Blog pic

Blog pic
Pic courtesy:Vidya Nair

05 August, 2016

Issue No. 179 I July 2016

The weather has been the biggest cause of complaint for most of us. When it is too hot we wish it would rain and when it rains heavily we have other concerns and wish it would stop. Many ground floor flats including mine got flooded, thereby damaging the furniture and other odds and ends. In the neighbour's flat they had to dismantle the wooden flooring as it got completely soaked. Some of the ground floor flats closer to the main gate face this problem year after year. The water comes in both from the shaft and the rear veranda.

The Gulmohur tree near A Block gate collapsed and posed a danger to passersby. It required Seetha's persistent follow-up with Mr. Kasana and MCD to have the tree cut and removed. Gulmohur trees have very fragile branches and tend to snap with very little wind velocity. In this case the roots snapped and the tree collapsed. We should not plant Gulmohur trees anymore and the remaining two trees in Yamuna should be trimmed before the monsoon.

In the Wimbledon Championship, the number one seed, Djokovic who has gained a reputation as a player who cannot lose, took a nasty tumble as big serving Sam Query aced him out of the court. Djokovic was playing some great tennis alongside some inexplicably unfocused dross. He was distracted for worryingly long stretches until the unfancied Sam Query relieved him of his discomfort by showing him the door. Djokovic has this uncanny ability to wear down the opponent with his relentless returning game but against Query he could not get the racket to the ball to bring his A-game into play. Despite this loss, Djokovic will notch his name amongst the greatest who played the game, although I am not fond of his style of tennis. Gone are the artists of the game like Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Tony Roche and Ilie Nastase who have been such a joy to watch. In recent times only Roger Federer has come close to recreating that magic.

The propensity to play ear splitting music at functions is gaining ground. I was subject to furious assault on my eardrums on four successive days. One was a sangeet ceremony, the second was a landmark birthday, the third was the inauguration of a library by the local MLC Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj in DDA apartments and the fourth, a wedding reception. I suspect most people are not aware of the possibility of permanent damage to their ear drums. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given alarming statistical data of noise induced hearing loss amongst Americans of various age groups. Similar statistics are not available for India but I suspect it would be more considering that the ambient noise in Indian cities is much more than American cities. Noise induced hearing loss can be immediate or it can take a long time to be noticeable. It can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect one ear or both ears. Even if you can’t tell that you are damaging your hearing, you could have trouble hearing in the future, such as not being able to understand other people when they talk, especially on the phone or in a noisy room. Why would anyone subject oneself to such personal harm? Maybe they play music so loud because they can't hear very well if the volume is lower, thereby proving this theory.

The perimeter road has caved in several times in places where trenches were dug to lay the gas pipeline. Repeated repairs have not solved the problem. The initial filling and compacting was not done properly by the contractor. While the expenses for these repairs are not being borne by the Society it has proved to be a nuisance for pedestrians and car owners. In a way it's good that due to heavy rains all the vulnerable areas have got settled while the contractor is still here. Had they completed all the connections and vacated the premises we would have had to get the job done at our cost. Talking of gas pipelines, our civic authorities need a medal for irresponsibility. A PWD worker in Kalkaji, while digging for something damaged IGL's trunk pipeline,  thereby depriving residents of several colonies of much needed cooking gas. While it may have been an excuse for eating out for some, for most it was a nuisance they could do without. It just reinforces one's belief that one should retain one gas cylinder or get an induction cooker for such emergencies.

Amongst the several ways of losing your car, please add one more. Julius Samson of A-201 had given his Volkswagen Jetta for servicing to the authorised service station. When he went to collect the car it had vanished into thin air. The agency washed their hands off and Julius was left to twiddle his thumbs. Apparently, the agency guard spirited away the car. Julius wrote to VW and they have made him an offer which he is considering. The timing was brilliant though. His parking slot in the colony was usurped by the fallen tree which left a big crater.

Deepak Varma of H-208 became the first member in Yamuna to get his freehold papers. Congratulations, Deepak! His nightmarish stories of the murky ways of DDA shows that despite repeated political proclamations to the contrary, things haven't changed. Mr. P. K. K. Nair informs me that several others have got freehold status since. Whilst on the subject it would not be out of place to mention the efforts put in by Mercy Nair and Victor Thomas in preparing various documents required for individuals who are applying for converting their flats to freehold. This is not part of their scope of work. A gratuity box with a slot has been placed in the Society Office where Members who are getting their flats converted could drop their contributions which will be distributed to both the aforementioned office staff.

A new submersible pump of KSB make has been installed and commissioned. Mr. P. K. K. Nair supervised the work. It is working very well and currently it is this pump that is pumping the water.


Jamuna Sanyal of A-304, expired in the morning of 19th July, 2016. She was ailing. Only about ten days ago she was standing between A&B blocks and planning to go to her flat in the 3rd floor to fetch something. I offered to help but she politely declined. Such a rapid deterioration, I think, even she did not expect as she was enquiring about her gas connection and complained about lack of natural light in her temporary ground floor abode. Fate definitely has dealt a cruel blow to her. Her brother who lives in the US came to perform the last rites. May God give her peace in the other world.


Shashvath Arun of G-306 auditioned and was selected for the Government's national campaign on Swachh Bharat. Indeed, a proud moment for him. I am going to make him the monitor for ensuring that the kids of Yamuna do not litter. Shashvath, you are an inspiration for other kids.

Shankar Ananthanarayanan Mahadevan (Sam),  son of Geetha and Ramani Mahadevan (H-102) got engaged  to Vibha, daughter of Bhuvana and S, Chandrashekar of Hyderabad on June 26th, 2016. Sam is working as a Production Supervisor  in Auckland, New Zealand. Vibha  works as  a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad. They are getting married in Hyderabad on 11th November, 2016.


Mr. V. Sundaram (a.k.a. Rajan) has moved into A-202 with his wife Bhanu. This couple who had to live separately due to their professional commitments, have decided to get back together, with Bhanu resigning from her HDFC Bank job in Kochi. Rajan is a gemmologist and works for MBJ Group. He plays badminton and loves music. Bhanu writes poems and articles, loves music and is fond of reading. Rajan can be reached on 9810731950 and Bhanu on 9999568779. We welcome them to Yamuna.

Plot for the second biggest Mall in Delhi was auctioned by DDA in conflict with the Master Plan. It is slated to come up in Alaknanda. To know the implications of this decision please see the detailed report on it in the portal.



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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 July, 2016

Issue No. 178 I June 2016


I am tired and vexed about politicians who mouth baleful drivel about social mobility on caste basis. The so called backward classes are so inured to receiving hand outs that they do not put in the effort to either get an education or work. We, the slaving educated class have to work extra hard to save up for the rainy day because after one has finished paying income tax, service tax, sales tax and sundry other taxes you are left with next to zilch. I am all for providing means to the economically backward for free education, midday meals, subsidised shelter etc but to link caste to it is a travesty of justice. Imagine a backward class  millionaire politician or an IAS officer getting all these handouts just because he belongs to a particular caste. This is discrimination in reverse. A poor Brahmin who cannot afford a meal is consigned to hell but a Jat or Yadav billionaire is given handouts from taxpayers money! How ironic and flawed. I am aghast. The problem is politicians seldom pay taxes even if they go about driving a Mercedes Benz or a BMW. Next time a politician shows up for votes ask him to show his tax returns before you trust him with your vote, which is a licence to spend tax payers money.

Freehold activity has begun in earnest but it does not seem smooth sailing. Some people applied for the conversion in April 2016 and two and half months later they are still looking askance at DDA. Things are doubly difficult for those who are not original members as well as those who have inherited their property. Just being admitted as members of the Society is not a gateway. A nominee is only the Trustee/Custodian of the property. It is only the Will that will determine the rightful heir. If the owner of the property dies intestate (dies without leaving a Will) it gets very complicated. This is why, I have, through these columns been urging everybody to write a Will, otherwise you could leave your progeny with a very messy problem. It gets even more complicated if your children get married and they too have children. Then the legal claimants to the property can be too many that it may become impossible to handle. They will have to produce a registered Will and relinquishment deed from each of the heirs stating that they will have no claims to the property. A daunting task indeed especially in these days where most people value money over everything else.

Muhammad Ali, born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, a boxing legend and my favourite sporting hero died this month in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. I followed each of his heavyweight bouts in the papers which actually inspired me to take up boxing. Much later I got to watch recordings of his bouts on TV. Madrasi School or MEA was once known as a premier educational institution but the boxing ring was the least likely place that would bring it fame. I was the only boxer who represented the school and went on to win the School Championship in lightweight category, beating a boy from St. Columba's School in the final. It made me proud as it was the only activity I ever excelled in. I was a thin and wiry guy but carried a mean right hook. I raise a salute to the most famous pugilist of all time. He was an artist at work, an oxymoron as boxing and artistry cannot be said in the same breath. He brought grace to a sport that was considered  most brutal He was very articulate, a humanitarian and a conscientious objector to the war against Vietcong in Vietnam and avoided conscription and went to jail. He beat Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Michael Spinks, all great boxers of his time. "Thrilla in Manila", "Rumble in the Jungle", "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" are famous one liners attributed to him. His wit and charisma was unparalleled. Boxing was never the same after he retired although It briefly sparked when Mike Tyson took to the ring. He was voted the "Sports Personality of the Century" and he polled more votes than all the other contenders combined. For the current generation, he was the Tiger Woods of boxing.

The much awaited piped natural gas connection has begun to happen. Several residents have got the connection whereas some are still waiting. PNG takes away the tedium of booking for gas and waiting for its delivery. You do not have to wrestle with cylinders when one cylinder gets empty and have to lug and connect the second cylinder to continue your cooking. Gas on tap is ideal for nuclear families where both husband and wife go to work and there is nobody at home to receive the cylinders. The only downside is that PNG has much lower calorific value than LPG, which is why IGL installs a device to enhance the flame, otherwise it could take longer to cook. PNG however, being lighter than air is safer than LPG which, being heavier, tends to stay in the room if you accidently leave the gas on without the flame. The laying of the pipes was a challenge though, as many residents have built rain shelters/grills on the exteriors of their flats, which made it difficult to take the risers. One riser for C Block is yet to be done because of this.

Residents have complained a number of times about feline menace because they tear up milk packets hung on the door knob by vendors and also tear up the garbage bags to forage on leftover food, thereby messing up the surroundings. This month,  things went a bit too far. A cat bit one of the residents because of which she had to go through a course of painful anti-rabies injections. We could avoid much of this trouble if residents don't feed the cats. Cats have such strong survival instincts that if they do not get food in the colony, they will migrate elsewhere.

Indians are genetically programmed to believe that the whole country outside their home is one big garbage dump. Yamuna epitomises a departure from the stereotype, yet there are some people who bring shame to an otherwise well disciplined and cultured gentry. The type of litter does not suggest that it may have come from visiting staff and domestics. One can only therefore surmise that some residents are messing up our outdoors. We do  not wish to name and shame them but the CCTVs capture the guilt of the offender. So, let us work to keep our environment clean and feel proud about it. Please throw all plastic waste like sachets, chips packets, polythene bags, coke bottles etc in the bins placed in the office and store. Separate bins are also provided in the office for electrical/electronic waste and paper/ cardboard waste, respectively. Only kitchen/sanitary waste should be given to the jamdarni for disposal near the C Block gate. Barring wet waste, the Society is disposing off all other waste to a recycling agency.

Rains are around the corner and we must guard against all mosquito borne vectors. The female mosquito plunges its lance like shaft from the proboscis and extracts your blood and in the process deposits its disease carrying saliva in your blood stream. Only females of the species bite. Therefore, it is not their normal food source. Malaria or its various avatars like dengue, chikengunia etc. cause more deaths worldwide than anything else. The breeding ground for mosquitoes is stagnant water. With the arrival of the monsoon please retire your water coolers and other sources of stagnant water. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

Mr. N. L. Ganapathi has resigned from the Managing Committee owing to a busy schedule. We are saddened to see him leave the MC. His contribution to legal matters, particularly the representations to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for regularisation of allotment amongst other things, has been immense. We hope he will join the MC again sometime in the future. His wise head and calm demeanour will be sorely missed.

Sumathi Chandrashekaran wrote an article in the Times of India on 17th June, 2016 about the drug problem in Punjab. It was a succinct and sagacious analysis of the problem. Coming close on the heels of Udta Punjab, a well made but depressing film on the state of affairs of the narcotics scene in Punjab, it shows the perils of the times we live in.

The tyranny of popular will is that it generally goes against the grain of common sense. Populism looks at short term gains at the cost of sustainable long term gains. It The decision of the British voter to leave the EU led to the freefall of the global stock market. The pound did a belly landing. It has set a domino effect with some in Ireland, Holland, Sweden and Slovakia calling for a referendum to leave the EU.

Ramanan of C-005 had his day in the sun when he appeared on MTV on 26th June, 2016 playing an array of instruments. He is a self taught and versatile musician who can play several genres of music. If he gets the financial backing that one needs these days, he is destined for greatness.


Ankit Jain and his wife Ruchi Nahar have vacated and moved out from E-002 after a brief sojourn in Yamuna. Ankit who works for Feedback Ventures has got a transfer to Mumbai and Ruchi has got a new job with Deloitte. We wish them good luck.


As a consequence, Mr. Santosh Aravindakshan has moved into E-002 with his wife Poornima and sons Aditya and Varun. Santosh works as logistics head of India for Singapore based Sunrise Sports India Pvt Ltd. Santosh is fond of watching sports channels, particularly cricket and badminton and is also fond of reading. Poornima, apart from managing the house is an avid reader and music lover. Aditya who is 8 years old and Varun who is 6 years old both go to St. George's School. Santosh can be reached on 9873562648. We welcome them to the Yamuna family.


Anup Nair and his wife Nisha Jayaram of E-302 have decided to move to Hyderabad. It is an unfortunate development as his decision to move was necessitated due to health reasons. The pollution in Delhi did not agree with him and his lung function was impaired, so the doctor advised him to migrate. I hope others do not fall prey to the ill effects of air pollution.


Vedika Arora of A-106 who is a student of Birla Vidya Niketan School has scored a perfect 10 CGPA in the Xth Class Board exams. She is not a one dimensional person. Many of you must have seen her as a Kathak exponent on the Yamuna stage. Congratulations Vedika. I am sure you will inspire other children in Yamuna.


As they say, 'better late than never'. Karun Prabhakar of H-201(elder brother of Prashant) got married to Sonam Bhutia in Mumbai on 10th June, 2016. Congratulations! Karun. Does it open the doors for Prashant?  Let's wait and see.