What happens when you grow up surrounded by books? You become a writer yourself. This is the story of Uma Maheshwari, a Tamil author and professor.
The resident of Kodambakkam, Chennai, has penned five devotional books and has done extensive research on Nambiyandar Nambi, a eleventh-century Saivite Tamil scholar, who is known for compiling the hymns of Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar.
In a chat with News Today, Uma shares her journey. “My father used to have a library at home,” she recalls. “He read a lot of books. So it was quite natural for me to get influenced. Eventually, as I grew up, I got this burning desire to read and do my own research on a subject that was previously unexplored. I made sure that my project was also different.”
Her father, who was a chief engineer at the Tamilnadu Electricity Board, had wanted one of his children to take up Tamil as a career.
“I ended up learning the language,” she says, adding, “Soon, it gave me the passion to learn more about Tamil and our history.” Speaking of her work, she says, “My Ph.D thesis was about Nambiyandar Nambi, who is famous for authoring the Tirumurai. The five books I have written include Nambiyandar Nambiyin Padaipugal, Nambiyandar Nambiyum Thirugnanasambandarum, Thiruthondathogaiyum Valarchiyum, Thiru Ezhukootrirukkai, Thirumurai Amudham and Thenugar Vandu.”
Currently, Uma is the head of the Tamil department at the Government Arts and Science College in RK Nagar.
“We conduct a lot of paper presentations, that is centered on devotional literature,” she says, also stating that various competitions such as quiz will be conducted for the New Year.
So what plan does she have for the future? “After I retire, I wish to do more research on Tamil grammar,” she signs off.
She can be reached at 2472 7943.