COMA Newsletter June 2019

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.

Osheen Oommen

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.

Adithya Nair

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 in In 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

Arvind Nair

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)

Team Captains – It was Pakistan who emerged as a winner in the finals by defeating England.

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.

Nish Nishant
Romesh Kaluwitharana


Dr. Naduparambil Korah Jacob is a tenured Associate Professor at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the co-holder of several US patents and has authored research articles in leading scientific journals. Dr. Jacob is frequently invited for seminars and presentations at Universities and scientific meetings in the area of Radiation Research and Oncology. He serves as principal investigator in research grants funded by US National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and NASA.


With deep sorrow Julie & Manoj Thomas informed us about the demise of Manoj’s mother, Thankamma Thomas Sankoorikal, 89 years. She passed away on July 4th at their home town Changanacherry, Kerala. The funeral is scheduled to be on July 8th – 11:00 AM at Changanacherry Valiyapalli. 

Manoj and Julie have been in Columbus for a long time and they are active members of COMA community. Julie is currently a member of COMA trustee board. 

We convey our heartfelt condolences to the grieving family. Please keep them in your prayers.

COMA Events

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

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