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

May 2020 Newsletter

Nithya Rajagopalan

SUMMER IS NOT COMPLETELY CANCELLED.

This is not the summer we had hoped or planned for.

The calendar is littered with cancelled vacations and summer camps, shuttered pools and playgrounds, spots in our calendars meant to be spent with friends and loved ones. But wait,there really is still fun to be had. With a little bit of imagination, we can set ourselves free from that cage of coronavirus. We can play silly games. Connect with family and friends. And find ways to express gratitude for others.

We all recently celebrated Mother’s Day. From giving emotional, mental, and physical support to teaching important life skills, there are millions of reasons why moms are the best. But what about all those other motherly figures who have a special place in our lives? Let’s brighten their day as well. Give them a call and let them know that you think about them and their well-being. Let’s blanket our world with LOVE. It’s simple!

Reflections or Ramblings #6: Life in the times of Corona

Hari Narayanaswamy

It will be totally farce to start this column by saying “Hope you are doing fine”, “these are unprecedent times”, etc. Such words have slowly started to wear down and annoy us. Let’s be honest, there is plenty of anxiety and concern to deal with for everyone. Some of us have managed to do better in dealing with them, some have chosen to effectively not think about them, and some others are struggling. How in the world can one manage to keep spirits up in such times?  (I mean, without reaching for the “spirit” that comes in bottles)

Google this question and I am sure plenty of answers will be available. There may be shortages of masks, PPEs or toilet paper, but not for unsolicited advices — most of them peddled through the greatest fake news platform, WhatsApp. In looking for something that would provide a strong, practical take on the subject, I stumbled upon this sensible article, thanks to a friend who shared it: “The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic”

If you have the time, please do read the article. For now, I would like to share few thoughts that came to mind when I read it. The crux of the article’s message is that there are four factors we need to keep our chins up: Faith, Family, Friends and Work. Get these four in order and solidly in place, pandemic or no pandemic, we will be fine. Let’s look at these factors one by one.

Faith: It doesn’t matter what shape or form faith takes; the fact is we need it. Even a God-less one will do. The point is to have a framework available to deal with things that are beyond us, enable us to view things in a broader perspective, enrich us with empathy and gratitude, and most importantly anchor ourselves in life’s meaning and purpose.

Family: A family is formed when more than one person has come together to live a common life. There are definitely individual needs, aspirations, hobbies, friend circles, etc. But ultimately the love and care one gets in family is unique and irreplaceable.

Friends: There is something special we get from the company of friends that we don’t from family. Maybe it’s the opportunity to drop all internal protective shields and become vulnerable without the fear of being hurt or destroyed. It is surprising that while with family we may feel a need to watch over ourselves, with true friends we hardly ever do. We need friends to share without being judged, have the confidence that they will be there in times of need as well as happiness and finally, just to hang around with.

Work: This is not about what we do to make a living, but what we do to make ourselves useful and find meaning and purpose. True work is where we derive our self-respect, mission and purpose of life. The question is how much are we dedicated to it? How much time do we give to it?

I believe there is one more factor that the article probably implied but didn’t mention explicitly: our own personal value system that provides the bed rock on which the above are built. If that foundation is a shifting sand, we don’t stand a chance. Otherwise, we are in good shape, irrespective what the future holds for us.

ഓർമയുടെ സീക്ബാർ

Aravind Venugopalan

പ്രതേകിച്ചു ഒരു ശ്രമവും ഇല്ലാതെ എപ്പോളും നമുക്കു ലഭിക്കുന്നതിനു വില കുറയും എന്ന് പലരും പറയുന്നത് ശെരിയാണെന്നു തോന്നും ചിലപ്പോൾ ഒക്കെ. ഏതു പാട്ടും എപ്പോൾ വേണമെങ്കിലും നമ്മുടെ വിരൽ തുമ്പിൽ കിട്ടുന്ന കാലമാണ് ഇത്. മാത്രമല്ല കേട്ട ഭാഗം എത്ര വേണം എങ്കിലും വലിയ ശ്രമവും തേയ്മാനവും കൂടാതെ വീണ്ടും വീണ്ടും കേൾക്കാൻ നമ്മളെ സഹായിക്കുന്ന സീക് ബാറുകൾ ലഭ്യമായ കാലം. പക്ഷെ എന്നിട്ടും ഇന്റർനെറ്റ് തലമുറയ്ക് തൊട്ടു മുന്നേ ഉള്ള നമ്മളെ പോലെ ഉള്ളവർക്കു  എന്താ കൊമ്പുണ്ടോ ? ഏതു പാട്ടിനെ കുറിച്ച് ചോദിച്ചാലും ഒരു ഏകദേശ വിവരം ഒക്കെ കാണും എപ്പോളും …ആര് എഴുതി ? ആര് സംഗീതം ചെയ്തു ? വരികൾ , ചിലപ്പോൾ രാഗങ്ങൾ വരെ ….

അതിന്റെ ഗുട്ടൻസ് മനസിലാക്കണം എങ്കിൽ നമ്മൾ ഓർമയുടെ സീക് ബാർ ഒന്ന് പുറകിലോട്ട്  വലിച്ചു ഞെരക്കിയാൽ മതി. mp3 ഫയലുകൾ ഇല്ലാത്ത കാലം. നമ്മുടെ സമയം മാറ്റി വെച്ച് ആകാശവാണിക്ക് കാത് കൊടുത്തിരുന്ന കാലം. ഒട്ടു മിക്ക വീട്ടിലും കാണും ബാറ്ററിയിൽ പ്രവർത്തിക്കുന്ന ഒരു ഫിലിപ്സ് റേഡിയോ അല്ലെങ്കിൽ , ഏതേലും ഒരു പ്രവാസി സമ്മാനിച്ച ഒരു ജപ്പാൻ നിർമിത നാഷണൽ പാനാസോണിക് ടേപ്പ് റെക്കോർഡർ.  ഇഷ്ടഗാനങ്ങൾ കേൾക്കാൻ കാത്തിരിക്കണം. അല്ലെങ്കിൽ കത്ത് എഴുതണം. അങ്ങനെ കാത്തു ഇരുന്നു  കാത്തിരുന്നു കിട്ടുന്നതിന്റെ സുഖം അനുഭവിക്കാൻ പലപ്പോഴും കട്ടിലിൽ മലർന്നു കിടന്ന് നെഞ്ചിനു മുകളിൽ റേഡിയോ വെച്ചിട്ട് ആകും പാട്ടുകൾ   ആസ്വദിക്കുക. യേശുദാസിന്റെ ശബ്ദം കർണ പുടങ്ങളിലും റേഡിയോയുടെ സ്പന്ദനം ചങ്കിലും നൽകുന്ന കമ്പനങ്ങൾ ആസ്വദിച്ച് ആയിരിക്കും മിക്കവാറും ഓർമ്മകൾ നുകരുന്നത്. അത് കൊണ്ട് തന്നെ അതിനു മധുരം ഏറും , ആവശ്യം ഇല്ലാത്തത് കേൾക്കണ്ടല്ലോ എന്നുള്ള ചിന്ത പോലും അന്ന് ഉണ്ടാകില്ല. തുടക്കം മുതൽ ഒടുക്കം വരെ നമുക്കു ആവശ്യം ഉള്ളത് തന്നെ , ഗാനരചന , സംഗീതം തുടങ്ങിയ വിവരങ്ങളും നമ്മൾ അറിയാതെ നമ്മുടെ ഉള്ളിൽ എഴുതപ്പെടും.  നീക്കി കളയാൻ ഇന്നുള്ള സീക് ബാർ അന്ന് ഇല്ലല്ലോ.

പിന്നെ ഉള്ള വേറെ ഒരു കാര്യം , റേഡിയോവിൽ വരുന്ന ഇഷ്ട ഗാനങ്ങൾ ടേപ്പ് റെക്കോർഡറിൽ റെക്കോർഡ് ചെയുക എന്നുള്ളതാണ്. കൊതി തോന്നുമ്പോൾ ഒക്കെ വീണ്ടും ഇട്ടു കേൾക്കാൻ അതായിരുന്നു അന്നത്തെ മാർഗം. പക്ഷെ എന്നാലും , ടേപ്പ് റെക്കോർഡറിന് ഒട്ടും  വേദനിക്കരുതേ എന്നുള്ള മട്ടിൽ ആയിരുന്നു , റിവൈൻഡും , റീപ്ലേ ഉം ഒക്കെ…അത് കൊണ്ട് തന്നെ അതിനു ഒക്കെയും മധുരം ആയിരുന്നു. ഒരിക്കലൂം മായാത്ത പാട്ടിന്റെ ഒരു വലിയ ഡാറ്റാബേസ് ഉള്ളിൽ ഇൻസ്റ്റാൾ ചെയ്യപ്പെട്ടത് അങ്ങനെ ആയിരുന്നു. അത് കൊണ്ട് തന്നെ ആണ് അന്നത്തെ ആ വികാരത്തെ കേൾവി ജ്ഞാനം എന്ന് ഇന്ന് ഉള്ളവർ പറയുന്നത്. അത് ജ്ഞാനം ഒന്നും ആയിരിക്കില്ല, ഒരു പക്ഷെ തീക്ഷ്ണമായ ജീവിത അനുഭവങ്ങളുമായി കെട്ടി പിണഞ്ഞതു കാരണം , മായാതെ കിടക്കുന്നത് ആയിരിക്കണം.  റേഡിയോയുടെ മൂളൽ പോലും , ചാറ്റൽ മഴയുടെ ശബ്ദം പോലെ കേട്ടുകൊണ്ട് ഉറങ്ങി ശീലിച്ചത് കൊണ്ടാകണം. എന്തും അകക്കാമ്പിൽ ആലേഖനം ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്നത് , അതിനു നമ്മുടെ അനുഭവങ്ങളും വികാരങ്ങളും ആയി കെട്ടി പുണരാൻ കഴിയുമ്പോൾ ആണ്. സീക് ബാറുകൾ  പെട്ടെന്ന് അടിച്ചു ഏല്പിച്ച എന്നോ വിടർന്നു  എന്നോ വാടിയ പൂവിനെകാൾ കുളിരു ഏകുന്നത് നമ്മുടെ മുന്നിൽ തന്നെ ഉള്ളിൽ  മൊട്ടിട്ട് , ഒരുനാൾ വിടർന്ന പൂവിനാണ്. അതിനു മണമേറും , നിറമേറും…

Account Books

Ravi Hariharan

The dusty wind raged, trees shook in fury
The cremation ground found life once again.
The eyes slowly opened, as it awoke;
From the long slumber, into the memory lane;
I traced the footsteps of the past, plucked;
Branches out of all the dead trees that I saw.
Fallen leaves with tainted edges on the wayside,
Turned green, as my mind took them on a ride;

A journey through my past, which captures in its palm moments of happiness, satisfaction, sorrow, sometimes pain! A journey most of us willingly take, because the journey brings hope and solace to a desperate heart and moments of ecstasy to a joyful one.

Why do we like to travel through those already treaded paths of yesterdays? Is this human ability to think and analyze the past a gift or a curse?

I have heard my grandmother say “In 1974, when my son went to my sister’s house, she didn’t offer him even a cup of coffee. Did I do anything wrong by not offering her son a cup of coffee yesterday?!” And she would give out a sarcastic smile of having scored a great moral victory over her enemy who happens to be none but her very own sister! Needless to say, people have long memories, memories that span years and many a times decades. Often, I have wondered, how a Bollywood film hero manages to keep the fire of hatred burning in his heart for 20 long years to finally take revenge on the villain who destroyed his family. Having seen myriad instances of such in my own family, now I understand how…!

“Account Books” … a strange phrase that my mother has coined to call such memories, a book with debit and credit…Debit standing for all the good and happy memories which many a times we forget to enter in the book, because we take them for granted…and credit standing for all those moments of pain, ignominy and hurt inflicted by others on us…which we never forget to enter in our Account Book and which like any normal credit has to be paid back! Every time my mother talked about the “Account Book” that many around her kept up to date, I would make a self-introspection by opening my Account book and to my disappointment always found it thick and updated!

Why do we keep this Account Book of memories? Why does a human mind like to entangle itself with the knots which it has already unknotted? What does a human mind ultimately achieve with this “Eye for an eye…a tooth for a tooth policy.”?

I remember making a visit to Myrtle beach few years back and how amazed I was to see a huge chunk of shells that covered the beach sands. As I stood tall and looked at it, they looked all white and beautiful. I knelt and gave a closer look. Suddenly I saw a shell that was all black and ugly…And then I found another one. And then as I stood up. I felt that all the shells looked that way! Similarly, many of us have this habit of thinking of happy memories of the past. Well…Sometimes our mind doesn’t stop at those. The curious that our mind is…starts analyzing…incidents and people and before one stops thinking one realizes that those memories have actually lost a bit of shine.

Needless to say those memories of bad incidents that happened, much like an evening sky would only become darker, the more one looks at it, and hurt us more. Many a times such memories give us a feeling of guilt of inability which finally ends in self-pity which is the biggest source of false consolation a human heart can receive. So many a times, our heart tends to fall into this trap.

So why do we need memories? Isn’t it possible to live on without delving too much on past memories and neither on the unknown future? Like Dr. Spencer Johnson puts it, the biggest present we have is the present itself. So why not live the present to the lees without worrying about an unchangeable past and uncertain future?

I understand that it’s easier said than done, and many a times good memories are the best source of motivation and drive and the same can be said about our dreams for our future too. But having said that, let us try to consciously keep our Account books as thin as possible, not to break up the past or present for meticulous analysis and live as uncomplicated a life as we can live…trying to keep only the good memories and propel our lives forward, so when we look back at our lives a few years from now, we will have only good memories to think about.

Events

COMA Mother’s Day Event:

This Mother’s Day, a few mothers from COMA women’s group got together and decided to start their day with a fitness challenge – a virtual plank challenge to motivate our inner self ! All the mothers lit up lamp and observed a moment of silence as a solidarity to all our front line fighters in this current pandemic.

Here are a few pictures of the event:

Virtual 5k

Achievements

Gaurinanda Sudheesh Lekshmi won 3rd price in the FIA quiz competition. Congratulations Gauri !!

Meals on wheels volunteers

May 10: Saira Nawaz, Razvi Razack

May 24 : Binoy Rappai, Arun Davis, Dhanush Kondoth

Sponsors

April Newsletter

When somebody mentions April, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? 

You would probably think, “Oh no! April Fool’s Day is coming up!”. But there is a special day dedicated to preserve and protect our Earth which comes on April 22nd every year, and it is called “Earth Day”. This year’s Earth Day is really special, not only because we’re celebrating it while we are practising social distancing but also since it is the 50th Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, which marked the start of the modern environmental movement. This Earth Day we are already taking care of the Earth by staying at home! By staying home, we are helping to reduce carbon emissions. While April 22nd is specifically set aside to remind us to protect our planet, we must help Mother Earth every day. 

Because of this lockdown, we have to stay at home for a long time. This could lead to stress, anxiety, and other health issues. Reading is one of the simple remedies to manage stress. It boosts cognitive skills, improves memory and focus, reduces stress and helps you gain knowledge. April 23rd was ‘World Book Day’, so COMA challenges you to read at least 20 minutes every day!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

As you know, we are in the middle of a pandemic. But even in the darkness, light can be found. During these times that light is people donating food, money and other essential things. A BIG thank you,  to all the benevolent people who donated and supported COMA’s COVID-19 relief fund. Because of you, our community was able to donate $4,500 to Mid Ohio Food Bank, LifeCare Alliance, and YWCA Columbus. We couldn’t achieve it without you, thank you so much for your contributions and assistance.


പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കും പാരിസ്ഥിതിക പ്രശ്നങ്ങളും

– Valsan Palika

പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് നമ്മുടെ ആവാസ വ്യസ്ഥക്കുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന പ്രത്യാഘാതത്തെപ്പറ്റി നമ്മെളെല്ലാവരും വളരെ ബോധവാന്മാരണ്. മാത്രമല്ല, നമ്മളാലാവും വിധം ആത്മാർത്ഥമായി ഈ വിപത്തിനെ നേരിടാൻ റീസൈക്ലിങും മറ്റും നാം വളരെ കാര്യക്ഷമമായി ചെയ്യുന്നുമുണ്ട്. നമ്മുടെ അസോസിയേഷന്റെ ‘യൂത്ത് വിങ്’ന്റെ ഈ വർഷത്തെ ഒരു പ്രധാന ഉദ്യമവും ഒരു ‘റിക്ലയ്‌സിങ് ക്യാമ്പയിൻ’ ആണ്. എന്താണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ ലൈഫ് സൈക്കിൾ? പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് ഏതൊക്കവിധത്തിൽ നമ്മുടെ ജീവിതത്തിലേക്ക് കടന്നുകയറിയിട്ടുണ്ട്? റീസൈക്ലിങ് അഥവാ പുനരുപയോഗം എത്രമാത്രം ഫലവത്താണ്? നമുക്കൊന്ന് പരിശോധിക്കാം.

‘മൃദുവായതും എളുപ്പത്തിൽ രൂപപ്പെടുത്താൻ കഴിയുന്നതും’ എന്നാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് എന്ന വാക്കിന്റെ അർഥം. രസതന്ത്രത്തിൽ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കുകൾ ‘പോളിമർ’  വിഭാഗത്തിൽപ്പെടുന്നു. പെട്രോളിയം സംസ്കരണത്തിന്റെ ഉപോല്പന്നങ്ങളിൽനിന്നുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന ‘സിന്തെറ്റിക് പോളിമർ’ ആണ് ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാന ഘടകം.  ഈ പോളിമർ തന്മാത്രകൾ കാർബൺ ആറ്റങ്ങളുടെ നീണ്ട ചങ്ങലകളാണ്, പ്രകൃതിദത്തമായ പോളിമറുകളെക്കാൾ വളരെ നീണ്ടത്. അതാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന് ശക്തിയും ഭാരക്കുറവും വഴക്കവും നൽകുന്നത്. ഇതേ സ്വഭാവം തന്നെയാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ വിഘടനത്തിനുള്ള പ്രധാന തടസവും!

കഴിഞ്ഞ ഒരു നൂറ്റാണ്ടിനിടയിലാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ ഉപയോഗം വളരെയധികം വർധിച്ചത്. പ്രധാനയും അഞ്ച് തരത്തിലുള്ള പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കുകളാണ് ഇപ്പോൾ ഉപയോഗത്തിലുള്ളത്. 

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് കുപ്പികൾ – പാനീയങ്ങളും പാചക എണ്ണകളും നിറച്ചു വരുന്ന പാക്കറ്റുകൾ.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene): ഉയർന്ന താപനിലയും രാസ പദാർത്ഥങ്ങളും ചെറുത്തു നിൽക്കാൻ കഴിവുള്ളത്. ഹെൽമെറ്റ്, പെട്രോൾ ടാങ്കുകൾ, കുപ്പിയുടെയും മറ്റും മൂടികൾ, മരത്തിനു സമാനമായ ഫ്ളോറിങ് പലകകൾ മുതലായവ 

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): ഉത്പാദന ചെലവ് കുറവ്, അതിനാൽത്തന്നെ ധാരാളം നിത്യോപയോഗ സാധനങ്ങളുടെ  നിർമാണ ഘടകം

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene): 100 ഡിഗ്രിവരെ ചൂട് താങ്ങാൻ കഴുവുള്ള പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്. പ്ലേറ്റുകളും, ട്രെയ്‌കളും, കമ്പ്യൂട്ടർ ബോർഡുകൾ, കളിപ്പാട്ടങ്ങൾ മുതാലാവയും.

PP (Polypropylene): കപ്പുകൾ, കുപ്പികൾ, പാത്രങ്ങൾ, വീട്ടുപകരണങ്ങൾ,  ഓട്ടോമോട്ടീവ് ബാറ്ററികൾ

പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കില്ലാത്ത ഒരു ചുറ്റുപാട് ചിന്തിക്കാൻ വളരെ പ്രയാസമാണ്. നമ്മൾ ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്ന മിക്കവാറും വസ്തുക്കളും പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് ചേർന്നവയോ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് പത്രങ്ങളിലോ പൈപ്പുകളിലോ ബാഗുകളിലോ വരുന്നവയോ ആണ്. (നിങ്ങളുടെ ചുറ്റും ഒന്ന് കണ്ണോടിച്ചാൽ അറിയാം പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ അതിപ്രസരം). അതിനാൽ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മുക്തമായ ഒരു ജീവിതം പ്രായോഗികമല്ല. പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ കുഴപ്പങ്ങൾ മനസ്സിലാക്കുകയും അതിൽനിന്ന് മോചനം നേടാനുള്ള മാർഗങ്ങൾ അറിഞ്ഞിരിക്കുകയുമാണ് അഭികാമ്യം.

എന്തൊക്കെയാണ് മനുഷ്യനും പരിസ്ഥിതിക്കും ഇതുകൊണ്ടുള്ള പ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ?

മുൻപ് പറഞ്ഞതുപോലെ, ഇപ്പോൾ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് ഉണ്ടാക്കുന്നത് പ്രധാനമായും പെട്രോളിയത്തിൽനിന്നുമാണ്. (അത്യാവശ്യം പ്രകൃതി വാതകത്തിൽനിന്നും). പ്രകൃതിവിഭവങ്ങളുടെ ചൂഷണത്തിന് പുറമെ, പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് നിർമാണത്തിൽ പുറംതള്ളുന്ന അപകടകാരികളായ രാസ വസ്തുക്കൾ നമ്മുടെ വായു, വെള്ളം, ഭൂമി മുതലായവയെ അനിയന്ത്രിതമായി മലീമസമാക്കുന്നു. ഇത് ആവാസവ്യവസ്ഥയെത്തന്നെ അപകടത്തിലാക്കുന്നു. 

പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് നിർമാണത്തിൽ പല രാസവസ്തുക്കളും ചേർക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. അതിൽ നമുക്ക് പൊതുവെ പരിചയമുള്ളത് ‘BPA’ (Bisphenol A) ആണ്. ‘BPA Free’ എന്ന് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്ക് ബോട്ടിലുകളിലും മറ്റും നിങ്ങൾ കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ടാവും. BPA ക്യാന്സറിനും മറ്റു ജനിതക രോഗങ്ങൾക്കും നിദാനമാകാമെന്ന് പല ഗവേഷകരും നിരീക്ഷിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.  

ഉപയോഗശേഷം വലിച്ചെറിയുന്ന പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്ക് മാലിന്യമാണ് മറ്റൊരു വലിയ പ്രശ്നം. ഇവ വിഘടിച്ചു മണ്ണിൽ അലിഞ്ഞുചേരാൻ ആയിരക്കണക്കിന് വർഷങ്ങൾ വേണ്ടിവരും. വിഘടന പ്രക്രിയയിൽ ഇവയിൽനിന്നുണ്ടാവുന്ന ‘മൈക്രോ’ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കുകൾ (<5 mm) വായു, വെള്ളം ഇവയിൽക്കൂടി മനുഷ്യനിലും മറ്റു ജീവികളിലും എത്തി പലതരം രോഗങ്ങൾക്കും കാരണമാകുന്നു. പലവിധ വസ്ത്രങ്ങളും പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് ഉത്പന്നങ്ങൾ ചേർന്നതാണ്. ഈ വസ്ത്രങ്ങൾ കഴുകുമ്പോഴെല്ലാം ദശലക്ഷക്കണക്കിന് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മൈക്രോ ഫൈബറുകൾ നമ്മുടെ വാഷിംഗ് മെഷീനുകളിൽ‌ നിന്നും മലിനജല ശുദ്ധീകരണ പ്ലാന്റുകളിലൂടെ കടലിലേക്ക് നേരിട്ട് പോകുന്നു. കടൽ മലിനീകരണത്തിന്റെ ഒരു പ്രധാന കാരണം മൈക്രോ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കാണ്. സമുദ്രജീവികൾ ഈ വിഷ നാരുകൾ ഭക്ഷിക്കുകയും അവ ഭക്ഷ്യ ശൃംഖലയിലേക്ക് കടന്നുവരികയും ചെയ്യുന്നു. നമ്മുടെ മൽസ്യ സമ്പത്തിനെ ബാധിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ഒരു വലിയ വിപത്താണ് കടലിലെ പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മാലിന്യം. കൊക്കക്കോള, നെസ്‌ലെ, പെപ്സികോ – ഈ മൂന്ന് വ്യവസായ ഭീമന്മാരാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മാലിന്യത്തിന്റെ പ്രധാന കാരണക്കാർ *. അതിന്റെ പൂർണ ഉത്തരവാദിത്തം ഏറ്റെടുക്കുന്നതിന് പകരം ‘റീസൈക്ലിങ്’ ഉപഭോക്താവിന്റെ ഉത്തരവാദമായി അടിച്ചേല്പിക്കാനാണ് ഈ മൂന്ന് കമ്പനികളും പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മാലിന്യങ്ങൾക്ക് കാരണക്കാരായ മറ്റ് കമ്പനികളും ശ്രമിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നത്. അതാണ് നാം ഇന്ന് കാണുന്ന ‘റീസൈക്ലിങ്’ന്റെ തുടക്കം. നാം റീസൈക്കിൾ ചെയ്യുന്ന പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കും മറ്റു വസ്തുക്കളും എവിടെചെന്ന്ചേരുന്നുവെന്ന് നിങ്ങൾ ചിന്തിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടോ?

റീസൈക്ലിങിനായി നമ്മൾ നിക്ഷേപിക്കുന്ന പല സാധനങ്ങളും നമ്മുടെ രാജ്യത്തുതന്നെയുള്ള ചെറുതും വലുതുമാണ പല വ്യവസായങ്ങളും സംസ്കരിക്കുകയും മറ്റു പല നിത്യോപയോഗ വസ്തുക്കളാക്കി മാറ്റുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നു. എന്നാൽ വലിയൊരു ശതമാനം ചൈനയിലേക്കു കയറ്റി അയക്കപ്പെടുന്നു. ചൈനയിലെ മെഗാ ഡ്രാഗൺ ഫാക്ടറികൾക്ക് വിശപ്പടക്കാൻ ഇത്തരം ഇറക്കുമതി കൂടിയേ തീരു. ലോകമെമ്പാടുമുള്ള ദരിദ്ര രാജ്യങ്ങളിലേക്ക് പ്രതിവർഷം ലക്ഷക്കണക്കിന് ടൺ യുഎസ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മാലിന്യങ്ങൾ കയറ്റി അയയ്ക്കുന്നു.  ഇത് അതാത് രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽ പൊതുജനാരോഗ്യത്തിനും പരിസ്ഥിതിക്കും ഉണ്ടാകുന്ന പ്രത്യാഘാതങ്ങൾ ഭയാനകമാണ്.

പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ അതിപ്രസരം കുറക്കാൻ എന്താണൊരു പോംവഴി? റീസൈക്ലിങ് ഒരു പരിധിവരെ സഹായിക്കും. അതിനേക്കാൾ എത്രയോ നല്ലതാണ് പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കിന്റെ ഉപയോഗം കുറക്കുന്നത്. അതിനാവട്ടെ നമ്മുടെ പരിശ്രമം. ഒറ്റപ്രാവശ്യം ഉപയോഗിച്ച് വലിച്ചെറിയുന്ന പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് പ്ലേറ്റുകളും മറ്റും ഒഴിവാക്കുക. കടയിൽ നിന്ന് കിട്ടുന്ന പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് സഞ്ചികൾ കുറക്കാൻ ഇപ്പോഴും കയ്യിൽ ബാഗ് കരുതുക. പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് നിർമിത വസ്തുക്കൾ കഴിവതും ഒഴിവാക്കുക. 

പറയാൻ എത്ര എളുപ്പം! ഞാൻ ഈ ടൈപ്പ് ചെയ്യുന്ന കീ ബോർഡും, കാണുന്ന മോണിറ്ററും കമ്പ്യൂട്ടറും ഫോണും എന്നുവേണ്ടാ, കണ്ണടയും, ചീപ്പും, ചെരുപ്പും എല്ലാം എല്ലാം പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മയം! ഇതൊന്നുമില്ലാത്ത ഒരു ജീവിതം ചിന്തിക്കാനേ വയ്യ! എങ്കിലും പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക്കുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന പ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ അറിഞ്ഞിരുന്നാൽ ഒരുപക്ഷേ, അടുത്ത തവണ നൂറു പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് പ്ലേറ്റുകൾ വാങ്ങുന്നതിന് പകരം ‘IKEA’യിലും മറ്റും കിട്ടുന്ന പ്ലേറ്റുകൾ നിങ്ങൾ വാങ്ങിയേക്കാം!

അതൊരു പ്ലാസ്റ്റിക് മുക്ത വിപ്ലവത്തിന്റെ തുടക്കമാവട്ടെ! നമ്മുടെ വരും തലമുറക്കുവേണ്ടി നമുക്ക് ചെയ്യാൻ പറ്റുന്ന ഏറ്റവും വലിയ ഉപകാരമായിരിക്കും അത്.

* https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/10/29/coca-cola-named-the-worlds-most-polluting-brand-in-plastic-waste-audit/#73c0f1e774e0

വീണ്ടും ഒരു പ്രഭാതം

– Hari Narayanaswamy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Hari.jpg
ദു:ഖം മാത്രമാണുളളിൽ
ക്രൂരയാം ഘോരമാരി 
നിഷ്ഠൂരം വേട്ട തുടരവേ
സ്വച്ഛ ജീവിതങ്ങളെ 
കടപുഴക്കിയെറിയവേ
സ്വപ്നങ്ങളെ ഹ്ലാദം 
ചുട്ടുകരിക്കവേ
മരണമോടിയെത്തും 
മുമ്പേ മരിക്കുന്നു 
വിട ചൊല്ലാനാകാതെ
കാതരം ഹൃദയങ്ങൾ.
മുഖംമൂടിയിലൊളിക്കുന്നു 
വിളറിയ മുഖങ്ങൾ 
കൈയ്യുറക്കുള്ളിൽ 
വിറയ്ക്കുന്നു വിരലുകൾ 
ശവമെടുക്കാൻപോലും 
ഭയക്കുന്നു മക്കൾ.
പരസ്പരം കാണാതെ
അകലുന്ന കൂട്ടുകാർ
തമ്മിലകലം കല്പിപ്പത്
ഉള്ളിലോ പുറത്തോ?
നമുക്കു ജീവിപ്പതിന്നായിന്നു
മരിക്കേണമോ മനുഷ്യത്വം?
കരളലിയും ദുരന്തങ്ങൾ
നിശ്ശബ്ദം വീണുടയവേ
ഉള്ളിൽ, അകത്തളങ്ങളിൽ 
കരിനിഴലുകൾ പരന്നീടവേ
തേങ്ങലോടുയരുന്നിതെങ്ങോ
നോവിന്റെ ഗസലുകൾ
കൂട്ടിന്നീണം പകരുവാൻ 
രാക്കിളി, നീയും മറന്നുവോ?
മേടപ്പുലരിയിൽ വിഷു
കൊന്നയും കണിയുമായെത്തവേ
ആശതൻ കെടാവിളക്കിൽ
വീണ്ടുമൊരു തിരികൊളുത്തവേ
ദു:സ്വപ്നമെന്നപോൽ മറയുമോ
ദു:ഖം, വീണ്ടുമുണരുമോ പ്രഭാതം?

Listen to this poem being recited by Prahlad Trivikraman.


Recipe Corner

Veggie Biriyani with Paneer

– Pradip Ramachandran

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Oven time: 20 minutes.

I made this for dinner when I had some friends over a couple of weeks ago. Actually nothing too fancy. Just added fried Paneer to a simple vegetable biriyani and most people liked the result !

Biriyani isn’t a 5 minute dish to prepare. So embark on this only when you are cooking leisurely and have some time (approx 40-50 minutes) on your busy schedule😁

As always, read the recipe BEFORE you start chopping and slicing and cooking. That way you get your road-map for the dish in your head to get you to your goal. Don’t hesitate to make adjustments as needed. What is the fun in cooking if you simply follow someone else’s recipe (except for the ratio of rice to water)?

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tblspn minced garlic
  • tblspn minced ginger
  • 1 ripe tomato diced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup warm water (use as needed)
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • carrot sliced into one inch pieces (thickness of french fries)
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry spices (you can also use a store bought Biriyani mix like Eastern or any other brand)
    1. 1/4 tspn turmeric powder
    2. 1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
    3. 1/2 tspn ground black pepper
    4. 2 tspns Garam masala
    5. 1 tspn coriander powder
    6. 1/2 tspn Fennel powder (optional)
  • 1 cup fried Paneer (fresh cheese)
  • 3 tblspns chopped mint
  • 4 tblspns chopped cilantro

Method:

  • Add ghee or oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and  saute for 4-5 minutes, cook covered on low-med heat until most of the moisture has evaporated (6-8 minutes). Peek once in a while to ensure that the stuff isn’t burning. If too dry, sprinkle a little warm water.
  • Add vegetables, spice powders and salt. Stir well, add 1/2 cup warm water and cook covered on medium heat until vegetables are tender (not over cooked).
  • Add Paneer cubes, mint and cilantro. Stir well.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare the rice as follows.

For rice

  • 2 cups washed and drained Basmati rice
  • 3 tblspn Ghee or oil
  • 1/2 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tspn Shah Jeera (optional)
  • 5-6 Cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 whole Cloves
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 2 hot green chili peppers slit lengthwise (optional, for flavor)
  • 3.5 cups of warm water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Warm the Ghee or oil in a fairly deep pot warm on medium heat.
  • Add all the whole spices and saute for a couple of minutes. Add 3.5 cups of warm water and sufficient salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Then add drained rice and green chili pepper. Stir occasionally until water comes back to a boil. Cook uncovered for 5-6 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Then reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook COVERED for 15-18 minutes. Remove lid and gently fluff the rice using a fork.

Layering:

  • 3 tblspns chopped mint (garnish)
  • 3 tblspns chopped cilantro (garnish)
  • 1 tspn Rose essence diluted in 2 tblspns of water or rose water
  • 1/2 cup fried onions
  • A pinch of saffron soaked in 3 tablespoons of warm milk (optional)

Method:

  • Reserve half the fried onions, cilantro and mint for garnish.
  • In a flat serving dish, place alternate layers of the veggie+paneer mix, remaining cilantro, mint, fried onions and cooked rice. You should have at least two layers.
  • Sprinkle rose water over rice
  • Garnish with fried onions, cilantro and mint. Sprinkle saffron milk on top.
  • Cover dish with a tight-fitting lid and place in 300F over for 20 minutes.
  • Remove, and serve hot with Raitha.
  • Note: Let your guests do the “mixing” of the biriyani. You don’t want to spoil the look of it, do you?

Youth Corner

Save the Earth

– Avnita Pramod

6th Grade, Hyatts Middle School, Powell

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world. In fact, it marks its 50th anniversary on April 22, 2020. Earth Day celebrates the environmental movement and raises awareness about pollution and ways to maintain a clean habitat. 

Many sixth graders like me want to make a difference in the world. One time, as we were driving to the grocery store, I saw a lake. That lake had so much plastic and trash in the water. I wondered why anyone would want to throw plastic or trash in the waters when we had recycling bins and trash cans. I went home and wanted to do some research about this. It turns out 14 billion pounds of garbage was being dumped in the ocean each year. That is more than 1.5 million per hour. Some people ask why is it bad to throw trash in the ocean? Nature.com states, “When plastic finally breaks down, it causes trillions of plastic particles to float around in the ocean. This causes pollution in the oceans and has harmful effects on sea life.” This quote shows how bad trash in oceans can be. When fish eat plankton, they are ingesting the very small plastic particles in the ocean. This kills the fish and their ecosystem. Some ask, can’t we scoop it all out of the sea? Well, it is a nice idea but sadly impossible. Only 1% of litter floats and the rest sinks down to the ocean bottom. 

What does putting plastic in oceans and land do to us? Plastic releases chemicals in the surrounding soil and air. When this plastic pollutes the air, it makes it harder for humans to breathe. Also, if the soil is polluted, plants will wither down and die. It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down, so the environmental damage is long-lasting.

Kids like you and I want to help the earth in any way we can. There are many strategies that can help mother earth and its habitat. We can reduce using plastic by using reusable water bottles instead of bottled water, taking reusable bags instead of using plastic bags, avoiding straws, plastic cups etc. We can also recycle plastic instead of putting them in trash cans, avoid products that contain microplastics and even support your neighborhood cleanups. These are some of the small changes that we can make to our daily lifestyle which will create a big difference. Spread the word and encourage others to do these simple things and the world will be a better place for all of us to live.  

   

Save Earth – Poster

– Ameya Pramod

4th Grade, Liberty Tree Elementary School, Powell


Save the Earth – Painting

– Aanjali  Freney

4th Grade, New Albany Plain Local School

Save the Earth – Drawings

– Neil Nair 

7th grade, Willard Grizzell Middle School, Dublin

– Abitha Vinoyi

12th grade , Olentangy Orange High School

Kids Corner

Save my Earth

– Tanvi Rajesh 3 years old

Made this craft with home-made dough.


Meals on Wheels Volunteers

April 12, 2020 : Subin Thomas,Simple Subin,Kevin Subin and Trisha Subin
Completed Route # V1600

April 26, 2020 : Nish Nishant,Deepa Jayabalan and Jayabalan
Completed Route# V1801


Obituaries

Let us take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.


Special Thanks to all COVID-19 frontline fighters

You are walking right into the fire to help us get through this difficult time and making this world a better place.
Thank you so much for all your hard work and support to face this adversity.

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






Upcoming Local Events




Sponsor Corner

Stepping into a new decade

This January we are stepping into a new decade. January is the month related to making resolutions and new beginnings. According to T.S.Elliot’s quote, “Every moment is a fresh beginning,” points that you can make goals and start new things at any moment in your life. Usually, 35% of people who make a New year’s resolution break them by the end of January and only 23% of people carry out their resolutions for the whole year. Making a resolution every month and executing it, is much better. Are you one of that 23%? Do let us know in the comments section of the COMA newsletter.

Hello from COMA EC team 2020,

Many thanks for letting us bring joy to you. This year we promise to work towards making us more stronger and closer, bring fun-filled gatherings to you. Of course nothing of which would be possible without the tremendous support and the community spirit from each one of you.

We also request every one of you to purchase your membership , which is our working capital to progress and maintain a place where we can re-invent & our kids can invent their Malayalee identity.

COMAngam 2020

We would like to take this opportunity to kick off this year’s events with a bash with our first event “COMAngam 2020”, on 29th of February.We are hoping to create some good memories on a date which comes once in 4 years. The venue of the event will be DCRC. The event will follow the popular format of having teams among us.
This time there will 2 teams each lead by 2 captains. We encourage everyone to reach out on coma.officials@gmail.com to get included in the team.Watch out for the registration opening notification on COMA’s social handles.We are thrilled to see you all there. 

Introducing the new Newsletter team

Smitha Sasindran

She is from Trivandrum and live in Powell with her husband Sanjay , daughter Saanvi and son Saatvik. She is very excited to be a part of newsletter team this year  and would  like to take this opportunity to connect with the community in creative and fun ways and hopefully provide valuable content along the way.

Nithya & Sreejith Menon

They both landed in the US in 2011 & made Columbus their home since then. They originally hail from Palakkad and Thrissur districts. They have two kids – Shriya and Pranav.

Ravi Hariharan

He is from Cochin and has been living in Columbus since 2011. Currently lives in Powell with his wife Ramya, daughter Sahana and son Saanav. He loves listening to songs, watching movies and playing cricket, tennis and ping pong.

Gaurinanda

Daughter of Sudheesh and Lekshmi is a 6th grader at John Sells Middle School. She has lived with her parents and her brother, Gautham in Dublin since 2016. Her hobbies are reading, writing and playing with her brother.

We have some new volunteers for Malayalam classes

Sophia Kurien

She is a Master’s degree holder in Software Engineering from TKM Institute of Technology & Science.She was working as an Assistant Professor at the department of Computer Scinece at MBITS college Kothamangalam for 4.5 years before coming to the USA .

Veena Binoop

Veena is from Aluva, Ernakulam. She completed her Masters in Malayalam from Mahatma Gandhi university and was working as teacher in Christava Mahilalayam public school till mid 2017 before moving to Columbus. She is living in Brittonwoods Dublin with her husband Binoop and two sons Devarsh & Aaarush. She loves reading, cooking, hanging out with friends & family and watching movies.

Volunteers for our Meals On Wheels

January 26,2020 Thomas Pullumpallil,Reuben Varughese,Shome Thomas,Rianna Shome

January 12,2020 Nish Nishant, Pradeesh, Anoop Nair

December 22,2019 Joseph Abraham, Nancy Joseph, Joshua Abraham, Rachael Abraham

December 8,2019 Valsan Palika, Gopi Haridass, Maya Achen

November 24,2019 Nish Nishant, Austin Pereira, Ceby Philip

November 10,2019 Sunil Balkrishnan, Jerry Zachariah, Vipin Nair

Your dedication and compassion should be well praised!

Obituary

Shantha Gopalakrishnan, 75, wife of P.G.Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of Institute of Engineers (India) died in Kochin on January 8th 2020. She belonged to the Kettidathil family, Mayyanad, Kollam. She is survived by son Vikas Gopal (Columbus Ohio), daughter-in-law Arati Krishna, and grandchildren Varun Gopal and Karun Gopal.

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

COMA Newsletter November 2019

Thanksgiving has always been a time that reminds me to be grateful for God’s blessings. And if we really want to validate that with the origins of this celebration , we can see that it is in the same premise. Giving thanks to the Creator’s gifts was always the way of life for Native Americans of Wampanoag. So I am justified in saying that this holiday should remind us again to be forever grateful for what has been given to us.

If I look around, I feel that it is so important to have that constant reminder. We have become entitled society, almost to the point of being spoilt. We complain about the hardships of life, when they don’t even remotely qualify as any kind of hardship. We forget our blessings, the fact that we have people who love us, a roof above our heads, food to eat and money to spend. We tend to focus on that we think we need. We forget and we complain. We,COMA Newsletter Family would like to remind us all to reflect on our blessings for a change and be grateful. Let this Thanksgiving be , truly, a Thanksgiving….

COMA Christmas Celebrations

COMA Annual Christmas and Holiday celebration will be held on Saturday, 7th December 2019 from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM at Olentangy Liberty Middle School, 7940 Liberty Rd, Powell, OH 43065.

  • Picture with Santa
  • Cultural events
  • Dinner with a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian authentic Kerala dishes 
  • Dance floor
  • Dress code: Christmas/Holiday themed casual / party wear

Register here soon as the registration will close on 12/3/2019 (or earlier when the limit is reached). Come and enjoy a splendid night with authentic Kerala food (including many Christmas specials), performances from COMA members and a lot of fun activities! Grab your tickets before its sold out.  

Translucent – by Hrishi Nair

I finally made it! I thought. After all my hard work, I finally got the job at the Gazette! I took another look at the email that I just received from the Gazette. I brimmed with pride like a cup that had been overfilled, dripping its contents everywhere. After all,I needed this
job. I lived in a crappy old apartment with off-white walls and coated with thousands of cobwebs. I owned an old green couch with a pull-out mattress. A brown tube TV stood tall on a stand only a few feet away. The kitchen had a broken oven with a stove sitting on top. Across from that was a couple cupboards with a microwave in the middle. Since I didn’t have a job, I
made money from mowing lawns.

“Congratulations Mr. Gaster! We welcome you to the Gazette,” I started to read the email aloud to myself. “We hope that you can meet the standards that we maintain here. Your first
assignment is to go find an interesting story that we can print in the next issue. Remember you must meet our standards or else your position will be terminated.” I had always wanted to be a journalist. As a little kid I would just write down things in a little notepad that I carried around everywhere. My passion for journalism is like a blazing fire,
impossible to put out no matter how hard your efforts are. Now I have to go find a story that the Gazette will like, I thought to myself.

I decided to take a walk to clear my thoughts and get inspiration.
“What about student loan debt, or global warming, or plastic in animals?” I shook my head. “That’s all too general to be in the newspaper. I have to find something unique to Texas.”I sat down at the bench in a nearby park. Another woman was already sitting watching a child play on the swings. She took a look at the pad I had in my head. “Why do you have that?” she pointed at my pad.

“Why do you have that?” she pointed at my pad.
“Oh, I’m a journalist. I work with the Gazette and I have to find a story.”
She thought for a second. “A story huh? Why not do one on that abandoned house right
across from mine? My son is always so creeped out by it. He hates going outside because of it.”I stood up suddenly. “That might work.”
“I would be careful though, because people say its haunted by the previous owners.” “I wouldn’t worry about that.” I started to jog back home. “Ghosts aren’t even real!” At home I did more research on the house and found its original listing page. Wow that’s really cheap for a house that big, I reasoned. Did something horrible happen
there?

It turns out that the old owners left abruptly. All of the comments on the original selling
page agreed with the woman in the park.
They all said something along the lines of, “This house is haunted.” Those guys are morons.
“This is the perfect story for the Gazette.” I began to talk to myself. “Me and a supposed
haunted house. What could go wrong?”
I grabbed my pad and camera. I took a look outside and saw the light outside was fading. Should I wait for morning? I questioned myself. No I need the story as soon as possible.I ate some instant noodles.

The only food cheap enough for me to afford. Then, I grabbed
a flashlight in case the house was as dark as a dead lightbulb. Giving no light, but instead complete darkness.I followed the address that was listed on the houses selling page. It led to an old, grey run down house with a “for sale” sign. It looked like no one would ever buy it.I grabbed the door knocker and rapped it against the door. BANG, BANG, BANG . “Hello?” I yelled inside. To my sudden surprise someone answered the door.It was a young boy. He didn’t look much over the age of eight. His clothes were wet and
shredded. There was one more thing about him that seemed weird, but I couldn’t put my finger on it due to the darkness outside. Considering his deplorable appearance he spoke excitedly, “Hello!” His voice made me jump. “Hello…” He gestured me in very emphatically. I had no other choice but to walk in. I was still stunned by the fact there was only a boy living in this huge house. I walked in the door.The house was painted in peach. The living room had a grey couch. The couch was like a derelict countertop, slowly gathering dust over the years. Across from the couch was a humongous flatscreen TV. The boy shut the door behind me and quickly rushed to meet me. He seemed very jumpy and excited. “Hey! Hi! How are you?” I was confused by what was going on, so I asked the obvious question, “Who are you?”

“Ahh, I should’ve told you that first. Sorry no one’s been here for the last few years. I’m Aqua.”

I nodded, “Hi.” at that time I thought he was just an orphan who lived alone. I would soon learn otherwise. “Im Jason Gaster. Call me Ghost though. That’s what my friends call me. They say that it’s because I’m too quiet and shy.”
He nodded with a faraway look in his eye. It was almost as if the word ghost reminded him of something.

I started to explore the house while he sat there. It was a gigantic house. There were six rooms upstairs. All of them looked like no one had walked inside for hundreds of years. I walked downstairs to the basement. I saw what looked like the gym. There were weights on racks. Next to them was a couple of pool and ping-pong tables. Across from that there was a door that led to the pool. Inside the pool something caught my attention.Something was floating in it. Next This freaked me out so I walked back to the kitchen, and Aqua was sitting reading a book. He had tears in his eyes. The book he was reading had no words at all. Just pictures. I saw
him next to a couple of people around his height. They all looked similar. Behind them were two adults who also looked like him. “Hey,” I said hesitantly.
Aqua quickly wiped the tears out of his eyes, “Hi.” I pointed at the pool, “What’s floating in the water?” Something was floating in it.

A dark expression passed over his face for a few seconds before it returned to normal.“Something happened,” his tone made it clear that he didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t care and kept on asking, “Like what?” “Nothing you should care about,” He snapped back quickly

“But I want to kno-.”
I suddenly realized what was weird about this boy.

His appearance was translucent… Like a ghost.“That’s where you died isn’t it.”
He turned away quickly with tears in his eyes. “I was the youngest child. My siblings loved to hurt me.” he started to quietly sob while grabbing a rusty, blood stained knife. “They cut me up with this kitchen knife and dunked me in the water. I don’t think they meant to kill me. When I woke up, they were gone. Even my parents. I ́ve been stuck here as a ghost for two years.My body never allowed me to leave. I learned you could never leave the place you died.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that. So I didn’t. I hadn’t stayed there for too long, but I decided that it was enough. I grabbed my camera and started to walk out in a daze; I was still trying to make sense of what just happened. I hadn’t taken any notes on my experience with
Aqua. I just hoped that I would forget about it all and move on with my life.
̈ ̈No don’t leave!” Aqua started to run after me. ¨I don’t want to be stuck here all alone! I don’t want to be here with no one to talk to” I didn’t care about what he said. I ran for the door.“Please don’t leave.” he started to cry, “I don’t want to make you stay.” I kept on ignoring him while struggling to open the rusty old door. It refused to move like a huge elephant, perfectly content with where it is. I heard the screech of the boy. I turned around and saw him rushing at me with the rusty, blood stained knife. I felt a sharp pain in my side.

Then I was in a daze. Everything was spinning. The boy was filled with shock by what happened. I found myself falling before everything went dark.
When I woke up the boy was at my side. My head ached. I lay there dazed and filled with pain trying to remember what happened. Aqua had a pensive look on his face. I tried to stand up
but instead stumbled back onto the floor.“There’s no use,” Aqua uttered. “I’ve already done it.” “What are you talking about?” I questioned, “What do you mean by already done it?”
He shook his head and walked away. I tried to stand back up again but the same thing happened.I gave up trying to get up and decided to lay on the ground for a while. My head still throbbed
from what I thought was a concussion. It looked like I was a baby;trying to get it’s head of the floor for the first time. I eventually got enough energy to stand up. I grabbed my pen, pad, and camera and started to head for the door.
That was so weird. I hope I can just forget about it all and just find a better stor- I stopped in my tracks. For some reason I couldn’t grab the doorknob. My body wouldn’t allow me to.I suddenly remembered what Aqua had said about him being stuck here. About his body
not allowing him to leave the place where he died. About how he couldn’t leave the house that he died in. I quickly raised my hands to my face to look at them.
They were… translucent.

Reflections or Ramblings – (edition 4) by Hari Narayanaswamy

Some of the highlights:

When we hear the word “Thanksgiving“, what comes to the mind first? Holidays, shopping, turkey, family, maybe Black Friday? Maybe we will get to the word ”gratitude” if we think really hard, no thanks to the commercialisation and consumerism that have taken over the holidays. Should it be that hard? I would say no, provided we have kept up with our culture of maintaining cherished values in everyday life instead of celebrating them once a year. That brings up the question if gratitude should be a cherished value. Does gratitude have an inherent worth to it? 

One of the key aspects of the post-industrial revolution world was the search for the eluding human happiness. Somehow the comforts, security, and luxury of material wealth in the developed world didn’t exactly translate to happiness, but in fact, had the opposite effect of creating more internal misery. We have seen the resulting fascination for eastern mystical thinking in the 20th century that later on got mired with drugs and aimless free living in the ‘60s. Most recently, we see this in the fascination with new age Gurus and mindfulness coaches. There are shelves exclusively dedicated for the topic of “happiness“ in book stores and libraries.

If we scour over all of these books and lectures offering help on finding happiness, what we will find is that the one key ingredient to all the prescriptions is the recommendation to develop the attitude of gratitude. Somehow, being grateful magically lessens the weight of the heart and fills it with positivity.

Those of you who have the tradition of saying grace as a family at the dinner table or in a prayer would certainly know this. But, here is the challenge. The benefit of being grateful is totally internal and not tangible, while opportunism and focus on transactional gain leads to “success” and “wins”. History is replete with stories of arrogance and pompousness from the latter leading to the ultimate fall while graciousness and sacrifice have inspired and endured.

Two Indian fables also come to mind. One is that of a squirrel who helps in the building of the bridge across ocean in Ramayana. While the powerful monkeys were carrying giant boulders to drop in the ocean, the squirrel was trying to do its best carrying whatever sand or pebbles it could to add to the bridge. Rama becomes so astonished by the dedication of this squirrel that he is supposed to have run three fringes of his right hand over its back in affection, and since then, all squirrels have a golden stripe on their backs! Here, the key point is, gratitude is not necessarily a measured return for the material benefit but a return of affection for the very intent and attitude itself.

Other story is from Jataka tales where a Lion one time spares the life of a mouse. The relived mouse offers his help whenever a need may arise. But, the powerful lion waves it away, saying, “What use does the meagre mouse have?” One day, the lion gets entrapped in a hunters net and lies there powerless.

The mouse shows up and snips away the net, letting the lion free itself.  The moral of the story is obviously about humility, but it also tells us that gratitude is founded on humility. It is not a mere ”thank you” said at every turn, but an acknowledgement of our limitations and how much we need voluntary help from others in our lives.

Not every culture is expressive with words about gratitude, however. Many of us have come from a culture where saying “thank you“ can actually offend our close friends and family. It somehow has a connotation of making the relationship formal and distant. I have no memory of saying “thank you” to my mother or father, but I can say confidently how much they knew of my gratefulness for their sacrifices. The silence of unsaid words are often much more powerful than ones uttered.

Have a great Thanksgiving and hope we will all strive to be thankful all the time!

PS: A very useful Fortune cookie quote to keep in mind as we shop the Thanksgiving deals – “A bargain is something you don’t need that comes at an attractive price” 🙂


Theyyam – by Valsan Palika

തെയ്യത്തിന് പ്രാദേശിക സ്വഭാവമുണ്ടെന്നു പറഞ്ഞുവല്ലോ. വടക്കേ മലബാറിൽ മിക്ക ഗ്രാമങ്ങളിലും ദേശമൂർത്തികളായ തെയ്യങ്ങൾ കണ്ടുവരുന്നു. വളരെ ചുരുക്കം തെയ്യങ്ങൾ ഗ്രാമ സീമകളെ മറികടന്ന് വിശാലമായ ഒരു പ്രദേശത്തിന്റെയും, ജനവിഭാഗത്തിന്റെയും ആരാധനാ മൂർത്തികളായി മാറിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. മുച്ചിലോട്ട് ഭഗവതി, ചാമുണ്ഡി, പൊട്ടൻ, ഗുളികൻ, വയനാട്ടു കുലവൻ, കണ്ണങ്ങാട്ട് ഭവതി, കുട്ടിച്ചാത്തൻ, കതിവനൂർ വീരൻ മുതലായ തെയ്യങ്ങൾ ഇവയിൽ ചിലതാണ്. ‘കളിയാട്ടം’ എന്ന മലയാള സിനിമയിൽ  കതിവനൂർ വീരൻ തെയ്യത്തെക്കുറിച്ചു പരാമർശിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. നൂറോളം കാവുകളിൽ പ്രധാന മൂർത്തിയായ മുച്ചിലോട്ട് ഭഗവതിയെക്കുറിച്ചു ചില കാര്യങ്ങൾ പറയാം 

പണ്ട് പെരിഞ്ചെല്ലൂർ എന്ന് അറിയപ്പെട്ടിരുന്ന ഇന്നത്തെ തളിപ്പറമ്പിൽ (കണ്ണൂർ ജില്ല) ‘രയരമംഗലത്ത് മന’ എന്ന് പേരുള്ള പേരുകേട്ട ഒരു കുടുംബമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. ഒരു കാലത്ത് അവിടെ കുട്ടികളില്ലാതെ വരികയാൽ  മനയിലെ കാരണവന്മാർ കുലദേവതയായ രയരമംഗലത്ത് ഭഗവതിയെ പ്രീതിപ്പെടുത്താനായി വിശേഷാൽ പ്രാർത്ഥനകളും പൂജകളും നടത്തി. ഒരു പുത്രനെയാണ് ആഗ്രഹിച്ചതെങ്കിലും ആ കുടുംബത്തിൽ

പിറന്നത് ഒരു പെൺകുട്ടിയായിരുന്നു. ഈശ്വര കടാക്ഷത്താൽ കിട്ടിയ കുഞ്ഞായതിനാൽ അവൾക്ക് ‘ദൈവകന്യക’ എന്ന് നാമകരണവും ചെയ്തു.  പെൺകുഞ്ഞായിരുന്നുവെങ്കിലും അവളെ വേണ്ട വിധത്തിൽ വിദ്യാഭാസം ചെയ്യിച്ചു. അതി സമർത്ഥയും  സർവ കലകളിലും അഗ്രഗണ്യയുമായി അവൾ വളർന്നു വന്നു. പക്ഷെ ഗ്രാമത്തിലെ മറ്റു പണ്ഡിതർക്ക് ഒരു പെൺകുട്ടിയുടെ ഈ വളർച്ചയും ഖ്യാതിയും സഹിക്കാവുന്നതിലും അപ്പുറമായിരുന്നു. കിട്ടിയ അവസരങ്ങളെല്ലാം അവർ അവളെ ഇകഴ്ത്താനും പരിഹസിക്കാനും ഉപയോഗിച്ചു. ബാല്യ വിവാഹം സർവ്വസാധാരണമായിരുന്ന കാലമായിരുന്നതിനാൽ പന്ത്രണ്ടാം വയസ്സിൽ അവളുടെ വിവാഹം നടത്താൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചു. തന്നെ നേരിട്ട് ഒരു വാഗ്വാദത്തിൽ തോൽപ്പിക്കാൻ കഴിവുള്ള പണ്ഡിതനെ  മാത്രമേ താൻ വിവാഹം കഴിക്കു എന്ന് അവൾ ശഠിച്ചു. അങ്ങിനെ വാഗ്വാദത്തിന് ഒരു തിയതി നിശ്ചയിച്ചു വിളംബരം ചെയ്തു.
ധാരാളം പണ്ഡിതന്മാർ കേട്ടറിഞ്ഞെത്തിയെങ്കിലും ആർക്കും അവളെ വാഗ്വാദത്തിൽ തോൽപ്പിക്കാൻ പറ്റിയില്ല. സഹികെട്ട പണ്ഡിതന്മാർ ചേർന്ന് അവൾക്കെതിരായി ഒരു ചതിപ്രയോഗത്തിന് പദ്ധതിയിട്ടു. നവരസങ്ങളിൽ പ്രധാനം ശൃംഗാരമെന്നും ഏറ്റവും കഠിനമായ വേദന പ്രസവ വേദനയാണെന്നും ചോദ്യങ്ങൾക്കുത്തരമായി അവൾ പറഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ അവർ അവളെ പരിഹസിച്ചു. അവൾ പ്രസവ വേദനയും ശൃംഗാരവും രഹസ്യമായി അനുഭവിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടന്നും അവർ അവളെ അധിക്ഷേപിച്ചു. അവളുടെ അച്ഛന്റെ അപേക്ഷകളെല്ലാം പാടെ നിരസിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് അവളെ ആ സമൂഹത്തിൽനിന്ന് ഭ്രഷ്ട് കല്പിച്ചു പുറത്താക്കി. വിഷാദവും ദേഷ്യവും നിരാശയും കലർന്ന മനോസ്സോടെ അവൾ വീടും ഗ്രാമവും ഉപേക്ഷിച്ചിറങ്ങി. തന്റെ നിരപരാധിത്വം തെളിയിക്കാൻ അഗ്നിയിൽ ചാടി ജീവിതം

അവസാനിപ്പിക്കാൻ അവൾ ഉറച്ചു. കാട്ടിൽനിന്നും വിറകും ഇലകളും ശേഖരിച്ചു അവൾ ഒരു ചിതയുണ്ടാക്കി അതിലേക്ക് ചാടി. പക്ഷെ അഗ്നി അവളെ ഒട്ടും വേദനിപ്പിച്ചില്ല! അപ്പോൾ അതുവഴി വന്ന ഒരു വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ വില്പനക്കാരന്റെ കയ്യിൽനിന്നും വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ വാങ്ങി അവൾ ചിതയിലേക്ക് ഒഴിച്ച് അഗ്നിയുടെ ശക്തികൂട്ടി. വാനോളം ഉയർന്ന അഗ്നിനാളങ്ങളിലേക്ക്  ചാടി അവൾ ജീവനൊടുക്കി. ഭയന്നുപോയ വിൽപ്പനക്കാരൻ സ്വന്തം വീട്ടിലേക്ക് പാഞ്ഞുപോയി. ‘മുച്ചിലോടൻ’ എന്ന് പേരായ അവന്റെ കൂടെ അവളുടെ ചൈതന്യം പോവുകയും ‘മുച്ചിലോട്’ വീട്ടിൽ കുടിയിരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു എന്ന് വിശ്വാസം. ഈ കഥ കേട്ടവർ അത് ഭഗവതിയുടെ അവതാരമാണെന്നു സംശയലേശമെന്യേ വിശ്വസിച്ചു, മുച്ചിലോട് ഭഗവതി എന്ന് വിളിച്ചു. ഭാഗവിതക്കു വേണ്ടി ഒരു കാവ് ഉണ്ടാക്കുകയും അവിടെ പൂജയും കെട്ടിയാടുന്ന തെയ്യവും നടത്തുകയും ചെയ്തു.
സാധാരണ കാവുകളിനൽ  ഓരോ വർഷവും, പ്രധാനപ്പെട്ട ചില കാവുകളിൽ പാന്ത്രണ്ടു വർഷത്തിലൊരിക്കലും  (‘പെരുങ്കളിയാട്ട’മായി) മുച്ചിലോട്ട് ഭഗവതി തെയ്യം ആഘോഷിച്ചുവരുന്നു. മതപരവും സാമൂഹികവുമായ അടിത്തറയെന്ന നിലയിൽ, പ്രദേശത്തിന്റെ സാമൂഹിക ചരിത്രത്തിൽ മുച്ചിലോട്ട് ഭഗവതിക്കും മറ്റ് തെയ്യങ്ങൾക്കും ഒരു നിർണ്ണായക സ്ഥാനമുണ്ട്. മാറി വരുന്ന സാമൂഹിക സാഹചര്യങ്ങളിലും തെയ്യങ്ങളുടെ ആനുകാലിക പ്രസക്തി നിലനിൽക്കുന്നുണ്ടെന്നത് വളരെ ആശാവഹമാണ്. സർക്കാരും സർക്കാരിതര പ്രസ്ഥാനങ്ങളും ഈ പാരമ്പര്യ കലകൾ നിലനിർത്തുന്നതിനും കലാകാരന്മാരുടെ ജീവിത സാഹചര്യങ്ങൾ മെച്ചപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതിനും അനുസ്യൂതം പ്രയത്നിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. ഇതിനാലൊക്കെ ഇത്തരം പൈതൃക സമ്പത്തുകൾ കാലത്തിനെ അതിജീവിച്ചു നിലനിൽക്കും എന്ന് നമുക്ക് പ്രത്യാശിക്കാം.


COMA Sports Leagues

COMA Sports league 2019 – The inaugural sports league of COMA have come to end.

It all started with COMA Badminton tournament 2019 which was held in February 2019. We made this tournament open to everyone and more than 80 players from Columbus, Cincinnati, Celeveland and Pittsburg areas participated in it. We received may rave reviews about the tournament from all around and everyone is looking forward to participating next year. We hoped to publicize ‘COMA’ to the Indian community in Columbus through this tournament and this exactly did the same. We hope this tournament will become one of the marquee events of COMA going forward. Another exciting part of the tournament was that Men’s Doubles Champions are COMA members – Anoop Joseph and Dilin Joy.

Next event was Thuruppu Gulan 2019 – a cards and game night for Malayalees. We included the games that are loved by Malayalees all around the world – Thuruppugulan, Rummy and Carrom. This event was very well received within the community and a lot of people joined us for a fun filled evening, playing a lot of games with their dear and near ones.

Thuruppu Gulan – Irupathiyettu
Winner – Team Veerans (Jojo Joseph, John George and Abraham Thomas)
Runner Up – Team Challengers (Deepu Paul, Binix John, Joseph Sebastian)
Third Place – Team Minimum Vili (Sakunthala Puthiyattil, Pradeesh Puthiyattil and Sachin Sugathan)

Thuruppu Gulan – Rummy
Winner – Shibu Nair
Runner Up – Sangeetha Muthiraparambath
Third Place – Anand Cherian

Thuruppu Gulan – Carrom
Winner – Arun Chand & Sajid Babu
Runner Up – Arun Davis & Deepak Divakaran
Third Place – Abraham Thomas & Priya Pramod

We conducted three outdoor leagues in Summer – Cricket, Soccer and Tennis.

Cricket tournament was won by Team Empuraans beating Thakarppans in a closely contested finals. Finals was conducted in best-of-three matches format. Thakarppans won the first match, but Empuraans came back strongly and defeated Thakarppans in the next two matches, and won the trophy!

COMA Soccer league had four teams from our community. A lot of passion and fighting spirit were shown in every match and all teams were fighting tooth and nail till the end. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the final for the soccer league due to time constraints and we decided to finish the tournament in the league format itself without the finals. Here are the final standing for the league – Columbus Blasters got the top spot in the standings.

COMA Tennis Tournament got a lot of interest from the community – eight Mens Doubles teams played in a round robin format and top four teams went onto play the semi finals. Ajish Poonthuruthiyil and Arun Chand won the tournament beating Girish Manoharan and Ravi Hariharan in the Final.

We hope all of you enjoyed the COMA Sports and Games Tournaments this year. The passion and vigor all of you showed in the field is exemplary! We hope to having these tournaments as an annual event for COMA. Thank you everyone for showing up and making these events a great success for COMA!


Meals on Wheels Volunteers

  • 10/27 – Sudha Warrier,Govi Warrier,Anoop Nair
  • 11/10 – Sunil Balkrishnan,Jerry Zachariah,Vipin Nair
  • 11/24 – Nish Nishant,Austin Pereira,Ceby Philip

COMA Newsletter October 2019

Here in Midwest we are now seeing the major seasons change of the year, and to every ones delight our curbside trees are turning gorgeous with those fall colors.Before its loo late you have couple of weeks to explore some of the beautiful scenic dives in and around Ohio and experience the golden light of mother nature. In this edition of the newsletter of Hari has written a beautiful poem and Manju is talking about the importance of Malayalam education but to begin with, Shraddha have written a piece about relevance of Mahatma Gandhi and his values in our lives and for the generations to come. Happy Reading!!! and Wishing you all a Happy Diwali!!!

Celebrating Gandhi – His Values and Principles by Shraddha Krishnan

While celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the question of whether Gandhi’s values and principles are still relevant and important to the current world is definitely worthy of examination. Gandhi was one of the most influential voices of not just India, but the whole world. His words spoke out and related to most of the planet’s population, and he was a force to be reckoned with. When asked about him, Albert Einstein once said, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” Einstein could not believe that someone with values of such high esteem could actually be human.

If we look back at the life of Gandhi, two very important values seem to stand out, and form the core principles of his teachings. One of these values is satyam, or a strict adherence to truth. He once said, “In judging myself I shall try to be as harsh as truth, as I want others also to be. Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.” This is something he had followed for all his life, from his teenage years all the way up to his unfortunate death.

The second value is ahimsa, or non-violence. He encouraged all his followers to do the same, and it made such a difference in the world. This is one of the things Gandhi is most remembered for. He did not believe in fighting violence with violence. He always stood by the strong belief that violence is never the answer. The most noted evidence of this is the Salt Satyagraha, or the Salt March. This was an act of disobedience to assert one’s rights without violence. It was simple, yet spoke so loud. This trend of non-violent action set the stage for many future activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., who constantly referred to Gandhi’s principles during the Civil Rights Movement.    

These two moral standards did not appear out of thin air.  Mahatma Gandhi’s experiences in life, from being a student in London, to working as a lawyer in South Africa, and leading a revolution in India, churned together and formed his teachings as we know of them today. Gandhi lived through many important events, and they shaped his character into something that even today, we revere. We live in a world right now where violence appears to be the main expression of power.

We see it all the time that in violence and thirst for power, hate and injustice seem to manifest themselves in every crevice of society. This is not any different from Gandhi’s time. Just as he was able to use the values of non-violence and truth to fight domination and injustice in his era, we can also do the same today. 

Sudents all around the globe are currently taught about Gandhi and why his message is so important. Students of today are the future, and are responsible for what our world will be tomorrow. As inspired by a very famous quote of Gandhi, we need to be the change we want to see in the world. It is so important that students learn to appreciate Gandhi and his principles in order to make today’s multicultural and cosmopolitan societies a true success. The example set by Gandhi on peaceful coexistence and mutual respect is extremely valuable to today’s as well as the future world. Gandhi’s principles will always be applicable through the generations to come. This is why students should learn about them to make our world a better place. 

Reflections or Ramblings – (edition 3) by Hari Narayanaswamy

I too had strolled up a mount
Coming upon two forking paths*
Leading away to places far
Mysteries unseen, buried very deep

One was hemmed with flowery shrubs
Jasmine and Lily, Lavender and Daisies
Opening the gate for rushing thoughts
Waking up dreams that slept in heart

Dreams of a spring bright with Sun
Sprawling meadows and shiny grass
Daffodils swaying, breeze very light
Darting birds and clear blue sky

Other was laid with fallen leaves
Glistening in colors that bring us cheer
Sun’s rays playing hide and seek
Fresh odor of cedar, oak and birch

Solemness of a winter not yet here
Traces of a summer not yet gone
Clouds that rush to homes far off
Hearts that yearn for long lost love

Down I went on my autumn path
Sparsely treaded, rarely passed
What I come upon was not my care
Breathing joy on a boundless flight

*Reference is to Robert Frost’s famous poem ‘Road not taken’

Why Malayalam ? by Manjula Nair

It is ironic that I am writing about why it is important to learn Malayalam , in English. My intent is to reach a broader audience and also those who do not know Malayalam. I read somewhere that the biggest human invention is our languages. Languages have helped humans communicate and that has led us towards civilization. I am sure there are some of us who would argue that animals and birds communicate better than humans in this day and age. And there are also people (like me) who believe that non verbal communication is way more effective. But let’s table that topic for another day.

Coming back to the importance of communication , done in the right way, it is the most powerful tool that exists today. It could be used to influence human minds, give new perspectives, forge relationships, soothe an aching heart. But since it is such a powerful tool, it can cause just as much destruction too. Communication or the lack of, has destroyed relationships, caused world wars, Hence the importance of using it carefully and mindfully.

Having said this, I need to tell you why I think it is important to learn your mother tongue.  As humans, one of our most basic needs is to belong in friendship, in romance, in a family, a community, whatever it maybe. But we need to belong. To belong to your roots, to the land where you originated, you should be able to communicate in the same language. I am not saying you cannot connect to your motherland without knowing the language, but it is definitely easier if you do. You understand the jokes, the slang, the little references that come up in conversations and voila! you are one among them..

For our children, who has grown up in another land,that we call our home, it is always harder to communicate and connect with those back in our motherland. Language plays a huge role in bridging the gap, amongst many other things. 

One of the best gifts that we can give our children is a chance to learn the language, so that they don’t feel so alien when they visit Kerala. I have seen that happen with so many children and is very sad to watch them trying to fit in and are unable to.

Our association has an ongoing Malayalam class that is run by volunteers entirely and caters to both adults and children.If you didn’t know about this offering and if you would like to learn our language, please check out our association website

If you are one to treasure our roots in Kerala and wishes that your children do too, give them the gift of language. That will help them belong to the Malayali community. Plus, we all know, there is no place in the entire world where you won’t find a Malayali. And lets not forget our world class literature and movies.You will be exposing them to the treasure land of books and movies and they will thank you. 

Hopefully we will see more of you in our Malayalam class..

Onam Celebrations

Please access pictures from COMA Onam celebration 2019 by clicking here. Thank you to Ashish M for capturing the moments so well.

Finance 101

COMA will be conducting a finance 101 session for youths. This session will be a great opportunity for the youths to understand the Importance of money and how to start saving and investing for future from the industry experts on Finance and Insurance. This session is geared towards children from middle school through college going.  There will be a limited number of seats available for this session and we would encourage you to sign up early by sending an email to coma.officials@gmail.com  Please mark your calendar for the session to be conducted on Nov 16th Saturday 2.00 PM to 3.00 PM.  We will send out venue and other details soon. 

Meals on Wheels Volunteers

  • 09/22 – Thomas Pullumpallil, Reuben Varughese and Girish Manoharan
  • 10/13 – Nish Nishant, Dhanush Kondoth and Shibu Nair

“GIVING BACK TO KERALA”

What is this initiative? 

Being so far away from India, all of you have probably wanted to somehow be able to give back and be connected to our birthplace, Kerala. COMA is starting an initiative called ‘Giving back to Kerala’ and has for the year 2019-2020, identified two non-profit, non-religious, non-political charitable organizations in Kerala that desperately require financial support. Both serve the elderly, destitute, battered women, abandoned children.

  • Gandhi Bhavan Saranalayam, Kollam-Sustaining Need – TARGET $300 ($100 of 300  reached) per month 
    • Pay a recurring monthly amount or one-time payment through  coma.charities@gmail.com
  • Sri Chitra Home, Trivandrum- One Time Need – TARGET $3000 this year  
  • **Payment through Quick pay (coma.charities@gmail.com) or Paypal to coma.officials@gmail.com

What happens to my donation?

Separate account is set up for donations and the donations will be handed over to these organizations and accounted separately by COMA. Total donations received will be published annually for full transparency. Efforts are in place to ensure that there is complete accountability for the money received at these organizations. The utilization of the funds will be socialized with the givers so that we can rest easy that the money has reached the truly deserving people. 

As always, please send us any questions or clarifications that you might have regarding this at coma.charities@gmail.com.

Thank you all in advance for your generosity!!

COMA CHARITY TEAM

COMA Newsletter September 2019

This time of the year is where we all have been eagerly waiting to welcome “Mahabali”, as you all are aware much awaited COMA Onam celebrations is around the corner, behind the scenes our volunteers are working hard to make the Onam celebration a grand success. We hope all of you will get to enjoy this beautiful festival with your family and friends.

Reflections or Ramblings (Edition-2) by Hari Narayanaswami.

I won’t expect anyone to disagree with me if I say there is a world of difference between Kerala and Ohio. We are at least 7000 miles apart to start with and Ohio winter is not too far out in case you haven’t noticed!  But, usually in August as the summer starts waning and the sunny evenings leave an orange glow in the western sky, with few clouds hanging around in the sky to add a shade to the glow, Ohio does remind me of my late summer evenings in Kerala. I used to enjoy the leisurely walk in my neighborhood on those late May evenings, with the glow of setting sun still hanging in the sky, an anticipation of upcoming rains hanging somewhere silently in the breeze and the unbridled cacophony of birds sharing their day’s stories as they settle back in nests. (There weren’t these many vehicles honking away to glory and spoiling the ambiance at the time)

Undoubtedly the best time to be in Kerala is during the Onam. With the monsoons having taken a break, the nature looks like having emerged fresh from a shower and somehow everything suddenly looks positive all around. Something like a Christmas cheer settles in. Everyone appears to have forgotten the many difficulties of the scorching summer and the torrential rains of monsoon. Flowers are blooming, sky looks pristine blue and full moon nights are simply gorgeous. No wonder Keralites chose their biggest festival to be at this time. My pet peeve used to be the school quarterly tests, ‘ona pareeksha’, that were invariably scheduled right after the Onam vacation as the prime spoiler.

When did Keralites start celebrating Onam? The myths associated were interesting but the historical timeline of them  didn’t exactly make sense to me. One myth said Kerala was created when the sea withdrew for the length Parasurama threw his axe from Gokarnam.

According to Purana, this is supposed to have happened in the third of the four Yugas called Threta Yuga. Kerala’s favorite emperor Mahabali, the key legend of Onam belonged to the Krita Yuga, few millennia before Parasurama. Obviously the stories didn’t gel though I still loved both these myths. Thinking outside of this myth, one has to wonder where exactly did these key characteristics of Onam like the reminiscence of a golden past, the hope and anticipation that those days will come back once again, actually originate from? I had to dig into Kerala’s history to find a sensible answer that at least made logical sense to me.

Kerala’s trading history goes way into the past and the region is considered to be the source of spices and essences used by Egyptians, Babylonians and even King Solomon of Israel. Ptolemy in 2nd century AD refers to ‘Kerala puttar’ and famous ports in Kerala  like Musiris and Thondi. The history of spice trades with Arabs, Romans and Chinese could be traced back to late centuries of BCE. However, the first time Kerala saw a really powerful empire that unified it to a good extend was in the 8th entry CE. This was the second Chera Empire of the Kulasekharas that was established with the capital of ‘Mahodayapuram’ which is supposed to be somewhere near today’s Kochi. The first Chera empire in the early centuries of AD is mentioned in the Sangham poetry of Tamil Nadu. Their capital is known as ‘Vanchi’ is supposed to have been close to today’s Kodungalloor.

A number of famous kings including the vaishnava saint Kulasekhara Alwar as well as Sthanu Ravi Varma were part of the second Chera dynasty. Most of the Kings were scholars, people oriented and supporters of art and literature.

The glorious period of the second Chera dynasty, a flourishing period of no war and total social amity,  lasted until beginning of 11th century when the Chola kings decided to invade. Though the Chola king Kulothungan didn’t completely overthrow the Chera state, he did manage to weaken it significantly, move them out of Mahodayapuram and destroy that city.  After the dissolution of the dynasty, the land of Kerala was broken down into small chiefdoms called as ‘nadu’ and were ruled by local chieftains.

My romantic thinking leads me to believe that this is the time period when the Onam festival originated. A festival of hope for a distressed people living in difficult conditions, reminiscing on the glories of the past when there was no shortage for food, a powerful and able administrator was in charge and there were no worries of safety and security. Whether I am right or wrong about this, the Onam festival has to say something about the spirit of this ‘God’s own country’ where people come together as one in times of need, overcoming all their divisions and spreading hopes of a better tomorrow. On a lighter note, look at how many decades Keralites have voted alternatively right and left in elections and each time expected a new beginning with their Government. We, Keralites never lose hope!!

Onam greetings to each and everyone of you and looking forward to see you at this year’s COMA Onam festival!

Trip to United States of America – By Malathy Nair

COMA Onam Celebration

The wait is over! Tickets for COMA Onam Celebrations 2019 is open now. The event is on Saturday, September 14th at Westerville North High School. In addition to the sumptuous Sadya, many cultural and fun programs are planned. The venue will be open from 11:00 AM and Sadya will promptly start at 11:30 AM. Cultural programs will start at 1:30 PM.

Click below for more details and purchasing tickets: https://www.comaohio.org/onam-2019/

If you are NOT a COMA Member yet, click on the below link to become a member and receive reduced ticket prices for Onam and Christmas events.
https://www.comaohio.org/membership-account/membership-levels/

Malayalam Class:

We would like to remind you all that Malayalam class will resume on Sunday, September 22nd (Time: 11:00 AM to noon) at the same venue as last year, Lazelle Woods Community Center, 8140 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215). We are very excited to start the adult class and are looking forward to another great year. For registration, please send an email with your/child’s detail to coma.officials@gmail.com.

Giving back to Kerala:

As communicated earlier, COMA has started an initiative to give back to Kerala. We are very happy that the idea is welcomed by our community and thankful to all of you who supported with your generous donations. If you missed the earlier communication, please see ‘Giving back to Kerala’ for more details and payment methods. Please remember that together,  we can make some real meaningful differences in people’s lives. 

Meals on Wheels Volunteers

  • Jul 14 ‘2019 – Roopesh Sathyan, Sandeep Nair, Sunitha Sandeep
  • Jul 18 ‘2019 – Ashish, Abhi, and Adithya Muthiraparambath
  • Aug 11 ‘2019 – Valsan, Hrishi, and Niranjan Namboodhiri.
  • Aug 25 ‘2019 – Mary Eapen,Keziah Uthup and Marissa Uthup
  • Sep 8 ‘ 2019 – Saira Nawaz,Razvi Razack

North South Foundation Columbus

COMA Newsletter July 2019

Active COMA has been talk of the town.Our Community is very active in various fronts and Active COMA a became platform where a lot of coordinated activities are happening around us.In this months edition we are taking a peek at various activities where our fellow “Malayalees” has been actively participating.

Walking Club – Groups from different parts of Columbus have been coordinating routine walks in mornings and evenings.We have an average group size of 25 in Dublin,Lewis Center and Powell. For those who are not motivated to get yourself started on a fitness routine this  is your chance to add some steps to your fitness tracker.

There is nothing more than a refreshing and rejoicing experience to walk under morning sun.

Biking Club – Pelotonia is just finished and there were few riders who are quite motivated to up their distance with competitiveness and enthusiasm.You will be quite surprised to find out we have riders from all age groups

who are spinning their wheels any where between 10 to 60 miles on a regular basis. What more can you ask from the folks who are driving up spirit and inspiring others from the community to come out with bikes and join the fun.It is more than a workout routine but to ride together as a group and share the road.

COMA Sports League – by Arun Chand

We’ve kick-started various Sports Leagues in July as part of the Active COMA campaign. We received tremendous response to this initiative from the Malayalee community and a lot of people have shown keen interest and are vigorously participating in the leagues. We sent out a registration form to all our patrons requesting their interest in different sports and found out that most people were favoring Cricket, Soccer and Tennis. We initiated the process by compiling a list of interested people for each sport, picking captains and then working with them to form the teams, rules, format of the game and other logistics.

Cricket was the first league to get going. We got a roster of around 60+ interested players and teams were selected by captains through an IPL(Indian Premier League) – style auction which made sure that we have four equally strong teams.

Empurans & CSK

The teams – Columbus Super Kings, Empuraans, Kolamass and Thakarppans are currently battling out for the prestigious COMA Cricket Cup title. All four teams play each other twice (home and away) for a total of 6 matches each in the league phase. After the league round is completed, based on the points and NRR(net run rate), the top two teams will play in the finals.

Thakarpans & Kolamass

We had a number of exciting matches which went down to the wire and the passion and spirit our players showed on the field is stupendous!

Many people regularly come to watch these games, support their teams and share the thrill and excitement along with the players. Live streaming for the matches are available on the COMA Facebook page which also got a fair share of audience. We are now past half way through the Cricket league and all four teams are still in the running for the top two spots – which shows how close and thrilling the matches have been so far!You can follow the COMA Cricket Cup here (for scores, results and points table): https://www.cricclubs.com/comacup

Tennis tournament has also started and 8 doubles teams are now playing their league matches in two groups. Top two teams from each group will play the semi-finals, followed by the final.

We are now ready to start the Soccer League – four teams; Columbus Blasters, Little Soccer, New Albany Bulls and SM Columbus; have already been formed and they have started practicing under the leadership of their captains and mentors.

New Albany Bulls

Soccer has a roster size of 75+ players and it will be played on a regular field with 11 players on each side. Each team will play each other in the league stage and the top two teams will play the finals.

Little Soccer

By conducting these leagues, we aim to improve the closeness within the community, help people connect with same interests and make new friends as well as grow the COMA family by bringing people together. We are so excited to see that it is happening and are hoping to continue to get the full support from everyone for these events.

Columbus Blasters
SM Columbus

Some of the responses from the sports league participants:

 “Thank  you very much for conducting these tournaments. We have met a lot of new people and made many new friends!”

 “Its so wonderful to see the enthusiasm and passion among the players. Never knew there were these many good players in the Malayalee community”

“It feels great to play the sport again which I had stopped playing years ago.”

Reflections or Ramblings? by Hari Narayanaswamy

(“Will you please write something for our newsletter?”

“Sure. Any specific topic?”

“No. Anything you would like to”

Well, blank checks ad open tabs are always dangerous. And now these reflections or ramblings are making their way to you. Enjoy!)

Last month was very exciting to say the least. What better things could happen in a month! Temperatures were moderate like a Mediterranean city. 5k runs and walks were plenty. I, personally had been to at least half a dozen grad parties to wish the beaming graduate. Plenty of opportunities to share happiness with friends and their families (though I did hurt my back moving my own daughter’s stuff out of her apartment, which I will overlook for now). Everyone appeared to be on the move to wherever hopes, dreams, plans, efforts and fate led.

But then that voice inside doesn’t exactly keep quiet. And all this activity begged me of this age old question – What exactly do we want from life? How do we get it? We all know we want to feel contended, accomplished and happy. But what magic formula makes it work?

One of my favorite pastime is to wander through the literary world (while I am not watching the World Cup cricket).Here is what I found.

There is an interesting exchange in Mahabharata between the eldest Pandava brother Yudhishtira and an Yaksha on this topic.

The context of the story is that the five Pandava brothers were wandering through the forest and one time got stuck not finding potable water to drink. They rested and sent one of the brothers, Bhima, to go look for water.He found a pond but it was guarded by an Yaksha. When Bhima defied the Yaksha and drank water from it, he fell down unconscious. Same fate repeated with three more of the brothers.Finally Yudhishtira himself made his way there and engaged the Yaksha on what he wanted. Yaksha‘s demand was simple, answer all my questions correctly and you can have the water and your brothers back. This exchange of dialog between the Yaksha and Yudhishtira that ensued is known in Mahabharata as the Yaksha Prasna.

One of the things the Yaksha wanted to know was, what is the greatest wonder in the world. Yudhishtira’s response was, humans are the greatest wonder in this world because though they see death happening around them all the time, they go about making decisions and acting in such a way that they seem to be expecting to be living here forever! This may be a bit of overstatement as none of us are generally naive enough to assume eternal life and neither do we go about in our everyday life thinking of our eventual departure from this world. Same time, an occasional reminder of this truth may help us in dealing with some of life’s unnecessary stresses.

Another question from the Yaksha was,

what should we be doing to make the best of our time here?

Below is a gist of the things Yudhisthira lists in answer to this: (If any of you are Sanskrit purists, please excuse my translation and extrapolation)

  1. Be the most skillful and best in whatever we choose to do
  2. Do charity and share with others
  3. Be true to oneself
  4. Make all of the above a habit that they become an integral part of one’s nature itself
  5. Be pleasing with one’s words and be likable 
  6. Create lasting success through thoughtful and diligent action
  7. Find the happiness in genuine friendships and have many friends
  8. Be a role model for ethical living

In Yudhishtira’s opinion, if one can apply the above to a life where health, wealth, security and relationships are not a matter of concern, then it will be a pleasant summer all through the life!                    

Hope these thoughts resonate with you. Make sure to say Hi and something nice the next time we meet in person!!

The Power of a Hackathon! by Ashwin Nair

When I was twelve, a huge wave of mobile applications hit the market, and I was one
of the millions that got swept away. That initiated my desire to create some applications of my own. I knew it would take lots of hard work, but my goal was to create a product with my own imagination that would meet all of my ideals.

In pursuit of my goals I developed my programming skills through after school activities like computer club and attending external training programs. I was fortunate to get exposure to application development, so I started participating in Hackathons; a competition where several teams create a software product (or a prototype) based on specific themes. Exploring thoughts and ideas for such projects accentuates creativity from an individual, providing practical experiences in this field. Hackathons are events where multiple teams solve a given problem by creating mobile applications (app), websites, or prototypes in a designated amount of time. The best apps that are developed around the theme and provide a viable solution are rewarded. Not only do hackathons foster creativity but they also help build around life skills like leadership, communication, and teamwork.

From my first event at the 2016 JPMorgan Chase Youth hackathon

focused on the wellbeing of cancer patients to the 2017 High School I/O hackathon conducted by The Ohio State University where my team was awarded “The Most Creative Team”, every event brought upon new challenges as well as improving my programming skills.

Last spring my team and I developed an app for water conservation at the CBUS Hackathon. This application was developed to notify users when to water their plants after calculating moisture level of the soil. Our entire project took three months where everyone were assigned parts such as application design, programming, hardware integration, and project management. Eventually, We were honored to be placed 2nd in the competition among some of the best teams in Columbus. My experience of being included as a member of every team was phenomenal. Each one of us were like important components of a CPU, working together to make the computer function. Some of the most successful companies in recent times have grown out of hackathons. Few years ago, when the idea of a group message was a nightmare, GroupMe came along and Gizmodo called it a “life changer.”

The app, now basically a household name, began as an idea at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010,

from the minds of Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci. There are many successful outcomes from hackathons in the pharmaceutical industry: UCB initiated the “Hack Epilepsy” that brought together developers, designers and digital experts, along with healthcare providers and patients to imagine new ways of applying digital technologies that can make a real difference for the epilepsy community.

If you are passionate about technology & innovation, I would encourage you to explore hackathons. You never know, your crazy ideas may turn into reality and could be a potential industry disruptor! You may try the following opportunities in and around Columbus.

https://cbusstudenthack.org
https://hack.osu.edu
https://givebackhack.com
https://www.acsl.org

If I could be on any assistance or in case you need any additional information about hackathons, please feel free to reach out at ashwinnair2@gmail.com.

Malayalam Class

We are very delighted to announce that COMA Malayalam class will resume on Sunday, 08/18/2019. Based on interests received, this year we will have a new class for adults as well. If you have not registered for yourself or your child(5 and above),  please register by sending an email to coma.officials@gmail.com. The venue is the same as last year: Lazelle Woods Community Center (8140 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215. Classes will be from 11:00 AM to noon every Sunday except holiday weekends. Any changes to the schedule will be informed in advance so that you can plan accordingly.The fee for the entire year is $120.00. Please note that COMA membership is a requirement to join the class. You can pay the fees and membership dues by sending Chase Quickpay/Zelle to coma.officials@gmail.com

Also as this is a completely volunteer driven initiative and we are always in need of volunteers. Please email us and let us know if you are interested and available.
Note: COMA Membership runs from January to December and Malayalam class runs from August to May. So you if you are purchasing the membership now, you will have to purchase one next January as well. 

2019 EC & Malayalam class team  – Looking forward to have another wonderful year,

Giving back to Kerala – COMA initiative giving back to the community

“ I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou.

We are sure that every one of us has our own way of giving, whether it is to our community, our choice of charity or simply to whoever is in need. Knowing that, we want to call your attention to this new initiative by COMA – Giving back to Kerala. This initiative is to identify causes back in Kerala and support them in two ways: 

  1. Sustaining Support:The idea is that each of us will donate an amount($1 or above) of your choice on a monthly basis.This money will then be donated to the charity or cause as mentioned above, on a set cadence ( quarterly, twice a year or annually). 
  2. One time Support: The idea is to conduct fundraising events to collect funds and provide something tangible for a chosen cause.

We don’t think any of you need any convincing on why we should give what we can and as often as we can. The hesitation, usually comes about regarding the fund allocation. The common perception and sometimes rightly so, is that some charity organizations do not ensure that the funds are utilized in the right way. There is always the concern whether the money or resources reach the people who really need it or does it get lost in the middle. COMA EC and Trustees will see to it that the right monitoring is enforced to ensure that the money is utilized properly and will make sure that there is a tangible measure for dispersing the funds. 

Every religion and every book of God tells us to do the same, help those in need, be kind to the less fortunate and give whatever we can. The people who have made a difference in the world also tells us to do the same. This is one action where there is no scale, anything and everything counts. 

Please see the details of the causes that have been chosen for this year: 

  • Sustaining need
    • Entity: Gandhi Bhavan Saranalayam
    • Location: Kareepra, Kollam
    • More than a hundred elderly men and women are rehabilitated here with proper protection, medical care, physical and psychological care facilities.
  • One-time need
    • Entity: Sree Chitra Home
    • Location: Trivandrum, Kerala
    • Provides education, full care, accommodation and medical care for 250 destitute and unsupported children.
    • Currently, need financial support to build a facility to host bystanders of Regional Cancer Center patients who need financial assistance

How do I make payments: 

  • Sustaining support:
    • Schedule payment via Chase Quickpay to coma.officials@gmail.com and schedule a cadence. This is the preferred method as we don’t lose money in commissions
    • Schedule payment via Paypal coma.officials@gmail.com and schedule a cadence 
    • To make this process easier and efficient, we are working to get more payment methods like Gpay and will update you soon. 
  • One time support:
    • Send one time payment via Chase Quickpay to coma.officials@gmail.com. Write COMA Charity on the notes.
    • Send one time payment via Paypal
    • Pay with a check payable to COMA – write COMA Charity Support on the memo field
    • Purchase tickets and participate in the fund raising activities

Please remember that together,  we can make some real meaningful differences in people’s lives. 

“ We can do no great things, only small things with great love “ – Mother Teresa

COMA Charity Team