This time of the year is where we all have been eagerly waiting to welcome “Mahabali”, as you all are aware much awaited COMA Onam celebrations is around the corner, behind the scenes our volunteers are working hard to make the Onam celebration a grand success. We hope all of you will get to enjoy this beautiful festival with your family and friends.
Reflections or Ramblings (Edition-2) by Hari Narayanaswami.
I won’t expect anyone to disagree with me if I say there is a world of difference between Kerala and Ohio. We are at least 7000 miles apart to start with and Ohio winter is not too far out in case you haven’t noticed! But, usually in August as the summer starts waning and the sunny evenings leave an orange glow in the western sky, with few clouds hanging around in the sky to add a shade to the glow, Ohio does remind me of my late summer evenings in Kerala. I used to enjoy the leisurely walk in my neighborhood on those late May evenings, with the glow of setting sun still hanging in the sky, an anticipation of upcoming rains hanging somewhere silently in the breeze and the unbridled cacophony of birds sharing their day’s stories as they settle back in nests. (There weren’t these many vehicles honking away to glory and spoiling the ambiance at the time)
Undoubtedly the best time to be in Kerala is during the Onam. With the monsoons having taken a break, the nature looks like having emerged fresh from a shower and somehow everything suddenly looks positive all around. Something like a Christmas cheer settles in. Everyone appears to have forgotten the many difficulties of the scorching summer and the torrential rains of monsoon. Flowers are blooming, sky looks pristine blue and full moon nights are simply gorgeous. No wonder Keralites chose their biggest festival to be at this time. My pet peeve used to be the school quarterly tests, ‘ona pareeksha’, that were invariably scheduled right after the Onam vacation as the prime spoiler.
When did Keralites start celebrating Onam? The myths associated were interesting but the historical timeline of them didn’t exactly make sense to me. One myth said Kerala was created when the sea withdrew for the length Parasurama threw his axe from Gokarnam.
According to Purana, this is supposed to have happened in the third of the four Yugas called Threta Yuga. Kerala’s favorite emperor Mahabali, the key legend of Onam belonged to the Krita Yuga, few millennia before Parasurama. Obviously the stories didn’t gel though I still loved both these myths. Thinking outside of this myth, one has to wonder where exactly did these key characteristics of Onam like the reminiscence of a golden past, the hope and anticipation that those days will come back once again, actually originate from? I had to dig into Kerala’s history to find a sensible answer that at least made logical sense to me.
Kerala’s trading history goes way into the past and the region is considered to be the source of spices and essences used by Egyptians, Babylonians and even King Solomon of Israel. Ptolemy in 2nd century AD refers to ‘Kerala puttar’ and famous ports in Kerala like Musiris and Thondi. The history of spice trades with Arabs, Romans and Chinese could be traced back to late centuries of BCE. However, the first time Kerala saw a really powerful empire that unified it to a good extend was in the 8th entry CE. This was the second Chera Empire of the Kulasekharas that was established with the capital of ‘Mahodayapuram’ which is supposed to be somewhere near today’s Kochi. The first Chera empire in the early centuries of AD is mentioned in the Sangham poetry of Tamil Nadu. Their capital is known as ‘Vanchi’ is supposed to have been close to today’s Kodungalloor.
A number of famous kings including the vaishnava saint Kulasekhara Alwar as well as Sthanu Ravi Varma were part of the second Chera dynasty. Most of the Kings were scholars, people oriented and supporters of art and literature.
The glorious period of the second Chera dynasty, a flourishing period of no war and total social amity, lasted until beginning of 11th century when the Chola kings decided to invade. Though the Chola king Kulothungan didn’t completely overthrow the Chera state, he did manage to weaken it significantly, move them out of Mahodayapuram and destroy that city. After the dissolution of the dynasty, the land of Kerala was broken down into small chiefdoms called as ‘nadu’ and were ruled by local chieftains.
My romantic thinking leads me to believe that this is the time period when the Onam festival originated. A festival of hope for a distressed people living in difficult conditions, reminiscing on the glories of the past when there was no shortage for food, a powerful and able administrator was in charge and there were no worries of safety and security. Whether I am right or wrong about this, the Onam festival has to say something about the spirit of this ‘God’s own country’ where people come together as one in times of need, overcoming all their divisions and spreading hopes of a better tomorrow. On a lighter note, look at how many decades Keralites have voted alternatively right and left in elections and each time expected a new beginning with their Government. We, Keralites never lose hope!!
Onam greetings to each and everyone of you and looking forward to see you at this year’s COMA Onam festival!
Trip to United States of America – By Malathy Nair
COMA Onam Celebration
The wait is over! Tickets for COMA Onam Celebrations 2019 is open now. The event is on Saturday, September 14th at Westerville North High School. In addition to the sumptuous Sadya, many cultural and fun programs are planned. The venue will be open from 11:00 AM and Sadya will promptly start at 11:30 AM. Cultural programs will start at 1:30 PM.
We would like to remind you all that Malayalam class will resume on Sunday, September 22nd (Time: 11:00 AM to noon) at the same venue as last year, Lazelle Woods Community Center, 8140 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215). We are very excited to start the adult class and are looking forward to another great year. For registration, please send an email with your/child’s detail to email@example.com.
Giving back to Kerala:
As communicated earlier, COMA has started an initiative to give back to Kerala. We are very happy that the idea is welcomed by our community and thankful to all of you who supported with your generous donations. If you missed the earlier communication, please see ‘Giving back to Kerala’ for more details and payment methods. Please remember that together, we can make some real meaningful differences in people’s lives.
Active COMA has been talk of the town.Our Community is very active in various fronts and Active COMA a became platform where a lot of coordinated activities are happening around us.In this months edition we are taking a peek at various activities where our fellow “Malayalees” has been actively participating.
Walking Club – Groups from different parts of Columbus have been coordinating routine walks in mornings and evenings.We have an average group size of 25 in Dublin,Lewis Center and Powell. For those who are not motivated to get yourself started on a fitness routine this is your chance to add some steps to your fitness tracker.
There is nothing more than a refreshing and rejoicing experience to walk under morning sun.
Biking Club – Pelotonia is just finished and there were few riders who are quite motivated to up their distance with competitiveness and enthusiasm.You will be quite surprised to find out we have riders from all age groups
who are spinning their wheels any where between 10 to 60 miles on a regular basis. What more can you ask from the folks who are driving up spirit and inspiring others from the community to come out with bikes and join the fun.It is more than a workout routine but to ride together as a group and share the road.
COMA Sports League – by Arun Chand
We’ve kick-started various Sports Leagues in July as part of the Active COMA campaign. We received tremendous response to this initiative from the Malayalee community and a lot of people have shown keen interest and are vigorously participating in the leagues. We sent out a registration form to all our patrons requesting their interest in different sports and found out that most people were favoring Cricket, Soccer and Tennis. We initiated the process by compiling a list of interested people for each sport, picking captains and then working with them to form the teams, rules, format of the game and other logistics.
Cricket was the first league to get going. We got a roster of around 60+ interested players and teams were selected by captains through an IPL(Indian Premier League) – style auction which made sure that we have four equally strong teams.
The teams – Columbus Super Kings, Empuraans, Kolamass and Thakarppans are currently battling out for the prestigious COMA Cricket Cup title. All four teams play each other twice (home and away) for a total of 6 matches each in the league phase. After the league round is completed, based on the points and NRR(net run rate), the top two teams will play in the finals.
We had a number of exciting matches which went down to the wire and the passion and spirit our players showed on the field is stupendous!
Many people regularly come to watch these games, support their teams and share the thrill and excitement along with the players. Live streaming for the matches are available on the COMA Facebook page which also got a fair share of audience. We are now past half way through the Cricket league and all four teams are still in the running for the top two spots – which shows how close and thrilling the matches have been so far!You can follow the COMA Cricket Cup here (for scores, results and points table): https://www.cricclubs.com/comacup
Tennis tournament has also started and 8 doubles teams are now playing their league matches in two groups. Top two teams from each group will play the semi-finals, followed by the final.
We are now ready to start the Soccer League – four teams; Columbus Blasters, Little Soccer, New Albany Bulls and SM Columbus; have already been formed and they have started practicing under the leadership of their captains and mentors.
Soccer has a roster size of 75+ players and it will be played on a regular field with 11 players on each side. Each team will play each other in the league stage and the top two teams will play the finals.
By conducting these leagues, we aim to improve the closeness within the community, help people connect with same interests and make new friends as well as grow the COMA family by bringing people together. We are so excited to see that it is happening and are hoping to continue to get the full support from everyone for these events.
Some of the responses from the sports league participants:
“Thank you very much for conducting these tournaments. We have met a lot of new people and made many new friends!”
“Its so wonderful to see the enthusiasm and passion among the players. Never knew there were these many good players in the Malayalee community”
“It feels great to play the sport again which I had stopped playing years ago.”
Reflections or Ramblings? by Hari Narayanaswamy
(“Will you please write something for our newsletter?”
“Sure. Any specific topic?”
“No. Anything you would like to”
Well, blank checks ad open tabs are always dangerous. And now these reflections or ramblings are making their way to you. Enjoy!)
Last month was very exciting to say the least. What better things could happen in a month! Temperatures were moderate like a Mediterranean city. 5k runs and walks were plenty. I, personally had been to at least half a dozen grad parties to wish the beaming graduate. Plenty of opportunities to share happiness with friends and their families (though I did hurt my back moving my own daughter’s stuff out of her apartment, which I will overlook for now). Everyone appeared to be on the move to wherever hopes, dreams, plans, efforts and fate led.
But then that voice inside doesn’t exactly keep quiet. And all this activity begged me of this age old question – What exactly do we want from life? How do we get it? We all know we want to feel contended, accomplished and happy. But what magic formula makes it work?
One of my favorite pastime is to wander through the literary world (while I am not watching the World Cup cricket).Here is what I found.
There is an interesting exchange in Mahabharata between the eldest Pandava brother Yudhishtira and an Yaksha on this topic.
The context of the story is that the five Pandava brothers were wandering through the forest and one time got stuck not finding potable water to drink. They rested and sent one of the brothers, Bhima, to go look for water.He found a pond but it was guarded by an Yaksha. When Bhima defied the Yaksha and drank water from it, he fell down unconscious. Same fate repeated with three more of the brothers.Finally Yudhishtira himself made his way there and engaged the Yaksha on what he wanted. Yaksha‘s demand was simple, answer all my questions correctly and you can have the water and your brothers back. This exchange of dialog between the Yaksha and Yudhishtira that ensued is known in Mahabharata as the Yaksha Prasna.
One of the things the Yaksha wanted to know was, what is the greatest wonder in the world. Yudhishtira’s response was, humans are the greatest wonder in this world because though they see death happening around them all the time, they go about making decisions and acting in such a way that they seem to be expecting to be living here forever! This may be a bit of overstatement as none of us are generally naive enough to assume eternal life and neither do we go about in our everyday life thinking of our eventual departure from this world. Same time, an occasional reminder of this truth may help us in dealing with some of life’s unnecessary stresses.
Another question from the Yaksha was,
what should we be doing to make the best of our time here?
Below is a gist of the things Yudhisthira lists in answer to this: (If any of you are Sanskrit purists, please excuse my translation and extrapolation)
Be the most skillful and best in whatever we choose to do
Do charity and share with others
Be true to oneself
Make all of the above a habit that they become an integral part of one’s nature itself
Be pleasing with one’s words and be likable
Create lasting success through thoughtful and diligent action
Find the happiness in genuine friendships and have many friends
Be a role model for ethical living
In Yudhishtira’s opinion, if one can
apply the above to a life where health, wealth, security and relationships are
not a matter of concern, then it will be a pleasant summer all through the
Hope these thoughts resonate with
you. Make sure to say Hi and something nice the next time we meet in person!!
The Power of a Hackathon! by Ashwin Nair
When I was twelve, a huge wave of mobile applications hit the market, and I was one of the millions that got swept away. That initiated my desire to create some applications of my own. I knew it would take lots of hard work, but my goal was to create a product with my own imagination that would meet all of my ideals.
In pursuit of my goals I developed my programming skills through after school activities like computer club and attending external training programs. I was fortunate to get exposure to application development, so I started participating in Hackathons; a competition where several teams create a software product (or a prototype) based on specific themes. Exploring thoughts and ideas for such projects accentuates creativity from an individual, providing practical experiences in this field. Hackathons are events where multiple teams solve a given problem by creating mobile applications (app), websites, or prototypes in a designated amount of time. The best apps that are developed around the theme and provide a viable solution are rewarded. Not only do hackathons foster creativity but they also help build around life skills like leadership, communication, and teamwork.
From my first event at the 2016 JPMorgan Chase Youth hackathon
focused on the wellbeing of cancer patients to the 2017 High School I/O hackathon conducted by The Ohio State University where my team was awarded “The Most Creative Team”, every event brought upon new challenges as well as improving my programming skills.
Last spring my team and I developed an app for water conservation at the CBUS Hackathon. This application was developed to notify users when to water their plants after calculating moisture level of the soil. Our entire project took three months where everyone were assigned parts such as application design, programming, hardware integration, and project management. Eventually, We were honored to be placed 2nd in the competition among some of the best teams in Columbus. My experience of being included as a member of every team was phenomenal. Each one of us were like important components of a CPU, working together to make the computer function. Some of the most successful companies in recent times have grown out of hackathons. Few years ago, when the idea of a group message was a nightmare, GroupMe came along and Gizmodo called it a “life changer.”
The app, now basically a household name, began as an idea at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010,
from the minds of Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci. There are many successful outcomes from hackathons in the pharmaceutical industry: UCB initiated the “Hack Epilepsy” that brought together developers, designers and digital experts, along with healthcare providers and patients to imagine new ways of applying digital technologies that can make a real difference for the epilepsy community.
If you are passionate about technology & innovation, I would encourage you to explore hackathons. You never know, your crazy ideas may turn into reality and could be a potential industry disruptor! You may try the following opportunities in and around Columbus.
If I could be on any assistance or in case you need any additional information about hackathons, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are very delighted to announce that COMA Malayalam class will resume on Sunday, 08/18/2019. Based on interests received, this year we will have a new class for adults as well. If you have not registered for yourself or your child(5 and above), please register by sending an email to email@example.com. The venue is the same as last year: Lazelle Woods Community Center (8140 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215. Classes will be from 11:00 AM to noon every Sunday except holiday weekends. Any changes to the schedule will be informed in advance so that you can plan accordingly.The fee for the entire year is $120.00. Please note that COMA membership is a requirement to join the class. You can pay the fees and membership dues by sending Chase Quickpay/Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also as this is a completely volunteer driven initiative and we are always in need of volunteers. Please email us and let us know if you are interested and available. Note: COMA Membership runs from January to December and Malayalam class runs from August to May. So you if you are purchasing the membership now, you will have to purchase one next January as well.
2019 EC & Malayalam class team – Looking forward to have another wonderful year,
Giving back to Kerala – COMA initiative giving back to the community
“ I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou.
We are sure that every one of us has our own way of giving, whether it is to our community, our choice of charity or simply to whoever is in need. Knowing that, we want to call your attention to this new initiative by COMA – Giving back to Kerala. This initiative is to identify causes back in Kerala and support them in two ways:
Sustaining Support:The idea is that each of us will donate an amount($1 or above) of your choice on a monthly basis.This money will then be donated to the charity or cause as mentioned above, on a set cadence ( quarterly, twice a year or annually).
One time Support: The idea is to conduct fundraising events to collect funds and provide something tangible for a chosen cause.
We don’t think any of you need any convincing on why we should give what we can and as often as we can. The hesitation, usually comes about regarding the fund allocation. The common perception and sometimes rightly so, is that some charity organizations do not ensure that the funds are utilized in the right way. There is always the concern whether the money or resources reach the people who really need it or does it get lost in the middle. COMA EC and Trustees will see to it that the right monitoring is enforced to ensure that the money is utilized properly and will make sure that there is a tangible measure for dispersing the funds.
Every religion and every book of God tells us to do the same, help those in need, be kind to the less fortunate and give whatever we can. The people who have made a difference in the world also tells us to do the same. This is one action where there is no scale, anything and everything counts.
Please see the details of the causes that have been chosen for this year:
Entity: Gandhi Bhavan Saranalayam
Location: Kareepra, Kollam
More than a hundred elderly men and women are rehabilitated here with proper protection, medical care, physical and psychological care facilities.
Entity: Sree Chitra Home
Location: Trivandrum, Kerala
Provides education, full care, accommodation and medical care for 250 destitute and unsupported children.
Currently, need financial support to build a facility to host bystanders of Regional Cancer Center patients who need financial assistance
How do I make payments:
Schedule payment via Chase Quickpay to email@example.com and schedule a cadence. This is the preferred method as we don’t lose money in commissions
June is one of those happening months where there is quite a lot of excitement happening around us.The one tops the list is the preparation needed for young adults to start their college life and second in the list is the planning for vacation trips.In this edition of newsletter we have a few members who are sharing their experiences in both the categories.Last but not the least “Cricket – World Cup” is happening now and we have couple of members who shared their world cup memories.Lets go ahead and hear from them.
My transition to College by Osheen Oommen
Approximately 18 years in the making and the journey is just beginning. College is an exciting time to learn more about yourself and begin the process of becoming who and what you want. After one year, I know I don’t have all the answers, but I feel like I have learned a few things that I think can be helpful for any new college student.
The biggest struggle I had in college was learning how to take care of myself. Not just in the physical sense of making food and cleaning up, but in the mental and emotional sense. I had to learn how to take care of my mental health. With the stress of classes, being away from home, the pressure to make friends, and so much more, it was hard not having my friends and family with me, but I found things that helped me. I learned that exercise helps a lot with stress, and I found ways to get involved on campus and explored the city with my friends.
Finding the balance between school and your personal life takes time and looks different for each person, but don’t get frustrated if you get overwhelmed, just keep trying new things and eventually you will find the balance.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know this is what everyone says but it is the biggest advice I have for anyone that is about to start their college career. But not only is it important to ask for help, but it is so important to realize when you need help. If you are struggling, don’t think it’s just something you have to fix on your own.
Your life is going to change in a lot of ways.It’ll change in the way you expect, such has having more material to study, and having more free time where you have to learn time management, but it will also change in ways you don’t expect.You truly don’t realize how much you rely on your parents and all the things they do for you. If you get sick, it is up to you to make an appointment and get yourself to the doctor. If you have a problem with your roommate, it is your responsibility to seek the correct course of action to fix the situation.
While your parents will always be there to support you and help you through this next chapter, it is your responsibility to take what they have taught you and start to make a life of your own. The first year of college is going to be tough, but it’s going to be a year that you can look back on and see your personal that will shape who you are going to be in the future. Good luck graduates. You are going to do amazing things and just remember, you have a great community that will always support you.
Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice by Adithya Nair
Imagine waking up everyday to the sound of a glacial waterfall calmly flowing outside your hostel door. Then, imagine rising out of your tiny twin-sized bed, opening the window, and gazing onto the far-reaching, green pastures only to find that they are filled with gorgeous wild mustangs grazing to their hearts’ content. Imagine a realm filled with glaciers, cliffs, Fjords, rivers, mountains, and beaches anywhere and everywhere. If you can imagine yourself in a place exactly as I have described, then you are in Iceland. I started my journey in Canada. My friend Mohit and I decided to get there ourselves by first driving through Michigan and then crossing the border into Ontario.
This is the ideal way to travel to this country because it is the cheapest city to fly out of (it’s half the price of flying from JFK or Chicago O’Hare) and you get to spend a night in a fun, young, and lively city. After the 6 hour flight from Toronto Pearson Airport, we landed in Keflavik, a city in the far western part of Iceland, 40 minutes away from the city of Reykjavik. Instead of touring the entirety of the capital (a tour commonly referred to as the “Golden Circle”), we rented a diesel Fiat hatchback and began our road-trip of the entire country straightaway.
If I were to go into the intricate details and itinerary of our trip, I would bore everyone reading right away. This is because I don’t have the ability as a writer to translate what my eyes saw into words worthy of them; you truly have to go and see for yourself. Instead, I will try and explain the “why” question for Iceland.
Firstly, Iceland has something for everyone in the family. For the driving enthusiasts, Iceland has some of the best driving roads on the globe. If you’re familiar with the small, often single lane B roads of the United Kingdom, think of the Icelandic roads as C roads: they’re a pleasure to tear up with any vehicle! For the nature-lovers, every square inch of the country is filled with either glacial ice or lush greenery. There are animals galore too; in fact, sheep outnumber the populace and the wild Icelandic horse, a national treasure, can be found galloping across the plains, joyful and free from any human interference. History buffs would be in heaven; I, personally, roamed a real Viking settlement on the side of a mountain.
Finally, Game of Thrones nerds (such as myself) can feel like they are walking through set at locations such as Dyrholaey, where Daenerys discovers the island of Dragonstone.
Secondly, the people and culture. Save for the far Northeastern part of United States, I have not met such polite, helpful individuals in my life. Everyone speaks English (justifying the country’s 100% literacy rate) and they are all ready to aid you if you need directions or travel guidance of any sort. Even when my friend and I were being chastised in a hostel room for being too loud by a neighboring resident, she was civil and polite. In terms of culture, the Icelandic people are proud of their Viking heritage and language, which makes travel even more fascinating.
Finally, the overall experience is one you cannot get anywhere else on this planet. I would be lying if I said I deserved this hiatus to clear my mind and replenish my psyche after the wild roller coaster of freshman year at Ohio State. But, all I have to say is that I’m grateful that I did and hope that everyone has the opportunity to visit the Land of Fire and Ice at least once in their lifetime.
In the Know How by Arvind Nair
The final three seconds of the ITK championships match seemed to be slower than time itself.It took a while for me to finally process that we had won four OSU scholarships and acquired bragging rights for being the first team from Olentangy Liberty to ever win the title of champion inIn the Know.Quizbowl had always been a huge part of my school and personal life prior to ever participating in the In the Know television show.
Trivia pretty much first entered my life in my childhood when my family and I would occasionally watch Jeopardy! certain nights and feebly try and answer the few questions that were targeted for the audience. Fast forward to middle school and my true exposure to the world of trivia began in the form of the nationwide school club known as Quizbowl .
Although I started out as a mediocre team player, after taking time to really hone my knowledge on certain subjects like Geography, History and Science I began to stand out as a great trivia player, especially after two consecutive years of attending Quizbowl nationals.
Jumping into high school really demonstrated the limits of my will and mental capacity. Having to juggle my new and intense academic schedule with the commitment of almost every Saturday to attend out of state quiz bowl tournaments proved to be too much for most of my friends who chose to end their journey with the school quizbowl team and solely focus on their school and social life.
I first heard about the OSU organised trivia style tv show In the Know when asked to tryout to become part of my school ITK team.I breezed through the tryouts and managed to get our team through the 3rd round before losing horribly to Bexley’s ITK team.By next year our team consisted of new batch of kids who were more familiar with the dynamics of trivia and were much more comfortable being on tv without getting jittery.After blasting though team after team we finally met our match in the quarterfinals
against Olentangy High , It took us until the final question for us to take the lead and win the game and advance onto next round against Dublin Coffman. After winning the semi-finals and finally beating the last team in the championship game I sighed in relief,understanding that until next year,I would be recognized and congratulated through out my school for achieving what was once thought to be impossible.
ICC Cricket World Cup Memories
Benson & Hedges World Cup (1992)
Back in Mar 1992 ,3am something woke me up. I slowly opened my eyes and see the ‘timepiece’ ringing looking at me. Was it a dream? NO… I started hearing the cheering waves of cricket and ran to our vintage BPL.
I ran through “clicking” all channels to see which one is telecasting.Finally got it and laid down to my couch to see India won the toss for the Benson Hedges World Cup.After 27 years, that spirit hasn’t gone away.Back from 1992 as a fifth grader to 2019 as a family man, still feeling the same level of energy to wake up. When I set the alarm for India vs Pakistan match, it took me back to the memories. This cricket fever comes to me for every world cup, but how?.I still remember it was my mom who motivated me during school days to watch cricket. I followed her excitement when she even used to listen to radio commentary.Those days are gone, but the spirit of cricket still keep me alive during world cup.
It’s still a great feeling, waking up hearing the ‘melodious’ alarm , ‘jogging’ to TV, grab a cup of coffee, relax and watch the game and sunrise lonely. Go for it ! –
The Wills World Cup (1996)
While I’ve got fond memories of multiple world cups, the one that has always remained a stimulating memory is the 1996 world cup that Sri Lanka won. That was when they unleashed the power hitting opening pair of Sanath Jayasurya and Romesh Kaluwitharana, both of whom were proficient at hitting over the in-field during the 15 over power-play. At that time, I was already in love with Kalu’s batting ever since he made that debut 100 against Australia with 26 boundaries (percentage-wise, an unusuality those days). Kalu and Jayasurya made sure Sri Lanka reached the final. Curiously enough, both of them failed in the final and mostly everyone expected the Aussies to win.
That did not happen as Aravinda de Silva hit an unbeaten century (one of the best knocks of his career) and Sri Lanka won their first ever world cup. As an India supporter I was disappointed that we lost in the semis (also to SL, and amidst some unfortunate crowd behavior), but as a cricket lover, I knew that this would trigger a huge change in the way batsmen handled the power play going forward.
We are very excited to announce that annual COMA picnic is on Saturday, July 27th at the Concord Township Park, 6435 Home Rd, Delaware OH 43015 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please mark your calendar and join us for fun, food and meet your friends. We will send out information regarding registration and other details soon. Please stay tuned.
Meals On Wheels
June 9 ‘ 2019 – Manoj Thomas, Unnikrishnan Nair, MJ Joseph
June 23 ‘ 2019 – Sunil Balakrishnan, Ravikumar Hariharan and Manjula Nair
Month of May – There are many options for a theme for this month. Mother’s Day, Beginning of Summer, High School Graduation are a few which comes to our mind. It also makes sense to have a combined theme of all of the above. Kids we knew as babies and kids are now graduating high school and going off to start new chapters in their lives. What could be a more fitting tribute to the mothers (sorry dads, no offense) on Mother’s Day to see their babies all grown up and graduating with honors.So this month’s newsletter is dedicated to all parents (especially mothers) and all our brilliant kids who are graduating high school. Please see their accomplishments and future plans below.
High School Graduates – Class of 2019
Malayalam Class 2018-19
For Malayalam class another academic year has successfully concluded. This would not have been possible without the support from volunteers who make themselves available every Sunday to help students of all ages to learn our mother tongue. Also we would like to thank and appreciate all the support extended by parents and the COMA EC. 2018 ’19 academic year came to an end with a graduation event where certificates were awarded to students. Students from our beginners group who are mastering the Malayalam vocabulary sang a nursery rhyme in Malayalam, advanced students who are mastering in reading and writing showed off their skills by narrating a story in Malayalam.
Intermediate students who are mastering all the 56 Malayalam alphabets,vowels, consonants, “chillu aksharagal” gave an to attempt to write a letter to their moms in Malayalam for the Mother’s Day. Here are the snippet of letters they wrote:
We are excited to kick start Active COMA 2019 activities as it was a great success last year. Based on your feedback, we are planning to have smaller teams (5+ members) in each Metro areas who can participate in a competitive fashion in the Walk/Run/Bike Clubs. To make it simple, the group that walks/runs/bikes the most this season will be the winners. As part of the expansion, we are also introducing various sports leagues for the Central Ohio Malayalee community. Please take a minute to complete this application(click here to get to the URL)to notify us of your interested activities/sports. We hope that you will take advantage of this great opportunity to meet/make friends, be active by participating in your favorite activity and have fun!
COMA 5 K – A lot of us had a lot of fun participating in the 5K Run/ Walk arranged by our COMA. It was a great start to warm weather and a gentle reminder and motivation to take care of ourselves by starting to be fit and having fun.Enjoy the photos of the day in the below link – https://photos.app.goo.gl/CVoEumtyyQtLrxar8
First Place: Aedin Pereira
Second Place: Arun Chand
First Place: Dhiya Pereira
Second Place :Osheen Oomen
First Place: Aadithya Arun
Second Place: Pranav Rajesh
Thuruppugulan – Cards and Carrom – you can’t go wrong with either. COMA arranged such a night for those who who wanted to prove their prowess in these games last month. And it was very well received. Enjoy the pictures from the event in the link https://photos.app.goo.gl/GdmrnXvLjxhbwkh99
First Place: Team Veerans (Jojo Joseph, John and Abraham Thomas)
Second Place: Team Challengers (Deepu, Binix, Joseph)
Third Place: Team Minimum Vili (Sakunthala, Pradeesh and Sachin)
First Place: Shibu Nair
Second Place: Sangeetha Muthiraparambath
Third Place: Anand Cherian
First Place: Arun Chand & Sajid Babu
Second Place: Arun Davis & Deepak Divakaran
Third Place: Abraham Thomas & Priya Pramod
Community News & Columbus Events
H2O – Make a Difference –
Registered non profit organisation with a mission to empower financially challenged farmers,students/schools,Orphanages & Women across the globe. H2O is organizing its 3rd Annual 5K/ Run on June 23’2019.Please visit this link(click here to get to the URL) to register.
Radiant Toastmasters club was started by some members of COMA in 2018 to provide a platform for club members to improve the public speaking skills. This is one of the clubs where it has vibrant youth leadership program. The club published its first quarterly newsletter in May. Click here for information about the club.
Weather is finally warm, sun is out , grass is green, skies are blue, flowers are in bloom. The sweet scents of flowers and fresh cut grass and earth after the rains hit you as you step outside. The grills are brought out, patio furniture has come out from under their covers and barbecue spices are in the air. Reminds me every time why I love Columbus. Our city is gorgeous in the warm months Spring through Fall , so in my mind , the harsh winter months are a small price to pay.
Almost all of us have travel plans both domestic and/or international. Some are looking forward to exciting vacations that were planned months ago. Some are looking forward to some quiet quality time with their spouses when the kids go off to grandparents or other family. Some are just looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weather and have done great summer fun. Whatever your plans are, we from the COMA Newsletter family wish you a wonderful happy summer!
We are into Spring here in Midwest,Season changes always brings in freshness and energy into our lives.Let’s start of this spring newsletter with a review of recently conducted badminton tournament.
This year COMA ventured into organizing a badminton tournament for the first time and with out any doubt this event was a great success.For all the badminton enthusiasts in the region the event was an opportunity to enjoy competitive games and to up their racket skills.This event saw an active participation of 112 players from central Ohio region.There were 56 teams which included 32 men’s,8 women’s and 16 mixed doubles team.
Winners :Dilin Joy & Anoop Joseph
Runners Up: Padam Rai & Purna Rai
Winners:Christina Lin & Easter Chen
Runner’s Up: Surabhi Patil & Srijana Chhethri
Winners: Cindi Wu & Dongkan Hu
Runners Up: Chaithanya Reddy & Aswini Murthy
Youth Corner It is this time of the year many of us look forward for a nice get away to a serene location with family and friends ,for all the travel buffs out there our youth member Arya Janardhanan has written a beautiful travelogue from her trip to Mexico
My trip to Mexico!
Arya Janardhanan (12 years)
I love to travel around the world to taste new food and see
many historical sites. I have been to many different cities, states, and
countries. I’ve always wanted to see more countries and when my dad told me
that we were going to Cancun, Mexico, I exploded with excitement because we’ve never
been there before.
I still remember when I first got to the hotel, an employee gave me some lemonade to cool me down from the sun’s burning rays. I quickly devoured it all joyfully. It was a huge hotel with a lot of activities to do – for example, golfing, swimming, painting, basketball, and much more. My family and I got to go swimming in the pools and play golf. My sister and I even got to paint ceramics and keep it. The food they served was impeccable. They had a buffet serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They had a variety of food items like croissants, pancakes, quesadillas, bacon, egg, steak, and they even had desserts like pudding, jello, and ice cream!
I thought staying there at Mexico couldn’t get any better – I was wrong! I got to see the ancient ruins of a civilization called the Mayans, and did I mention I love history. There were many structures at the site that had steps that looked like the steps you see right in front of your front door. The site wasn’t crowded, but was still very hot there, I felt like I was going to melt! It was between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit! It was cool seeing structures so old still standing. What was incredible was how the Mayans moved the heavy rocks and glued them together. The scenery was breathtaking. It felt like I was walking into the past and stepping into someone else world.
A few days after that, my family told me we were going in a
submarine. When I was heading towards the submarine, I first had to get onto a
boat, then the boast would take us to the submarine. It felt nice on the boat
with the breeze on my face and looking at small plants rising out of the water.
Once the boat was side by side with the submarine, I hopped in eagerly. When it
started to descend into the water, I saw small statues covered by plants and
other particles. In the middle of the ride, I saw how the sun glimmered against
the sand and the rocks which made it very relaxing to watch underwater. The
sand was in a pattern mode of wavy horizontal lines. There was a lot coral and
seaweed standing on the sea floor slowly swaying with the water. Sometimes, there
were little fish swimming past. I even got to see Dory! When the submarine was
about to rise from the water, there was a little surprise for the people onboard.
A mermaid came out of nowhere and swam past the submarine waving at us. Her
tail was blue in color, and she had long and dark brown hair. After that, we
went to the beach near our hotel to soak out feet in and to see the Gulf of
Mexico. On the beach, I made sandcastles and left many footprints there. I love
collecting seashells and rocks, so when my family and I were going to the
beach, I collected as many rocks and seashells my hands could hold.
I saw the sunset at many different places. I remember once
my family and I were going to see the sunset near a boat dock. We were running
late, so we had to squeeze between people and run fast, so we wouldn’t miss the
sunset. We barely made it on time. With the sun setting, the sky turned an orange
and red color and in the center was the sun just barely peeking out. I learned
a lot of things staying in Mexico. One of them was some Spanish, so we had to
communicate with our hands to show where we were going, or if we were going to
eat. They still didn’t understand us and spoke Spanish to us. My dad would go
to an employee who knew English and would ask them how to say one word in
I am going to miss Mexico, the hotel, and especially the
temperature. We went to Mexico during December 2017, so in Columbus, it was
about 20 degrees, while in Mexico it was 80 degrees. I took many photos and
created many new memories. I will never forget my first trip to Mexico!
Upcoming COMA Events
Thuruppu Gulan – COMA presents Thuruppu Gulan – a games night for its members – includes 28 (Irupathiyettu), Rummy and Carrom. The event will be at Mirchi Columbus, Indian Bar & Grill, 195 E Campus View Blvd, Columbus, OH 43235 on Saturday, 27th April 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM. For details and registration, please visit http://www.comaohio.org/thuruppugulan
5K run/walk – Mark your calendar for COMA 5K run/walk to be conducted on Sunday, May 5th 2019 at 7:30 AM. (Location: Orange Township Trails at Glen Oak Park). Please join us for fun and to support a good cause, YWCA host a meal program. We will be introducing our Active coma initiative after the run. For details and registration http://www.comaohio.org/5Krun
Gauri Nanda daughter of Sudeesh Vasudevan and Lekshmy , won 1st place in Junior essay writing competition conducted by NSF at Ohio State University on April 6 th 2019.
Arya Janardhanan (left) and Anjali Janardhanan (right),
daughter of Anuja and Ajayan Janardhanan, received the 1st and 3rd
place respectively in the Vocabulary and Science competition conducted by the
North South Foundation at The Ohio State University on April 6th,
2019. Based on overall ranking, they could represent Ohio at the National level
competition to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in August.
Columbus Telangana Association Carrom Tournament – Arun Chand was runner up in singles competition , Arun and Sajid Babu won runner’s up in doubles. Currently Arun Chand is serving as an EC member for COMA.
If you would like to share any accomplishments or achievements please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
February was the month of love – we hope everyone got an opportunity to enjoy Valentines day with your loved ones.In this month of love and passion we would like to start of the newsletter with a cute drawing from a young talent – Shreya Girish and she loves drawing.
As a community organization COMA presented an “Oru Adipoli Night” for its families to demonstrate their passion to dance and act. And this year the planning team took the initiative to arrange “Oru Adipoli Night” in a slightly different way from previous years where members were given an opportunity to participate in teams and compete to show case their talents. The turn out and participation for this event beat all expectations. Now let’s go ahead and hear from the organizers and couple of young members about their experience.
Here’s what EC team has to say “We would like to congratulate each and every member of COMA community for making “Oru Adipoli Night” a grand success.
We received lot of positive feedback and many of you responded saying that they really enjoyed the event. As we had mentioned, the event was designed to have fun and increase the interaction among the members. Another positive note is that we were able to conduct the event in a timely manner – started on time and kept the pace going till the very end. It’s amazing to see the amount of talent we have in this community all of you came out of your comfort zone and performed the very first time in a COMA event. You all are great team players.
Event would not have been successful without a great teamwork and overwhelming support from the community. Thank you for all the volunteers for chiming in and making sure the event was conducted as per the plan. Together, we made the name of the event meaningful ‘Oru Adipoli Night’ and it is added to our joyful memories. We are planning many such events this year and we’re looking forward to your continued support!”
“Pradeesh Puthiyattil” was one of the captains for the event who lead his team to victory in a highly spirited and competitive manner . In his own words this event was very very vibrant with the enthusiasm displayed by the entire community. He strongly believes that this was one of the best COMA events and he would like to extend his thanks to organizers , MC’s, Judges and other fellow captains.
It was a privilege and honor to be one of the judges for the ‘Oru Adipoli Night’. And it gave me an opportunity to see the performances in a different light than usual. So I thought I will share with you all what I saw.
The first and foremost thing that hit me was the camaraderie and the eagerness of the teams to display their items. Everyone was so hyped and happy and excited and the energy hit you and filled the hall, making it a very vibrant crowd. It was impossible not to be excited. The second thing was the lack of inhibition from the participants. This needs a little bit more thought put into it to know why this is so important. We, Malayalis, as you all know are known as the most uptight people in almost any crowd. Hence, to see a crowd lose its inhibitors and be eager to perform in front of Malayalis gives me this message – no one has a fear of being judged. Which by itself is very telling of the dynamic that this association has managed to build over the past years. We should all be proud of having contributed to building that kind of dynamic in our Malayali community. Then comes the display of the talents. I had heard that the teams were hard at work for weeks in preparation, but nothing had prepared me for what I saw. Each and every item was so well thought out and executed that the performances took a level all too new for many of us. It was a feast for the eyes and ears.
Big kudos to the team captains for keeping the teams so motivated and engaged and an even bigger accolade to everyone who participant performed. Of course it made the judges’ job really challenging. It would be unfair not to mention the food, which was delicious and was served on time. I will conclude by giving a huge shoutout to our Executive committee and the MC’s for a very memorable event, for executing such a new concept in such a well managed way. You guys have raised the bar for the upcoming events and definitely for your predecessors. – Manjula Nair
Now let’s hear from some of our Youth Members:
“I am very happy and proud to say that I was basically born into this community! My parents were involved with Malayalee community even before COMA was established.They helped out with events, and programs that were self run and time-consuming, so it is safe to say that COMA has grown over the years! My first stage experience was with a COMA event where I was a tiny flower girl who went around picking up the flowers that everyone had just dropped! Since that time I have participated in most of the events conducted by COMA . I am also a member COMA youth wing volunteer since its inception, through COMA I was able to develop a strong group of friends who are interested in giving back to the community.
Another opportunity I was able to get through COMA is the Malayalam class. My brother and I were in the first batch of Malayalam class back in 2011. When I went to India last year, I was very happy that I was able to communicate well in Malayalam, not just with my grandparents but also random people in the stores and other places we visited. I was also able to read billboards and Malayalam newspapers which made my grandpa very proud. I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn Malayalam here which gave me the basics that I could build on.” Being in high school comes with a busy schedule and lots of extracurricular activities, the events that COMA puts together gives me a way to de-stress and connect to my friends and family.
The most recent COMA event “Adipoli night” was an event where I got a chance to connect with many people, I even made a new good friend! I also enjoyed working with the younger kids, I had a fun time coordinating and teaching the dance to the younger girls! My involvement in COMA has provided me with lots of opportunities to learn and meet new people, and for that, I am truly grateful!” – Divya Warrier
I woke up with a feeling that today was going to be special. As I got
out of bed, I remembered that today was COMA’s special event. My mind raced
with excitement. I counted down the minutes until we would get into the car and
go to the rec center for the event. As we walked in, I noticed several things.
People reuniting with others, and everyone having conversations full of
excitement. The thing I noticed the most was the smiles, everyone was happy to
finally be here. The hours flew by, and everyone did a wonderful job. Then came
the moment everyone was waiting for, the awarding ceremony. The White team
didn’t win many awards, but we won something greater. We won happiness, and we
had the most fun. – Diya Raj
Smash Badminton Club – The activity that brought them together
Passion. Dedication. Joy. All of which happens on a radiant Saturday morning of the Smash Badminton Club. As for me, my Saturday mornings comprise of a gourmet breakfast with some classic tunes. However, this is not the case for those who enjoy the intricate nature of badminton. Being the main sports center in the area, the Lazelle Recreation center is where they meet to attend to their nets. The tan walls become their opponent when the nets are busy. As the time unfolds, they say their goodbye to their friends and their rackets until the next Saturday of course.
You’re probably wondering why I’m explaining the popular nature of badminton. During the fall of 2018, the Smash Badminton Club threw a thanksgiving lunch to show their thanks and appreciation for the Lazelle staff members and to their own members. Not only does badminton fuel their passion, but it has brought them together as a family. So, in the end, the net of a badminton court can create a network of connections. – Aadhira Pramod
If you want to signup your children to COMA Youth Club, please send an email to email@example.com.
Upcoming COMA Event
COMA Badminton Tournament – This year COMA is conducting a Badminton tournament on April 6th, badminton players out there please go ahead book your spots at http://www.comaohio.org/badminton. Members get a discounted price of$8 per person.
EC team is working hard to stir up “Spirit of COMA ” by introducing a lot of events to its community .Yes, lot of ideas brewing inside the EC team and we will definitely do our spy work to keep you update, so stay tuned….
Meals On Wheels
Austin Pereira, Aedin Pereira, Sunil Balakrishnan
Valsan Pallika, Niranjan, Vijaya
H&R Moats Inc –
For COMA Members who are new to H&R Moats, a tax prep fee of $70 good till April 6th 2019