Blog pic

Blog pic
Yamuna's exotic fruit trees!

03 July, 2014

Issue No. 154 I June 2014

Modi is here to stay and make a difference. What matters to him is drive and enterprise-attributes that bypass the great majority of plodders in the government. He is loath to pander to the average. Hitherto, development in India was given over to 'give no quarter' politicians who cleave to a socialistic model that continues to trump economics. Ofcourse, the euphoria generated by BJP's landslide victory may be a little misplaced as it puts expectations far in excess of what is pragmatically possible in the short term. Given India's federal polity with still many states in opposition hands, he has to weave a delicate and complicated manoeuvre to get the opposition to sing along. Among other things, one thing he is capable of doing is to cut red tape which Balkanises the economy. Hubris apart, the guy has what it takes to move mountains. I am optimistic.

This summer has been weird. While May had more than its fair share of rain whenever the temperatures threatened to breach the records, June seems to test our resolve through 'agni pariksha'. The mercury broke a 62 year record when the temperature touched a fire breathing 47.8⁰ C. Stepping out into the open seemed like venturing into hell. A number of heat stroke cases have been reported. We just hope rain would bring some relief. Amazingly, the heat has also taken a toll of the mosquitoes, which of course is very welcome, albeit briefly. Rain while bringing the mercury down will give a new lease of life to the pesky pests. The temperature has come down over the month from an intolerable 47⁰ C to an uncomfortable 41⁰ C. What a relief !!!

Summer vacations are long enough to bring ennui into children's lives. Consequently. parents are pressured into taking them for a vacation to cooler climes. Succumbing to these pressures can be hard on the pocket as most vacations can cost an arm and a leg. Peer pressure at school and elsewhere means children do not want to settle for less than an exotic place with high price tag in India or abroad. While parents slave at home and at work, children want it all and more, although even parents secretly yearn for a break. While my daughter wanted to go to a beach place for the vacation, since no beach place in India has conducive weather in summer we had to settle for a beach holiday in Bali. The writ runs somewhat similarly in other families in Yamuna with atleast three families I know having gone to the Andamans, three families to Europe, two families to the US and one to Mauritius. Amongst the Indian destinations, count Ranthambore, Goa, the hills of North India and Bangalore where some families have been to. There may be many other residents who may have gone on exotic holidays which I may not be privy to. Gone are the days when we as children were always taken only to our parents home town in Kerala, every summer holiday. The downside  of escaping from the heat for a few days is that when you get back the effects of the heat are far more severe.

The IPL circus is over. I get the impression that with unorthodox stroke play and lusty hitting no total looks safe until the last ball is bowled. While it is certainly entertainment, I miss the subtlety and nuances of Test cricket where technique and temperament play a very important role. There are very few players who can play both forms of the game with equal felicity. The twenty over game however has certainly improved the standards of fielding and running between the wickets.

The rain dance on 15th June got a tepid response with just a handful of children showing up in the park. Part of the reason is that many children were out on holidays. However, the participation from adults and the older children has diminished over the years as there seem to be quite content leading a sedate and monotonous existence. The need to let your hair down and frolic in the cooling shower of water and mingling with friends apparently does not have the elixir that sitting in front of the TV and watching a soap or chatting with friends on Facebook seem to have.  To each his own, is all I can say. Seema and Kunal did make a brief appearance but lack of company sent them homeward bound.

The dust bins dotting the colony are welcome receptacles for the endless garbage that emanates due to surge in the sales and consumption of junk food in laminated pouches. Yet about 10% of them find their way into the flower beds, roads, the space between the blocks and the lawn. Despite several advisories asking residents not to litter, there are still some people who do not care for the environment they live in and make an eyesore of the place. Kunal Savarkar and his staff have volunteered to clean up the nooks and crannies in the colony which are not the regular beat of the cleaning staff of the colony. Those who wish to join in the effort are requested to get in touch with Kunal.

Sadhana's monthly entertainment in the form of performance by students is a great idea. It not only allows the parents to assess the progress their wards make under the tutelage of their gurus, it also provides free entertainment during that part of the year when the cultural and social events hit a nadir. It was heartening to see the students give a good account of themselves inspite of the stifling weather. We are proud to see Radhika, Ramanan and Pranav putting their heart and soul into this venture.

We understand that the work on the gas pipeline which was supposed to wind its way through Ganga and reach Yamuna has been suspended due to the onset of monsoon. We have been given to understand that the work will resume in October. The seemingly endless wait has led to some people questioning the merits of having the gas pipeline as apparently the PNG supply prices have shot through the roof on which is there is no subsidy whereas the LPG that we get has a liberal dose of subsidy. This is definitely valid for small families where the consumption of gas is limited to the subsidised cylinder. The other downside being the terrain of Yamuna being very undulating and stepped the feasibility of taking the pipeline to all the flats may lead to extensive digging through paved areas and rocky underlay. The apprehension is that we could be saddled with extensive repair costs running into lacs and also permanent scarring. The upside of course is that when you have the gas pipeline you do not have to bother with registering for a refill and waiting for the cylinder.


Close on the heels of the demise of Mrs. Nagan, Mr. N. S. Nagan passed away on 4th June, 2014 in Gurgaon. Mr. Nagan was a member of Yamuna  and used to live in D-101. Maybe the grief over losing his life partner proved too much to him and he ended up joining her in heaven. Yamuna residents convey their condolence to the bereaved family.


M. Anand's (C-001), daughter Advaitha, a Dentist got engaged to Shriram Iyer, a Marine Engineer on 8th June, 2014. Wedding is slated for November, 2014. We wish the couple fun times during their courtship until they get married.


Mr. Arvind Singh has moved into F-004 with his family. Arvind Singh works as a Marketing Manager for Lace World, an organisation that sells garments, fabrics and lace. When not working he relaxes to the strains of music. His wife, Chandrakantha is a volleyball coach in Mothers International School. She is also a music buff. Their only daughter, Vanshika is seven years old and is studying in the third class in Amrita Vidyalaya. Amrita is also learning Odissi dance at Sadhana. Arvind Singh and family belong to Rajasthan. Their coming to Yamuna will add to the cultural diversity of Yamuna. They can be reached on 9810889523.


In a welcome return to Yamuna that is being cheered by all hedonists Manoj, Prema and Saisha have moved to A-309 from Mumbai. Having lived in C Block and H Block before, their latest pit stop in A Block will leave them with only three more blocks to occupy. Their return will liven up the social and cultural activity in Yamuna.


There is  an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London , which  used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners  were taken to the gallows, (after a fair trial  of course) to be  hung.
 The horse  drawn dray, carting the prisoner, was  accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop  the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if  he would like ''ONE LAST  DRINK''.
 If he said  YES, it was referred to as "ONE FOR THE  ROAD"
 If he  declined, that prisoner was "ON THE WAGON". So  there you go.
 They used  to use urine to tan animal skins, so families  used to all pee in a pot & then once a day  it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you  had to do this to survive you were, "Piss Poor",  but worse than that, were the really poor folk,  who couldn't even afford to buy a pot, they  "Didn't have a pot to  Urinate   in" & were the  lowest of the low.

The next  time you are washing your hands and complain,  because the water temperature isn't just how you  like it, think about how things used to  be. Here are  some facts about the  1500's in England.                      
Most  people got married in June, because they took  their yearly bath in May and they still smelled  pretty good by  June.
However,  since they were starting to smell, brides  carried a bouquet of flowers, to hide the body  odour. Hence the custom today, of carrying a  bouquet when getting  married.

Baths  consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had the privilege of the  nice clean water, then all the other sons and  men, then the women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies. By then the water was so  dirty you could actually lose someone in it.  Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with  the Bath water!"

Houses had  thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no  wood underneath. It was the only place for  animals to get warm, so all the cats and other  small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.  When it rained it became slippery and sometimes  the animals would slip and fall off the roof.  Hence the saying "It's raining cats and  dogs."

There was  nothing to stop things from falling into the  house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom,  where bugs and other droppings could mess up  your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts  and a sheet hung over the top, afforded some  protection. That's how canopy beds came into  existence.

 The floor  was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other  than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt Poor." The  wealthy had slate floors, that would get  slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread  thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their  footing. As the winter wore on, they added more  thresh, until, when you opened the door, it  would all start slipping outside. A piece of  wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a  thresh hold.  
 Sometimes  they could obtain pork, which made them feel  quite special. When visitors came over, they  would hang up their bacon, to show off. It was a  sign of wealth that a man could, "Bring home the  Bacon." They would cut off a little, to share  with guests and would all sit around talking and  ''Chew the fat''.
Bread was  divided, according to status. Workers got the  burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the  middle, and guests got the top, or ''The Upper  Crust''.
England  is old and small and the local folks started  running out of places to bury people. So, they  would dig up coffins and would take the bones to  a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening  these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to  have scratch marks on the inside and they  realized they had been burying people alive. So  they would tie a string on the wrist of the  corpse, thread it through the coffin and up  through the ground and tie it to a  bell.
Someone  would have to sit out in the graveyard all  night, (the graveyard shift) to listen for the  bell; thus, someone could be, ''Saved by the  Bell '' or was considered a ''Dead  Ringer''

   And that's  the truth.
  Now,  whoever said history was boring ! !  !




09 June, 2014

Issue No. 153 I May 2014


The Modi led BJP swept aside all opposition to win the Lok Sabha elections with a thumping majority. When BJP anointed Modi as their PM candidate, the revival of the flagging party seemed preordained. Such was the charisma, daring and can-do attitude of the man, that the people felt that only he can lift the nation from the morass the UPA had left the country in. Modi is a refreshing change from the country's tired gerontocrats. Congress was a real life petri-dish for all manner of political and economic malfeasance and had to pay for it at the hustings. The doctrinaire dinosaur like CPM lost their relevance eons ago with end of cold war. Their poor show at successive polls should have made them change their approach, but alas that would not be CPM. They have stuck to their doctrines well past their sell-by date. It's time to write their epitaph.

The axis of Sadhana (school of art, music and dance), Tattva (canteen and organic food store) and Baby steps (the school for children needing intervention) forming the hub in C block annexe is turning out to be a magnet for people to congregate in the evenings. All the three establishments are gaining traction and feeding into each other's client  profile. Whether they have reached the critical mass to overcome the rent and other overhead costs is another point. We hope people convey through word of mouth the presence of three marquee establishments in Yamuna to their friends and relatives in the neighbourhood. It would do a world of good to these budding entrepreneurs and make the place sustainable. We do not want any of these establishments to close down for want of clientele as they collectively not only enhance the social milieu of the colony but are an important source of revenue for the Society.

Eureka, the neighbourhood book store in the market opposite Don Bosco school has unfortunately downed its shutters. Unlike other book stores, there was a personalised touch to the place so well nurtured by its promoters. It didn't seem that they were in the book trade for commerce. It was a place you hung out in, browsing paperbacks and chatting with the owners and other clients. When it shut down, it seemed like a part of me was taken away. Although, I didn't frequent the place as often as my wife and daughters did, whenever I did go to the shop I felt an old world charm about it. Unfortunately, e-commerce is biting into the vitals of many a retailer who is not in a position to combat the predatorial instincts of Flipkart and Snapdeal. High rents and other establishment costs mean we are staring at a new era of shopping on the net. Very convenient, but not entirely pleasurable. Eureka have not vanished into thin air. They will be operating from a basement in Chittaranjan Park, although they will not be retailing. Their story telling workshops for children, the kind they held in Yamuna a few times, will however continue.

Shwetha Ramakrishnan of A-007, had chronicled the story of Eureka bookstore in an article in The Indian Express. It was a very charming narrative. She, and her senior journalist colleague Shalini Narayanan of H-207, who form the new tribe of journalists from the colony are maintaining a fine balance between writing on the diktat of their publishers and coming up with charming neighbourhood stories which matter to the common folk. The one Shalini wrote about a person running a dosa and vada vending establishment in the Ayyappa temple brought nostalgic memories of old world journalism long lost to the crowded and noisy blathering of politicians, courtroom battles, crime and terrorism that dominate newsprint these days. I admit, occasionally they have to succumb to the demands of their editorial bosses like the time Shalini had to dig into the nether world of the palace intrigue that culminated in the murder of Ponty Chadha. But their little gems are what warms the reader's heart. Don't give up girls, you give us a lot of pleasure with your little anecdotes.

Our public convenience adjoining the badminton court and in the Club house was a disgrace for man or beast. Apart from being in a poor state there was no provision for flushing in the toilets and the urinals emptied into an open channel thereby giving of a foul smell of the most unpleasant kind whenever one ventured within 15ft of the toilet. It has now got a makeover that even a resident will not be hesitant to use it in an emergency. This work was also done without having to approach the General Body for the sinking fund allocation, thanks mainly to the enhanced maintenance charges being received from let out spaces.

The plethora of offerings from the Yamuna ladies that would lead to a culinary zeitgeist, is the addition of ready mix sambhar powder-a creation of Aruna Krishnan, which is an answer to the working woman's dilemma of rustling up a meal in a jiffy. It is now available at the Yamuna store. Believe me, it is awesome. Not to shirk from putting her creation on the shelf, Bharti Ramakrishnan has brought the Gujarati favourite-Thepla to your doorstep. You don't have to travel to Ahmedabad to get a bite of the authentic Thepla. It is within arm's reach at the store.
The movie "School of Rock" starring Jack Black was screened in "Sadhana", the school of music, dance and art on 11th May, 2014. For a person who has not been initiated into rock music, there could be no better example. The incredible Jack Black was amazing. His wizardry with the guitar and wild acts on stage could turn any newbie into an adherent to this genre of music. Those who couldn't make it have lost a great opportunity of watching a fabulous movie.
The culmination of the first quadrant of a person's life is the XII th class board exam which completes the most challenging and perhaps the most important phase of their life. The children of Yamuna have come up trumps as usual. Srilakshmi Mani and Archit Iyer have come up with mindboggling marks in their respective streams and are nestling along with the creme de la creme of the country's brainiest. The table of marks and names of the residents of Yamuna who appeared in the Board exams and have given their consent to publish the results, is listed below. Kudos, to these kids. May their future be written in gold.







Raju P Krishnan has donated three telephone instruments to the Society. These phones will come very handy in our endeavour to bolster the security of the residents. The plan is to ask the guards to call up the resident on the Centrax system who the visitor wishes to meet , to ascertain the bonafide of the visitor. We are indeed grateful to Raju.

Some of drivers employed by the residents are seen playing cards and gambling till late in the night near the garbage dump adjoining the C Block gate. They also been known to imbibe intoxicants. This habit of theirs is both a nuisance and a threat to residents. The drivers have been warned several times but to no avail. Since residents are employing them and paying their wages they are likely to pay heed to their warnings. Residents are therefore advised to inform their drivers to go home once their duty is over.


In a career move that is both lateral and vertical, B. Kumar of B-202 has moved to Black and Decker in Bangalore, within shouting distance of the top job. His wife Anusmita and daughter Devyani joined him on 10th May, 2014. They will be missed very badly as both Anusmita and Devyani used to participate in most of the cultural events of the colony. Kumar's parents will keep shuttling between Bangalore and Delhi.


Reaching the pinnacle of one's profession is not everybody's cup of tea but for Dr. Renuka Masodkar of E-102, topping her batch in MD from Manipal University as a radiation oncologist was a walk in the park. Congratulations! Renuka, you make us very proud of being a Yamunaite.
Mr. Arvind Rajpurohit has moved into F-004. He can be reached on 9810272825.


It seems Netra was not alone in cracking the TISS (Tata institute of Social Stufies) examination. Harshitha from C-108 and Manasa from C-007 have also crossed the Rubicon.


Mr. Shyam Govinda has moved into B-006 from Mumbai. He works as the Head of Corporate Banking for North India at Axis Bank. Mr. Govinda is a Kannadiga from Mysore and is fond of carnatic music. His wife Rajeshwari is an avid reader and the apple of their eye is their nineteen month old daughter, Mihika. We welcome them to Yamuna.


Women always wish to have the last word. In order to counter some of the jokes I have reproduced in the chronicle where the women usually end up second best, my wife forwarded me the following jokes which brings out the worst of men. Men, it's time to swallow the bitter pill!


A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.

An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...
30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"


A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can  be  so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time." The wife responded, "Allow me to explain . God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!"

The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to  wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.  Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.  The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.



6.30 PM