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So what’s new?

Nivriti Butalia meets our Sanskrit newsreaders.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2008 23:47 IST
Nivriti Butalia

Pranav Dev Arya

Quite the jack-of-all-trades, Pranav Dev Arya — priest, lecturer and newsreader — has made it his mission to dispel the popular notion that Sanskrit is the language of priests only. Give Sanskrit a chance, he urges; it is a compact language that requires far fewer words to convey a thought than most other languages. For instance, he points out, the popular Hindi film dialogue, Bhagwaan ke liye mujhe chhod do, translates is a neat Ishwar kritay ma tyaj in Sanskrit. Besides, it is also a logical language, he says. Much like math, he adds helpfully.

His concern about the prognosis for the language starts at home — his eight-year-old can recite a minute-long shloka with not one hiccup.

Supriya Sanju

Roughly three times a week, a 4 am alarm goes off in Supriya Sanju's bedroom: she needs to get up early if she has to make it in time to the Doordarshan studio to read the 6.55 Sanskrit news bulletin.

Thanks to her earlier stint with All India Radio, Supriya's voice was familiar to Sanskrit fans before her face was.

The language is an old passion for Sanju; the 29-year-old newsreader, also pursuing her Phd in Sanskrit from Delhi University, has won many a shloka-recital competition in her college days.

Her other passions include theatre, music (she has notched up many stage performances and music prizes), and dance.