Samskrt literature and teaching the language were passions for P S Ramamurti: he continued the tradition of his father P A Subrahmanya Ayyar who founded the Egmore Samskrt School after retirement as Professor of English at the Annamalai University. The Surabharati Samiti conducted monthly programmes in Samskrt and reared several generations to admire Samskrt literature and speak that language. PSR continued this tradition with his deep and abiding interest in Kalidasa and other great Samskrt literary giants. It used to be a treat to listen to PSR on the nuances of Kalidasa’s several works.
PSR, a school mate of mine, worked as Associate Editor of IE in its formative years and later represented Lokmat in Chennai. A postgraduate in English Literature from the Presidency College, after retirement, PSR got his doctorate in Samskrt from Sri Venkateswara University.
After his demise in 2015, his wife Lalitha, daughter Meera-Narayan and their family, nephew Ganesh and hundreds of his students continue with PSR’s dedicated work.
The Egmore Samskrt School has been popularising Gita recitation for 60 years. Significantly its meter and mode of rendering Gita has been adopted by the Chinmaya Mission and others.
The diamond jubilee of the Gita recitation competition that drew participants from all across south India, was spread over three days on 22, 26 and 29 January. Around 2500 of various age groups from several states participated in the competition in which over 150 served as judges. Every participant was provided with a certificate and winners with books and other presents! The school celebrated its diamond jubilee at the Rajaji Vidyashram. Prof K Ramasubramaniam of IIT-Mumbai, presided over the valedictory function and distributed prizes to winners of the competition on 4 February.