Oct 08, 2011 at 11:54am IST

Aksharapolivu: Respecting Malayalam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Fifty-one tiny tots stood before 51 lit lamps, folding their hands in reverence. In the background, one could hear the mellifluous stanza beginning with ‘Ambathonnaksharalee’, the Saraswathy mantra. Students stood listening to the prayer song with much reverence as they were all engaged in the great act of paying respect to each and every alphabet of their mother tongue Malayalam.
Maybe a first of its kind, the ‘Aksharapolivu’ ceremony held at the Govt Model HS LPS & Nursery at Thycaud on Friday could be considered a tribute to the great language and its profound legacy.
The programme, by all means, was brimming with typical Kerala touch in style and presentation. The function was inaugurated by litterateur Madavoor Sasi.
According to K Bhuvanachandran Nair, headmaster of the school, “the decision to conduct the programme was taken during a meeting of the School Resource Group while assessing the academic activities of students. In a scenario where speaking defective Malayalam has become a fad, we thought it was high time a programme like this happened.”
Another striking feature of this programme was the traditional ‘Vidyarambham’. So interesting was the event that it saw the entire teachers and students of the school scrawling ‘Harisree Ganapathaye Namaha Avighnamasthu’ on the ground.
Spectators had a nice time watching the scene, where the boundaries of age and experience got transcended with the active participation of both parties. Many teachers had a smile on their lips as they were repeating the letters along with their disciples.
“I am so happy to participate in a programme like this. It really made me travel down  memory lane and bask in the nostalgic feelings of childhood days for a while,” beamed Radhamani S, a teacher of the school.
Still, accolades go to the tiny tots; for, they patiently faced the hot rays of the morning sun until the whole act was over. Though it lasted only a few minutes, they were given mock drills twice before the actual ceremony.
Aparna Prabhakar, a third standard student who participated in the ‘Vidyarambham’, had an exhilarating experience as she said: “I love Malayalam and this occasion helped me shower more affection on my language.”
The support of parents too was evident at the venue as they were present throughout the function. Deepika Sreekumar, mother of Kashyap Krishna, a second standard student, said: “The new generation kids are not aware of this traditional way of initiation into the world of letters. This event thus paved the way for them to experience a tradition that has almost faded into oblivion. It also contributed much to making them understand the value of their mother tongue.”
The programme also had an ‘Aksharaslokam’ session, where a group of 51 selected teachers and students recited poems by the modern trio of Malayalam poetry, Kumaranasan, Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer and Vallathol Narayana Menon. It concluded with a musical concert by Parvatheepuram Padmanabha Iyer, Thiruvananthapuram R Mahadevan and L Gopalakrishnan.