...a dead language !

posted Oct 6, 2012, 8:26 PM by Abhishek Ojha   [ updated Oct 6, 2012, 8:26 PM ]
Today, I went to Carnegie Mellon University New York campus for an informal talk with MSCF students.  The most interesting incident was neither about CMU nor quantitative finance.  

I carried Kumarsambhavam with me to read in subway. One  of the students (Indian Origin) asked me - 

"can I ask you something different? What book is that?"
"Thats a Sanskrit book" 
"Sanskrit? but who reads Sanskrit? isn't it a dead language?"
I smiled - "well, I have a book right here... I don't read original text but I understand a little.." 
"Can I see it? , wow ! does it says Kalidas?" 
"Yes, you know how to read Hindi?" 
"Yes, a little. Wasn't Kalidas a mythical character? I heard about him only once"
"No, He was a poet... sometime around 2nd BC to 4th AD" 
"Can I take a picture of this book? I want to show it to my mom"
"of course, and by the way Sanskrit is not a dead language... Even Columbia university has a small department of Sanskrit, Harvard has, so does many other universities across the world..."