Home alone … & safe
As a result of the rising crime graph, more and more people are opting for IT-enabled security gadgets that promise to shut out intruders
Gyan Marwah

Here’s a morbid question — Why does a major robbery in any part of the city bring a smile on the face of Dinesh Dhamija? Dhamija is not a part of an underworld gang. He is a dealer in household security equipment at Delhi’s Karol Bagh area.

▪ Popular devices
▪ Reasonable prices

Luxury in your lawn 
Modern garden furniture comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials. Select furniture that is in sync with the natural surroundings and adds to the ambience
Neerja Bahadur

Last year when Shweta and Aman shifted into their new ground floor apartment in Gurgaon, they fulfilled their dream of moving into their own home. It came equipped with the state-of-the-art fittings and accessories like polished wooden flooring, teakwood cupboards and exquisite light fixtures.

Bling It On




Home alone … & safe
As a result of the rising crime graph, more and more people are opting for IT-enabled security gadgets that promise to shut out intruders
Gyan Marwah

Here’s a morbid question — Why does a major robbery in any part of the city bring a smile on the face of Dinesh Dhamija? Dhamija is not a part of an underworld gang. He is a dealer in household security equipment at Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. And the gizmos he markets could make a technosavvy freak proud. Apart from audio and video doorphones and electronic locks, he has on offer gadgets like intrusion detectors, fire and smoke alarms, cardaccess systems as also laser beams and full screen electronic eyes. Many upmarket households are investing in a wide range of security equipment to shut out intruders.

A more sophisticated version of magnetic contact is a central computer. It receives messages from a number of sensors that act as ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of the system. If the system is ‘armed’ it automatically detects the type of intrusion and sounds the siren or dials a preprogrammed telephone number. It is this system which saved the life of housewife Shruti Dewal. In a daylight robbery bid two armed men tried to prise open the window of her first floor apartment in Delhi’s Green Park area. Little did they realise that Manjari had a magnetic contact system. Even as the thieves were struggling with the windowpane the alarm set off in her neighbour’s house. The neighbour in turn called the security guards of the building who nabbed the intruders and handed them over to the cops. An investment of around Rs 20,000 saved her a theft of lakhs. Says Dinesh Rao, “Burglar and fire alarms have now become realities of modern day life. Whatever the costs, it is a small price to pay for security.” 

Apart from preventing theft and burglaries there are many security gadgets which are useful in other ways as well. The Smoke and Fire Detector is one such device which has become mandatory in many high rise apartments and most high end hotels. Costing between ~5,000 and ~25,000 the upper end of this gadget has the facility to alert the fire department as well. 

Popular devices

The most popular system is the door phone-cum-security lock that costs between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000. This comprises a phone unit with a two-way audio system. A visitor presses the push button of the door phone installed at the entrance and people inside can pick up the handset to authenticate the identity of the visitor. The visitor’s image can be seen on the screen inside the house. After identification, the user has to press the button on the handset and the door will unlock automatically. “It is effective for the elderly and women,” says Dinesh Rao, General Manager, Marketing, UTC Climate, Controls and Security. The market also has other devices like hooters, motion and magnetic sensors “All these devices are handy for city life as these help detect break-ins, fires and gas leaks,” says Rao. The market is flooded with IT-enabled home security devices that insulate your home from burglars. Some devices also set off alarms if there is a fire or any other emergency. These include wireless burglar alarms and automatic dialling machines that send you an SMS or call you up if someone breaks into your house in your absence.

Reasonable prices

The price of colour audio-video door phone ranges between Rs 12,000 and Rs18,000 depending u-pon the features. It can display clear and bright pictures from a distance of up to 25 feet. 

A video phone with a black & white screen comes between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000. Then there is the glass-break sensor which gets activated at the sound of breaking glass. These cost between Rs 9,000 and Rs 22,000. You could also opt for magnetic contact. This is a two-part device that protects doors and windows. One switch is installed in the door or window jam, the other is in the door or window itself and contains a magnet that signals an alarm when the door or window is being forced open.



Luxury in your lawn 
Modern garden furniture comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials. Select furniture that is in sync with the natural surroundings and adds to the ambience
Neerja Bahadur

Last year when Shweta and Aman shifted into their new ground floor apartment in Gurgaon, they fulfilled their dream of moving into their own home. It came equipped with the state-of-the-art fittings and accessories like polished wooden flooring, teakwood cupboards and exquisite light fixtures. It was a house any family would crave for. But there was one crucial thing missing — a patch of green. Shweta had a brainwave. Why not dig up the concrete backyard and convert it into a garden? Even her husband liked the idea. The workers were called in to remove the concrete flooring and replace it with mud and soil. 

Then started the process of planting, and lo and behold, within a couple of months, green shoots and flower buds started appearing. Besides being an extension of the drawing room, the garden was ready to unfold its charms to the family and friends. 

Stylish furniture

However, the real challenge came when they had to select stylish furniture for their 30-foot by 15-foot green patch. Time was when options were restricted to plastic or wrought-iron table and chairs or the wooden foldable furniture which, besides looking boring, was a pain to stack in case of rain. 

Times have changed and outdoor furniture has jumped into the lifestyle category. It comes in a plethora of materials, including teak, mahogany, aluminum, resin, weaves and wicker. Such is its craftsmanship and versatility that it can easily be mistaken for indoor furniture and looks quite trendy as well.

Contributing to the beauty of the furniture is the wide variety of outdoor hardy and weather-resistant finishes and also the fabrics, which are abundantly available in the market and contribute largely to complement the look of the garden. 

Astonishing choices

Choosing the right furniture that reflects your personality can be a daunting task because of the range of choices available in the market and online websites. These can be viewed as an invitation for people to let their imagination run free and select garden furniture that is in harmony with the natural surroundings and ushers in an environment of peace and calm.

Experts say garden furniture should be selected carefully as it has to be both functional and fun. A bad selection can make your garden look cluttered and messy but the right selection would transform a bare garden into a place to relax with family and friends. Here are some tips to remember when choosing the furniture for your green patch.

Keep space in mind 

Take a long and hard look at your garden and see the kind of furniture that will be suitable for it. Do not buy oversized stuff if you have a small garden. In an outdoor party, people have to have space to move around.

Know the purpose 

Be clear about why you are buying outdoor furniture. Is it to entertain guests or is it for you and your family’s relaxation? Once you have decided that, then the choice will become more focussed.

Creating the right ambience 

If you are going to spend time in the garden go for a relaxing hammock, a chaise lounge and some lazy boy seaters. If it is to entertain, go for the more formal look that includes chairs, table and parasol.

Pros and cons of the material

Though teak remains popular, you can also consider timber, eucalyptus and rattan wood as well. However, there are other alternatives like aluminum and cast iron. Consider a combination for that special effect.

Opt for sturdy furniture

A garden means open air, sunshine, rain and occasional gusts of wind. So the furniture should be sturdy though visually light. It should be maintenance free and easy to clean after a dust storm or a downpour. 

Three vital things 

While selecting outdoor furniture, keep three important things in mind — durability, style, and comfort. The furniture should be long-lasting. It should enhance the look of your garden and be comfortable and inviting. Trendy furniture lends a magical charm to the garden and gives you, your family and guests hours of bliss and happiness. Remember, a garden is a work of art. Besides giving you added space, it ushers in calm and peace that only nature can provide. So go ahead, create a garden for your five senses with style and panache.

Maintaining outdoor furniture

Since outdoor furniture comes in different materials ranging from wood, wicker and aluminium to wrought-iron, steel and resin, each requires different maintenance methods which you should be familiar with.

If you have wooden furniture in your garden, make sure it is made of hardwood, which is either painted or coated with an exterior grade varnish. Maintenance usually involves keeping it clean and applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish at the start of each season. 

For endurance, apply a sealant that is dust and stain-resistant. Wicker is one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture. It is derived from bamboo, rattan, split reed, or coated paper. Since it is knitted into chair and other furniture form, its upkeep becomes paramount as dust gets into the pores. A brush should be used to clean the dirt and dust. Once this is done, apply a coat of varnish, at least once a month to keep it shining. As a rule, wicker furniture should be properly covered when not in use.

If you are buying garden furniture made from steel, aluminum or wrought iron, make sure it is either rust-resistant or totally rust-free. Such furniture requires regular cleansing with soap and water to keep it in tip-top shape.

If it is painted, which usually is the case, then it is desirable to give it a fresh coat of paint every year. Plastic either in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PET) is another popular material that is used in outdoor furniture. Caring for such furniture is easy. It should be washed on a weekly basis with a mild soap and water. However, if there are some stubborn stains, cleanse them with a 1:10 mixture of chlorine and water.


This is a generously sized lounger-for-two with a garden-ready design. The Woodard Belmar all-weather wicker day bed is crafted with durable weather-resistant resin wicker over a sturdy aluminium frame, has a softly curved high back, sweeping curled arms and a delicate lattice weave. 
Price: Rs 1,29,250 ($2350)



Delhi-based company Idus has launched the day bed designed by Philippines designer Kenneth Cobonpue. Skillfully crafted using synthetic fibers, it is intricately handwoven on steel frame. Its airy and transparent shape makes it ideal for your outdoor garden.
Price: Rs 2,15,000



The contemporary Kolorado chaise Lounge features an exclusive process of bending identical boards, which allows seatings with 3D curves supported by a stainless steel frame. The chaise lounge in Ebony finish can be the centrepiece of the garden, or even the living room. 
Price: Rs 1,34,750 ($2,450)


The comfortable, waterproof, robust and superbly practical Skyline garden lounger is a great way to simply relax and enjoy the summer ahead. It is made of rattan wood and is weatherproof. Made according to the contours of the body, it provides an almost ‘zero-gravity’ effect. 
Price: Rs 42,500 (£500)


The Manhattan-based Munder-Skiles makes some of the most expensive outdoor furniture, which it claims will last a lifetime. Its stunningly curvy Swan lounge chair is an example. Besides being supremely durable, it can easily become the sculptural focal point in any outdoor setting. 
Price: Rs 82,000 ($1,490)


Spend a lazy afternoon with your partner on the Vivere Hammock built for two adults. A wide, sturdy spreader bar keeps the hammock flat and comfortable and makes it great for a nap or reading a book. Made with 100 per cent cotton, the hammock can be assembled in minutes.
Price: Rs 8,800 ($160)


Entertain your guests in modern style with the luxuriant Seville rattan five-seater outdoor set. It includes a corner piece, a middle seat, a coffee table and a footstool with comfortable cushions. The all-weather five-piece set will add a touch of class to your outdoors.
Price: Rs 76,500 (£900)


This outstanding Siesta Outdoor Canopy Bed is perfect when entertaining guests or for everyday relaxation. The canopy bed features a retractable sun guard and a set of cushions. The all-weather frame is made of rattan, which is one of the strongest woods and is water and UV-resistant.
Price: Rs 1,65,750 ($1950)



This luxury gazebo made of ornamental steel frame with cream canopy will add class to your garden. It is fitted with side panels and the roof has ventilation to allow heat to escape. The net curtains when drawn provide protection from insects and mosquitoes making it ideal for relaxation.
Price: Rs 21,250 (£250)


Give a stylish edge to your garden with this foldaway set of four chairs, a circular table and a parasol. This comfortable and practical garden furniture set is perfect for enjoying relaxing time in the garden with family and friends. Since it is foldable, it can also be carried to picnics.
Price: Rs 15,300 (£180)




Bring the flare of an outdoor bistro to your own backyard with the Charleston Aluminium Bronze Bistro Set. It includes two chairs and a round table which have a wide-legged stance for safety and stability. The intricately designed set is perfect for your patio, balcony or garden.
Price: Rs 16,500 ($300)



Bling It On


Even Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be bowled over by this one. The new Ducati Hypermotard 2013 has sheer power, agility, boldness and a spirit of supreme fun. It has a four-valve engine, delivering 110-horse power and a six-speed gearbox with a non-slip clutch that takes care of the shifting duties. It has different riding modes for different road conditions and delivers unforgettable thrills. Its monobloc brakes give you total control and extreme versatility on any kind of road. So don’t put the brakes on your enthusiasm. Drive this Ducati in hyper style.

Price: $12,000 (Rs 6.60 lakh)


It’s speed coffee at its artistic best. The Espresso Veloc machine is fashioned after the 1990's Grand Prix race car engines that powered Formula-1 legends like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Handmade from the aluminium V12 engine by Arte Meccanica Mastrogiuseppe, the machine comes with oil filter-shaped coffee filters and exhaust tube. The dispensers resemble spark plugs. The coffee machine is half the size of the real three-litre Ferrari engine that has inspired it and would find pride of place in some F-1 fan’s living room. 

Price: Upon request


Most of us have marvelled at photographs that capture nature’s most amazing moments like flashes of lightning, the precise moment of the bursting of a balloon or a high speed crash. While those may be the work of highly professional photographers, now you too can turn a pro with Nero Multi Trigger, a hardware triggering device for the DSLR camera which captures those blink-and-you-miss nature moments. The device which is compatible with all standard cameras like Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax is sure to make you look like an ace photographer.

Price: $200 (Rs 11,000)


The much-awaited B-Class hatchback from Mercedes, that was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show on April 7, 2013, has left car aficionados stunned with its looks and performance. The zero-emission EV (Electric Vehicle) is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can be charged at any household socket for less than two hours for a range of around 100 kilometres. The hatchback’s maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 160 kmph to enhance range and limit the drivers need for speed. The car offers both luxury and practicality but the bad news is that potential buyers will have to wait till January, 2014 for it to hit the roads. 

Price: To be announced


The hot French fitness fad, aqua aerobics gets an upgrade with the new Water Rider 5 that debuted recently at the FIBO Fitness Trade Show in Cologne, Germany. The underwater bicycle has an exclusive resistance system and aquaspeed pedals to boost effectiveness and performance. The bike provides one of the most intensive ultra-low impact cardiovascular, toning, flexibility and strength workouts in a swimming pool. With the heat wave intensifying by the day is it not a tempting thought to go for a cool splash and also burn some calories in the bargain? An offer no one can refuse. 

Price: $700 (Rs 38,500)


This one’s for the hardcore music buff. The Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus Platinum is a professional multi-player in a limited edition of 4,000. It can be connected to any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad or, for that matter, any smart phone for amazing musical output. The stunning system features an ultra-sleek mirror chrome finish, with a distinctive plaque engraved with the serial number to indicate its authenticity. But authentication should not be difficult considering its amazing looks and astonishing performance and output.

Price: $6,000 (Rs 3.30 lakh)


At last year’s Grammy’s Eric Clapton famously said, “I may be past 67, but my music is still in tune with the new generation. It will outlast me by years.” No music lover will disagree with that. Now the world’s most legendary guitarist is giving fans another reason to celebrate his music — a brand new collection of guitars. The Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection comprises replicas of the original “Lucy” and “Brownie” guitars, alongside three Martin acoustics guitars. Designed by Clapton himself , this collection is music to the ears of his countless admirers. 

Price: Ranging between $6,000 and $50,000 (Between Rs 3.3 lakh & Rs 27.50 lakh )


Global auto giants are asking designers to device technological marvels that may look like science fiction today but could become a possibility tomorrow. Hyundai’s E4U Personal Mobility Vehicle is one such concept that was shown at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show. The egg-shaped vehicle sits atop a horizontally-spinning semi-sphere that is used for propulsion instead of wheels. The driver stands on a small platform and directs the vehicle by tilting it so that different sides of the semisphere contact the ground. Making it similar to the way a helicopter is designed. This futuristic vehicle is likely to become a reality in 2014.

Price: Yet to be announced