is a fact that, most of the problems in the city are brought to light by pressure groups such as FORWA, GCC, and JAFRA. In other cities, the administration has to send out teams to survey, compile and present the problems. Then, the work starts. Here in Gurgaon, half the work is done by such organisations free of cost. Some pessimists may say that these organisations are media-hungry. But the truth remains that good work is done in Gurgaon, and done sooner with their help than without. u

Camel Ride Anyone? { Alka Gurha }


f you always wanted to relive childhood memories of a camel ride, without actually visiting Rajasthan, all you need to do is travel a few kilometers in your car within Gurgaon. As you saddle up, make sure that the shock absorbers are functional, and the most modern locking system is in place. Makes sense, since the average theft rate here is one car every four hours. The spare part market, where the cab operators go to procure parts at throwaway prices helps the cause. Of course the policemen are unaware. It is a closely guarded secret. Shh….! Relax and do not get jostled by the bumpy ride. Continue holding the reins of your camel…oops, sorry car, confidently and stay firmly planted without rolling off to either side. Okay, now you are a few kilometers away, when suddenly a traffic policeman stops you, “Side mein le le”. Damn! You forgot to put the seat belt on. No, it doesn’t really matter that your car was crawling and not speeding. It also does not matter that the khakhi crusader allows overloaded trucks laden with iron bars to whiz past. There is no point in arguing with Gods on the road. Accept your mistake and happily part with a few crisp ones. Take a deep breath now as you are close to the destination. So tell me, how do you feel? Shaken and stirred? Exactly as one feels after grooving the entire night in a discotheque! The back and neck hurt a little; but brace yourself for the next battle – parking. Now finding a parking on week-ends in Gurgaon is akin to finding Osama in the mountains of Tora-Bora. Not to worry, eventually you will find one, after losing some patience and petrol. Explore options, take a few rounds, and finally request the parking attendant to help you. The attendant is usually a nice guy with doubtful credentials. Remember to trust his suggestions – not him. While returning, if you find your car in place, thank God and your good karma. You are indeed blessed. But don’t count your blessings as yet. Remember you have still to get out of the maze you are in. u

16–22 September 2011

C ivic/Social


Councillors’ First Steps Money Sharma

It’s been a few months since our Councillors took up their responsibilities. FG takes a look at the plans and progress made by a couple of them disposal system can be achieved, if we just segregate our waste as dry or wet. It is not so difficult once we start doing it.”

Rama Rani Rathee

“When people from Old Gurgaon come here, they feel DLF and other similar sectors are so much better than their area. As people say, the grass is always greener on the other side. Ask the people who live here. Their problems are almost the same that anyone in Gurgaon faces,” says Rama Rani Rathee, the Councillor for Ward 34 which comprises of DLF Phases I, II, IV, Sectors 27, 28, Garden Estate and Sikanderpur.

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

Nisha Singh

“My ward (30) includes Sectors 46, 47, 51, 57, Sushant Lok-II and III, Samaspur, and Tigra,” says Councillor Nisha Singh, as she gets ready for a Monday workday. “I’ve got Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) areas, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) areas, plus developers’ areas to look after,” she says, “See, it’s okay to put forward development and maintenance in MCG areas. After all, we’re Corporation councillors. The stumbling block lies when it is a question of sectors, or developer land. There, it is a question of jurisdiction, and priority.” When asked about what issues she has experienced in her time as a councillor, Singh says, “I’ve been a resident for a longer time than a councillor, so I know the problems firsthand. Now that I’m working inside the system, it is going to take some getting used to.” “Sewerage and sanitation has always been a big problem here. Until last year or so, we used to have knee-deep flooding, whenever it rained. Now, the situation has improved somewhat,” she says. Taking HUDA to task, Singh remarks, “HUDA has strict rules—that sewer lines should not end in residential areas. It is an irony that the sewer line behind Malibu Towne empties into a green zone. And the biggest danger is that the borewell for drinking water, is hardly 20 metres from where the sewage is dumped. Is it any surprise that people fall ill at regular intervals?” “There was an illegal dump behind the Scottish High School. Again, that was HUDA land. But there was no response from their authorities, when I asked them to help clean it up. It is to the credit of the MCG that Medical Officer Aruna Sagwan,along with a team, helped clean the garbage site, when it wasn’t their responsibility to start with,” says Singh, “There was

There was an illegal dump behind the Scottish High School. Again, that was HUDA land. But there was no response from their authorities, when I asked them to help clean it up. – Nisha Singh so much garbage and filth piled up. The excavators had to dig almost nine inches deep, to find the soil. Even now, there’s some garbage left at that site, but we have it almost cleaned up. And to complete the process, we apprehended the contractor, who was using the area as a convenient dumping ground, and confiscated his garbage vehicles.” “Streetlights are a big issue, not only for my ward, but all over. There is a need to install more of them. And where there are lights, many don’t work.

The roads from Sector 45 to 46, from Sector 46 to Sector 47, Artemis; BPTP; and from Sector 46 to Sector 5, had few or no street lights working. I had several talks with the junior engineer in-charge and the contractor whose duty it was to switch on the lights after dark. I’m happy to say that now about 80% of the lights are working ,” she said. Talking about the broken, pot-holed road which lead from the DCP’s (Traffic) office, passing South City-II, to Sohna Road, Singh assures us, “That is on my agenda right now. I had taken it up with the HUDA Administrator Nitin Yadav. An estimate has been made, and passed to the Chief Engineer in Chandigarh for approval.” Continuing to talk about the projects on hand, she says, “I’ve just returned from Bangalore, where I had a talk with a waste-management firm. I’m going to present the proposal to the Council, that a simpler, more effective garbage collection and

We’ve started on a community centre, as well as upgradation of the drainage system in Sikanderpur – Rama Rani Rathee

Ask her what are the problems people face in her ward, and she answers promptly, “Water, roads, and security. Issues with electricity are also there, but not so much, that it becomes unbearable.” Going on, she says, “Once, DLF Phase I was known for its secure environs. Now, the opposite holds true. Just recently, a luxury SUV was whisked away at gunpoint. And this happened early in the morning. In another instance, a woman had her chain snatched in the market. The miscreants were so ruthless, that they literally tore off her clothes when they snatched the necklace.” It’s been four months since the elections of the councillors. What issues has she raised till now? “Water has been a big problem for my ward. I’ve spent nearly Rs 50,000 to ensure water tankers for the affected areas. The erratic supply is worsened by a low pressure. For example, the E-Block in Phase-I is on slightly elevated land and therefore needs higher water pressure. ” “Then, there is the problem of monkeys. The residents here have been complaining for a long time, that venturing out has become a problem for them because of the monkey menace. Children are afraid to go out and play in parks. When I approached an NGO to help us, they promptly presented a bill of Rs 6,000 for catching one monkey. I then asked the Corporation authorities, who came and helped us.” Ask her what has she done for her ward, she replies, “We’ve started on a community centre, as well as upgradation of the drainage system in Sikanderpur. The residents are also happy with the safai work being done. In DLF areas, it is a regular fight between me and the authorities for the roads, water and sanitation; but yes, there is progress, nonetheless.”u

Food Take

As of September 14, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Sushant Lok

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23


Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)

15 / 25

14/ 20

6 / 20

12 / 26

12 / 20

12 / 20
































80 / 100

80 /120

100 / 160

































280 / 300

280 / 300


280 / 300






150 / 160

140 / 150

160 / 170







16–22 September 2011

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It’s a Jungle Out There! An animal rescue organisation that takes care of wild animals in Gurgaon PRAkhar Pandey

{ Manjula Narayan }


Wildlife SOS does not charge for their services. However, voluntary donations are gratefully accepted. You could also lend your support to rescue and care for exploited and injured animals by:

HELPING HANDS: The Wildlife SOS team tends to an injured animal at the shelter Wildlife sOS

icture this—you’re pottering about the house humming to yourself, when you suddenly see what looks like a ferocious mini dinosaur in the bedroom. After a scream that’s fit to wake up every ghost in the neighbourhood, you wonder what to do. Should you attack the beast before it lunges at you? 
Or should you run? The ‘creature’ is a harmless monitor lizard, the same animal that Shivaji’s trusted lieutenant Tanaji used, to scale the steep walls of enemy forts in the Western Ghats. Your best bet to deal with the Schedule 1 species, that is given the same protection as the tiger under Indian law, would be to stay calm, and call the 24-hour helpline of a wildlife agency like Wildlife SOS—which has a shelter for wounded wild animals in Gurgaon. The agency will quickly send a trained wildlife inspector to tackle the issue. Many panic and want to kill the animal. So when they call us, we have to first calm them down,” says Kartick Satyanarayan, cofounder and chairman, Wildlife SOS. He says the scary-looking reptile is actually a scavenger that kills rats and snakes, and keeps pests in check. Monitor lizards and a variety of snakes like the poisonous cobra and crate, and the harmless wolf snake that nevertheless “bites like mad”, are sighted during the monsoon. The areas, in and around Gurgaon, which are currently being rapidly urbanised are also home to civets and pangolins, which also sometimes turn up in building society gardens. “We find these especially in the outer ridges towards Palwal and Faridabad,” says Satyanarayan adding that the disoriented ‘critters’ turn up as a result of the large scale destruction of their habitat. “You’ve taken over their habitat. They have no idea

• Sponsoring an animal • Planned giving • Corporate partnerships of property prices, and that this patch of land now belongs to someone else,” he laughs. 
 Herpetologist Nirmal Kulkarni says the conflict between humans and reptiles in areas like Gurgaon is actually caused by the proliferation of garbage. “Snakes and monitor lizards live on rotting matter, animal leftovers and smaller rodents. Because of garbage, these areas see an increase in rats, which in

Spotted a Critter? ON THE JOB: Sanjay Acharya, in charge of the local rescue centre, holds up a rescued monitor lizard


magine this! Whistling breeze lulls you to sleep at night, chirping birds wake you up. The sun rays play hide and seek, caressing with their golden touch. You are just a hand away from touching the sky. That’s what you experience when you live on the topmost floor of a high rise. Would you trade this house for anything in the world? Let’s find out the highs and the lows of living at the top. Santwana Bhattacharya didn’t intend to buy her apartment on the 20th floor in Carlton Estate, till she was floored by the view of her lifetime. “We took it by default. Only a few apartments were left when we went to have look in Carlton Estate, Golf Course road. It was an impromptu visit to this apartment. But when we entered, the sun was setting, and the entire house was coloured by the sun’s rays.


On Top of the World { Manjula Narayan }

turn attracts reptiles,” he says. And then there is the change in our own lifestyles. 
“Most of these animals are nocturnal. Earlier, normal life would stop at 7 pm. Now, it ends at 11 pm. There is no data to indicate that there has been an increase in the numbers of snakes and lizards. But sightings have increased,” says Kulkarni who believes the only way to keep these animals away, is to ensure that the neighbourhood is clean—an almost impossible task, considering the mounds of rotting garbage at every street corner. 
 Rapid urbanisation has also left many of these animals confused. “All snakes are not cobras. Many of the snakes sighted here are harmless, consume rats and are considered ‘farmer’s friends’. They used to inhabit the fields where most of the gated communities of Gurgaon now stand,” says Prerna Singh Bindra, member, National Board of Wildlife. 
 So how should an individual deal with unwanted wild guests? 
“You don’t know if the animal in your home is harmful, so make sure you don’t push it in a corner. Close all exits, don’t try any herogiri, and call our helpline. If the animal is harmless, encourage the team to release it in the same area so as not to displace it,” says Satyanarayan. Building societies can also get into an agreement with the wildlife rescue NGO to put a 24-hour animal rescue maintenance system in place. 
“Such encounters are bound to happen as we encroach. The key is to tackle the situation with a cool head, and a sympathetic heart,” says Bindra. u

And that’s when we decided to take this apartment. The view is fantastic. You can see the horizon from my balcony. It’s a wide angle view that anyone would love.” Not so religious Sunil Menon, her husband, gets spiritual looking at the vastness of the sky. “I am not overtly spiritual, but it gives you a sense of being near the sky. There is a lot of light, and one feels cocooned in the blue of the sky. There is a sense of living in an ivory tower. It’s a retreat sort of a thing,” he claims. Ravi Singh, a resident of Sector-54, Cedar Estate cites the practical advantages of living on the ninth floor.“ The view from my flat is very pretty. The topmost floor has no mosquitoes which is a big relief. I always wanted to be on the topmost floor, so we looked for it everywhere and found this.” Adding to this, Ipshita from Belvedere Park says, “Its great to party on

Wildlife SOS helpline: 09871963535

the topmost floor, because there is just the sky above you. You don’t have to watch your decibel levels. The view is excellent. You see the cars the size of ants crawling on the road. Its a fantastic feeling. You have a birds’ eye view of your area.” Talking about the cons, they unanimously agree on the scare of tremors. “It’s the scariest part of living in the topmost apartment. When you feel the tremors, you have to run. And by the time you’re on the seventh floor, the tremors stop.” says Santwana Bhattacharya. Apart form the tremors, heavy rains can be scary as well. A traditional Indian family still goes for a ground floor or a second floor over a top floor. “The top floor faces extreme weather conditions. It gets really hot or cold as the seasons change,” says Tapan Jyotishi, J&J property consultants in Gurgaon. However, the NRI’s and ex-residents of Bangalore and Mumbai prefer the topmost over any other floor. “On the topmost floor you do get isolated. It’s loved by some and hated by some,” Tapan concludes. u


16–22 September 2011

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Growing Old in Gurgaon

Lambretta scooters in the 60s. In the 70s, his company, Sigma Business Machines, was competing with IBM and ICL, in selling computer peripherals. A fairly successful businessman, he left all that he was doing after his heart attack. “My stint with Gurgaon started in 1998. My doctor advised me to go to a quiet locale. Our choice was between Noida and Gurgaon and my wife Swarupa settled for Gurgaon. My son is running a business in Gurgaon, and my daughter is married. We have taken various houses on rent, in various sectors; and now for the past 2 years, we are in DLF Phase I,” he explains. This happy family of five has seen Gurgaon grow in front of their eyes. “When we came here, there was nothing besides the houses. Now the entire skyline has changed, the city has got its main public transport in the form of Metro. Though a lot needs to be improved, it’s come a long way. If I have to describe Gurgaon briefly, I will say—Gurgaon has grown, the infrastructure has remained where it was.” A self confessed homebody, he ventures out only in need. “At my age, I don’t like to move around much. But I Gurgaon has go out with my grandson, grown—the who is working with M3M. He loves eating out and exinfrastructure ploring new places, so I achas remained company him sometimes.” where it was Swarupa has made her own little world. “I have – Vinod Prasad many friends here, whom I keep meeting. I have a TOGETHER ALWAYS: Swarupa and Vinod Prasad, seen here in their DLF Phase I apartment, chose Gurgaon to retire in very hectic life even at this age. I love sewing and cooking. I take orders for home cooked food on special { Indrani Thakurata } but has also witnessed the same, for the rooms. We, at that time, owned literally occasions. I don’t know much about the city, but I know what’s happening near my new India. In a crisp white kurta-pyjama, half of Delhi,” claims Vinod. A product of St. Columba’s school, place. About the rest, I am not bothered,” is father hobnobbed with post- he narrates history that people only get Vinod left Delhi with his family just after Swarupa asserts. independent India’s political elite. to read in books. As she talks about her work in A descendant of Rai Lala Chunna- school. “We settled in Indore, for business Vinod Prasad proudly points to the picture where Jawaharlal Nehru and mal, Vinod’s family was one of the most purposes. I got married in Indore, and my Gurgaon, Vinod takes me to the place children were born there. But after 30 where he spends his evenings—his Indira Gandhi are talking to his father, famous in Old Delhi. Now a resident of DLF, he reminisces his childhood days. years in Indore, we came back to Chandni balcony. “It is lovely sitting here and Radha Krishna Prasad. watching the sun set. I can see the lights Chuckling at his own picture with the “Our ancestral house in Chandni Chowk Chowk,” he says. A businessman who has tried his glowing on the Golf Course road. For third President of India Dr. Zakir Hus- is a heritage site, which has been covered now, I don’t see myself moving out of sain, the 77-year-old effervescent gentle- extensively by the media. Our haveli is hand in many ventures, he was one of man has not only seen Gurgaon evolve, more than 100 years old, with almost 80 the first few distributors in Delhi selling Gurgaon,” he concludes. u PRAKHAR PANDEY

Khandani Dilliwalas choose city for their sunset years


Working Towards an Adarsh Society { IT }


a hota hai bacteria? Mujhe toh na dikhta, tu bawla ho gaya hai.” That one line from his father pretty much decided the course of Dr. Raj Singh’s life. He went on to become a doctor; and has vowed to take on ignorance and superstition with a missionary zeal. Dr. Raj is the founder of Adarsh Rural Development Society (ARDS). All big initiatives start small. An initiative of four passionate, sensitive, medical students, to spread awareness about some common disease, turned into a full-fledged NGO of 12 people fighting illiteracy and disease in rural Gurgaon. Adarsh Rural Development Society started in 2001. Dr Raj Singh, a medical student from Jhansi Medical College, while working for Apollo hospital, used to find time to do his bit for the society. “ In those days, I was happy working in a state-of-the-art hospital, and doing social service for a day in a month. Some friends and I used to visit the local village, with sample medicines given to us by medical representatives.” But with each visit, Dr Raj realised the intensity of the problems plaguing the villages. A simple charitable visit to a local village turned out to be a challenge for these doctors. “ They were not taking us seriously, neither were they willing to recognise us as their well

An NGO fighting illiteracy and disease in rural Gurgaon

HEALTH MATTERS: ARDS organises health camps in rural areas to carry out developmental activities

wishers.” A credible organisation was the need of the hour. “ In 2000, we got our NGO registered. Soon after the formation, we involved local people to work with us. Without their consultation, it would have been impossible to carry out our work. The ignorance relating to communicable disease and seasonal disease was very apparent; and without proper understanding of these, it was difficult for the NGO to carry out any further programmes.” To convince them against some practices, it was necessary to make them literate. “They

Any woman in distress can call us on our helpline number (0124-6527008) didn’t take typhoid, cholera or dysentry as any disease. They would rubbish us as being ignorant. Some would treat it as God’s gift, and some as voodoo.” To carry out developmental activities, ARDS established a

vast network of volunteers at the grass-root level, and consultants at the district level. This human resource enabled the organisation to undertake and implement projects of varying nature in a professional manner. Each of the programmes focused on achieving programme sustainability and duplication, besides the project objectives. “We don’t have enough funds to fully address any problem in a village. So we pitch for government projects in rural villages in Haryana. And based on the project, we devise our strategy. The projects may last for a year, or it may last for three years, depending upon our performance.” He adds, “ARDS was awarded the best NGO award by the District Administration of Gurgaon and by the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs Haryana, for giving the best services to the community in the year 2007-08.” Dr Raj proudly talks about all the projects under their belt. “Any woman in distress can call us on our helpline number (0124-6527008). Especially widows; destitute and deserted women; women exfelons; victims of sexual abuse and crimes, including those rescued from brothels; and migrant or refugees who have been rendered homeless due to natural calamities.”

Mita Lekh, a 45-year-old woman from Bhondsi village, vouches for Swadhar’s good work. “I was thrown out of my house without a single penny. I fought against my husband to get a share of the property we jointly own. Swadhar gave me shelter, and also provided for the legal help. They helped me in regaining my strength.” Apart from Swadhar, ARDS is running Targeted Intervention (TI) project with the support of Haryana State AIDS Control Society and NACO, focusing on prevention of AIDS in the high risk groups of migrants in Gurgaon. “Our organisation has been implementing HIV/AIDS prevention programme through TIs. As per our assessment and past experience, there is a rapid increase in the vulnerable population. Our programme aims at reducing the risk of HIV infection among people at risk.” ARDS held a camp recently near Darbaripur.” Above all, Dr Raj and his team are running a non-formal education centre at Kadarpur. The education is targeted at the poor and needy school drop-outs. “I don’t expect all of them to go to college. But even if they pass tenth grade, they will fight against the biggest disease of all—superstition.” u Project Office: 227 Deep Plaza, Near Courts, Gurgaon Phone No:+91- 9899065577, 0124-6524030 Email:

16–22 September 2011


Potty Training Concerns Dr Shoma Lahiri, paediatrician at Paras Hospital answers the most common queries of parents with toddlers DURGADATT PANDEY

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


t’s time to potty train your child, and we understand it could make you a bit nervous, especially with a hundred obvious questions on your mind—When is the right time to potty train? How does one really go about it? What is the best technique? What can you do not to scare your child from a new concept of potty training that is being introduced? And to top it all, conflicting inputs from relatives, friends or colleagues—that only confuse you further. The transition from diapers to the pot(an approximately one foot high, small toilet-shaped bowl, placed on the floor), must be made in a simple and easy way, as recommended by Dr Shoma Lahiri, a paediatrician at Paras Hospital. Take a deep breath of relief, and prepare to take the next big step for your tiny one, as the expert answers the most commonly asked potty training questions, of first time mummies.

must be avoided so that the child does not reject the training? QWhat A

Often, mothers try to force the training on their kids—like forcefully trying to sit the child down on the potty or toilet seat, even when he/she is resisting. This should be absolutely avoided. This causes fear in the child's mind, only delaying the training. It is a new experience


I think even a big hug from the mother can do the trick. You don’t have to necessarily give a reward; it’s better to do it naturally—praise in form of ‘good’ or even a hug can work very well. Avoid giving candies and sweets as rewards.

No, the training is the same for boys and girls. Training for boys also begins with sitting on the pot, and they can be taught to stand and urinate when they are tall enough for the pot; or at around the age of three and a half years.

other factors could come into play, that cause delay, or problems of toilet training? QWhat A

In cities like ours, both the parents are usually working, and the child is put into a creche as early as six months of age. At creches, the child could lack the attention and care that comes from a mother. Parents must try to spend enough time with the child in the evenings, and practice potty training with him or her.

for the child too, and he/she needs time to understand it. You must be patient and tolerant. If too much force is used, resistance come naturally from the children, and they are left without training. It should be done naturally, and preferably after the child has had a bath, or whilst changing diapers.

of age, but some could take longer, so don’t panic. If a child is well developed and still delays, it could be due to stress, acute anxiety or acute fear. But if its more specific, or you think it’s a matter of concern, contact your paediatrician, to rule out any infection or other problems, that may need treatment.

should a mother start to worry about it okay to skip the potty, and start with the the training? sized toilet? QWhen QIsregular A A A child must be potty trained by about three or three and a half years

We Are Not Just What We Eat hy does the same diet produce superlative results in one case, and fall flat, in another? Basically, for two reasons: first, each one of us is biochemically unique; second, as observed by Aristotle, and also applicable to diet, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” This week, we examine what is perhaps the most important factor in our wellness—our food and lifestyle habits. Most of us have heard the saying ‘we are what we eat’. However, what we may not know is the key role played by the emotions involved in procuring, preparing and consuming our food. It would be a good idea to carefully review each of the following habits: l What, and how much do we eat? Keeping track of the total intake is at the top of the list. l Where, when and how often do we eat ? l What kind of food do we eat? l Do we eat to live or live to eat? A deep and interesting question. The busy urban

rewards, like sweets and candies, a good option in potty training? QAre A


Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

the toilet seat. Sometimes children are scared of the toilet; in such cases—potties may be a better option. But if they take to the toilet seat happily, then potties can be skipped. It's not necessary, but you can also consider getting a toilet baby ring (a small toilet seat that latches on to your toilet) for your child. It really is about what makes him or her comfortable, because that way they will learn better and faster.

Is there a difference between potty training of boys and girls? Should mothers train Q them differently?

should potty training for the infant begin? QWhen A

You can start to potty train your baby when he or she is about one and a half to two years of age. But, it must be kept in mind that you introduce the training very gently; with no coercion whatsoever. Make it a part of a routine to take your child to the potty.


Yes absolutely, there is no problem. But the child must be comfortable on

lifestyle inexorably pushes us towards ‘easy fixes’ and junk foods. Excessive partying, binge-eating, emotional-eating, mindless eating—are easy traps. l How do we procure and prepare our food ? This can make all the difference in terms of whether what we eat are ‘live foods’ or ‘dead foods’. l With whom we eat is important—the social aspect of food can never be underestimated. Family meals were always the mainstay of the healthiest, longest living populations of the world. l How do we eat? Are we involving all our senses in appreciating the food on the table? As an example, the very first and essential step is to chew each morsel well. It can impact the entire digestive process. To summarise—the essential aspect is

what age do kids learn to clean QAtthemselves? A

About the age of three and a half years, the child starts to learn cleaning independently. You can slowly start withdrawing then. So don’t fret, and say good bye to those questions that have been worrying you all this while. Potty training is a natural process, and with just some precautions, the training can be carried out smoothly and effectively for your baby. And before you know it, he or she will be out of their nappies, and using the toilet on their own! u

our relationship with the food we eat. This is not always easy, especially if we are always going to be in a rush, and insist on eating mindlessly.

Tip of the week

It is said that we should treat others the way we would like them to treat us. By nature, this principle is at work everywhere. If we expect our food to nourish us, it is imperative that we nurture a respectful, loving relationship with our food. Only then will it become bio-available to us for vitality and energy. In the absence of proper assimilation in our bodies, no matter what we eat, it will just be ‘garbage-in, garbage-out’

Nature’s wonder food of the week

Pulses and lentils (dals) have been used as food for thousands of years. Dals provide an economical source of protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and vitamins. These are low in fat and a good source of some of the B vitamins, iron, calcium and minerals. Fresh pulses contain vitamin C, but this declines after harvesting, and virtually all nutrients are lost from dried pulses. Dals are naturally free of cholesterol and saturated fat. Research suggests that dals can play a vital role in promoting health and preventing disease,including cancer risk, improving cardiovascular health, controlling blood sugar and managing weight. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)


16–22 September 2011


Our Historical Suburb There is this land to our north, ruled by another Head of State. Of similar patronage, but different. It was once a prospering, happening city.


Once, we lived here, worked there. Then, they lived there, worked here – also partied here. Now, rather than all the bother of travel, many have crossed over – they now live here. Gurgaon is happening. Delhi is not missed. We go to Delhi for a short nostalgic trip—to get away from it all. To see how the old folk are. To see how India lived (still lives) in places called DDA flats. And also to see some greenery. Yes, a monthly trip to the suburb is good for the soul. Their culture is different—lots of State patronage. And many State celebrities. It is a city that was given Capital status; taken away from Kolkata.

Time for Bhagidari { Abhay Jain }


xperiments for developing infrastructural facilities using the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model have already laid the ground for a greater role for public and private firms. For quite some time, the Gurgaon administration, with the backing of the state government, has been practicing the policy of PPP, to develop various types of projects—including those that require large funding. This has not only ensured better quality and a professional approach to the facilities, but has also created an ambience for entrepreneurs to expand their horizons. Now, it is time the administration utilized this concept in a larger and broader perspective—to provide world class infrastructure facilities in this fast developing millennium city—especially for roads, parking, public transport, sewerage, public toilets, water, electricity. The most successful and celebrated project was the 27.5 km long Gurgaon-Delhi expressway, which had cost the private concessionaire and the government Rs.755 crores. The expressway has provided world class connectivity between Delhi and Gurgaon. However, a section of commuters is also disappointed over their failure to decongest the Hero Honda crossing, to resolve the daily traffic jams at both toll plazas, and to provide an adequate service road along the stretch for two wheelers and slow vehicles. The administration must resolve these issues urgently and effectively; so as to also not lose goodwill for the project, and for PPP. Currently, there are various projects being executed on the PPP platform—the widening of the Gurgaon-Faridabad road, the laying of the new Kundli-ManesarPalwal (KMP) expressway, the Rapid Metro in DLF city, the joint maintenance of the NH8 to Golf Course extension road patch, the running of dispensaries, the maintenance of green areas, and even the management of a cow shelter (Gaushala). They offer us good lessons for management of PPP projects. The 135km KMP expressway is being constructed by a private concessionaire, along with HSIIDC, at an investment of Rs. 2500 crores. The project is already delayed; and rather than play any blame game, they must jointly ensure its timely completion—as this road would definitely ease traffic between Gurgaon and Delhi. The Rapid Metro project has started in earnest. However, some commuters are complaining that alternative routes have

not been provided, while the construction is being carried out. The concerned authorities must ensure that the public is not harassed, and ensure that the Rapid Metro follows the Delhi Metro (DMRC) guidelines, of providing substitute roads and facilities during the construction period. HUDA and DLF have agreed to develop, widen and jointly maintain the 9.5 km long congested stretch, from Shankar crossing at NH-8 to Sector 55-56 T point at Golf Course Extension road, at an expense of Rs. 350 crore. Also, under PPP, MCG and HUDA had, some time back, handed over some parks, roundabouts and greenbelts to RWAs and NGOs, for maintenance. Though the authorities pay these public bodies the same amount that they were earlier spending to maintain them, the RWAs and NGOs take pains to maintain and beautify these green areas. Just a few days ago, the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner exhorted RWAs to appoint Booth Level Volunteers (BLVs) and Booth Level Officers (BLOs) to check the correctness of entries in the electoral list, that is being updated. These examples give us hope for a solution to the provision and maintenance of some basic infrastructure in our city – eg. the problem of public transport may also be significantly reduced if private mini buses are allowed. PPP can of course also be useful in many other areas. The police have, time and again, appealed for public participation in controlling the menace of terrorism. Some residential colonies have not waited for the government. Residential Sector 14 is good example, where the RWA has executed various activities – such as posting security guards at gates, building boundary walls around the sector, maintaining the community centre, and installing CCTVs at the market for better and effective supervision of the area. In the wake of a changing social scenario, the government alone cannot be held responsible for providing all basic facilities and amenities to its citizens. Rather, registered RWAs, NGOs and public bodies should be enrolled by MCG, HUDA, HSIIDC and the civil administration, to run and maintain parks, roads, sewerage, water, street lights, security guards, etc. in their localities. The government should basically supervise their actions. Of course, the public should not be over-charged for such facilities. It is time we allowed both the partners to have a good marriage, and live happily ever after. u

Despite that, it never really was numero uno—Bombay, Mumbai stole that thunder. Delhi’s pride was in India Gate and Connaught Place. They now are remnants, forgotten by most Delhi-ites. The South has been upstaged by us; the West is happy being the West Delhi Trading Co.; the East finally was considered part of the Commonwealth of Delhi this year. The North, though the original Delhi, is distant—only college kids dare to travel there. There once was industry in Delhi. Hard to imagine; and very hard to spot. It now qualifies more as a city of traders. Delhi has seasoned people. Bureaucrats and politicians of all hues. Of completely a different age. Time has passed them by. Delhi was also a Millennium City once. We must never forget our past. Even if today it is just a suburb. u

LETTER TO THE EDITOR ...excerpts from the mail


he way Gurgaon is progressing, so are increasing law and order issues. and It’s a big challenge for the top cops. To meet this challenge, the Govt. implemented Police Commissionerate system so that there is better control and people get good services from the Police. Mr. Deswal, the Police Commissioner, along with his good and educated team tried to bring some changes in the system. Few of the efforts are really commendable like implementing computer networking at main office, tracking system for PCRs, to recruit young and educated SHOs and provide them proper training through professionals, providing protection to women passenger in the metro rail, starting women special auto in the city etc. Some other remarkable thought process was done by young Joint Police Commissioner Alok Mittal who brought the good looks of cops by changing their cap and stick and tremendous efforts put by Lady officer Bharti Arora to streamline the traffic chaos in the city. Direct conversation with people is another good initiative. Inspite of all these efforts and strong team why the law and order in Gurgaon is not good or is not improving? Why the crime graph is raising? Why the traffic in Gurgaon is becoming more and more difficult? Why the people don’t have confidence in Police? There are few important key factors which the high ranked police officers failed to focus. I deeply tried to study the police working system and have been able to conclude as follows: The most important part of checking police working is to make sudden visit of police stations and on site visit by Sr. officers which is lacking. The senior officers have focused more on discussions and giving strong msg. through meetings only. Many initiatives have been taken but there was no follow up actions. In May one meeting happened in Sector 40 police station where DCP had a interaction with people and it was decided that they will have such more meetings but now that DCP and SHO of police station are transferred. Police commissioner and other Sr. officer have told people that they can be reached on their cell nos any time for any urgency but the fact is that they hardly take the call. In one of the police station in two years time there are cases of 6-7 SHOs taking charges and getting transferred.

How come one SHO perform and give result if he is transferred so frequently? The plight of Police station is pathetic. Rooms are in bad conditions, no cleaning is there, there is no helper to serve water or tea to the SHO or guest. One SI told me that how difficult it is to work without Fan in the room. One more SHO cried that Govt expects 24x7 hrs duty from us and in lieu what facilities are provided to us? The problem is that no one has even tried to understand the situation at ground? No one has paid any attention to the so called police man or Sipahi who is the main interface with aam janata (public). This sipahi is basically from rural environment and not much educated. When he is given charge in such big cities, he does not know how to speak properly, how to behave properly with so called educated masses. How brutal these police men are, can be well understood if any common man has to deal with them. The incident of June 2011 of Udyog Vihar Police station is another example where in a person was shedding his blood and police men did not come to their help. The recent case at toll plaza accident where a man died because police did not come for their help because of jurisdiction issue. These all incidents shows us there is drastic need for true will to improve this image. Actual training is required to these ground level policemen instead of officers only. Why there is much corruption prevailing in police? Though many of high ranked officers are honest but mostly at police stations, if someone has any work, it can’t be done without giving money. One of the policemen commented that if after doing 20 yrs of service my salary is only Rs. 20,000 per month, how should I run my family? One of the very high ranked police officer from Rajasthan cadre told me very openly that if police wants, crimes can be controlled as police have very wide network from where they can get informations. It’s a question of will to do. So I will request to the top cop of Gurgaon to please control the crime rise in the city. Its clear that changing cap of cops can give them better look but will that also change their mentality? Sunil Sukhija Residency Greens, Sector 46, Gurgaon Please send your letters to:

16–22 September 2011


Brain Awareness Camp

Kid Corner


Ways to Enhance your Child’s Confidence DURGADATT PANDEY

A team of five students from the medical stream of Class XI of Blue Bells Model School, took part in a Brain Awareness Camp organised by the Department of Zoology, Government College, Sec-14. The students showcased a model on the Autoimmune Neuromuscular Disorder—Myasthenia Gravis. The team got a cash prize of Rs 3,100 for the model, charts and power-point presentation. The camp was sponsored by National Brain Research Centre, Manesar.

Splash of Colour

It was all about colour and ideas at a painting competition organised by Pathways World School on Sunday. Students got to paint and also spray paint T-shirts, masks, jewellery boxes and toy cars. With so many bright colours and images, the event turned out to be a visual treat.

Meet the Postman

Students of Good Shepherd School were told about the importance of the Post. Students made postcards and visited the post office to post them. The students learned how letters are put in a letter box, then taken by postal vans to the post offices, and sorted out by postmen to be finally sent to their destinations.

Swimming Competition

Pathways World School organised an Inter-house Swimming Competition last week. The participants from the four houses—Air, Fire, Water, and Earth took part in the event. While Water won the competition with 231 points, Air was the first runner-up with 182 points, and Earth was the second runner-up with 168 points. The best swimmers were: Anshika Singh in the Under-12 Girls category, Jatin Yadav and Ziyad Bakkali in the Under-12 Boys category, Mallika Walavalkar and Philippe Swamy in the Above-12 category.

{ Aparna Balasundaram }


ake a leap into the future. See your child 10 years, 15 years, perhaps 20 years from now. What kind of person would you want her or him to be? Most parents would answer that they hope and dream that their children will be successful, confident and well-equipped to deal with the challenges of life. While academics and sports provide avenues for this development, experts say that children also need positive social and emotional growth— referred to as life skills to build self-confidence. Research has proven that children with strong social and emotional life skills are academically more motivated, well-rounded, successful, have better inter-personal relationship skills, and a deeper sense of self-worth. If your child’s school is not enhancing her or his academic

Literary Flourish

experience with the critical life skills, here are three tried and tested ways to help your child gain confidence.

1 Give them responsibilities

— Parents often ‘show’ their love by constantly ‘doing’ things for children, whether it be feeding a five-year old, or packing a school bag for an eight-year old. Though parents’ intent may be good, in the long run they are doing a disservice to their children. Instead, make them responsible for things around the home. From hanging up their uniforms, feeding the pet, sharpening pencils for school, and even putting their dirty plates in the sink.

2 Ask their opinion

—Many people feel—‘children are meant to be seen and not heard’. That’s a sure way to break a child’s confidence. Ask them about their opinion, even if it’s a simple thing, like where to eat,

what to order from the menu, or where to go on a holiday. This gives them an impression that what they say is valued. When children are heard by an adult, it enhances their sense of self-worth.

3 Create a ‘feel good’ factor

— When children do something good and get recognition for it, it gives them an ‘emotional high’. Help your children identify their strengths, and create opportunities to showcase them. Give them an opportunity to present a music recital at a family function, or act as the family photographer during a vacation. A ‘feel good’ factor helps children take risk to try new things. So implement these simple, yet proven strategies to enhance your child’s self-confidence; and lay one more stone in the foundation of your child’s future success. The author is a USA – Licensed Parent and Child Expert.u

Artistic Strokes

Peacock Dance The tickling sound of the drops falling, The fresh fragrance of the first rain, The birds dancing and calling, buddies tied in friendship chain. The peacock seems to be moving in the feathers of green and blue, A beautiful dazzling peacock dancing, moving its body of the moonlight hue. May all the two-legged creatures could see, this beautiful site of thee. – Anjali Sachdeva Class VIII H, Delhi Public School, Sector – 45

Title: Fairy Tale Anushka Bansal, Class II J, Amity International School , Sector – ­ 46 Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to

Kids Brainticklers


Spot The Difference


Spot The Difference

Sudoku Kids

16 16–22 September 2011

K id Corner


16–22 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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16–22 September 2011

Malt Maven

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


At Barmalt India, Pramil Jindal takes the legacy forward money sharma

ot many would know that the large silos visible from the National Highway near Jharsa village in Gurgaon, store grains for the leading malt producer in the country. These silos, seen along with the skyscrapers, evoke awe and curiousity. Friday Gurgaon met up with Pramil Jindal, the owner of Barmalt India, the company behind these silos. Jindal meets us in his office at the Jharsa factory that has large glass walls, from where plants and trees can be seen—creating a sense of peace and serenity. He talks to us about the Barmalt India legacy, the values instilled by his father Seth Puran Chand, and about the future of the company and the Millennium City. Starting with a 2000 tonnes per annum capacity plant established in 1967 near Jharsa village in Gurgaon, Jindal says production has reached over 1,50,000 tonnes annually. This become possible due to constant improvement in technology and processes, he adds. Jindal, a chemical engineer, says technology upgradation, improvement in forward and backward processes, and investment in people has enabled Barmalt India to emerge as the leader in Indian malt industry. “When I joined Barmalt as an engineer, the entire industry was characterised by primitive and manual methods, though good malt was produced even then”, says Jindal, who had to work through the ranks to reach to the top post of Managing Director. He than went on to incorporate new technologies and latest production methods as prevalent abroad. Jindal used the knowledge and skills he had gained about malt production and brewing during his post-graduation in UK, where he studied the latest develop-

SETTING THE STANDARD: Pramil Jindal has raised the bar, making Barmalt India the leader in the Indian malt industry

for storing grains. The company has also acquired expertise in hazard management in the food industry, and is a leader in this segment as well. Despite incorporating the best of the West, Jindal says Barmalt India as an organisation has not forgotten the values instilled by the founder Seth Puran Chand, who was an industrial pioneer. Returning from Pakistan after the partition, his father, who originally belonged to a village near Manesar established a fac-

Under his leadership, Barmalt India has pioneered initiatives that have set the standard for the malt industry ments as well as the basics of the industry. The focus on saving energy and production efficiency have been a key element. “I think investing in technology and ensuring international standards, has been crucial for us”, Jindal asserts. Under his leadership, Barmalt India has pioneered initiatives that have set the standard for the malt industry. These include setting up the first effluent treatment plant in Haryana, installing electrostatic precipitators to save energy, and becoming the first to set up large silos


tory in Gurgaon in 1949. This was perhaps the first manufacturing facility in the city. It was in 1967 that Barmalt India was established, and production started in 1969. Jindal says his father, despite being a determined businessman, was a warm and compassionate person, and always insisted on doing business ethically. “The same values are practised in the company even today”, says Jindal, who currently employs more than 700 people in his two factories at Gurgaon and Daruhera. The most valuable assets in

his organisation are the people. “We have highly skilled professionals who excel in an open and transparent environment. Contribution of every team member is valued,” Jindal adds. The company is also expanding and setting up a third plant in Kotputli, Rajasthan, as the state is one of the largest producers of Barley along with Haryana. Barmalt’s products, that include Malt, Malt Extract, Roasted Malt, Dried Malt Extract, are bought by leading beverage and liquor producers in the country and even abroad. When asked about difficult times his company has faced, Jindal admits that when prohibition came into force there was a lot of insecurity and apprehension about the future of the industry. The labour unrest in Gurgaon, he says, also affected the morale of industrialists; but now the situation is better. Jindal, however, predicts a not so good future for the manufacturing industry in Gurgaon, and says the city has become too expensive. The cost of living is high, the labour is expensive, land is out of reach, and rents are exorbitant, says the industrialist, who has seen Gurgaon transform from a tiny suburb to a cosmopolitan city with a population of two million. Gurgaon has become a hub for the service and IT industry. The manufacturing companies will slowly shift outside, as industrial inputs can be obtained at reasonable rates”, he says, but otherwise predicts a great future for the Millennium City due to the arrival of corporate companies like banks, IT and ITes companies, and BPOs. Infrastructure development in Gurgaon, he says, is crucial, and should happen fast—as it was left behind due to the rapid pace of development. No one envisaged that this city would expand so quickly, he asserts, and wants the answers to come from the community and government. About any plan to shift the

Jharsa plant somewhere else, and use this property for real estate development as it is worth its value in gold, he smiles and answers “I am not after money. I love this work, as brewing and malting are my passions.” Passionate about his work, he has also begun initiatives to improve the quality of Barley with the help of a government institute. Barmalt India has also invested a lot in research and development efforts, and has a state-of-the-art laboratory to develop new products, and improve the existing ones. Jindal wants youngsters to work with passion, and says that people who enjoy their work normally succeed. He would also like the education system to pro-

duce employable graduates, and is critical of the money making institutions churning out engineers a dime a dozen. Barmalt is also socially responsible, he says, and any social organisation in Gurgaon that asks for assistance is helped. The company also supports a library being run by an RWA in Sector 31, informs Jindal, and says he is open to proposals that can help the society. In his spare time, he loves to meet friends, and plays golf and squash to keep himself fit and agile. He has two daughters, one of whom helps him at the factory, and the other is doing an MBA and waiting in the wings, to together take this family legacy to greater heights. u

The E-powered One An e-trade strategy works for this enterprising lady { Alka Gurha }


rafting a business from artefacts was Shalini Verma’s dream. Her dream came true when she founded ShalinIndia, an e-commerce company. She now sells Indian jewellery, sculpture, accessories and clothing to global customers, from the confines of her aesthetically NET SUCCESS: Shalini has transformed her designed apartpassion into a successful online venture ment in Gurgaon. Sanjay her husband adds, “We have been working with for the last four years as their “Gold Level” pro-merchant partner. In March 2011, we received authorisation from to sell products on their platform.” Shalini proudly adds that and have named her as a ‘Top Seller’ for Holiday and Christmas 2010, on their respective platforms. u


16–22 September 2011

B usiness

Industry Hopeful as HSIIDC Plans Overhaul, Expansion { Abhishek Behl / FG }


ndustry in Gurgaon, which has been crying hoarse for want of quality infrastructure and facilities, as well as against the new Estate Management Policy 2011 (EMP-2011) proposed by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), is likely to witness better days ahead, if officials are to be believed. Not only has the HSIIDC extended the deadline for signing up of the new Estate Management Policy to December 31, 2011, but it has also planned to expand, and improve the existing infrastructure. In the recent past, the agency has come under severe criticism for imposing the EMP-2011, apart from being accused of bureaucratic red tape, and failure to provide necessary facilities. While admitting that infrastructure in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon is proving to be inadequate, HSIIDC Senior Town Planner Dinesh Chauhan, says that this area was planned in the eighties and since then the industrial profile has changed

metre roads. The agency has also decided to expand the industrial areas in Gurgaon and invite industry to Manesar, Daruhera and other brownfield projects. “All the learnings from Udyog Vihar have been taken into account while planning Integrated Model Township (IMT) Manesar. We have ensured proper roads, drains, power infrastructure and other supporting facilities”, he asserts. Dwelling on the expansion of industrial infrastructure, Chauhan revealed that in addition to the existing six phases of Udyog Vihar and IMT Manesar, HSIIDC has acquired land in Sector 34 and 35 of Gurgaon as a brownfield project, and created infrastructure for the industry.

HSIIDC calls for truce on EMP 2011

Signaling a truce with the recalcitrant industrialists, HSIIDC, has extended the deadline for signing the new Estate Management Policy to December 31, 2011. This decision by HSIIDC indicates a shift in its strategy, as it has not been able to convince the industry on the merits of this policy.

government to facilitate business instead of micromanaging things. The general feeling is that HSIIDC, which manages Udyog Vihar and IMT, Manesar, and is the nodal agency for the industry in the state is too slow, steeped in red tape and acts as a master rather than friend of industry. Colonel Raj Singla, President of Gurgaon Industrial Association is quite a vocal critic of HSIIDC policies, particularly the EMP 2011. He is of the opinion that HSIIDC policies are not industry friendly, and alleges that they are against the law but due to government backing these are implemented. While plots were alloted way back in the 1980s, 30 to 40 per cent do not have a conveyance deed and despite these being freehold, the agency is asking for certain undertakings, Singla complains. “Even for the smallest violation, notices are issued for resumption of the plot. When the plot is leased to a party, they ask for half the rent under one provision or the other”, says Singla, who has an industrial plot in Udyog Vihar. The factory owners here are also jolted

Next six months to see a changed Udyog Vihar: Singh a common effluent treatment plant in In next six month, Hamvir Singh, Manesar, and this is a major developDeputy General Manager (Indusment”, he informs, adding that a kuctrial Area), HSIIDC wants to see a sigcha drain has also been constructed, nificant change in Udyog Vihar. Singh that carries the treated as well as storm has asked for a concrete plan on a war water to a major drain. footing, in the next 10-days that must Singh also claims that roads have include resurfacing of the bad roads, been resurfaced in Manesar, streetextension of the green cover, ensuring lights made functional and parks in the streetlights work and the paving of residential and industrial sectors are kuccha surfaces. being given a new lease of life. “I don’t want any dirt and dust in Singh’s assertions are attested by Udyog Vihar, and we are planning to Manesar based industrialist Manoj spend almost Rs 10 crores to improve Tyagi, who admits that things have the facilities here”, claims Singh, who is improved partially. Tyagi, however, also responsible for infrastructure and says that notwithstanding efforts by maintenance at IMT, Manesar as well. Hamvir Singh, DGM (IA), HSIIDC Singh, HSIIDC has some fundamenThe HSIIDC official says that issues tal problems like centralisation of related to infrastructure can be taken care of but as far as scarcity of water is concerned, only the power and too much red tape that has made life difficult for district administration and HUDA can augment it through the industry. “The real problem is that, to resolve even basic problems, canal water supply. The water level in Udyog Vihar has gone down, and an order by Punjab and Haryana High Court has one has to get the nod from Chandigarh”, alleges Tyagi. This is also perhaps true, as Singh was also heard telling the junior also banned the setting up of tubewells. A number of steps have been taken in Manesar to improve official at his office, “Get the plans ready so that I can get the the facilities and infrastructure, he reveals. “We have set up approvals from the head office.” Divya Kamal, the Deputy General Manger (Estates), HSIIDC, Manesar, who has been quite active in explaining the EMP 2011 to industry, and persuading them to accept it on behalf of his organization, says that there has been a lot of confusion with regard to this policy. “The industry thinks that the undertaking being demanded by HSIIDC could force it into a corner. But this is not true”, he says, adding that an option is given to allottee-entrepreneurs to adopt it, or to go with the previous policy. The new EMP also does not supersede the previous policy automatically, and also has a provision for one-time voluntary disclosure and amnesty scheme for regularisation of old cases, asserts Kamal. HSIIDC vouches that EMP 2011 is also more industry friendly, as it has liberalised the leasing and transfer policies, and allows for one time transfer fees, multiple tenants and no bar on period of lease. These claims of HSIIDC have, however, failed to cut ice with industrialists across Haryana, particularly small and medium enterprises, who have launched an agitation, and want a fresh look at EMP 2011.

HSIIDC, Government should facilitate not rule: Industry

Apart from the lack of basic facilities and poor infrastructure, the industry in Gurgaon, particularly the small and medium enterprises want the HSIIDC and

by the new demands put up the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, which includes property tax and industrial licenses. “We have filed a writ petition against the EMP and now we are planning to go to the High Court against the MCG as well”, he says, adding that bad roads, lack of parking facilities and inadequate water and power supply are further pushing the industry to the wall. The anger against government policies is widespread. JN Mangala, Vice President, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Haryana

admits that there is need to rationalise the terms and conditions administering the industry. A P Jain, founder general secretary, Udyog Vihar Industries Association says that right now the major problem is lack of parking facilities, and the property tax being imposed by the MCG. “We want the government to resolve these problems at the earliest, else there is no option but to knock the doors of the court”, he warns

Manesar needs improvement: Tyagi

Despite IMT, Manesar being a fresh and prestigious development of HSIIDC, the facilities and supporting infrastructure in the industrial estate need a massive boost. Till recently, the roads were in bad shape, the streetlights are still nonfunctional in many areas, there is no fire station in such a large industrial estate; and all these issues are dealt by officials on a low priority, claims industry. IMT Industrial Association, President, Manoj Tyagi, says that lack of a fire station in Manesar is shocking. “In May and June there were several fire incidents in the area and by the time firetenders arrived from Gurgaon, things were over”, he alleges, adding that despite repeated requests the agency and government have failed to set up this facility and made only vague promises. The poor condition of the roads, though these have been resurfaced recently, in addition to inadequate streetlights, lack of greenery and no provision for local transport is also the bane of industry here. “Even small requirements are not met. HSIIDC has not alloted shops for general purposes and this is creating a lot of problems”, says Tyagi. The association is planning to file a writ petition in the court against the arbitrary decisions of HSIIDC, which he says is overly centralised with all decisions are taken in Chandigarh. Unless the powers are delegated, the situation is going to remain the same, predicts Tyagi, who had even threatened to go on hunger strike, if corrective actions are not taken soon. u

Realty Rates Vipul Greens 7500/ sq ft

Sohna Road

dramatically—but the infrastructure has remained the same. “When Udyog Vihar came up, 75 per cent Floor Area Ratio (FAR) was allowed but this was increased to 175 per cent. For IT and Garment sector the FAR is 250 per cent, and this has led to massive construction and expansion”, says Chauhan, who says augmentation of infrastructure to match the demand from the industry has become difficult. While water and power supply can be augmented, it is impossible to expand roads; and considering the exponential rise in real estate prices, the people want to utilize the property to the maximum, he adds. Chauhan’s contention to an extent appears to be valid as there has been a major shift in the profile of industry in Udyog Vihar. While originally meant to be a manufacturing hub, it now houses more IT and ITes companies, and has become a service industry hub with thousands of people coming here for work everyday. The massive influx of cars and twowheelers has led to an almost crisis-like situation, with industrialists being forced to petition the government for help. Too much traffic and lack of parking space are two issues that are of immediate concern, and need to be resolved urgently. To manage this unbridled expansion and chaos on the roads, Chauhan says, HSIIDC has decided to allow higher FAR only to industries that are located on 18

Divya Kamal, DGM (E), HSIIDC

(in Rs as of Sep 14, 2011)

Unitech Frescoe 6000-6500/ sq ft

Orchid Petals

Unitech Lodge 5500-6000/ sq ft 6000-6500/ sq ft

Malibu Towne Malibu Towne plot (Apartment) 200 sq yd 6000-6200/ sq ft 75-80,000/ sq yd

Malibu Towne plot Malibu Towne plot 250 sq yd 350 sq yd 75-80,000/ sq yd 65-70,000/sq yd

JMD Garden Uniworld Garden I 4800-5200/sq ft 7500/ sq ft

Uniworld Center Park Garden II 5500/ sq ft 6000-6200/ sq ft

Parsvnath Green Parkview Villa 5800-6000/ Apartment sq ft 6500-7000/ sq ft

Vatika City 7000-7500/ sq ft

Omaxe Nile 7000-7500/ sq ft


16–22 September 2011


(Should we) Leave the kids alone! Kiddie couture lures the well heeled

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


ast weekend, I noticed a new trend. Outside Debenhams, I saw a 2 year old dressed in Burberry checks— pint sized pants and a check shirt no larger than my palm—and I couldn’t help but think, did he even understand luxury? Did he know he was dressed in Rs 20,000 worth of clothes, and what that amount meant? Since he was not Shahrukh Khan’s son, I thought maybe it’s an one off sight. But just a few steps ahead I saw a 8 year old trying on a Ed Hardy vest (Rs 2,500), and her mother holding a six-month-old baby wrapped in a Zara bodysuit (Rs 1,390). And then I noticed ‘branded’ babies in every second store, on all floors of the mall. And this was just one mall of Gurgaon. From Burberry, Gucci, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, United Colours of Benetton to Indian brands like Gauri and Nanika, Namrita Joshipura to Ritu Kumar, designers are now digging into the unexplored market for kids. And new age mothers are loving this. Meghna Tyagi, mother of one-yearold Saysha says, “Most of my daughters

clothes are from Burberry, Gucci and Ralph Lauren. If you can afford it, then why not. As much as I love my Burberry scarves and coats, I love to buy my daughter the best that’s out there too. If I can have it, my daughter must too. And plus, they are the best quality, so you don’t mind paying for it.” The branded baby that first caught enormous media attention was Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who was seen dolled up in a $750 (approx. Rs 35,500) Armani dress, at only seven months. Recently seen walking down streets with heeled pumps, sporting brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture etc, the star kid has many blogs dedicated to her style quotient. And the trend has definitely trickled down to India, embracing not just Bollywood kids, but many children of

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I need to go to a good hotel Manney badiya hotel me jaana hai

Manney – Mann neh (as in Hindi nehla) Badiya – soft d Jaana – jaa un na

2. Do you have any rooms available? Koi kamra khaali hai ke?

Ke - kay

3. Is there room service? Room service hai ke? 4. How much is a double room for? Do aadmiyan tahin ek kamre ka kitna laage ga?

Tahin – taeen

5. Please clean my room Kamra saaf kar de 6. Can you wake me up at 10 am? Manney dus baje jaga dega ke

7. Do you accept American dollars? American dollar chaal jaayen ge ke? 8. I want to check out Manney hotel chhodhna hai

India’s metropolitan elite. Meher Singh, 13, has a collection of four Coach bags, a Burberry sling, and now her third pair of Juicy Couture flip flops, to name a few. “I love most brands, but Juicy Couture is my favourite. For my last birthday my mom gave me a Burberry sling, and I absolutely love it so do my friends. I am not the only one with branded bags and shoes, my friends have them too” says Meher. With multinationals making their way into India’s metros, producing a segment of young corporate types with hefty pay packages, the Indian luxury customer profile has widened, beyond the moneybags of big business houses; opening the way for brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Dior, Zara etc. to break into the Indian market. Pallavi Chopra, corporate lawyer and mother of 6-yearold Arhaan says, “Earlier I used to pick clothes for my kid when I was traveling abroad on holiday or work. But now you have all the brands here with their latest collection, and the Indian designers are also now designing for kids. So I just buy them here; saves me the bother of carrying all that excess baggage.” With stores like Kidology,—an exclusive designer kids boutiqueopening at DLF Promenade mall, parents and their pampered kids have access to several Indian designer’s products for kids from a bandh gala to a tuxedo, all under one roof priced at anything between Rs 500 to Rs 12,000. Their in-house designers are Malini Ramani, Gaurav Gupta and Nandita Basu, to name a few. Neha Sachar Mittal, the owner of Kidology says, “We have a mixture of business families and corporates as clients. Business families have a lot of money at their disposal, and Kidology also works well with corporates, as they have the money while lacking the time and here at our store you can find everything from clothes to accessories, so you don’t have to go anywhere else to look for it. Also these days kids themselves have many social commitments like birthday

parties, for which they like to opt for designer wear.” “We have pieces for a newborn, to a child up to 10. Like we have an outfit that has a pair of linen trousers and a waistcoat attached to a bodysuit, for a 3-month-old” adds Neha. Kidology sold as many as 200 pieces in the first 10 days of its opening. The trend isn’t limited to clothing only. Various kids’ accessories like shoes, bibs, strollers, and car seats can also be found in the luxury segment. Gap’s Baby Stoke Xplory stroller is a hot seller, costing as much as $1200 (approx. Rs 56,800). Made out of lightweight aluminum and automobile-grade plastic, it also has safety features like shock absorbers. Other high end brands like Gucci, produce everything from baby blankets to carriers priced at $280 (approx. Rs 13,200) for a GG pattern baby blanket to $990 (approx. Rs 46,900) for a GG pattern

While some new age designer moms splurge happily on high end brands for their little ones, others think of it as a complete waste; even those who can afford it. diaper bag. And if you are looking for something more, then Baby Dior may be the answer, with its ‘keepsake tooth box’—a storage for you baby’s toothfairy to drop the bucks! While some new age designer moms splurge happily on high end brands for their little ones, others think of it as a complete waste; even those who can afford it. Namrata Mann, interiors stylist and soon to be mommy says, “I can afford to buy such luxury for my baby, but it makes no sense. I am sure that a baby can’t tell the difference between being strolled around in a hand-me-down stroller and one that cost a fortune. My cousin recently bought an expensive toy for my nephew from London, but he was more interested in playing with my keychain that was worth Rs 200.”u

M–Power { Alka Gurha }


here are three sources of power in India, the PM, the CM, and the DM. But if you are a working resident of Gurgaon, then another mystic force wields great power—the HM. No, not the guy in a veshti and thick spectacles but HM stands for yours truly; the indispensible House Maid. Don’t agree? Well, my power is more felt than measured. As Margaret Thatcher once quipped, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people that you are, you aren’t.” And power is supreme when it comes regardless of wealth. If you are nodding in disagreement then let me take you through a day when I am not in attendance. All it takes for the madam’s mood to go from sunny to rabid is my absence. The husband is unable to lift the sagging spirits. No, the kids can’t pump up the jam either. The dirty dishes pile-up, anger over-spills, fights ensue, children miss the school bus, husband goes hungry, and the worst sufferer is the dog who whines for relief. Yet, no one takes the poor soul for a walk. To top it all, add a few guests and it is a perfect recipe for disaster. Like the Titanic movie, the entire household ship slowly sinks, being involuntarily sucked in the avalanche of pending chores. And God forbid if I fall sick, the endless mission to find a substitute entails nonstop calls to neighbors for an apt replacement. Honestly, I am happy to join the power list but notwithstanding my status, what do I get? On television I see that leaders of two opposition parties indulge in a slugfest with clenched jaws and wrenched paws over corruption. The war against corruption is leading to mass fasting. What about prices? When the stomach is full it is easy to go on a fast. Have you ever experienced the gnawing pain of an empty belly, the spectacle of inflationary despair? The fact that pulses are 60 rupees per kg is my biggest problem. They say that the hand that rocks the cradles rules the world. Well, I rock the cradle and the ladle both. And believe it or not, I am the phantom force that rocks your city too. u


16–22 September 2011


Haryana State Olympic Games to Start from October 20th Local stadia get ready, amidst practice sessions and training camps

GEARING UP: Youngsters during a practice session at the Nehru Stadium

money sharma


{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


olitics in this country can sweep anything under the carpet in no time; and sports has been its favourite prey since ages. A recent example of a sports event being rescheduled because of political compulsions, is the 25th Haryana State Olympic Games. These were earlier scheduled to take place between October 8 to 11, but will now take place from October 20 to 23, in Gurgaon. “Games were rescheduled because of the by-election to the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, which is scheduled on October 13. However, we have finalised the new dates for the games, and now this State Sports Carnival will take place from October 20,” said Surender Dangi, Joint Secretary, Haryana Olympics Association (HOA), Chandigarh, in a telephonic conversation with Friday Gurgaon. Dangi added, “No VIP would have been available on those three days, that’s why the Association decided to change the dates.” District Sports Officer, Kulvinder Singh further added, “We are going to have a nice opening and closing ceremony, and we want important politicians to be present during these two ceremonies.” He later spoke about the preparations, “Preparations for the games are going on very nicely. Almost all the teams have been selected, and practice is going on in the camps. I hope Gurgaon will finish amongst the top districts.” Skating would not take place locally, as con-

Football camp started

“Gurgaon’s football team has started practising for the 25th Haryana State Olympics Games, going to be held in Gurgaon next month. A group of 40 promising footballers have started practice at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, and fitness coach Mahinder Singh Saroha is highly optimistic about Gurgaon’s show during the Carnival, “All the boys are in good shape, and God willing, we will definitely finish first on the podium.” u

List of the games Archery Athletics Basketball Boxing Badminton Chess Cycling Fencing Football Gymnastics Handball Hockey Judo Kabaddi (NS) Kabaddi (Circle) Kho-Kho

READY FOR PLAY: Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex prepares to play host

firmed by Dangi, “Skating will take place in Faridabad, because Gurgaon doesn’t have the required infrastructure.”

Is Gurgaon ready?

Although Gurgaon, and HUDA in particular, often boast of having a very good sports complex—the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex—but even so, it will be unable to host all the games under its roof. “A major part of the games will take place in Tau Devi Lal Stadium; but unfortunately, some games cannot be held there, because of lack of facilities,” rued Surender Dangi. Out of the

31 games scheduled to be played during this Carnival, 11 will take place in Tau Devi Lal Stadium. Nehru stadium is another venue where a few games like handball, hockey, gymnastics are likely to take place. “Both Tau Devi Lal and Nehru stadium will have the lion’s share in hosting the games. Apart from these two places, we are looking at the Gaushala area—Central School’s ground—and a few private schools’ grounds. I hope everything will be sorted out soon,” said Dangi. “Kabaddi and kho-kho are most likely to happen in the Gaushala area,” he added.

Karate Lawn Tennis Netball Skating Shooting Swimming Taekwondo Table Tennis Throw-ball Triathlon Ten-Pin bowling Volleyball Weightlifting Wrestling Wushu

{ Berlin / DPA }


he International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Tuesday that the 2011 Champions Trophy would be held in New Zealand. The FIH had earlier taken away the right to host the tournament from India over internal problems surrounding the organization of hockey in India. In a statement released in Lausanne on Tuesday the FIH said that they were pleased that New Zealand had offered to host the tournament. “It is always tough to move an event out of any country, but I have to say that the silver lining is the bid from New Zealand,” FIH president Leandro Negre said. “New Zealand will put on a firstrate Champions Trophy and has been extremely flexible and professional given the tough circumstances and tight

money sharma

New Zealand to Host Champions Trophy timeline. I know that they will do an excellent job hosting the event.” New Zealand is currently hosting the rugby World Cup and hockey officials in that country said they regarded it as a privilege to host the tournament. “We have the structure in place and with work already underway, we are confident that we can deliver a worldclass event in a short time frame,” the chief executive of Hockey New Zealand Hilary Poole said. The Champions Trophy is the most prestigious annual competition organized by the FIH, with the top hockey-playing countries participating. It will now be held in New Zealand December 3 - 11. New Zealand will also replace India as a participant in the tournament, with India being given a place in the Champions Challenge in South Africa. u


16–22 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

16–22 September 2011

T ime Pass 27


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution Piece C. The seal only rests on pentagonal pieces of ice.

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half


G lobal

16–22 September 2011

Gangsters and Pirates Populate New Console Games { Christoph Linnok, Cologne / DPA }


he pool season is over, so it’s time to get back to the ice hockey matches, alien shoot-outs and car chases through San Francisco awaiting you on your gaming console. The start of September is effectively the start of the Christmas sales seasons for video game makers, which means they save some of their best offerings for the final four months of the year. NHL 12 from Electronic Arts injects a little winter into the year just in time for the start of autumn. For true fans the NHL series is the be-all and end-all of ice hockey simulations—both for consoles and PCs. And even though previous versions have done well in the pursuit of realism, the newest version promises even more improvement. A lot of attention has been focused on the goalie, who has been a relatively static character in previous versions. Now he can hustle with the rest and throw himself on the ground when necessary. When things get really tense, the goalies can throw their gloves on the ground and let the fists fly. Electronic Arts has termed them “dynamic goalies.” Surroundings will also play a larger role than before. Players can go up to the crowd and interact with items like the goal or the boards. There have also been some upgrades to the graphics, as well as to the parts of the game where players can pretend to be management. That becomes most apparent in the Be a Pro mode. NHL 12 is available for Playstation 3 and XBox 360 and costs about 70 euros (Rs 4,592).

The lowdown on the best of this year’s Christmas gaming season’s offerings

CONSOLE SEASON: A child engaged in an intensive gaming session

The fighting gets more serious—yes, even more serious than in ice hockey— with a new slew of first-person shooter games exclusive to the Playstation 3. Resistance 3 from Sony Computer Entertainment will take players back to 1957 in a parallel universe where monsters called chimeras have taken over the world. Four years after the death of Nathan Hale, the protagonist of the prede-

cessor game, his old friend Joseph Capelli takes on the role of the hero. Players accompany him on a journey from Oklahoma to New York to resume the fight against the alien occupiers. The developers have improved the graphics for the third installment. For the first time there is a countless variety of weapons from which to choose. Players can choose to fight the chimeras

individually, with a partner, or with a team in online mode. Resistance 3 costs about 65 euros (Rs 4,264). For car enthusiasts, Ubisoft has brought out Driver: San Francisco. Players become Detective John Tanner, who is trying to put an end to the crimes of gangster boss Charles Jericho. Cinematic car chases are at the core of the game. Players have their choice of about 120 vehicles. During the pursuits, Tanner can switch the vehicle he is driving, giving him the ability to camouflage himself as an ally of the pursuers. The world of Driver: San Francisco is relatively accessible. Just about every part of the city can be reached. Versions of the game are available for the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 and cost about 70 euros (Rs 4,592). There will also be a collector’s edition for those two platforms, costing about 90 euros (5,902). It will include extra challenges as well as a comic book. There is also a 50-euro version of the game for the Nintendo Wii. Adventure fans will fondly remember the Monkey Island game series from Lucas Arts. Those nostalgic for the game, or those who simply like the genre, can now play it on modern consoles. Monkey Island Special Edition Collection brings together two previously released game updates: The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge. Both titles allow players to switch between the old pixilated graphics and the revamped newer versions with the click of a button. Released for the Playstation 3 and XBox 360, the collections should cost about 25 euros (Rs 1,639). u

A Jacket That Charges Your Explore the Solar System – Phone as You Take a Walk from your Computer Scientists experiment with solar cells built into clothes

{ Carsten Hoefer, Munich / DPA }


very mobile worker knows the nightmare: The rechargeable battery in the mobile phone or laptop computer is dead, contact with the outside world is severed, customers are angry and the boss is throwing a fit. In a few years, such crises could become a thing of the past as technology burrows deeper into the apparel industry. Scientists and clothing makers are experimenting with solar cells built into coats, jackets and backpacks that can provide power for portable electronic devices. Traditional silicon-based cells are inflexible and therefore unsuited to textiles. But help may be on the way from flexible, organic solar cells printed on polymer foils, a new development in which the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), based in Freiburg, Germany, has been instrumental. The venerable Munich clothing maker Lodenfrey is interested. “I think it’s exciting,” said Klaus Faust, head of Lodenfrey’s menswear department. “You’re taking a walk in the sunshine and recharging your mobile phone.” Solar cell jackets will not be ready for the market until a number of technical obstacles have been overcome, however. One is the ability to withstand laundering. So far, solar cells are unable to withstand a complete machine wash cycle at 60 degrees centigrade. ISE scientists actually had another clientele in mind for

their organic solar cells: the building industry. “It’s a relatively young technology that, in the long term, can make a contribution to the energy supply,” according to ISE spokeswoman Karin Schneider, who said that organic solar foils might someday be glued to awnings and the walls of buildings for the purposes of electricity generation. The apparel industry is interested, too. “We’re still a little bit away from large-scale production, but a lot is in flux,” Schneider said. Jackets or sweaters with embedded photovoltaic cells could have various uses. “It’s conceivable, for example, to have safety vests with built-in illumination,” Faust said. “A possible disco gag would be a jacket that glows to the beat of the music.” Lodenfrey is tinkering with other innovations as well. In collaboration with an Israeli inventor, it is working on a motorcycle jacket with built-in air conditioning. A further possibility: jackets and coats made of fabric that heats up. “A light jacket with collar heating for the convertible, for instance,” Faust suggested, adding that an attractive option for commuters using public transport would be a winter coat that heats up. While Lodenfrey is known for its traditional Bavarian garb, it keeps an eye out for innovation. “Living from tradition alone

is fine, but it’s a little risky,” Faust remarked. He said that networking with scientists and other companies was of central importance. Since a clothing manufacturer is not a high-tech concern, he noted, “you can only achieve great new innovations in clothing when you find partners.” This is where politics comes in. Germany’s federal and state governments support innovation in two ways. First, they provide subsidies for research projects, and, second, they have programmes that bring scientists together with small and mediumsized businesses. The German federal government is subsidizing development of organic solar cells. And Lodenfrey is taking advantage of an ”innovation voucher” offered by the Bavarian Economics Ministry for its work on heating fabrics. Under the voucher programme, the ministry is matching the company’s expenditure of 7,500 euros (10,570 dollars). “It doesn’t always have to be big things,” Faust said of the matching grant. “Small ones help, too.” The Bavarian Economics Ministry is satisfied, too. It has approved 716 innovation vouchers since 2009, many of them for projects whose fruition seems a long way off. “In our view, it’s a complete success,” a ministry spokesman said.Meanwhile, it will likely take a few more years before solarpowered textiles are ready for the market. u

Discover the cosmos in real time { Washington / DPA } he US space agency NASA has made available an interactive internet tool that allows the public to journey through the solar system using actual space mission data. The “Eyes on the Solar System” interface combines video game technology and NASA data to create an environment where users can travel

The virtual environment uses the Unity game engine to display models of planets, moons, asteroids, comets and spacecraft as they move through our solar system. A free browser plug-in, available at the site, is required to run the web application. “You are now free to move about the solar system,” said Blaine Baggett, executive manager in the Office of Commu-

on agency spacecraft and explore the cosmos. Graphics, planet locations and spacecraft maneuvers all use accurate data gathered on actual space missions. “This is the first time the public has been able to see the entire solar system and our missions moving together in real time,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “It demonstrates NASA’s continued commitment to share our science with everyone.”

nication and Education at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “See what NASA’s spacecraft see— and where they are right now— without leaving your PC.” Users can fully customise what they see and there’s even a 3D mode available. It’s envisaged that the tool will also feature missions to be launched during the coming months such as the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. The tool—and an introductory video—are available at eyes . u



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ore and more film stars, musicians and average citizens worldwide are choosing the path of spiritual awakening through Buddhism. Experts say that there has been surprising growth in the number of followers of a religion considered a major alternative to Western creeds. According to several surveys, there are between three and four million Buddhists in the United States. This is to say that 1.6 per cent of the population follows the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or Buddha. The Pew Forum, an organisation that focuses on religious information, found in a 2008 poll that Buddhism had become the third most-followed religion in the United States after Christianity and Judaism. The teachings of Buddha, who lived in northern India in the fifth century BC, spread throughout Asia and arrived in the United States with the first Asian immigrants. “Buddhism arrived in the country through multiple vehicles,” said philosophy professor and Buddhism expert Jay Garfield of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He said that some communities were established through immigration and others arrived from Asia through missionary activities especially from Japan and Tibet. But the practice also arose because of the interest of experts in religious and philosophic studies. Although Buddhism has many different ramifications, with the main traditions being Theravada and Mahayana, Garfield said it was essentially a single doctrine. Differences are only in the ways of following it, customs and culture. Garfield said people were drawn to Buddhism for different reasons and this could partially explain why the religion is

Buddhism Is a Modern Spiritual Alternative The third most-followed religion in the US after Christianity and Judaism, is witnessing a growth in the number of followers Maurizio Gambarini

{ Liliana Martinez-Scarpellini, LA / DPA }

SPREADING PEACE: A statue of the Buddha in the Maharagama temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka

growing so dramatically in the United States—since 1990-2001, membership has increased 170 per cent. “One of the reasons for its success is the deliberate harmony and confluence with modernity,” he said. “Buddhism is presented as a distinctively modern alternative to religion and spirituality.” He said it is a religion that emphasises reason, senses and perception. “It is not a revelatory religion. There is no divinity to invoke. It is very modern in that sense. It is in harmony with science and reason... Many people do not want to be part of a religious tradition that cannot be adhered to rationally.”

The influence of Buddhism is spreading in popular culture. Examples of that are movies with Buddhist themes like “Star Wars” and “Matrix”. “Buddha would have never predicted that his teachings would be spread on the Internet,” Garfield said. The Buddhist political and lay organisation Soka Gakkai has also turned to the Internet to spread its precepts. Considered the largest organisation of its kind in the world, Soka Gakkai was founded in Japan in 1930, based on the teachings 13th century monk Nichiren. Currently there are 12 million followers in 192 countries. Soka Gakkai has half a million members in the United

States. According to Cesar Canales, a high-ranking member in the United States, Buddhism is a humanistic doctrine ruled by cause and effect. It is his belief that if everyone followed Buddhism there would be world peace. But it is not Canales’ goal to convert the entire world. Instead he hopes that by 2030, on the 100th anniversary, there will be more Soka Gakkai centres, schools and universities in the US to strengthen peoples’ spirit. “The message of Buddhism is that all individuals can overcome all sorts of difficulties if they make an inner change in their lives. It is called human revolution.” “It is a way of developing a limitless capacity to lead a bet-

ter and more creative life, and to contribute with one’s efforts to the improvement of society. Happiness should not depend on outside things. If I change, my surroundings change.” For Garfield the mission is not to make all people Buddhists, but rather put the teachings of Buddhism within the reach of all people. He quotes the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who has said that different religions are best for different people. “Not everyone must be religious. There are people who are better being Jewish, Christian, Sikh or without religion.” Geshe Dadul Namgyal, a monk on a guest programme at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, agreed. “Not even during the era of Buddha was it possible to convert all of India to Buddhism. And it is not necessarily something good to do,” he told the German Press Agency dpa. This monk, who arrived from Tibet several years ago to study science and Buddhism, believes that all religions have the same potential to produce happy and wise people. “What is important is the sincerity with which people practise their beliefs. Sometimes the tendency is to be careful and pay attention to something new, so there is the possibility that the Buddhist message of love and compassion endure, and that it be practised to achieve peace.” It is clear that the key to happiness does not lie in wealth. Evidence of that is the many famous people who become Buddhists, among them actors Richard Gere, Steven Seagal, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, singer Tina Turner, composers Patti Smith, Herbie Hancock and sax player Wayne Shorter. According to Garfield, this trend would not impinge greatly on the future of Buddhism. “But obviously celebrities will always have an impact on people.” u

Lunch Breaks Can Be More Than Just Lunch Companies are looking at ways to use lunch breaks to enhance productivity { Andreas Thieme, Berlin / DPA }


very day at work the routine is the same—Between noon and 2 pm the canteen beckons, often with a diverse choice of dishes. While this option is both tasty and convenient, there are many other ways to spend one’s lunch break. Workers with long breaks can use the time for physical activities. This provides a good counterbalance in sedentary jobs, according to Meike Henning, a health management expert for the German Olympic Sports Confederation. Simply taking a walk is plenty of exercise, she said. Outdoor physical activities also boost blood circulation and alleviate stress. Still, most employees do not want to forgo eating lunch during their lunch break. Office workers who do eat lunch

should largely avoid deep-fried or breaded food, though, advised Antje Gahl, spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society. For the midday meal she recommends a small salad on the side with a low-fat dressing of vinegar, oil or yogurt. “To accompany the main dish, a good choice instead of chips, potato croquettes or hashbrowned potatoes would be boiled potatoes, whole grain rice or noodles,” she said. Gahl said it was perfectly alright to eat meat once or twice a week, but she recommended replacing a warm main meal with a large salad once a week and also adding fish to one’s diet. People working for a company with a canteen can eat there in good conscience, she said, noting that “besides the variety of available dishes, the prices are naturally an advantage.” Taking a short nap during

Many companies have long recognised that a “power nap” can enhance employee performance

one’s break is also a possibility. Many companies have long recognised that a “power nap” can enhance employee performance. No bed is needed—”the office chair suffices,” said Juergen Zulley, a sleep researcher and professor of biological

psychology at the University of Regensburg. “The nap ideally lasts 10 to 15 minutes,” after which concentration and creativity levels are higher, according to Zulley, who said that people who regularly took afternoon

naps also lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease. Falling into a deep sleep is counterproductive, however. “The siesta shouldn’t last longer than 30 minutes,” Zulley said, otherwise it is difficult to regain alertness. u

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German Shepherds No Longer the Policeman’s Best Friend Belgian sheepdogs found to be more courageous and determined { Julia Waeschenbach, Hamburg / DPA }


erman Shepherds are the archetypal police dog, but they are increasingly being replaced by other breeds that are considered more courageous and better able to work under pressure. Their cuddly fur, loyalty and mild nature has put the German Shepherd high on the worldwide list of most favourite breeds. But these facts have become less useful when it comes to police departments, which are gradually reducing their use of the breed in security and search operations. The new breed of choice is a Belgian sheepdog found to be more courageous and resolute. But Christian Grube, spokesman for Germany’s association for the popular breed, said German Shepherds are in no way cowardly. “These dogs have strong nerves and in terms of their ability to be taught have the best characteristics,” said Grube. Their big advantage is their versatility. “They can be deployed as sheepdogs, as seeing-eye dogs, as dogs used in therapies for humans, as sporting dogs, as family pets and of course as rescue dogs.” But in Germany, love of the breed nevertheless has slowly declined. The number of reg-

istered births of German Shepherds has dropped by half in the last 12 years. However, Grube points out that one million German Shepherd puppies were born around the world in 2010. Nevertheless, the dogs are being phased out by the police in North Rhine-Westphalia. There are only 26 German Shepherds active in the force compared with 281 sheepdogs belonging to the Belgian breed Malinois. Starting in 1988 animals of both breeds were bred over a period of several years. On average the Belgian breed performed better than German Shepherds, said Guenther Bonke, a dog handler at the North Rhine-Westphalian state police office.

“A police dog has to be courageous and determined in stressful situations and defend its handler,” said Bonke. The animal must be highly motivated through play and reward in order to sniff out illegal narcotics and explosives. “The Belgian sheepdogs that we raised showed all of that in greater measures.” On the whole the Belgian sheepdog is not only more robust, but also cheaper than its German counterpart. Because many of Germany’s 16 states buy their dogs rather than breed them, the price plays a decisive role, said Bonke. In any case, however, German police departments have no plans to stop using

DOG WATCH: The new breed of choice for the police is a Belgian sheepdog (top).

Thomas Frey

While German shepherds (left) have been favourites till now, the Belgian sheepdogs have been found to be more courageous and resolute.

German Shepherds completely. “We have amassed a long record of good experience,” said a spokesman for the police department in Potsdam. Many families also remain true to the German Shepherd and want them as pets. There were 14,500 German Shepherd puppies born in Germany last year, according to a German dog association. That puts it ahead of the ever-popular dachshund and even the retriever. Police in North Rhine-Westphalia still stand by the dogs. “Our decision on breeding is not a decision against the dog,” said Bonke. “Many of our dog handlers would love to have one. We are desperately looking for good dogs for them.” u

Heat and Cold for Pain Relief { Berlin / DPA }


oth heat and cold can help relieve pain, the choice between them depending on the nature and cause of the pain. “A rule of thumb is that cold eases acute pain and heat eases chronic pain, such as from rheumatic illnesses,” said Andreas Kiefer, executive board member of the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists. Sport injuries such as contusions, sprains or pulled muscles should be cooled as soon as possible. Cold also helps in cases of acute inflammation, for example after an insect bite. Cooling can be done with running water, ice cubes, cold compresses or a cold spray. “Never take cold compresses directly from a refrigerator and put them on the skin, though. This could cause hypothermia, particularly in joints. It’s always better to put a thin cloth in between,” Kiefer advised. If the compresses are too cold and then removed, blood flow greatly increases and the pain intensifies. “If a sport injury doesn’t get better in three days or the function of a joint is restricted, a medical examination is definitely called for,” Kiefer said. Heat also helps to alleviate pain. It makes tendons and ligaments more flexible, and it makes rheumatic joints more mobile. It also eases muscle tension. Heat promotes blood flow; consequently, more nutrients are delivered to tissues and waste products are carried away more quickly. Heat can be effective in relieving menstrual cramps as well. Simply soaking in a hot bath or placing a hot water bottle or heating pad on the lower abdomen is often sufficient. Vasodilating ointments and heat patches have the advantage of not restricting mobility, so they can be used at the workplace. Someone suffering from an acute inflammation or fever should not apply heat, however. And people with venous or circulatory problems should see a doctor. u


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