Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Hari Nair

03 January, 2015

Issue No. 160 I December 2014

EDITORIAL
The deferment of the date of the Annual Day from 22nd November, 2014 to 6th December, 2014 was not welcomed by all. Some residents expressed that it would be too cold for senior citizens if the Annual Day was held in December. As it turned out, record breaking warm weather in December made it a tad warmer on the D Day compared to the originally scheduled date. The start time was advanced to ensure that the show got over by 8 pm. Uncoordinated stage management, the malfunctioning curtains and sound glitches ensured that the show went on well past 9 pm. Mr. K. V. N. Swamy, the senior most resident and the person in whose house in Karol Bagh the Society was formed in 1959, was invited to be the Chief Guest for the evening.

Talent oozes through the pores of Yamuna children. The number of prizes that were won by them both in events within the colony as well as on the national stage meant that we had a prolonged prize giving ceremony. Mrs. Rajalakshmi Kalyan was invited to the stage for awarding the prizes. We are very grateful for the generosity of Mrs. K. Sridevi,  Mrs. Rajalakshmi Kalyan and Mr.N. A. Seshadri for donating Rs. 6,000, Rs, 5,000 and Rs. 1,000 respectively towards the prizes. Mr. Manoj and Mr. Narayanan's complimentary gifts also came in handy. The President Mr. Ramabadhran then presented the launch of the Yamuna portal, highlighting its features which would allow members/residents to access information and voice their opinion through this portal.

The variety entertainment programme got off to a late start as the performers were not ready with their costumes.  Bhavani's services were sought to regale the audience with her mellifluous voice and bail us out of the dilemma and sure enough she had the audience spellbound with a Hindi number. An encore ensued and she was joined by Seema to sing the evergreen number, "Bole re pappi hara". The formal variety show began with a slew of classical performances which had all to be sequenced in the beginning. This had to be done as the same performers were required in subsequent items and it was felt that it is quicker to peel off the classical dance attire with all the adornments than to don it later. As a consequence the audience was lulled into watching a genre of stage performance that does not send one's pulse racing. Classical performances are best staged in an auditorium where silence reigns and illumination and acoustics are better. To subject the performers to an environment where cacophony rules and there are a million distractions, is harsh. The dancers made the best of the situation and gave a good account of themselves. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Nandita Majumdar and Radhika Samson under whose tutelage the children performed the Bharatanatyam and Odissi dances respectively.

Under the auspices of Sadhana School of Music and Dance came the guitar performance of  students tutored by Ramanan. The felicity with which the children's fingers moved on the fret board indicated that they are learning the art well. You cannot keep the cultural maven Subhada away from any do. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She tutored her children to a musical choir that kept the audience spell bound. This was followed by a Kathak dance recital by Vedika Arora who is learning this art form from Sumona Sen at the Sadhana school. Thanks to the school we have a whole lot of items which peg us back to our cultural moorings. In order to break the mould, Ramanan and Raghu gave a guitar and keyboard inspired blues number which was well received by the audience. This set the stage for the Bollywood Musical Medley from the 60's to the contemporary. The children flocked the stage in bright costumes and with energy and grace, regaled the audience with some peppy dance numbers. The crowd's enthusiastic response mirrored the exuberance and cadence of the music itself. The boys were however robbed of a standing ovation as their moves were rudely cut short by a musical glitch. I must thank the choreographers Anu, Prema, Vidya Venkat and Alka for the vibrant and engaging display by the children.

This brought us to the Grand Finale, the play in Hindi, a stage adaptation of Kundan Shah's 1983 evergreen Hindi comedy movie, "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron." Seema Chari who adapted the script and directed the play was ably assisted by Sumathi Chandrashekaran  in scripting, sound and graphics. Sudha Easwaran as Assistant Director  tried her best with the unruly stage curtain and props to get the play going. There were brilliant individual performances but the numerous acts and tardy stage settings made the play a little disjointed until the Mahabharat scene, when the stage really came to life with a taut and scintillating performance by all the actors. Seema is a hard task master and has the patience and skill to squeeze out the best from her cast. Kudos to her.

I am tempted to list the outstanding performances of the evening but I have been chastened by past indiscretions of omitting to metnion one person or the other. I have been castigated by some for not having mentioned their child's name or their own in previous programmes. Catch me writing paeans on a performance that doesn't tug at my heart strings - hence I am leaving all.

The only thing that can propel you to wake up early on a Sunday winter morning and abandon the cosy comfort of the quilt, is the chance to spot Delhi's resident in the Asola Nature Park. Thirty-five residents stifled their yawns, cocooned themselves in jackets, caps and balaclavas, to set off for the nature walk on 21st December, 2014. The air was salad crisp and cool. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, instead of the sun coming out, the wind chill factor increased and we were left freezing. The silence of  pre-dawn was punctuated by the first flutings of bird song. Those armed with a video camera  could capture the myriad colours and sounds of the birds, ready to go off to get their first worm. The sightings were few and far between as the cold seemed to have had an effect on the birds as well. We still managed to spot  black drongo, rose ringed parakeets, kites, sparrows, finches, Eurasian dove, spotted owl, grey babbler etc. Then our guide went into long descriptions about the common crow. Who would like to crow about sighting a crow other than a corvid fan? Bottom line is that you can find a rich profusion of avian species in our very own lawn, if you choose to wake up before dawn. We were provided a lesson in building bird cages in order to attract more birds into our habitat. A slide presentation taught us about the birds, their habitats, their nesting technique, their breeding cycle, their plumage etc. What do you do after you have done your bit of bird watching and demos? Feast on the brunch which was part of the package. Much to our dismay instead of the sumptuous feast that we imagined, we got a couple of idlis and a cup of tea! Notwithstanding the chill factor and disappointing brunch, it was an enjoyable and enlightening trek. Kudos to Sumathi, for making it possible. She, Madhu Nair and a bunch of others got lost in the woods trying to follow a herd of Nilgais. We had to use GPRS to trace and rescue them from the depths of despair. Just kidding!

Yuletide spirits were well and truly all pervasive with shops decked with holly, Christmas trees and faux Santas. Yamuna children were also geared up for the occasion on Christmas Eve having assiduously prepared for the Nativity scene and carols under Seema Chari's watchful eye. She has a knack squeezing out performances from a diverse cast with very little preparation. I was also primed for some plum pudding and mulled wine. While I had a liberal dose of the former the latter proved elusive, The badminton court was bedecked with decorative lights and baubles on the Christmas tree in the warm glow of the bonfire. The winter ramp walk was not a walk in the park as many thought, as many a favourite was humbled by the eventual winners. Dr. Abhilash has made it a habit to sponsor the prizes and he did it this time as well. Due to space constraint I cannot list all the winners here. Please spot them on the notice board. As usual it needed that dose of Bollywood music to pump up the adrenaline and get the residents to dance.

The fag end of the year is the time to reflect on the year gone by and the events that shaped our fortunes. Everybody would have had their share of good and bad, after all God has to balance His accounts! This reflection ends at the stroke of midnight when the Community Hall comes alive to the refrain of "Happy New Year" with much hugging and burst of confetti. Chocolate cake is  the right repast to bridge the gap between wild revelry and still wilder revelry taking place in  various watering holes in Yamuna and elsewhere, where the movers and shakers congregate and hedonism rules.

The Yamuna canteen has been vacated by Anuradha Madhusudanan on the expiry of the Leave and Licence Agreement. The new occupant who successfully bid for the canteen is Bhavani Krishnan. The canteen will be run by a syndicate of women comprising Bhavani, Aruna Krishnan and Sudha Umapathy. Those who have been pining for hot vadais and idlis for their weekend breakfast can look forward to it from 18th January, 2015.

Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj, the AAP sitting MLA of our area had promised us CCTV's and halogen lights from the MLA funds about four months back. He informed me that the amount has now been sanctioned from the Government and the Society is likely to be the beneficiary of the same shortly.


SNIPPETS

Aditi Rastogi wed Antariksh Das on 1st December, 2014 in the main lawn of Yamuna to the chanting of Vedic hymns. This made-for-each-other couple seemed in bliss and didn't let the lengthy ceremony bother them. The lawn was tastefully adorned with marigold garlands and the ceremonial dais was beautifully decked up with jasmine flowers and ferns. The atmosphere was very homely, understated and very elegant. Aditi's choice of music and decor at all venues was delightful. I have never enjoyed a wedding and sundry other functions more than this one. Gita and Nalin were great hosts. Good food whetted our appetite everywhere.

*****************

Anand and Aditi Rao of F-003 have moved to greener pastures. Anand who is working for TNS has got a transfer to their Singapore office. Aditi was working with an NGO in Delhi and took part in the cultural activities of the colony. We will miss this affable couple. They have donated three room heaters to the Society for which we will be eternally grateful.

*****************

Aparna Krishnan of F-103 has been selected for playing the National Football Championship in the under 19 category.
Abhirami Prakasan B-303 has been selected to represent  Delhi Schools in the National Tennis Championship in the under 17 category.
It's a proud moment for us that the colony children are going places.

******************

Sudha Iyer has moved into B-107 with her husband Mr. V.R. Iyer and daughter Aishwarya. Sudha is the sister of Rohini C-103 and works in Oriental Bank of Commerce from where her husband retired. Sudha likes to listen to music while her husband is fond of reading. Aishwarya is in LSR final year BA English (Hons). She is learning Bharatanatyam and jazz dancing. They can be reached on 26001606.


MIRTH CORNER

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die... ?????.
This is so priceless, and so, so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today.

A lady died this past January, and ICICI Bank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been Rs.0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around Rs.6000.00. A family member placed a call to ICICI Bank.

Here is the exchange :
Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'
ICICI Bank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections. '
ICICI Bank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'
ICICI Bank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'
Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'
ICICI Bank: 'Excuse me?'
Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'
ICICI Bank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'
Supervisor gets on the phone:
Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a Rs.0 balance.'
ICICI Bank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'
ICICI Bank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'
Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.'
ICICI Bank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'
Family Member: 'Sure.' After they got the fax :
ICICI Bank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'
Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'
ICICI Bank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'
Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'
ICICI Bank: 'That might help...'
Family Member: Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Avinashi, Coimbatore
ICICI Bank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'
Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'
 


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - JANUARY 2015

DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
13.1.2015
LOHRI BONFIRE
9.00 PM
BADMINTON COURT




18.1.2015
HERITAGE WALK WITH RAMJI NARAYANAN
10.00 AM
FROM A BLOCK GATE


Wish you all a happy and successful New Year




05 December, 2014

Issue No. 159 I November 2014

EDITORIAL

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.


SNIPPETS

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.


MIRTH CORNER
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'...! 


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - DECEMBER 2014

DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
6.12.2014
ANNUAL DAY-REFRESHMENT, PRIZE DISTRIBUTION
4.00 PM
MAIN LAWN

VARIETY ENTERTAINMENT AND DINNER
ONWARDS 

21.12.2014
NATURE WALK TO ASOLA SANCTUARY
7.15 AM
FROM A BLOCK GATE



24.12.2014
CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL, VARIETY ENTERTAINMENT, WINTER RAMP WALK AND DINNER
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT
31.12.2014
MIDNIGHT CAKE CUTTING TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR
12 MID NIGHT
COMMUNITY HALL