Chennai-based Tamil professor teaches silambam for free

Chennai: Tamil Puthandu is a day to new beginnings. It is also a day to reminisce the traditional and cultural aspects of our State. News Today spoke to M Krishnamoorthy, Tamil Professor at Mohamed Sathak College of Arts and Science, and he shares how the day is instrumental in reviving forgotten traditions and practices. A resident of Anna Nagar in Taramani, Krishnamoorthy also runs ‘Friends’ Silambam club at Vijaya Nagar where he teaches about 40 students for free.

‘”Apart from the usual rituals such as taking an oil bath and performing the Surya namaskaram, we clean the house and put up colourful kolams at the entrance. We also follow the tradition of looking at ourselves in the mirror first thing in the morning for good things to happen and visit temples,”’ he says.

“The auspicious day would have more relevance if more patti mandram, Thirukkural and kolam contests are conducted in the area. ‘I have conducted competitions in the past, but this year, we did not have enough resources’, he rues. Speaking to him, it is very evident that his love for Tamil language runs deep, ‘Those who read translations of Tamil literature are missing out on a lot of deeper and hidden truth in it,’” he points out.

Explaining about how he developed interest in Silambam, he says, ‘”It is one of our traditional sports and our pride. It is a daring act. I loved it from a very young age and I also wanted to learn a weapon-based martial art. But I did not know any one who could teach me. As long as I am alive, I will continue teaching the art.’ ‘Initially, I thought my students were not taking it seriously as the classes were free. But gradually they changed their attitude. We have four days classes weekly. I started with a few students initially as I did not advertise it, and later many started joining on their own interest,”’ he beams. He can be reached at 8778331878.

Naomi N