Blog pic

Blog pic
Pic courtesy:Vidya Nair

02 July, 2016

Issue No. 178 I June 2016

EDITORIAL

I am tired and vexed about politicians who mouth baleful drivel about social mobility on caste basis. The so called backward classes are so inured to receiving hand outs that they do not put in the effort to either get an education or work. We, the slaving educated class have to work extra hard to save up for the rainy day because after one has finished paying income tax, service tax, sales tax and sundry other taxes you are left with next to zilch. I am all for providing means to the economically backward for free education, midday meals, subsidised shelter etc but to link caste to it is a travesty of justice. Imagine a backward class  millionaire politician or an IAS officer getting all these handouts just because he belongs to a particular caste. This is discrimination in reverse. A poor Brahmin who cannot afford a meal is consigned to hell but a Jat or Yadav billionaire is given handouts from taxpayers money! How ironic and flawed. I am aghast. The problem is politicians seldom pay taxes even if they go about driving a Mercedes Benz or a BMW. Next time a politician shows up for votes ask him to show his tax returns before you trust him with your vote, which is a licence to spend tax payers money.

Freehold activity has begun in earnest but it does not seem smooth sailing. Some people applied for the conversion in April 2016 and two and half months later they are still looking askance at DDA. Things are doubly difficult for those who are not original members as well as those who have inherited their property. Just being admitted as members of the Society is not a gateway. A nominee is only the Trustee/Custodian of the property. It is only the Will that will determine the rightful heir. If the owner of the property dies intestate (dies without leaving a Will) it gets very complicated. This is why, I have, through these columns been urging everybody to write a Will, otherwise you could leave your progeny with a very messy problem. It gets even more complicated if your children get married and they too have children. Then the legal claimants to the property can be too many that it may become impossible to handle. They will have to produce a registered Will and relinquishment deed from each of the heirs stating that they will have no claims to the property. A daunting task indeed especially in these days where most people value money over everything else.

Muhammad Ali, born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, a boxing legend and my favourite sporting hero died this month in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. I followed each of his heavyweight bouts in the papers which actually inspired me to take up boxing. Much later I got to watch recordings of his bouts on TV. Madrasi School or MEA was once known as a premier educational institution but the boxing ring was the least likely place that would bring it fame. I was the only boxer who represented the school and went on to win the School Championship in lightweight category, beating a boy from St. Columba's School in the final. It made me proud as it was the only activity I ever excelled in. I was a thin and wiry guy but carried a mean right hook. I raise a salute to the most famous pugilist of all time. He was an artist at work, an oxymoron as boxing and artistry cannot be said in the same breath. He brought grace to a sport that was considered  most brutal He was very articulate, a humanitarian and a conscientious objector to the war against Vietcong in Vietnam and avoided conscription and went to jail. He beat Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Michael Spinks, all great boxers of his time. "Thrilla in Manila", "Rumble in the Jungle", "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" are famous one liners attributed to him. His wit and charisma was unparalleled. Boxing was never the same after he retired although It briefly sparked when Mike Tyson took to the ring. He was voted the "Sports Personality of the Century" and he polled more votes than all the other contenders combined. For the current generation, he was the Tiger Woods of boxing.

The much awaited piped natural gas connection has begun to happen. Several residents have got the connection whereas some are still waiting. PNG takes away the tedium of booking for gas and waiting for its delivery. You do not have to wrestle with cylinders when one cylinder gets empty and have to lug and connect the second cylinder to continue your cooking. Gas on tap is ideal for nuclear families where both husband and wife go to work and there is nobody at home to receive the cylinders. The only downside is that PNG has much lower calorific value than LPG, which is why IGL installs a device to enhance the flame, otherwise it could take longer to cook. PNG however, being lighter than air is safer than LPG which, being heavier, tends to stay in the room if you accidently leave the gas on without the flame. The laying of the pipes was a challenge though, as many residents have built rain shelters/grills on the exteriors of their flats, which made it difficult to take the risers. One riser for C Block is yet to be done because of this.

Residents have complained a number of times about feline menace because they tear up milk packets hung on the door knob by vendors and also tear up the garbage bags to forage on leftover food, thereby messing up the surroundings. This month,  things went a bit too far. A cat bit one of the residents because of which she had to go through a course of painful anti-rabies injections. We could avoid much of this trouble if residents don't feed the cats. Cats have such strong survival instincts that if they do not get food in the colony, they will migrate elsewhere.

Indians are genetically programmed to believe that the whole country outside their home is one big garbage dump. Yamuna epitomises a departure from the stereotype, yet there are some people who bring shame to an otherwise well disciplined and cultured gentry. The type of litter does not suggest that it may have come from visiting staff and domestics. One can only therefore surmise that some residents are messing up our outdoors. We do  not wish to name and shame them but the CCTVs capture the guilt of the offender. So, let us work to keep our environment clean and feel proud about it. Please throw all plastic waste like sachets, chips packets, polythene bags, coke bottles etc in the bins placed in the office and store. Separate bins are also provided in the office for electrical/electronic waste and paper/ cardboard waste, respectively. Only kitchen/sanitary waste should be given to the jamdarni for disposal near the C Block gate. Barring wet waste, the Society is disposing off all other waste to a recycling agency.

Rains are around the corner and we must guard against all mosquito borne vectors. The female mosquito plunges its lance like shaft from the proboscis and extracts your blood and in the process deposits its disease carrying saliva in your blood stream. Only females of the species bite. Therefore, it is not their normal food source. Malaria or its various avatars like dengue, chikengunia etc. cause more deaths worldwide than anything else. The breeding ground for mosquitoes is stagnant water. With the arrival of the monsoon please retire your water coolers and other sources of stagnant water. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

Mr. N. L. Ganapathi has resigned from the Managing Committee owing to a busy schedule. We are saddened to see him leave the MC. His contribution to legal matters, particularly the representations to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for regularisation of allotment amongst other things, has been immense. We hope he will join the MC again sometime in the future. His wise head and calm demeanour will be sorely missed.

Sumathi Chandrashekaran wrote an article in the Times of India on 17th June, 2016 about the drug problem in Punjab. It was a succinct and sagacious analysis of the problem. Coming close on the heels of Udta Punjab, a well made but depressing film on the state of affairs of the narcotics scene in Punjab, it shows the perils of the times we live in.

The tyranny of popular will is that it generally goes against the grain of common sense. Populism looks at short term gains at the cost of sustainable long term gains. It The decision of the British voter to leave the EU led to the freefall of the global stock market. The pound did a belly landing. It has set a domino effect with some in Ireland, Holland, Sweden and Slovakia calling for a referendum to leave the EU.

Ramanan of C-005 had his day in the sun when he appeared on MTV on 26th June, 2016 playing an array of instruments. He is a self taught and versatile musician who can play several genres of music. If he gets the financial backing that one needs these days, he is destined for greatness.

SNIPPETS

Ankit Jain and his wife Ruchi Nahar have vacated and moved out from E-002 after a brief sojourn in Yamuna. Ankit who works for Feedback Ventures has got a transfer to Mumbai and Ruchi has got a new job with Deloitte. We wish them good luck.

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As a consequence, Mr. Santosh Aravindakshan has moved into E-002 with his wife Poornima and sons Aditya and Varun. Santosh works as logistics head of India for Singapore based Sunrise Sports India Pvt Ltd. Santosh is fond of watching sports channels, particularly cricket and badminton and is also fond of reading. Poornima, apart from managing the house is an avid reader and music lover. Aditya who is 8 years old and Varun who is 6 years old both go to St. George's School. Santosh can be reached on 9873562648. We welcome them to the Yamuna family.

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Anup Nair and his wife Nisha Jayaram of E-302 have decided to move to Hyderabad. It is an unfortunate development as his decision to move was necessitated due to health reasons. The pollution in Delhi did not agree with him and his lung function was impaired, so the doctor advised him to migrate. I hope others do not fall prey to the ill effects of air pollution.

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Vedika Arora of A-106 who is a student of Birla Vidya Niketan School has scored a perfect 10 CGPA in the Xth Class Board exams. She is not a one dimensional person. Many of you must have seen her as a Kathak exponent on the Yamuna stage. Congratulations Vedika. I am sure you will inspire other children in Yamuna.

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As they say, 'better late than never'. Karun Prabhakar of H-201(elder brother of Prashant) got married to Sonam Bhutia in Mumbai on 10th June, 2016. Congratulations! Karun. Does it open the doors for Prashant?  Let's wait and see.

03 June, 2016

Issue No. 177 I May 2016

EDITORIAL


Just as everybody's patience was wearing thin, the IGL civil work got over. After removal of the rubble and cleaning of the road and plant beds, Yamuna is back to its pristine best. Work on the taking the pipes to the terrace has commenced. Hold your horses, we haven't got the gas yet. You may still have to wait a while for that to happen. But, when that happens it will close a long chapter of cylinders being rolled on the hexagon blocks and heaved to the upper floors, quite often damaging the stairs in the process. It may be the opportune time to mend the chipped and broken steps, a cause of much annoyance to people who have to trundle up and down the stairs.

The days of stumbling in the dark has also come to an end. Based on a consultant's advice the lumen levels in the staircase has been increased with the installation of additional LED lights in the landing of each staircase. It would particularly be helpful in the dark winter months.

I hate going to the hills anymore. Several decades ago when I was still in school I went to Simla. I was greeted by gurgling brooks, dew laden leaves, apple and plum orchards, misty mornings and quaint colonial dwellings, churches and shops. Few summers ago, when I visited the hills again, I was horrified to see the hills bare from denudation. a few ghostly conifers stood like spectral sentinels. Stumps of trees felled provided a reminder of a lush and verdant past. Now, the horrific forest fires of Uttaranchal and Himachal covering vast areas would have laid bare what is left. The hills have lost their charm. It is overcrowded with traffic snarls, blaring horns, loud filmi music from shops announcing their domain rights, water shortage and worst of all temperatures in the high thirty's and even forty's. It holds nothing for me, unless, I decide to explore and go to an unknown hamlets far from the madding crowd. We have unfortunately run out of inexpensive holiday destinations free from distractions that one encounters in the city. 

It is quite interesting to read different newspapers. It betrays their affliction for leaning either Left or Right. A balanced view is seldom seen. So too is the predilection in watching the news channels. They follow the same script in either speaking for the establishment or against. While they do invite speakers from opposing camps, the anchors bias is clearly visible when he or she give free reign to one party to air their views without interruption, while when the opposing camp steps up to speak, that person's voice is drowned in rude and uncivilised interruption by the anchor or the opposing camp. Vile charges are often bandied about. When fact and fiction become inextricably intertwined, it becomes impossible to engage with reality rationally. Seldom is an opinion received with cheerful equanimity.  It is important to put on your thinking cap to sift the chaff from the kernel. I like the weekend issue of the Hindu. Its opinion pages are sharp and incisive. You can avoid the news pages which are relatively provincial backwaters.

Voice of Gopal(C-202) asking Kolathu for Bournvita used to ring out from the canteen in MEA School which has since been rechristened DTEA. MEA is my alma mater and Gopal was my contemporary and Kolathu ran the canteen there. Gopal was a torch bearer of sorts as many of his ilk were fond of this milky beverage. How unfortunate that I cannot remember much of the old Gopal except for his fond preference for Bournvita. The choice of beverage had since moved to coffee and tea and in the last two decades to Coke and Pepsi. Many South Indian families swore by the health benefits of this malt and its cousin Horlicks replete with evocations of steaming goodness and rejuvenated brain cells. Britain, homeland of the drink's eponymous inventors may have given up on this frothy beverage but a century since these beverages hit the Indian shores, the demand for it still holds sway. Of course, much to the chagrin of the die-hards, the drink has since been launched in several new flavours which occupy the retail shelves and one has to search high and low to get the original brew. I have since moved my loyalties to Horlicks, a concoction of milled malted barley, mashed wheat flour and milk. As if that was not enough, many a times, as a school going kid I had downed spoon fools of the grainy or malty powder to satisfy my craving for the taste. My mother was in the dark about my larder forays and used to wonder how the jars were getting emptier faster than they should. We all had our dark secrets. I am revealing my guilt at this stage as I know my mother will not spank me now!

Driving in an inebriated state is always fraught with risks. It has been proven through several studies that increased levels of alcohol in the blood leads to cognitive dysfunction and lack of motor controls. Therefore, when one resident who was soaked to the gills rammed into a brand new car of another resident within our colony gates, there was unpleasantness. This matter was however, sorted out amicably. Such an incident, had it happened elsewhere could have turned out to be calamitous had it led to a major injury or fatality. Off late the courts are coming down heavily on drunken driving. One could put one's entire future in jeopardy and end up in the slammer for a number of years. Is it worth the risk? If you wish to party and down a few drinks, you would be well advised to either call your driver or hire an Ola or an Uber.

Children give in limpidly to temptation. The highest selling item in the store is chips. Despite its categorisation as junk food, this potato savoury with its crunchy texture spiked with an assortment of flavours rules the taste buds. Talking about the store, it began to get some traction when they rationalised their prices after benchmarking with the local kirana stores. Unfortunately, the extended repair work on the road acted as a dampener to shoppers from outside who could not bring their cars inside. Now that the work is over, things should pick up.

Yamuna students always end up in the upper quadrant of students who appear in the Board exams. This year too they have done exceedingly well with most of them scoring in the nineties. Kudos, to all of them. Their next hurdle will be to secure a seat in a college or course of their choice. One only hopes they get their chosen option in Delhi itself so that we can see them more often in the colony. Children are the lifeblood of the colony. Their energy, vitality and gregarious nature keeps the social barometer ticking. The details are given below. You may congratulate them if you have not already done so.

S.NO
NAME
ADDRESS
% MARKS
STREAM
1
DAKSHINA RAGHAVENDRA
A-001
95.5
HUMANITIES





2
TEJAS RAJU
A-103
94.4
SCIENCE





3
MANISSHA KIRAN
A-001
78.75
SCIENCE





4
APARNA KRISHNAN
F-103
94
COMMERCE

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Seetha, Poornima and Bala have been for the last three months painstakingly sorting out all the office records, cataloguing, labelling, indexing and placing them in  systematically in the almirahs. The four steel almirahs which were in a poor state have been repaired and painted. Some records which can be discarded in accordance with Schedule 1 (rule 43) of the Delhi Co-operative Societies Rules, 2007 have been discarded. The records that are frequently used for reference have been retained in the office. The remaining records, spares parts and sundry material have been transferred to H Block basement and kept under lock and key. In the process both the basements have also been cleaned thoroughly. The only concern is the abandoned vehicles in the basement for which there are no claimants. The police is being contacted to ascertain the procedure for having them removed.

SNIPPETS

People come and people go but this relocation is going to cause more grief than normal. Deepak Varma of H-208 who had been living off a suitcase ever since he was transferred to his company's headquarters in Mumbai last year, said enough is enough and asked his wife Meera and children Aparna and Samarth to pack their bags and move in with him. With their moving out we will miss a family which has always been in the thick of the cultural potpourri of the colony. Deepak with his fabulous singing, dancing and acting skills, Meera with her repertoire in both classical and modern dancing, Aparna and Samarth in their diverse roles have been the fulcrum of almost all the cultural and sporting do's of the colony. Their popularity amongst children and adults is almost idolatry. Needless to say we will miss them immensely. We do hope that one day they would decide to move back.

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Mr. A. Balasubramanian and his wife Annapoorny of B-202 have moved bag and baggage to Bangalore to be with their son Kumar and his family. With that, another long standing member has bid good-bye to Yamuna. With many of the senior citizens not having the confidence of living alone, we may witness more such relocations in the future. It is our duty to give senior citizens of the colony the comfort and security that they deserve.

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Mr. S. Shankar Narayanan of B-304 has moved with his family to B-202, a move that would not have troubled them too much.

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Vinayak and Rahul, sons of Raja and Jyoti who moved to US from C-007 were in the colony for their summer vacation. Their stint in US has transformed them. They display a great deal of maturity and confidence. Vinayak is studying to be a doctor and Rahul has finished his engineering and will begin working when he returns.
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I wish to announce the birth of a bonny girl to Supriya and Arjun of H-005 on 11th May, 2016. They have to watch against sibling rivalry since all the attention that Kabir was getting will now get shared with Meera. Happy nappy changing, Supriya and Arjun.