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Vindhya History

This message from Vindhya's founder provides an excellent history:

Congratulations to all the members of the association on its 35th Anniversary. From its humble beginning, you have made our association one of the premier ethnic associations in the United States. I had the unique privilege of initiating the formation of Vindhya and was its first President.

Prior to coming to Columbus, Ohio, my wife Hema and I were living in Toronto, Canada. We were involved in the formation of the Bharathi Kala Mandram in Toronto. After coming to Columbus, we used to frequently visit our friends in Toronto.

In 1972, during one of our visits to Toronto, we went to a Tamil movie screened by Bharathi Mandram. The movie belonged to one Mr. Duraiswamy Iyer of Detroit who was in the movie rental business. To avoid paying customs duty for the movie, the Toronto folks asked us to take the movie across the US Canada border to Columbus and then send it on to Detroit by UPS.

Rather than sending the movie to Detroit immediately, we decided to call our friends in Columbus to see the free movie and have some fun. The only expense we had was rent for the party hall at our apartment complex at Reed and Henderson (behind the plaza).

We expected about 15 people for the movie. Instead about 40 people showed up. There was standing room only! Most of the people who came for the movie were South Indians, from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. After the movie, we came up with the idea of forming an association in Central Ohio. We collected $10 from each family and $5 from students. There were no complaints!

Several names were suggested for the organization. To the extent that we wanted to fulfill the cultural needs of the South Indian community, the name “Vindhya” seemed most appropriate. For those who don’t know this, the Vindhya Mountains represent the geographical divide between North and South India.

That’s how the Tamil movie “Enga Ooru Raja” was screened for the first time in Columbus. That’s also how Vidhya Cultural Association got started.

Once again, congratulations on the 35th anniversary of our Association. I look forward to its 50th Anniversary.

Nat Ramachandran
2007