Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Tarun Balakrishnan

03 May, 2015

Issue No. 164 I April 2015


April began with a short holiday to Corbett for 61 people from Yamuna. It was a holiday much needed to unwind, release the stresses and rejuvenate. The resort, Rangers Reserve, is a delightfully secluded place surrounded by hills and valleys right in the midst of a verdant forest. Plenty of wild life and birds - with the notable exception of  tigers - could be spotted from within the resort. The air was crisp and breathtakingly fresh, the sky was azure and weather cool and comfortable.

Children frolicked in the park while the men and the boys played cricket. Kunal and Abhilash, rival captains and umpires of their respective teams while batting, gave a master class in cheating. Even a person who was clean bowled was not given out. The range of excuses given were,"The ball was too fast" or "I was blinded by the bowler who came in front". It was a parody but all in good fun. Sloppy fielding and comical tumbles added to the general mirth. The resort itself is very well designed with the architecture blending with the surroundings.  Barring some minor glitches in some rooms, the stay was very comfortable and the food sumptuous. An interesting observation was that the resort was ringed with lemon grass bushes to keep away mosquitoes, lizards and snakes. I must say it was very effective. We should therefore, contemplate planting lemon grass in the colony to keep away the rampant mosquitoes who will soon be swarming in our midst.

A local guitarist was hired to entertain us one night. He was belting out John Denver's "Country Roads" while blithely mangling the lyrics. Fortunately, the girls of the colony, Tanvi, Sahana, Kiana and Ananya borrowed his guitar and did a much better job.

The only disappointment was the safari, as we did not spot any carnivores. Suresan and Anita had a close and scary encounter with two wild elephants who came close enough to haul their jeep off the road. It is a pity more people from Yamuna could not make it.

The cooking competition had to be cancelled as the number of entries were very few. Instead a movie was screened on 11th April, 2015. There were conflicting views on which movie should be screened. Finally, we screened "Khubsoorat". It was a light hearted comedy, shorn of  the typical glitz and glamour, songs and item numbers. The story revolves around a gregarious physiotherapist (played by Sonam Kapoor), invited to a royal household to rehabilitate the erstwhile Maharaja from a crippling accident. The snooty, stiff upper lip, regimented Maharani, runs the palace with an iron hand and stern demeanour. In walks Sonam who is the antithesis of  the Maharani and  lands in troubled waters. Sonam does not let this deter her and soon enough she wins over the palace staff, the Maharaja, the Maharaja's daughter and captivates the debonair  Maharaja's son played by Pakistani actor, Fawad Khan. As in all Hindi movies the heroine ends up marrying the hero. The pot luck dinner that followed the screening was a repast in excellent weather. Sujatha treated everybody to ice cream but before it arrived the skies opened up. It was left for us to take shelter in the Community Hall and enjoy the ice lolly.

In order to build a compendium of social and cultural markers, it was decided to build a photographic album of children in the colony. If you look back, many children who were born in Yamuna, are now married and have children of their own. Would it not serve the community to capture the faces, their transformation from children to parents to grand-parents and the key milestones in their life like their first birthday, weddings etc? Srikant has a few old photos which evokes nostalgia. More needs to be done. Yamuna is not like any other residential colony. We are a large family with roots, history and heritage. Many of the moments have been captured in the Chronicle. We share in each other's joys and successes. Towards this effort Tarun Balakrishnan took photos of 35 children on 19th April,2015. Those who were not available that day for various reasons will be covered at their convenience.

There is a certain magic and awe that you perceive when reading books. Movies and TV serials may be a visual delight but they do not let your imagination run riot. Reading books brings to you that endearing quality. Unfortunately, TV, WhatsApp, and Facebook have grabbed the eyeballs and lured children away from the fascinating world of books. Renu Garg and Vidya Nair, amongst others are set to change that with a children's library in Yamuna. Thomas Abraham has designed and executed a quaint quadrant in the Club House which will house the library. Through contributions of money and books from many residents, the library, which was in the planning stage for a long time, has come to fruition. It will be operational on weekends. The library will be inaugurated on Sunday, 3rd May, 2015 at 6.15 pm. Everyone is invited.

Children have another reason to feel happy. After the relocation of the see-saw, slides and jungle gym to the main lawn, new play equipment has been added. The merry go-round which has recently been installed has become very popular with children. A bench swing has been added to provide some resting place for adults and children alike. Since the place is now well lit, it is a hub of activity at most times.

When I observe my children's total dependence on mobile phones and computers, I get worried. Our memory quadrant in the brain is shrinking. We are more and more dependent on machines to remember what we used to commit to our memory. Children today do not remember the multiplication tables. They use the calculator instead. We do not store addresses and telephone numbers in our brain. We have mobile phones to do them. We scan the Net for information that used to rest on the tips of our fingers but now rests in the data bases of search engines. Friends and relatives who are there today will be forgotten tomorrow. I see this in my children. As a result, with each succeeding generation, the memory cells in our brain will go into hibernation and eventually die. This in turn will get replaced by cells that foster new ideas and change. Consequently the world we live in, will change in ways we cannot fathom today. If we were to be removed from this world today and somehow brought back 50 years hence, we would be all at sea. Everything would have changed including the way we communicate,  travel and live. It seems frightening. Contrast this with the world 50 years ago and compare it with 100 years ago. Very little had changed. It's as though time stood still. I am dreading the day machines become smarter than us and we cease to value human interaction. Folks, let us take control of our memories and not find alternatives to relegate all control to the sapient technologies we live with. I do not like the transient world. It will be devoid of desire, love, empathy, emotion - everything that  we cherish and is deep rooted. I am glad we live in Yamuna where there is a semblance of sanity and we at least attempt to live like a family. Many in Yamuna share this view.  Kunal and Deepak amongst others who have lived in other colonies before moving to the colony, find Yamuna an oasis in a brutal and uncaring metropolis. 

Squirting bodily fluid on walls has become the bane of many a spruced up wall. As part of the beautification exercise, the paint on the Connaught Place walls had barely dried than the walls are bearing red paan stains and sundry other 'decorations' from spitters and expectorators.  Walls in other parts of the city also bear a stench as they are used as convenient lavatories. Swacch Bharat will not happen unless people change their ways, howsoever eloquent Prime Minister Modi may sound from the pulpit. Let us begin with Yamuna. While our colony is much cleaner than the metropolis we live in, we could do better. I still see litter in the flower beds and sundry sachets lying around in other places.
For the umpteenth time I have been promised by the concerned person in IGL that work on the gas pipeline will commence in Yamuna shortly. Now the promise is for the month of May, 2015. Let us hope it does not turn out to be another pipe dream!


There have been plenty of to-ings and fro-ings of late.

Mr. Rajarshi Das has moved into A-309 with his wife Maumita and son Rajdeep. Rajarshi is working as the Chief Engineer of ONGC. When he is not designing oil rigs, he likes to catch up on his reading, travelling, photography and music. Maumita is trained to be a classical singer and shares her husband's interest in books. Rajdeep has gone to the IXth class in Blue Bells School. He loves to play badminton and chess and is learning to play the flute. We could certainly do with a flautist in the colony. Rajarshi can be reached on 9968282384. We welcome the Das's to the Yamuna family.


Mr. E. Chandramouli of E-004 has moved back to Chennai with his wife after a relatively short stay in Yamuna. Maybe, homesickness for both Chandramouli and his wife had something to do with it.


After living several years in G-004, Mr. Venkataraman, Shanti, Nitya and Ramya are moving across the passage to H-106. Fortunately, their loyalties will continue with G&H blocks in the illumination competition.


After Mrs. Durga Narayanaswamy  moved from A-005 to F- 003 we have a new occupant in A-005.


Karthik Ashok, a lawyer by profession has moved into A-005. He is attached to Mr. Basant, Ex Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. He is from Wyanad and did his law degree from National Law School, Kochi. He is engaged to be married to Smrithi, also a lawyer who used to practice in the Supreme Court but now works for a website which does legal reports. Karthik works seven days a week and has no spare time to indulge  his passion for watching movies, listening to music and playing cricket. Smrithi loves to read and write. Aren't we on familiar ground here? Karthik has to end his workaholic life style after he gets married in June, lest he start on the wrong foot on the home front. He can be reached on 8447364669.


Radhika Samson performed an Odissi dance recital in a tribute to late Pandit Ravi Shankar in Stein Auditorium, Habitat Centre on 20th April, 2015,  All grace and felicity of movement, her dance was a visual delight. Opportunity under the arc lights was also afforded by her to her students Dakshina Raghavendra, Aparna Krishnan, Kiana Abraham and Radhika Venkataraman. I have seen them blossom under her tutelage from unsteady stochastic movers to accomplished dancers. Kudos to her. She is playing a great role in raising the cultural profile of the colony.


April turned out to be the month when Zutshi's had their big day. Vasudha Mohini wed her school friend Darsh in an elegant ceremony at Asiad Village lawn on 22nd April,2015. A plethora of functions prior to that led to the D-Day. Fortunately, the weather was a little kind that evening and it was relatively pleasant. There were not many Yamuna residents to hobnob with but everything else made up for it. . We wish them the very best. Darsh works as a Consultant for Deloitte in Mumbai. For Vasudha it will be the first time she will be living away from her wonderful parents and siblings. 


Yamuna children are earning accolades with a vengeance. It makes us really proud to see so much talent in the colony.
Samarth Varma of H-208 was declared 'champion of champions' in Abacus. He topped his level in Delhi state. He is an all-rounder. He plays all sports, takes part in all stage performances, has a way with girls and now has shown his heft in things more cerebral.


Abhinav Kumar of H-103 has let his pen do the talking. His essay on Atlas Shrugged has made the finals in the Ayn Rand Foundation's 2014 essay competition.
This is one of the largest essay contest programs in the world. Each year more than 25,000 participants from more than 100 countries enter the contest. Abhinav's essay was placed in the top 10 percent of all essays received.
If that was not enough, his latest paper on Company Law has been accepted for publication by a prestigious U K journal called the Company Lawyer. No wonder he has been hired by the largest law firm in India, Amarchand Mangaldas, a full year before he completes his Law degree.


6.15 PM

01 April, 2015

Issue No. 163 I March 2015


On a recent visit to Jahanpanah Club, I noticed that food and drinks were very reasonably priced. The habitu├Ęs of that club, which include quite a few from Yamuna, can therefore live it up without having to burn a hole in their pocket. Some years ago when the Club was launching a membership drive, the membership of this neighbourhood club was going for a song. I passed up the opportunity and therefore will  have to depend on somebody's munificence to have a repast within its four walls.

The Holi celebration was rather muted. It was a bit nippy after some unseasonal showers earlier in the week, the sky was overcast in the morning, it fell right in the middle of the annual exams and finally there was the World Cup encounter between India and West Indies. All these factors ensured that the attendance of revellers in the lawn was rather thin. Thankfully, the sun came out by 10 am. The one's who were present tried their darndest to make the Holi festival come alive. Deepak pulled in his SUV into the entrance of the  lawn to play some music. Prema, Purnima, Anu, Meera, Sujata, Srilakshmi, Hema, Deepak amongst others swayed to the music. A Chole-Kulcha vendor was at hand to dish out some welcome lunch. Pakodas from the canteen and gujias brought by some, satiated hunger pangs of the assembled throng. Mercifully, the absence of the nasty wet colours ensured that people did not have to scrub themselves for hours in the bath to look squeaky clean.

Every “news-hour” on primetime TV showcases a shouting, berating, finger-wagging anchor. Heaven knows what they are anchoring when they are fulminating in the mouth and ricocheting so much. They ask the question and do not let the invitee answer. They keep interjecting and delight in making  the invitee ill at ease. One of the anchors takes the cake in this respect and I am sure everybody can guess who I am talking about. So, one is hard put to get near the real news. Even the stodgy Doordarshan comes as a welcome relief in contrast.

Modi has the can do spirit as is evidenced by the courageous investment policy, pragmatic land laws and progressive policy on renewable energy. What needs to be seen is whether he has the political sagacity to steer clear of the bigoted blathering of RSS pracharaks who are keen on banning anything that smacks of a liberal mindset. My only grouse against Mr. Modi has been his gumption to wear a Rs.10 lac suit with his name on the pin stripes when meeting President Obama. His claim of humble beginnings and simple life style lost its cachet, in one's esteem, with this act.

While we incessantly argue over what is not right with our political system, we should not expect men in mufflers to walk into the Vidhan Sabha with their bags of benediction, to come to the rescue. Unless the Mufflerman learns that politics is more than pontificating from a pulpit and being a sartorial trendsetter of sorts, his hope of eradicating corruption will go up in a wisp of smoke. Forming the Government is the easier job but honouring the promises made to voters needs more than a bag of tricks. Already the free water gift is putting a strain to the exchequer and causing revenue-expenditure mismatch. To add to that a turf war within the party is queering the pitch from matters of more urgent import. If he cannot keep his flock together, how is he going run the state?

On 21st March, 2015 on the culmination of exams for most students, a relief party was held in the main lawn. We started with Tambola where some lucky ones turned out to be multiple winners. Other garden games barring Dumb Charades was shelved as there was not enough attendance. A choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian eats whetted the taste buds. Children were in their element dancing to the refrain of their favourite Bollywood numbers.

Dr. Manmohan Singh wanted to make Mumbai another Shanghai and now Mr. Chandrababu Naidu wants  to make the new Andhra capital a glitzy Singapore model but without physical infrastructure and fertile economic and cultural underpinning it will be like having the icing without the cake.

Spring is here. There are a surfeit of flowers in the Delhi roundabouts and parks, ranging in colours of the rainbow. Some rich and luscious, others dewy and dreamy in their velvet like softness. With the days and nights warming up rather rapidly, it will mean a swift end to spring and so also our visual treat.

India's spirited campaign in the Cricket World Cup came to a tame end at the hands of their nemesis, Australia. Brilliant batting by Steve Smith and a spell of hostile bowling by Michael Johnson put paid to India's chances. Shikhar Dhawan blitzed to a rapid-fire 45 and gave India a semblance of hope, but he walloped a rousing cover drive straight down Maxwell's throat to depart disappointed. After that a snorter from Johnson to Kohli and a fast in-swinger to Rohit Sharma broke the back of India's campaign. Dhoni valiantly tried to do the superhuman trick but two direct run out hits of Jadeja and Dhoni snuffed out India's rearguard action.

While it was disappointing to exit in the semi-final, after the failure in the tri-series preceding the World Cup, it was a heartening performance to be one of the two teams undefeated until the semi-finals.

Residents would have fretted about poor reception and call drops of their Airtel mobile phones. This may now be history with the installation of a signal booster in Yamuna by Airtel through the good offices of Venkat of G-103.

The cooking competition slated for 28th March, 2015 had to be deferred to 11th April, 2015 due to Rama Navami falling on 28th March. Entries are solicited from residents for mocktails, starters, main course and dessert categories. Since arrangements have to be made for gas stoves, it would be helpful if all the entries are sent to me by 8th April, 2015. Those interested in supporting culinary art and wishing to contribute cash for the prizes should get in touch with me.

Many in Yamuna are eagerly awaiting the trip to Corbett. We are going to be staying in the Rangers Reserve, nestling in the woods. A sojourn in the lap of nature will hopefully rejuvenate us. A visit to Ramabhadran's organic farm is also on the cards. A trip out of town for Yamuna residents is coming after a gap of more than two years. The trip encompasses a safari ride in Corbett game sanctuary, plenty of feasting and entertainment. Those undertaking the trip should board the coach outside H Block gate at 5.00 am. The buses would leave on the dot at 5.30 am. Please set your alarm clocks. We will stop midway for breakfast around 8.30 am.


Prema Manoj and Saisha vacated their flat A-309 and left Yamuna after Holi to join Manoj in Dubai. Manoj had left a few months before to head the marketing operations of his company covering the Asian region. Prema being a gregarious person endeared herself to everybody in Yamuna. Saisha too had her gaggle of friends. With their departure the cultural activities in Yamuna will be a tad subdued.


Most people take the well trodden path as a career option. Not Vidyut Mohan ( G-206). He broke the mould by pursuing an MS programme in Sustainable Energy Technology at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.  Sustainable energy is something close to his heart and he believes that by pursuing research in this area he could contribute towards making India self sufficient and energy secure. He is in  India for three months on  a project with Avani Bio Energy, based in Uttarakhand,  working  on producing bio-fuel using pine needles as biomass. This biomass could be used for thermal applications and generating electricity. He is confident that not too long in the future,  his work  will be put to commercial use . His inspiration seems to be drawn from Robert Frost's poem, "I took the road less travelled and that has made the difference".


Mr. S. Shankaranarayanan, Lakshmi and Sumyouktha who had moved out of D-202 more than a year ago to Bangalore are now moving back to Delhi. Where else will they choose to roost but Yamuna! They are moving into B-304. We welcome them back into our fold.

P. K. Prakasan, Shyni Prakasan, Abhirami and Shreeram would welcome their move from B-303 to B-204. A shift delightful for two reasons – one, the number of steps they have to ascend each time and two, it will be a welcome relief in the torrid summer months.


Ashish Suttar, Deepa and Dhruv have vacated H-106 and moved to Mumbai. While Ashish remained preoccupied with work,  Deepa and Dhruv had made lot of friends in Yamuna. We will miss them.


God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs . . . .

For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.
The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made.
God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.

-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.

-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

-All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the

Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day. Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life.
If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure.
Only the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to a profitable end.

5.30 AM

7.00 PM