Person of the Week: N V Subbaraman

Dear Readers,

In this interview series where we ask few questions to people who are making a difference, it can be big, it can be small it doesn’t matter what matters is their contribution to our society. It can be anyone from any walks of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.

    NV

  Mr. N V Subbaraman from Tamilnadu is a bilingual poet, a Versatile Blogger, writer, scholar, trainer and communicator with thirty seven books to his credit including 16 translated works in prose and verse. Following are his thoughts on some of the questions we asked him.

Tell us something about yourself?

I am N V Subbaraman, was born on July 31st 1941 in Tamilnadu. My mother tongue is Telugu. Having been born, brought up, educated and employed for long and living in Tamilnadu I know Tamil well in addition to my mother tongue, English, Hindi and Sanskrit to an extent. I am a graduate in Mathematics and a Fellow in Insurance. I served the premier Public Sector Undertaking Life Insurance Corporation of India for four decades, served as a part of my Central office, in the States of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. I retired in 2001 as Deputy Zonal Manager and post retirement served as a Director in an HR Training Organization and as a Managing Director of a company.

Since the age of seventy, I have given up all my gainful employment and concentrating on literary activities.

I am a bilingual poet in Tamil and English. I am a communicator, writer, speaker, and a trainer.  I am a small time writer and I have thirty seven published books to my credit. I am a translator from English to Tamil and vice versa.  Totally I have to my credit translated works numbering 16 in prose and verse.

I am a Blogger-keeping ENVIUS THOUGHTS in https://nvsr.wordpress.com where I post an English poem original or translated every day from Monday to Saturday and a Sunday story right from 28/2/2015 till this day without a single break; my 545 posts in 508 days have a total VIEW Score of more than 49000 from 198 countries.

I am a Haikuist and I have written more than 1000 Haiku poems strictly in 5-7-5 pattern, with first and third line rhyming. I have ten awards for my literary activities including the latest to be awarded on 16th September UWA ADMIRABLE ACHIEVER AWARD 2016/17 by the United Writers Association of India “an Association formed to kindle the light of love and compassion among all nations and whenever possible, in areas of conflict, the Association will act as counseling body for equalizing the flow of knowledge, for reducing aggression and of generating attitudes of fraternization, and an Association of Truth to lend meaning to the pursuit of excellence with a view to forging an endless alliance and a more perfect Union among the people of the Earth”.

I am a simpleton, out and out a humanist and a Universalist keeping strictly to certain principle of life. I wrote long back and I hold to that.

                                                                                               I know no God

                                                                                                  no religion

                                                                                                no philosophy!

                                                                                              I know no Bible

                                                                                                     no Quran

                                                                                                no Dhammapada

                                                                                                no Mahabharatha

                                                                                                    no Ramayana!

                                                                                                I follow and practice

                                                                                              “Help ever, hurt never

                                                                                                  Love all, Serve all

                                                                                                 Be kind, be friendly!”

                                                                                 That is all what I know on earth and

                                                                                     That is all what I need to practice!

I am greatly attached to Saint Tamil Poet Thiruvalluvar, Mahatma Gandhi and Tamil national poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathi.  I use to say that whenever I leave my flat all these three take me by their hands and bring me back home safely.

What is the essence of Thirukkural in your opinion?

In one of his poems singing in praise of Tamilnadu, national poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar wrote:

வள்ளூவன் தன்னைஉலகினுக்கே தந்து

வான்புகழ் கொண்ட தமிழ்நாடு.

“VaLLuvan thannai ulaginukkae thandhu vaan pugazh koNda Thamilnadu”

In English

“Giving Valluvan to the world, Tamilnadu got the sky high fame”

THIRUVALLUVAR indeed is one of the greatest thinkers the world has witnessed. Born more than 2300 years ago in the famous city of Chennai in India, he through his magnum opus ‘Thirukkural’ has given the art and science of life and living.

When the values propounded are practiced truthfully, it will surely bring the unseen heaven to this very earth. Hardly there is any subject in the world that has not been dealt with by Thiruvalluvar and that in fact has made this work universally accepted as common scripture of eternal truths. This is probably the only work that has been translated into more than ninety languages of the world, of course, excepting Bible and Quran, which are the valued possession of the respective religions. That indicates the universality of the great work. Monumental contribution and rarest gift of Tamilnadu to India and the world are versatile Tamil Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar and his marvelous work Thirukkural!

To me Thirukkural dictum is not theoretical or bookish. A serious practitioner whether he is a layman, an employee Manager to the last grade servant, an agriculturist, medical man, or in Government from the ruler to the ruled, or in any walk of life can put into practice and the society will be peaceful, prosperous and noble. In fact Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Ramalinga adigaLaar—a Tamil reformer and many others have practiced VALLUVAM-dictates of Thiruvalluvar and his Thirukkural- .all given in 133 parts of 10 couplets each totaling 1330 couplets of seven seers each.

Different Indian languages have literary works of great cultural and artistic value but regionalism often comes in the way of connecting people with these works. What is the way to bridge this gap in your opinion?

Yes, India is a vast and diverse country with its rich heritage, culture, religions, languages, literature, scholars, writers, poets and so on. They are indeed great treasures beyond values for the present and posterity.

In a multi lingual society and the states on linguistic basis, regionalism of course takes its own toll on many aspects and one important impact is on the literary works of great cultural and artistic value. Due to political and other reasons there is a vast gap in connecting the people.  Rightly you have diagnosed the cause for the gap and that is narrow regionalism leading to parochialism. It should therefore, be the foremost duty of the broad and nationalistic minded patriots to create opportunities for the people of religions and regions, languages and cultures   to move freely and absorb the greatness from others.

Translation of the rich literary works of each language into other languages of India and English is a sure way of bridging the gap.

Emphasizing on the importance of TRANSLATION in bridging the gap great National Poet Subrahmanya Bharathiyar says:

தேமதுரத் தமிழோசை உலகமெலாம்

          பரவும்வகை செய்தல் வேண்டும்.

பிறநாட்டு நல்லறிஞர் சாத்திரங்கள்

          தமிழ்மொழியிற் பெயர்த்தல் வேண்டும்

திறமான புலமையெனில் வெளிநாட்டோர்

          அதைவணக்கம் செய்தல் வேண்டும்.

Thaemadhurath thamizoasai ulagamelaam

          Paravum vagai seythal vaeNdum

Piranaattu nallaringar saaththirangkaL

          Thamizmoziyir peyarththal vaeNdum

Thiramaana  pulamaiyenil veLinaattoar

          Atdhai vaNakkam seythal vaeNtum.

In English

Tamil’s mellifluous sounds

Must reach the world’s utmost bounds.

Translation too we must produce

From foreign classics for our use.

Our genuine greatness and skills and wisdom

The world will recognize and salute hands down.

But then translation is a fine art and science; competent persons for translation from one language to other language/s are to be spotted, sufficient recognition given and motivated to pursue the art of translation. Translation is not simply finding the equivalent words. It is indeed trans- creation; the translator must get into the heart and soul of the original creator and come out with his version presenting the mind of the creator.

 It has to be done through print and electronic media. From that angle, I cannot but commend the efforts of Indian Periodical. Educational Institutions should make it a point and policy to prescribe the translated literature in the curriculum at all levels. As extracurricular studies, parents, social service organizations and schools must popularize translated arts and literature. It may not be too much to suggest literary competitions may be floated at many levels on translated literary pieces for all ages, educational standards, rural, urban groups and so on as the competitions have the motivating ability.

How should young generation be motivated towards preserving the cultural heritage like Thirukkural?

 Your question on targeting the younger generation is indeed commendable.  This is the age of youth and the future of the country’s culture and civilization, principles and practices, peace and harmony very much depend on the way our younger generation is brought up. While several distractions and disturbances are there for them, concerted efforts must be made, by all concerned with the future, to divert the focus of the youth towards preserving the cultural and literary heritage of the great works like THIRUKKURAL.  Right from the elementary stage through curricular and extracurricular activities the text, meaning and the value of the teachings of Valluvar are to be prescribed. It has to be naturally in the languages known and appreciated by them for which making available the TIRUKKURAL in all Indian languages is a sine- qua-non.  It is to be coordinated at the school/university, state and central level by competent teams.

The parents and elders should set an example and role models to the youngsters by practicing the principles of life and living propounded by Thiruvalluvar in his magnum opus Thirukkural. Once the young minds absorb from their studies and observe the elder’s following in their day to day life, they will also fall in the groove and what is imbibed at the cradle will stand till the grave.

What sort of encouragement do central and state governments provide in promoting literature?

Of course, they have their own methods and manner of providing encouragement in promoting literature; but it leaves much to be desired. Of course priority treatment is given to education and not to the man making literary education! Unlike the subjects like Mathematics and Science, Engineering and medicine, literature in any language enhances the vision and catholicity, broad mindedness and nobility of the learners.

Hence, the governments must give a priority to the translation activity of the ministry of culture and education and instill the importance of translated works, methodical study at all levels to ensure that regionalism stands not in the way of literary progress in the whole nation.  In particular in Tamilnadu lot of emphasis is made on studying the THIRUKKURAL couplets and the schools right from the age of four make the kids read and recite this great work of Thiruvalluvar.

Monetary incentives have their own attraction with the human beings and rightly the Tamilnadu Government recognizes the students from primary level to University level, who learn, by heart and recite the entire 1330 couplets in front of competent team of Thiruvalluvam   specialists and award Rs.10000 each. It is indeed a matter of immense satisfaction and pride that thousands of boys and girls from Tamilnadu have been awarded.

Individual specialists in Tirukkural contribute in their own way for the propagation of the Saint Poet’s ideas and views among the children and elders. One such expert by name ELLAPPAN from the famous holy place of Kanchipuram in Tamilnadu, a dhashavadhani, has trained many children and out of them more than hundred boys and girls have received the Rs.10000 award from the Government.

One more individual Mr. Aadhilingam, founder president of “ULAGAP PODHUMARAI THIRUKKURAL SANGAM” is running THIRUKKURAL SCHOOLS in different parts of Chennai, teaches Thirukkural, awards monetary incentives up to Rs 5000 to the school children for attainment of proficiency in Tirukkural in 10 different levels. How I wish the students from Andhra Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh prepare themselves and receive the Tamilnadu government and other awards in large numbers!

Your message for our readers?

Message to readers! Yes, we have to. At a time when the sea changes are taking place in the society, in the minds and attitudes of readers and writers, concerted efforts are called for to make the youth read, read and read, understand, appreciate, absorb the contents and crux of the noble literature from not only their own language but from other languages translated well by the competent authorities. Honest efforts must be made to read well all that is worth reading and follow in day to day life that they got out of reading.

Just as physical exercises tone up the body and health, reading tones up the intellect.  They must also make it a point to read the journals and magazines on line or off line providing translated matters as is being efficiently done by Indian Periodical. My best wishes and prayers are to all the readers. Thank you, very much to you for having provided me a golden opportunity to interact with you and through you, your esteemed readers. .

73 Comments

  1. Great article and a wonderful contribution by Shri.N.V.Subbaraman. look forward to many such, from him.

  2. M. Viswanathan says:

    I enjoyed it. The essence of the interview is this:
    I follow and practice
    “Help ever, hurt never
    Love all, Serve all
    Be kind, be friendly!”

    Good sir…I am proud that I am having a person like you is close to me.
    Regards,
    MeeV

  3. thota chandrasekhara reddy says:

    I had the proud privilege of interacting intimately with Mr.N.V.Subbaraman on several occasions well over two decades. I fully endorse his statement that he is “a simpleton, out and out a humanist and a Universalist keeping strictly to certain principles of life.” He endears himself to everyone by his soft nature, whoever comes in touch with him and leaves an everlasting impression.

    One should learn from him as to how to be balanced all the time even in situations you are likely to lose your composure. His valuable thoughts every day in his blog will certainly go a long way in showing the correct path to the society which is in a pell mell condition today.

    His contribution to the young generation through his ‘young poet’ is praiseworthy trying to inculcate the habit of writing and reading in them since childhood.

    Pray God to shower his choicest blessings on him for his continued service to the society by his literary activities.

  4. Bharani Babu Yammanuru says:

    I am the one among the many who were inspired by NVS Sir. His character touches the heart of any person who comes into contact with him. I was fortunate enough to be in contact with him during early years of my career – I have learnt a lot without knowing that I am learning important things. I am sure, I do not have the capacity to judge/comment/praise his qualities. He left an indelible mark in my life with his heart touching humble behaviour – not once but many a time. Thanks to NVS Sir for all he has done for me…

  5. very enlightening interview of a very humble humanitarian
    I agree and appreciate every word that he has spoken on promoting good translated literature to enhance and inculcate social relationships and share communal integrity in avast multicultural country like India

  6. CLIFFORD MARTIS says:

    Mr N V Subramnyam is a great humanist. His replies to various questions put to him show that he s an honest, sincere and kind person. i happen to know him well because we worked for the same institution. On a certain occasion he showed great pro activeness in helping me and my office. I can never forget that. NVS introduced me to Sevalaya, a charitable organisation. His study of Thiruvalluvar gives us great inspiration. As a poet he has written innumerable versus. He had published a book of poems for the youngsters It was known as The Young Poet. I wish him further success in his endeavors and hope his message gets wide publicity

  7. T.Subramanian says:

    Dear our beloved and most respectful NVS Sir,
    We are very proud of you Sir.we feel happy and proud for living in your era and worked under your able leadership. We pray the Almighty to give you good health and long worthy life.we,always in need of kind blessing s.

  8. Subbarayan Pasupathy says:

    Nice interview! Congrats!

  9. Thank you for sharing the story “Person of the week : NVSR” published in the INDIAN PERIODICAL dated July 31,2016. I am overwhelmed by the great thoughts expressed therein. Good luck to you and many many years of blogging. Hearty greetings on your 75th birthday.

  10. s ravi sankar says:

    Excellent sir.

  11. KANDASWAMY C says:

    On this day, happens to be your birthday, I pray the Almighty to bestow best health to you to serve humanity.
    Pranaams.

  12. Interesting questions. Thought-provoking answers. Congrats NVS and also for the recognition. Regards, MSN

  13. v.r. kothanda raman says:

    excellent answers. one typing mistake. You have described yourself as “simpleton’.
    i think, you meant to say ‘simple’. simpleton-check the meaning in dictionary!

  14. K Eranna Rao says:

    Hello Sir,

    Namaste.

    I am K Eranna Rao. I was under your guidance in Kurnool.

    I am thrilled and happy to see your post in Facebook.

    In the article I saw the real purpose of life.

    Great Sir,

    Thank you very much.

    Yours sincerely,
    K Eranna Rao

  15. B.Rama Subba Rao says:

    Very Inspiring…..Blessed are the Pure Heart for they shall see the Diamonds and Divinity…..Excellent……Many happy returns of the day……You are the source for Motivation and Inspiration….God Bless You ….

  16. R V Chandrasekharan says:

    dear shri subbaraman, Many many happy returns of the day. I wish i get an earlier opportunity to congratulate u on your singular achievement in the field of literature. As author, writer, communicater, trainer, guide and philosopher, all in one u have made every one proud of u.
    presently i am at usa, with my son’s family at virgenia west. my mail id santhasarada2@gmail.com. RVC

  17. Except being identified as written in Tamil , the book of Tirukural and its contents cannot be identified as belonging to any particular society , religion , country or period . Its dictates are relevant to mankind as a whole and for all times .That is why it is called ` Ulaka Podu Marai ` , meaning ` common codes for entire world ` . Subbaraman spreads Tirukural through his living its teachings and his translation into other languages.

  18. “Since the age of seventy, I have given up all my gainful employment and concentrating on literary activities.” You have quoted in your interview above. It possess a great philosophy. Yes, if a person has to gain in something he or she has to lose something. If a snake has to survive a frog has to die and so on is the nature of this world. They call it ecology. In fact. god has created this universe like that. Your personal loss of employment is a great gain to this society. I wish the very same god gives you enough energy, good health and over all prosperity to continue your good work to this society. Today you are preaching this younger generation and one day we will perish. And then, this younger generation will preach its own younger generation. This cycle goes on perpetually. I enjoyed and gained a lot from this interview. Thanks…………………………..Muthu Aiyer

  19. N V Subbaraman says:

    I am greatly indebted to all of you for your kind comments; I assure you all that it is my constant endeavor to live up to your expectation.

  20. G.Krishna Prasad says:

    Just great.

  21. Profound progressive thoughts conveyed in simple understandable diction. Thanks to your endeavor. I have also started reading Thirukural all over again verse by verse with a view to grasp the real import of their meaning. May God bless you with a very long healthy life and be behind your endeavor to make this world a little more brighter, happier and love able.

  22. Thanks Sri Prasad and Sri Krishnan.

  23. G.V.krihnanandam says:

    Sir,namaste.Happy to read this.We wish you to reach still greater heights and write many more books.We are very proud of you,sir.Wishing you happy and healthy life ahead.

  24. Congratulations. I hope you continue blogging with us at https://bloggingmeetup.com.

  25. K.V.V.S.Prasad says:

    Your interview in Indian periodical reflects your personality .You are as you said a simpleton to the core.You have a great concern for society and a wonderful vision of future.You touched all aspects as to how to bring a great and elated societies by promoting Literary links.I really wonder the Great Thirukkural couplets bring order in societies and preserving and promoting this invaluable treasure is the responsibility of generations.Your ideas on transcription are immense in value.Your message to youth is realistic. My pranams.

  26. Oruganti Viswam says:

    A highly valuable message sir and we feel proud to have been associated with a simply great person like you. We look forward for many more meaningful contributions from your pen.

  27. Hearty Congratulations! Thirty seven books and 500+ posts! We’re humbled by your contribution to the society.

  28. A.Purushotham Rao says:

    Excellent message is conveyed .
    Very well explained.
    I pray God to bestow you with a heathy long life to continue your efforts in
    Putting your thoughts in this blog through ENVIUS THOUGHTS.
    WITH ALL THE BEST WISHES.

  29. Thanks Sarvashri Krishnanandam, Prasad,Viswam, Sadagopan and Purushotham Rao for your great comments.

  30. tmisseghers,
    Blogging with blogging meetup will go on uninterrupted. Thanks.

  31. P. V. Chandrasekhar says:

    Sir !

    It is a great feeling I got when go through your penned lines and the introspection whips around what next and how !

    Great thoughts of humanism, tolerance, mutual cooperation towards achieving a better liveable society sans hatred will only yield the aspirations of people to a fruition-state. Basically, self-discipline is at a cost and a higher percentage are at the opposite end, not knowing that they are about crash-land.

    Let nobler thoughts flow through and through for your Pen !

    Pray the Almighty to create more of this Breed and take a good care of this premium brand !

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  33. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    A personality of different Avatars- he’s none other than Shri. NVS;
    A Passionate lover of literature;
    A stickler to punctuality, and discipline;
    A recicipient of nine awards for his literary activity;
    Help ever, and hurt never is his constant mantra;
    Ideal principles, right virtues, and values life-
    guiding his life and living well;
    Highly optimistic of a good society that practice on the dictates of Thirukkural;
    Very hopeful of translation being a recipe to drive away the deadly regionalism;
    A staunch believer in literature that caters to the broad mindedness of learners;

    And his call to the youth to read extensively and follow whatever is good is better adhered to!
    Simply put, his interview with Indian Periodical reflects just his humanism!!!

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  35. Krishna Kumar K says:

    Mr Subbaraman is an real inspiration for the youngsters with his energy and enthusiasm.

  36. Thanks Shri Chandrasekar, Sivanganam and Krishnakumar.So nice of you.

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  43. LN.M. DESIKAN says:

    NOBDY CN BEAT NVS.

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  52. A nice portrait of your good self. I have personally enjoyed and stand a bumble witness to your noble deeds. May God bless you with long healthy life for the betterment of the world community as a whole.

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  54. Thupakula ramamurthi says:

    I ever remember you as a peaceful soul true to your motto of help ever and hurt never. I recently had the opportunity of reading your poetic expression of coconut as benevolent to well and ill. This amply suits your personal bearing. Iam very much admired by your neat life sketch along with thiruklural and poet subramanyaI bharatiyar. I feel myself fortunate to be in association at proddatur and cuddapah with you as yourself the true replica of a noble officer. With regards.

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  60. Hearty congrats Mr NVS.
    May your Service to Humanity continue for ever.
    R Venugopal

  61. நா.கி.அருள் அரசன் says:

    கண்டேன் கனியென காதல் குறளென

    உண்டேன் அமுதென யான்.

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  63. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks Venugopal.

  64. N V Subbaraman says:

    அன்புள்ள அருள் அரசன் அவர்களுக்கு,
    மிக்க நன்றி. இத்தொடர் பொருட்பால் 39வது அதிகாரத்தினின்று வெளிவந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறது. திருவள்ளுவர் அருளால் இறுதிவரை தொடரும் என நம்புகிறேன். அருட்பால் முழ்ய்மையும் இவ்வாறே எனது ப்ளாக் ENVIUS THOUGHTS- https://nvsr.wordpress.com ல் வெளியாகி உள்ளது. மீண்டும் நன்றி.

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  67. R. Chandrasekharan says:

    வணக்கம். உங்களுக்கு மேலும் சிறப்புகள் சேர வாழ்த்துகள்

    அன்பன்

    இரா. சந்திரசேகரன்

    சைதை , சென்னை

  68. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks Chandrasekar.

  69. Elizabeth Kurian "Mona" says:

    I had the good fortune of meeting NVS Sir at a poetry festival. At my request he has also translated my English poems into Tamil.

    It is amazing how he manages to write day in and day out without fail on his blog. This seems to be the secret of his dynamism at this age.

    Wishing him good health and happiness in his pursuits.

  70. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks Madam Mona, I am inspired.

  71. This interview has made me known more about you.

    Thanks Sir.

  72. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks Vasudevan

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