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Photo courtesy: Vidyhya Jayaram

03 October, 2015

Issue No. 169 I September 2015


The General Body meeting was held in the Community Hall on 27th September, 2015. Mr. Ramabadhran conducted the meeting with great composure and equanimity. He outlined the progress made on several fronts. All the resolutions were carried through with comfortable majority. Mrs. Poornima Narayanan was elected as the new Managing Committee Member in place of Mrs. Bharti Ramakrishnan. Bharti's contribution as Secretary was appreciated and placed on record. There are talkers and there are doers. Ram comes in the latter category. He really walks the talk. He was principally instrumental in creating and populating the Yamuna portal with data with help from Sumathi Chandrashekaran and Mercy Nair. Many more initiatives have been taken up. Watch this space for news on this subject in future issues of the Chronicle. Ram thanked the Managing Committee and the staff for their amazing contribution during the year gone by. He was all praise for Seetha Venkataraman for single handedly managing the affairs of the office on a day to day basis. Mr. Ganapathy's contribution to the regularisation process cannot be overstated. He was aided by Ram, Seetha, Mr. P.K. K. Nair, and Mr. Krishnamurthy.  The Managing Committee is also grateful to Mr. P. D. Gopalakrishnan, Chitra Balasubramaniam, Alka Arora, Poornima Narayanan and Raju Parameswaran for volunteering with the compilation of data in connection with the regularisation process.

I was shocked to read that a person in a premier engineering institute was driven to commit suicide by intolerable and inhumane ragging. Rape, murder, brutal ragging, reservation stir by Patidars, wife bashing by an elected representative of AAP etc. – this kind of violence and mayhem  can make persons of sterner stuff quail in their boots. What are the times we are living in? Terrorism cuts a wider swathe. Mobs go berserk over seemingly innocuous issues, leave alone provocative ones. All you need is a rumour to trigger this frenzy. Where and how do they find the time to indulge in all this? It seems like apocalypse now. All the ills of the world are  caused by the so called 'evolved' human beings. Their proclivity towards greed, graft, envy, ego, selfishness, and intolerance etc proves Charles Darwin wrong. The theory of evolution should be turned on its head. Animals kill only when they are hungry. We kill for no reason at all. Animals do not destroy the environment which we do wantonly. Animals follow a social order which they do not breach whereas human beings break the social order and laws all the time. Thumbs up to the animals, thumbs down to the humans! It's humans who need to be caged in zoos and not animals. I might sound very provocative but my faith in human beings has been shaken irrevocably.

Obesity is becoming a major health concern with a host of lifestyle diseases impinging on quality of life when one reaches middle age. Obesity is to be tackled at childhood as once a person becomes an adult, getting rid of the excess kilos is a very trying proposition. Doing exercises when your mobility is impaired adds to one's woes. Nobody realises that the quantum of food required by the body peaks at the age of 20 years when the growth spurt ends both vertically and horizontally. Thereafter food intake is required only at maintenance level. Most people continue to consume the same quantum of food after 20, which only goes to increase one's bulk. After 20 years, one's food intake should reduce to half or even less to avoid the proverbial paunch and overall girth build-up.

Janmashtami celebrations went off without any major glitches. Caught in the midst of mid-term examinations, many of the usual participants in dance programmes did not take part. Yet on the mini stage in the Badminton Court, the eager audience was served delightful renderings of dance and song items. Little Sahana Iyer opened the programme with a Marathi dance item. Her performance had all the elements which you would expect from a professional dancer. She moved on the stage with great felicity, craftily adjusting her steps to the size of the stage, subtly and gracefully shifting her eyes and head.  I have reasonable cause to believe that she will become a very famous dancer one day. This was followed by a group dance consisting of Sahana Iyer, Vanshika, Bhavna, Anushka, Aarya and Anjali. There was more from Sahana. She came to do another delightful solo piece.

Bhavani and Sumathi then regaled the audience with a medley of songs eulogising Lord Krishna. The songs blended seamlessly and kept the audience enthralled. We are really blessed to have two such accomplished singers whose melodious voices are infused with subtle, lilting nuances. They were accompanied on the tabla by Anirudh Sundaresan who matched their singing note for note with great finesse. The children were not done yet and a group consisting of Adwita, Shashvath, Sivasree, Sahana Savarkar, Samiksha, Radhika, Mani and Tanvi,trained by Shubhada, sang some  bhajans. The grand finale involved the breaking of the Dahi Handi for which both Kian and Lakshay were dressed as baby Krishna. A few blows later it fell to the ground spilling out goodies for the children. As usual, Mr. Thangathurai and family generously  distributed prasad to the assembled audience.

Most Indians salivate at the sight of chaat papdi. However, my indulgence in the fare from ubiquitous street vendors has caused me much grief with the 'runs',  hours after I have ingested the ambrosia of all foods. Therefore, I have now decided to succumb to my craving only at weddings or in sanitised environments where the stall holders wear gloves and use mineral water. The chaat-papdi meets many layers of tastes, textures, and flavours – soft and firm, warm and savoury, tart and piquant, hot and crunchy, rough and crispy. All the sensations you can possibly imagine, rolled into one. Even Mr. Bhotlu who was present at a recent colony wedding reception was all praise for the chaat papdi that he was eating. My favourite chaat joint  at the Food Court of Select City Walk Mall has unfortunately closed down. The reason I used to drive  my wife and daughters to SCW was to wolf down some chaat while they cleaned me of all the money shopping. Now I have an excuse not to go there.

People who feel depressed and less confident about themselves seek divine help. These are the people who get exploited by fly-by-night Gurus who have an eye on your wallet if you are a man and your chastity, if you are a woman They string them along with promises and ask them to perform bizarre rituals to make them forget their blues. This charade continues endlessly and the self appointed Guru  profits from it There is no dearth of adherents to this cult phenomenon. There are endless stories  of rape and exploitation that emerge from the cloistered chambers of ashrams that dot the landscape. Whither your intelligence and common sense, I say? Salvation does not arrive from ethereal realms. I have known some in my acquaintance who have fallen for this trap. We are the masters of our destiny and no one else, so let us pick ourselves up and give purpose to our life.

The other day a lady guru was shown on TV prancing around in mini-skirts. News reports have emerged that among several nefarious activities, she exploits men sexually. Apparently she too has a sizable following, one among them being a famous ghazal singer. It astounds me as to how even well educated and famous people fall for the faux charms of these gurus Why can't they call their bluff when anybody with average intelligence can? People from the most unimaginably impoverished conditions cope with whatever life throws at them  with greater equanimity and resilience and they resurrect without resentment. Depression is a middle class and upper class affliction.


Tejaswin Shankar never ceases to amaze me. His exploits in track and field events have become legendary. He has notched up another victory in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa leaping to a personal best of 2.14 metres. He is our hero of the month.


C-207 has a new occupant who is not entirely new to Yamuna. His sister Prema lives in B-005. Ramesh Iyer recently retired from a PSU. His hobbies include reading, travelling, playing bridge and solving Sudoku puzzles. Revathy is a retired IAAS officer and currently employed as Director, Finance and Operations with Engender Health, an international NGO working in the health sector. Her interests include reading and going out with friends. Ramesh can be reached on 9820351947.


Karthik Easwar of D-201 who wed Sneha in Bangalore earlier this month had a reception at the Yamuna lawns on 19th September, 2015. While it was raining intermittently throughout the day, the rain gods relented just in time for the reception to go ahead unhindered. The Easwars would have heaved a sigh of relief. The couple looked their radiant best on the stage which was beautifully lit up. There was a wide array of food options. Yamuna was very well represented and everybody had a jolly good time. We wish the Los Angeles bound couple a great wedded life.


The much awaited Rangmanch Pravesh Odissi recital by Dakshina Raghavendra is scheduled for 7 pm on 24th October, 2015 at India International Centre. Dakshina has been learning Odissi under Radhika Samson for the last five years. Radhika brings influences of her gurus Dilip Mohapatra and Sujata Mohapatra in Dakshina's renderings. All are invited to this dance recital.


Perception: Women Vs Men

Women friends chatting in office.
Woman 1: I had a fine evening, how was yours?
Woman 2: it was a disaster. My husband came home, ate his dinner in three minutes and fell asleep in two minutes. How was yours?
Woman 1: Oh it was amazing! My husband came home and took me out to a romantic dinner. After dinner we walked for an hour. When we came home he lit the candles around the house and afterwards we talked for an hour.
It was like a fairytale!

At the same time, their husbands are talking at work.
Husband 1: How was your evening?
Husband 2: Great. I came home, dinner was on the table, I ate and fell asleep. It was great! What about you?
Husband 1: It was horrible. I came home, there was no dinner because they'd cut the electricity since I hadn't paid the bill; so I had to take my wife out to dinner which was so expensive that I didn't have money left for a cab. We had to walk home which took an hour; and when we got home, remember there was no electricity, so I had to light candles all over the house! I was so aggravated that I couldn't fall asleep and my wife was jabbering away for another hour!

Wife : Shall I prepare Sambhar or Rasam today .
Husband : First make it, we will name it later ☺��

A frustrated husband in front of his laptop:
Dear Google, please do not behave like my wife...
Please allow me to complete my sentence before you start guessing and suggesting.

A man brings his best buddy home for dinner unannounced at 5:30 pm after work.
His wife begins screaming at him and his friend just sits and listens in.
"My hair and makeup are not done, the house is a mess, the dishes are not done, I'm still in my pyjamas and I can't be bothered with cooking tonight ! Why the hell did you bring him home ?" Husband answers: "Because he's thinking of getting married"

Employee: Sir, you are like a lion in the office! What about at home??
Boss: I am a lion at home too, But Goddess Durga sits on the lion there !

A man gifted his wife a diamond necklace for their anniversary and wife didn't speak to him for 6 months.
Was the necklace fake?
Nooooo! That was the deal !

A couple was having dinner at a fancy restaurant. As the food was served, the husband said, "The food looks delicious, let's eat."
Wife: say a prayer before eating at home.
Husband: That's at home the chef knows how to cook.

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05 September, 2015

Issue No. 168 I August 2015


The gas pipeline has finally made landfall in Yamuna near the C Block garbage dump, thanks to the untiring efforts of Mr. P.K.K. Nair. Over the next two months there will be extensive trench digging. The Society will notify the residents when the route map is made available by the IGL contractor, regarding parking and other actions. Parents of tiny tots are required to exercise caution and ensure that their children are always accompanied by adults, lest they inadvertently fall into the trenches.

The other day I was at a 5 star hotel for a business meeting when two roguish gents vroomed in at top speed to the porch in a fancy SUV, threw the keys at the valet and raucously walked in to stream of expletives. Visitors to the hotel which included some foreigners were aghast at this crass behaviour. The new poweratti are the folks who have acquired a great deal of wealth from selling farm lands adjoining Delhi to builders at outrageous prices. While I am not prejudiced, I have observed that barring a small percentage who came up through sheer merit, many of these nouveau riche, have become upwardly mobile on account of reservations and political patronage, like to wear their wealth on their sleeve.  Sharply dressed, wearing a Rolex watch or a Rohit Bal ensemble has become the preferred way to cock a snook at the established social order. Some, who are descendants of the political class, are often arrogant, don't care for the law and like to run roughshod over anybody who comes in their way. They can be seen with all the glitz at the City's prominent watering holes. For your own sanity stay away from them.

Graffiti in Indian cities is banal and an eye sore with neither artistic merit nor thought provoking messages. What you see are slogans like "Pammy loves Sweety" and such like. Contrast this with the graffiti in European cities. Their slick stencil or spray paint work straddle a fine line between brilliant provocation and basement humour. Their political slogans allow the bourgeoisie to feel a frisson of the radical. We are now witness to the artistic sophistication of the West with many foreign artists having taken their palettes to the crumbling and decrepit walls of Khirkhi Village near Saket and making these uncared walls colourful, soulful and vibrant. Welcome to the world of murals. Meghana Dubashi, erstwhile resident of Yamuna had intentions of doing a mural under the Clubhouse while she was living in our midst. With her moving to Gurgaon alongwith her equally accomplished husband, Kumar Chiplunkar, we have lost a couple who had great plans to transform the colony into a culturally and aesthetically charming complex.

Through the untiring efforts of Thomas Abraham, the tiny tot park adjoining the society office is looking more pleasing to the eye with dressed bushes and esoteric plant arrangements. One of the arrangements looks like a giant bird's nest with vines growing on it. A green thumb maestro with artistic talent is a potent combination.

Traditional houses had a native charm and character about them that one could associate the culture of the place with the dwellings. Classic examples of traditional houses of southern states can be seen at Dakshin Chitra (an arts and crafts complex), set in a rural hamlet near Chennai. With the influx of western architectural and interior design influences in buildings, we have taken upon ourselves to play upon and tweak those designs with disastrous results. The decor in houses in modern Malayalam serials is repulsive to those who have seen western architecture and designs in western settings and those who have seen the traditional Kerala households. If there is one maxim that we can always count on, it is that there is no accounting for taste. So we see rich households furnished with the most outrĂ© pieces which then become the bench mark for haute living for those who don’t know better. Many of us have witnessed nightmare inducing objets' d’art which were never meant to grace any civilised living room.

We celebrate Independence Day even though events in Parliament make our heads hang in shame. Despite Shashi Tharoor's brilliant debate in Oxford lambasting the British for leaving India in penury, we have done nothing in the last sixty-eight years since Independence to prove he is right. Statistics show that our place in the comity of nations has slipped since Independence in terms of relative growth. Now that we have a dynamic Prime Minister who wishes to change all that and take us forward, you have the dyed-in-the-wool politicians in the Opposition who wish to stymie any moves to reform the economy. Yet, we celebrate the 15th of August every year hoping yonder will be better.

It was a hot and muggy morning when residents assembled in the badminton court for the flag hoisting ceremony. Two newly acquired fans were pressed into service but they barely covered a small fraction of the people. Tying of the National flag so that it opens at the slightest tug is an art which Srikant and Ramabadhran have mastered. The junior-most and senior most residents amongst those present were given the honour of unfurling the flag. Kian and Mrs. Rajalakshmi Kalyan tugged at the flag and it unfurled in all its glory showering rose and marigold petals. Everybody joined in to sing the National Anthem. Students trained by Subhada sang a couple of patriotic songs in unison and this was followed for the first time by a dance ensemble choreographed by the talented Radhika Samson. It was very pleasing to the eye. Laddoos and eclairs were distributed to all present. The ladies singing brigade consisting of Bhavani, Sumathi, Gomathi, Sudha, Purnima, Meera and Anuradha amongst others gave a full throated rendering of the more peppy patriotic songs. Curtains then came down on the 69th year of our independence. The canteen seemed to do brisk business. They have added dosa and uthappam to the menu to spread more cheer.
Sujata Sundaresan sent me a clipping on women which I would like to share with you:

" A woman-changes her name, changes her home, leaves her family, moves in with you, builds a home with you, gets pregnant for you, pregnancy changes her body, she gets fat, almost gives up in the labour room due to the unbearable pain of childbirth, even the kids she delivers bear your name, till the day she dies everything she does like cooking, cleaning the house, taking care of your parents, bringing up your children, earning, advising you, ensuring you can be relaxed, maintaining all family relations, everything that benefit syou....sometimes at the cost of her own health, hobbies and beauty.
So who is doing whom a favour?"

I never thought of a woman's role in such candid detail. While I have always been indebted to women starting with my mother and now my wife, reading through the passage really opened my eyes to the sacrifices women make. It horrifies me to read cases of wife battering and privation in many households.

Onam feast has its adherents even if is is planned on Onam day when Malayalis usually have their sadhyas at home at lunchtime. There were nearly a hundred people who bought coupons and gathered outside the Community hall on 28th August, 2015. The scene was festive with most people in the traditional mundu. Meera Varma, Anu Nair and Sudha Easwaran had done an eye catching Pookalam in front of the Community Hall. The downside of wearing a mundu once a year became apparent when the amateurish effort to keep it anchored to the waist came a cropper when Deepak Varma had a wardrobe malfunction. Fortunately, help was at close quarters to keep his modesty intact and save him the blushes. As they say a tipple or two helps the food go down better. The young stallions were suitably bolstered to dive into the food which was simply awesome.


Mr. Vishnu Prasad, Dr. Swethaa and their daughter Aadhya of B-104 have moved to Kerala. I still remember Aadhya when she was barely one year old dancing in front of the mini stage to dandia music. We will miss this pleasant couple and their always cheerful daughter.


Mr. Ankit Jain has moved into E-002 with his wife Ruchi Nahar. Ankit works for Feedback Infra Pvt Ltd and Ruchi works with HCL. In a kind of role reversal, Ankit does the cooking and it helps because he loves cooking. He is also fond of watching movies and driving. Ruchi loves reading, listening to music and watching movies. They can be reached on 9873662885.


Mr. R.C. Natarajan has moved into C-106 with his wife Dr. Tara Natarajan. Mr. Natarajan is an engineering consultant. Mrs. Tara Natarajan who was a Professor of Philosophy in Gargi College has since retired. They have a son and daughter who are both married and settled. In a rare case of interests matching to the T, both of them are fond of reading, listening to classical music and watching movies which are timeless classics. They can be reached on 26001691.


Another bachelor bites the dust. Karthik of D-201 succumbs to the charms of Sneha and decided to tie the knot on 9th September,15 in Bangalore. Karthik is working in Los Angeles for International Accreditation Services after doing his engineering from California and Sneha after a completing a course in Corporate Social Responsibility is working for Tata Teleservices, Hyderabad. Ms. Geetha and Mr. Easwar will now become free of all parental responsibilities, now that their son is getting married. Their daughter Divya got married a few years ago to Sunil.


The following jokes maybe in poor taste but is worth a laugh:-

1. Every lady hopes that her daughter will marry a better man than she did and is convinced that her son will never find a wife as good as his father did!!!

2. A man threw his wife in a pond of crocodiles? He's now being harassed by the animal rights activists for being cruel to the crocodiles!

3. Only 20 percent boys have brains, rest have girlfriends!

4. All desirable things in life are either illegal, banned, expensive or married to someone else!

5. Laziness is our biggest enemy - Jawaharlal Nehru
We should learn to love our enemies - Mahatma Gandhi
(which one does one  choose?)

6. 10% of road accidents are due to drunken driving. Which makes it a logical statement
that 90% of accidents are due to driving without drinking!


I was aware of the ill effects of incense sticks (agarbathi) used in homes. This has got further reinforced by the following research paper. Already, with so much pollution we are putting ourselves at risk from cancer. Please do not aggravate the situation by burning incense sticks at home.

A new study claims that incense smoke could cause adverse health effects.
Researchers at South China University of Technology assessed the health hazards associated with using incense smoke in the home and compared it with mainstream studies of cigarette smoke.
In the study, two types of incense were tested. Both contained agarwood and sandalwood, the most common ingredients used to make this product.
Incense smoke was found to be mutagenic, meaning it contains chemical properties that could potentially change genetic material such as DNA and, therefore, cause mutations.
The smoke was also more cytotoxic and genotoxic than the cigarette used in the study. This means that incense smoke is potentially more toxic to a cell and especially to its genetic contents.
Mutagenics, genotoxins and cytotoxins have all been linked to the development of cancers.
Smoke from the sampled incense was found to consist almost exclusively of ultrafine and fine particles and is, therefore, likely to have adverse health effects.
Rong Zhou, a researcher, said there needs to be greater awareness and management of the health risks associated with burning incense in indoor environments.
However, Zhou warned one should not simply conclude that incense smoke was more toxic than cigarette smoke.
The study is published in the Journal Environmental Chemistry Letters.

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