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Yamuna's exotic fruit trees!

02 September, 2014

Issue No. 156 I August 2014

EDITORIAL

The term of the President and the present Managing Committee will be coming to an end on 28th September, 2014. After serving two terms as President, I can look back with satisfaction at the work done. Barring the resolution of the regularisation of the flats, the present and the previous Managing Committee managed to achieve a lot, thanks to the co-operation of the Members/residents and staff. In fact in the history of Yamuna there has never been another instance of decrease in the maintenance charges and that too after an year of no increase. On behalf of the Managing Committee, I would like to express my sincere thanks to each and everyone. It has been a eventful journey, but the mental toll that such a position takes is unfathomable. I have lost most of the hair on my head during this tenure. The ones to suffer most are the family to whom one is not able to give enough time. It is time somebody else steps on the plate and takes on the post of the President.

On the issue of regularisation of flats, it was observed after scanning all the files, that there were several gaps/discrepancies in our representations since the time the Society was formed. There was no link between the members who had resigned and the new members who were admitted. There were also incomplete records of the AGMs vide which these members were admitted. There were three different lists of original members that were submitted to ROCS between 1978 and 1981. It took several hundred man-hours of toil by the office bearers and Mr. P. Krishnamurthy to bring the records to a level of acceptability by the ROCS and DDA. We were also in a position to get the files moved through the hierarchy to the level of the Registrar in case of the ROCS and to the level of the Principal Secretary in the case of DDA. We also passed two resolutions in the General Body as desired by ROCS, indemnifying them in case of any wrongdoing. Just as it seemed like our long cherished dream of getting the flats regularised was imminent, the High Court ruled that the LG does not have the powers to grant waiver. This ruling applied to 26 other Societies who had got waiver under the same provision that we had. The Registrar's plea has been that if he recommends our case to DDA for regularisation he will held for contempt of Court. In the meanwhile, the appeals of the 26 Societies is getting deferred for the last one year. I am giving this update for the benefit of members who are currently living in the Society and those outside who wanted clarity on the issue of regularisation. We are planning to move a resolution in the AGM seeking members' consent to file a writ petition justifying our case for regularisation by making a distinction between the 26 Societies and ourselves. In the meanwhile, through the good offices of Srivatsa Krishna, IAS, whose mother is a member, we are attempting a bureaucratic intervention at a fairly senior level. It is our fervent hope that some of our actions get us the desired results.

The Independence Day celebration was a hit. To start with the Prime Minister's speech was so awe inspiring that I had goose bumps on my skin. No Prime Minister since Independence has spoken with so much passion, candour and conviction than Modi. Vajpayee was a good orator but Modi, apart from being a good orator has the right vision and he is able to articulate it very effectively. He spoke of a cleaner India, a more gender sensitive India and a more purposeful and hard working India. He steered clear of his ideological moorings

In Yamuna, our own flag hoisting ceremony did not happen on schedule.` Modi's plea to be punctual obviously did not travel home. The flag was hoisted by the senior most member at the assembly, Mr. Ravindran, at 9.15, a tardy fifteen minutes late. The good thing is that a thin crowd soon swelled to be a sizable number  Everybody rose to sing the National Anthem. It was nice to see the spirit of patriotism. Subhada tutored students, Adwita, Shashvath, Dhanya, Sahana Savarkar, Radhika, Samiksha, Mani, Tanvi and Avantika sang two Tamil and two Hindi ditties. This was followed by Kalyani trained children Shreeja and Poorvaja singing a Tamil song with Shantanu on the tabla. Kalyani also trained a group of adults consisting of Ambika, Savita, Sujata, Seema led by her for another Tamil patriotic song. This was followed by a medley of popular numbers of the patriotic genre, immortalised through many a Manoj Kumar film. This free for all crooner group consisted of, amongst others,  Bhavani, Seema, Deepak, Ram, Murli, Bharti, Sudha, Aruna, Aditi, Gomathi, Lavanya, Savita, Sujata and Rekha. Hope I have not missed out any name!

On 17th August, Sadhana School of Music and Art held a "Milap"(a musical and dance soiree) at the Badminton Court. It had all the elements of a professional show, barring entry tickets. We were treated to a visual and audio feast by students and gurus of Sadhana.

Amongst the Yamuna residents, Dakshina Raghavendra sang two very complex western numbers requiring considerable skill, Vidya Venkat danced to a Kathak number, Rekha Raghavendra and Deepa Nair showed considerable poise and confidence singing a Hindustani number with Shantanu on the tabla. These debutants on the Yamuna stage have a very bright future ahead of them.

Amongst the Gurus, Shubham Modi was outstanding. The status of guru normally comes with a certain gravitas, evidenced by grey hair, receding hairline and a formal bearing of self esteem. Hence, when Shubham walked up to the stage with youthful, barely out his teens look,  carrying the onus of a guru at Sadhana, I viewed him as an interloper on that hallowed turf. I was delighted to be proved wrong when he made his music do the talking. I have seen several Hindustani musical performances by maestros. I can say without a shadow of doubt that Shubham is up there with the best. He was blessed with a galaxy of talented artists to accompany him, namely Gaurav Chiplunkar on the harmonium, Devesh Pande on Tanpura and Pranav Ramji on Tabla. The curtain came down on the event with the grand finale by Abhishek Shankar (the guitar guru) singing an Eric Clapton number.

The cultural fiesta surfeit continued the next day. It was Janmashtami and like last year our talented children wanted to show their spurs. The invocation song was sung by Kalyani, Bhavani and Aruna. Swagatam Krishna, a dance ballet, featured Adwita Nair, Vanshika Arora, Bhawana Harish, Priya, Radhika Venkatraman and Kiana Abraham. They displayed dance skills way beyond their nascent tutelage. The medley of events continued with Ghanashyam Sundara (Marathi Song) sung by Ananya Anirudh Verma, Navya Sinha, Sahana Venkatesh Iyer, Vanshika Arora, Vanshika, Mannat, Bhawana Harish, Priya, Radhika Venkatraman, Kiana Abraham, Aaria Anirudh Verma, Anoushka Nair, Adwita Nair and Dakshina Raghavendra. Moving to a Western take on Lord Krishna, Priya, Radhika Venkatraman and Kiana Abraham danced to the Beatle George Harrison number, My Sweet Lord. This was followed by a solo Odissi dance number by Sahana Iyer. Sahana shows a maturity far beyond her years. Her balance in the dance sequence is incredible. She has a bright future ahead of her. Another of Radhika's disciples, the comely Dakshina did an Odissi number to A.R. Rehman's Alaipayyude. Unfortunately, half way through the dance, one electrical phase illuminating the stage went kaput. Hasty change of the sound system to another power source ensured that the programme continued, albeit with limited lighting. Fortunately, everybody put up with the disruption sportingly. Kurukshetra was an all guitar recital by Priya, Radhika Venkatraman, Kiana Abraham and Sahana Iyer.  A Pandit Ravi Shankar number where all the Odissi performers graced the stage was a visual treat.

All the aforementioned events were choreographed by the gurus at Sadhana. From an arts and culture perspective, Sadhana is the best thing that has happened to Yamuna. We are indeed grateful to Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav for their work ethic. Ramanan, as the show host did a commendable job. To round off their contribution for the evening, Kalyani and Bhavani lent their mellifluous voices to  Meera Bhajan. The grand finale was a peppy dance number choreographed by Anu Nair and Prema Manoj.and featured Adwita, Ananya, Anushka, Sahaana Savarkar, Saishaa, Samiksha, Tanvi, Kiana, Mani, Aryan, Aparna Varma, Aparna Krishnan, Shreeja, Shreeya , with Samarth as the plucky and quintessential Krishna who went on to break the Dahi Handi and steal the goods!

The ever generous Mr.Thangathurai and his wife Meenakshi were at hand to distribute laddoos as prasad to the assembled throng.

Mosquitoes are not quite the pest they have been in previous years, thanks to a failed monsoon. The dipterous insect has not wreaked havoc on the populace with dengue, chikungunia and the like. Isn't it ironic that what's good for one cause is bad for another? Savour these stingless times but pray for higher precipitation in the coming months to ward off water shortage.

With the number of pet dogs increasing in the colony, one is witnessing an increased presence of uncleared dog poop. I have been given to understand that some Societies have introduced a fine of Rs. 1000 on dog owners found guilty of not clearing their pets' poop. Even the Municipality in Delhi is planning to take punitive measures. In the European Union, the United States and several other countries, pet owners carry doggy poop bags with them to scoop the poop and dispose it off hygienically. I would plead with the dog owners in the colony to show some respect to the other residents and do likewise. I feel imposing a fine will be a draconian measure and hope wiser counsels will prevail to keep our environment clean. Dogs will defecate as their constitutional compulsion. It is for the owners to show more civic sense not only as a courtesy to fellow residents but in the interest of keeping our environs clean.
The summer solstice was over two months ago but there is no let up in the heat. With every passing day we are breaking diurnal temperature records. We only hope the coming months will bring in salubrious conditions. Rains in the last days of the month may bring some respite.
There are some people who do not lose an opportunity to indulge in largesse. Namagiri of C-001 has donated a 4 ton AC for the Community Hall. It will come as a welcome relief for people who have to choose alternate venues during the torrid summer months for conducting their religious or social functions. It will also ensure that the Community Hall, which remains idle during summer months, can be more usefully deployed. The Society expresses its sincere gratitude to Namagiri.

Onam heralds the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali and is the biggest festival for Keralites. To celebrate Onam, a Pookalam and Onam sadya have been planned at the Community Hall from 7 pm on 6th September, 2014. All the residents, their friends and relatives who wish to partake in the ambrosial Onam feast should buy their dinner coupons from the Society Office @ Rs. 200 per head latest by 3rd September, 2014. As far as possible, please assemble in traditional attire to reflect the spirit of Onam.


SNIPPETS

Sahana Savarkar of C-208 Is a linguist. She has equal felicity in English and French. She demonstrated this talent by bagging the first prize in French Poetry recitation competition at DPS International School vying against forty other students. Way to go, girl!

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Mr. C. Chandramouli of E-004 fell for the charms of Jayalakshmi and decided to tie the knot in Chennai on 27th August, 2014. With that, Chandramouli's  freedom will rest in his wife's hands. Jayalakshmi is working with IBM and is likely to get approval for working from home, which should make her shift to Delhi possible.

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Dr. Vijay Shankar has moved into E-304 from Lajpat Nagar. Vijay is working as an Anaesthetist in Apollo Hospitals. Doctors usually come in pairs and this applies here as well. He is married to Dr. Sharada Vinod who is doing her MD in General Medicine from AIIMS. Vijay is a music buff and likes to listen to western classical and rock music. He is also a movie buff. Sharada loves to dance to Bollywood music and has learnt Carnatic music. She will get enough opportunity in Yamuna to display her skills. Vijay can be reached on 8130556353. Vijay happens to be a cousin of Vidya Nair. We welcome this couple to Yamuna.

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Mr. S. K. Topno has moved into G-202 from DDA Flats, Kalkaji. He works with State Bank of Hyderabad. He likes to read and listen to music in his spare time. His wife Meeta is a home-maker and loves to cook. Their son Rahul works in an IT company called Entity Data. Their daughter Rachel worked for a year after completing BSc Physics from St. Stephen's College but now wants do a Masters. She is fond of singing Western music. She will surely get an opportunity to showcase her talent on the Yamuna stage. Mr. Topno can be reached on 8826549077.

MIRTH CORNER

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye.."What's the matter, dear?" she whispers as she steps into the room. "Why are you down here at this time of night?" The husband looks up from his coffee, "Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 18"?. "Yes I do." she replies. The husband pauses. "Do you remember when your father caught us in the garden?" "Yes, I remember" said the wife.The husband continued, " He showed the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I'll send you to jail for 20 years." He wiped another tear and said, "I would have been released today" !!!!!


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - SEPTEMBER 2014

DATE

EVENT
TIME
VENUE
6.9.14
POOKALAM AND ONAM DINNER
7.00 PM
COMMUNITY HALL

02 August, 2014

Issue No. 155 I July 2014

EDITORIAL

There are only three classes of people who are privileged to have summer recess. They are students, teachers and lawyers. The long summer break gets them into such a lethargic mode that when the break gets over it becomes quite an effort to get back into the routine. It's like going from zero to hundred in nanoseconds. Rest of the office going public have to make do with short breaks whenever their bosses are in a good mood and condescend to give them leave. The only people who do not get any vacation at all are housewives. They are on duty 24 x 7. The situation is still worse for ladies who have daytime jobs and return home to attend to household chores. They are the unsung heroines of our times. Most people pay scant respect to the job they do. They are the CEOs of the house and keep everything going like clockwork. Let's say a big hurray to them!

The Union Budget announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had the stamp of Narendra Modi all over it. This budget will be a game changer. After decades of plodding along making cosmetic changes to the Budget, we have a Prime Minister who is willing to catch the bull by the horns and steer it northwards. Although shorn of the promised big bang reforms, the budget had enough directional policy initiatives that could spur growth to a canter from the slothful crawl during the UPA years. Introduction of GST could overnight increase our GDP by two percent. For GST to be passed anytime soon there will have to be a lot of give and take. Since much power is devolved to the states, the fissiparous nature of its polity means that deals will constantly have to be made with regional and caste based parties. Whether BJP has the stomach to do it, only time will tell.

A sea change is taking place in the sport that children tend to follow these days. Cricket, the long reigning sporting pastime that grabbed eyeballs on prime time TV is fast getting replaced by football in metropolitan cities. You see more children wearing a Messi, Ronaldo or a Rooney T shirt rather than that of any Indian cricketing hero. The popularity of cricket has shifted to moffusil towns and the rural hinterland. While India has not produced any footballer of note who could rub shoulders with the aforementioned greats of the game, the following of football amongst teens could spawn a generation of footballers in the next decade who could be worthy of competing as equals in Asia, if not the world. Brazil, for long considered the favourite to lift the World Cup – which at one time was called the Jules Rimmet trophy – made an ignominious exit after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany. Even the most ardent German fan could not have predicted a 7-1 win. They were only a shadow of the great team without the services of star forward, Neymar and their captain Silva.  

In a show of strength on Saturday 12th July, 2014, Kunal Savarkar, Vidya Nair and Anoushka Nair went about earnestly to rid the colony of plastic sachets, broken bottles and other sundry refuse that was littered in flower beds and other nooks and crannies which do not normally fall in the cleaning beat of the Yamuna staff. It is a shame that more residents did not feel compelled to join in this noble effort. Unfortunately, it was a working day for me. Nevertheless, I had this overbearing pang of guilt as I found the three of them toiling in the torrid weather with sweat trickling down their brows, picking up odds and ends and stuffing them into large disposal bags. Kudos to the three of them. They make us proud. I have never seen so few people turn up for an eco and cleanliness drive before. I am reminded of the Bob Dylan song, "The times they are a-changin’", an anthem to less responsible and more wanton times.

The predilection of court hearings getting adjourned ad nauseum is a bane plaguing the country which, unfortunately, we are being forced to endure. The case relating to the regularisation of flats of 26 societies, which was to serve as a benchmark to regularise our flats, has yet again been adjourned to 9th September, 2014.

We are heading to hear another sermon from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day where our Prime Minister is probably going to say why we are not where we should be and what we need to do to establish our rightful place in the community of nations. For much of its existence, India has resembled a prisoner in chains dragging itself on its hands and knees rather than forging ahead with a confident stride. Thus far, the sound bytes coming from  Mr. Narendra Modi have been very motivating and thought provoking. It will take some doing for this message to be commandeered by the masses. We will be hoisting the flag in the Badminton Court to the strains of patriotic songs and hope the tide of things would change for the better. Please assemble in large numbers and raise a toast to a new India.

We are entering that time of the year when the calendar is choc-a-bloc with social and cultural events. We would request all those interested in participating in these events as performers or choreographers to contact me so that I can put you in touch with the right people. Please see the calendar of events appearing at the tail end of this chronicle for guidance.


SNIPPETS

Kumar and Meghana Chiplunkar of E-003 had endeared themselves to Yamuna residents in a way nobody else had done in such a short stay in the colony. Their charming demeanour, their tastefully done abode and their abiding faith in the teachings of the Buddha are all worthy of emulating. They could claim credit for making several residents adherents to the teachings of the Buddha. Many a disturbed soul found peace after being initiated into Buddhist chanting. It was therefore sad to see them leave Yamuna. They moved to Gurgaon on 4th July, 2014 to be close to their place of work and Meghana's parents. We will miss them.

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Mr. Ajoy Chaudhary has moved into his home in E-001. Mr. Chaudhary was the designer of the complex we stay in, which despite being more than thirty five years old has contemporary looks. This iconic structure has got rave reviews even in overseas publications and features amongst the top ten contemporary buildings on the BBC website. We are indeed privileged that Mr. Chaudhary has come to live with us. After moving to Yamuna he has got his staff to work on digitising the drawings of Yamuna so that they don't get dog eared as a consequence of wear and aging. 
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Mr. V. Sureshkumar has moved into A-301 from E-304 with his wife Supriya and son Siddhant. This is his second move within the colony. His continued preference for a third floor flat is a little baffling, though. E block's loss is A Block's gain.

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Mr. K. N. Venkatesh and his wife Rajam of B-204 have moved to Mumbai to live with their son Sridhar Venkatesh, who was working in GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Singapore and has been transferred to Mumbai as Vice President, Operations.

 In a missive to the Editor they expressed their inability to bid goodbye to everyone and hoped that through the Chronicle their sentiments would be conveyed.  They also expressed their gratitude to all the Committee Members (past and present), office staff and workers who had helped ease their stay in Yamuna. They have plans to visit Yamuna periodically and nurse a desire to catch up with everybody. They convey their best wishes to everyone in Yamuna.

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Girija and R.R. Mohan of D-001 have reasons to be happy. Their son Kaushik is getting married to Sheetal, daughter of Parvathi and Ramdas Iyer on Sunday, 31st August, 2014 in Bangalore. With that, another bachelor's free-wheeling days come to an end. We wish both of them a fulfilling life together.


MIRTH CORNER

A senior citizen was driving his brand new Porsche at 100 kmph, when, looking in his rear view mirror , he saw a police car behind him. He floored it to 140 , then 150 ...then 170 ...
Suddenly, he thought,  “I'm too old for this nonsense ! '' So he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the police car to catch up with him .
The officer walked up to him , looked at his watch and said , ''Sir , my shift ends in ten minutes , Today is Friday and I'm taking off for the weekend , If you can give me a reason for your speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go.''

The man looked very seriously at the police man, and replied ,''Years ago , my wife ran off with a policeman. I thought you were bringing her back.''

The cop left, saying ''Have a good day, sir."



HEALTH PERILS TO PONDER OVER

01 - Cellphones - Our mobile devices can have 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats…and they’re always touching our faces. Would you wipe the inside of your toilet bowl with your cheek? 

02 - TV Remote Control - In many households this is one of the dirtiest items you can handle. 

03 - Reusable Shopping Bags - Your reusable shopping bags have more fecal matter than your underwear, because you at least wash that. 

04 - Ice - A study of fast food restaurants in the US found that 70% of the ice served had more bacteria than the toilet water. 

05 - Restroom floors - No real surprise here. Public restrooms have about 2 million bacteria per square inch. The average toilet seat has only 50 per square inch. 

06 - Keyboards - Keyboards can have up to 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. 

07 - Office Desks - The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet. 

08 - Restaurant Menus - There are on average 100 times more bacteria on restaurant menus than on restroom toilet seats. 

09 - Light switch - These can have up to 217 bacteria per square inch. 

10 - Door knobs - Hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the body, and most people use them to open their doors.






CALENDAR OF EVENTS AUGUST-DECEMBER 2014

DATE
TIME
EVENT
VENUE
15.8.14
9.00 AM
INDEPENDENCE DAY FLAG HOISTING,
BADMINTON COURT


SINGING OF PATRIOTIC SONGS, DISTRIBUTION OF SWEETS




18.8.14
6.30 PM
JANMAShTAMI VARIETY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME
BADMINTON COURT


AND BREAKING OF DAHI HANDI




8.9.14
7.30 PM
POOKOLAM AND ONAM FEAST
COMMUNITY HALL



2.10.14
6.30 PM
DANDIA, MUSIC AND FOOD EVENING
BADMINTON COURT



3.10.14
5.00 PM
RAMLILA AND BURNING OF EFFIGY OF RAVAN
MAIN LAWN



18.10.14
6.00 PM
DIWALI MELA/JUMBLE SALE/JAM SESSION/RIDES/FOOD
BOTH BADMINTON


FORTUNE TELLING/GAMES AND LOTS MORE
COURTS



23.10.14
6.30 PM
DIWALI ILLUMINATION COMPETITION
BETWEEN THE BLOCKS



9.11.14
9.00 AM
SPORTS DAY
MAIN LAWN



15.11.14
6.30 PM
QUIZ COMPETITION WITH SUMATHI
BADMINTON COURT



22.11.14
4.30 PM
ANNUAL DAY-REFRESHMENTS, PRIZE DISTRIBUTION,
MAIN LAWN


VARIETY ENTERTAINMENT AND DINNER




6.12.14
6.30 PM
MOVIE SCREENING AND POT LUCK DINNER
BADMINTON COURT



21.12.14
10.30 AM
HERITAGE WALK
FROM A BLOCK GATE



24.12.14
6.00 PM
CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL/CAROL SINGING/WINTER RAMP WALK
BADMINTON COURT


MUSIC/DANCE/FOOD STALLS




31.12.14
MIDNIGHT
CAKE CUTTING AND USHERING IN THE NEW YEAR
COMMUNITY HALL