Blog pic

Blog pic
Yamuna's exotic fruit trees!

07 April, 2014

Issue No. 151 I March 2014

                                                                       
EDITORIAL

The Thyagaraja Aradhana held on 2nd February,2014 went unreported in the February chronicle due to an oversight. However, it was of such import for the Yamuna cultural scene that it could not have been overlooked, therefore, we are carrying an account of it in the March Chronicle. The Thyagaraja Aradhana has been a regular feature at Thiruvayyaru for over 100 years (a tribute to one of the greatest exponents of Carnatic music), hence to include it in the cultural calendar of Yamuna adds richness to the calendar of events. An impressive array of good singers from Yamuna started the proceedings. Bhavani, Kalyani, Sumathi Chandrashekhar, Venkata Lakshmi, Leela Gopalakrishnan amongst others were joined by Mrs. Bhagirathi Eswaran, a veteran who taught music in Yamuna years ago. They were complemented by professional singers for the Pancharatna Keerthanas. The singing reached a crescendo with everybody joining and left the audience spellbound. Balaji of C-005 had arranged sumptuous prasadam for all attendees. I would like to thank Kalyani and Bhavani for organising this marquee event and Balaji for the refreshments.

The early morning nip was still in the air delaying the start of Holi revelry on 17th March, 2014. The crowd had swelled to a reasonable size before I ventured to the park just before noon. The sight of me in pristine clothes was incentive enough for the throng to make a beeline for me and ere long I was looking like the devil, having been ravaged by all and sundry. Somebody had inadvertently tripped over a wire thereby depriving power to the several sockets on the stage where the music system was installed. As a consequence the crowd had to rest content with Deepak's lung power ans Seema, Bhavani, Savitha, Sujata and Anusmita's lilting melodies, amongst others. The crowd was less than usual, but those present had a jolly good time. Gujjias and other snacks were downed with a brew of indeterminate origin. The children had a whale of a time and by afternoon they were unrecognisable. The garden hose came to good use with Kunal, Shreeya,  Aparna Krishnan and Aryan hell bent on dousing anybody who walked into the park. Some of the colours remained steadfast on the skin even after intense scrubbing in the bath.

In a repeat of last year, Balaji of C-005 held the Radha Kalyana Mahotsavam in grand style in the park spanning three days from 20th to 22nd March, 2014 to commemorate the celestial marriage of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Shri Shri Krishnananda Teertha Mahaswamigal and Sri Sri Krishna Premi were the seers presiding over the event. Spiritual sermons and songs were rendered on all three days. Prasadam was distributed. The attendance was less than last year owing to the event having been held on week days unlike last year when it was held over the weekend. However, the devout were in full attendance with Lalitha Nagarajan flying in from Singapore just to attend the event! Apart from Balaji's family ,Mala, Kalyani and Venkat were seen actively helping with the organisation. Many partook in the meals that were on offer.

The cooking competition on 29th March, 2014 witnessed the usual culprits participating. The competition was fierce and the atmosphere electric. The multiple aromas wafting across the badminton court made me salivate at the thought of sampling the creations of Yamuna's creative chefs. Mr. Manish Malhotra, with impressive credentials to boast of, was the competition judge. All the food prepared by the contestants disappeared in a trice because the creations were so compulsively appetising. Dr, Abhilash Pillai and Mr. Ramabhadran donated Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 2,500 respectively as prize money. We thank them immensely for supporting this competition year after year with their largesse. I would like to thank Gita Rastogi who bailed me out in the last minute by getting a qualified judge to evaluate the participants. We would also like to thank Kumar Caterers for providing the gas stoves. I give below the judge's verdict.

PRIZE
NAME
FLAT NO.
CREATION

MOCKTAILS


1ST
ARUNA, SUDHA & BHAVANI
F-103, D-104, E-005
ROSY WOODAPPLE COOLER
2ND
APARNA KRISHNAN & APARNA VARMA
F-103,H-208
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE

STARTERS


1ST
NEELAMBARI MADHUSUDHANAN
F-001
BAKED POTATOES WITH TOMATO DIP
2ND
NIHARIKA ABRAHAM
A-008
CHICKEN & VEG PUFF WITH CHUTNEY
3RD
MALA SUNDARESAN
D-002
MORE KALI
3 RD
ARUNA KRISHNAN
F-103
STEAMED GREEN KABAB

MAIN COURSE


1ST
DAKSHINA & KAVYA
A-001/B-002
HERB CRUSTED CHICKEN & POTATOES
2ND
ANU SHEKHAR
B-107
PASTA CHICKEN SEASONED WITH HERBS

DESSERT


1ST
ANUSMITA KUMAR
B-202
SANDESH
2ND
VIDYA VENKAT
A-004
LOVER'S  CHOCOLATEMOUSSE
3RD
SHREEYA/SHREEJA SRIKANT
C-003
FROZEN FRANKIES
  
OBITUARY

9th March, 2014 was a sad day for the Hari Shankar household and indeed all of Yamuna when Hari Shankar, after battling against a life threatening ailment, finally breathed his last. His sudden demise came as a shock to those who have known him for years. For a person who came from a very humble background Hari.Shankar through sheer grit, perseverance and hard work earned a name and reputation in the legal fraternity and built a formidable legal practice. His larger than life persona had such a marked impact that at the prayer ceremony held at Niti Bagh on 13th March, 2014, legal luminaries like Justice Vipin Sanghi, K.K. Venugopal, Mukul Rohatgi, Justice K.Ramamurthy and Praveen Anand among others heaped encomiums on him. Hari Shankar was the anchor of his family and his untimely departure has left a big void. May God give the family the strength to bear with this loss. Residents of Yamuna will miss his towering presence.

Mrs. Rajalakshmi (Hari Shankar's mother) has instituted a scholarship of Rs. 5,000 per annum for meritorious Yamuna students in honour of Hari Shankar's memory,

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

Ms. Suman M. Mehta, member of G-304 expired on 19th March, 2014 at Vadodra. Yamuna residents convey their condolence to the bereaved family.


Hari Anna, My Superhero - A Sister's Tribute

            We have many relationships in our lives but only a few really teach us great lessons. My Anna would never help me till I completely gave up and said, "Sorry Anna, I can't do it now."
            His life's journey has taught me to have a vision and to fulfill it come what may! He always said, "Never bother about people talking nonsense about you and bow down and show that you are weak."
            He was a living example of an ideal brother who always believed that I, his youngest sister,  was his eldest daughter. A brother whose harsh words and angry looks brought me closer to him.
            My Anna never spoke more than two sentences  in a week to me but his presence, his achievements, determination, time management, courage and fight against illness spoke volumes and I kept on admiring him.
            My silent teacher ,my father, my Anna..........
            Love you forever and I know he lives on in the heart of his Yamuna family in his own kind, naughty, aggressive, gentle, short-tempered and helpful manner. 
Shubha Arun-G306


SNIPPETS

Madhu Nair will hold 3rd March, 2014 as a very treasured day in his life. Medha and Madhu's brother Viju planned a grand 50th birthday party for him at the Naval Club in Shah Jahan Road. This party which required months of planning in total secrecy kept Madhu in the dark until he arrived at the Club to loud cheers and birthday wishes. The surprise on his face was a sight to behold. That so many people had gathered from all over the world for this landmark occasion speaks volumes of the popularity of this very likeable soul. His friends from Yamuna and elsewhere, his classmates from school and relatives made it a very memorable evening for him. Medha spoke glowingly about her father and Deepa was at hand to take him to the dance floor for a romantic twirl to seventies' music. A slide presentation showed Madhu's transition over fifty summers from a gawky Mallu teenager to an elegant and nattily turned out tycoon. A three tiered cake, choice of spirits and great food made for a lovely evening. You richly deserve it, Madhu.

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

Mr. Arun Viswanathan has moved into A-304 from Sukhdev Vihar with his wife Sukanya. Arun who is a CA works as a Senior Manager with KPMG. His interests extend from Social Netwoking to watching sports on TV. He used to play cricket and badminton and is keen on picking up his racquet to hone his skills on the badminton court. Sukanya is also a Chartered Accountant and works for a CA firm. Her interests extend to painting and Bharatanatyam. Sukanya happens to be the niece of Yamuna member Mr. Balasubramaniam of A-301. They can be reached on 9810984658 and 9810338214 respectively. We welcome this young couple to Yamuna.

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

Mr. Ved Sinha of E-204 has moved to E-301 with his wife Urvi and daughter Navya.
Consequently Mr. Arun Mohandas, an Assistant Editor with Indian Express has moved into E-204. Arun graduated in Law from Hyderabad. Arun did a one year stint with the Supreme Court and then went to Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston. He has returned to India this month and joined Indian Express to write on Law & Politics. He is an avid runner and likes to clock up his miles in the Jahan Panah forest.

 *******************

Mesach Arun of A-309, who probably had the briefest stay in Yamuna has moved out.

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

Having attained the age of retirement, Mr. H. Ganesh of G-202 has moved back with his family to Chennai. He and his wife enjoyed their rather brief stay in Yamuna.

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

Close on the heels of Kirti having delivered a bonny son,  Supriya of H-005, Arjun Krishnan's wife delivered a baby boy named Kabir, Both mother and son are fine.
*******************
As they say when it rains it pours. After the birth of two male children in the colony in succession, there is another addition to the list. Harish and Shini of E-305 have been blessed with a baby boy. Shini delivered the baby on 10th March, 2014. Grandparents, Santha and Sankaran Kutty are delighted at the thought of doting over their grandson. Bhavana will have a sibling to play with.

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

Kalpana and Rohan Samson are over the moon at the arrival of their baby girl on 21st March, 2014 in USA. It's the first grandchild for Radha and Venkat of H-303 and Madhavi and Julius Samson of A-201. Grandparents are a prized requirement for every nursing mother for baby sitting, as good hired help is hard to come by.

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

To celebrate the 94th Birth Anniversary of Pandit. Ravi Shankar, Radhika Samson was invited to perform an Odissi recital at The Ravi Shankar Centre in Chanakya Puri on March 22, 2014. In a five dance sequence which traversed across genres, she showed her repertoire, poise and grace. One requires a lot of stamina to do five dance numbers on the trot and to be able to do it with all the emotions and nuances ranging from happiness to pathos speaks volumes of the strides she has taken in this art form. Her students in Sadhana Music and Dance Academy are indeed blessed to have such an accomplished performer as their guru.
Pranav Ramji who accompanied Radhika on the tabla on one of the dance items was self assured as he let his fingers do the talking - and talk they did ! There were several residents from Yamuna who enjoyed the performance.


*******************
Dr. Abhilash Pillai's bachelorhood is going to end on 16th April, 2014 in Kerala. To commiserate on the loss of his treasured freedom and happy go lucky ways to a life of placid domesticity, his friends Madhu Nair, Sreekumar, Deepak, Shekhar, Raghav, Kunal, Pramod, Venkat, Vanchi, Suresan and yours truly, amongst others gathered at his house for a bachelor's party. Like all bachelor's parties, it was loud, boozy and bawdy, free from the sobering effects of hen company. The party ended in the wee hours of the morning and everybody had a jolly good time.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - APRIL 2014
DATE

EVENT
TIME
VENUE
5.4.14
SCREENING OF MOVIE AND POT LUCK DINNER
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT



-

03 March, 2014

Issue No. 150 I February 2014

EDITORIAL

A cold and blustery morning with rain clouds mysteriously cleared up just in time for the "On the Spot Painting Competition" to begin on 2nd February, 2014. Children and adults armed with easels, paints, brushes, crayons etc. trooped in such numbers that we ran out of art paper. Renu Garg who was volunteering, rushed to the market to get another packet. By then the sun was shining brightly and the melange of colours made for a gorgeous setting in the badminton court.

Children had to draw a beach scene and adults had a choice between a village scene and a wedding scene. I thought I had all the elements of a village scene in my painting but the judge couldn't see the merit in my work and didn't deem it worthy of a prize. What astounded me was that all the participants who painted a beach scene showed the  sun bathers clad from head to toe. There were no bikinis or bathing suits on display. This prudery ostensibly stems from our deep-seated vestiges of conservatism, albeit the wanton display of flesh in our movies. Seetha Venkataraman had brought biscuits and goodies for all the participants and Sumathi Chandrashekhar helped out with the organisation. Those who triumphed can proudly read their names below. Prizes will be distributed at the Annual Day function.

RESULTS OF THE PAINTING COMPETITION HELD ON 2.2.14
PRIZE
AGE GROUP
NAME
ADDRESS
1ST
6-9 YEARS
DHRUV SUTTAR
H-106
2ND
6-9 YEARS
SAHANA IYER
A-004
3RD
6-9 YEARS
VANSHIKA ARORA
A-106




1ST
8-9 YEARS
SHASHVAT ARUN
G-306
2ND
8-9 YEARS
KIANA ABRAHAM
A-008
3RD
8-9 YEARS
SHIVASHREE.S
A-308




1ST
11 YEARS
SAMIKSHA NAIR
B-107
2ND
11 YEARS
APARNA VARMA
H-208
3RD
11 YEARS
AVANTIKA SHANKAR
G-306




1ST
12-14 YEARS
VEDIKA ARORA
A-106




1ST
ADULTS
POORNIMA NARAYANAN
B-101
2ND
ADULTS
KAVYA NARAYANAN
B-101

We could not have chosen a better day for the heritage walk to Humayun's Tomb. After a spell of rain the previous week, the air was crisp and fresh, the sun shone brilliantly from the azure skies and a gentle breeze wafted across our faces. The tomb, the gardens around and the ramparts have been brilliantly restored by the Aga Khan Foundation through the singular efforts of Mr. Ratish Nanda (art historian and restorer). I believe artists and craftsmen were flown in from Central Asia (from where this style of architecture and decorative work originated), to recreate the glory days of the Humayun's tomb. Our raconteur extraordinaire, Dr. Ramji Narayanan filled us on the esoteric details of the history, architecture and customs of the time - something you would not find in guide books or from commercial guides. Archival photos of the tomb and its environs are displayed in a niche within the grand entrance, Fruit trees now dot the gardens as was prevalent at the time the tomb was built. The crypt where Humayun is actually buried is not open to visitors, but you can see from the precincts of the tomb, the ornamental burial tablet, the mehrab and the exquisite trellis work. The chevron water bodies and the network of channelled streams through which milk and honey once flowed, have been very thoughtfully restored and made functional. Shekhar Nair showed his largesse by footing the bill for everybody's entrance ticket. Thanks, mate! The people who came for the walk had a jolly good time. Photos of the walk can be seen on the Yamuna Photo Album link.

Sunday, 16th February, is etched in my mind as one of the most engaging and entertaining evenings I have spent in Yamuna. "Sadhana", the performing arts school in C Block annexe put up a dance and music show of the students and their gurus for all Yamuna residents. It was really amazing to see what children could accomplish within one month of their tutelage. The Odissi group dance by the Yamuna girls, the solo dance by Dakshina and group western music performance by the boys were all a testimony to the high skills imparted by the trio of Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav who are running the school. This was followed by a brilliant sitar and tabla rendition of a Pandit Ravi Shankar composition by Radhika and Pranav. The grand finale was an impromptu fusion composition by the trio of Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav. It was ethereal. It was evident that they wear their hearts on their sleeves and their passion and dedication is infectious.

Sadhana wish to hold these evening soirees on a monthly basis. The Yamuna Sports and Cultural committee will also host them periodically at either the lawn or the Badminton Court so that a larger number of residents can benefit from the entertainment. It will also serve to add some richness to our cultural calendar which at present is devoid of classical performances.
For much of February, the nights and early mornings have been bitterly cold with lows of 6⁰ C. Most people remain indoors cocooned in quilts in placid domesticity. The irony is ere long we will be confronted with the torrid effects of a blazing sun.

The case filed by 26 housing societies, to give credence to the Lt Governor's powers of waiver of the discrepancy in the process of allotment of flats, which was scheduled for 13th February, 2014 has got deferred to July14th, 2014. A favourable disposition would have enabled even our Society to benefit from the waiver given by the LG as per the same clause. Since this case has been meandering along with no end in sight, our legal sub-committee is examining other options and hopefully, before long, a proposal will be put up before the members for consideration.


SNIPPETS

Satish Padmanabhan returns to Yamuna after a gap of two years. He has moved into A-202. He moved back from Mumbai and is currently leading a bachelor's life until wife Purnima, son Ashwin and daughter Ananya can join him after the kids' school term ends in March. They can be reached on 09819555502 and 09899455502. Welcome back Satish, Poornima, Ashwin and Ananya. We really missed you when you were away.

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

Aditi Rastogi of C-004 got engaged to Antriksh in Kolkata on 8th February,2014. A ring exchange ceremony was held at her grandparents' abode in Prithviraj Road.  Aditi with her disarming smile and Antriksh with his impish demeanour made a very charming and cherubic couple. The setting was gorgeous, with the garden in full bloom and mandarin orange bushes laden with fruits. A small and intimate group of friends and relatives were treated to a visual spectacle of colourful streamers, paper lanterns, wooden wheeled parrots on tables, great food and music, all inspired by Aditi.

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

Kaushik of D-001, Girija and Mohan's son at last succumbed to the charms of Sheetal, a lawyer and got engaged to her in Mumbai on 17th February, 14. The parents are thrilled that another major responsibility is off their shoulder. Little do they realise that grandparents are in great demand by their children when it comes shouldering responsibility of bringing up children. I am speaking a trifle too soon but I would like to wish Girija and Mohan happy grandparenting assignments in the none too distant future.

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

The classical dancers from Yamuna are cutting their spurs on the big stage. Mallika Mahesh, Aparna Krishnan, Shreeya and Shreeja Srikant shone in poet Kalidasa's dance drama Abignanashakuntalam in Shriram Centre on 27th February, 2014. It is a pity that many from Yamuna did not have the privilege of watching the show because it was on a weekday.


MIRTH CORNER


MAKE THE WOMAN HAPPY! 

Do something she likes, and you get points. 

Do something she dislikes, and points are subtracted. 
You don't get any points for doing something she expects. 
Sorry, that's the way the game is played. 
Here is a non-exhaustive guide to the point system:

SIMPLE DUTIES 

You make the bed. (+1) 
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows. (-10) 
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets. (-3) 
You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) in the rain (+8) 
But return with a bottle of whiskey. (-5) 

PROTECTIVE DUTIES 

You check out a suspicious noise at night. (+1) 
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is nothing. (0) 
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is something. (+5) 
You pummel it with an iron rod. (+10) 
It's her pet dog. (-20) 

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS 

You stay by her side for the entire party. (+1) 
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old school friend. (-2) 
Named Priya (-10) 
Priya is a dancer. (-10) 
Priya has a good figure and is friendly. (-40) 

HER BIRTHDAY 

You take her out to dinner. (+2) 
You take her out to dinner, and it's not a Haldiram or CCD. (+3) 
Okay, it's a Haldiram or CCD. (-2) 
And its all-you-can-eat night. (-3) 
It's a sports bar, it's all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team. (-10) 

A NIGHT OUT 

You take her to a movie. (+1) 
You take her to a movie she likes. (+5) 
You take her to a movie you hate. (+6) 
You take her to a movie you like. (-2) 

YOUR PHYSIQUE 

You develop a noticeable potbelly. (-15) 
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it. (+10) 
You develop a noticeable potbelly and resort to baggy jeans and baggy Hawaiian shirts. (-30) 
You say, "It doesn't matter, you have one too." (-80) 

COMMUNICATION 

When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression. (+2) 
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50) 
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV. (+500) 
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep. (-4000) 


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - MARCH 2014

DATE

EVENT
TIME
VENUE
15.3.14
SCREENING OF MOVIE AND POT LUCK DINNER
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT
17.3.14 
HOLI MILAN
10.00 AM 
IN THE MAIN LAWN
29.3.14
COOKING COMPETITION-ATTRACTIVE PRIZES
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT