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Poornima Narayanan

03 February, 2018

Issue No. 197 I January 2018

                                       
EDITORIAL

The Government does not recognise your existence unless you have an Aadhaar Card or driving licence or PAN card. The Government believes that our existence is only the physical manifestation of our names and addresses. These cards are the underpinning of our actual existence. Not having them or losing them can cause you lot of inconvenience and grief. If you do not link everything under the sun with your Aadhaar card by March 2018 you will be in big trouble.

Why are these tourists all here in Delhi? I have been trying to see India's capital as others might. As much as I would like to be the proud citizen of Delhi as all patriotic Indians should, there are things about Delhi that are very troubling like the rude crowds, lack of civic sense, dirt and grime. This grubby city lacks the romance of Paris, the sybaritic pleasures of Barcelona, the historical beauty of Prague and the adrenaline sex appeal of New York. What is attracting down jacketed tourists? Is it the mysteries of the Orient and the sadhus and snake charmers or are they expecting to bump into a Bollywood star? Or are they wanting to navigate through the dung laden narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk roaming between the trestles of medieval tripe just as my wife likes to do? None of the beauty has been preserved and all you have are signboards and wires hanging over what would have been a beautiful facade. More than six decades ago as I grew up in the city, Delhi had this unspoilt charm of a colonial outpost. Life was unhurried, roads were relatively empty and you could get to places without jostling with milling crowds wary of your pocket getting picked or snared by a beggar. Today the skyline is clogged, the pollution is killing and factories have been developed in houses in crowded by-lanes of Mayapuri, Okhla and Govindpuri  in downlit cubbyholes for nascent plutocrats. Given a decent choice and means,  I will run away. But alas, I am here to stay only because it is Yamuna we live in – an oasis of peace, calm and social harmony.

India has a burgeoning population and a legion of youngsters who are unemployed. Yet when we look for workers to man our machines they are loath to work and leave within a few days. They are children of workers but their work ethics leave a lot to be desired. Seems like this generation is aspirational and is looking for a more salubrious working environment. Unfortunately they do not possess the necessary skills to move up the value chain. Here lies the dilemma. The company I work for is one of the few on a hiring mode but where do we look for workers? Last week we hired ten people but only two have lasted a week. Where are all the hundreds of smithies where our workers toiled long and hard to hammer out a better and exciting future? Working conditions are a lot better these days than yesteryears with strict working hours, safety regulations, health back-up, subsidised canteen facilities and bus facilities to commute from home to work and back. We are looking for workers who would like to do an honest day's work to earn a living and we draw a blank.

The heritage walk, an event in our calendar that evokes our interest in the medieval past and an eye into the lives of our forebears was unfortunately called off. Most of the regulars who make it a practice to go on these walks were not available which would have just left just a few making the numbers. It was disappointing for them.

As a poor substitute, a potluck lunch was organised in the lawn on 26th January, 2018. Food is a great unifier. Not that the crowd was so big that it would cause a stampede but there were enough people to make for a great repast in balmy weather. There were a variety of tasty meal options which is what makes for a great conversation piece and rewarding experience. People were sharing recipes to add to their repertoire, to please their family and guests henceforth. The children amused themselves playing frisbee and generally running around. Much after people finished eating, they hung around to chat in brilliant weather.

The release of Padmavat stirred a hornet's nest. The Rajput community took umbrage on the presumed belief that their legendary queen was romancing the invader and Rajput pride was forsaken by the movie makers. The Karni Sena, a hitherto unknown fringe group upped the ante with violent action at theatres, putting blockades and generally destroying public property. The hostility was so visceral that any attempts to placate invited more derision. They were opposed to the film maker, the actors, the Censor Board, the Government and the Supreme Court. Should the law enforcement agency be quiet bystanders and mute witnesses to the mayhem these groups spread? Are we not giving anarchy room to flourish? It is a disturbing sign of the times for law abiding citizens.

Smoking in the premises and throwing of cigarette, beedi butts, soft drink and liquor bottles all over the colony and the terrace, spitting in the lawn, on the streets and the external walls, taking dogs into the park for their constitutional, throwing litter on flower beds, in the park and other places are all practices we should put a stop to. If any resident comes across anybody indulging in these activities they should counsel these individuals. These are matters of hygiene and civic sense which we should practice.

New leaf composters have been installed in the main lawn, in the tiny tot area and behind D-block where leaves that fall off the trees will be deposited and processed into manure by a method explained to us by an agency which specialises in this field. We would thus be in a position to generate manure that will have no offensive smell unlike the manure that we buy from outside. It will also save us some cost of sending dry leaves outside by tempo and the cost of buying manure.

Facebook, the internet's stomping ground is swamped by young and old alike. How Facebook has captured the imagination of diverse ethnic and demographic populace is mind boggling. I probably open my Facebook page once a month. In the initial years, I used to find a lot of younger folk dominating the space. Now I find that the malady has stricken the senior citizens as well. I cannot imagine why anybody would be interested in knowing what some acquaintance ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner or would want to see them in a million poses in a narcissistic overdrive? I can understand if a person occasionally posts something but to swamp the page with twenty posts in a single day borders on obsessive compulsive disorder.

In a slight departure from previous years, the painting competition this year will be held in the main lawn on 4th February, 2018 instead of the badminton court to take advantage of the pleasant weather and beautiful surroundings. Residents who wish to participate should get a hard board as a support backing for the painting sheet. The competition is open to all age categories. Please participate with enthusiasm as there are several prizes on offer.

OBITUARY

For Bhanumathi Kurup, wife of Late Mr. C.G.R. Kurup and ex-resident of H-101, the New Year turned out to be a time to say goodbye to everybody. She passed away peacefully in her home in Kochi on 1st January, 2018. Her son Santosh was with her at the time of her demise. Yamuna residents convey their heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.

SNIPPETS

Madhu Swaminathan of B-006 delivered a yet unnamed baby girl on 6th January, 2018 . Both mother and daughter are fine. I am sure the tot will have to put up with sibling rivalry with her older sister. Both Madhu and Kartick are going to have their hands full changing nappies. We wish them good luck

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Rohan and Kalpana Samson of A-201 who are now living in New Orleans, USA have been blessed with a baby girl on 17th January, 2018. They have named her Aisha. The birth of their second daughter just goes to show that Yamuna is breaking the national average of more girl child births compared to males. Grandparents Madhavi and Julius are there with them to take care of the baby and when they return, Kalpana's parents  will fly out to keep up the trend of grandparents looking after the grandchildren in their formative months.

MIRTH CORNER

I asked my girlfriend what sort of books she is interested in. She said, cheque books
                                                                      *******
The easiest way to make your old car to run better is to check the price of a new car.
                                                                      *******
Q: What's the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer?
A: A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge.

                                                                      *******
Boss: We are keen on cleanliness. Did you wipe your feet on the mat as you came?
Interviewee: Yes, sir.
Boss: We are also keen on truthfulness. There is no mat.

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Q: Why do dogs not marry? A: Because they are already leading a dog's life!

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Q: What's the similarity between mother and wife?
 A:One woman brings you into the world crying and the other ensures you continue to do so.
Some of the jokes may seem sexist or offensive to women, particularly wives but I would request them to take it in good humour. It is only a joke after all.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS JANUARY 2018

DATE
TIME
EVENT
VENUE
4.2.18
11AM
PAINTING COMPETITION FOR ALL AGE GROUPS
MAIN LAWN


FOLLOWED BY POTLUCK LUNCH
17.2.18
4.00 PM
THIAGARAJA ARADHANA
BADMINTON COURT


Issue No. 196 I December 2017


EDITORIAL

We could not have asked for better weather for the Society's Annual Day function on 9th December, 2017. It was under clear blue skies that we began the preparations and as the day wore on and night fell it was balmy and not bitterly cold as you would expect at this time of the year. Everything went like clockwork from the refreshment to the prize distribution ceremony and so on. The performers dressed in their costumes added colour and panache to an otherwise monochromatic prize distribution function. Mrs. Rajalakshmi Kalyan and Sridevi distributed the prizes.

Despite minor glitches we finished the programme on schedule and then settled to partake in the food. Since almost half the members of the colony were involved in some item or the other it is not possible to name all of them but I would be failing in my duty if I did not mention the key players in the choreographing and the acts. Seema Chari who was the director, singer and script-writer of the marquee item, "Seven Decades of Cinema", Anu Shekhar who choreographed the Fancy Dress, the dance item "Jimikki Kammal" and the music, dance ensemble of "Seven Decades of Cinema" and performed in the latter two, Subadha Arun who sang the invocation song, choreographed the choir singing groups and sang and acted in Seven Decades of Cinema, Bhavani Krishnan who too sang the invocation song and co-created and sang in Seven Decades of Cinema, Aanchal Sinha, a new comer to the colony who danced in gay abandon in her Kathak performance, Kiana Abraham in her Odissi recital, Sai,Shashvath, Radhika, Bhuvana, Vaidehi, Anoushka, and the biggest surprise of all, Aseem Kumar, whose commentary on Seven Decades of Cinema with impeccable diction and dialogue delivery left one asking for more. Back stage, Madhavi Samson did the compering with great confidence, Prashant Sr. was the music co-ordinator. Besides all of them, Ananya Satish, Samiksha, Sahana and Tanvi Savarkar in their various roles did an extremely good job.

Raghav did an impromptu stand-up comedy act. Actually, I don't think the performance was really impromptu. It was too crafted and spunky to be entirely spontaneous. He did a marvellous imitation of the Haryanvi dialect. He brought in a bit of humour and suggestive dialogues to send the audience into raptures.
We are indeed grateful to the following people who through their financial and material support contributed to the success of the event.


SPONSORS FOR ANNUAL DAY 2017


S.NO
NAME
FLAT NO.
AMOUNT
1
MR. M. ANAND
H 101
10000
2
MRS.K. SRIDEVI
G 303
10000
3
MRS. RAJALAKSHMI KALYAN
G 106
5000
4
MR. N.A. SESHADRI
D 103
2000
5
MR. P.H.NARAYANAN
C-007
MISCELLANEOUS GIFTS

I wanted to pen a ditty as a tribute to Seema who has been repeatedly carrying the entertainment package of the Annual Day on her shoulders with the staging of the main act which had hitherto been a play. This year for lack of time and non availability of key cast members she conjured up a musical act of equal, if not better quality and scale. Never in the history of Yamuna have we had so many cast members in a single item. It is unlikely that this record would ever be broken unless Seema wants to prove a point. Please sing this song to the tune of the song "How Do you Solve A Problem Like Maria" in Sound of Music.

How do you solve an enigma like Seema?
How do you take her quill and set it aside?
How to choose the cast and pin them down?
A magician, a Bully, a Boss.
Many a time the cast has no time to practice,
Many a time they just do not show up,
Many a time somebody drops out,
A magician, a Bully, a Boss.

How does she remain sane and listen to all the excuses?
How do you raise a toast in her name?
How do you solve an enigma like Seema?
How do you solve  an enigma like Seema?

A lot of back office work is done which nobody notices and quite often leaves the doers unsung. Let me acknowledge the contribution of Seetha Venkataraman and Poornima Narayanan who selected, bought, packed, catalogued, and arranged the prizes for the prize winners, Mercy Nair who prepared the certificates, Victor Thomas who ran several errands and did duties on the day of the event, Pappu the electrician who along with Manoj and Narain put up all the lights, Charan and Raju who ferried stuff and did the cleaning.

A group of monkeys came calling at Prashant Sr.'s door. Prashant panicked and shut the door behind him. He wasn't  expecting any guests but monkeys are not supposed to fix appointments and come. They were just hoping for a repast and didn't expect to encounter such a rude host. They then moved elsewhere to try their luck. I told Prashant that this was no way to treat his guests. He almost biffed me on the nose for pulling his leg.

Such encounters of the unexpected kind have become the norm with the monkey brigade laying siege in Yamuna. There was a brief respite when Srikant  got a pot shot at the leader of the pack with his paint ball gun.  They avoided Yamuna for a few days Now that they are back with a vengeance. Brace up as further simian shenanigans cannot be ruled out.

The BJP juggernaut rolls on as the number of states under their control swelled from an abysmal 6 states to 19 in a space of 3 years. BJP's charismatic leader PM Modi who has the vision, attitude, 24/7 work ethics and immeasurable guts to face up to adversity is the man the country needs to take this indisciplined and at times anarchic populace to the next level. I do not, however, have such a benign attitude towards the party or their ideological masters, the RSS. On the other hand the main Opposition party seems defunct. Its electoral moral is sticky. It coddles incumbents and stymies newcomers. It will not be the presiding generation of leaders who will attempt reconfiguration due to dynastic compulsions. Its antediluvian mindset is in the marrow. The party Vice President cannot even inspire kids in a juvenile home, let alone the country. Its performance in the polls in Himachal and its loss in Gujarat shows that they are in a downward spiral. Its modest showing in the Gujarat polls was more because of local leaders representing Patidars, SC's etc who took away the votes from BJP and Congress by default got the benefit.
Christmas Carnival brought Yuletide party atmosphere to the fore.  This year in a change of theme, Nandita, with the able assistance of Kavya, trained the kids for the  a Christmas story as an alternative to the traditional Nativity Scene. The children of course did a great job. Carol singing was at its best. This was followed by the arrival of Santa Claus bearing sweets much to the delight of the children. Sai played Santa to the T. Dakshina, Manisha and Aishwarya (Mr. Natarajan's daughter) then regaled us with some English songs. Then the Yamuna regulars, Seema, Bhavani, Raghav, Sree Kumar Madhu amongst others broke into Mohammed Rafi songs as a tribute to the great artist on his 93rd birth anniversary.

To induce some pep into the proceedings, Raghav prepared a jar of a strange brew which sent the imbibers spirits soaring.

No Christmas carnival can be complete without the Christmas ramp-walk. Much to my amazement both children and adults displayed a measure of bashfulness not apparent in previous years. This runs against the grain of increasingly bold accoutrement and behaviour visible in today's world. As a consequence, barring the category of under-12 girls, the other categories had just one or two participants. Dr. Abhilash and Julius Samson sponsored the prize money. Mr. P. K. K. Nair, with his trench coat and hat, portrayed a cross between a law enforcement officer and a mafia don. Take your pick.The prize winners were :-


S.NO
NAME
FLAT NO.
AMOUNT-RS
UNDER 12 YEARS GIRLS
1
Sahana Iyer
E-101
500
2
Adwita Nair
B-107
300
OVER 12 YEARS CATEGORY
1
Sahana Savarkar
C-208
500
LADIES
1
Seema Chari
C-208
500
MEN
1
P.K.K. Nair
H-308
500

New Year's Eve witnessed the cutting of the customary cake in the Community Hall where residents poured in from their respective watering holes to greet each other with warm hugs under heavy breath – hic! Bonhomie over, they returned to their hedonistic partying till the wee hours of the morning.
We wish all the residents of Yamuna a happy 2018. These days, if no cataclysmic event happens, we should reckon that the year went off reasonably well. From that perspective 2017 was not a bad year. As New Year approaches, people make resolutions invariably to do things that they wanted to but could not do before. New Year resolutions for the most part are the infiltration of homilies that one could not carry through in the years before.


OBITUARY
Mr. R. C. Warrier, an ex-member and resident of H-202 breathed his last on 7th December, 2017 in Trivandrum after a brief illness at the age of 91 years. Yamuna residents convey their heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.

SNIPPETS
The month of Marghazhi is the high point of Chennai's cultural calendar. Dakshina Raghavendra has done Yamuna proud by performing at two venues, one being the prestigious Narada Gana Sabha. Kudos to her.




CALENDAR OF EVENTS JANUARY 2018

DATE
TIME
EVENT
VENUE
21.1.18
10.AM
HERITAGE WALK
START FROM A BLOCK GATE