Blog pic

Blog pic
Photo courtesy: Hari Nair

01 April, 2015

Issue No. 163 I March 2015

EDITORIAL

On a recent visit to Jahanpanah Club, I noticed that food and drinks were very reasonably priced. The habitu├Ęs of that club, which include quite a few from Yamuna, can therefore live it up without having to burn a hole in their pocket. Some years ago when the Club was launching a membership drive, the membership of this neighbourhood club was going for a song. I passed up the opportunity and therefore will  have to depend on somebody's munificence to have a repast within its four walls.

The Holi celebration was rather muted. It was a bit nippy after some unseasonal showers earlier in the week, the sky was overcast in the morning, it fell right in the middle of the annual exams and finally there was the World Cup encounter between India and West Indies. All these factors ensured that the attendance of revellers in the lawn was rather thin. Thankfully, the sun came out by 10 am. The one's who were present tried their darndest to make the Holi festival come alive. Deepak pulled in his SUV into the entrance of the  lawn to play some music. Prema, Purnima, Anu, Meera, Sujata, Srilakshmi, Hema, Deepak amongst others swayed to the music. A Chole-Kulcha vendor was at hand to dish out some welcome lunch. Pakodas from the canteen and gujias brought by some, satiated hunger pangs of the assembled throng. Mercifully, the absence of the nasty wet colours ensured that people did not have to scrub themselves for hours in the bath to look squeaky clean.

Every “news-hour” on primetime TV showcases a shouting, berating, finger-wagging anchor. Heaven knows what they are anchoring when they are fulminating in the mouth and ricocheting so much. They ask the question and do not let the invitee answer. They keep interjecting and delight in making  the invitee ill at ease. One of the anchors takes the cake in this respect and I am sure everybody can guess who I am talking about. So, one is hard put to get near the real news. Even the stodgy Doordarshan comes as a welcome relief in contrast.

Modi has the can do spirit as is evidenced by the courageous investment policy, pragmatic land laws and progressive policy on renewable energy. What needs to be seen is whether he has the political sagacity to steer clear of the bigoted blathering of RSS pracharaks who are keen on banning anything that smacks of a liberal mindset. My only grouse against Mr. Modi has been his gumption to wear a Rs.10 lac suit with his name on the pin stripes when meeting President Obama. His claim of humble beginnings and simple life style lost its cachet, in one's esteem, with this act.

While we incessantly argue over what is not right with our political system, we should not expect men in mufflers to walk into the Vidhan Sabha with their bags of benediction, to come to the rescue. Unless the Mufflerman learns that politics is more than pontificating from a pulpit and being a sartorial trendsetter of sorts, his hope of eradicating corruption will go up in a wisp of smoke. Forming the Government is the easier job but honouring the promises made to voters needs more than a bag of tricks. Already the free water gift is putting a strain to the exchequer and causing revenue-expenditure mismatch. To add to that a turf war within the party is queering the pitch from matters of more urgent import. If he cannot keep his flock together, how is he going run the state?

On 21st March, 2015 on the culmination of exams for most students, a relief party was held in the main lawn. We started with Tambola where some lucky ones turned out to be multiple winners. Other garden games barring Dumb Charades was shelved as there was not enough attendance. A choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian eats whetted the taste buds. Children were in their element dancing to the refrain of their favourite Bollywood numbers.

Dr. Manmohan Singh wanted to make Mumbai another Shanghai and now Mr. Chandrababu Naidu wants  to make the new Andhra capital a glitzy Singapore model but without physical infrastructure and fertile economic and cultural underpinning it will be like having the icing without the cake.

Spring is here. There are a surfeit of flowers in the Delhi roundabouts and parks, ranging in colours of the rainbow. Some rich and luscious, others dewy and dreamy in their velvet like softness. With the days and nights warming up rather rapidly, it will mean a swift end to spring and so also our visual treat.

India's spirited campaign in the Cricket World Cup came to a tame end at the hands of their nemesis, Australia. Brilliant batting by Steve Smith and a spell of hostile bowling by Michael Johnson put paid to India's chances. Shikhar Dhawan blitzed to a rapid-fire 45 and gave India a semblance of hope, but he walloped a rousing cover drive straight down Maxwell's throat to depart disappointed. After that a snorter from Johnson to Kohli and a fast in-swinger to Rohit Sharma broke the back of India's campaign. Dhoni valiantly tried to do the superhuman trick but two direct run out hits of Jadeja and Dhoni snuffed out India's rearguard action.

While it was disappointing to exit in the semi-final, after the failure in the tri-series preceding the World Cup, it was a heartening performance to be one of the two teams undefeated until the semi-finals.

Residents would have fretted about poor reception and call drops of their Airtel mobile phones. This may now be history with the installation of a signal booster in Yamuna by Airtel through the good offices of Venkat of G-103.

The cooking competition slated for 28th March, 2015 had to be deferred to 11th April, 2015 due to Rama Navami falling on 28th March. Entries are solicited from residents for mocktails, starters, main course and dessert categories. Since arrangements have to be made for gas stoves, it would be helpful if all the entries are sent to me by 8th April, 2015. Those interested in supporting culinary art and wishing to contribute cash for the prizes should get in touch with me.

Many in Yamuna are eagerly awaiting the trip to Corbett. We are going to be staying in the Rangers Reserve, nestling in the woods. A sojourn in the lap of nature will hopefully rejuvenate us. A visit to Ramabhadran's organic farm is also on the cards. A trip out of town for Yamuna residents is coming after a gap of more than two years. The trip encompasses a safari ride in Corbett game sanctuary, plenty of feasting and entertainment. Those undertaking the trip should board the coach outside H Block gate at 5.00 am. The buses would leave on the dot at 5.30 am. Please set your alarm clocks. We will stop midway for breakfast around 8.30 am.

SNIPPETS

Prema Manoj and Saisha vacated their flat A-309 and left Yamuna after Holi to join Manoj in Dubai. Manoj had left a few months before to head the marketing operations of his company covering the Asian region. Prema being a gregarious person endeared herself to everybody in Yamuna. Saisha too had her gaggle of friends. With their departure the cultural activities in Yamuna will be a tad subdued.

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

Most people take the well trodden path as a career option. Not Vidyut Mohan ( G-206). He broke the mould by pursuing an MS programme in Sustainable Energy Technology at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.  Sustainable energy is something close to his heart and he believes that by pursuing research in this area he could contribute towards making India self sufficient and energy secure. He is in  India for three months on  a project with Avani Bio Energy, based in Uttarakhand,  working  on producing bio-fuel using pine needles as biomass. This biomass could be used for thermal applications and generating electricity. He is confident that not too long in the future,  his work  will be put to commercial use . His inspiration seems to be drawn from Robert Frost's poem, "I took the road less travelled and that has made the difference".

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

Mr. S. Shankaranarayanan, Lakshmi and Sumyouktha who had moved out of D-202 more than a year ago to Bangalore are now moving back to Delhi. Where else will they choose to roost but Yamuna! They are moving into B-304. We welcome them back into our fold.

*****************
P. K. Prakasan, Shyni Prakasan, Abhirami and Shreeram would welcome their move from B-303 to B-204. A shift delightful for two reasons – one, the number of steps they have to ascend each time and two, it will be a welcome relief in the torrid summer months.

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

Ashish Suttar, Deepa and Dhruv have vacated H-106 and moved to Mumbai. While Ashish remained preoccupied with work,  Deepa and Dhruv had made lot of friends in Yamuna. We will miss them.

FACTS TO PONDER OVER

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs . . . .

For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.
The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made.
God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.

-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.

-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

-All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the

Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day. Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life.
If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure.
Only the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to a profitable end.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - APRIL 2015
DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
3-5.4.2015
TRIP TO CORBETT (THOSE WHO HAVE ENLISTED)
5.30 AM
ASSEMBLE AT H BLOCK GATE




11.4.2015
GOURMET CHEF-COOKING COMPETITION FOR
7.00 PM
BADMINTON COURT

MOCKTAILS, STARTERS, MAIN COURSE AND DESSERTS




09 March, 2015

Issue No. 162 I February 2015

EDITORIAL

Butterflies in the stomach is the common feeling among students who appear for the school finishing Board Exams, no matter how bright the student is. This one exam can determine the child's future. With so much of one's academic equity resting on a single set of exams, there is absolutely no room for an off day or illness or traffic snarls. No matter what, one is required to peak at the right time both physically and mentally. Even luck is required to play it's part. Where even a fraction of a mark can separate a person who makes it to the course and college of his or her choice, can the students be anything but nervous? This must be the most stressful exam in the world. If you think children appearing in the exams are the only one's going through a nervous breakdown, think again. Parents have palpitations until their child returns after the exam. Parents and society at large should not measure any child's intelligence based on the marks obtained in the Board exams. This will go a long way in preventing depression and even suicide instincts amongst children who do not make the grade. Having said that, on behalf of the Society, I would like to wish all the children appearing in the Board exams a successful crack at it.

Selfies have become a social media pandemic with everyone taking a million pictures of themselves with others. There seems to be a narcissistic obsession to admire oneself. You may as well carry a mirror with you! These photos are so fleeting that they do not stay in your memory for long. I have a partiality towards the photos of yore, which were clicked and printed. They were few and far between and found a place in one's photo album. They served to remind one of the times gone by and captured one's personality, vintage, changes over the years and brought about a tinge of nostalgia. In the present world of use and throw, the pictures lose relevance after a while as there are too many to sift from and nobody has the time to mull over them or connect the dots concerning where and when the photos were taken. The digital world with its temporal timelines is ideal for this kind of forgetfulness. The dynamics of our social life make things that happened a month ago seem old and what happened a year ago, forgotten. However, it is a passion with some and so long as it gives them a high, they should continue to be trigger happy and click away. I may be an exception to the 'want to be clicked every second’ phenomenon. I see at parties, people craning their necks to squeeze into the frame for the selfie moment. This is what keeps the wheel of FaceBook moving. I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg has sponsored this whole selfie craze.
I have had the privilege to notice from close quarters that the middle aged crowd not only enjoy a degree of affluence and security denied to earlier generations, but also look younger and fitter. There is however, a growing body of evidence that suggest that as they edge towards retirement and enter their golden years, their health is worse than their parents. Part of the reason is sedentary lifestyle, binge drinking, fast foods and inadequate sleep. Those who enjoy good health today even with poor eating habits and lifestyle should realise that the pinnacle of good health would not always be available to those guilty of dietary waywardness. It's like trying to make hay when the sun is tending to set.

The painting competition was held under benign skies on 7th February, 2015. Most of the Yamuna children were present with their kit full of palettes, boards, paints, brushes, crayons and an iron will to show their painting skills to good measure. The theme, a choice between a fairy tale or a jungle safari was very assiduously worked upon. The result was very pleasing. Many of the paintings looked like masterpieces when you factor the age of the painter.

Mrs. Saroj Arora of A-106 was very kind enough to distribute a packet each of chips and biscuits to all the participants. Renu Garg contributed the drawing sheets and, along with Seetha Venkataraman, helped with the organisation of the event. The number of prizes varies in different age categories depending on the number of entries in that age bracket. Sudha Easwaran, herself a good artist, was the arbiter and judge. Her verdict is listed below. Congratulations to all the winners and cheers to all the participants.

PAINTING COMPETITION RESULTS-2015
PRIZE
AGE CATEGORY
NAME
ADDRESS

6-7 YEARS


1

ANOUSHKA NAIR
A-203
2

DHRUV SUTTAR
H-106

8-9 YEARS


1

ANJALI GARG
G-106
2

ANANYA SATISH
A-202
3

VANSHIKA ARORA
A-106

10-11 YEARS


1

ANUSHKA BEHARA
C-207
2

SAISHA SUBRAMANIAM
A-309
3

KIANA ABRAHAM
A-008

12-15 YEARS


1

TANVI SAVARKAR
C-208
2

APARNA VARMA
H-208
3




ADULTS


1

POORNIMA NARAYANAN
B-002

The Delhi elections threw a very unexpected result. While AAP were tipped to win, nobody remotely expected such a drubbing of the Congress and BJP. The voters were turned off by Congress's drift and venality and its preference for welfare handouts over fostering opportunity. In the case of BJP, surprisingly, while there was hardly a dent on their vote share compared to the 2013 Assembly elections, the complete capitulation of the Congress ensured that AAP got all the switch votes. What we should be happy about is that the local MLA Mr. Saurabh Bharadwaj is very pro-active and we have a personal rapport with him. In fact he has given us three street lights which we have installed in the park for better illumination.

The Thyagaraja Aradhana on 14th February was held in the Community Hall. There were solo performances from Poorvaja, Purnima, Shreeya, Jayashree, Bagirathi Eswaran, Seema and Sukanya Sundaresan. Poorvaja, Shreeja, Ananya and Purnima sang a group song under mentor Kalyani. This was followed by another group song by Samiksha, Sahana, Tanvi, Avantika, Radhika, Mani, Dhanya, Advita, Shivashri, Shashwat, all trained by Subhada Arun.

The accompanists from outside the colony on violin and tabla acquitted themselves well. Ramanan provided a glimpse of his amazing talent with a sublime rendering of a Thaygaraja kriti on Hansa Veena (not his preferred instrument). The best was reserved for the end when accomplished singers Kalyani, Bhavani, Sumathi and a few others settled to sing Thyagaraja's  Pancharatna Kritis. The singing was evocative and exhilarating. Towards the end, as it reached a crescendo, the reverberations swept the Hall, inducing a feeling of nirvana. Delicious kesari and sundal from Yamuna Canteen was served prasadam at the end of the performance.

Our wait for the coveted gas pipeline will get a trifle prolonged. On enquiring with IGL, I was informed that they received permission from MCD to excavate for laying the pipeline in Ganga only in February 2015. Since the pipeline has to traverse Ganga to reach Yamuna, it will push the work to commence in Yamuna to March. Let us hope it does not turn out to be like "Waiting for Godot".

Radha Kalyana Mahotsavam conducted by Balaji and his family has become a feature of the February social cum spiritual calendar. This year too, it was held in the lawn on 21st and 22nd February amidst much fanfare. It was presided by Guru's Krishnanda Teertha Mahaswamigal and Krishna Premi Anna. Singing and dancing by the devotees and the feast at the end of the mythological wedding rounded up the two day event. Kalyani, Mala and several others actively participated and helped in organising this function.

In the light of the prevalence of swine flu residents should advise their domestic staff and drivers to desist from spitting in public, which has become a menace lately.

The Union Budget has been a tight rope walk for the Finance Minister. He had to juggle between the aspirations of the youth, the financial security of the elderly, the need to foster investment, appear socialistic and at the same time rein in the deficit. He has attempted to do all without falling between two stools. Yet, it does not seem a path breaking or big bang budget that a lot of people anticipated. If wishes were horses one could address every constituency but the numbers wouldn't add up. I would give him seven out of ten.


SNIPPETS

Aditya Vasudevan of A-209 was so smitten with his colleague at work, Vinita Sainani that he took the next logical step by getting married to her on 5th February, 2015 at Hotel City Park. The wedding was solemnised both in South Indian and Sindhi custom. The wedding venue, bedecked with flowers, looked very festive. The food that was on offer was a gourmand’s delight. Meena and Vasudevan were excellent hosts. Yamuna residents were omnipresent. We wish the couple a fabulous wedded life.

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Sreeja, the expatriate daughter of Mr. N.V. Verghese and Elizabeth Verghese had got married to Paul Gorman, in ireland earlier this year. To celebrate the event, Mr. and Mrs. Verghese  hosted a reception at Gymkhana Club on 22nd February. Sreeja and her husband looked very relaxed and happy in each other's company. The venue was tastefully decorated and the food and drinks on offer satiated the taste buds. The weather was awesome and it was an evening well spent with Yamuna friends. Elizabeth and Mr. Verghese were gracious hosts. We wish the couple an enjoyable life together.

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

Mr. Arun Viswanathan and his wife Sukanya's  brief stay in A-304 came to an end when they moved to Pune to take advantage of an exciting career opportunity.


MIRTH CORNER

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
"House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."
"Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."
A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;����
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;����
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay check on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador"), because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on��
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;��
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE  the problem;��
and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The women won.��


CALENDAR OF EVENTS - MARCH 2015


DATE
EVENT
TIME
VENUE
6.3.2015
HOLI MILAN with Chole-Kulcha stall for lunch
10.00 AM
MAIN LAWN




21.3.2015
TAMBOLA, GARDEN GAMES & DINNER FROM STALLS
7.00 PM
MAIN LAWN



28.3.2015
GOURMET CHEF-COOKING COMPETITION FOR
6.30 PM
BADMINTON COURT
STARTERS, MAIN COURSE AND DESSERTS