...a dead language !

Post date: Oct 7, 2012 3:26:32 AM

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..."