BENGALURU : At a time when concerns are being raised over vanishing traditions and the younger generation’s lack of interest towards regional languages, 11-year-old Samruddhi Yadav stands apart. The Class 6 student has been learning Halegannada, a language that transformed from Purvada halegannada or pre-old Kannada during the reign of the Kadambas of Banavasi around the 5th century.
Finding the language filled with tongue twists, Samruddhi decided to throw herself into learning it at the age of eight years. “My mother used to read a book, Rannana Gadayudda, which is about Ranna - a famous poet in Kannada language. I was curious to know about the language and wanted to learn it. So she would read to me and give me audio recordings on how to pronounce the words,” says Samruddhi, recalling her passion took off. The youngster can now even recite some poems of Ranna, the 10th-century poet considered a gem of ancient Kannada literature.
Samruddhi also started her YouTube channel recently, and hopes to become a Kannada-speaking anchor. “I hope to become like RJ Aparna,” she adds. Her mother Bharathi, who was a literature student, says she began reading the language out of her own interest and when her daughter showed similar inclination, she began teaching her too. “It is not easy to master the language and nobody uses it anymore, apart from a few poems taught in Classes 9 and above,” Bharathi points out.
“I also heard that the Infosys co-founder Sudha Murty is learning the language as well. It is a passion that my daughter and I share - to learn tough languages such as Halegannada and even old Tamil,” she adds.Samruddhi was also part of a Kannada reality show, and as a tribute, wrote “Kannada Kanmani” 852 times on postcards within a week. She is now looking forward to applying for a Limca World Record as the only child of her age to have achieved the feat.