Pun-star KaLamegam – Part-II

Foreword I dreaded Tamil poetry class in school. We mugged up verses in arcane language without knowing the ‘big-picture’. That’s how I missed the genius of KaLamegam; now, I decided to turn back the clock and make a small atonement. I read about his life and times first. [My earlier post Pun-star KaLamegam – Part-I is…

Pun-star KaLamegam – Part-I

Foreword Like most educated Indians of my generation, I am very comfortable expressing myself in English. I had always wanted to write about the maverick Tamil poet KaLamegam, who expressed many shades of ideas in subtle ways. But, Tamil nuances cannot be effectively captured in English (or vice-versa) so I decided to go bilingual with…

The Frenchman & the Shiva Temple

The French Connection Dr.U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer (Uvesa) was a 19th century scholar, who published over 90 books on ancient Tamil literature. In 50 years, he collected over 3000 heritage manuscripts by  house-to-house hunts across the Madras Presidency. Strangely, one Tamil treatise was  even sourced from France! Here’s the French connection.   Dr. U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer …

The Return of Jeevaka Chintamani

Foreword Jeevaka Chintamani 1 was a lost 10th century Tamil classic —- an epic poem in 13 volumes — that was rediscovered and published by Dr. U.Ve.Swaminatha Iyer (fondly called Uvesa) 2 in 1887. Here’s how it happened. Kumbakonam Town, circa 1880 Uvesa’s pride was hurt! Judge Ramaswamy 3 had taunted him with “Professor, what…

English is an Indian Language

The English do not own English… The statistics are out. Over 125 million Indians speak (and read and write) English. That is roughly twice the size of native English speakers in Britain (which is Great no more!). That makes us officially the owners of the language— the British speak an older dialect, that’s all. What…