As a concluding part of the Inscription Classes, as per our teacher Shri.S. Ramachandran's advice, we had called upon Pulavar Kannayyan of Mayilam who is a living encyclopedia on ancient number and arithmetic prevalent in early Tamil period and an inscriptions' enthusiast., who is just 78 years old young! When REACH contacted him for making arrangements for his visit to the session we wanted to conduct, this young man denied any carfacility, said he will just travel by bus and wait at T.Nagar bus stand at the appropriate time!
The D-day came and today (10th may 2009), he was waiting for our member S. Natarajan to pick him up from T.nagar bus stand.
Venue: Takkar Baba Vidyalaya, Vinobha Hall, Venkatnarayana Road, T.Nagar, Chennai,India
Even though we started late, waiting for the VIPs to arrive, we had a punching and effective compering and start by S.Natarajan. I missed taking a snap of Natarajan, but I will compensate next time. Sorry, Natarajan, for missing you in the photo shoots!.
The invocation song was sung by Ms.Swarnamalya, our student who was also instrumental in getting us the class rooms for free, when the epigraphy course was conducted at Janaki- MGR w omens' college, Adyar.
Pulavar (Poet) Kannayyan was introduced to us by Shri.S.Ramachandran, our epigraphy teacher. Pulavar Kannayyan had been a village accountant, a bold and straight forward man of yester years, aspiring to learn and learn more, be it ancient maths, inscriptions, historical facts, records from almost all government treasury related to land records, etc.
In his speech, Pulavar Kannayyan briefly explained the various forms of ancient Tamil numbers, the fractions, as well as the proof of short hand prevalent in marking land records in Tamil short-hand some 400 years before, much before the advent of English Pitman's short hand form!
Member-students, Shri. Prabhakaran and Subramania Pillai shared their awe and experiences they had in the epigraphy class they attended and voiced the mind of all students who had attended Shri.S. Ramachandran's class, which comprised of not only epigraphy lessons, but also the bit og history and facts related to each of the inscriptions we studied.
T.S. Subramaniam, the HINDU magazine and Frontline's senior reporter who also attended the
classes as a student was in praise of Shri. S. Ramachandran's knowledge, and thanked on behalf of all students Shri.Ramachandran for concluding the class in grand style with the most effective introduction of ancient numbers and systems by the only scholar now available, Shri.Kannayyan.
Our founder Dr.T.Satyamurty emphasized the need of making more students and interested persons from the common pool to learn inscriptions, as well as art appreciation from temples and heritage buildings to enable the common man become more aware of the value of our heritage. He was happy to note that the students enjoyed the classes and announced that plans to have more sessions would soon follow by the month of July 2009.
REACH plans to have the certificate issuing function in a befitting manner soon for the students who have attended the classes and also is planning for regular heritage trips, art appreciation courses and epigraphy classes.
The photos are uploaded here.