Meet C.H. Raghuttaman, who is driven by the zeal to teach the poetry and grammar of Sanskrit

C.H. Raghuttaman, 81, teaches Sanskrit. At home and over phone. Even today, a couple from Madurai calls him up a couple of times every week for telephone lessons on the Bhagvad Gita. Then, there are those who have rediscovered their love for Sanskrit and those who want to better understand the shlokas they recite every day.

But, Raghuttaman did not start off by teaching Sanskrit. He taught mathematics and English for close to four decades. He was a teacher at Suburban School and was known for his ability to teach mathematical concepts in poetry form. That’s the principle he continues to use to teach Sanskrit.

“Many people take in students and train them well for exams. I cannot do that. Exams are incidental; I only wish that people learn the language in-depth; appreciate its inherent beauty and grammar and understand it in its truest sense,” he says.

Raghuttaman suffered many health setbacks in between, and even went through a total hip replacement surgery in 2010. That has not stopped him from teaching.

He sits on a chair in the drawing room of his apartment in R.S. Puram, his books spread on a table in front of him. He has an air of geniality about him and looks like an affectionate grandfather.

The grammar of language

Get him talking about Sanskrit grammar, and his face lights up. “Grammar holds together a language,” he says.

He has also translated Sanskrit and Kannada books and shlokas into Tamil.

Even today, he maintains a packed schedule, waking up at about 4.30 a.m. and working till late in the night, with some breaks in between.

Call him at 0422-2541716.