NAVAIKULAM: At a time when inspiring lyrics like Vande Mataram are branded communal, a Muslim girl who opted for Sanskrit has topped the Kerala University MA (Sanskrit) exam in 2006.
Shajeena S notched up 79 per cent and is the first Muslim topper in the university'shistory. The 24-year-old is the second of three daughters of Shahul Hamid, a poor labourer from Navaikulam. She took up Sanskrit three years ago. ?She is a very bright and sincere student,? says Shajeena'steacher R Nirmala. Did Shajeena confront any resistance from community leaders or from her parents? ?Not really,? she says, adding, ?my parents agreed when I told them I want to learn Sanskrit. When I topped the university exam, my ustad in the community asked for sweets.?
Though some people ask her why she didn'ttake up Arabic for higher studies, she tells them that Sanskrit is the most apt language for Indians since most Indian languages are offshoots of Sanskrit. ?Besides, it also offers better job opportunities,? she says. Shajeena recites Sanskrit shlokas at home. ?Nobody at home understands them though,? she smiles. ?But they say they sound melodious when intoned in a low pitch. The Sanskrit language is poetic. There is rhythm in every syllable.? She dreams of launching a Sanskrit publication, which can help Sanskrit lovers in India give vent to their creativity. She swears that she will teach her children this rich language. ?It'sa shame this beautiful language is reduced to a Cinderella in her own land,? she says.