Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Vidya Nair

05 December, 2014

Issue No. 159 I November 2014


I look forward to the Quiz Competition very keenly as it provides fodder for the brain cells. Sumathi's Quiz never fails to break the mould, which is why it is a raging hit. I always marvel at her ability to conjure up disparate elements and find a unifying thread to make a puzzle. While I am seldom in a position to answer her questions, I get fascinated when the answer unfolds. This year, there were five teams in contention and it was extremely well contested with just a few marks separating the teams. Finally, the team "Sitting Ducks" consisting of Aparna Varma, Aryan Ramabadhran, Sudhir Dravid and Poornima Narayanan with 160 marks took the honours and "Coma'' comprising Kiana Abraham, Shantanu Dravid, Anirudh Suresan and Dr. Shwethaa came a close second. They proved that their moniker was in stark contrast with their performance. Dakshina Raghavendra got her numbers correct and was flawless as the scorer.

The time of the year when all the sinews and muscles are put to use is on the Annual Sports Day.  Like always the item that draws the loudest cheers and encouragement is 'Picking the Toffees' for the tiny tots. The residents wildly cheering and backing their favourite tot to haul the maximum catch of toffees reminds one of a wagered cock fight! Prashant Jr's son Lakshay drew the maximum applause for his tally of 60 toffees. He also picked the first prize for the sprint. The multiple first prize winners for other events were Lakshay, Kiana, Avantika Shankar and Vidhya Nair. The only family where all the members notched up prizes were the Savarkars. Kunal Savarkar and Vidhya Nair won their respective sprints by a country mile! They set off the blocks like a hare on steroids and showed a clean pair of heels to the chasing mob. The 'Tug of War' was a contest fought in earnest by both sides. In the first round the ladies hauled the men in like a sack of coals. The men, who were hopelessly outnumbered, called in some reinforcements and huffed and puffed their way to victory in the next two rounds. They now owe a treat to the ladies. The boys were no match for the girls and gave in without a fight, even though some girls assisted the boys for their lack of numbers. The Yamuna marathon which is  basically one round of the perimeter road concluded the Sports Day.

An impromptu art competition was organised in the badminton court on 23rd November, 2014 under the auspices of Delhi Tourism, as part of an initiative called Discover Delhi. It was conducted by Kunal Savarkar and Seema Chari. Considering such a short notice it was amazing to see forty participants vying with each other for the coveted prize. It called for colouring any one of three Delhi monuments – Qutab Minar, Jantar Mantar or Cathedral Church of the Redemption ­ – as one option or free hand drawing of an object of interest in Delhi. All the art works adjudged as winners will be displayed publicly by Delhi Tourism. The weather was gorgeous and the enthusiasm infectious. Even those who were not entitled to be considered for a prize took part in the competition. In the view of the judge from Yamuna, the following children secured the prizes. The adults who took part were excluded from the consideration of the prizes.

Cathedral Church 
1. S. Aruna A-308 

Qutab Minar
1. Ananya Satish A-202
2. Anjali Garg G-106 & Vanshika Arora A-105

Jantar Mantar
1. Tanvi Savarkar C-208
2..Kiana Abraham A-008

Free hand ​Drawing Competition
1. Kavya Narayanan B-002

The Annual Day originally scheduled for 22nd November, 2014 had to be deferred to 6th December, 2014  owing to lack of preparation by the various groups putting up the variety entertainment programme. It will be a trifle colder in December but we will partially cover the sides of the pandal to control the draft of cold air wafting through the lawn. The timing for the start of the programme has also been advanced by half an hour as reflected in the invitation card to mitigate the effects of the cold.

We do not know whether it is for real this time. The latest of IGL's assurances is that the gas pipeline will be laid on January 2015. I was informed by Nitin Singh of IGL that they will be sending a person to the Society on 6th December, 2014 to discuss the routing and other relevant details. Please keep your fingers crossed and pray that it happens.


C-001 Member, Anand Mahadevan and Hemalatha's youngest daughter Dr. Advaitha tied the knot with Sivakumar, a Marine Engineer, on 9th November, 2014 at the Moti Bagh barat ghar. Like all of Anand's do's, every detail was meticulously planned and it had all the elements you would associate with traditional and contemporary weddings including Sangeet on 7th November at Surya Hotel, Janavasam on 8th November at Moti Bagh barat ghar and a reception on 9th evening at BSF Officers Mess. The Sangeet at Surya Hotel had the venue bedecked in white chrysanthemums and Swarovski crystals. Anand and family members danced in tandem to choreographed Bollywood music and Advaitha's growing years were captured in still and video footage and beamed on the big screen.

The wedding venue, embellished with bells and marigold flowers in the archway, roses and jasmine on the pandal made for a pretty sight. The traditional nadaswaram was given a metamorphosis with the protagonist playing the saxophone instead, albeit very well. The meals were sumptuous. The functions had a fair sprinkling of Yamuna residents. The bride and groom looked radiant and well matched. We wish them a jolly good wedded life.


We are glad to announce the arrival into the colony of two families from the legal fraternity.
V.E. Gayathri has moved into E-003 with her father Mr. V. S. Mohan. After completing her law degree from Patna she did a four month stint at The International Court of Justice at Hague. Upon returning to India, she has been attached to the former Chief Justice Mr. P. Sathasivam. She is now assisting the former Attorney General, Mr. Parasaran and his son, the former Solicitor General of India, Mr. Mohan Parasaran. When she has the time, she enjoys swimming and range shooting. She plays the guitar and is keen on learning the veena. Her father Mr. Mohan runs petrol pumps in his native Kancheepuram. Gayathri can be reached on 09654632265.


Mr. Nikhil Swamy has moved into C-205 with his wife Kruthika Shankar Swamy. Nikhil is a practising Supreme Court lawyer. Both his parents are lawyers and live in GK 1. Nikhil has flown the coop and is now relocated in Yamuna. Nikhil is fond of writing, reading non-fiction and gaming. His wife Kruthika works as a lawyer at PRA Law Offices. She shares Nikhil's interest in reading and enjoys watching cricket. Nikhil can be reached on 08800788985.
The influx of legal eagles into the complex is reaching epidemic proportions. The good thing about this is that we would have good counsels, should we be in the unfortunate situation of getting caught up in a legal wrangle. The possible reason for the proliferation of lawyers could be either that India is a very litigious society or that the system of legal redress does not ensure a finite closure time. Much to our discomfiture, we are witness to adjournments ad infinitum, in the case involving regularisation.


Anand and Sujata Sundaresan’s cup of woes overflowed when their pet dog, Dhana died prematurely. Dhana was just middle aged in dog life terms. She sauntered off from home one morning and seemed to have foraged in the rubbish heap near the main lawn and probably ingested something toxic. She died later that night. We commiserate with them for this tragic loss.

Homily from the pulpit
When without money, he rides a bicycle;
When he has money,
 he rides an exercise machine.

When without money,
 he walks to earn food;
When he has money,
 he walks to lose the fat.

When without money,
 he wishes to get married;
When he has money,
 he wishes to get divorced.

When without money,
 his wife becomes his secretary;
When he has money,
 his secretary becomes his wife.

When without money, he acts like a rich man;
When he has money, he acts like a poor man.

Man O man!
 Never means what he says and never says what he means...!!! 

��Pearl of the day��

When you are in ANGER, you are just one letter short of DANGER.

While you are GOOD to others, you are one letter more than GOD.


There comes a time when a woman just has to trust her husband...

For example...
 A wife comes home late at night, and quietly opens the door to her bedroom.
 From under the blanket she sees four legs instead of two.
 She grabs one of her husband's golf clubs and starts hitting the blanket as hard as she can.
 Leaving the covered bodies groaning, she goes to the kitchen.
Her husband is there reading a magazine.
 "Hi darling," he says, "Your parents have come to visit us, so I let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say "hello"?


Not so long ago, a rich Parsi went to Australia to watch the cricket series there.

The Aussie at passport control sat fingering through his passport for a long time. Unable to find any thing objectionable, he growled:

'Have you got a criminal record?’

The Parsi smiled and replied, 'I am terribly sorry, sir; unfortunately, I don't have one.
Nobody told me that it was still a requirement to get into your country'...! 


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01 November, 2014

Issue No. 158 I October 2014


The new members of the Managing Committee have hit the ground running. An e-governance administrative module is being worked upon by the President with assistance from Sumathi  and is on the anvil for implementation. The module, if implemented, will ease the administrative load on the office and at the same time provide all the residents the required tools to monitor their complaints, dues and other matters concerning the Society.

Dandia, the music and dance gala in the Badminton Court on 1st October, 2014 did not kick off until 8.30 pm, well past the starting time of 7 pm. This delay was not only due to the house calls being made by the ladies for Navaratri but also because office returnees got caught up in a nasty traffic snarl near Savitri Cinema on account of Durga Puja in CR Park. Those who got caught in the gridlock mentioned that it took them nearly two hours to negotiate the short distance between Panchsheel and home. When Dandia eventually got under way, the usual group of dancers which includes Sudha, Meera, Prema, Anu, Seema, Sujata, Jayashree, Purnima, Deepak, Satish, Sreekumar Madhu were joined by newcomers Sharada of E-304 and Chandrakantha of F-004. Radha Mani and Asha Nair needed a lot of cajoling to show their dancing skills and were by no means found wanting. The children, Samiksha, Advita, Kiana, Vanshika, Sahana, Tanvi, Sahana Iyer, Vedika, Saishaa, Ananya, Shreeya, Shreeja, Aparna Krishnan, Aparna Varma, Samarth, Shreeram amongst others, were joined by the older girls, Aishwarya, Manishaa, Medha and Nandita who all showed the latest moves that they have internalised through watching Bollywood movies, The weather was so enervating that it felt more like 1st July, rather than 1st October. Fortunately, there was some liquid nourishment to shore up the flagging spirits, besides dosa, vada, bhatura channa, chowmein, rolls, brownies etc.

Modi's clarion call for a "Swachh Bharat Andolan" rang out from Rajpath on Gandhi Jayanti, a platform he used to address the nation on the imperative to keep our environs clean. He eulogised Mahatma Gandhi and stated that it would be a travesty of justice if we did not heed to the Father of the Nation's plea to keep the country clean. It made an impression on most but not all. When the crowd cleared from Rajpath after the address, one could see a litter of empty water bottles, sundry pieces of paper and other trash. To imagine that this had been left behind by people who had just a few minutes before taken a pledge not to litter or permit others to litter, shows that the message did not travel home. Be that is it may, the nation is awash in euphoria and everyone is singing hosannas to Narendra Modi.

Ramlila and burning of the effigy of the demon King Ravan and his siblings has become a highly sought after event in the Yamuna calendar. It always brings an element of mystery and surprise. This year, it was a multilingual rendition of the Ramayana in English, Tamil, Hindi and Marathi. Samiksha as Manthara showed great felicity in mouthing dialogues in Marathi which is not her native tongue. However, the Tamil dialogues, although spoken by children whose mother tongue is Tamil, was very amusing. It just goes to show that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the usage of vernacular languages in their daily lives with our children not wanting to adopt them. The Marathi dialogues were penned by Prema Manoj.

Riya Ramabadhran, who traditionally used to script and direct the Ramlila handed over the baton this time to Shreeya Srikanth and Aparna Krishnan, who did a commendable job. The three of them were at hand to compere the show. Shreeja as Ram and Poorvaja as Ravan looked the part. Tanvi as Seetha looked demure and dignified. Mani as Lakshman made the part look easy. Aryan as Kumbakaran carried quite a punch. Aditi played the role of Vibhishan as the master himself. Shantanu fits like a glove in any role that requires dancing although he did not set his tail on fire as Hanuman.  Kiana as Kaikeyi shone in the role. Sahana as Soorpanakha looked too pretty for that role and her dance jig on the stage was cheered by all. Radhika as Jatayu tried her valiant best to stop Ravan in his tracks but in vain. Anjali, Shivashri, Advita, Sahana Venkat, Ananya, Shaswath, and Saishaa played multiple roles as Kings, vanar sena and asur sena to good effect.

The pyrotechnics which brought Ravan and his brothers to their knees, lit the twilight sky. Mr. Ramabadhran donated the effigies of the demon king and his brothers. If that was not enough, he has donated two computers to the Society office. We are indeed very grateful to him for his generosity.

After a gap of seven years, the Diwali Mela was held in the lawn. It brought back fond memories of the times gone by. The attendance was a trifle less than yesteryears on account of people in the neighbourhood not knowing that we are back in scale. Besides, there were five other melas in Alaknanda and CR Park on the same day. All in all, the people who attended seemed to have had a jolly good time. However, it was back breaking work for the few who had to work day and night over the previous fortnight organising things for the stalls, making posters, selling tickets, arranging sponsors and sundry other things. Prashant got his crew consisting of Prashant Junior, Nandita, Medha and Aishwarya amongst others to take care of the decor and planning of music for the request stall. Thomas Abraham helped out with the posters for external publicity.

Sudha Eswaran put her might in getting volunteers to man the rest of the stalls. She was ably assisted on the day of the Mela by C.V.Balakrishnan, Shashank, Vikram etc. Victor Thomas and Narain from the staff did a lot of manual work. Mercy took care of handling outside stall holders and collections. No mela of this scale can be handled successfully if it were not for the efficient cash management by Sudha Sundaram, Sumathi Chandrashekaran, Geeta Narayan, K.M. Chandrashekaran and Anita Suresan. Sumathi and Sudha helped in reconciling the accounts, as they have always done in the past. Finally we are very grateful to all the children and adults who manned the stalls. For the visitors, Yamuna melas always offer the highest variety of games stalls that you would ever witness in a mela. We were not lacking in food stalls either, with food offerings to suit all palates. The biryani was great, even if the chicken pieces were a trifle mingy in their inclusion.

I would like to thank Satish Padmanabhan, Manoj, S. Krishnaswamy, P.H. Narayanan, Meera Venkatachalam and Dr. Abhilash Pillai for the Raffle prizes. Sreekumar Nair arranged the sound system  gratis. We are indeed grateful to another major benefactor who did not wish to be named. He took care of the tent costs and provided one crate of beer free for fishing the beer stall. The irony is that no matter how successful the Mela may appear it is not a self sustaining activity without sponsors. In the light of this, the support received from the aforementioned people is invaluable.

The cars in the colony are getting bigger and snazzier by the day. Deepak Varma has got a new monster on wheels. It looks like twenty-five horses on adrenaline. More such acquisitions could pose a big challenge to the already constrained space for parking.

It was a case of déjà vu as the Diwali illumination did not live up to the glory years of the competition. The rivalry of the past was missing as A&B became the runaway victors cornering two first place and two second place finishes in all the four categories. Their theme, ‘Mythical Creatures’ was very well executed on the ground. Their rangolis and overall effect was excellent  and all the judges unanimously endorsed this view. They, for a change had a record number of participants.  G&H blocks which set the standard by which other blocks were measured in the past, has somehow lost their mojo. Their effort since 2012 has been that of a 'has been'. Their theme ‘ International Dolls’ was unique but the rendition was well short of their own previously high standards. I felt their illumination was the best, a view however, not shared by the judges. They still won the second prize for "Theme" and "Rangoli" categories. C&D and E&F fought valiantly although they were woefully short of hands. C&D got the first prize for their ‘Navagraha’ theme, but most of their illustrations looked more or less similar. The navagrahas were depicted by a truncated saptagraha with Rahu and Ketu having ostensibly been dropped as no resident wanted these two planets with malefic influence depicted in front of their homes! E&F had an outstanding rangoli depicting a prancing Mowgli in the forest and a three dimensional rendition of Ka, the serpent. They won the first prize for illumination and second prize for overall effect.

A pleasant departure from the past – there was no acrimony after the decision of the judges was announced and there was cordiality all around. I hope it stays this way in the future.

It is now time to direct all our energy to the forthcoming Annual Day scheduled for 22nd November, 2014. A lot of planning and rehearsing is required to put up a show to match the high standards set in the past. Volunteers who wish to participate in the variety entertainment programme should get in touch with any member of the Sports and Culture sub-committee by referring to the list of members displayed on the Society office notice board.

The badminton and TT tournaments for all age groups will be held between 2nd and 10th November 2014. Those who wish to participate in these events should give their names to Raju Krishnan of F-103. For those more cerebrally inclined, the Annual Team Quiz competition will be held on 15th November in the Badminton Court. The theme this year is 'Games People Play'. Participants should give their names to Sumathi Chandrashekaran of H-107 who will then constitute the teams. The Sports Day will be held for all age groups in the main lawn on 16th November 2014. Please turn up and participate in running and other events. Those who are not physically in a condition to participate should come to cheer the participants.


Tejaswin Shankar of G-306 is going to become the next big star from Yamuna. He is the current under-18 national champion in high jump. He will be representing India in the junior Asian Games in Incheon in Korea later this year.


Arjun Kohli who is working as a Senior in KPMG has moved into C-203 with his sister and parents. Arjun is working with KPMG as "Senior". He loves travelling and reads extensively on current affairs. In his school days he was a good cricketer and lawn tennis player. He can be reached on 7503486551. His sister Aneesha is studying Bio-technology at Imperial College, London. His mother, Mrs. Chanchal Kohli is a teacher at NDMC school in Netaji Nagar. She loves cooking. She can be reached on 9818114844. His father, Mr. Praveen Kohli, is a working as a consultant in the IT domain. He loves interacting with children and acts as a soundboard to about 200 children in Faridabad. He was a national level basketball player in his youth but now devotes his time on spirituality. He can be reached on 9999514642. We welcome them to Yamuna.

15 ironies that exist in India

- Indian parents want their children to stand out in a crowd but expect them to do what the crowd is doing
- Politicians divide us, Terrorists unite us.
- In our country you have to look both ways to cross a one-way road
- It's okay to piss in public but it's not okay to kiss in public
- Everyone's in a hurry but no one reaches on time
- It's dangerous to talk to strangers but it's perfectly okay to marry one.
- Swear in English and people think you're cool. Swear in Hindi and people think you're uncouth.
- Most people who fight over the Gita and Quran have probably never read either book.
- In our elections we don't vote for the candidate we like the most, we vote for the one we dislike the least.
- Ours is a country where sayings like "Ladki Ghar ki Laxmi" and "Ladki Baap ka Bojh hoti hai" coexist.
- India ranks 6th in the number of billionaires per country. It's also home to 1/3rd of the world's extreme poor.
- We’d rather spend more on our daughters’ weddings than on their education.
- The shoes we wear are sold in air conditioned showrooms. The vegetables we eat are sold on the footpath.
- You need to have studied till class 8 to become a peon. You don't need any educational qualifications to run the country.

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