Well, i did learn English (as my first language) along with Tamil ( as my second language) from my Kinder Garden days. We mugged a lotta Tamil grammer, poetry, prose etc., Sanskrit was my third language till 3rd grade.
During my 7th grade, i started learning Hindi privately and wrote Hindi exams at Hindi Prachaar Sabha.
During my 10th grade i switched to Sanskrit as my second language and mugged lotsa Kalisadasa’s Nalopakyanam. One can score lotsa marks in Sanskrit than in Tamil. Additionally gained marks will eventually lead one to BITS Pilani. I did score a 1060/1100 but then turned down Engineering to pursue Visual Communication. ( It was a cool and bold move those days and i am happy about my choice.)
When i joined the hip and happening Loyola College in Chennai i studied French for 2 years. ( Quel est votre numero de telephone 🙂 How is it? ) , Then to get the required no of credits to be eligible for graduation i took up “ Reading German”
While i did enjoy learning new languagues, somewhere down the line, Tamil was not on my priority list.
Last year, my dad, along with his like minded friends ( some 30 of ’em) dragged me to Kanchipuram to check out a few ( 25 of ’em) Temples ( Paadal Paetra Sthalams). They were into a lotta Saiva Sidhantham. By 3 o clock we covered around 15 temples and i got throughly exhausted. They sang songs originally written by
Thiru gnanasambar Thirugnanasambandar ( Thanks Arthi for pointing this out, Guess i was hungry then :)). Every song had a story behind it. The more i started hearing about it the more i became curious about the Tamil Kings who built ‘em.
That day was a turning point in my life. I decided to screw Internationalization and focus on Localization Somewhere deep within i became inquisitive about Tamil and Tamil history. Brother Kingsley ( apart from his regular Park Avenue accent) used to talk a lot about Bharathiyar songs and Tamil history.
A lot has been said about the beauty of Tamil. Its one of the oldest languages in the world. Its time for me to relish the richness of Tamil poetry & history. I am currently reading ” Ponniyin Selvan” written by Kalki. Contrary to what
Bharathiyar (k, this aint bharathi, this was some pedha poet) said about Tamil ( Mella ini saagum Tamil ) i have a feeling that it will last for a long long time 🙂