20th April 2008
A conversation with Sri Vasuvaj
by Venetia Ansell
Sanskrit is a notoriously difficult language. Where Latin and Greek were always the legendary bane of English schoolchildren, Sanskrit is for many Indian teenagers the millstone around their necks. Indeed, even scholars rate Sanskrit fairly high up in the difficulty league thanks to eight cases (where Greek has only five), sandhi (which can at times produce whole lines of text written without a word break), infinite synonyms and draconian rules. On top of this, Sanskrit writers have tended to revel in virtuoso demonstrations of their mastery of the language by constructing words, sentences and verses of inconceivable complexity.