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Humour Sanskrit, Dad, & Mom And School Last Bench

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    :hello: Humour Sanskrit, Dad & Mom and School LAST bench :hello:

    When our family shifted to a home at closer proximity to his office, he had given similar hardship. When admission in our new location for standard IV was available only in Telugu Medium of instruction, he had no other option but to admit me in that school knowing very well our mother tongue was Tamil.

    Following day, beloved Dad gone hiding on long official tour. It was my mom who took my cause to her heart and taken up with the school headmaster which eventually lead me to Tamil medium.

    Between shifting from Telugu to Tamil medium, hardly a fortnight had passed. This golden period was adequate to acquire and to be fluent in using unparliamentary words in Telugu thanks to Class teacher who often uttered those words with bloodshot eyes to intimidate and inculcate discipline among rebellious in class. He was always holding a cane in hand while reprimanding pupils.

    Without knowing the purport of those Telugu words, regardless of my mood, I was cheerfully uttering those words indiscriminately both in presence of my mother and other elders at home and in outdoors too with my play-friends. When I wanted a cane, mom asked me what for?" I told her that teacher holds a cane while uttering those nice words.

    She got flabbergasted and astounded. Very next day, she hit with me school headmaster’s spacious chamber and convinced him politely and firmly about the need to shift me at once to Tamil medium.

    I was in class sixth (then called FIRST form). IT WAS SANSKRIT class AND I was cursing my dad for having put me through the ordeal of learning a language which for himself was Greek and Latin. After all, we do not belong to priest or pundit class. Anyway I was destined to willy-nilly study Sanskrit.

    I was wondering who could have recommended to my dad to choose for me second and third languages. Of all the people, dad consulted family priest and it was his recommendation I had to study Sanskrit .

    The belief of dad was that it would besides help me perform hindu festival rituals, I would be adept with pronunciation of words in chanting daily Sahasranamam! Up to first lesson ajah (goat) and gajaha (elephant) - it was ok. Beyond that, learning turned ticklish as apart from Sanskrit class, nowhere else I could seek clarification or learn from others.

    But mom tried to instil sense and made me love chanting and learning by heart the Sanskrit slokas which in turn impelled me to voluntarily join the temple-group that was every evening chanted the sahasranamam – a part of the great epic Mahabharata.

    My Sanskrit teacher - a lanky lemon complexioned Dr. Thiruvazhi Ayyangar with ear studs and tuft of hair with bright namam - the symbol of religion -on his forehead always in traditional immaculate white attire look indefatigable. During roll call, he noticed the class pupils were not seated in alphabetical order as per the sequence names appear in the attendance register and directed us to be seated in alphabetical order. Accordingly pupils in the class all seated in alphabetical order.

    The shlokas taught in previous class, he would insist that entire class to by heart it and in the next session, each student would stand and loudly recite it out. Students, one by one would stand with closed eyes, some loudly some hesitantly chant in varying tones.

    Many would fumble and or mumble and teacher would in turn reprimand them for not putting in their best effort to learn properly. When he reprimands, the diamond ear studs would dangle and dazzle from his lobes.

    In this process, some pupils were unhappy as their cronies now seated at a different place in the class room. I too in this switch, missed sitting close to my chums. From day one, this had become another reason for my cursing Dad and the Sanskrit.

    I did not put any effort the previous evening to by heart the shloka, but sitting in the last row last bench helped me to learn flawless. When I had listened to each student of the class, one by one was repeating the poem loudly, I wrote it in Tamil and when my turn came, already I had by hearted and was able to recite with closed eyes loudly with confidence.


    Approbation followed from the teacher from time to time boosted my belief that even “I Can”.
    Only in later years I realised, how wrong I was in cursing Dad for choosing Sanskrit for me.

    It was only after few years, I understood that discoveries and inventions and scientific data by western scientists were all already thought about hidden in the Sanskrit manuscripts or and in ancient palm leaves. Whatever now proclaimed about missiles and satellites, superman and genes etcetera, one would remember that those are already mentioned in our ancient Sanskrit texts in palm leaves and epics Ramayana & Mahabharata.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  2. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    @Thyagarajan Very nice, interesting and it put a smile on my face.

    So sitting in the last row does have its benefits. The only problem would have been if the teacher started from the last row, for a change :)

    I agree that our ancient civilization discovered many scientific facts; unfortunately the later generations never did anything to take it out to the world. India could have been pioneer in so many areas had those treasures been shared and built upon by the many generations since their discoveries.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  3. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Thyagarajan sir,

    Reading your snippet brought back my own memories. I too was in a similar situation like yours and by the time I came to 8th standard, dad's job had taken us to a few states, even some very remote places, a few local language schools and eventually we were in our native place, Bangalore. But the problem was I did not know to read and write in Kannada and my last school of study was Telugu medium, knew no English, not confident of my spoken Kannada even! Th bigger fear was not Kannada but the fact that how do I manage in this big city and that too in English medium?

    Moms being moms, mine too had taken an effort to teach us children Sanskrit as an outside school activity - I have been in these classes from age 7. That was my only strength. So here we come to the big city and as dad looks for school, me being a high schooler and not being good in English and Kannada was refused admission right away. Some pleading and promising by dad about my intelligence (?) got me admission but then it also put me in an awkward position of not knowing what to do - all subjects taught in English, I was still learning alphabets in Kannada, big school, suave children but Sanskrit gave me a relief. I would not talk to anyone at school - what else do you expect of an awkward young teenager? One day as I was quietly standing outside school during recess, walks in a girl from my class and says "You are so good in Sanskrit will you be my friend?" in perfect English. She being a Tamilian wasn't proficient either in Kannada. I don't know what we did after that as friends but we are still best of friends - after all these years!

    While I hear all these things about Sanskrit, my eternal gratefulness comes from the fact that this language gave me life, to say! I continue to learn and teach Sanskrit after all these years and ever grateful to the language, not just because of the shlokas and the joy they bring me , but also for bringing me my first Sanskrit teacher, the later teachers and my very good friend....not to mention the other people I get to interact because of this language!

    Oh I do miss those good old Sanskrit teachers and you must been one smart cookie - not only come up with the idea of writing those shlokas in Tamil, but also paying attention and memorizing them. Last benchers and benches are something else aren't they? And oh! by the time I passed high school, mom realized I need Hindi too and she made sure that I finish all the exams of dakshin bharath hindi prachar sabha and received my supposedly degree in Hindi from none other than Vyjayanthimala herself - that experience of visiting Chennai, whole another story!

    Thank you sir for this snippet - I usually don't share personal anecdotes, but here I am, having done just that!
     
  4. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @Thyagarajan Sir,

    I don't know Sanskrit and never had to learn it in all these years. When my son had to learn it in school as a compulsory subject, I hoped to pick it up a bit but...my son never enjoyed his Sanskrit lessons and he studied it strictly to score high marks. Looking at his disinterest, even I lost interest.:thinking:

    I feel bad that I don't even understand the basic shlokas I utter. When I tried to understand those shlokas, my logical mind refused to accept them. So I prefer my ignorance while chanting these few shlokas that I know. I am glad that God understands my sincerity, accepts my prayers and continues to love me.
     
  5. HazelPup

    HazelPup Platinum IL'ite

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    Nice narration.
    ha ha ...

    what a description

    wow that’s really good. Never learnt Sanskrit.

    Wherever we moved I happily sat at the last bench and within a weeks time I would be asked to read or recite and again will be moved to first bench. Exception was in college where we retained our last bench. I still remember our HODs reaction when she handed me the evaluated answer sheet looking at the paper and me with so much doubts and finally doubted her own correction. Ha ha .... what a moment it was. Thanks for refreshing my memories
     
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  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    :hello:Am glad that reading this post cast a smile on your countenance.
    2. Yes. I thank my stars. It was always from front right row to last left row close to verandah or lobby.
    3. With regard to ancient scientific knowledge of our ancestors in Sanskrit, a volume could be written. German and some Us scientists vouchsafed for it.
    4. In one of their search for most suitable language for dry advanced computer suitable for space exploration NASA Reported that Sanskrit is the only language with complete grammar.
    Thanks .
    Regards.
    God Bless.
     
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  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Shri Thyagarajan,
    As I do have some severe spinal problem,I have been advised not to go near PC for more than 20 mts a day at least for 3 months until my health gets stabilized.
    I rarely read the snippets.

    Today I happened to read your mail and responses thereto. Sanskrit was my second language from 6th std to graduation. We had great scholars as Sanskrit pundits and a learned lecturer in College too.I loved Sanskrit, enjoyed the literature, experienced the structure and wondered at every step when we had to study the History of Sanskrit literature as one of the subjects.

    Sanskrit has a speciality for Chitra Kavyas-the same shlokas will give one meaning from left to right and give some other meaning when read backwards.

    Raghava-yadaviyam by Venkatadhvari (17th cent.) is an “anuloma-viloma kavya” that narrates the story of Rama. But the Shlokas read in the reverse relate an adventure of Shri Krishna.

    This interesting though brief work

    – shows that verbal ingenuity of the composer Arasanpalai Venkitacharya (also known as Venkatadhvari) and also

    – proves the encryption capability of the Sanskrit language.

    Here is a random sloka from the text.

    वन्देऽहं देवं तं श्रीतं रन्तारं कालं भासा यः ।
    रामो रामाधीराप्यागो लीलामारायोध्ये वासे ॥

    “I pay my obeisance to Lord Shri Rama, who with his heart pining for Sita, travelled across the Sahyadri Hills and returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and sported with his consort, Sita, in Ayodhya for a long time.”

    In reverse

    सेवाध्येयो रामालाली गोप्याराधी मारामोरा ।
    यस्साभालंकारं तारं तं श्रीतं वन्देहं देवं ॥

    “I bow to Lord Shri Krishna, whose chest is the sporting resort of Shri Lakshmi;who is fit to be contemplated through penance and sacrifice, who fondles Rukmani and his other consorts and who is worshipped by the gopis, and who is decked with jewels radiating splendour.”

    We have got so many books in Astronomy, Vaimaanika Sastras ets in Sanskrit.The saddest part is we can only boast of those things that we had so many advanced knowledge of Science in Sanskrit, and Sanskrit is the most suited to Computers and so on. Actually practically nothing was done to bring those hidden scientific literature out and popularise then globally.

    What is the use of saying that Sanskrit is a beautiful language?

    What is beauty?Beauty lies when ordinary human beings, not much educated, have a say in it, have a feel of the language.When it is confined to elite circles, elitists can appreciate and write thesis which again is circulated among the Hi-fi people.

    Real beauty of a language is seen when it runs daily lives;when people chit chat ,bargain in that language;when people start negotiating in that language;Sadly Sanskrit is used for none of this .Though it has a substantial volume of literature, scriptures, Epics,Puranas etc .Unless it is spoken by millions in daily life, all our essays and snippets hailing about the so called greatness will be a futile exercise only. A few Sanskrit spoken classes , and a few Universities teaching Sanskrit globally may help a few appreciate our ancient seers for their in depth knowledge but in no way stand against other languages like English which has rendered substantial help for the science as well as language to grow.
    I feel much ashamed when some great scientists make a remark" If Sanskrit has a real beauty as accredited by great scholars, it would have gone to the peak, even if nobody took initiative to heighten the same.The growth would have been automatic.This is mere paper boasting"

    We do not have any counter arguments to substantiate our stand.

    Jayasala42
     
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  8. sindmani

    sindmani Platinum IL'ite

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    True. Everything is mentioned in our ancient literature .for example Aircraft , surgery was conducted , about atoms and molecules , everything is mentioned .Bagavat githa can be used in management lessons. Thanks for the snippet.
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    I amtrulygreatfulto madam sister for devoting her precious late resting relaxing hours despite spinal problem and probably contrary to physician's advice. I am sorry to know that you have spine problem and sincerely pray for your speedy recovery and back to your pastime of educating IL'ites. yet I consider myself fortunate selfishly so, with your responses as it always illuminate me packed with education & turn one to be pensive.

    2. I never thought that this written in a lighter vain would invoke such command, such seldom wonderful meaningful thoughtful heartfelt feedback and positive response. Every word of your response is sine qua non un-redundant.
    3. The sloka in reverse “letter for letter” that resulted above is fantastic that imbibes both Rama and later incarnation -avatar in reverse Krishna in one nutshell. I heard of similar poems in tamil of Ottakoothar. But in Sanskrit I noted it only now from your response . My heartfelt thanks for it.
    4. For the rest of your comments, am in full agreement with you. Our Nation besieged from thymoor day’s faced repeated invasions and the people’s energy got dissipated in diluting foreign invasive efforts but again in history I read Emperor Akbar did lot for translation of Sanskrit texts into other languages including Persian!
    Thanks
    Regards.
    God grant us Godspeed in our earnest endeavour.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    :hello:such a lengthy yet interesting vicarious journey to reader to your schooldays. A small bio of you a long entertainment for readers - now reveals to us that you were and are passionate about study of Sanskrit as a subject. thanks from the bottom of my heart for your nice FB.
    Vyjayanthimala the danseuse, dancer, actress while signing autograph for me I noticed as a student that she before diagonally signing the name in decipherable manner wrote the Sanskrit word ohm in Sanskrit and put an arc at its bottom. in such a busy hour during the wedding of some other celebrity she wrote OHM - I was astounded.
    thanks and regards.
    God Bless.
     

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