Dear Tom and Ray,

Belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year!I was trying to kill time during this prolonged holiday seasonby indulging in one of the favorite pastimes of the times (punintended)--surfing the Internet. I did a search on my name and,LO AND BEHOLD!! I came across a few letters written by yourloyal listeners. (Unfortunately, I can no longer belong to thatelite group, for reasons stated below, though I still try to catch the occasional show.)I read the letters with considerable interest, and thought that I should come out of hiding and set the record straight, for your sake as well as that of your loyallisteners.

Soon after I called your show (from Phoenix, Arizona), Ireturned to India, selling my 1987 Nissan Maxima, among otherearthly possessions. Aparna and I had a beautiful daughterthere. Her name is Anupriya. I hope you are as fascinated andenamoured by their names as you are with mine. So now you canhave three mantras (Arup, Aparna and Anupriya), like the HinduTrinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar), in that order and inincreasing difficulty of pronunciation.

I returned to Houston, Texas, earlier this year and acquired a 1999Honda (read: Hindu) Accord, among other things. So far, touchwood, I have had no need to call Car Talk on account of a car-related problem. However, I have been tempted to call or writeto you several times, after my friends (Sutanu Ghosh and RajShekhar, who still catch your show very religiously) told methat my name had been mentioned by you or one of your callersin a show. Car Talk is aired here at 9 a.m. on Saturdays, andit is very difficult to catch with a two-year-old daughter at homeand the lethargy and/or exhaustion after a long work week. Butagain, thanks to the Internet, I can listen to an archived copy offyour Web site.

I hope you will read at least a portion of this letter inone of your upcoming shows and lay to rest theories on whether Iam a doctor on "NYPD Blue," or an actor, or have been driving aMercury Mystique with an Ontario personalized license plate.You will also give some new mantras for your listeners to chantin the New Millennium, or some nice, new Indian names for theirbabies.

Faithfully,

Arup Gupta

[ As Read on Car Talk ]