Deepa H Ramakrishnan
PONDICHERRY: Memorising data is his forte. Give him anything from abbreviations to calendar dates, dictionaries, even all the operations of a mobile phone, S. Sabarinathan of Karaikal region in Pondicherry can save the data in his mind.
His memory is amazing and at a programme organised by the Pudhuvai Tamizh Sangam on Saturday this student of standard VIII was able to recall the day and star according to the Tamil almanac when he was given the date, month and year in the English calendar.
"I call tell any day from 1950 to 2010. I don't know how I am able to recall or memorise all these things. I like to memorise things and recall them later," says Sabarinathan, who can also tell the dates according to the Muslim calendar. He has memorised a lot of things from the four dictionaries that his father, G. Selvanathan, has given him so far. He has memorised the names of all 60 Tamil years. "Every morning we wake up to a board that he prepares with the details of the English, Tamil and Islam calendars. When he was around six years old, we were discussing a wedding that took place in the family some 15 years back. When we couldn't remember the day he told us the correct date. We crosschecked the date and found him to be right. Then we quizzed him on other dates and when he was able to answer our questions correctly we discovered that he had this talent," says his father, Mr. Selvathan.
He also seems to have the ability to memorise things very quickly. "He asked for basic books in Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. And after thumbing through it he was able to write the names of the English months in all those languages," says his father.
But, despite having an amazing memory and the urge to learn a lot, he is only an average student. "I cannot write more than two lines in the long answers," he says impatiently, when asked about his academic track record. "I spend all my free time reading my dictionaries and different things in my textbooks," says Sabarinathan, a student of Karaikal Ammaiyar High School.
The Pudhuvai Tamizh Sangam honoured Sabarinathan during their monthly programme. Former MP C.P. Thirunavukarasu presented him with a statue of V.O. Chidambaram, a certificate and a shawl. "We plan to organise a signature campaign in Pondicherry demanding that the Tirukkural be nationalised," said poet Mannarmannan, president of the Sangam.
The Sangam celebrated Thiruvalluvar Day and Vallalar Day on Saturday. They felicitated four persons - S. Ramalingam Ko. Pugazhendi, Ko. Ilango Pandian and A. Vaithialingam - who had worked for the development of Tamil.