Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Vidya Nair

01 November, 2014

Issue No. 158 I October 2014

EDITORIAL

The new members of the Managing Committee have hit the ground running. An e-governance administrative module is being worked upon by the President with assistance from Sumathi  and is on the anvil for implementation. The module, if implemented, will ease the administrative load on the office and at the same time provide all the residents the required tools to monitor their complaints, dues and other matters concerning the Society.

Dandia, the music and dance gala in the Badminton Court on 1st October, 2014 did not kick off until 8.30 pm, well past the starting time of 7 pm. This delay was not only due to the house calls being made by the ladies for Navaratri but also because office returnees got caught up in a nasty traffic snarl near Savitri Cinema on account of Durga Puja in CR Park. Those who got caught in the gridlock mentioned that it took them nearly two hours to negotiate the short distance between Panchsheel and home. When Dandia eventually got under way, the usual group of dancers which includes Sudha, Meera, Prema, Anu, Seema, Sujata, Jayashree, Purnima, Deepak, Satish, Sreekumar Madhu were joined by newcomers Sharada of E-304 and Chandrakantha of F-004. Radha Mani and Asha Nair needed a lot of cajoling to show their dancing skills and were by no means found wanting. The children, Samiksha, Advita, Kiana, Vanshika, Sahana, Tanvi, Sahana Iyer, Vedika, Saishaa, Ananya, Shreeya, Shreeja, Aparna Krishnan, Aparna Varma, Samarth, Shreeram amongst others, were joined by the older girls, Aishwarya, Manishaa, Medha and Nandita who all showed the latest moves that they have internalised through watching Bollywood movies, The weather was so enervating that it felt more like 1st July, rather than 1st October. Fortunately, there was some liquid nourishment to shore up the flagging spirits, besides dosa, vada, bhatura channa, chowmein, rolls, brownies etc.

Modi's clarion call for a "Swachh Bharat Andolan" rang out from Rajpath on Gandhi Jayanti, a platform he used to address the nation on the imperative to keep our environs clean. He eulogised Mahatma Gandhi and stated that it would be a travesty of justice if we did not heed to the Father of the Nation's plea to keep the country clean. It made an impression on most but not all. When the crowd cleared from Rajpath after the address, one could see a litter of empty water bottles, sundry pieces of paper and other trash. To imagine that this had been left behind by people who had just a few minutes before taken a pledge not to litter or permit others to litter, shows that the message did not travel home. Be that is it may, the nation is awash in euphoria and everyone is singing hosannas to Narendra Modi.

Ramlila and burning of the effigy of the demon King Ravan and his siblings has become a highly sought after event in the Yamuna calendar. It always brings an element of mystery and surprise. This year, it was a multilingual rendition of the Ramayana in English, Tamil, Hindi and Marathi. Samiksha as Manthara showed great felicity in mouthing dialogues in Marathi which is not her native tongue. However, the Tamil dialogues, although spoken by children whose mother tongue is Tamil, was very amusing. It just goes to show that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the usage of vernacular languages in their daily lives with our children not wanting to adopt them. The Marathi dialogues were penned by Prema Manoj.

Riya Ramabadhran, who traditionally used to script and direct the Ramlila handed over the baton this time to Shreeya Srikanth and Aparna Krishnan, who did a commendable job. The three of them were at hand to compere the show. Shreeja as Ram and Poorvaja as Ravan looked the part. Tanvi as Seetha looked demure and dignified. Mani as Lakshman made the part look easy. Aryan as Kumbakaran carried quite a punch. Aditi played the role of Vibhishan as the master himself. Shantanu fits like a glove in any role that requires dancing although he did not set his tail on fire as Hanuman.  Kiana as Kaikeyi shone in the role. Sahana as Soorpanakha looked too pretty for that role and her dance jig on the stage was cheered by all. Radhika as Jatayu tried her valiant best to stop Ravan in his tracks but in vain. Anjali, Shivashri, Advita, Sahana Venkat, Ananya, Shaswath, and Saishaa played multiple roles as Kings, vanar sena and asur sena to good effect.

The pyrotechnics which brought Ravan and his brothers to their knees, lit the twilight sky. Mr. Ramabadhran donated the effigies of the demon king and his brothers. If that was not enough, he has donated two computers to the Society office. We are indeed very grateful to him for his generosity.

After a gap of seven years, the Diwali Mela was held in the lawn. It brought back fond memories of the times gone by. The attendance was a trifle less than yesteryears on account of people in the neighbourhood not knowing that we are back in scale. Besides, there were five other melas in Alaknanda and CR Park on the same day. All in all, the people who attended seemed to have had a jolly good time. However, it was back breaking work for the few who had to work day and night over the previous fortnight organising things for the stalls, making posters, selling tickets, arranging sponsors and sundry other things. Prashant got his crew consisting of Prashant Junior, Nandita, Medha and Aishwarya amongst others to take care of the decor and planning of music for the request stall. Thomas Abraham helped out with the posters for external publicity.

Sudha Eswaran put her might in getting volunteers to man the rest of the stalls. She was ably assisted on the day of the Mela by C.V.Balakrishnan, Shashank, Vikram etc. Victor Thomas and Narain from the staff did a lot of manual work. Mercy took care of handling outside stall holders and collections. No mela of this scale can be handled successfully if it were not for the efficient cash management by Sudha Sundaram, Sumathi Chandrashekaran, Geeta Narayan, K.M. Chandrashekaran and Anita Suresan. Sumathi and Sudha helped in reconciling the accounts, as they have always done in the past. Finally we are very grateful to all the children and adults who manned the stalls. For the visitors, Yamuna melas always offer the highest variety of games stalls that you would ever witness in a mela. We were not lacking in food stalls either, with food offerings to suit all palates. The biryani was great, even if the chicken pieces were a trifle mingy in their inclusion.

I would like to thank Satish Padmanabhan, Manoj, S. Krishnaswamy, P.H. Narayanan, Meera Venkatachalam and Dr. Abhilash Pillai for the Raffle prizes. Sreekumar Nair arranged the sound system  gratis. We are indeed grateful to another major benefactor who did not wish to be named. He took care of the tent costs and provided one crate of beer free for fishing the beer stall. The irony is that no matter how successful the Mela may appear it is not a self sustaining activity without sponsors. In the light of this, the support received from the aforementioned people is invaluable.

  
The cars in the colony are getting bigger and snazzier by the day. Deepak Varma has got a new monster on wheels. It looks like twenty-five horses on adrenaline. More such acquisitions could pose a big challenge to the already constrained space for parking.

It was a case of déjà vu as the Diwali illumination did not live up to the glory years of the competition. The rivalry of the past was missing as A&B became the runaway victors cornering two first place and two second place finishes in all the four categories. Their theme, ‘Mythical Creatures’ was very well executed on the ground. Their rangolis and overall effect was excellent  and all the judges unanimously endorsed this view. They, for a change had a record number of participants.  G&H blocks which set the standard by which other blocks were measured in the past, has somehow lost their mojo. Their effort since 2012 has been that of a 'has been'. Their theme ‘ International Dolls’ was unique but the rendition was well short of their own previously high standards. I felt their illumination was the best, a view however, not shared by the judges. They still won the second prize for "Theme" and "Rangoli" categories. C&D and E&F fought valiantly although they were woefully short of hands. C&D got the first prize for their ‘Navagraha’ theme, but most of their illustrations looked more or less similar. The navagrahas were depicted by a truncated saptagraha with Rahu and Ketu having ostensibly been dropped as no resident wanted these two planets with malefic influence depicted in front of their homes! E&F had an outstanding rangoli depicting a prancing Mowgli in the forest and a three dimensional rendition of Ka, the serpent. They won the first prize for illumination and second prize for overall effect.

A pleasant departure from the past – there was no acrimony after the decision of the judges was announced and there was cordiality all around. I hope it stays this way in the future.

It is now time to direct all our energy to the forthcoming Annual Day scheduled for 22nd November, 2014. A lot of planning and rehearsing is required to put up a show to match the high standards set in the past. Volunteers who wish to participate in the variety entertainment programme should get in touch with any member of the Sports and Culture sub-committee by referring to the list of members displayed on the Society office notice board.

The badminton and TT tournaments for all age groups will be held between 2nd and 10th November 2014. Those who wish to participate in these events should give their names to Raju Krishnan of F-103. For those more cerebrally inclined, the Annual Team Quiz competition will be held on 15th November in the Badminton Court. The theme this year is 'Games People Play'. Participants should give their names to Sumathi Chandrashekaran of H-107 who will then constitute the teams. The Sports Day will be held for all age groups in the main lawn on 16th November 2014. Please turn up and participate in running and other events. Those who are not physically in a condition to participate should come to cheer the participants.

SNIPPETS

Tejaswin Shankar of G-306 is going to become the next big star from Yamuna. He is the current under-18 national champion in high jump. He will be representing India in the junior Asian Games in Incheon in Korea later this year.

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Arjun Kohli who is working as a Senior in KPMG has moved into C-203 with his sister and parents. Arjun is working with KPMG as "Senior". He loves travelling and reads extensively on current affairs. In his school days he was a good cricketer and lawn tennis player. He can be reached on 7503486551. His sister Aneesha is studying Bio-technology at Imperial College, London. His mother, Mrs. Chanchal Kohli is a teacher at NDMC school in Netaji Nagar. She loves cooking. She can be reached on 9818114844. His father, Mr. Praveen Kohli, is a working as a consultant in the IT domain. He loves interacting with children and acts as a soundboard to about 200 children in Faridabad. He was a national level basketball player in his youth but now devotes his time on spirituality. He can be reached on 9999514642. We welcome them to Yamuna.


HOME TRUTHS
15 ironies that exist in India

- Indian parents want their children to stand out in a crowd but expect them to do what the crowd is doing
- Politicians divide us, Terrorists unite us.
- In our country you have to look both ways to cross a one-way road
- It's okay to piss in public but it's not okay to kiss in public
- Everyone's in a hurry but no one reaches on time
- It's dangerous to talk to strangers but it's perfectly okay to marry one.
- Swear in English and people think you're cool. Swear in Hindi and people think you're uncouth.
- Most people who fight over the Gita and Quran have probably never read either book.
- In our elections we don't vote for the candidate we like the most, we vote for the one we dislike the least.
- Ours is a country where sayings like "Ladki Ghar ki Laxmi" and "Ladki Baap ka Bojh hoti hai" coexist.
- India ranks 6th in the number of billionaires per country. It's also home to 1/3rd of the world's extreme poor.
- We’d rather spend more on our daughters’ weddings than on their education.
- The shoes we wear are sold in air conditioned showrooms. The vegetables we eat are sold on the footpath.
- You need to have studied till class 8 to become a peon. You don't need any educational qualifications to run the country.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS - NOVEMBER 2014
DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
15.11.2014
QUIZ COMPETITION WITH SUMATHI
7.00 PM
BADMINTON COURT




16.11.2014
SPORTS DAY
9.30 AM
MAIN LAWN



22.11.2014
ANNUAL DAY-REFRESHMENTS,PRIZE DISTRIBUTION, VARIETY ENTERTAINMENT AND DINNER
4.00 PM
MAIN LAWN


16 October, 2014

Issue No. 157 I September 2014

EDITORIAL

Wish you all a Happy Deepavali

It's the dawn of a new era in Yamuna. The General Body of YCGHS elected Mr. G. Ramabadhran as the new President on 28th September, 2014. Mr. Ramabadhran runs his own software company and has consequently rich administrative experience. He belongs to a generation of innovators who could implement new concepts like IT enabled paperless administration. He will be ably assisted by Ms. Seetha Venkataraman as Vice President. She was a former faculty member of IIM, Ahmedabad and has equally rich administrative experience including managing the affairs of the Yamuna Society in the capacity of Vice President in the previous Managing Committee. She has been a long term resident of Yamuna and knows its residents very well. Both Mr. Ramabadhran and Seetha have been generous and have often donated money and goods for the welfare of the Society. The same evening the Managing Committee selected Mr. Madhu Nair as Secretary. Madhu runs his own company. He also brings good Management and Administrative experience to this new assignment, Mr. P. K. K. Nair and Ms. Sudha Umapathy continue as Joint Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. It's an ideal combination of youth and experience. The new entrants can bring fresh energy, perspective and ideas to the Managing Committee and the experienced hands in the Managing Committee can guide them through the rules and procedural aspects of managing a Society. The other first time entrant to the Managing Committee and the youngest to date, I suppose, is Ms. Sumathi Chandrashekaran, our very popular Quiz master. Please give the new office bearers and Managing Committee whole hearted support to accomplish their job with dignity and respect. The various sub-committees have been constituted and the same has been displayed on the Notice Board. If any resident has any matter that relates to the specific sub-committees, which is not getting addressed in the normal course, should bring it to the notice of the convenor of the respective committees or a member thereof.

Mr. Ramabadhran has already initiated some activity to manage all the routine society activities through e-governance, to reduce the load on the staff in the office and cut down on unnecessary paperwork, To make it effective, residents should make their best effort to work through this medium.

I would like to place on record my appreciation of the selfless service of the previous Managing Committee and also that of Mr. K. S. Venkataraman and Mr. P. Krishnamurthy, who were doing a very responsible job as members of the Committee of Control.

We are approaching the thick of the festival season, packed with a plethora of cultural and social activities. A season when the weather is at its salubrious best, a time when there is a sense of euphoria and an environment of social interaction and bonhomie. Ladies and girls shashaying across the colony in their rich colourful silks and other accoutrements paint a very pretty picture. Soak in the atmosphere and mingle to get that feeling of wellbeing.

When one walks around the colony the most obvious litter one sees is that of empty wraps of chips and sundry other fast and unhealthy food. Unfortunately, the saccharine sweet blandishments of ads promoting junk food, catch the imagination of the vulnerable children with often deleterious consequences to their health . It is a welcome relief that schools have been banned from selling processed junk food. Ironically, the alternatives they offer are not very healthy either. The number of children being admitted to hospital these days with obesity, hypertension and diabetes has gone up dramatically. Let us spread the movement of healthy eating in the colony. Dr. Renu Garg of E-106 is a votary of healthy food habits. I hope she agrees to hold a seminar on the subject and more importantly let's hope there are eager participants! She also wants to start a free library for children and is scouting for a place to house the books. Residents may also donate books to her which they don't need any more.

The Pookalam and Onam dinner on 6th September, 2014 was a hit. Ninety-five people partook in the feast. The men were busy clicking away pictures of the damsels who were all turned out in the elegant Onam saris. The sartorial simplicity of the sari seems paradoxical to the effect it has on the wearer. With all the pretty ladies standing abreast for the shutterbugs, it seemed like a veritable beauty pageant. Since it meant too much beauty in one frame, all the men, me included,  inveigled a space between the ladies to lend some realism to the adage, "beauty and the beast". The pookalam painstakingly created by Meera, Sudha, Prema, Seema and Purnima, amongst others, decorated the entry to the Community Hall. With urlis and brass lamps, it lent a festive look to the place. The Community Hall AC was tested for the first time and it came as a welcome relief, as it was stifling outside. The food was finger licking good.

The faith that Prime Minister Modi will remove the cobwebs from our bureaucratic stupor and spur Industrial growth has had a salutary effect on stocks. The stratospheric rise this year of shares into dizzying valuations make them vulnerable to vertigo. Caution is the byword for those who wish to enter the market at this stage. Many a savvy investor has bitten the dust riding on the bull crest. This is not to say that select stocks may not go even higher. Do rely on proper analysis before you put your hard earned money in shares. With a belligerent China upping the ante in the northern borders and an ever willing western neighbour ready to queer the pitch, any conflict could have a disastrous effect on the economy.

Last year there was constant badgering from youngsters in the colony on the need to have Diwali Mela. In order to fulfil their desire, we plan to revive the Mela. Shashank Eswaran, Ramanan and Radhika Samson amongst others want us to bring back the glory of Diwali Mela in the lawn which catapulted Yamuna as the most desired mela destination in Alaknanda, GK and CR Park combined.  So long as there is a strong participation from residents in manning the stalls we can recreate that magic. In order to make a success of the mela, early planning is essential. I would request volunteers to give their names to me, so that tasks can be delegated. The first meeting of the residents to mobilise volunteers for the mela will happen in the Community Hall at 5 pm on 2nd October, 2014. All residents who wish to participate which would include children and adults alike, should be present at the meeting. Sudha Eswaran will be in-charge of the manpower and will take on the administrative role. The mela will be held on 18th October, 2014.

For the Diwali illumination competition, we will follow the same pattern of awarding prizes as last year. There will be four categories of prizes. There will be 1st and 2nd prizes for the following:

a) Best theme.
b) Best rangoli.
c) Best illumination.
d) Best overall impact.

We wish all the blocks the best of luck and hope that there is active participation to make it a feast for the eyes. This is a very unique tradition that we have in the colony which is widely praised by outsiders. It is obvious that everybody cannot win prizes, which does not mean that they have not done a good job. However, since the judges who are drawn proportionately from each set of blocks determine only the best and second best, we have to accept their verdict with humility. Appreciation of art is a very subjective process. One person's interpretation may not match with another's world view. This does not mean the judges are biased. By the very process of selection of one judge from each set of blocks, we are removing any possibility of bias.

Since we do not want residents to waste a lot of money in buying too many candles, the residents will be allowed to leave their staircase and decorative lights on in their residences. There is no restriction on props made by the residents during the day of the competition. There will be no restriction on bought out non electric lamps of any kind. However, no readymade bought out props or electric lights will be considered for the judging.

Slightly over a month from now we will have the Annual Day. Residents who want to participate in single or group performances should give their names to me. We would also request you to arrange sponsors if you can, to make the event grand. For many, the Annual Day is the marquee event of the colony and a platform to showcase their talent. For KK, who has hit the big times now, the Yamuna stage was the nursery where he honed his talent and had his debut performance. We have so much talent in the colony that many others could make it big in the world of dance, music and drama. In Sadhana we have a grooming ground within our premises. What more can one ask for?


SNIPPETS

Aruna Krishnan of F-103 has donated a table to the Society. We are indeed grateful for this largesse.
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Raghavendar Prabhakar, resident of A-306 has successfully completed his CA and has got a placement with KPMG. Congratulations! May you have greater successes in the future.

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Venkatesh, Vidhya and Sahana have moved from a A-004 to E-101. A Blocks loss is E Blocks gain.

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Since A-107 did not have sufficient room for the growing needs of Shekhar Nair's family when his father moved in with him, he has taken A-004 on rent and moved there with Anu, Samiksha and Adwita. He has retained his old flat where his father would reside.


MIRTH CORNER

Four friends meet 30 years after school. One goes to get some food while the other three start to talk about how successful their sons became
No 1 says his son studied economics, became a banker and is so rich he gave his best friend a Ferrari.
No.2 said his son became a pilot, started his own airline and became so rich he gave his best friend a jet.
No. 3 said his son became an engineer, started his own development company and became so rich he built his best friend a castle.
No. 4 came back with a plate full of food and asked what the buzz was all about.
They told him they were talking about how successful their sons became and asked him about his son. He said his son was gay and he worked in a Gay Bar.
The other three said he must be very disappointed with his son for not becoming successful.
"Oh no !! said the father, he is doing good, last week on his birthday he got a Ferrari, a jet and a castle from three of his boyfriends.."
All the three fathers fainted.

-Joke contributed by Shekhar Nair A-005.


" If you want to change the world, do it when you are a bachelor. After marriage, you can't even change a TV channel..."

Listening to wife is like reading the terms & conditions of a website. You don't understand it but you still accept it...

Chess is the only game in the world, which reflects the status of the husband the poor King can take only one step at a time, while the mighty Queen can do whatever she likes.

-Joke contributed by Gita Rastogi



CALENDAR OF EVENTS - OCTOBER 2014


DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
1.10.2014
DANDIA, MUSIC AND FOOD STALLS
7.00 PM
BADMINTON COURT




3.10.2014
RAMLILA AND BURNING THE EFFIGY OF RAVANA
5.00 PM
MAIN LAWN



18.10.2014
DIWALI MELA WITH GAMES, RIDES AND EATS
6.00 PM
MAIN LAWN




23.10.2014
DIWALI ILLUMINATION COMPETITION
6.30 PM
BETWEEN THE BLOCKS