It is already the end of July, and summer is halfway done. July is mostly known for Independence Day, a day to remember how America gained independence. The Declaration of Independence was a key document in declaring independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776, causing July 4th to become the day for Independence Day. But July 4th wasn’t elected a federal holiday until 1941. This year, Independence Day has been very different. Normally we would visit kith and kin, go see fireworks, and try to enjoy one of the few long weekends we get in a year. But those traditions have been thrown off track this year because of the ongoing pandemic. But do not worry, you can still have fun. You can video call your family and friends and still enjoy the time you have off. In case you do go outside don’t forget to wear a mask, social distance, and stay safe.
A history of the COMA Bike Club
Biking, unlike other fitness and workout routines, is an easy exercise to get into – all you need is a bike. The COMA biking club currently boasting around 50 members is one of our association’s many niche groups. The first unofficial group rides began in June 2016 with just 4 members (yours truly, Pramod Pudhiyattil, Vikas Gopal, and Arun Davis). We continued to do that in a sporadic fashion till 2018 when COMA began its active initiatives focusing on outdoor events. In early 2018, Deepak Warrier reached out to me and asked me if we could formalize the club, and we started the WhatsApp group at that time. A big boost to the club was when Ashish and Sangeetha Muthiraparambath joined, and started posting about their marathon rides which tremendously inspired the group. Until then we were mostly a “10-15 miles and back home” sorta club. The Olentangy trail became the unofficial COMA trail as that was conveniently located for most folks and is also one of the better trails in the area.
This year, the lockdown had a pretty significant impact in increasing the activity levels and participation of the club. People were stuck home and could not go to their gyms, tennis courts, and badminton leagues. Folks like Pradeesh Puthiyattil with their multi-sport background joined and encouraged folks to push themselves beyond their current limits. As a result, more bikers started joining us, many of them investing in pretty good equipment, and now it’s not unusual for the bike club to do 30/40/50 mile rides on a consistent basis. Ashish and Sangeetha Muthiraparambath have been the main drivers behind the group exploring new trails, while Pradeesh has challenged everyone to move from casual riders to serious amateurs, and Pramod in his typical fashion has become the de-facto technical guru for everyone, from bike tune up tips to gear changing skills.
Biking is a fitting group activity in these days of social distancing, and the opportunity to meet friends and acquaintances once a week is a boon. It’s also an adventure of sorts, the trails often offering exquisite views into the scenic Ohio landscapes. Many of these trails do not have direct road access other than through the trail, so you get to see unexplored sights and lots of picture postcard photo points. After a week of hard work, a 4 hour ride can be extremely relaxing to both mind and body. I would encourage you all to give this a shot, just reach out to the EC team if you are interested.
Reflections & Ramblings #7: On Culture
– Hari Narayanaswamy
I don’t know about you but I find the word ‘culture’ very intriguing. Just like many of you, I am also part of many ‘cultural organisations’ and attend many ‘cultural programs’ (of course on Zoom these days). I am expected to have elements of a ‘unique corporate culture’ at work, ‘Hindu culture’ based on religion, ‘Oriental or Indian culture’ based on birth, ‘Tamil Brahmin culture’ as part of heritage, ‘Malayali culture’ per my upbringing, ‘Western or American culture’ per my citizenship. I am either super-saturated with culture or totally devoid of it that I could be of any culture!
I looked up on the online dictionary and this is what it said about Culture: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time. The dictionary said few more things that was hard to make out exactly what they meant, but finally this is the simple conclusion I came to. Culture is an expected behaviour, set of values or preferences of a person based on the person’s community context. The emphasis is on the word ‘expected’ which essentially means there is a written or unwritten norms existing in the community. (I am about to pat myself on the back but that doesn’t fit the humility of my Indian culture)
How serious can the influence of cultural values could be? History is replete with many examples. The fire of the First Independence struggle of India in 1857, which the British describe as the Sepoy Rebellion, though simmering for a long time, was finally ignited when a rumour spread that the ammunition distributed to them was laced with animal fat. When Vasco Da Gamma arrived in Calicut in 1498, he showed up to Zamorin’s court with some worthless trinkets as gifts. He didn’t know that the custom was to bring in something substantial as gift. The Portuguese were promptly insulted and chased away by the displeased Zamorin and they in turn laid a siege in the sea murdering many Arab traders doing business with the Zamorin. A protracted fight between the Zamorins and Portuguese cost many lives and damage to each other’s properties.
In case you are wondering where I am going with this, I am thinking about the recent furore in some states over wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid19. To most, this is a simple, reasonable request during such an extraordinary time to save people’s lives. But that is not how some others, steeped in a misinterpretation of personal freedom, see it. To them, it is the expression of their American identity to resist all attempts by an administration to curtail personal choice. Few others even raised a more nonsensical argument saying masks are a work of devil to interfere with God’s creation of free breathing! Could we attribute this to Culture? I don’t think so.
All of humanity is one society, irrespective of our nationality, race or religion. (If you are not sure of this, just ask the COVID19 virus, it will tell you). And in that society we have one key responsibility, to avoid doing anything that causes another fellow human being to lose his or her life. Especially when it is a minor accommodation like wearing a mask and keeping a social distance until this pandemic passes, just do it and not argue (even if you are an ‘argumentative Indian’) or try to hide behind a made up cultural identity. Please!
Please stay safe and do what you can to make others safe!
ചിക്കൻ ഗീ റോസ്സ്റ്റ് ചെട്ടിനാട് സ്റ്റൈൽ
സാധാരണ ചിക്കൻ ബോൺ ഉള്ളതാണ് ഇത് ഉണ്ടാക്കാൻ നല്ലതു ഞാൻ ഇന്ന് ചിക്കൻ ബോൺലെസ്സ് ചെറുതായി കഷ്ണം ആക്കിയതാണ് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നത് .
ആദ്യം എല്ലാ മസാല കൂട്ടുകളും തയ്യാറാക്കി വക്കുക.
വറ്റൽ മുളക് (മുളക് പൊടി) – 3 സ്പൂൺ
മല്ലി (മല്ലി പൊടി) – 1 സ്പൂൺ
ജീരകം – 1 സ്പൂൺ
ഉലുവ – 1 സ്പൂൺ
കുരുമുളക് – 2 സ്പൂൺ
മഞ്ഞൾ പൊടി – 1 സ്പൂൺ
തൈര് – 1 കപ്പ്
പിഴു പുലി – 2 കഷ്ണം
ഗീ / ബട്ടർ – 1 കപ്പ്
കറിവേപ്പില – 15 ഇലകൾ
മല്ലിയില – കുറച്ചു
ശർക്കര – 1 സ്പൂൺ
ഉപ്പ് – 3 സ്പൂൺ
നാരങ്ങ – 1 എണ്ണം
വെളുത്തുള്ളി – 8 കഷ്ണം
ആദ്യം ചിക്കൻ കഷണങ്ങൾ ആക്കിയത് തൈരും , ഒരു അരമുറി നാരങ്ങാ പിഴിഞ്ഞതും ,ഒരു സ്പൂൺ ഉപ്പും , ഒരു സ്പൂൺ മഞ്ഞൾ പൊടിയും ചേർത്ത് നന്നായി ഇളക്കി ഒരു മണിക്കൂറ് മാറ്റി വക്കുക
പിഴു പുലി ഒരു കാൽ കപ്പു ചൂട് വെള്ളത്തില് കുതിർത്തു വക്കുക
(വറ്റൽ മുളക് (മുളക് പൊടി) ,മല്ലി (മല്ലി പൊടി) ,ജീരകം ,ഉലുവ , കുരുമുളക് ) ഇതെല്ലം നന്നായി ചൂടാക്കി ഒരു ബ്രൗൺ കളർ ആകുമ്പോ മാറ്റി വക്കണം എന്നിട്ടു അതൊന്നു തണുത്തു കഴിയുമ്പോ എല്ലാം കൂടി നന്നായി അരച്ച് എടുക്കുക കൂടെ വെളുത്തുള്ളി , പിന്നെ ആ പിഴു പുലി മാറ്റി അതിന്റെ വെള്ളം കൂടെ ചേർത്ത് അരക്കണം.
ഇനി ഒരു ഫ്രൈയിങ്ങ് പാനിൽ ആവശ്യത്തിന് 3 സ്പൂൺ ഗീ / ബട്ടർ ഒഴിച്ച് മാരിനേറ്റ് ചെയ്ത ചിക്കൻ വറുത്തെടുക്കുക.
അരച്ചെടുത്ത മസാല ഒരു പാനിൽ , 2 സ്പൂൺ ഉപ്പും കൂടി ഇട്ടു , 1 സ്പൂൺ ഗീ / ബട്ടർ ഒഴിച്ച് ചൂടാക്കി നന്നായി മസാല മണം വരുമ്പോ നമ്മൾ ആദ്യം ചിക്കൻ മാരിനേറ്റ് ചെയ്തു തൈര് മിശ്രിതവും , ചിക്കൻ വറുത്ത ഗീ എല്ലാം കൂടെ മിക്സ് ചെയ്തു ചൂടാകുമ്പോ വറുത്ത ചിക്കൻ കൂടെ ഇട്ടു നന്നായി ഇളക്കി കൊടുക്കണം. നമുക്ക് വേണ്ട അത്ര ഫ്രൈ ആകുമ്പോ തീ കുറച്ചു കറിവേപ്പില ഇട്ടു ഫ്രൈ ആക്കി എടുക്കുക.
ഇത്തിരി മല്ലി ഇലകൂടി മുകളിൽ ഇട്ടു സെർവ് ചെയ്യാവുന്നതാണ്.
The Adventures of ‘Smack-in-Cheese’
-Abel Arun Davis
Hello fellow readers! My name is Smack-in-cheese. My friends are Nap-in-cheese and Snack-in-cheese. Snack-in-cheese really likes to snack on cheese. It’s almost like a sport for him. Guess where I met him? In the college cafeteria. Well, not really. He was eating on the bus!
Nap-in-cheese really likes to nap on cheese. Why? I do not know. He says cheese is very comfy. Did you know he sleeps for 15 hours a night and eats his bed for lunch! And skips breakfast everyday! Did you know his bed is made of cheese Pizza?
Okay Okay, let us go 1000 miles to the story… Are we there yet? Oh now, we are here. Once upon a time… Wait a minute! This is not a fairytale. Or, is it? Don’t make fun of me. It’s not like I have a small brain. Or, maybe I do… Okay, well at least noodles are not smart.
Now, we go to the story. One college morning, I had the worst nightmare I had ever had. When I woke up, Nap-in-cheese was jumping on my belly. Today is the day he was yelling, “What day!” yelled while yawning, “Getting eaten day”. He asked “and why is that good?”
“It is not” and that is why I am trying to beat you up till you look like a red pepper because I don’t want to waste time and no one will want to eat you.
Then, can’t you just eat me? Well, nap-in-cheese does not want to do that or else the bean(human bean-g) will get stuffed. Okay, well where is snack-in-cheese? Oh, he is eating the table.
Okay now, can you get out of here?
Okay okay I will get out.
Then do so!
“Fine!” nap-in-cheese said with a frown
When Nap-in-cheese went to snack-in-cheese I looked for him everywhere. When I looked in the fridge snack-in-cheese was in there and before I could say holy cheese crumbs, he jumped on me like a wild pepper right on my head. When he got off, I asked what was for breakfast? Then he turned pale as Ranch and fell sideways. One hour later snack-in-cheese wakes up. Look what you have done? You ate the table? Weeeee! Now what will we put for breakfast?
Ahem, that is what YOU will eat for breakfast.
Well, what did you eat then?
“The Table!”, said snack-in-cheese
To be continued..
What will smack in cheese eat? Find out in Part 2
Malayalam Class 2020-2021
Hope everyone is enjoying the summer vacation and staying safe.
The year 2020 has taken all of us by surprise and we all are trying to learn what a “New Normal” way of living looks like. We at ‘COMA Malayalam class’ also had to learn and make changes in the way we do things and find a new normal. We were able to continue some classes online for the last few months of the 2019/2020 school year. Our current plan is to continue that format this school year with the hope of going back to in-person format when the situation permits.
We are very delighted to announce that COMA Malayalam class will resume on Sunday, 08/23/2020. Interested COMA members, please register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The class schedule will continue to be from 11:00 AM to noon every Sunday except holiday weekends and will be conducted via online classes.
Any changes to the schedule or format will be informed in advance so that you can plan accordingly.
Please note that COMA membership is a requirement to join the class.
Looking forward to another wonderful year.
-2020 EC & Malayalam class team
Meals on Wheels Volunteers
July 12, 2020: Manoj Thomas, Julie Joseph, Unni Nair, Latha Nair
Completed Route: # V1600
July 12, 2020: Valsan Palika, Hrishi Palika, Niran Palika
Completed Route: #V1801