My readers know that I am a Crossword Puzzle addict and solve up to eight puzzles every morning.

Occasionally, one or two solutions beat me and I get very frustrated. Today was one of those days when after solving all very difficult clues except one, I got totally frustrated.

The clue was “Amorous period getting a novelist backing before lent. (10)”

I had got five letters but five others beat me.

After battling with it for over half an hour, I finally messaged my go-to resources, two other addicts, my sister and my brother and while the former’s solution turned out to be wrong the latter’s came up trumps because he lives in London.

The solution turned out to be SEXAGESIMA. Amorous – sex, Period – age, Novelist backing – Amis.

Barath, my brother also consoled me by saying that since I live in India and am a Hindu, I would not know about this word. And that it true indeed.

I am delighted to have learnt another word.

Winnowing Basket And Sieve.

This is a message in Tamil.

What it conveys is:  “The winnowing basket and the sieve are both implements necessary to separate what is needed from what is not.  While the former will remove what is not needed and retain what is needed.  The latter will remove what is needed and retain what should be thrown away. Let us reflect on what our mind is like. The winnowing basket or the sieve?

On reflection, I flatter myself that mine is  mostly like the winnowing basket.  I have trained myself to be like that and to the best of my recollection, I don’t retain the negativity that comes my way, thanks to modern communication methods.

There are however impressions left in the mind from when my mind had been like the sieve which are difficult to remove, due to the impact that they had on me when they were formed.  I am working on them.

What about you?


When I was in school, one refrain from my parents and teachers was “Act your age”. Sometimes, it was because I acted in a manner befitting one younger and in others one older. In the latter case, another adage used to be common “You are old beyond your age”.

What I wanted most was to mature fast to reach the magical age of 18 so that I could be formally employed and also get a driving licence. Once I reached that stage the next ambition was to reach the magical age of 21 so that I could vote. I wish that like it is now, the qualifying age for voting had been 18 too then.

These reflections are what prompted me to suggest this topic when I was reminiscing about my teenage years for a different purpose.

I distinctly remember one particular instance when a prospect that I was trying to convince to buy a policy from me told me, “You are not mature enough to understand my problem. Please get your Supervisor to come over to discuss this matter.” I promptly did that and found that the Supervisor said the same things that I had said but, the prospect accepted those arguments which he had not from me. A matter of perception and lack of confidence in a young person. At least he was being direct instead of some others who were patronising which was worse.

I grew out of all these stages eventually and I had to assume leadership roles soon enough when the impact of being mature really hit me hard. I understood then that maturity comes with experience and not age. This was when I came across a definition of “maturity” as acting with courage but, with concern” which resonated with me and I have used that as a yardstick to assess my own and others level of maturity.

Here is a case in point to drive home my point. My post yesterday talked about a physically mature and so called educated person. Some would say that he even acted with courage of some sorts but, surely, he did not act with concern, for himself and for the rest of the society. I most decidedly would not call him mature. Would you?

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by me. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.


My friend Sandeep sent me a link to an article in The National Post. When I investigated further, I found another interesting article in the New York Times too!

I am bemused because I associate the word with people in prisons. I always enjoyed reading about our politicians, gangsters/murderers/rapists, etc languishing in jail without bail. To associate that word now with what people feel due to the Chinese pandemic is tragi-comedy, at least for me as, I don’t think that I or most people that I know, are languishing in our lives.

Perhaps it is our age or life-styles that even before the pandemic not being very much different to what we experience now but, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it languishing.  Frustrating may be but, languishing? Not in my book.

Perhaps it is just semantics but, what do you, my reader think about this definition?

Another New Word.

A dear friend Arun, who has featured in this blog before too, decided to introduce me to another word following an exchange of messages on WhatsApp on the subject of some books.
I am not abibliopobic, at least not yet and my tomorrow’s post will amply support my contention.

It is however fascinating to come across English words that resonates with one due to its proximity to his habits. I am sure that others who comment on my blog about new words will find this word to be fascinating too.


While admitting that English is not the lingua franca between me and a very old friend from the late eighties of the last century, he is back in my life via Facebook and WhatsApp.   He uses  English to convey some highly emotional messages. He is the son of a friend of mine and as it so often happens in India, I had introduced his parents to another set of parents with a daughter of marriageable age. Before too long, the two youngsters had got married to each other. I attended the wedding.

Recently, he was blessed with a grand child and this is the message that he sent me.

“You will no doubt remember that you were detrimental in my getting married many years ago and therefore I wish to convey this message to you before I send it to anyone else. My wife, Latha who came into my life thanks to you, and I have been blessed with a grandson. We are delighted and seek your blessings and good wishes for the child and all of us.”

For some strange reason, I think that he may have deliberately made that typo. What do you think?