Travel Diary

To: "Min Nuul" From: "Kannan" Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 03:02:32 +0100 Subject: [e-suvadi] Travel Diary 16.02.0 Reply-to: [email protected]
Dear Suvadians: Visiting Saraswati Mahal Library is an experience! I thought it was going to be easy when Mr.....suggested me to take a picture of Dr.A.C.Burnell. I almost forgotten that I was stepping into a Government Institution !! My guide and host Dr.Rangarajan should not have introduced me as a scholar from Germany !! The Administrative officer started the conversation pleasantly with Rudolf Hitler (ɧ ⢠:-) Strangely, he started appreciating Hitler, expecting me to 'jalra' him !! Naturally, I didn't. I almost forgotten the unpleasant duty of pleasing the petty ego of na equally petty 'glorified clerk'. When I requested that I needed to photograph Dr.Burnell for Tamil Heritage Foundation, the official responsibility of taking a decision not only to photograph but to judge whether Burnell had done anything useful to Tamil shifted to another officer. He vehemently argued against Burnell's service to Tamil. It was absolutely embarrassing. After several minutes, they agreed that if I produce a letter of request to photograph Burnell, I might be granted permission (note: need to be passed through proper channel). I did fill the application in a long sheet of paper and my friend took the responsibility of getting the permission. By this time, the lunch break came and so we went out to 'have a bite' . When I took my camera and entered the exhibition hall, the 'in-charge' was eating in his table and asked twice whether we got permission from one Mr.Perumal. We replied that we got it from 'still higher' authority the AO. After finishing a couple of shots we were summoned by Mr.Perumal. He shouted at us that we didn't get his permission. We showed the application and the signature of the officer. He was more angry than before that it was from an another officer. So I was caught in between a territorial fight. I believe the officers urinate and mark their territory there :-)) Anyway, my job was done already :-) We happened to meet the same guy in the afternoon when I was searching for maps of early Christian missionaries for world maps (look I need to catch the Srirangam Jeer for any external influence - check my previous diary). He gave me a long lecture about the need for preservation, methods of preservation - emphasizing in-between his trips to Japan and England - etc. I wanted to speak but was not allowed. I was about to cry when he showed me be a list of foreign scholars who contributed to Tamil. It was obviously downloaded from the web. I was curious to find out the URL !! Could you imagine that this guy had downloaded information from Kalyan's electronic library and gave me a long lecture. His boring lecture ended when I told him that Kalyan is a good friend of mine !! That was the magic !! The whole tone changed. This guy has such a reverence for Kalyan (do you hear me :-) that he started considering me as 'somebody'. He listened to me then!! He showed me several 'first publications'. I was nearly weaping when I told him that I brought every dame thing to digitize those rare materials but he could respect only a piece of paper and not my mission or my scholarship. No !! We exchanged cards, pleasantries etc. etc. but not a piece of paper for digitization. The loss that he was talking about could have been prevented right at that movement if officers like them are not 'thodai nadunkis' ( ). I told him that Tamil is very much endangered and it may not survive next century. As a pure blood Tamil he started refuting me once more. vaNakkam. Kannan
To: [email protected] From: "Rathina Iyer Pathmanaba Iyer" Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 06:29:34 +0000 (GMT) Subject: Re: [e-suvadi] Travel Diary 16.02.0 Reply-to: [email protected] Dear Kannan I agree with Re.ka. You are doing a wonderful job meeting so many different personalities from the very top to .... and these are all a very good experience. The diaries are well presented and impressive. I do wonder how Kannan is able to write so feely. Well Re.Ka's suggestion of writing these experiences as a book in the future is a good idea. Anandasayanam --- "Re.Ka" wrote: > > > Kannan wrote: > > So I was caught in between a territorial fight. I > believe the > officers urinate and mark their territory there :-)) > > > > Touche, Kannan. I enjoyed this very much. > While you are on this please keep in mind that > all these trials, tribulations and elation will > one day make up a good book like U.Ve.Sa.'s > En Kathai. > > Re.Ka.
To: [email protected] From: "K. Kalyanasundaram" Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 10:00:09 +0100 Subject: Re: [e-suvadi] Travel Diary 16.02.0 Reply-to: [email protected] Dear Kannan: > The loss that he was talking about could have been prevented right at > that movement if officers like them are not 'thodai nadunkis' ( ). > I told him that Tamil is very much endangered and it may not survive > next century. As a pure blood Tamil he started refuting me once more. Thanks a lot for your sharing your experiences with us. I recall the proverb " .....". One of the advice I give to our new graduate students and post-docs here is that they should be nice with "our secretaries" first to have a smooth sailing of their stay, professors come next ;-) One of my friends used to have a big poster in his office which read something like this:"collaborators are requested to take bath before coming to work here, since one has to lick the a..... to have any work done here". Though the statements were realistic, he was asked politely to remove the poster from his office ;-) I do not want to quote names. But I have heard comments from well-known Tamilnadu personalities that "Tamil survived two thousand years and it will certainly survive another two thousand years. All these noise from overseas Tamils about Tamil literature/culture is at risk is nothing but propaganda to demonstrate their competence in IT or whatever" etc etc. Kalyan