Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Sridevi

02 November, 2015

Issue No. 170 I October 2015


It was a disappointing turnout for Swachh Bharat initiative in the colony on Gandhi Jayanthi day. Barring Mr. Vinod Asthana and the children consisting of Radhika Venkataraman, Manishankar T, Adwita Nair, Dhanya Prakash, Anjali Garg, Shashvat Arun  and Aryan Ramabhadran, nobody showed up. The vast majority preferred to stay at home. The task was however made simple because there was not much rubbish in the nooks, crannies and bushes. I remember, the first time we embarked on the cleanliness drive about ten years ago, we hauled out half a truck load of rubbish like broken bulbs, bottles, sachets and even some unmentionables. The Managing Committee is grateful to the residents who have done their bit to keep the environment clean.

Residents may have been put under a great deal of inconvenience concerning water availability over the last one month due to the failure of either the pump or the electrical control panel. Please do not think that the Managing Committee is not cognizant of the trouble that the non-availability of water causes to the residents. The fact is the main submersible turbine pump after thirty-five years of flawless service finally packed up due to wear and tear. There are very few people who have the skill sets to repair such pumps. Even taking the pump out from the underground tank was a humongous exercise, then finding the right agency to conduct the repair took a while. Finally, it has been set right. In the meanwhile, we were running the terrestrial pump and one day the electrical panel developed a glitch. Ram has identified an agency to undertake the job of changing the complete panel. We will also set right another pump, so that, in the future, we have at least three options to pump up the water, should anything ago amiss with any of the pumps or panel. Through all this gruelling exercise over several nights and days there was one man who was steadfastly and diligently monitoring the exercise come rain or sun. This was Mr. P. K. K. Nair, who, despite his age did the physically challenging work. Kudos to Mr. Nair for this selfless service. We are all indebted to you.

The corporate world is a brutal eco-system. Most lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and other stress related ailments have originated or can be directly linked to working in a highly competitive corporate private sector. The demands are totally driven by profits and more profits, gaining market share and beating the hell out of the competition. The competitors are not exactly sucking their thumb while this strategy is being worked out. They have their own machinations to get the better of you. It is a dog-eat-dog world. The financial rewards are immense and so are the casualties. You can rise dizzyingly high in the corporate world that it could give you vertigo, but one blunder and you could be holding the pink slip. You could be driving a Mercedes Benz one day and washing dishes at home the next day. Nothing is certain. Retrenched, downsized, redundant are the new buzzwords, These are just fluffy euphemisms to denote that you are sacked. Burnouts are common and soon you could see people who have made enough money wishing to retire at 40 years as they cannot take it anymore. Separations and divorces are becoming fairly common as a surly husband or wife is not what you want to encounter at the end of a hard and trying day. In cases where both husband and wife are both enmeshed in the corporate rut, it plays on children's lives and they tend to go astray, that is if they have children in the first place. Why I mention this is because more and more men leading stressful lives are diagnosed as impotent and consequently their wives cannot conceive.

The way out is not to come home and mope and sulk. It will play on your health. Take a walk in the park, smell the roses, interact, socialise, and mingle with friends. Have a party and let your hair down, if you have any left, that is!!! This is the only way to get over the blues. I am trying in a small way to facilitate the social and cultural activities in Yamuna with the help of like minded friends.

Dengue has reappeared this year in a virulent form. It is rampant and some in Yamuna were affected by this dreaded disease. However, it is not as potent as the casualties would suggest. It is like any other viral disease and lasts between four to five days, if you detect early and manage your dropping platelet count and increasing haemoglobin levels. Papaya leaf extract is a sure and effective way to combat the dropping platelet count and defang the virus. It is only those people who do not go for early detection, that need to be hospitalised. Then it becomes a long haul to recovery, if you are lucky. I was pestered by Thomas Abraham to get the fumigation done when his daughter contracted the disease. Fumigation is a double edged sword. WHO has declared fumigation as dangerous to human health and recommended banning of the same. The poison which kills the mosquito also does harm to humans. After persuading Mr. Kasana, MCD Councillor, the fumigation was done in the colony on 4th October, 2015. Fumigation, I believe is not the panacea we all perceive it to be. Mosquitoes are insects which fly and do not see any boundaries. They can easily migrate to Yamuna from neighbouring areas. Planting mosquito repellents like lemon grass or citronella is the answer.

Community viewing of movies seems passé. With a plethora of options available to residents like multiple channels on TV, DVD's and even smart phones, sitting down in public with friends, watching a movie and sharing a meal seems anathema. There was barely a soul when the system was set up on 10th October evening to screen a movie. By the time the first frame crackled on the screen there was a trickling of a motley bunch largely consisting of children. A section of them could not agree on the choice of film and went into a chorus vociferously chanting the name of an alternate film, thus drowning out the dialogues. Eventually, when the switch was made, the other lot voiced their protest and then we settled on a third choice. Part of the thin crowd melted out, disappointed with the movie being screened. It was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a delightfully wicked movie, set in a beautiful area of France along the Cote d'Azur. It was about two conmen trying to outwit each other who eventually get upstaged by a conwoman. There were only a handful of people to take part in the pot-luck dinner. The weather was awesome and I have reasonable cause to believe that those who missed out have a lot to rue about. I can understand that some of them could have been having other important commitments but the indifference of the vast majority baffles me. It took me a good part of my Sunday to set up everything. I am not a movie buff myself but the reason I screen movies is to have greater engagement in the community. If this going to be the response, I am afraid we are headed the way of other colonies. I am grateful to the six new residents of the colony who participated.

Navaratri and all the festivities that follow have a bewitching charm of their own. The  women in beautiful Kanjeevaram saris and pricey adornments  looked very fetching. I wish this season would never end.

Intolerance has erupted across the country like acne on an adolescent's brow. Suddenly the cow has become holier and beef eating a crime. Fringe elements on the right, bolstered by the audacious statements of Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal leaders have queered the pitch for the existence of a pluralistic thought process. But is returning the Sahitya Academi Awards the answer? Not by a long shot. They should instead use the power of their pens to foster a climate of shared ethos and acceptance of divergent views. We cannot let lumpen elements dictate the course of our lives. The pusillanimity of political and administrative machinery to deal with this dangerous trend is condemnable. I hope Mr. Modi starts wielding the stick against his party hotheads.

Dandia was a hit in terms of the present demographics of Yamuna. With many of the children studying or working in outstation locations there was a thinner participation than in the past, but most of the regulars were present. They danced and ate and generally had a jolly good time. It was also a very pleasant outing for the onlookers who could watch the skilled dancers in beautiful coloured costumes. With the dwindling population of Yamuna, the lack of participants will become the new normal.

For the Diwali illumination competition on 11th November, 2015, 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 Best theme, Best rangoli, Best illumination and Best overall impact. In the interest of conservation and environment, please avoid using the powdery glitter. In case you wish to embellish the rangolis, use the coin sized glitter which can be retrieved the following morning and reused. You may leave the staircase lights on, to minimise the use of candles. May the best blocks win. Wish you all a happy Diwali.

The TT and badminton tournaments for all age groups will commence on 14th November, 2015. Participants should give their names to Raju Krishnan, F-103. He can also be reached on 9911401699. The Quiz competition has been deferred to 21st November, 2015. Participants should give their names to Sumathi Chandrashekaran, H-107. She can also be reached on 9873503219.


Mr. R. Vaidyanathan passed away on 6th October, 2015. He was President of the Society between 1987-88. He used to live in B-201. He was an erudite person and well liked by all. We wish to convey our heartfelt condolence to the family.


Sukanya and B.M. Sundareshan's daughter Dr. Vidya Sundareshan is earning accolades by the heaps. The latest in the long list of accomplishments is being amongst the 118 elite doctors from around the world to be named as "Fellows" by a leading medical association in the US for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of infectious diseases. Vidya is an Associate Professor in Southern Illinois University. Besides that she is the President of the Indian Association in Springfield, Illinois and does a lot of community service which has earned a lot of goodwill with the Senator. Vidya, you make us proud.


Savitha and Aseem's son Abhinav has emerged as a talented writer. He has penned a short story called "Razor Sharp" which has made it to the  Sahitya Akademi's bi-monthly journal called Indian Literature. To share space with Gulzar, Keki Daruwalla and other eminent writers is no mean feat. The story is absorbing and although it may not be a page turner, Abhinav shows a lot of promise. He could mature into a very good story teller and may well one day get the Sahitya  Akademi award. There is no point though, people are returning the Sahitya Akademi awards by the droves. Maybe the Booker is the real deal.


The much anticipated Odissi Rangmanch Pravesh of Dakshina Raghav held at India International Centre on 24th October, 2015 went off like a dream. Everything was picture perfect except for the traffic which was diverted at several places because of Muharram procession. The start was a tad delayed as a consequence. The auditorium was filled to the rafters, with many occupying the aisle. Dakshina looked very fetching in an aquamarine blue/sea green costume and as Raghav put it, looked celestial, particularly with the halo type head gear. A smile never left her face even through the complicated manoeuvres except when the dance demanded her to display anger, remorse, pathos etc. She was outstanding at the Abhinaya and Shiva Stuti, a testimony to the hard hours put in with her talented and dedicated Guru, Radhika Samson. I would be failing in my duty if I did not write about the nuanced and classy compering of Janaki.
If viewers thought they had come to watch one performance, they were in for a pleasant surprise. The dance performance followed two splendid speeches, one a tribute from the Chief Guest, Bombay Jayashree  to Dakshina and her guru Radhika. She proceeded to heap encomiums to the entire pantheon of artists in the family that Dakshina has descended from, in such lucid and endearing terms that it moved one to tears. Then came a master performance from Raghav, who spoke in glowing terms about Dakshina, Radhika, other artists, backroom assistants, his family, friends, Yamuna Apartments, about values, relationships and the entire gamut of philosophical mumbo-jumbo that kept the audience in a spell. How can I not talk about Rekha? She did the hard yards, distributing invitations and personally inviting everybody in her inimitable manner. Thank you, Rekha, Raghav, Dakshina and Manisha for making the evening truly enjoyable. In the history of the Chronicle I have not written such a long snippet, but I must confess that it was an evening that deserved the bytes.


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03 October, 2015

Issue No. 169 I September 2015


The General Body meeting was held in the Community Hall on 27th September, 2015. Mr. Ramabadhran conducted the meeting with great composure and equanimity. He outlined the progress made on several fronts. All the resolutions were carried through with comfortable majority. Mrs. Poornima Narayanan was elected as the new Managing Committee Member in place of Mrs. Bharti Ramakrishnan. Bharti's contribution as Secretary was appreciated and placed on record. There are talkers and there are doers. Ram comes in the latter category. He really walks the talk. He was principally instrumental in creating and populating the Yamuna portal with data with help from Sumathi Chandrashekaran and Mercy Nair. Many more initiatives have been taken up. Watch this space for news on this subject in future issues of the Chronicle. Ram thanked the Managing Committee and the staff for their amazing contribution during the year gone by. He was all praise for Seetha Venkataraman for single handedly managing the affairs of the office on a day to day basis. Mr. Ganapathy's contribution to the regularisation process cannot be overstated. He was aided by Ram, Seetha, Mr. P.K. K. Nair, and Mr. Krishnamurthy.  The Managing Committee is also grateful to Mr. P. D. Gopalakrishnan, Chitra Balasubramaniam, Alka Arora, Poornima Narayanan and Raju Parameswaran for volunteering with the compilation of data in connection with the regularisation process.

I was shocked to read that a person in a premier engineering institute was driven to commit suicide by intolerable and inhumane ragging. Rape, murder, brutal ragging, reservation stir by Patidars, wife bashing by an elected representative of AAP etc. – this kind of violence and mayhem  can make persons of sterner stuff quail in their boots. What are the times we are living in? Terrorism cuts a wider swathe. Mobs go berserk over seemingly innocuous issues, leave alone provocative ones. All you need is a rumour to trigger this frenzy. Where and how do they find the time to indulge in all this? It seems like apocalypse now. All the ills of the world are  caused by the so called 'evolved' human beings. Their proclivity towards greed, graft, envy, ego, selfishness, and intolerance etc proves Charles Darwin wrong. The theory of evolution should be turned on its head. Animals kill only when they are hungry. We kill for no reason at all. Animals do not destroy the environment which we do wantonly. Animals follow a social order which they do not breach whereas human beings break the social order and laws all the time. Thumbs up to the animals, thumbs down to the humans! It's humans who need to be caged in zoos and not animals. I might sound very provocative but my faith in human beings has been shaken irrevocably.

Obesity is becoming a major health concern with a host of lifestyle diseases impinging on quality of life when one reaches middle age. Obesity is to be tackled at childhood as once a person becomes an adult, getting rid of the excess kilos is a very trying proposition. Doing exercises when your mobility is impaired adds to one's woes. Nobody realises that the quantum of food required by the body peaks at the age of 20 years when the growth spurt ends both vertically and horizontally. Thereafter food intake is required only at maintenance level. Most people continue to consume the same quantum of food after 20, which only goes to increase one's bulk. After 20 years, one's food intake should reduce to half or even less to avoid the proverbial paunch and overall girth build-up.

Janmashtami celebrations went off without any major glitches. Caught in the midst of mid-term examinations, many of the usual participants in dance programmes did not take part. Yet on the mini stage in the Badminton Court, the eager audience was served delightful renderings of dance and song items. Little Sahana Iyer opened the programme with a Marathi dance item. Her performance had all the elements which you would expect from a professional dancer. She moved on the stage with great felicity, craftily adjusting her steps to the size of the stage, subtly and gracefully shifting her eyes and head.  I have reasonable cause to believe that she will become a very famous dancer one day. This was followed by a group dance consisting of Sahana Iyer, Vanshika, Bhavna, Anushka, Aarya and Anjali. There was more from Sahana. She came to do another delightful solo piece.

Bhavani and Sumathi then regaled the audience with a medley of songs eulogising Lord Krishna. The songs blended seamlessly and kept the audience enthralled. We are really blessed to have two such accomplished singers whose melodious voices are infused with subtle, lilting nuances. They were accompanied on the tabla by Anirudh Sundaresan who matched their singing note for note with great finesse. The children were not done yet and a group consisting of Adwita, Shashvath, Sivasree, Sahana Savarkar, Samiksha, Radhika, Mani and Tanvi,trained by Shubhada, sang some  bhajans. The grand finale involved the breaking of the Dahi Handi for which both Kian and Lakshay were dressed as baby Krishna. A few blows later it fell to the ground spilling out goodies for the children. As usual, Mr. Thangathurai and family generously  distributed prasad to the assembled audience.

Most Indians salivate at the sight of chaat papdi. However, my indulgence in the fare from ubiquitous street vendors has caused me much grief with the 'runs',  hours after I have ingested the ambrosia of all foods. Therefore, I have now decided to succumb to my craving only at weddings or in sanitised environments where the stall holders wear gloves and use mineral water. The chaat-papdi meets many layers of tastes, textures, and flavours – soft and firm, warm and savoury, tart and piquant, hot and crunchy, rough and crispy. All the sensations you can possibly imagine, rolled into one. Even Mr. Bhotlu who was present at a recent colony wedding reception was all praise for the chaat papdi that he was eating. My favourite chaat joint  at the Food Court of Select City Walk Mall has unfortunately closed down. The reason I used to drive  my wife and daughters to SCW was to wolf down some chaat while they cleaned me of all the money shopping. Now I have an excuse not to go there.

People who feel depressed and less confident about themselves seek divine help. These are the people who get exploited by fly-by-night Gurus who have an eye on your wallet if you are a man and your chastity, if you are a woman They string them along with promises and ask them to perform bizarre rituals to make them forget their blues. This charade continues endlessly and the self appointed Guru  profits from it There is no dearth of adherents to this cult phenomenon. There are endless stories  of rape and exploitation that emerge from the cloistered chambers of ashrams that dot the landscape. Whither your intelligence and common sense, I say? Salvation does not arrive from ethereal realms. I have known some in my acquaintance who have fallen for this trap. We are the masters of our destiny and no one else, so let us pick ourselves up and give purpose to our life.

The other day a lady guru was shown on TV prancing around in mini-skirts. News reports have emerged that among several nefarious activities, she exploits men sexually. Apparently she too has a sizable following, one among them being a famous ghazal singer. It astounds me as to how even well educated and famous people fall for the faux charms of these gurus Why can't they call their bluff when anybody with average intelligence can? People from the most unimaginably impoverished conditions cope with whatever life throws at them  with greater equanimity and resilience and they resurrect without resentment. Depression is a middle class and upper class affliction.


Tejaswin Shankar never ceases to amaze me. His exploits in track and field events have become legendary. He has notched up another victory in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa leaping to a personal best of 2.14 metres. He is our hero of the month.


C-207 has a new occupant who is not entirely new to Yamuna. His sister Prema lives in B-005. Ramesh Iyer recently retired from a PSU. His hobbies include reading, travelling, playing bridge and solving Sudoku puzzles. Revathy is a retired IAAS officer and currently employed as Director, Finance and Operations with Engender Health, an international NGO working in the health sector. Her interests include reading and going out with friends. Ramesh can be reached on 9820351947.


Karthik Easwar of D-201 who wed Sneha in Bangalore earlier this month had a reception at the Yamuna lawns on 19th September, 2015. While it was raining intermittently throughout the day, the rain gods relented just in time for the reception to go ahead unhindered. The Easwars would have heaved a sigh of relief. The couple looked their radiant best on the stage which was beautifully lit up. There was a wide array of food options. Yamuna was very well represented and everybody had a jolly good time. We wish the Los Angeles bound couple a great wedded life.


The much awaited Rangmanch Pravesh Odissi recital by Dakshina Raghavendra is scheduled for 7 pm on 24th October, 2015 at India International Centre. Dakshina has been learning Odissi under Radhika Samson for the last five years. Radhika brings influences of her gurus Dilip Mohapatra and Sujata Mohapatra in Dakshina's renderings. All are invited to this dance recital.


Perception: Women Vs Men

Women friends chatting in office.
Woman 1: I had a fine evening, how was yours?
Woman 2: it was a disaster. My husband came home, ate his dinner in three minutes and fell asleep in two minutes. How was yours?
Woman 1: Oh it was amazing! My husband came home and took me out to a romantic dinner. After dinner we walked for an hour. When we came home he lit the candles around the house and afterwards we talked for an hour.
It was like a fairytale!

At the same time, their husbands are talking at work.
Husband 1: How was your evening?
Husband 2: Great. I came home, dinner was on the table, I ate and fell asleep. It was great! What about you?
Husband 1: It was horrible. I came home, there was no dinner because they'd cut the electricity since I hadn't paid the bill; so I had to take my wife out to dinner which was so expensive that I didn't have money left for a cab. We had to walk home which took an hour; and when we got home, remember there was no electricity, so I had to light candles all over the house! I was so aggravated that I couldn't fall asleep and my wife was jabbering away for another hour!

Wife : Shall I prepare Sambhar or Rasam today .
Husband : First make it, we will name it later ☺��

A frustrated husband in front of his laptop:
Dear Google, please do not behave like my wife...
Please allow me to complete my sentence before you start guessing and suggesting.

A man brings his best buddy home for dinner unannounced at 5:30 pm after work.
His wife begins screaming at him and his friend just sits and listens in.
"My hair and makeup are not done, the house is a mess, the dishes are not done, I'm still in my pyjamas and I can't be bothered with cooking tonight ! Why the hell did you bring him home ?" Husband answers: "Because he's thinking of getting married"

Employee: Sir, you are like a lion in the office! What about at home??
Boss: I am a lion at home too, But Goddess Durga sits on the lion there !

A man gifted his wife a diamond necklace for their anniversary and wife didn't speak to him for 6 months.
Was the necklace fake?
Nooooo! That was the deal !

A couple was having dinner at a fancy restaurant. As the food was served, the husband said, "The food looks delicious, let's eat."
Wife: say a prayer before eating at home.
Husband: That's at home the chef knows how to cook.

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