Left one is a picture of me (2nd from right) winning my first sudoku competition (U-16 category) at the age of 14yrs in August, 2005, and the right one is a picture of me (2nd from left) winning the Times National Sudoku Championship in August, 2015.
Its been a decade.
I'm now a three-time National Sudoku Champion (2010, 2011, 2012), having won the Times Sudoku Championship twice (2012, 2015). I've been representing India at the World Sudoku Championship since 2009, and my ranks have been 25th, 15th, 12th, 8th, 16th, 14th.
I'll be representing India for the 7th straight year at the WSC 2015 in Bulgaria in mid-October.
In 2012, I became the first and only Indian to break into the top-10 in the World (8th rank).
So much has happened in the decade. Started off as a casual past-time... which turned into a damn serious hobby but gave me an opportunity to excel at something. I'm glad all the time and effort that I put into this has resulted in success and happiness. Making my country proud and starting many new friendships with my foreign sudoku friends is an experience that will remain in my heart all my life.
Logic Masters India, the national organization that conducts the national events in India has had immense trust and faith in me, and I've tried to do my best and help them out in whichever way possible. Its very creditable that Deb Mohanty and Amit Sowani have been able to run LMI for all these years, and supported the team in various ways.
Its been so much fun competing with some of the most talented people in the country... Sumit Bothra, Ritesh Gupta, Gaurav Korde during the early years, and Rishi Puri, Prasanna Seshadri in recent years.
Kudos to you guys and all the folks who are part of LMI and the puzzling community in India!
I hope I can pursue this for at least few more years, I feel old, but I'm not done yet :-)
My aim is to encourage new talent and potential top solvers to achieve even greater success in the years to come.
I thank Mom, Dad, Sis and family for their continuous support and help. I am extremely fortunate to have been exposed to a wide varieties of activities of my interest and been given the freedom to pursue some of them as successful hobbies :-)
I also thank one more person, she's been there for me, inspiring and motivating me, witnessing and experiencing all these memories and being an integral part of this incredible journey, as a partner, mentor, friend and much more. I dedicate the TSC 2015 win to her, which coincidently was held on Friendships Day! :-)
Sudoku is my passion and if there is one message I want to put out to the world, it is Pursue Your Passion (PYP). Don't let anything stop you from doing what you enjoy the most.
I hope some day someone can better my 8th rank at WSC, and hoist the Indian flag on the podium.