ஆத்திச்சூடி # 7: எண், எழுத்து இகழேல் (en, ezhu-thu iga-zh-El)
Translation: Never despise Math and Language.
Intended Translation: Strive harder in Sciences and Arts.
Rumination: The terms, "எண் " and "எழுத்து" refer to "numbers" and "alphabets" respectively, whereas "இகழேல்" refers to "never despise." The keen acumen of our ancestors in the field of Mathematics and Fine Arts always amazes me. Just take the case of Mathematical patterns deeply embedded even in works of literature (e.g. Venpaas, Seyyuls, Kurals, etc.). If the Tamils could have had literary conferences during the Sangam Period dating back to several centuries before Christ, it only speaks of the level of sophistry they had in literature during those times. Numerous temples, palaces, dams and other works of legacy bear a fitting testimony to the love and mastery of arts and sciences by the Tamils. Any culture cannot survive, if the older generation does not pass those values to the newer generations. Hence, Auvaiyar's clairvoyant exhortation makes complete sense to this day. If India is an intellectual superpower and if wanderlust Indians can become modern-day globetrotters, it is all owing to their investment in mastering the rudiments of English language, together with their strides in Science and Technology. Anybody, who would have aced through those competitive examinations would vouchsafe for the noetic widom behind Auvaiyar's maxim. Invariably, a candidate's success in those examinations is dependent upon Math and Verbal. And President George Bush has vowed that his primary goal is to enable every American child read and do Math. I, in the state of Georgia, know that the Georgia lawmakers are striving hard to reform education, after Georgia came last, ranking 50th in the SAT's Verbal and Math scores in the year 2000.
Quote: Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty -- a beauty that is cold and austere, like that of a sculpture. -- Bertrand Russell.