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Friday, May 13, 2005

[Book Watch] History of Tamils

Now reading....'History of Tamils' by PT Srinivasa Iyengar.

After reading potentially mysterious origins of western culture & religion, whe i saw this book's title, it appealed to me immediately.

The book was first published in 1920/30s and the copy I have seemed to be as old ;). May be i was imagining, but i though i saw silverfish crawl out of the book :-)

The book is written with the typical British dominant India style (would leave the interpretation to those with speculative minds)

The title is more of misnomer, the book talks about ancient India, lotsa history, lotsa speculation, theses, quotations - which makes it a nice read.

So far, my only gripe has been information organization - it makes no coherent sense whatsoever....the topics that are vary every section and time it is treated in, jump from II Millienium BC to V century AD and come back to BC in the next chapter...

Current chapter talks too verbosely about Agam-Naanoru & Puram-Nanooru and lotsa examples from it.

BTB, i managed to find the reference to 'yaayum yaayum yaraagiyaro' (from 'Narumugaye' - Iruvar what a wonderful song).

Man those poems, if called tamizh, easily pre-dates what we call as Sangathamizh....and most of us, including politicians can do squat to 'save' that thamizh. None use such language to communicate. I doubt how many lines in those poems can even be explained by thousands of tamizh teachers back home.

It is like Sanskrit ;nobody uses sanskrit for speaking purposes anymore.

Anyway, will keep you posted with an update soon.....very interesting book.


Eshwar said...

Arvi...sounds interesting. Happy reading.

Could help taking a pot shot at ur sanskrit comparison. There is a string belief that sanskrit was never a spoken language and certainly not as much as tamiz.

And ofcourse this perinial debate whether sanskrit was indeed the mother of all indian languages (save tamiz).

Shiva said...


"string" belief; "tamiz"; "perinial" debate; "tamiz" .... what;s happening man ?

Arvind said...


How many drinks did you have ?

Eshwar said...

Tonite show with Jay Srinivasan.