Friday, June 29, 2012

The Hindu Crossword

The Hindu comes out every weekday with a crossword composed by an Indian setter.

And on seeing the word setter meaning of-course the compiler of the crossword, if you could
also immediately think of a breed of dog, then you could look forward to some fun time everyday
with the THC (The Hindu Crossword), if you are not into it already.

What is the difference between a pill and a hill?

The simple answer is that one goes down and the other goes up. If you are posed a series of such questions then after a certain lapse, you will get the hang of it and would start giving your answers.

It is the same process with the crossword. To get the hang of it you should start looking into the
clues and try to figure it out.

These days, it is all about  going to coaching classes and getting trained. Thanks to the internet
you have two very good sites to help you in this regard with no need to go in search of someone.

Everyday, almost exactly at 8.30 AM the day's crossword is solved and also annotated (meaning
explaining how the answer is arrived at) in the blog
So even after knowing the answer to a clue, one need not break his head trying to figure out how
the answer was arrived at.

And to get tutored in solving clues the website is without parallel.

A farewell note: You may occasionally come across a clue like this one, which appeared in
today's (29.6.2012) Hindu:

Br(branch)anch (3,2,3) Answer: Arm-in-arm

This kind of clue gets reviews on either side of the spectrum. One expert calls it a cute clue
while another remarks thus: Not sure how to qualify this. The wordplay was clear enough, but without a definition it feels incomplete.

Let the beginner keep such clues at arm's length. Some may welcome such clues with open arm's while others may take up arms!

For me, it is: Ernest Hemingway!
Ernest Hemingway's autobiographical novel is: A Farewell to Arms.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ice Ice Baby

Ice Ice Baby is a hip-hop song by American rapper Vanilla Ice when he was sixteen years old.
I just happened to remember this song.

Talking of Ice, we all have certain preferences in our life which we adhere to. My friend PRS (Mani)
had a preference for Ice cologne and whenever someone went to Singapore, he would ask them to
bring Ice for himself:

In my own family, we have been using Colgate toothpaste for decades and will never ever change our brand.
Only thing is we were cut up when they brought in several varieties in it. Today many just ask for Colgate and take whatever variety is handed over to them!!

Medium tending towards fine

What is "Medium tending towards fine"?

My friend Jaisiri who is a fountain pen aficionado will know.

When I went to Gem and Co. years back to buy a fountain pen, the salesman gave
me a few pens which I tried. The flow from one particular nib fascinated me.

After I selected my pen, he said: Fit it with a nib, medium tending towards fine.

The next time I went to that shop, I spoke like an expert (which I am not!)
'I want this pen with a medium nib, medium, tending towards fine!'

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Work and Workmanship

Most workers complete the work given to them. But only a select few can display their skill
and workmanship in performing a particular job.

I took delivery of our Madipakkam flat last year and we occupied it. The doors are fitted with
Godrej knobs with self-locking mechanism.

After about a month or so, one of the doors got locked. Though I had the key with me, it would
not open. I preferred a complaint with the builder but even after three or four days they could not
attend to it.

It is then that I remembered a person who had his workshop in the same street where we had
our workshop in Sripuram. We had purchased an old Godrej safe and he repaired and painted it.
He was a very good workman and was also a franchisee to Godrej, servicing their locks and sometimes
attending to bank lockers to break open the locks and replace them. Yes, at times one forgets where
he or she had kept the locker key. It happened to me too once!

I rang up Godrej and asked them to give me his phone number which they readily did. I rang him
up and he came within hours. He broke open the lock within minutes and also explained why it
had got stuck. There was some foreign material (traces of paint) inside. It was not properly fixed
in the first place. He charged me Rs.300 which I gladly gave. He also advised me that Godrej
would give a free replacement. I informed this to my builder and they took the defective one and
replaced with a new one.

Now that is what I call: WORKMANSHIP.

Monday, June 25, 2012


In Japanese folklore, a nekomata is a cat with a forked tail. Simply said, a cat with two tails.

In reality I once got a two-tailed one paisa copper coin from a shop-keeper. The shop-keeper was
morose that someone had duped him. I was only too glad to have it from him.

I was holding on to the coin for a few years swith the fold belief that one day it would fetch me
maybe, a lakh of rupees!

One day I showed this coin to my friend PRS (Mani) and he told me that he would like to have it.
Our friendship was worth more than a lakh of rupees and hence I had no second thought in parting
that coin and handing it over to him. But this was many years back.

Today I know that that coin having both sides tail (an error coin) could be at the most worth
a few hundred rupees. But the value of our friendship remains the same, invaluable.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stationary shops?

No. Not Stationary. Stationery shops.

As a young person I used to frequent the V. Perumal Chetty Store in the LIC Building. I would buy the Hoe and Co diary.

In later years I sometimes went to George Town area and have a look at the stationery shops in Anderson and Bunder Street areas.

In Mount Road area my favorite haunts were International Traders, Wilfred Stores and the one in
State Bank Street.

The most famous shop in our area is the one known as Camlin shop. Actually the company is
Hindustan Trading Corporation and in later years I supplied an air-conditioner to the owner.
It is one shop where you could get all art materials. Now that shop has shifted to the first floor
of Pratap Plaza (Vitan complex) in Royapettah High Road.

The other shops in our area are the Amar's Traders in the corner of A.S.Salai and R.H. Road.
A nice shop. The most popular in Gopalapuram? Of course it is AA Traders, since it is
situated very near the schools. Aslam is a good friend of mine and he also happens to be
my nephew  Prakash's classmate. Did I supply an air-conditioner to him? Yes, I did.

The A-Premier stores in Mowbray's Road is one very good shop. The owners are related to

As a young boy I went to Indo-Burma Stationers at George Town and was awe struck. Being a whole sale
shop, it was huge.

Few years back the stationery shops used to do good business during March and April, as business
houses were busy buying ledgers, note-books and so on. After the advent of computerised accounting,
Tally and all that, ledgers are just not available. 

I love the Ashwini 80 pages note-book and on once occasion when the particular size was not
available I traced down the manufacturer and sent a boy all the way to Tondiarpet to their factory
to get the note-books for me. I had made a habit of using these note-books as my enquiry register
and would hate to have a note-book of different size as the most recent one.

ITC has made very good inroads into this market with their Classmate series. Talking of classmate,
I am reminded of a joke told by Anand, PRS(Mani)'s friend: We are not only classmates, but
glassmates, too!!

And if you wondered how I could reel out so many stationery shops, it was my dream to own a
nice looking stationery shop, leaving my sales job, stop wandering around and stay stationary
in my stationery shop!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lending Library

A library lends books.

What then is a lending library? A lending library lends books charging a fee to keep the book
with us for a given number of days.

The Easwari Lending Library in its website says that it was started in the year 1955. Actually
it started of as a shop collecting waste paper and the like.

It was my friend Ambi (Sundaram) who was one among the very first customers and who paved
the way for it to become a lending library. His father was a voracious reader of western fiction. So
I used to go along with my pal Ambi and pick up two or three books at a time for his father to read.

How are you sure that your father has not read this book, I would sometimes ask him. Neither am I
sure nor my father would be, he would reply! My friend's father Shri V.S. Mani Iyer, besides
reading a book used to relax in his easy-chair and munch his betel and tobacco.

Easwari thus became one of the pioneers in the lending library. Though Palani himself could not
read a English fiction book, he could pick up any title or show you where books of your favorite
author was.

During my school final, my friend Ravi introduced me to James Hadley Chase and I used to
read one book every day, borrowing it from Easwari. I borrowed the Jeeves series.

Kids borrowed Enid Blyton and the women, Mills and Boon.

Palani's two sons have developed the business well. They have a decent website:

Of late I find a lot of venture capital pumped into this business. Though I wish them well, I am doubtful
of their business model (one even released a full page ad in the newspaper)and whether they will be able to turn out a profit.

What do you want to do when you grow old? As a young lad, I often dreamt of owning a lending library!!
And the other two businesses: Printing Press and Stationery shop.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On losing things

Many among us lose or maybe keep losing a few things.

And of course I can tell you the two most common things that one loses: (1) Pen and (2) Umbrella.

At least in the Fountain Pen days, we could keep the cap and give the body alone. Thanks to Ball
Point Pens, that facility is lost.

Last year when we went to Dubai, I was looking at a Parker ball point pen in the airport.
My friend immediately asked the clerk to bill the item and he gifted the pen to me.

Every now and then, I resolve that henceforth I will always carry a Parker ball pen only.

So when I got this pen, I carried it along with me. But that was only for a few days. This time
I didn't lose it. Someone knocked it off.

I find that a similar pen is available for Rs.200 with flipkart. After returning to India, I have
resolved to buy this pen and.........

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The lover of pens - Panmozhi Pulavar Dr. P.B. Sreenivas

Alas! Woodlands Drive-in restaurant is no more. Having stayed in Gopalapuram for fifty years,
I used to frequent Woodys as it was popularly known. Dr. P.B. Sreenivas loved the place so
much and one could always spot him in his favorite place penning a lyric or other.

He always carries a lot of pens in his pocket which I love. I too wished to carry three or four
pens in my pocket like him, but it has not happened so far.

Other than that, he is a great fan of singer O.S. Arun. I have seen him in most of the concerts
of O.S. Arun. Dr. P.B.S. has penned ghazals in tamil sung by O.S. Arun.

As a fan of Kulasekara Alwar I was glad to have bought the Mukundamala cassette sung by
Dr.P.B.S. I have listened to it scores of times.

On one occasion in a programme, I walked up to him and sang one stanza from Mukundamala.
He looked pleased.
In a pensive mood?

Think before you ink!

When I had not yet reached voting age, I used to see these writings on the wall: Think before you ink.

One was expected to weigh the pros and cons, think over and then cast his or her vote. Alas, those days are gone! Probably nowadays you are not supposed to think before you cast your vote!!

I was actually thinking of ink when I remembered the writing on the wall.

When I entered First Form (VI standard) I graduated from pencil to pen. Oh, that was a great joy
in itself.

When I graduated to First Form it also meant that I could now sit on a bench with table (to seat 3 students).
Some of these benches had a depression to hold the ink bottle and another to hold the pen. I wondered
what these were for. My school was started in the early 40s and I was told that the depression was
made to hold an ink bottle and the other was meant to hold a nib pen. The nib pen was in use
before the advent of the fountain pen.

The inks made by Indian companies that were available at that time were Iris (later known as Bril) and Sulekha (to a lesser extent). Parker (later Chelpark) was expensive.The royal blue was the most popular colour. Sometimes the shopkeeper would give blue-black, but then very few knew the difference. They just asked for ink. And then we used to buy the ink-fillers. At first we used to get one with a glass bottom and a rubber top. Subsequently one got to get the full integrated plastic body fillers. I wonder how many among you remember all these.

It was not even necessary to buy an ink bottle. One could go to the stationery shop and get the pen
filled with ink for a small charge.

As I grew up, I liked to visit the shops selling exclusively pens. I have visited the "Gem and Co" in
George Town and another one in Mount Road near Shanti Theatre, several times. I think this company was known as Plaza Pen Centre or something like that, since it was close to Plaza theatre.

I liked to go all the way to Gem and Co. because one could get his name engraved for a small fee.
Many students liked to buy pens with transparent plastic, so that one could see how much of ink
is left behind.

Alas, by the time I reached S.S.L.C. in the year 1966, pens were already on the way out and
ball-point pens were very much in use.

A fountain pen is more of a personal treasure. Because of the nib, only the user will get
a smooth writing due to the peculiarity in wear and tear. Whereas a ball-point pen could be
used by any one without a hitch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Schlotzsky and Sheaffer

I was in Austin recently and my niece bought for us sandwiches from Schlotzsky to carry
with us during our return trip to Washington DC.

Schlotzsky - the name brought back to me memories of my German language classes in Chennai.

A few days later I saw the SCH being miss-spelt by a competitor in the spelling bee contest.

Well, the SCH seems to have caught with me and I recently typed Scheaffer instead of

Walter Sheaffer, an Iowa jeweler, founded the Sheaffer Pen Company in 1912.

By the time I realized the mistake it was too late, as my post had been published in
many a blog.

A penchant for pens, but....

I love stationery shops in general and pens in particular.

There is an exclusive pen shop in Chennai and this is what the copy writer has to say:

"....But, we're hoping, Editions, perhaps, will be able to revive a writing revolution that seems to
have gone awry as reliance on computers has steadily increased and the art of handwriting gradually

I beg to differ.

Though this shop says that pens start at Rs.700, they go up to Rs.15,00,000 each.

As for me, I may never be inclined to visit that shop. Just guessing: They may view me as
some kind of a specimen!!

Some years back a guy came rushing into a sweet shop and asked which is their costliest sweet.
When the shop-keeper quoted some amount, he was very sad. Only that much? I wonder whether
the person or the person receiving that sweet will really relish it.

Recently my son-in-law's friend visited our house and he told me how during his marriage his
father-in-law had gifted him a pen costing Rs.2,00,000. I am afraid to even look at it, he said.

Yes, he does not relish it, rather cherishes it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garage sale and Scheaffer's

Scheaffer is another famous brand for pens.

As a young boy, I used to dream of Parker, Scheaffer, Swan and Waterman pens.

In 2010, when I was in North Carolina, the community arranged a garage sale.

My daughter thought it would be a good idea for us to put up a few things for sale so that
I and my grand-daughter could have some fun and get to know what a garage sale is.

She therefore picked up a few things to be disposed of and finally she gave a
Scheaffer pen, pencil and ball-pen set, unopened.

I asked her why she wanted to give it away. She said nobody was interested in it.

I had no hesitation in telling her that I am taking the set for myself !!

This sale did not materialise and I am having this set in my home in India.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Two heroes

You thought I am going to speak about Kamal and Rajini? No, not today.

My two heroes are my Hero pen and my Hero harmonica.

In 1957 we were staying in Secunderabad in a house owned by Parsis. In those days radios were few and we used to request them to increase the volume to enable us to hear the famous Binaca Geet Mala. One of the sons used to practice playing the mouth-organ every day. I too became interested in the harmonica and
later on in the 70's when the Burma Buzaar used to sell all sorts of genuine imported items, I bought my
first harmonica. The Hero harmonica manufactured in China. I bought it for a princely sum of Rs.15.
I always wanted to own a Hohner mouth-organ and this I was able to buy in Mustafa in 2002 when I visited Singapore along with my friends in Voltas. I wanted one with a button, but they had only one model and only one piece. I never really learnt to play, but even today I occasionally pick up the harmonica and play: Hai apna dil... Just one or two lines!!

The other Hero which I used to buy now and then is the Hero pen. I browsed the internet and found
that the model is known as the Hero 616 Classic. The only colour which was available was the Burgundy.
I like the black colour and rarely one could pick up a black one. I feel I still have one of these pens in my home in India. If not, I feel I could still be able to pick up one in some shop in Chennai, to revive those old memories!


The wonder of internet:  I am interested in solving crosswords. And I am aware that Vinod Raman whom I met sometime back is not only an expert in solving and composing crosswords but also very good in playing the harmonica. Out of curiosity I typed Vinod-harmonica in you tube and yes I heard him playing
the full song, Hai apna dil! That is the reach of the internet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Parker can be connected to pens by almost anyone. The brand is that famous.

In the year 1959 my father gave me a Parker pen and ball-pen set which was gifted to him.

I used to buy the Parker Quink ink for this pen. The famous ad went like this:
"Don't say Ink. Say Quink!". In later years this became Chelpark ink.

I loved the Parker retractable ball-pen. And it had a very smooth flow. With this pen in hand
anyone will love to write. And write. And write.

During my school years in the sixties the other ball pen which I loved was the Wilson ball pen.
In those days there were only two kinds of refills. Either the jotter refill or the ordinary refill.

In later years the Parker pens begun to be manufactured in India by Luxor. But these pens are
in no way comparable to the original one that I had.

Nowadays there are hundreds of ball pen brands and varieties of refills. It has become a use
and throw world. I may buy a pen today but by the time the refill is to be replaced, it will not
be available!

My most recent ball pen model which I prefer to buy is the Reynolds Revo.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Putting yourself in the mood

Many years back I used to listen to a western instrumental music programme aired for half-an-hour
in the morning known as "Music to put you in the mood".

And the instrumental numbers did just that. They put you in the mood for a day's hard work ahead of you.

When we meet people it is customary to ask: "How do you do?"

How many dull and half-hearted replies do we get for this? Many, in fact.

But our mentor in Prabal Electricals Shri Prabhakar (PP) when asked "How do you do" will
invariably in a loud voice and beaming face would say: "Right on top of the world and how about you?"

Well, that would put us really in the mood and which also helped us in being interactive with our
service industry customers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Black & White.

I wanted to put something in black and white.

Black & White is the famous scotch whisky founded by James Buchanan.

But today I want to talk about a song with black and another one which has white in its lyrics.

 The song with black in its lyrics is the famous song featuring Mehmood and sung by Mohammed Rafi in the film Gumnaam. It is Hum Kalen Hain To Kya Hu (What if I am black?).

The song with white in its lyrics is by Deva in his famous gaana song Whittu Lagaan in the movie
Priyamudan.  The tune is almost similar to the above hindi song.

Both these songs may be found in You-tube and you could enjoy listening to both.

I am a fan of Deva and recently I enjoyed listening to his speech (with some humor) which
also shows that he is a very simple and unassuming person. Search in You- tube for: Airtel Super Singer
Sai Charan felicitation.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Credit card?....Never

Some years back cell phones used to be bombarded by tele-callers.

I always believe in living within my means and buy whatever needed with cash.

For a brief period of time I carried a credit card for a specific purpose. When the period
of validity expired, I did not renew it.

So you see I am clear about my not requiring a credit card. This being so, I did not wish
to take the calls from the tele-callers selling credit cards. Nor did I like them to extend the
conversation with me.

And I devised my own conversation to cut such calls:

Caller: Hallo Sir, Do you use a credit card?

Me: Have a nice day! I never use a credit card, only visiting card!!

And I will abruptly cut the call.

A friend of mine had his own way of dealing.

Caller: Hallo Sir, xxx bank has pre-approved a loan to you.
He: Oh, very good. Is that so? How much you will give?
Caller: Upto Rs. 1 lakh.
He: Is that so? My requirement is 10 crores.

Friday, June 8, 2012

You may be intelligent......but

I remembered my friend Baskar Sarma.

One of the things that he often said struck me and I keep repeating it on many
occasions and think of my friend Baskar Sarma and PRS (Mani).

We used to exchange many banters and sometimes he used to say:
You may be intelligent, Bhargav, but the guy standing in front of you is not a fool.

Yes, it is human nature that one thinks that he or she is very intelligent. And there is
absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Only, we have to keep in mind that others are or could be as intelligent or more than us!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


ORU = One
SINGAL = single

In Chennai when you go to a tea shop and ask for tea you might sometimes be asked: Single or cup?

The quantity of tea in a cup will be more and hence costs more than a single.

Let us explore inflation with reference to the single tea.

When I was in college, we used to go to Sukumar Tea Stall in Oliver Road beside our college, Vivekananda
College for a quick tea. The year 1967. A single tea we got for 15 paise.

In 2002, I used to frequent the tea stall in Mount Road and the single (which I always refer as hot water - becuase it is often nothing more than that) was priced Rs.2.

A few years later it went up to 2.50 but due to the coins problem they jacked it up to 3.00.

Within a year or so due to the increase in price of milk, 3 became 4.

And, within a very sort time span 4 has become Rs.5.

A cup of coffee in Chennai airport costs Rs.80.

That is inflation for you from the point of view of cost of tea. Yesterday I read somewhere that drinking
four cups of tea a day reduces diabetes. Any takers?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

After wearing a dog's garb...

In the late eighties we took up dealership for Carrier Aircon Limited in Chennai.

Being a start-up we had more of sales people. Sales involves hard work and working even
on holidays and Sundays at times, if one were to be serious in his own progress and the
progress of the company.

But some of the new recruits were taking things easy.

In such instances my friend Mohan used to say: After wearing the garb of a dog, you can't say
that you won't bark! (Naai vesham pottu, koraikkamattaen endru solla mudiyathu)

Yes, one has to act as per the demands of the situation.

If one doen't get what he likes, he better start liking what he gets!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lesson learnt from Movie (AC Dealers enjoy!!)

I was told that the heat in Chennai has not abated. That could mean extended sales of Air-conditioners
for dealers. Make hay while the sun shines!!

I have been watching any number of western movies and I again saw (who has not seen!) the brilliant movie,
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This movie I saw in Texas in my niece's house in a huge TV and with home theatre systems and blaring sound.

When the following dialogue was about to come, my niece's husband said: Watch out, Uncle!!
(He had brought me several varieties of beer which we were drinking together)

{Tuco is in a bubble bath. The One Armed Man enters the room}
One Armed Man: I've been looking for you for 8 months. Whenever I should have had a gun in my right
hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.
{Tuco kills him with the gun he has hidden in the foam}
Tuco: When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

This made me think. Yes, we sometimes give materials to our relatives, friends, business associates, etc.
but forget to ask them as to who will make the payment. Sometimes we feel delicate to ask for the payment
in straightforward manner. What is wrong in that. When someone owes us money, we have to just ask for it.

I am reminded of my friend PRS (Mani) who used to say: Bhargav, if we have to oblige someone. Fine.
Let's just do the job and be happy. But whenever a bill is raised by the company, even if it is for Rs.200,
that money has to be collected.

Yes, that is very good business advise and sense.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Water, water, every where

In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge one comes across these
famous words:

Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Well, all that water was sea water and so unfit to drink.

The first time I went to Singapore, my hotel room-mate, an Engineer from IIT asked
for some drinking water and we were advised to take it from the toilet sink. Yes, the
water being received anywhere in the pipes is potable water. However in this instance
we said that we were not inclined to take the water from the toilet sink and the waiter
readily brought us a bottle of water.

In the early sixties as a school student, I remember that while returning from the
playground we just used to pump the water from the metrowater mains and drink
it directly.

Alas! Today because of population explosion and so many other issues, the water
table has reduced in many areas. Many areas are not covered by metro water connections.
Water is not fit for drinking. Every where there is water, but not a drop to drink! We have
to buy mineral water cans for Rs.30 and more each. An average household spends
upwards of 500 Rupees for water alone.

Someone said: This is a sure sign that we are in Kali Yuga. Because we are forced to
buy water!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Knock, knock, knock - jokes apart

Knock, knock, knock.

Who's this?

Opportunity. Open the door.

No, can't.


Opportunity knocks only once!!

Jokes apart, opportunity does not come quite often in one's life. If we happen to see it, better
get hold of it.

I am giving you the price of silver (in dollars per troy ounce (31.1 grams)) as on 1st of June
for the last few years:

1.6.2003: 4.5 dollars
1.6.2004: 6.2 dollars
1.6.2005: 7.4 dollars
1.6.2006: 12.0 dollars
1.6.2007: 13.5 dollars
1.6.2008: 17.0 dollars
1.6.2009: 16.0 dollars
1.6.2010: 18.0 dollars
1.6.2011: 38.0 dollars (Yes, thirty-eight, that's right!!)
1.6.2012: 28.5 dollars
1.6.2013: ?
1.6.2014: ?

Do you see a missed opportunity and an opportunity knocking your doors right now?

I have no comments - leaving it to your judgement.

For more info mail me at:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Arre Huzoor Wah Taj Boliye

Most of you might remember the famous and popular advertisement in  yesteryear TV.

It was for the Taj Mahal Tea featuring Ustad Zakir Hussain. A short ad: "Wah, Ustad, Wah"
and Zakir saying "Arre Huzoor Wah Taj Boliye".

This time round the Wah Taj goes to Tajin Rogers who won the first National History Bee
quiz in the History channel yesterday and won a scholarship  of $50,000.

He was able to answer almost any question and raced to win the quiz in the final round.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nicholas - "Naan oru Raasi illa Rajaa"

Spelling Bee - 2012.

Casting a spell on the audience and making them watch spell-bound.

While watching the finals my favorite was Nicholas, the boy with his lucky yellow T-shirt.

Alas, he was given a word with a Tamil origin - Vetiver. One of the very few which I could have
spelled right.

"What word", he asked and then said "Oh, Tamil". His spelling was incorrect. But you will
notice that he is a real cool guy.

The final three were Indian-American kids.

Snigdha Nandipati became the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner and tenth in the last
fourteen years.

And you know something? In the run-up to the bee, she studied 6 to 10 hours a day on weekdays
and 10-12 hours on weekends.

Single minded purpose? Oh yes commendable indeed.

Other than that? A-tro-cious!!

I would place the top hundred on par and the winner is lucky to get the prize.

How will you spell Sridhar?  Sridhar, Sridar, Sreedar, Sreedhar.......or go to a nameologist?