COMA Newsletter March 2018

Hello Members!
Wishing you all a happy Easter and a prosperous Vishu!
This winter has been dragging on for months and surely, we can’t just wait for Spring to come already. With the April showers, fingers crossed Spring is around the corner. Be it winter or summer, COMA has been working tirelessly round the clock to make 2018 a memorable year. So, let’s get into details!

Chitrashalabhangal – Mega Musical Event 2018: May 19th

Preparation for the event is in full swing.  Chitra, Sharrath, Roopa and Nishad will be accompanied by twelve musicians. The songs will include Malayalam (approx 50%), Tamil (approx 40%) and other languages (10%). Tickets for the event is available online now. You will be able to select a specific location in the auditorium and purchase tickets, and make payments via PayPal. We will start publicizing the event to FIA, other Indian Organizations and Malayalee organizations outside of Columbus. Hence, kindly reserve your seats before the sections are sold out.
We will be donating $5000 to the fund supporting families of fallen Westerville Police Officers. With your support, COMA has already donated $1000 right after the incident.
We are publishing a souvenir dedicated to Malayalam Film Music during this event. If you would like to contribute, please contact us.
We are looking for sponsors to support this event. This is a golden opportunity to reach out to 700+ community members. If you own a business or like to sponsor as an individual, please reach out to
More information and online purchase:

Chitra’s Video Message

 COMA 10th Anniversary Special Event- 5k run: April 22nd

COMA is conducting a 5K run/walk as part of our 10th year anniversary celebrations. Money raised from the event will be donated to YWCA Host-A-Meal program, feeding the homeless in Columbus downtown. Location: Orange Township Trails, starting and terminating at Glen Oak Park. [due to a scheduling issue, Highbanks metro park is not available for us on the date]
Date and Time: Sunday, April 22 2018 8:00 AM
Registration is $12 per runner/walker/contributor, to cover the cost of T Shirt, breakfast and trophies. We request a donation of $25 per family to support YWCA Cook-A-Meal program. You can support the event even if you do not plan on running the 5K. We will have an alternate shorter path for those of you who’d like to run or walk, but not keen on doing a 5K. Participants will receive COMA anniversary t-shirts, water and light breakfast.
Those of you who’d like to participate in practice runs are requested to contact the EC team. Looking forward to seeing a major participation from the Malayalee community in Columbus.
Register for the event at

Donation to Westerville Police

Donation to Westerville Division of Police

President Valsan Palika and Trustee Board Members Arunkumar Radhakrishnan and Gopinath Haridass met with Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer and handed over the $1000, including the donation collected from Malayalee Community. The chief was very appreciative of the support, and wanted us to partner with the department in their initiatives. The department provides regular ‘self defence’ training to women and children, trains young adults and adults (Youth Police Academy and Citizen Police Academy) and several other activities that we can participate. Click here for details.

Information Session on Work/Education Visas

On February 27th, COMA in coordination with one of our sponsors Simakovsky Law had arranged a session on work/education visas owing to the current immigration climate. We had good number attendees who attended the session via call and a few who attended in person at the attorney’s downtown office location. There were two attorneys who answered all queries put forward by our members.

Below are their details of the attorneys for your bookkeeping:
1. James C. Jensen 614-277-2070
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
41 South High St., Suites 2800-3200, Columbus, OH 43215
2. Inna Simakovsky (614)695-4605
Simakovsky Law, LLC
460 E. Main St., Columbus, Ohio 43215
Simakovsky Law is a legal firm based in Columbus, Ohio, offering comprehensive immigration services to clients throughout the United States and worldwide

OSU Campus Visit

On March 31st, Nikitha Sathiaprakash led a tour of Ohio State University Campus for a group of high school students and their parents. The tour covered more than what is usually covered in the OSU official tour, and children and parents were highly appreciative of the initiavive. Nikita also answered several questions the group had about college admission process and OSU. We believe parents and children got additional insights that will help them make informed decision about undergraduate admission. Thank you Nikita!

[Nikita Sathiaprakash is a second year at the Ohio State University studying Neuroscience (Pre-Medical School track, Honors) and also minoring in South Asia Studies. She has been actively involved in COMA Youth Wing since the beginning as a child and now as an adult. She is “certified” in giving tours at OSU as she ran International Student Orientations this past summer]

“I was quite impressed by your organizational and leadership skills – stating from the tour introduction email where you had elaborated all these details, planning the tour, walkthrough of various facilities across the campus, providing us a glimpse of your dorm, being extremely humble and patient to answer all of our questions and willingness to share any additional questions/extend any help going forward too”
-Ajit Nair

Community Service News:

Meals on Wheels – Nish Nishant

COMA started Meals on Wheels deliveries in Jun 26th 2016. We deliver two routes every month, on 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.Meals-on-Wheels route on Sunday, March 11th:
– Manoj Thomas (registered MOW volunteer)
– Sunil Balkrishnan
– Unnikrishnan Nair

Meals-on-Wheels route on Sunday, March 25th:
– Rohan Shome
– Shome Thomas

Please note that we are still welcoming volunteers to the COMA volunteer pool. A typical Meals on Wheels delivery involves about 4 hours of your time. If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch with the EC team via

Get Involved!
Please let us know at if you would like to get involved with any of the following:

  • YWCA Cook a Meal
  • COMA Youth Wing
  •  Malayalam Class

Congratulations to the Champions!!

COMA Members Arun Chand is the individual champion and Arun and Saajid are the doubles champions in Caroms games conducted by Columbus Telengana Association on April 1st. Congratulations!

The Road Less Traveled

–Aadhira Pramod
I’m not your classic educational writer who loses their audience about five minutes into their writing. Well, hopefully that doesn’t happen with this one.
I don’t know about you but when I’m given a writing assignment, I sit and render myself to deep thoughts:

Why am I so indecisive?
Why does Shonda Rhimes kill off my favorite characters in Grey’s Anatomy?
Are there limits to human creativity?

Once I finally got back on topic, I realized that writing about writing would be the perfect writing assignment.
The whole process of writing consists of:
thinking…thinking…and more thinking…
…and you still probably won’t come up with anything. To be completely honest, writing this newsletter was my hardest assignment because I just couldn’t find anything interesting to talk about. Thirty minutes later, I began to list several compelling topics and noticing later how terrible they turned out. At this point, the pungent aroma from my espresso is the only thing that is motivating me. Along the way, I work with the secret forces that govern my inspiration. However, there are days when those “forces” may not visit me and when that happens, all of my writing goes downhill.

Then comes the time that every writer despises. A prolonged time where you want to scream at your computer because all your work seems as though it was written by a kindergartner (not that all kindergartners stories are bad). You feel like changing your topic once again until gradually, a breeze of words drift down upon your page. Finally you come to peace with the amazing words you wrote.

You might be thinking at this point, what is this girl trying to convey? Well, writing doesn’t have to be so deep, it can be literally anything from travel blogs, to favorite food. This is actually my extensive writing journey. It’s funny how there’s so many topics in the world and I chose this one to write about. That being said, the battle of a unwelcome blank page is part of a long road that every writer dislikes but eventually leads to something worthwhile.

[Aadhira is daughter of Pramod and Priya Pudhiyattil and a junior at Olentangy High School]


We had our first Toastmasters meeting on the evening of March 23rd. Seventeen adults and ten youth attended the meeting. It was an enjoyable evening. Toastmasters District 40 Club Growth Director Don Schulze, a 3 time Distinguished Toastmaster, was the Toastmaster of the Day (Emcee). He is the leader of over 186 clubs covering parts of OH, KY, WV & IN. We were blessed to have him. COMA president Valsan Palika addressed the gathering at the beginning of the meeting. Toastmasters Area 71 director Jacob Vengal, a COMA Trustee, gave an 8 minute speech titled “Make a difference one person at a time”. Jacob’s speech was evaluated by Division Director Gene Baily. Several of our COMA members participated in the table topics (impromptu speaking). Area 72 director Andrew Stevens was the grammarian. We will upload the video on YouTube soon. Please watch for an email from COMA in a few days with a link to this private page. We normally make the video available only to the paid members of the Toastmasters Club. As an exception, this time we will be sending the link to all of you.

If you or any of your friends want to know more about Toastmasters, please attend the conference call on 4/5 Thursday & 4/12 Thursday at 8 PM. Dial In – 515-604-9000 Access Code 278-725#

The next Toastmasters in-person meeting will be at 7 PM on 4/17 (Tuesday) in Room B at Upper Arlington Main Library 2800 Tremont Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

All are welcome to both the conference call and the in-person meeting. There are no restriction on nationality, ethnicity or anything else. Contact Jacob at with any questions.

FIA Events and other Events around Central Ohio  Please see below link for more information regarding events by FIA

Not a COMA Member Yet?

If you have not already, we request you to become a member of COMA at COMA Membership this year and support our activities. There are several benefits of being a member. In addition to ‘guaranteed’ discounts for major events, you will have discounts available at some of the Indian retailers, access to Malayalam class etc. We also request you to allocate some time to volunteer for our regular events and our community outreach events! These are extremely satisfying moments!

Till next time…


1 thought on “COMA Newsletter March 2018”

  1. Hello Valsan. Enjoyed reading this month’s newsletter. Great initiative by Nikitha doing the OSU campus tour. It’s good to know a lot of our COMA youth could take advantage of the insider-tour. Aadhira, another great article. Kudos also to all the Meals on Wheels volunteers who keep the wheels turning, and the generosity of our members who contributed to the Westerville police officers’ fund. It’s truly remarkable that COMA is giving back to the local community in so many different ways.

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