Chennai: Tamil New year is a special occasion and how do we not recognise the contribution of vernacular authors and poets and their followers? For it is them who are striving to take it to the younger generation when the importance given to English is more.
One such club is Thirukkural Peravai in Chennai, which teaches the wisdom contained in two lines to children. On Chiththirai Thirunaal, New Year for Tamil population, News Today speaks to the founder, G Periyannan to know more about the union.
The inception of Thirukkural Peravai can be traced back to as early as 1978 in Nanganallur and has been taking the text to masses since then.
“As a child, I was inspired by the text and one of my teachers, Siruvai Mohanasundaram mooted the idea of beginning a club to spread the wisdom to people and that led me here,” begins Periyannan who has several years of experience as a teacher.
This being the only literature that has been translated into several languages, he believes the philosophy propagates people how to lead a life. On its importance, the Lakshmi Nagar resident says, “First and foremost, it disciplines the reader. When s/he memorises the kural, it seeps deep into his mind and begins to act accordingly without even taking cognisance.”
When asked about his favourite verse, he quoted verse number 1065 under ‘Kudiyiyal’ chapter and adds, “It says that nothing is sweeter than experiencing the fruits of toil-won victory even though it may taste like watery porridge.”
On seeing their dedication and reverence, writer and entrepreneur, V G Santhosam gifted a statue of Thiruvalluvar to them which was installed at the club’s premises on Nanganallur Sixth Main Road and has evolved into a landmark over years. As part of their activities, the Peravai organises Thirukkural classes every weekend between 10 am and noon to teach children.
“The classes are conducted by noted Elappan who recites the text however we ask, even upside down. We are planning to send the kids for the annual competition where financial grant of Rs 10,000 is given if they recite all 1,330 couplets,” Periyannan adds who has penned a book containing the meaning to Thirukkural with moral stories and has been honoured during several occasions for his contribution to Tamil literature.
Although traditional in approach, the members of the association write a new couplet every day in blackboards that have kept in six different locations in the neighbourhood.
As part of Chiththirai Thirunal celebrations from 15 to 30 April, the club is organising special classes to teach Thirukkural along with proper pronunciation, dance and art among others.
Periyannan can be reached at 94444 94839.
Photo: B ANAND