The yummy taste of success
The storm in a teacup about how knaidel should be spelled has been laid to rest — at least at Ben's Deli in
That was where instead of eating his
word, Arvind Mahankali, 13, bit into a new
line of smaller matzo ball, named the
Arvind knaidel in his honor.
The dish was announced at an event
United States Representative Grace Meng
from Queens held June 9 to honor Arvind,
after he won the Scripps National Spelling
Bee earlier this month, after spelling
knaidel, the Yiddish word for matzo ball.
"Do you know why they're called matzo
balls," Ben Deli owner Jay Parker asked,
before answering the question himself: "It's
because no one could say knaidel."
Parker was a strong supporter of Meng
during her campaign. Arvind lives in
Bayside and studies at the Nathaniel
Hawthorne Middle School, all of which falls
in Meng's Congressional district.
As Arvind's mother Bhavani watched,
hands clasped together almost in prayer,
Meng praised Arvind's efforts, saying everyone was proud of him, adding, "Only in
Queens, the most diverse county in
America, can an Indian-American kid win a
national contest for correctly spelling the
Yiddish word for matzo ball," she said.
She didn't mention that it took her, a lawmaker of Chinese descent, to have him honored that way.
Meng also handed Arvind the flag that
was flown over the US Capitol in his honor.
Also present on the occasion were
Cynthia Zalisky, executive director of the
Queens Jewish Community Council; Hindy
Poupko, director of Israel and International
Affairs at the Jewish Community Relations
Council of New York; and Uma Mysorekar,
the president of the Hindu Temple of North
America, based in Flushing.
Meanwhile, Arvind's brother Srinath, 9,
in white T-shirt with blue horizontal
Congresswoman Grace Meng and Arvind Mahankali taste the dish named after him, while Ben's Deli owner Jay Parker looks on.
stripes, dark cerulean pants and white Nike
shoes, provided the informal counterpoint
to his brother's more formal dark suit.
Srinath was all excited support when his
brother, called up to speak, ducked charac-
teristically, before he began thanking the
audience and all those who supported him.
Earlier, asked if public events bored him,
he gave a sidelong glance before admitted,
"Kind of. Studying spellings is a lot more
Donors, recipients discuss importance of marrow transplant
Three weeks after giving his marrow to save a life, Anup Goyal addressed a meeting organized by the South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters in
Hamilton, New Jersey, May 29.
‘Do you find me physically impaired in any way,’ he asked
the audience of more than 250 people. ‘I’m the same per-
son I was before the donation. What you don’t see is how
emotionally empowered I am today. I would therefore
request all of you to register as a volunteer marrow donor
and donate if you are lucky enough to match somebody.’
“This is the bright side of the story,” Moazzam Khan,
director, community affairs and donor management,
SAMAR, told India Abroad. “There are others who refuse
to face a little discomfort, even if that could save a life.”
He cited the example of a person in India who turned out
to be a match for Nalini Ambady, celebrated social scientist
and professor of social psychology at Stanford University.
Ambady is fighting blood cancer. A quick bone marrow
transplant is the only way to save her life.
“Initially he was willing to donate the marrow, but later
backed out. Now we are continuing the worldwide search
again for a donor.” Khan said.
At the meeting Goyal’s nephew Anush Goyal, 28, too participated. Anush, who works in the financial sector, got a
marrow donation last year.
Anup, 53, of Marlboro, New Jersey, spearheaded a massive recruitment campaign on behalf of SAMAR to find a
donor for Anush, who lives in North Brunswick, New