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01 February, 2017

Issue No. 185 I January, 2017


Mr. G. Ramabadhran, President of the Society submitted his resignation late last month for personal reasons. This was reluctantly accepted by the MC at a meeting on the 1st of this month. As a consequence, Mrs. Seetha Venkataraman took charge as the acting President until the next AGM. We wish to place on record Mr. Ramabadhran's immense contribution in the regularisation of  flats with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies. He was also the driving force in the implementation of the Apna Complex portal which eases communication between the residents and the office, among other things.

I do not recall the last time the sewage lines of the entire complex was  cleaned. If memory serves me right, it has not happened in the last twenty-five years. No wonder many of the manholes were buried under the road and elsewhere. Since the blocked sewers could not be opened through manual intervention, a contract was given to an external agency who brought high pressure suction pumps mounted on a truck to suck out the muck. They unearthed a veritable loot of the nether kind including sanitary pads, wash cloth and other unmentionables. The entire odoriferous exercise was supervised by Seetha, Kunal, Mohan Krishnaswamy, Poornima amongst others. Kudos to them for braving the toxic fumes.

Have you come across some barbers who go jabber, jabber, jabber the moment you put your head into their hands? Many barbers have this proclivity to tonsorial small talk. When they ask me how I would like my hair cut, I am tempted to say, "Silently". For the life of me I cannot figure out why the barber thinks I should be interested in his taste in movies or music or what his brother does for a living. Anyway, this torment is not going to last. The alarming rate at which my cranial landscape is going barren, I will be an egghead ere long and sans the barber.

When we were in college and went out to a movie or lunch, we went Dutch which meant the bill was split equally and paid for. No fuss and everybody went their ways. But you must see the drama unfold in many of the expensive restaurants these days. I have been witness to such a hilarious charade played out on the adjoining table. I like to watch these charades. It makes for great entertainment. It is a well honed and practiced work of art and science.

There were these four friends having a jolly good time until the waiter brings the bill. One person suggests that they split the bill equally. Everybody agrees except one person who says, "You had the prawn thermidor (an outrageously expensive dish) whereas I had only the tomato soup". Suddenly all of them pull out their mobile phones and start furiously calculating. One person dives under the table to retrieve his credit card which has fallen while fumbling with his wallet. By design the card is out of arm's reach. The other one suddenly gets the urge to relieve himself and heads off to the washroom. The third one can't find his wallet and says maybe he left it in the car and heads to the parking lot. The fourth one, "the sucker", takes out his credit card and pays the waiter who by now has got very restless. As soon as the payment is done the three friends reappear with their respective credit cards and say in unison, where is the bill? When the fourth tells that he has paid, they all pipe in and say, the next one is on me. Does this sound familiar?

The Nehru jacket has become the sartorial metaphor that even the visiting NRI's covet. Winter is when Nehru jackets of all hues and cuts make their style statement at various functions. It however, remains Politician prĂȘt-a-porter domain. At the last Annual Day celebrations, I saw many in the crowd who had donned the Nehruvian adaptation of this haute couture jacket.

The heritage walk and picnic to Lodi Gardens was called off at the last minute as several residents reported ill, probably due to the inclement weather a couple days prior. An impromptu decision was taken to hold a picnic in the lawn instead.

Several internet providers are peddling their services in the colony offering higher down loading speeds and data capacity to woo the residents. In order to sift fact from fiction, the Society conducted a benchmarking study, the finding of which has been sent to all the residents. While leaving the choice to the residents to select the vendor that best meets their requirement, the Society places a caveat that the residents choose only those service providers who meet the condition of underground ducting and keeping the terrace free of wires. As it is, with cable TV, Tata Sky, clothesline etc the terrace is a veritable maze of wires and ropes which makes it difficult for anyone to walk on the terrace without encountering obstacles. I have reasonable cause to believe that between MTNL, Airtel and Gigatel, they will meet all your aspirations.
In Tiruvaiyar and in Sabha's across the world the legend of St. Thiagaraja's lives on. This year will be the saint's 250th birth anniversary, which makes it special. The Society will conduct the Thiagaraja Aradhana in the Badminton Court on Sunday, 12th February, 2017 from 2.30 pm. Residents who like singing or hearing Carnatic music are cordially invited. There will be individual performances from 2.30 to 5 pm, thereafter, Panchratna Kirtana will be a group effort. Prasad will be distributed.


Tragedy befell Yamuna when Mrs. Parvathi N. Swamy of E-006 left for her heavenly abode on 11th January, 2017 after a minor chest complaint. She was 86 years old. Whenever Mr. K. V. N. Swamy invited like minded friends to his house in Karol Bagh in 1956 to form the Society that we live in, it was Mrs. Parvathi who prepared refreshments for everybody. She has been a pillar of strength for the family. It has been a long innings. She was a kind soul.

Tragedy struck Yamuna again the next day when Mr. V. K. Govil of B-106 passed away peacefully on 12th January, 2017. He was 75 years old. He had been ailing for a while but through his illness he remained calm and composed. At the prayer meeting on the 14th, relatives and friends were heaping eulogies on Mr. Govil. Hearing them speak, I can only say that Mr. Govil, was not only a magnanimous husband, father, friend and an inspiration to so many people whose hearts he touched, what he achieved through love in the face of cancer is beyond imagination.
Mrs. Thilakam B Menon of H-104 passed away on 17th January, 17 in Holy Family Hospital after a prolonged period of multiple ailments. Whenever I met her she showed no remorse and took all her troubles in her stride with confidence. It has been a painful period for her and her family. In a way it was a kind of deliverance that at last she can now rest in peace.
It is unfortunate that three original residents left our midst in quick succession. Members of the Society convey their condolence to the bereaved families.


Mr. Debabrata Das has moved into B-304 with his wife Tania Kishore Jaleel. Both are journalists and are working with Fortune India. Debabrata's parents used to live in Yamuna in 1982. Debabrata is currently writing a book on aviation. He loves watching football and listening to 70's rock music. He supports Barcelona and Liverpool. Tania is fond of reading and cooking. Debabrata and Tania can be reached on 9833621905. We welcome them both to Yamuna.
Kartick Shankar and Madhu of B-306 did not have to trouble the movers when they moved two floors down to B-006.
Chayan Adhikari has moved into A-205 from Karol Bagh. He is a music composer and producer and member of two bands-one called Advaita which is into Indian classical fusion music and another called Chayan and Smiti which is into English Acoustic music in which he is the singer and guitar player. He is also Project Head at Music Basti, an NGO that works with underprivileged children through music. When not immersed in music he loves to watch sports channels, especially football. His girlfriend Anna Maury is a French national and will be moving in with him In February this year. Being an oenologist and chocolatier, she has secured a job with Brindco, a wine distributing company in India. She too has musical leanings, being an accomplished Piano player. With her moving into Yamuna we will have some Gaelic influence. They can be reached on 9999972507.


·      Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice"?
·      Don't marry a tennis player - love means nothing to them.
·      Common sense is the least common of all senses.
·      When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
·      Why are they called apartments,  when they're all stuck together?
·      Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?
·      If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
·      The trouble with political jokes is that they get elected.
·      How is it possible to have a civil war?
·      When there's a will, I want to be in it.
·      Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
·      I'm a kleptomanic. What can I take for it?
·      Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
·      In a nuclear war, all men will be cremated equal.
·      Be careful with that saw!, Tom said offhandedly.
·      I was a banker, but lost interest.

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The Yamuna Chronicle is a monthly newsletter published by The Yamuna Co-operative Group Housing Society, Alaknanda, New Delhi - 110019, India. Editor: Mohan Narayanan (B-002) Phone: 9810153501 URL:

02 January, 2017

Issue No. 184 I December 2016


The Annual Day, although held on a bitterly cold winter’s day, on 10th December, 2016, did not deter the audience from staying till the very last item. Such was the quality of the programme that each of the performers and the choreographers' hard work and diligent practice was very lustily cheered and applauded.

The programme commenced, albeit a trifle late, with the invocation sung by Subadha and Seema Chari. Our senior citizen Mrs. Radha Warrier of H-203 draped the shawl around the three venerable residents who became octogenarians this year. Mrs. Saroj Arora, Mr. B.M.S. Murthy and Mr. P. Karunakaran  are quietly doing a great service to the colony with their sage advice. The prize distribution ceremony went off like a breeze because Seetha and Poornima collated the list of multiple prize winners so that they did not have to be called repeatedly.

After 'Vote of Thanks' by the Secretary, Mr. Madhu Nair, the much awaited variety entertainment programme started with an invocation dance, “Pushpanjali”, choreographed by Netra Sundaresan. It was a visual treat. This was followed by a self choreographed classical fusion dance, Thillana by V. Radhika and Bhuvana. The tiny tots who were waiting patiently in the wings made their stage presence on cue in Fancy Dress arranged by Anu Shekhar. Tejaswani looked cute in her dance, Kian as the joker played the role of Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker with aplomb. Lakshay as Robin Hood came straight from Sherwood Forest, in all the gear and stamped his authority by shooting an arrow at the audience, Akshara and Adhya as ballerinas danced beautifully to a French ditty, and finally there was Varun. They made way for Sivasree who danced to a racy Rajasthani folk number. She glided on the stage effortlessly showing a flexibility in hip and neck movements that one thought defied the laws of physics. This was the opportunity for the Yamuna regular Subadha to display the talent of her students in a choir where all students sang several songs in unison without missing a beat. Then we had a dance number “Malhari” from the movie Bajirao Mastani. This was one of the few items which featured boys. Shashvath, Sai and Megh danced energetically, twirled their non-existing moustaches and slapped their thighs in a show of bravado.

One of the much awaited items was the Tollywood-Bollywood medley by the ladies where they seamlessly switched between songs and languages. Their dulcet voices and lilting inflections could give a run for the money to the likes of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Vani Jayaram. Bhavani and Sumathi arranged this medley which also included several other ladies. It was such a delight to listen to them. One cannot keep the incredibly talented girls of Yamuna off the limelight for too long. They came on next for a self-choreographed Bollywood number. They were absolutely brilliant. That made way for the play which generally is the Grand Finale but owing to the time required by the children in the previous item to change into classical dance attire, the play had to be advanced. In view of limited time available to Seema it was not prudent to work on an entirely new play. She did the next best thing by rehashing all previous Yamuna Natak Sabha plays, namely, the adaptions of Angoor, Sholay, Jane Bhi Do Yaaron and Amar, Akbar Anthony into a retrospective. Most of her cast being busy professionals, Seema had to rely on hurried practice sessions till well past midnight to get them ready to hit the stage. They did a splendid job. For some of them like Abhilash, Raghav, Antariksh and Subadha it could be a second career option; while Nanu and others do a remarkable job with their sheer diligence. Over time this play troupe has acquired the gravitas through talent, hard work, diligence and direction, that they can be reckoned to deliver hits regularly.

The only downside was that the Sadhana classical dance ensemble consisting of small children was unduly delayed. Yet, not a soul left their seats. Their three acts of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi were very well received. Since Odissi is taught by Radhika Samson herself, the performance featuring Yamuna girls stood out. The sound and lighting throughout was outstanding.

We need to extend our gratitude to the following persons for supporting the social and cultural activities of Yamuna with their generous contributions to the Society. This has greatly helped us in boosting our coffers and offering greater opportunities for our residents to engage in such community activities and thus bring people together.


H 101
G 303
A 105
D 001
G 106
D 103
C 004
Delhiites proved to the world that one does not need oxygen to survive. We have been breathing a cocktail of toxic gases and going by traffic on the road, surviving! The foul air is throwing up new marketing opportunities for companies selling air purifiers and face masks. In fact, face masks have become de-rigueur. I am told they come in a variety of shades and designs. What is essentially a survival aid has entered the realms of haute couture.

The Christmas carnival which was held on the eve, brought forth all of the Yuletide spirit with the stage adorned with the Christmas tree, flutes, pine cones, holly, baubles, bells and the manger with Baby Jesus lying in the hay. The gaggle of children, maybe twenty of them, performed the Nativity skit and sang Christmas carols in several languages to the accompaniment of guitar by Tanvi Savarkar. Seema Chari spent several hours training the unruly kids to come up with this wonderful performance which earned her and her wards a thunderous applause.The portly Sai played the role of Santa Claus to the T.

A respite was given to enable the performers and audience to take a repast. Little did I know that they would settle for a four course meal. Even after a half hour break the audience was crowding all the food stalls! Not wishing to be disturbed in their gluttonous indulgence, the next group featuring Seema, Sumathi, Kavya, Gita, Ramji and yours truly came on the stage and sang some Beatles songs and signed off with the Pink Floyd anthem, " Another Brick In The Wall". The Bollywood/Tollywood ladies ensemble sang an encore of the Annual Day medley on popular demand.

Christmas carnival is never over until the winter ramp walk does not throw up winners of the best dressed with the right moves. The proceeds from the sale of plum cakes given by Mrs. Abraham was used to give away the prizes.

 "Cutting the cake" event in the Community Hall at midnight was a tame affair. Residents were loath to leave their various private parties and watering holes to come to the Community Hall to usher in the New Year. The yummy chocolate cake looked askance at the lack of people. The handful of residents present could not polish off the cake. We wish all the residents, ex-residents and members a very healthy and rewarding New Year.


In what could be a reversal to the dwindling population of Yamuna, a joint family has moved into E-302, to boost its numbers. Chandan Sahu, a software consultant with Sapient in Gurgaon has moved in with his brother Mithilesh Kumar, sister-in-law Pooja Kumar, mother Geeta Devi, father Nathani Sahu, nephews 11 year old Shivam studying in JPC School, two and a half year old Vaidik, one and a quarter year old Vanshika. Chandan is an eligible bachelor with a sense of humour. I am waiting for him to get married and have children of his own. There will still be enough standing room for everybody. Chandan can be reached on 7503421193. We welcome them to Yamuna.

Mr. M. M. Kutty an IAS officer of 1983 batch has become the Chief Secretary of Delhi. It is another feather in the cap for an ex-Yamuna resident who was earlier the Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit. We hope Mr. Kutty and his wife Dr.Sudha will return to their B-203 flat someday.


Yamuna is getting well connected with people in high places. Mr. Vinod Asthana's brother has become the CBI Director. That does not give us a right to flirt with anything illegal or illegitimate.

Shwetha (C-104) and Nitin got married in Sankara Vidya Kendra on 4th December, 2016. The couple were battling the smoke from the holy fire while plighting their troth. It is not the kind of romantic setting to get your hormones on overdrive. Far from planting a kiss on the apple of your eye, you are desperately trying to avoid the smoke getting into your eyes. Hindu weddings are the biggest downer to a rocking start to your marriage. By the end of all the ceremonies and functions one is so weary that the wedding night makes for heavy snoring rather than anything remotely romantic. Nevertheless, the "made for each other" couple did not let the weariness show. Yamuna was well represented. Bharti and AG were gracious hosts. The reception at Habitat was very elegant and both Shwetha and Nitin looked very relaxed. Sumptuous meals made for a glutton’s delight. Ladies in beautiful saris and glittering pendants made for great photo-ops.

Sumathi Chandrasekharan has co-authored a tome on Intellectual Property Rights named Create, Copy, Disrupt. Please acquire a copy and read it. While much of it will go above the heads of us plebeian folk, in the process we may get some legal advice in such matters, pro bono. Hail the author, Sumathi!


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