Welcome to the first edition of the 2016 newsletter. That warm fuzzy holiday feeling still permeates the air. Can you believe it’s 2016 already? New Year, new resolutions, and a time for new beginnings! My New Year resolution, besides getting fit (ha-ha!), is to push the envelope and step out of my comfort zone. I am therefore excited to take on the mantle of Newsletter Editor from Smitha Nishant. Smitha has done a splendid job and laid a wonderful platform to build on in 2016! This is also a time to bid adieu to last year’s awesome COMA Team and welcome this year’s new Executive Committee.
In the words of Ajoy Kumar, EC 2016 President, “Our vision for this year is ‘myCOMA’. We aspire to make COMA relevant and interesting for multi-generations; and enable the patrons to have ownership and patronage of your COMA activities in the community.”
The newsletter this year will feature sections such as;
YATRA: we would love to hear about your travels and adventures to new & exotic destinations, but equally nostalgic trips back to Gods own country
PACHAKAM: we invite your favorite recipes with a picture of your drool worthy creations
YOUTH ZONE: an opportunity for your children to express themselves and see their work published. Kids of all ages are actively welcomed to contribute; whether it be a picture, a poem, a narrative, we want to hear from COMA kids!
FASHION: Ladies (and gentlemen)!!! We’d love to see pictures of you flaunt your personal style and keep us ‘pardesis‘ current with ‘desi‘ fashion trends.
SPOTLIGHT: if you are a new family in town, you’ve hit an important milestone (significant birthday/ wedding anniversary/academic accomplishment), welcomed a new addition to your family, won awards/felicitation or simply want to showcase a hobby or talent (like photography, art) then here’s your opportunity to tell us about it!
This year we have an end of year Award Ceremony planned in December with a Readers Choice Award and Kids Award for the most popular contributions. In addition to this, we are excited to announce a 2016 COMA Yearbook in which we want to feature significant contributions of COMA patrons of all age groups. So get your creative juices going and start sending your submissions in early!
Hope you are as excited as we are to start this year with a BANG! I hope to see more new faces, fresh ideas and connect with you through your participation. No contribution is too big or small. I look forward to your input on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is your first look at the 2016 COMA Executive Committee.
AJOY KUMAR- PRESIDENT
Hello, I’m Ajoy. I moved to central Ohio in 1995 after my sojourn in Trivandrum and Oklahoma. I currently work at Infosys as a Senior Manager and my wife Beena Kumar works for the State of Ohio – Department of Insurance. I have 2 sons; older son Arjun is a freshman at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and younger son Arvind is in 8th grade at Sells Middle School in Dublin, Ohio.
I spend majority of my free time chaperoning my kids to extra-curricular activities. I also coach my son’s robotics team. I am Oklahoma SOONERS fan and would love to see my team win the College Football National championship.
When Beena landed in Columbus as a newlywed, one of the early settlers in Columbus, Late Rajan uncle and Girija aunty, were kind enough to host us and introduce us to other Malayalee families even before COMA was established as an organization.
Many more new Malayalee families are relocating to central Ohio today. My EC team and I aspire for COMA to provide the same warmth and welcome to new families. We wish to see COMA become an extended family for Malayalees in this area!
ANJANA SURENDRAN NAIR- VICE PRESIDENT
I’m Anjana, born in Perumbavoor and living in Dublin since 2009. My husband Hari and son Rohan complete my family. I’m an IT professional by day and an aspiring chef and artist by night.
Dancing, singing, drawing and cooking are my other passions after family. I have been performing in cultural programs for various community associations for the past few years. This helps me keep active, engaged and make a lot of good friends.
I envision COMA as a platform that helps strengthen ties with our diaspora and also an avenue for our kids to come together and experience the abundance of our culture and tradition. I will be working tirelessly towards furthering this cause and all other good things we plan to achieve this year!
REKHA NAIR – JOINT SECRETARY
Hi, I’m Rekha. Originally from Kozhikode, currently living in Lewis Center. I am mother of two and a Business Analyst by profession. My husband’s name is Binoy Pillai, from Trivandrum, and kids are Ansh (3) and Diya (2). I enjoy reading, love dancing, meeting new people, and of course I love to talk. I am very impulsive, make decisions fast and am always up for adventure.
I am a total foodie!! My favorite dish is Malabar Biryani and chicken ghee roast, a Manglorean delicacy. Unfortunately, my interest does not extend to cooking (LoL)!
I came to Columbus in June 2011 feeling completely lost, but had the good sense to google ‘Malayalee association’ and found COMA. I still remember calling the name listed under the COMA page and reaching out to ‘Mr. Thomas’. I am grateful to all those from COMA who welcomed me with open arms and made my transition to a new country easier. That is the reason why I joined EC 2016 and that is how I see us moving forward. COMA should be something people want to be a part of and look forward to!
SIMPLE SUBIN- GENERAL SECRETARY
Hi friends, I’m Simple and I hail from the queen of Arabian Sea- Kochi. I am married to Subin Thomas and we have two children, Kevin (11) and Trisha (8). We live in Hilliard. I work for Chase and Subin works for Nationwide Insurance and we are both IT professionals. We have lived in Columbus for the last 13 years.
Being a working mom, life is plenty busy. During my free time, I like to try new recipes and play volleyball with friends. Get in touch with me if you are interested in Volleyball.
My aspiration as General Secretary of EC 2016 is to connect with the fellow Malayalees and help bring the rich traditions and customs of Kerala to Columbus, especially to the younger generation.
PRAHLAD TRIVIKRAMAN INDIRA- TREASURER
We moved to Columbus in 2010 from New York City. Did not know about COMA until met with Sethu/Veda Family in 2013, who gladly introduced us to this great community. Started as a volunteer teacher for the COMA Malayalam Class in 2013, and am proud to be a part of it even today. Enjoying every bit of time spent with teaching COMA kids.
I was born in Guruvayoor, raised in Thrissur, then graduated from Pondicherry University (MCA), and have been working for Cognizant Technology Solutions ever since. Currently living in Lewis Center, with my wife Vidya and son Amogh (6). Vidya is a medical/psychiatric social worker, working for Aetna.
Vidya and I love music of all forms, and if you come to our home unannounced, you may catch us singing at the top of our voices! Cooking, traveling & road trips are some of our other passions.
Being with COMA, is like being at home, and that’s why COMA has become an integral part of our family. Looking forward for a great 2016!
ANU KURIAN- NEWSLETTER EDITOR
And finally, my introduction. I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and a banker by profession. Married to Roby who’s a Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We have two kids, Diya (7) and Nikhil (4). Having started life together in England, we relocated to USA 8 years ago and have been in Dublin for 3 years now.
We love watching movies as a family and are total sci-fi junkies! Roby & I love traveling and have done quite a bit (mainly Europe) prior to the kids’ arrival. Now it’s short trips in and around the US.
COMA has been a wonderful way for us ‘newbies’ to connect with fellow Malayalees and expose our kids to the culture and values that we try to inculcate as Malayalees outside India.
Here’s a cool idea to start the year off with. This January, start with an empty jar and fill it with notes about all the good things that happen to you during the course of the year. Then on New Years Eve, empty it to see what awesome stuff happened in 2016!
FUN-TASTIC FAMILY NIGHT
We are planning a fun filled extravaganza for the whole family! Details to follow shortly.
Ajoy and team would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact them.
Ajoy: 614 556 6588
Simple: 614 743 7888