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Poornima Narayanan

15 April, 2018

Issue No. 199 I March 2018


EDITORIAL

The celebration of Holi which is marked by the overwhelming use of colours is said to commemorate the victory of good over evil and centres around the story of how Prahlad, the devoted worshipper of Lord Vishnu, was saved when demon king Hiranyakashyap's sister 'Holika' took him into a blazing fire to burn him. While Prahlad was saved by the Lord, Holika was burned and hence the name 'Holi' was derived.
The celebration of Holi in Yamuna has lost its spunk. At 11 am when I ventured into the park there was only one adult. It took more than an hour from then for a few more adults to show up. The children of course had a jolly good time throwing balloons at each other and dunking people with pails of coloured water. There was a clarion call to turn on the submersible pump. After a while when I turned off the pump to conserve the water for the expected summer shortfall, the shouts “Mohan, hai hai” rent the air. Abhilash decided to divert attention from the wanton use of water by letting his music system rip to some Bollywood songs. As if on cue, women and men started swinging their hips to the beat. Only on Holi, liberty is given to residents to use the lawn for cricket and football. Some decided to try their skills at soccer. It was 2 pm before people decided to disperse. It will certainly not count among the memorable Holis.
The new Wion English news channel is quite refreshing. I was quite pleased to be shown news which is neither anchored by some overheated suit yelling his tonsils out nor featuring rapes, murders, political skulduggery or the maverick political baiter, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy. For a change, news is news. To add to that there are not many ad breaks and a plethora of fast moving graphics which put a strain on one's eyes.

Bitcoins and crypto-currencies reached stratospheric heights with daily increase in rates which made paupers into millionaires in a short span of time. In a reversal of fortune, it plunged to its nadir from $20,000 to $ 6,000 in the space of four weeks. It has been yo-yoing since then. This proves the adage that what goes up must come down. Although, the block chain technology behind the crypto-currencies is very sound, there is no financial measure to determine its true value unlike other financial instruments. I am sure some day crypto-currencies will have their time in the sun when stricter regulations will put a cap on the unbridled euphoria by speculators and underground operators who push these currencies to dizzy heights. Unfortunately, today the gullible are at the mercy of these speculators and end up holding the lemon.

As the maid was cleaning the eaves, the underside of beds and doing all the difficult chores, my wife was admiring her efficiency. Maids are sine qua non for any household and most ladies go in for a panic attack when their maid leaves. Clinging to a maid is both an art and science in this world of competitive body shopping. Most newcomers pay oodles of money to ensnare maids from other households. Retaining a maid has become a challenge. Buying them inducements, giving periodic gifts, off days etc has become the norm and the maids who are meagrely paid deserve this largesse. We however have to mutely give in to their tantrums, furloughs and loan requests. In former times, like in my mother's generation, when household gadgets were nonexistent and women were not employed in formal jobs, the housewives did all the work at home which was far more tedious. They didn't have to go to gyms to get their exercise. They got all that doing the household chores!

These days, most women are gainfully employed and so, even with modern household gadgets are loath to do tasks on a working day as they are too fatigued when they return from work and thus prefer to offload to a maid. They may also indulge in sundry gymming, yoga classes, music or dance classes,   reading, socialising etc. to keep up with the times.  When a maid takes a day off all hell breaks loose; when she goes on a vacation it is a major crisis. If substitutes are not available the panic button is pressed.  I have seen many housewives spend a lot of time discussing about maids whereas the men are blissfully unaware.

When Nirav Modi splashes around in the luxurious watering holes dotting the globe, he epitomises the philanderers whose financial shenanigans funded by taxpayers’ money left the treasury empty for more noble causes. When the extent of the scam broke out last month I was aghast at the vast sums that were purloined. I am now realising that what was revealed then was just the trailer. The actual magnitude and scale as apparent now leaves one seeing stars during the day. It just boggles my mind that no one notices the money is disappearing until it has gone. Was it so unwanted, so irrelevant to the running of the bank, so much surplus was lying around that this guy was shovelling it away and no one said, hold it right there? Meanwhile, somewhere a poor little worker is given the pink slip and walking home head hung with shame because he fiddled his daily allowance by three hundred bucks. So, I am curious to know when the multibillion bucks disappear, where do they go? No way they will fit into your back pocket!

Demonetisation is a blow to those who wallowed in sybaritic splendour. The days of free-wheeling black money is coming to an end with the government tightening its noose by insisting on several cross reference documents whenever major purchases like buildings, cars, travelling, etc. is contemplated. The only option when you have hands in the till is to flee the land. The list of this tribe is increasing by the day. Public sector banks who facilitated this loot aided through crony political connections are a sorry mess. Unfortunately, we the taxpayers are at the receiving end.

Trump’s gun slinging diplomacy has caused much consternation at home and abroad. While it's time to call out Pakistan openly for its perfidy, to withdraw aid will just push them closer to another ally who is glad to bail them out without the restraining effect of a tied aid. The withdrawal of aid may sound like music to India's ears but propelling them closer to China is not what India wants.

Unauthorised extensions, changes in the facade of the flats with fancy tiles etc, ugly split AC cables and a plethora of wires on the exterior of the flats cause a lot of anguish and mar the integrity of our Apartment complex which has been rated by BBC as one of ten most iconic structures of New Delhi. It has also been a case study for several architectural institutes of the country. Residents citing other cases of violations to justify their own violations will just turn this complex into another Govindpuri. Let us introspect and not do anything undesirable as that will only make others join the bandwagon. At the end of the day we all have to live in this colony and be proud of its rich heritage. People have to just visit Tara Apartments, another heritage structure designed by award winning architect Charles Correa to notice what has come about it as a consequence of unauthorised extensions.

The cooking competition this time drew more entries than normal. The challenge to excel in culinary creations attracted several adherents particularly amongst children. They showed a great deal of maturity and confidence as though cooking was second nature to them. Celebrated chef Zacharia (Nalin Rastogi's friend) who has been judging our competition for several years remarked that he is seeing a great deal of aptitude amongst contestants. Many of us had the privilege to sample everybody's creations and I must confess that it was sheer ambrosia. It was so difficult for Zacharia to pick the winners from equally delectable dishes that both in the mocktails and dessert categories he declared all the contestants winners! I asked some of them if they will take orders if any of us commissioned them and the answer was in the affirmative. They not only have a lot of talent but also have savvy business sense. Cash prizes were distributed. Please see below the names of the winners and their dishes.

S.No
NAME
ADDRESS
ITEM

MOCKTAIL


1
VANSHIKA A/SAHANA I/BHAVNA
A-106/E-101/E-305
KIWI DELIGHT
1
MEGH BHATT
A-308
TANG TWISTER
1
SUDHA UMAPATHY
D-104
WOODAPPLE WHIRL





STARTERS


1
KIANA A/SAMEEKSHA N
A-008/B-107
MINCE CHICKEN PATTIES
2
ANU NAIR
B-107
CABBAGE ROLL
2
FALGUNI BHATT
A-308
MISSAC TACOS





MAIN COURSE


1
LUTZ KONNERMANN/REHAN
C-205
AUBERGINE PARMIGIANA
1
ANANYA S/ADWITA N/ANOUSHKA N
G-106/B-107/A-203   
PITA POCKET
2
SHASHWATH A/AVANTIKA S
G-306
ALOO CAPSICUM/DAL/PARATHA
2
SEEMA CHARI
C-208
CALZONE CASSADIA





DESSERT


1
AANCHAL SINHA
A-302
MALPUA
1
MALA SUNDARESAN
D-002
MAKHANA KHEER
1
ADITYA S/NIVETA REDDY
E-002/A309
COCONUT CHOCO BALLS

The main lawn is currently in a pathetic state. Efforts are being made to re-green the bald patches so that it sports a verdant look before it gets very hot. The lawn acts as a heat sink and also soaks up a lot of pollutants to give us the oxygen that we need. It is a place for tiny tots to play and senior citizens to relax. Fortunately, the soccer and cricket playing kids have paid heed and don't play in the lawn.

Yamuna is also turning green in another way. We are becoming eco-friendly. As per the direction of the Government, all housing societies are now mandatorily required to set up a wet waste composting system or give the wet waste to an authorised agency appointed by MCD for sending the same to a processing plant. After evaluating both the options, the Managing Committee finds the latter option far more economical and easier to implement. DDSIL is the agency appointed by MCD for this task in South Delhi. Residents are required to segregate garbage by putting all the wet waste (vegetable & fruit peels, waste food etc only) in one bag and all other dry waste (except medical waste) in another bag and hand it over to the safai karamcharis who will from now on come on the rolls of DDSIL. This will come into effect from 1st April, 2018.

OBITUARY

Mrs. Leela Gopalakrishnan wife of Mr. P. D. Gopalakrishnan of E-103 who was ailing for a while passed away on the night of 4th March, 2018. The family tried their utmost and went through a lot of hardship over the last two years to bring her back to good health but unfortunately God willed otherwise. She leaves behind a very caring and devoted family heartbroken with her demise. May God give them the strength to bear with this loss.

SNIPPETS

Mr& Mrs. Das of B-304 have vacated after a relatively short sojourn in the colony.

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

Mr. R.Venkataraman (Balaji) of C-005 heralded the milestone of reaching sixty years with Shasthiabdhapoorthi celebration on 5th March, 2018 in the main lawn. His wife Sheela was by his side. He dovetailed the ceremony with Radha Kalyana Mahotsavam, in a three day spiritual extravaganza.

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

Tejaswin Shankar's (G-306) prodigious talent was on display once again when this gangly youngster broke the national record by leaping 2.28 metres and thus qualified for the Commonwealth Games. At the rate at which this Yamuna youngster is collecting gold medals, by the end of his career he will have more gold than Fort Knox.

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

Arvind and Chandrakanta Rajpurohit of H-206 held a Bhandara in the Community Hall on 24th March, 2018. A large number of residents attended the event.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS-APRIL 2018

DATE
TIME
EVENT
VENUE
8.4.18
9.30 AM
SPECIAL GENERAL BODY MEETING
COMMUNITY HALL

04 March, 2018

Issue No. 198 I February 2018


                               

EDITORIAL

The Union Budget was not likely to throw any surprises coming as it was just a year before the general elections. True to expectations the tax-paying salaried urban middle class who constitute less than 2% of the population don't count for marbles and were generally ignored. What they got in one hand was taken away from the other. Most of the sops were reserved for the farmers and the poor who have not participated in the growth story of the country. The senior citizens also benefited to some extent. For most of us who are generally well provided for, it is better not to look for handouts.

Practically every person in a middle class home in the country can count a few near relatives in other countries, particularly the US. Due to their diligence and determination they have reached the pinnacle of their chosen profession to be counted amongst the richest ethnic group in their respective countries. This tribe is actively wooed by the government when Delhi rolls out the red carpet to its diaspora once every year in freezing January. The Government trots out a clutch of ministers to make the right noises to this motley audience of NRI's.  It is a desperate attempt to chase the NRI piggybank. The accumulated prodigals on their part are principally interested in getting their PIO card that allows them a easier run of the place. It is not love for the old homestead that the Indian diaspora remits oodles of money. It is more because they get a bigger bang for the buck when they invest in India. The narrative has changed of late because real estate prices are on the retreat. Another reason they come to India is the desire to dive into Indian food, but one week into avials, gol guppas and the like, they get an awful case of the trots. It doesn't matter whether they went from Ottapalam, Ranchi or Mumbai. After living a few years in the Big Apple, they are so softened by the pure air and unadulterated food that they cannot stomach the local fare. The good thing about living in India is that we are much more hardy.

The best months in the year weather-wise for Delhi'ites are February and November. Consequently, the annual painting competition was held on 4th February, 2018 in brilliant sunshine with a gentle breeze wafting through the park. The children and the adults armed with their easels trooped in to let their skills talk. There was a decent turnout and probably the largest ever contingent of adults participated. There was a choice of four topics to let everybody apply their imagination. The result was outstanding. Priti of G-305 who is a painter by profession selected the winners in each age category. I missed out again, although I came up with a masterpiece.  Lutz's painting was superb but I think Kunal has done some match fixing! Jokes apart, we had a good contest.

PAINTING COMPETITION RESULTS-2018
PRIZE
AGE CATEGORY
NAME
ADDRESS
1
4-5 YEARS
KIAAN NATHAN
A-107
2

REHAN KONNERMANN
C-206
3

KRISHNA JAYARAMAN
G-105




1
6-7 YEARS
AARON JUNEJA
G-001
2

ADHYA RAM
H-002




1
9-12 YEARS
VAIDEHI.M.U
G-306
2

VANSHIKA ARORA
A-106
3

ADWITA NAIR
B-107




1
13-15 YEARS
ANANYA SATISH
G-106
2

SAMIKSHA NAIR
B-107
3

KIANA ABRAHAM/SAHANA SAVARKAR
A-008/C-208




1
ADULTS
LUTZ KONNERMANN
C-206
2

KUNAL SAVARKAR
C-208
3

PRABHU RAM
H-002

The pot-luck lunch that followed was very relaxed. There is something about a shared meal that is so invigorating to the soul that it is hard to describe. There is a lot of jollity and conviviality that comes with community participation. Acquaintances become friends and friends become thicker friends when they talk about culinary details and sundry other things.

As the annual exams and Board exams loom, women go weak in the knees with additional stress levels. I notice that it is generally the lady of the house who gets really worked up whereas the men go about their business unmindful. It is not fair that the ladies should take all the burden of bringing up children especially in this day and age when women also have full time jobs. While the girls are generally more serious about their studies the boys need to be constantly reprimanded and cajoled to pick up their books. What can explain this indifference in the male of the species? Be that as it may, Yamuna children are bright and would cope quite well. We wish all those who are appearing for their exams the very best and may all of them come out with flying colours.

The mountains of garbage that one witnesses in landfills may be a sight you may not behold in future if the intention of NGT and MCD takes credence. NGT has issued a notification that all the wet garbage i.e. the kitchen waste consisting of vegetable and fruit peels, residue from cooked food etc should be separated from solid waste like paper, plastic, glass, tin, etc. and processed within the housing society for conversion to compost. MCD will arrange to lift the dry waste for recycling for which RWAs will have to pay MCD at the rate of Rs. 50 per month per household for houses measuring upto 2,000 sq ft. The Lt. Governor of Delhi issued a notification that violations of this rule will attract a penalty of Rs. 50,000 for a housing society. We have to therefore become responsible citizens and with immediate effect, segregate garbage as mentioned above.

The Society's budget for 2018-19 including the aforementioned charges and for collection and processing cost of wet waste will be presented at the Special General Body meeting in March, 2018. Details of the meeting and Agenda will be sent to the members separately by the Society office.

Nirav Modi embezzles $1.2 billion and makes the front pages of newspapers and breaking news on all TV channels. There is this smiling countenance of NM with a bevy of arm candy hanging on to every word that comes out of his lips. Boy, is he a matinee star? I don't know how many zeroes are there in such a sum but it amazes me that nobody in the Bank thought to ask when the first million got skedaddled. You don't just wake up one morning and find 1.2 billion dollars leaked away from an arterial pipe burst.

Imagine, one morning this nonchalant scamster says, well my turtle dove, why don't I swipe over a billion dollars from the bank and we can catch the afternoon flight to  Hawaii and drink Mojitos on the beach? Her eyes fill with liquid awe and she says, make that St. Tropez, my husband, my hero, and you have a deal. Okay, he says, keep my bags ready and saunters off to wherever such people saunter off, does his little bit of skulduggery and leaves for the airport and vanishes into thin air. The Government is left fuming, the opposition is baying for the PM's blood although the whole scam began under the UPA's watch. It was like watching a circus on the news channel. Thereby hangs a tale.

The Thyagaraja Aradhana on 17th February, 2018 did not evince as much interest as yester years. Although the Community Hall got eventually filled out there weren't people spilling out of the hall, like we had got accustomed to. Those who could not make it missed out on a treat. The children put on a far superior performance due to Subadha's tutelage. One can see their transformation over the years. If they can add a bit of subtle voice modulation in the transition from the high notes to the low in a slightly mellow pitch they would get the admiration of the Saint himself. The singing of the Pancharatna Kritis led by Bhavani, Subhada, Sumathi, Latha, Aruna, Seema and Subadha's students, gave goose bumps as it reached a crescendo. I am always amazed by the wealth of talent in the colony. Prasad distribution brought an end to what was a very enjoyable soiree. We are grateful to Mrs. Bhagirathi Eswaran for the pictures of Saint. Thyagaraja amongst others.


OBITUARY

Mr. N. S. Jain, member and former resident of G-004 passed away at the age of 86 years on 5th February, 2018. Mr. Jain who was the President of the Society from 1995-1997 led a very active life until his demise. After moving out of Yamuna, he was living with his son Yatin and daughter-in-law Archana in Anand Vihar. May his soul rest in peace. Yamuna residents convey their heartfelt condolence.

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

Mrs. Kalyanalakshmi  Mahadevan, member of C-001, passed away in the early hours of 9th February, 2018 at the ripe age of 89 years. She was one of the earliest residents of Yamuna. Of late she was living with her sons Anand and Ramani in GK2. Older residents remember her very fondly. May God give the family the strength to bear with this loss.

SNIPPETS

The Chronicler, who normally has his ears glued to the ground missed out on the news that Sreeja, daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Verghese of A-010 and her husband Paul were blessed with a baby girl in December 2017. The baby has been named Sana Gorman Verghese. Happy tidings to the couple.

******************
Chandrakanta Rajpurohit who is currently living in F-004 has bought H-206 from Deepa Varadarajan. When they move after the renovation, the additional space they get as a consequence will be very welcome.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS-MARCH 2018

DATE
TIME
EVENT
VENUE
2.3.18
11AM
HOLI MILAN
MAIN LAWN


6.3.18
ALL DAY
RADHA KALYANAM
MAIN LAWN
18.3.18
9.30 AM
SPECIAL GENERAL BODY MEETING
COMMUNITY HALL
31.3.18
6.30 PM
COOKING COMPETITION FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN
BADMINTON COURT