Crossword Puzzles.

Since my retirement, I spend every morning reading five newspapers and solving the seven crossword puzzles that appear in them. As my family and friends say, it keeps me out of mischief.

On the days that the papers do not come following national holidays, I am lost in the mornings and you can easily sense that I am out of sorts on those days as it recently happened on August 16, 2019 the following our Independence Day when two friends who had called me up on the phone were puzzled at my mood till I explained to them my predicament. That experience has taught me to keep a couple of crossword puzzle books in stock so that I can spend some time on them on such days.

A most frustrating aspect of solving crossword puzzles in when I am stumped for answers. I can spend hours on the thesaurus, dictionaries, telephone calls to friends to find solutions. I have known to even make overseas calls to find answers for clues pertaining to the UK or the USA.   Often, the last resort, Mr. Google also is of no help.  There are some setters of cryptic clues who, in my opinion are simply sadists.

And the relief in finding the answer the next morning when the solutions are published, is only surpassed usually by the feeling that I should kick myself for not having thought of such obvious answers!

This post was inspired by the following joke.

A girl is doing a crossword puzzle…

“What’s a 7-letter word for ‘easily perceived or understood’ that starts with ‘O’?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“It should be, but I can’t figure it out. That’s why I’m asking.”

Inependence Day.

When this post gets published, I should be on a train traveling from Tamil Nadu in the South of India to Pune on the Upper Western part of India. The journey will take me 26 hours and I look forward to it.

I will be traveling on India’s 64th Independence day, which, much to the chagrin of our notorious bureaucracy, falls on a Sunday this year.

I was four years old when India won its independence and can be called that part of a spill-over-from-colonialism generation. India chose to be a Socialistic Democratic Republic in 1950 and that socialism as practiced in India drove a rich country to its knees. In 1990, our gold reserves had to mortgaged to save us from defaulting.

Since then a lot of water has flown down India’s many rivers and for the first time ever, the number of high- income households, 46.7million, has exceeded 41 million low-income ones. For an Indian who has grown up in the Independent India, this is very satisfying.

This has happened because of some effective liberalisation measures taken after the crisis of 1990.

There is a lot that still needs to be done, but I can see that we are on the path and from now on India can only go one way and that is up. That this is happening despite India’s notorious corrupt establishment is indicative of the spirit of Indian entrepreneurship and resilience. I hope that before I go to meet my maker, I will see poverty removed and India working efficiently as it is capable of doing.