Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 3 March 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Learning Sanskrit: A Personal Experience

K. Parameswaran, Ph.D.

The Call of Sanskrit!

Kuttikrishna Marar, one of the foremost Sanskrit scholars of Kerala, has written a long essay on how the sound, sense and, finally the sensibility, of Kalidasa had captured his mind through the years. Here, let me make a similar attempt, on an infinitely smaller scale, to give a small description of how the magnificence, mystery and music of Sanskrit have come to overwhelm me through the years!

The Music in Sanskrit

One of my earliest memories of childhood in the sixties is the sound of the Venkatesa suparabhatam, sung by none other than M S Subbulakshmi, wafting along with the light early morning breeze from the not too far away temple in my native place, Haripad, then a small village in Travancore. Lying half asleep, I still remember the cadence and rhythm of the rendering of the Sanskrit couplets of the Suprabhatam. Thinking back, that must have been the first time that the beauty and quiet elegance of the Deva vani, Sanskrit entered my subconscious mind.

Sanskrit - A Pilgrim Spot

Years rolled by. Through the years of schooling, Sanskrit always remained a nearby pilgrim spot that could be visited whenever and wherever we wanted. However, the visit was not to happen yet.

My second language at school was my mother tongue Malayalam. But all the classic poems that we learned - whether it be Ezhuthachan's Ramayana or Kunjan Nambiar's Kalyana Sougandhikam (which deals humorously with the plight of Bhimasena when he went in search of the Kalyana sougandhika flower) - or even modern poets like Ayyappa Panikker or O. N. V. Kurup, references to Sanskrit literature were bountiful and pleasing to the heart, mind and ears. Thus, Sanskrit was a constant, yet one place removed, neighbor throughout my school and college days.

Private Tuitions to Quench the Thirst, and Waning Enthusiasm!

It was during one mid summer vacation while I was in college, that along with one or two friends, a courageous decision was taken to go in for private tuitions in Sanskrit with the aged Hindi professor in our college. We started out in right earnest; with classes scheduled during the mid day break at the college. However, with each passing day, our enthusiasm waned. The involved intricacies of the Siddha Roopam defeated the avid Sanskrit students in us and gradually one by one, we friends bade good bye to the noon time classes.

Will Not Give Up! Competing Interests!

Next, we came up with the idea of combined study of the famous Raghuvamsa with the help of the Malayalam commentary written by Kuttikrishna Marar. Again, the combined studies started with a lot of enthusiasm but again, alas, it too was short lived. A lot of other activities like arts club, sports, NCC, NSS etc took up our free time and Raghuvamsa had to be postponed indefinitely.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders A SLP'S GUIDE | Teaching of English Literature and Empowerment of Indian Students | Translating Irony in the Quranic Texts – A Contrastive Study of Yousif Ali and Pickthall English Translations | “Why” And “How” of Literature in Language Classroom | An Evaluation of the Communicative Approach and Audio-Lingual Method in Teaching Grammar in a Private High School in Turkey | Command or Curse? Women’s Position - A Look at Genesis 3 : 16 in the Light of Abuse | Learning Sanskrit: A Personal Experience | Plural in Tamil and Telugu - A Comparison | Incorporating Translated Malay Short Stories into Teaching English Language Skills | Getting Exposure to Input in Multimedia Language Laboratory - A Pleasurable Learning Experience | Representation of a Minority Community in a Malaysian Tamil Daily | The Internal Landscape and the Existential Agony of Women in Anjana Appachana’s Novel LISTENING NOW, A Doctoral Dissertation | HOME PAGE of March 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

K. Parameswaran, Ph.D.
308, Pakshiraja Towers
Police Kandasami Road
Coimbatore 641 045
Tamilnadu, India

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