Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Hari Nair

09 March, 2015

Issue No. 162 I February 2015

EDITORIAL

Butterflies in the stomach is the common feeling among students who appear for the school finishing Board Exams, no matter how bright the student is. This one exam can determine the child's future. With so much of one's academic equity resting on a single set of exams, there is absolutely no room for an off day or illness or traffic snarls. No matter what, one is required to peak at the right time both physically and mentally. Even luck is required to play it's part. Where even a fraction of a mark can separate a person who makes it to the course and college of his or her choice, can the students be anything but nervous? This must be the most stressful exam in the world. If you think children appearing in the exams are the only one's going through a nervous breakdown, think again. Parents have palpitations until their child returns after the exam. Parents and society at large should not measure any child's intelligence based on the marks obtained in the Board exams. This will go a long way in preventing depression and even suicide instincts amongst children who do not make the grade. Having said that, on behalf of the Society, I would like to wish all the children appearing in the Board exams a successful crack at it.

Selfies have become a social media pandemic with everyone taking a million pictures of themselves with others. There seems to be a narcissistic obsession to admire oneself. You may as well carry a mirror with you! These photos are so fleeting that they do not stay in your memory for long. I have a partiality towards the photos of yore, which were clicked and printed. They were few and far between and found a place in one's photo album. They served to remind one of the times gone by and captured one's personality, vintage, changes over the years and brought about a tinge of nostalgia. In the present world of use and throw, the pictures lose relevance after a while as there are too many to sift from and nobody has the time to mull over them or connect the dots concerning where and when the photos were taken. The digital world with its temporal timelines is ideal for this kind of forgetfulness. The dynamics of our social life make things that happened a month ago seem old and what happened a year ago, forgotten. However, it is a passion with some and so long as it gives them a high, they should continue to be trigger happy and click away. I may be an exception to the 'want to be clicked every second’ phenomenon. I see at parties, people craning their necks to squeeze into the frame for the selfie moment. This is what keeps the wheel of FaceBook moving. I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg has sponsored this whole selfie craze.
I have had the privilege to notice from close quarters that the middle aged crowd not only enjoy a degree of affluence and security denied to earlier generations, but also look younger and fitter. There is however, a growing body of evidence that suggest that as they edge towards retirement and enter their golden years, their health is worse than their parents. Part of the reason is sedentary lifestyle, binge drinking, fast foods and inadequate sleep. Those who enjoy good health today even with poor eating habits and lifestyle should realise that the pinnacle of good health would not always be available to those guilty of dietary waywardness. It's like trying to make hay when the sun is tending to set.

The painting competition was held under benign skies on 7th February, 2015. Most of the Yamuna children were present with their kit full of palettes, boards, paints, brushes, crayons and an iron will to show their painting skills to good measure. The theme, a choice between a fairy tale or a jungle safari was very assiduously worked upon. The result was very pleasing. Many of the paintings looked like masterpieces when you factor the age of the painter.

Mrs. Saroj Arora of A-106 was very kind enough to distribute a packet each of chips and biscuits to all the participants. Renu Garg contributed the drawing sheets and, along with Seetha Venkataraman, helped with the organisation of the event. The number of prizes varies in different age categories depending on the number of entries in that age bracket. Sudha Easwaran, herself a good artist, was the arbiter and judge. Her verdict is listed below. Congratulations to all the winners and cheers to all the participants.

PAINTING COMPETITION RESULTS-2015
PRIZE
AGE CATEGORY
NAME
ADDRESS

6-7 YEARS


1

ANOUSHKA NAIR
A-203
2

DHRUV SUTTAR
H-106

8-9 YEARS


1

ANJALI GARG
G-106
2

ANANYA SATISH
A-202
3

VANSHIKA ARORA
A-106

10-11 YEARS


1

ANUSHKA BEHARA
C-207
2

SAISHA SUBRAMANIAM
A-309
3

KIANA ABRAHAM
A-008

12-15 YEARS


1

TANVI SAVARKAR
C-208
2

APARNA VARMA
H-208
3




ADULTS


1

POORNIMA NARAYANAN
B-002

The Delhi elections threw a very unexpected result. While AAP were tipped to win, nobody remotely expected such a drubbing of the Congress and BJP. The voters were turned off by Congress's drift and venality and its preference for welfare handouts over fostering opportunity. In the case of BJP, surprisingly, while there was hardly a dent on their vote share compared to the 2013 Assembly elections, the complete capitulation of the Congress ensured that AAP got all the switch votes. What we should be happy about is that the local MLA Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj is very pro-active and we have a personal rapport with him. In fact he has given us three street lights which we have installed in the park for better illumination.

The Thyagaraja Aradhana on 14th February was held in the Community Hall. There were solo performances from Poorvaja, Purnima, Shreeya, Jayashree, Bagirathi Eswaran, Seema and Sukanya Sundaresan. Poorvaja, Shreeja, Ananya and Purnima sang a group song under mentor Kalyani. This was followed by another group song by Samiksha, Sahana, Tanvi, Avantika, Radhika, Mani, Dhanya, Advita, Shivashri, Shashwat, all trained by Subhada Arun.

The accompanists from outside the colony on violin and tabla acquitted themselves well. Ramanan provided a glimpse of his amazing talent with a sublime rendering of a Thaygaraja kriti on Hansa Veena (not his preferred instrument). The best was reserved for the end when accomplished singers Kalyani, Bhavani, Sumathi and a few others settled to sing Thyagaraja's  Pancharatna Kritis. The singing was evocative and exhilarating. Towards the end, as it reached a crescendo, the reverberations swept the Hall, inducing a feeling of nirvana. Delicious kesari and sundal from Yamuna Canteen was served prasadam at the end of the performance.

Our wait for the coveted gas pipeline will get a trifle prolonged. On enquiring with IGL, I was informed that they received permission from MCD to excavate for laying the pipeline in Ganga only in February 2015. Since the pipeline has to traverse Ganga to reach Yamuna, it will push the work to commence in Yamuna to March. Let us hope it does not turn out to be like "Waiting for Godot".

Radha Kalyana Mahotsavam conducted by Balaji and his family has become a feature of the February social cum spiritual calendar. This year too, it was held in the lawn on 21st and 22nd February amidst much fanfare. It was presided by Guru's Krishnanda Teertha Mahaswamigal and Krishna Premi Anna. Singing and dancing by the devotees and the feast at the end of the mythological wedding rounded up the two day event. Kalyani, Mala and several others actively participated and helped in organising this function.

In the light of the prevalence of swine flu residents should advise their domestic staff and drivers to desist from spitting in public, which has become a menace lately.

The Union Budget has been a tight rope walk for the Finance Minister. He had to juggle between the aspirations of the youth, the financial security of the elderly, the need to foster investment, appear socialistic and at the same time rein in the deficit. He has attempted to do all without falling between two stools. Yet, it does not seem a path breaking or big bang budget that a lot of people anticipated. If wishes were horses one could address every constituency but the numbers wouldn't add up. I would give him seven out of ten.


SNIPPETS

Aditya Vasudevan of A-209 was so smitten with his colleague at work, Vinita Sainani that he took the next logical step by getting married to her on 5th February, 2015 at Hotel City Park. The wedding was solemnised both in South Indian and Sindhi custom. The wedding venue, bedecked with flowers, looked very festive. The food that was on offer was a gourmand’s delight. Meena and Vasudevan were excellent hosts. Yamuna residents were omnipresent. We wish the couple a fabulous wedded life.

******************

Sreeja, the expatriate daughter of Mr. N.V. Verghese and Elizabeth Verghese had got married to Paul Gorman, in ireland earlier this year. To celebrate the event, Mr. and Mrs. Verghese  hosted a reception at Gymkhana Club on 22nd February. Sreeja and her husband looked very relaxed and happy in each other's company. The venue was tastefully decorated and the food and drinks on offer satiated the taste buds. The weather was awesome and it was an evening well spent with Yamuna friends. Elizabeth and Mr. Verghese were gracious hosts. We wish the couple an enjoyable life together.

*****************

Mr. Arun Viswanathan and his wife Sukanya's  brief stay in A-304 came to an end when they moved to Pune to take advantage of an exciting career opportunity.


MIRTH CORNER

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
"House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."
"Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."
A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;����
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;����
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay check on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador"), because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on��
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;��
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE  the problem;��
and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The women won.��


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - MARCH 2015


DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
6.3.2015
HOLI MILAN with Chole-Kulcha stall for lunch
10.00 AM
MAIN LAWN




21.3.2015
TAMBOLA, GARDEN GAMES & DINNER FROM STALLS
7.00 PM
MAIN LAWN



28.3.2015
GOURMET CHEF-COOKING COMPETITION FOR
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT
STARTERS, MAIN COURSE AND DESSERTS

01 February, 2015

Issue No. 161 I January 2015

EDITORIAL

The organic food business has grown to be one of the biggest scams to hit the Indian market. In the quest to eat healthy food, many an unsuspecting Indian has got converted to buying premium priced organic produce from savvy retailers wearing pedigree upbringing on their sleeves. Recent research has shown that many of the so called retailers of organic food in India, peddle food of uncertain provenance and vintage. A Mail Today report of December, 18th 2014 and January, 18th, 2015 has come to the same conclusion. The lesson here is, don't judge the book by the cover.

Lohri bonfire was again lit after dinner time as it was a week day. The fire was robust and burnt evenly for a very long time. The warm glow was very much sought after as the winter had been on an extended run. Residents trickled in but the usual singers were absent. Pleasantries and  Lohri offerings were exchanged. Everybody settled down to some gossip, back slapping and joking. Everybody had a jolly good time. 

The Modi government seems to be taking two steps forward and one step backward, thanks to the fringe elements in the party and their ideologue in RSS. A spate of ludicrous pronouncements by the Parivar's sadhus and sadhvis have taken the sheen off the charismatic and no-nonsense leadership style of Modi. Despite the advances made in space exploration and nuclear science, our mindset remains anchored in social prejudices and superstition. This antediluvian attitude is bound to create unrest and stall progress in this country. Modi's success will depend on his ability to shackle the Hindutva elements in his party.

I am nevertheless a Modi fan. He has with utmost expediency cleared the detritus plaguing Indian bureaucracy. With a slew of ordinances, he has bypassed stalled Parliament sessions caused by opposition obduracy and stonewalling. He has thus removed the cobwebs on decision making, thereby clearing several stalled infrastructure projects. I am impressed with his slogan, "I want to change the ABCD culture - avoid, bypass, confuse, delay -  to the ROAD to success -responsibility, ownership, accountability, discipline". A very apt description of the present malaise and the roadmap for the future.

Moustache, the hirsute masculine appendage, is de rigueur for all Malayali heroes. This has now rubbed off on the cherubic Raju Krishnan, who briefly sported what is known as a 'beefeater moustache'. Mr. P.K.K. Nair with his 'handlebar moustache', would now have to up his macho quotient to rival Raju's.

The Delhi Metro is a blessing for many as it takes one from point A to B faster than any other means of terrestrial transportation, it is cheap and it is air-conditioned (a huge relief in the steaming summer months). Yet, there are many commuters who do not use the Metro because of the lack of last mile connectivity, jostling crowds, inappropriate contact, pick pockets, body odour and halitosis. For those who can deal with these irritants, it is  manna from heaven. We have approached the immediate past MLA of our area to provide feeder connectivity to Alaknanda. If that happens, it will give us one more reason to travel by the Metro.

It has been noticed that several residents are doing extensive renovation work in their flats. While the Society has no problem with these activities, residents are advised to abide by the rules as enumerated in the Telephone Directory, copy of which has been signed by all residents. We wish to highlight the following areas where rules are being flouted by many. These are :-

a) Absence of intimation to the Office or to the neighbours about this activity and the number, names and duration of the personnel involved in the renovation activity.
b) Workers not departing in the evening as per the prescribed time.
c) Exteriors being altered. It may be mentioned that no exterior change is permitted viz. tiling of external areas, painting and embellishments outside one's flats.
d) All cabling (cable TV, telephone, split AC) should either be concealed or should  run through the shaft and not the exterior of the building.
In the process while many flats have started looking fancy and luxurious, the exteriors of the flats have become an eyesore because of these transgressions. Those who alter the exteriors are not cognizant of the fact that our apartment complex has been featured in several magazines for its unique design and characteristics. By tampering with the exteriors we are making the flats incongruent, thereby adversely affecting the character and design of the complex. Those who wish to take up renovation of their flats should notify the Society office in advance as to what they intend doing. This will avoid a needless situation of fait accompli, in case the work undertaken is not permissible.

The Society may be constrained to take action against all those who have violated the rules governing alterations.

It has also come to the Society's notice that the terrace is being used for alcohol consumption. While this activity in itself is not desired, some residents recently left behind half consumed bottles of liquor and mugs. Children could be tempted to try the left over brew with very tragic consequences. Residents are requested to desist from this practice.
Delhi elections are upon us once again. The announcement of Kiran Bedi as a potential Chief Minister candidate from BJP has thrown a spanner in the works of Arvind Kejriwal, who seemed to be coasting along on popularity charts for Chief Minister. Kiran Bedi, as we all know was the only man in the police force during her time in the force. We hope she displays the same degree of heft in her political bailiwick. It will be an intriguing contest. With enough dirt in every political party, all opposing sides in any contest will eventually find something that fits their narrative. We have compiled a list of concerns which we have handed over to all the candidates.

President Obama's visit has caused more anguish than one could imagine. In order to sanitise the route of the Republic Day parade, the rehearsals started a few days in advance and effectively blocked off all access points to Feroz Shah Kotla. This effectively spiked our plans to go there for a Heritage Walk on 18th January 2015. What a shame as it turned out to be a bright and sunny day and ideal for a heritage trip.

Yamuna's stature went up a notch when a senior functionary of the Aam Admi Party, Mr. Yogendra Yadav and MLA candidate from GK constituency Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj chose to address all the residents of the GK constituency from the Yamuna Badminton Court on 18th January 2015. It also coincided with the re-opening of the canteen under a new management. They certainly profited from the occasion with many an outsider patronising their canteen.

Mr. Rakesh Gullaiya the BJP candidate did likewise the following week. What is galling however, is the total apathy displayed by Yamuna residents. Despite e-mail communications and personal phone calls, there were just a smattering of Yamuna residents present to put forth their demands and expectations. It is an irony that we expect the elected representatives to do our bidding but are loath to show a semblance of strength, to show that our voice counts.

It was Obama all the way at this year's Republic Day parade. There is a deep-seated inferiority complex in our psyche which seeks approval from foreign eyes to all the country has achieved.


SNIPPETS

Jayalakshmi a.k.a Sneha, daughter of Rajalakshmi and Sivaramakrishnan of E-205 got married to Jayaram Iyer in Hyderabad on Republic Day. Jayaram should not have a hard time remembering their anniversary. As we all know women are very conscious of important dates and do not take kindly if the spouse does not land up at the door with a bunch of roses. We wish them the very best.

*****************

Rolling Stone magazine is the Bible for musicians as The Economist is to the economists. To be featured in the Rolling Stone, is a dream for many budding artists. The Yamuna Band, "Dementia" consisting of Ramanan, Raghu Prabhakar, Rangarajan, Saurabh Roy Choudhury and Reet Mukherjee have muscled in to its covers, thanks to their unstinted passion to create progressive music. Their song and album can be viewed on http://rollingstoneindia.com/listen-delhi-metallers-dementia-return-belong/. Whilst on the subject, Sadhana Music and Dance Academy has completed one year. Congratulations to Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav for their efforts to revive the music, dance and art culture in the colony.

****************

Mr. S. V. Raghavan, ex-member and ex-resident of G-005, passed away in Bhopal on 24th January, 2015. It is indeed sad that another of the original members is no more.


Letter to the Editor

I attended a dance programme organised by Ganesa Natyalaya at Kamani Auditorium on the balmy morning of 26 December 2014. The occasion had the added attraction of my friend, neighbour and danseuse extraordinaire Meera Varma née Nair performing among the senior students.
The contingent from Yamuna, occupying an entire row including an excited smattering of children, sat through the first few items gamely, but impatient to see our very own star, although I hasten to add that they were expertly executed.
And Meera proved that that she was indeed a star. Her piece was a javali, Chaliye kunjanmo by king poet Swati Thirunal, in which she played the irrepressible Krishna playing with and teasing the Gopis, performed by two very competent dancers. However, Meera stood out for her flawless rendition, her natural expressiveness and most of all her apparently boundless energy, which easily put to shame dancers half her age. All this despite a self-imposed break from dancing of several years!
Meera is proof that a true dancer is ageless, and I hope she continues to pursue what is clearly her calling, and enthral us with future performances.
I request you to print this tribute in the Chronicle as recognition of a resident’s excellence in an art form, and I urge others who may have hung up their anklets in deference to their ageing muscles to follow their passion once more.
Seema Chari(C-208)



MIRTH CORNER


Did I read that sign right?
In an office:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER...... PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN
In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD
Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS
Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR
Notice in a farmer's field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T WORK)


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - FEBRUARY 2015
DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
7.2.2015
ANNUAL ON THE SPOT PAINTING COMPETITION
10.00 AM
BADMINTON COURT




14.2.2015
THYAGARAJA ARADHANA
3.30 PM 
COMMUNITY HALL
21.2.2015
MOVIE SCREENING AND POT LUCK DINNER
6.30 PM 
BADMINTON COURT