June 2020 Newsletter

This pandemic has torn the the idea of how all of us visualize graduation ceremonies to be. Class of 2020, the world has changed. This moment is your opportunity to use your education to begin rebuilding, to apply the best of what you’ve learned. You all are Kings and Queens. 

COMA would like to congratulate the Class of 2020. Please join us to wish them the best.

Abitha Vinoyi, daughter of Ancey Vinoyi and Vinoyi Varughese, graduated from Olentangy Orange High School this year. She will be attending the Ohio State University, majoring in Computer Science & Engineering. In high school, she has participated in Senior Class Cabinet, Tri-M, National Arts Honors Society, Orchestra, Pioneer Ambassadors, Art Club, Interact Club, Student Council, Track & Field, Theater, Choir, and Fashion Club.

Norah Philip has graduated high school from Hilliard Davidson High school with Presidential Award and Honors Diploma. She is a member of NHS. Norah is a recipient of the thespian award. She will be attending Virginia Tech for Computer Science and engineering in the fall. Norah is the oldest daughter of Jicku Philip and Thankom Thomas Thamarappallil. 

Neelima Gopinath, daughter of Gopinath Haridass and Preethi Gopinath, graduated summa cum laude from Thomas Worthington High School. Neelima will be attending The Ohio State University in the fall as a Business major and will be part of the Politics, Law and Society Scholars program. Neelima is a recipient of the Women’s Business Scholarship from the Women’s Business Network of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. She was a part of Orchestra, National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society and Chemistry Club. She also volunteered at Riverside Hospital. She looks forward to continuing her education in the next stage of her life.

Adarsh (“Adu”) Vengal, younger son of Jacob Vengal (COMA Trustee) and Meenu Vengal graduated with a BS in Math (major) and Physics (minor) in the honors program at OSU. He will be joining the PhD program in Math at the University of California, San Diego this September. While at OSU Adu did research in Physics and Math. His Physics and Math research have been published. Jacob who’s dream in life was to become a Physics professor in SB College Changanacherry, couldn’t understand a single sentence from his physics research and said that to Adu. His response was “Appa, it is not meant for beginners”. Needless to say, Jacob didn’t make any more comments!!! Adu received first price for his Math research in a national conference. He has been a teaching assistant from his 5th semester. Adu’s passion for Math was clear from the elementary school.

Diviya Jacob, daughter of Naduparambil and Rajani Jacob.  She recently graduated from The Ohio State University with Bachelors degree in Neuroscience.  The past four years have been an educational experience for her in more than one aspect.  Looking back, she is very grateful for the opportunities that came my way and the support she had throughout this chapter of my life.  She is looking forward to making the most of what comes next!

Rachel Varughese, daughter of Thomas Pullumpallil and Preetha Varughese. She has graduated summa cum laude from Hilliard Davidson High School with an honors diploma. She will be attending The Ohio State University in the honors program, majoring in Chemical Engineering. During high school, she was President of the Environmental Club, where she helped to establish a district-wide recycling program. She has also been a two-year National Honors Society Inductee, served as the Executive Community Service Liaison for Student Council, volunteered as an appointed board member of Key Club, and played in the Chamber A orchestra. She would like to congratulate all 2020 graduates as we embark on the next stage of our lives together.

Niranjan, son of Valsan and Vijaya, is graduating from Olentangy High School.  He will be attending Ohio State University and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. Niranjan is a member of the National Honor Society and part of JV Tennis team

Arvind Kumar, son of Ajoy and Beena, and has graduated from Dublin Coffman High School as a valedictorian with summa cum laude, Honor’s Diploma, National Merit Commended Scholar, Presidents Award, and National AP Scholar. He will be attending The Ohio State University in the fall majoring in Computer Science and Engineering.

Nitin Gopinath, son of Preethi Gopinath & Gopinath Haridass, graduated from The Ohio State University with the Bachelors degree in Material Science & Engineering. He’s currently working in IT on campus but plans to pursue full time work in the future

Nithya Warrier graduated from Dublin Jerome High school and will be going to University  of  Cincinnati for medical sciences. She ran cross country and track for all four years, and also was the becoming president of the Mock Trial.

Achievements:
National Merit Commended Scholar,
AP Scholar with Distinction,
Presidents Education Award,
Valedictorian,
Diploma with Honors

Meals on wheels volunteers

June 14: Arun Kumar, Priya Arun, Aishwarya Arun and Adithya Arun

June 28 : Nish Nishant, Pradeesh Pudhiyattil and Anoop Nair

Please submit the form below, if interested.

https://forms.gle/2giY8CjnvsJjeAA46

March Newsletter

Spring is here. But this spring is like no other we have seen. Ohio has put a “stay at home” order in place. We are at a critical moment in this fight against COVID-19. We will win this fight, but we will end sooner and with far fewer people sick if we strictly follow the guidelines being requested by medical professionals and leaders. Most of us are stuck woking from home, helping children with their online learning and doing our best to keep calm. Getting outdoors can be relaxing during these stressful times. Here are some outdoor activities you can take up now:

  • Start growing your own food. Right now is the perfect time to sow seeds of crops that can tolerate spring frosts.
  • Start cleaning out your shrub and flower beds. Ideally, you should wait to cut back perennials and rake leaves out of garden beds until the daytime temperatures are regularly in the 50s since many pollinators and other beneficial insects are still hibernating for the winter. 
  • Prepare your containers for planting. Bring all your pots out of storage and scrub them with a 10% bleach solution, inside and out, to get rid of any lingering fungal diseases from last season. 
  • Prune your woody perennials. Plants like butterfly bushes, caryopteris and Russian sage are known as woody perennials.
  • Prune your roses. If you’re a rose grower, head out to the garden and trim off any winter-killed stems, crossing branches and overgrown canes.
  • Edge garden beds. With all this time on our hands, make the most of it by putting a crisp, clean edge on all your garden beds. 
  • Pressure wash patios, decks and porches. Early spring is also a great time to get out the pressure washer and brighten things up.

Reflections or Ramblings (# 6): ചിന്താശകലങ്ങള്‍

-Hari Narayanaswamy

മതവും മദവും

മനുഷ്യന് മനുഷ്യനെക്കൊല്ലാന്‍
‍മദമൊരു കാരണം
മതവും ഒരു കാരണം
മദംകൊണ്ടു മതിമറന്നവനേതു മതം?

വിശ്വാസവും ജ്ഞാനവും

വിശ്വാസിക്കവിശ്വാസി ദു:ഖം
അവിശ്വാസിക്കു വിശ്വാസി ദു:ഖം
അജ്ഞാനിയ്ക്ക്‌ ജ്ഞാനി മോക്ഷം
ജ്ഞാനിയ്ക്കജ്ഞാനിയും ദൈവം

ഈശ്വരന്‍

ഈശ്വരനു പേരിട്ടിട്ടാ-
പേരിൻ പേരില്‍
പോരു നടത്തീട്ടാ
പോരിന്‍ പേരില്‍
‍അധര്‍മം വാഴിച്ചീടിനവരില്‍
ആര്‍ക്കു സ്വര്‍ഗ്ഗം മാളോരേ?

ഭാഷകള്‍

ലോകകാര്യം പറവതിനെ-
നിക്കെത്രയോ ഭാഷകള്‍
‍എന്നെകുറിച്ചെന്നോടോതാന്‍
മൌനമെന്നൊരു ഭാഷമാത്രം

ലക്ഷ്യം

അര്‍ത്ഥം കളഞ്ഞിട്ടര്‍ത്ഥം തേടണം
അര്‍ത്ഥത്തിന്നപ്പുറമുള്ളത്‌ നേടണം

മാര്‍ഗ്ഗം

പാതയില്ലാത്തിടത്ത്‌*
യാത്രയുമില്ല,
വഴികാട്ടിയുമില്ല

(*Truth is a pathless land – J.Krishnmurthy)

ഞാന്‍

എന്റെയുള്ളില്‍ ഒരു നൂറു ‘ഞാന്‍’ ഉണ്ട്‌
പിന്നെ, ഞാനറിയാത്ത ഒരു ഞാനും

Coconut oil is not poison

-Sreejith Menon

The famous “saturated fats are bad for you” myth has been around for quite a few decades now. How did this myth come to be? 

The first correlation was observed before World War I,  merely through studying hospitalisation patterns. However, it became more prominent when a team led by Ancel Keys conducted the famous seven countries study

Come 20th century, ‘how saturated fats are full of cholesterol and vegetable oils are not’ lobbying started. This single research changed the way people died in the 20th century. This single research killed millions and is still killing millions. The vegetable oil companies cared less, because the research was in perfect alignment with what they were selling.

Coming back to vegetable oils, most of them were sold to us saying they’re low in cholesterol, the fact is they do not have cholesterol. These so called “no cholesterol” oils, can cause inflammation which is the root cause of many illnesses in humans. Ayurveda confirms this. Our bodies were never meant to process PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) or MUFAs(Mono-unsaturated fatty acids) or trans fats. 

So what do we do? What’s next? 

Discontinue the use of vegetable oils and switch back to nammude swantham coconut oil, Butter and Ghee.

Coconut oil is one of the best and safest oils for consumption and requires minimal processing. While there are no magical benefits of having coconut oil if your overall nutrition and lifestyle is bad, it’s still better than having refined oils. 

Fun Fact: Number of people having heart issues in South India where people eat coconut oil are far far far less compared to people in North India. In India, a person dies of heart attack every 4 minutes. Heart attacks lead the chart for reason of death. It’s a big scam, a money making industry, that’s what it is. Jago grahak, Jago! 

P.S – I am not a Dr, but here are some research articles you can read for your awareness. 

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5437600/pdf/12937_2017_Article_254.pdf)

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836695/)

(http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/1846638/association-dietary-circulating-supplement-fatty-acids-coronary-risk-systematic-review)

(https://www.wiseguyreports.com/reports/3218385-global-coconut-oil-market-2018-by-manufacturers-regions)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil


Recipe Corner

Okra curry (Kerala style with kudampuli) 

-Deepa Vinay

Ingredients

Small Okra- 15 nos.  

Small onion (Shallot) – 4 nos. 

Ginger – 1 small piece

Green chilli – 2 nos.

Curry leaves – few 

Kudampuli (pot tamarind) – 2 pieces or ½ piece tomato

Turmeric- 1/4 tsp 

Chilli powder- 1 tsp

Cashmere chilli powder – 1 tsp (optional-it will give nice color) 

Fenugreek powder- pinch (optional)

Coconut milk – 1 cup   

Oil – 4 tsp (use coconut oil as it will give authentic Kerala curry taste)

Salt as needed     

Method  

  • Wash small tender okras and dry with a paper towel.  Remove the head and base of okra and, cut it into two pieces.  
  • Crush 2 small onions and ginger and, keep it aside.
  • Heat 3 tsp oil in a pan and shallow fry cut okras.  
  • Add crushed onion and ginger to fried okra and sauté for ½ minute or until the raw aroma of ginger disappears
  • Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and curry leaves.  Mix well and let it cook till the raw smell is gone
  • Add one cup of water and kudampuli in it.  Let it cook until gravy thickens
  • Now add coconut milk & sliced green chilli to the gravy. Simmer the flame and stir occasionally.   
  • When gravy thickens into semi medium consistency, add pinch of fenugreek powder on the top
  • Prepare the tempering by heating 1 tsp oil, two sliced small onions and few curry leaves.  
  • Pour the tempering over the curry, close the pan, switch of the flame, and let it stay for 5 minutes.
  • Curry is now ready to be served with rice or chapattis

Mango curry

-Rosmi Arun

ചേരുവകൾ – 1 

1 . പച്ചമാങ്ങ (ചെറുതായി അരിഞ്ഞത്) – 1 എണ്ണം  
2 . ഇടത്തരം സവാള  (നീളത്തിൽ അരിഞ്ഞത്) – 1 എണ്ണം 
3 . ഇഞ്ചി (നീളത്തിൽ അരിഞ്ഞത്) – 1 ടേബിൾ സ്പൂൺ 
4 . പച്ചമുളക് (നീളത്തിൽ അരിഞ്ഞത്) – 2 എണ്ണം 
5 . കറി വേപ്പ് ഇല – 1 ഇതൾ 
6 . ഉപ്പ് – ആവശ്യത്തിന് 
7 . മഞ്ഞൾ പൊടി – 1/2 ടേബിൾ സ്പൂൺ 
8 . മുളക് പൊടി – 3/4 ടേബിൾ സ്പൂൺ 
9 . മല്ലി പൊടി – 2 1/2  ടേബിൾ സ്പൂൺ 
10 . വെള്ളം – 2 കപ്പ് 
11 . തേങ്ങാപാൽ – 1 ടിൻ (Chaokoh Coconut milk tin)

ചേരുവകൾ – 2 

1 . വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ – 2 ടേബിൾ സ്പൂൺ 
2 . കടുക് – 1 ടീസ്പൂൺ 
3 . ഉലുവ – 1 ടീസ്പൂൺ
4 . വറ്റൽ മുളക് – 3 എണ്ണം 
5 . കറി വേപ്പ് ഇല – 1 ഇതൾ 

പാചകം ചെയ്യേണ്ട വിധം 

1 . ഒരു ഇടത്തരം ചീനച്ചട്ടി എടുത്തു ചേരുവകൾ 1 -ൽ പറഞ്ഞിരിക്കുന്ന 1 മുതൽ 9 വരെ ഉള്ള ചേരുവകൾ ഓരോന്നായി ചേർക്കുക. നല്ല പോലെ കൈ കൊണ്ട് കൂട്ടി തിരുമ്മി 10 മിനിറ്റ് മാറ്റി വയ്ക്കുക.

2 . രണ്ട്  കപ്പ് വെള്ളം അതിലേക്ക് ഒഴിക്കുക. നല്ല പോലെ ഒരു തവി എടുത്ത് ഇളക്കുക. (നാട്ടിൽ ആണെങ്കിൽ ഒരു തേങ്ങ പിഴിഞ്ഞ് അതിൻ്റെ മൂന്നാം പാലും രണ്ടാം പാലും ചേർക്കും വെള്ളത്തിന് പകരം) 

3 . ഒരു മീഡിയം തീയിൽ 10 മിനിറ്റ് ഇതിനെ വേവിക്കാൻ വയ്ക്കുക. ചീനച്ചട്ടി മൂടി വയ്ക്കുക. ഇടക്ക് തുറന്ന് ഇളക്കി കൊടുക്കുക. 

4 . മാങ്ങ വെന്തു കഴിയുമ്പോൾ അതിലേക്ക് ഒരു ടിൻ തേങ്ങാപാൽ ഒഴിച്ച് നല്ല പോലെ ഇളക്കി ചേർക്കുക. തീ കുറച്ചു കൂട്ടി വയ്ക്കാം (നാട്ടിൽ ആണെങ്കിൽ ഒന്നാം പാൽ ഒഴിക്കുക)

5 . നല്ല പോലെ തിളച്ചു കഴിയുമ്പോൾ തീ നിറുത്തി ചീനച്ചട്ടി മാറ്റി വയ്ക്കുക.

6 . താളിച്ചെടുക്കാനായി ഒരു ചെറിയ പാൻ എടുത്തു മീഡിയം തീയിൽ വയ്ക്കുക. ചേരുവ  2 – ൽ പറഞ്ഞിരിക്കുന്ന 2 ടേബിൾ സ്‌പൂൺ വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ എടുത്ത് ചൂടാക്കുക. ചൂടായി കഴിയുമ്പോൾ അതിലേക്ക് ഉലുവ, കടുക്, വറ്റൽ മുളക് (കടുക് പൊട്ടിയതിന് ശേഷം), കറി വേപ്പ് ഇല എന്നിവ ഇട്ട് കൊടുക്കുക. തീ നിറുത്തി, മാറ്റി വച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന മാങ്ങാക്കറിയിലേക്ക് ഒഴിച്ച് ഒരു മൂടിക വച്ച് അടച്ചു വയ്ക്കുക.

7 . മാങ്ങാക്കറി തയ്യാർ. ഇത് നല്ല കുത്തരി ചോറിനോടപ്പം കുറച്ചു തോരനും കുറച്ചു ബീഫ് ഉലർത്തിയതും കൂട്ടി അടിച്ചാൽ – കുശാൽ 🙂


Youth Corner

Global Warming – A colossal conundrum

-Gaurinanda Sudheesh

Climate change is a gargantuan predicament that concerns the whole world. It is also called global warming because of how it heats up the Earth. It is mainly caused by greenhouses gases being released into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat. Which results in the planet warming up. Some of the greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Many different people help solve climate change, including Greta Thunberg, other teen activists, and even you.

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday, September 23, 2019, there were a lot of speeches made by world leaders but there was one that stood out. It was a speech made by Greta Thunberg a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden. She tries to reduce climate change in many different ways. In the Newsela article Greta Thunberg “a bit surprised” to be Time Person of the Year Greta Thunberg states, “Every fraction of adegree matters.” This shows that Greta Thunberg believes that even if the climate goes up by a fraction of a degree, it will add up and affect us in the end. It is inspiring how Greta Thunberg motivates lots of people, both older and younger than her.

She gives speeches to world leaders in order to convince them to make their country eco-friendly. For a 16-year- old person to talk to world leaders much, much older than her, she must have a lot of bravery and courage. Most people probably wouldn’t be able to do that when they are 16.When she travels around the world to attend marches and give speeches, she goes by boat instead of a plane in order to reduce her carbon footprint on the world. She convinces others to think of global warming as their top concern. She even convinced her own mother, who was an actress, to go by boat or train to her performances, instead of flying in a plane. She attends many marches around the world that sheds light on global warming. She also convinced other people in Europe to ride on trains instead of planes. It was so powerful, that the movement is called the Greta Effect. These are some ways Greta Thunberg helps reduce climate change, but there are many more teen climate activists.

Greta Thunberg is a really inspiring climate activist, but there are many more young people who raise awareness of climate and reduce global warming. One is Isra Hirsi, 16, who is an American climate activist who co-founded and is the co-executive director of U.S. Youth Climate Strike. Founding a company at 16 is a great accomplishment. Another young person is Autumn Peltier who is an activist who believes in clean water, she is called “water warrior”. Another teen climate activist is Bruno Rodriguez who is 19, leader of the Fridays For Future Movement in Argentina. He was also invited to a climate summit at the United Nations. Helena Gualinga another youth climate activist. She also speaks in communities in the rain forest to raise climate change awareness. Emma Lim, an 18-year-old Canadian activist, is also raising awareness on climate change. She founded the#NoFutureNoChildren program. Now that we’ve looked at what activists do to solve climate change, let’s see what we can do.

Now you may be thinking about how you can help stop climate change or at least how you can reduce climate change. One way is by reducing how much carbon you let into the atmosphere. Now you may say, I don’t let carbon into the atmosphere, factories do that. Well, you do. Things you use every day let out carbon, automobiles, home heating, cooling systems, and electricity are only four of the many. It is truly shocking once we realize how much carbon we individually let into the atmosphere. The third thing you can do is recycle and reduce your plastic. You are probably tired of hearing this again and again, but plastic takes a long time to decompose, and it makes most of the items we use. So if we reduce the plastic we throw away into landfills, it saves the planet. We can also help by composting food waste. It gets rid of the food waste that gets into landfills, and it makes fertile soil for crops. Using renewable and eco-friendly energy resources, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy helps the environment. Although these approaches may seem like they could never help solve this immense quandary, it actually does help reduce climate change.

As you can see many different people help solve climate change, Greta Thunberg and other teen activists help worldwide. But even you can do things that solve this colossal conundrum. There is no age limit to saving the planet, you can be old or young. In fact, most of the climate activists around the world are children or teenagers. Climate change could be reduced if everyone pitched in. Are you going to do something to save the planet today? From our community, we need more activists like Greta. This is the time to step up and save Mother Earth.


We would love for our youth members to collaborate and contribute. Please reach out to us if you would like to share any articles, join hands to support COMA’s Youth wing’s goal-Fund raising event or help educate to reduce the use of single use plastic.

This may be coming a little late, but better late than never ,isn’t it. With lot going on the current situation, excuse us for being late to put out this word.
We would like to thank one and everyone co-operated to make the COMAngam event a success. We saw all the great talents on the stage. What an evening it was. We would like to appreciate all the effort behind the curtains, that went into the making of this event. All of them played an important role in the success and organizing.
Smitha Sunil, Anju Anil Kumar, Aishwarya Arun managed the front desk. With all the time constraints we had, they did a wonderful job to make sure registration was completed by the planned time.
Janaki Nair, Arun Chand, & Manjula Nair planned, scripted and executed the compering, they spent an enormous amount of homework planning and scripting every inch of the presentation. Though we had to cut down a significant portion of it due to the time constraint, we owe our apology for that.
The duo, Dennis Thomas & Vinay Kumar handled the entire audio. Thank you very much for your effort & contributions. They were kind to accommodate both the team’s needs and demands. I am sure only they would know the limitation they had with the limited technology & equipment that we had for the night.
Biji Prakash,Saranya Anoop organized the awesome stage decoration.
We had Harı Naraynaswami, Veda Warrier, Rekha Nair, Veena Binoop on the Judge panel. We know how difficult a task was it to judge such excellent performances. We couldn’t have asked for better.
Most of the food committee members couldn’t enjoy the best of the performances that COMA ever saw, but they graciously worked to make sure we enjoyed the dinner too. Food was handled by the following
Praveen Kumar, Adit Anup, Anup Janardhanan, Ajoy Kumar, Ajayan Janardhanan, Sunil Warrier, Chris, Freneymon John, Kannan Radhakrishna Pillai, Thomas Oommen, Manoj Thomas, Gopinath Haridass, Jayakumar Madathil. We owe you one big THANK YOU for all your selfless effort.

Here is the photo link to the event COMANGAM – https://www.photosaga.photography/COMANGAM/

Password – 2020

February Newsletter

February – the shortest month of the year. Yet, this February comes with a bonus day – the Leap day also known as the Magical day. The science behind Leap day is to help keep us in sync with the seasons. There are a handful of leap day traditions around the world, such as La Bougie du Sapeur, a newspaper which only gets published every four years in France, street parades in Anthony, Texas, the self-described “leap year capital of the world,” or avoiding marriage in Greece, as it’s considered unlucky to tie the knot in a leap year. Whether you decide to adopt a leap day tradition or want to create one of your own, it is a special day worth celebrating.

So, are you ready to create a brand new Leap day tradition? Head to the Dublin Community Recreation Center on 29th and be part of the first event of the year – COMAngam! Event registration will be open between 5:00 PM and 6:00PM at the Venue.

COMA Youth Wing

Meet the newly elected President and Vice President of COMA Youth Wing!

Hello all, my name is Adit Anup. I am currently a junior at The Olentangy Orange High School. As the 2020 youth wing president, my responsibility is to engage all of the youth wing members in all of the COMA activities. This year, one of our goals for the youth wing is to organize a separate fundraising event with COMA for a good cause. We also would like to find ways to reduce COMA’s environmental footprint. I am excited to make the youth impact larger, and to start the decade strong.

Hi everybody! My name is Shraddha Krishnan and I am a freshman at Dublin coffman high school. I am very excited to be the Vice President of COMA Youth Wing! By working alongside with Adit, we will make sure that the goals of the Youth Wing this year are met with exceptional standards, and we will truly try our best to make it our best year! We have many amazing events planned, and we are glad to take you all on our journey!

Reflections or Ramblings (#5): Home – A nostalgic memory

-Hari Narayanaswamy

Please bear with me as I try to rediscover my old skills with Malayalam poetry. Here is one, penned fresh, reminiscent of the home we have left behind. Hope this poem’s ideas resonate with you, especially if you have a made a recent trip back home.

ഓർമ്മകളിൽ ഒരു നാട്

ഓർമ്മകളിലുറങ്ങിക്കിടക്കുമെൻ നാട്
പൊന്നോളങ്ങളിൽ ചാഞ്ചാടും കുട്ടനാട്
നറുവെയിൽ പുഞ്ചിരി തൂകും വഞ്ചിനാട്
കോടമഞ്ഞിൽ ‌മുഖമൊതുക്കും കുറുമ്പനാട്


കോരിച്ചൊരിയുന്ന വർഷ ഹർഷം
കത്തിയെരിയുന്ന ഗ്രീഷ്മ കോപം
സ്നേഹമോടെ പുണരുന്ന മഞ്ഞുകാലം
ഉള്ളിൽ തുടിയുയർത്തും വസന്തകാലം


ഇളംകാറ്റിലുലഞ്ഞാടും നെൽകതിർകൾ
പരല്മീൻ തെന്നും വയൽനീർചാലുകൾ
കളകളം കുതിച്ചെത്തും കാട്ടുപൂഞ്ചോലകൾ
സാനന്ദമൊഴുകും നറു പീയുഷവാഹികൾ


ഉറഞ്ഞുതുള്ളും തെയ്യവും തിറയും
ദേവിവാക്കോതുന്ന വെളിച്ചപ്പാടും
ഒറ്റക്കമ്പിയിലുയരും നാവോറു പാട്ടും
തുടികൊട്ടിപ്പാട്ടും പാണന്റെ പാട്ടും


എവിടേക്കു പോയ് മറഞ്ഞു നീ നാടേ
കാലം തീർത്തൊരിരുമ്പറയ്ക്കുള്ളിലോ?
ഏതു മന്ത്രത്താൽ നിന്നെ ഞാൻ ആവഹിയ്ക്കും
ഏതു ജാലത്താൽ നിന്നെ വീണ്ടെടുടുക്കും?

A singular solicitor at Target

– Nish Nishant

Nishant

Smitha and I were shopping at Target this past weekend, and as is the norm these days I was pushing little Rohan around in his stroller while Smitha went through the aisles picking, unpicking and then re-picking various items that seized her interest. I was mostly bored and lost in my thoughts when I was brusquely interrupted by an unwarrantedly loud “Are you from India?” from a formally dressed middle-aged Indian gentleman. I nodded my head in affirmation as curiously enough I did happen to be from India, though for the life of me I cannot figure out what gave that away!

The next few minutes he proceeded to converse with me about how lots of Indians were in the US these days on H1 Visas, how a lot of them went on to get Green Cards, how he recently moved to Atlanta from Arkansas, how he’d be delighted to introduce his wife to me (apparently she was elsewhere in the store at that time) and a few other topics that I don’t remember right now. All I remember thinking was how to get out of this conversation, especially since I had a sneaking suspicion that this guy was trying to sell some Amway like pyramid scheme on me. Fortunately Smitha called for me at that moment and I used this opportunity to say goodbye to him, but before I could do so he handed me his business card and asked me for mine. I did not have one with me and when I said that to him, he quickly produced a piece of paper and a pen out of nowhere – honestly, I didn’t see where he took it out from, he was like a conjurer – conjuring pen and paper out of thin air. With heavy misgivings I wrote my first name and phone number on his magically produced piece of paper and gave it to him and we parted.

Needless to say, Smitha gave me a quick firing-down for giving my number to a stranger, but fortunately enough she was soon distracted by a shelf containing the oddest looking ladies’ purses I have seen in a while. Normally this would have worried me since I definitely didn’t want her carrying around one of those revoltingly unattractive purses, but at that point I was just relieved to get out of her firing line. Just then I noticed a middle aged Indian woman conversing with a young, pretty and trendily dressed Indian girl (looked like she was in her early 20s). Now I don’t want to come across as someone who eavesdrops when 2 strange women are conversing in front of me, but I couldn’t help catch a few odd words here and there. It didn’t take me too long to realize that this woman was basically dishing out the same stuff to this girl that the strange guy had earlier dished out to me, and in a minute or so I saw the hapless girl hand over her phone numbers to this lady (I distinctly remember her explicitly specifying her land, work and cell numbers). I was certain that this middle aged lady was the earlier gentleman’s spouse and at that point it became increasingly evident that they were soliciting phone numbers from Indian looking folks.

My suspicions were confirmed a little later when we left Target with Smitha’s shopping picks for the day. The middle aged couple were walking together towards the parking lot, and most markedly they did not have a single item with them (forget a bag). They had basically spent close to an hour inside Target seeking out potential Indian victims (who they hoped would be new enough to the country) and collecting their information. I fully expect to receive a phone call this week inviting me to a gathering of some sort where this gathering would most definitely be a sales talk for some crappy pyramid scheme. Obviously I would get out of it with a clever excuse but I really do feel sorry for the pretty young girl who did seem naïve enough to fall into this trap. Oh well, I suppose she will eventually learn that strange Indian looking people approaching you in the middle of a store and asking you if you are from India are to be treated with the deepest mistrust and skepticism possible. Oh, and we are going to Target this evening – Smitha wants to return a hand bag that she took half an hour to select, apparently she did not like it when she looked at it this morning and so wants a new one. Sigh!

Article originally written 12 years ago.

പാരിജാത സുഗന്ധമുള്ള ഓർമകൾ

-Aravind Venugopalan

Arvind

Today is the last day of our home..

ഇന്ന് നമ്മുടെ മുതിയാറ വീടിന്റെ അവസാന ദിവസം.

ഞാൻ ജനിച്ചതും വളർന്നതും ഈ വീട്ടിലാണ്. എന്നെ ഞാനാക്കി മാറ്റിയ ഒരുപാട് ഘടകങ്ങളിൽ  സുപ്രധാനമായ ഒന്നാണ് ഈ കൊച്ചു വലിയ വീട്. നമ്മുടെ ചിന്താധാരയെയും സർഗവാസനയെയും  നാം വളർന്നു വരുന്ന വീടും ,അന്തരീക്ഷവും പ്രകൃതിയും ഒരുപാട് സ്വാധിനിക്കുന്ന ഘടകങ്ങൾ ആണ്. ആഴത്തിൽ വേരിറങ്ങിയ എണ്ണിയാലും തീരാത്ത ഓർമ്മകൾ ഉറങ്ങുന്ന ചുമരുകൾ ഇന്ന് കഴിയുമ്പോൾ ഇനിയില്ല . കാലപ്പഴക്കം കാരണം ചാഞ്ഞു തുടങ്ങിയ നമ്മുടെ വീട് നീ US ൽ നിന്നു വരുമ്പോൾ മിക്കവാറും ഉണ്ടാകില്ല കേട്ടോ നന്ദു എന്ന് അമ്മയും അച്ഛനും പറഞ്ഞതുകൊണ്ടു തന്നെ ഭൂമിയുടെ മറുവശത്തേക്ക് യാത്ര പോകുന്നതിന്റെ തലേന്ന് ഈ വീട്ടുമുറ്റത്തും തെക്കതിലും കുറച്ചധികം സമയം ചെലവഴിച്ച് ഊർജമുൾക്കൊണ്ടിരുന്നു.

അച്ഛന്റെയും അമ്മയുടേയും താരാട്ട് , അനുജൻ , എന്റെ ബന്ധുക്കൾ , ഗുരുക്കൻമാർ , എന്റെ ഗ്രാമത്തിലെ നാട്ടുകാർ , ഒരുപാട് വിശിഷ്ട വ്യക്തികൾ തുടങ്ങി എല്ലാം തന്നെ കയ്യിൽ ലഭിച്ചത് ഈ വീടിന് ഉള്ളിലാണ്.

വീടിന് തൊട്ടടുത്ത് തെക്കതും വലിയൊരു പാരിജാത മരവും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. പുസ്തകങ്ങളോട് അടങ്ങാത്ത ഇഷ്ടമുണ്ടായിരുന്ന ഞാൻ ഒട്ടുമിക്കതും വായിച്ചു തീർക്കുന്നത് ആ പാരിജാതക്കൊമ്പിൽ ഇരുന്നിട്ട് ആയിരുന്നു. കൗമാരത്തിൽ വായിച്ചു തീർത്ത ചില പ്രണയ കഥകൾക്ക് ആ പാരിജാത പ്പൂവിന്റെ സുഗന്ധവും , വിവേകാനന്ദ ഗ്രന്ഥങ്ങൾക്ക് തെക്കതിലെ വിളക്കിന്റെ  നല്ലെണ്ണയുടെ ഗന്ധവും , രഹസ്യമായി സൂക്ഷിച്ച് വായിച്ചിരുന്ന മാജിക്ക് ബുക്കുകൾക്ക്  വീടിന്റെ മച്ചിന്റെ മാറാലയുടെ മണവും ആയിരുന്നു. എന്റെ ഉള്ളിലെ ഒരു മാജിക്കാരൻ രൂപപ്പെട്ടത് ഉറപ്പായും ഈ വീടിന്റെ അന്തരീക്ഷം കാരണം തന്നെയാണ്. യുക്തിവാദികൾക്ക് ചിരിക്കാൻ ഉള്ള വകയാണെങ്കിലും , എന്റെ ഉള്ളിൽ ഒരു മാജിക്ക്കാരനും ചിത്രകാരനും വേണ്ടുന്ന വികലമായ ഭാവനയും, നിഗൂഢതയോടുള്ള സ്റ്റേഹവും, നിദാന്ത നിശാന്ധതയും  എല്ലാം തന്നു പാകമാക്കിയതിൽ ഈ വീടും , വീടിനുള്ളിലെ വായുവും എന്തിന് മച്ചിലെ വലയിൽ തൂങ്ങിയാടുന്ന കുഞ്ഞു ചിലന്തിയും വരെ പങ്കു വഹിക്കുന്നു എന്നുള്ളത് ഒരു സത്യം മാത്രമാണ്.  

🙏

നമ്മുടെ പ്രദേശത്തെ എന്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട വിദ്യാലയമായ കൃഷ്ണപുരം KPMHS  ൽ നിന്നും പഠിച്ച് ഇറങ്ങുമ്പോൾ SSLC ക്ക് ഏറ്റവും കൂടുതൽ മാർക്ക് വാങ്ങിയതിനുള്ള പുരസ്കാരം കിട്ടിയപ്പോഴും , അതുപോലെ തന്നെ എൻട്രൻസ് പരീക്ഷയ്ക്ക് ലഭിച്ച റാങ്കിൽ മെറിറ്റിൽ അഡ്മിഷൻ ലഭിച്ചപ്പോഴും ഏകനായി വന്നു കുറച്ച് സമയം കണ്ണ് അടച്ച്  ആ വീട്ടിലോട്ട് വേരിറക്കിയ പാരിജാത മരത്തിന്റെ ചില്ലയിൽ ചാഞ്ഞ് സമയം ചിലവഴിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.

പിന്നീട് പുതിയ വീട് വച്ചു. താമസം പുതിയ വീട്ടിലോട്ടായി. എൻജിനീയറിംഗ് വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ കാലം. പക്ഷേ ഒരിക്കലും പഴയതുപോലെ ഞാൻ മിടുക്ക് കാണിച്ചില്ല. പഠനവുമില്ല , പാരിജാതവും ഇല്ല.

ഇന്ന് വളർന്ന് വലുതായ നമ്മുടെ നാട്ടിലെ എല്ലാ കുട്ടികളും 18 വർഷം മുന്നേ ജാതി മത രാഷ്ട്രീയ ഭേദമന്യേ  കളിച്ചും, കഴിച്ചും , ആടിയും , പാടിയും പഠിച്ചും ഒത്തു കൂടിയിരുന്നത് ഈ വീട്ടിൽ വച്ചു നടക്കുന്ന ബാലഗോകുലങ്ങളിൽ ആയിരുന്നു.. അവർ എത്ര വലുതായാലും ഏതു നിലയിൽ എവിടെ ആണെങ്കിലും ഈ വീടിനെയും നമ്മുടെ സ്നേഹത്തേയും ഓർക്കും. 

😍

ഒന്നു കൂടി ചേർക്കുന്നു : ഞങ്ങൾ മാറിയതിനു ശേഷം ആ വീടിനെ പരിപാവനമായി സൂക്ഷിച്ച ശ്രീകണ്ട സ്വാമികളേയും കുടുംബത്തെയും നന്ദിയോടെ ഓർക്കുന്നു.

ഇപ്പോൾ ഇത് എഴുതുമ്പോൾ അവസാനത്തെ പച്ച മൺ ഇഷ്ടികയും താഴെ വീണിട്ടുണ്ടാകും. പക്ഷേ നാട്ടിൽ വന്ന് ആ സ്ഥലത്ത് ഇനി നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ കണ്ണുകൾക്ക് കാണാൻ കഴിയാത്ത ചുമരുകൾ അപ്പോഴും അവിടെ ഉണ്ടാകും. അത് വെറും മൺകട്ടയും ഇഷ്ടികയും ചേറും അല്ലായിരുന്നു എന്ന ബോധ്യവും …



Kids Corner

A Jellyfish Tale (Inspired from – The Little Mermaid)

– Gowri Nair

Meals on Wheels Volunteers

February 9, 2020 : Manoj Thomas, Julie Joseph, Melissa Thomas, Alison Thomas
Completed Rt 1600

January 26, 2020 : Thoma Pullumpallil, Ruben Varughese, Shome Thomas, Rianna Thomas
Completed Rt 1801

January 12, 2020 : Nish Nishant, Pradeesh, Anoop Nair
Completed Rt 1600






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