A first-timer would love to classify Mathur, about 10 km from Shimoga in Karnataka, as yet another “sleepy village with lush green fields’. But, there is more to this village than stately arecanut farms, winding roads and friendly people. For more than 25 years now, the village has been in the forefront of a movement to keep spoken Sanskrit alive. And, you notice the difference from the minute you step into the village.
It is an unusual assembly of parents for a Sunday afternoon on Thantoni Amman Koil Street. They are waiting outside the office of the Malayali Samajam Villivakkam to pick their children up after the class. Inside, the room is animated with songs, accent on diction and story narration – all in Malayalam. The teacher, Preeja, promptly corrects a few of them: “Nammalkku English venda”.
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