Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Hari Nair

01 February, 2015

Issue No. 161 I January 2015

EDITORIAL

The organic food business has grown to be one of the biggest scams to hit the Indian market. In the quest to eat healthy food, many an unsuspecting Indian has got converted to buying premium priced organic produce from savvy retailers wearing pedigree upbringing on their sleeves. Recent research has shown that many of the so called retailers of organic food in India, peddle food of uncertain provenance and vintage. A Mail Today report of December, 18th 2014 and January, 18th, 2015 has come to the same conclusion. The lesson here is, don't judge the book by the cover.

Lohri bonfire was again lit after dinner time as it was a week day. The fire was robust and burnt evenly for a very long time. The warm glow was very much sought after as the winter had been on an extended run. Residents trickled in but the usual singers were absent. Pleasantries and  Lohri offerings were exchanged. Everybody settled down to some gossip, back slapping and joking. Everybody had a jolly good time. 

The Modi government seems to be taking two steps forward and one step backward, thanks to the fringe elements in the party and their ideologue in RSS. A spate of ludicrous pronouncements by the Parivar's sadhus and sadhvis have taken the sheen off the charismatic and no-nonsense leadership style of Modi. Despite the advances made in space exploration and nuclear science, our mindset remains anchored in social prejudices and superstition. This antediluvian attitude is bound to create unrest and stall progress in this country. Modi's success will depend on his ability to shackle the Hindutva elements in his party.

I am nevertheless a Modi fan. He has with utmost expediency cleared the detritus plaguing Indian bureaucracy. With a slew of ordinances, he has bypassed stalled Parliament sessions caused by opposition obduracy and stonewalling. He has thus removed the cobwebs on decision making, thereby clearing several stalled infrastructure projects. I am impressed with his slogan, "I want to change the ABCD culture - avoid, bypass, confuse, delay -  to the ROAD to success -responsibility, ownership, accountability, discipline". A very apt description of the present malaise and the roadmap for the future.

Moustache, the hirsute masculine appendage, is de rigueur for all Malayali heroes. This has now rubbed off on the cherubic Raju Krishnan, who briefly sported what is known as a 'beefeater moustache'. Mr. P.K.K. Nair with his 'handlebar moustache', would now have to up his macho quotient to rival Raju's.

The Delhi Metro is a blessing for many as it takes one from point A to B faster than any other means of terrestrial transportation, it is cheap and it is air-conditioned (a huge relief in the steaming summer months). Yet, there are many commuters who do not use the Metro because of the lack of last mile connectivity, jostling crowds, inappropriate contact, pick pockets, body odour and halitosis. For those who can deal with these irritants, it is  manna from heaven. We have approached the immediate past MLA of our area to provide feeder connectivity to Alaknanda. If that happens, it will give us one more reason to travel by the Metro.

It has been noticed that several residents are doing extensive renovation work in their flats. While the Society has no problem with these activities, residents are advised to abide by the rules as enumerated in the Telephone Directory, copy of which has been signed by all residents. We wish to highlight the following areas where rules are being flouted by many. These are :-

a) Absence of intimation to the Office or to the neighbours about this activity and the number, names and duration of the personnel involved in the renovation activity.
b) Workers not departing in the evening as per the prescribed time.
c) Exteriors being altered. It may be mentioned that no exterior change is permitted viz. tiling of external areas, painting and embellishments outside one's flats.
d) All cabling (cable TV, telephone, split AC) should either be concealed or should  run through the shaft and not the exterior of the building.
In the process while many flats have started looking fancy and luxurious, the exteriors of the flats have become an eyesore because of these transgressions. Those who alter the exteriors are not cognizant of the fact that our apartment complex has been featured in several magazines for its unique design and characteristics. By tampering with the exteriors we are making the flats incongruent, thereby adversely affecting the character and design of the complex. Those who wish to take up renovation of their flats should notify the Society office in advance as to what they intend doing. This will avoid a needless situation of fait accompli, in case the work undertaken is not permissible.

The Society may be constrained to take action against all those who have violated the rules governing alterations.

It has also come to the Society's notice that the terrace is being used for alcohol consumption. While this activity in itself is not desired, some residents recently left behind half consumed bottles of liquor and mugs. Children could be tempted to try the left over brew with very tragic consequences. Residents are requested to desist from this practice.
Delhi elections are upon us once again. The announcement of Kiran Bedi as a potential Chief Minister candidate from BJP has thrown a spanner in the works of Arvind Kejriwal, who seemed to be coasting along on popularity charts for Chief Minister. Kiran Bedi, as we all know was the only man in the police force during her time in the force. We hope she displays the same degree of heft in her political bailiwick. It will be an intriguing contest. With enough dirt in every political party, all opposing sides in any contest will eventually find something that fits their narrative. We have compiled a list of concerns which we have handed over to all the candidates.

President Obama's visit has caused more anguish than one could imagine. In order to sanitise the route of the Republic Day parade, the rehearsals started a few days in advance and effectively blocked off all access points to Feroz Shah Kotla. This effectively spiked our plans to go there for a Heritage Walk on 18th January 2015. What a shame as it turned out to be a bright and sunny day and ideal for a heritage trip.

Yamuna's stature went up a notch when a senior functionary of the Aam Admi Party, Mr. Yogendra Yadav and MLA candidate from GK constituency Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj chose to address all the residents of the GK constituency from the Yamuna Badminton Court on 18th January 2015. It also coincided with the re-opening of the canteen under a new management. They certainly profited from the occasion with many an outsider patronising their canteen.

Mr. Rakesh Gullaiya the BJP candidate did likewise the following week. What is galling however, is the total apathy displayed by Yamuna residents. Despite e-mail communications and personal phone calls, there were just a smattering of Yamuna residents present to put forth their demands and expectations. It is an irony that we expect the elected representatives to do our bidding but are loath to show a semblance of strength, to show that our voice counts.

It was Obama all the way at this year's Republic Day parade. There is a deep-seated inferiority complex in our psyche which seeks approval from foreign eyes to all the country has achieved.


SNIPPETS

Jayalakshmi a.k.a Sneha, daughter of Rajalakshmi and Sivaramakrishnan of E-205 got married to Jayaram Iyer in Hyderabad on Republic Day. Jayaram should not have a hard time remembering their anniversary. As we all know women are very conscious of important dates and do not take kindly if the spouse does not land up at the door with a bunch of roses. We wish them the very best.

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

Rolling Stone magazine is the Bible for musicians as The Economist is to the economists. To be featured in the Rolling Stone, is a dream for many budding artists. The Yamuna Band, "Dementia" consisting of Ramanan, Raghu Prabhakar, Rangarajan, Saurabh Roy Choudhury and Reet Mukherjee have muscled in to its covers, thanks to their unstinted passion to create progressive music. Their song and album can be viewed on http://rollingstoneindia.com/listen-delhi-metallers-dementia-return-belong/. Whilst on the subject, Sadhana Music and Dance Academy has completed one year. Congratulations to Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav for their efforts to revive the music, dance and art culture in the colony.

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

Mr. S. V. Raghavan, ex-member and ex-resident of G-005, passed away in Bhopal on 24th January, 2015. It is indeed sad that another of the original members is no more.


Letter to the Editor

I attended a dance programme organised by Ganesa Natyalaya at Kamani Auditorium on the balmy morning of 26 December 2014. The occasion had the added attraction of my friend, neighbour and danseuse extraordinaire Meera Varma née Nair performing among the senior students.
The contingent from Yamuna, occupying an entire row including an excited smattering of children, sat through the first few items gamely, but impatient to see our very own star, although I hasten to add that they were expertly executed.
And Meera proved that that she was indeed a star. Her piece was a javali, Chaliye kunjanmo by king poet Swati Thirunal, in which she played the irrepressible Krishna playing with and teasing the Gopis, performed by two very competent dancers. However, Meera stood out for her flawless rendition, her natural expressiveness and most of all her apparently boundless energy, which easily put to shame dancers half her age. All this despite a self-imposed break from dancing of several years!
Meera is proof that a true dancer is ageless, and I hope she continues to pursue what is clearly her calling, and enthral us with future performances.
I request you to print this tribute in the Chronicle as recognition of a resident’s excellence in an art form, and I urge others who may have hung up their anklets in deference to their ageing muscles to follow their passion once more.
Seema Chari(C-208)



MIRTH CORNER


Did I read that sign right?
In an office:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER...... PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN
In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD
Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS
Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR
Notice in a farmer's field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T WORK)


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - FEBRUARY 2015
DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
7.2.2015
ANNUAL ON THE SPOT PAINTING COMPETITION
10.00 AM
BADMINTON COURT




14.2.2015
THYAGARAJA ARADHANA
3.30 PM 
COMMUNITY HALL
21.2.2015
MOVIE SCREENING AND POT LUCK DINNER
6.30 PM 
BADMINTON COURT


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.

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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