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Saturday, 23 August 2008

Sanskrit School in Channarayapatna

Every year, the full-moon day in the month of shraavana, is celebrated as World Sanskrit Day, according to Samskrita Bharati. This year, it was on Saturday, the 16th of August. I had a good news on Sanskrit front to share, and I feel this is the occasion to do so.

A new secondary school, with focus on Sanskrit language, has come up in Channarayapatna town of Hassan district, Karnataka. The age old building of "Samskrutha Pathashala" in the old fort area of the town has been renovated to bring this school up. All the credit must go to the "Samskrutha Vidyabhivardhini Sangha", and its dedicated members, who set about the ambition of providing good quality education, with focus on the language of Sanskrit.

The main person behind this ambitious project, Mr. A. Chidambar, senior English lecturer at Navodaya PU College of the town, has poured his heart and soul to this dream. He was ably supported by Mr. G.K. Vishwanath, English lecturer, Navodaya High School, Mr. C.S. Sheshachala, Mr. B.N. Krishnan, Shree Lakshmeesha Shastry and many more. Also to be remembered here are the generous whole hearted contributions of many people, without which this would have remained a dream.

I remember a few Sanskrit subhashitas at this stage, which blend well with the subject here:

अमन्त्रमक्षरं नास्ति नास्ति मूलमनौषधम् ।
अयॊग्यः पुरुषॊ नास्ति यॊजकस्तत्र दुर्लभः ॥

This simply means that there is no letter in the Sanskrit alphabet that is not a mantra. There is no root that does not have any medicinal values. No man is incapable, but it is the organizer, or the entrepreneur, who is difficult to find. In this case, Mr. Chidambar has acted as an entrepreneur and has made this dream become a reality. Kudos to him. There is another Subhashita which goes like this:

कर्ता कारयिता चैव प्रेरकश्च अनुमोदकः।
सुकृते दुष्कृते चापि चत्वारः समभागिनः॥

This says that in any deed, good or bad, many people share the responsibility. The one who does it, those who help him or her in doing it, the one who inspires, and the one who approves the deed. So, even in this great deed, all those whose names I have mentioned above must be appreciated. Now to quote the great Kalidasa towards the end,

पुराणमित्यॆव न साधु सर्वं न चापि काव्यं नवमित्यवद्यम् ।
सन्तः परीक्ष्यान्यतरद्भजन्ते मूढः परप्रत्ययनेयबुद्धिः ॥

That is, everything old, with a proven track record need not be good, and everything new need not be bad. One should give the new ones a chance to prove themselves too. Wise people would examine anything in detail and only then, would pass a judgment, whereas fools would depend on others' opinion.

With that, I hope the people of Channarayapatna would give a fair chance to the management of this new school to prove their mettle, and wish a lot of success to the school itself and its wards.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Anil Kumble: Achiever beyond any need for recognition

Let me admit, I am a fan of his, and a very proud one at that. And I am sure, he would have millions and millions of admirers like me, who would, not only admire his cricketing achievements, but also his gentlemanly behavior, and the way he carries himself, both on and off the cricketing field. He is a role model, and an inspiration to one and all. Yes, I am talking about the current Indian test cricket team captain, Anil Kumble.

I was planning to post an entry about Kumble in my blog, but kept postponing it for one reason or the other. But now, here it is. A couple of weeks ago, as India's ODI captain MS Dhoni got the Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year, many observers felt that the legendary servants of the game, like Dravid and Kumble, deserved it more. Indeed they did. But as always, I feel some legends grow beyond the need for any such recognitions, and Kumble, for sure, is one of them.

Post Indian Independence, the "Iron Man", Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, worked day in and day out to bring together various monarchies and provinces to form what we see today as the grand nation of India. Didn't he deserve a Nobel Peace prize for that? Kannada Author Dr. D.V. Gundappa (DVG), as already written in one of my previous entries, Deserved much more than a Jnanapeetha award that he never got, for the knowledge he possessed and literary works he produced.

Anil Kumble's determination, lion hearted performances, highly professional approach towards playing the game and representing the country, have earned nearly 1000 international wickets and over 3500 hard fought runs during a two decade old illustrious career. And of course, the captaincy was long overdue. The image of Kumble bowling with bandaged broken jaw to get Lara's wicket years ago, and the resolute with which he handled his team's controversies in Australia earlier this year, the unforgettable and majestic 10 wicket haul against Pakistan, are just three instances of countless moments of greatness, Kumble has provided. Didn't he, then, deserve the country's highest sporting honour? Well, in my view, even the country's highest civilian honour is not big enough for him. But the truth is, he is honoured every day, by millions around the world, through their admiration towards the great man, and that is the biggest recognition anybody can get...