Humour Sanskrit, Dad & Mom and School LAST bench 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.