Budding Stars

All profiles authored by Ela Ghose

Ahana Goyal

Ahana has two meanings: dawn/ the first rays of the rising sun, and immortal. At age 9, the dawn of her life, Ahana is showing all the signs of being immortalized for her versatility as a scrabbler (competing at international events), national-level skipper and state-level swimmer. A lover of mathematics, she has ranked 6th in India at an International Maths Olympiad.

Quite the golden girl, Ahana has won gold medals for scrabble (Delhi state scrabble tournament in the under-11 age category for 3 years in a row), for skipping at the Rope Skipping Federation of India National and State championships and for swimming (State level championships).

Her love for scrabble can be seen in the cabinet she has designed for her new room in the form of scrabble grid (in the picture). This is still a work-in-progress as the letters are yet to be pasted in! The words are Victory, Win, Cares, Love and Smile...


Dhruv Kamath

12-year old Dhruv, Madhav’s older brother and Sudhir’s eldest son, started playing scrabble relatively late: he played his first scrabble tournament when was nine. One of the advantages of belonging to the ‘first family of Scrabble’ is that practice, like charity, begins at home! Playing regularly at home led to his being placed 3rd in the Collins Scrabble for Schools championship.

A self-proclaimed strategist and planner, Dhruv has a competitive streak which helps him stay focused in a game and pushes him to turn probable losses into wins.

Dhruv enjoys words and language, and in addition to playing Scrabble, has been an English Olympiad North zone winner for the last two years. He has also won the Indian Spelling Bee competition last year competing against players two years senior to him (grades 7, 8 and 9 are considered a single category).

He enjoys reading and sports such as football and basketball. Not surprisingly the book he is currently reading is about football stories that have been written by football players. Focused, strategic and with a love for words, the world is his oyster!


Ekansh Arora

Ekansh comes from a Scrabble family. Watching his elder brother, Mehul, crack Scrabble competitions, Ekansh was encouraged to add Scrabble to his repertoire of games. With a love of Maths, logical reasoning and tricky puzzles, he took to Scrabble (which requires strategy as well as quick and accurate counting) like a duck to water!

He started playing scrabble at 4 years ago, and at age 13 has played several national and international Scrabble tournaments. Last year he won 8th position in the Open Division of the Gail Cup (the annual tournament held in Delhi).

Ekansh feels that Scrabble helped increase his concentration, discipline and also improve his vocabulary. Ekansh revels in challenges and says ‘it feels good to defeat someone after losing to them’.


Madhav Kamath

A cherub with a dazzling smile, Madhav is a charming nine-year old with a killer scrabble game. He started playing scrabble at five-and-a-half. At the age of seven, he won the Delhi under-18 title - or to put it in perspective, he was in class 2 and his opponents were mostly between class 10 and 12!

He soon was the winner of the WESPA Under-8 title. After the age of eight, he won WESPA Under-10 crown twice and is now all set for a hat trick.

Not only does Madhav win against his peers, but regularly trounces seasoned adults as well. With a photographic memory and super quick calculations, Madhav is a formidable opponent - underestimate this tiny player at your own peril!

At national competitions, Madhav plays in the prestigious A division and usually performs quite well. His most memorable tournament was the one in Baroda in February 2020, where he stood 4th in the A division. A spectacular accomplishment!

Madhav loves football and is also an IPL fan. A voracious reader, he’s just finished reading ‘The Kaboom Kid’ about David Warner, the Australian cricketer as a child.

Madhav loves competing at scrabble and he studies regularly to improve his game. He focuses on studying 4 and 5 letter words along with their hooks as he believes steady 30-40 point moves are better than relying on bingos to build a score. While he enjoys putting down unusual bingos in unexpected spots, what he enjoys most is playing tough games, where he has to rely on pulling rabbits out of his hat to turn a game around. In a recent game, he played EIDE knowing, as did his opponent, that it didn’t take an S. However, Madhav knew the hook that it did take and was able to land a golden bingo! (Ask Madhav for the answer if you don’t know it!)

Madhav has excellent lineage: His father, Sudhir Kamath, is a Division A player and his uncle, Pramit Kamath, is one the top-ranked players in the country. Madhav, though not even 10, claims to take about 8 of every 10 games off them both. Clearly, this youngster is on the fast track to being one of India’s best players.