I still remember those Sanskrit classes in school . I think they were one of the most refreshing and energising classes. The nice little stories with excellent morals and those Vidur Neetis and Chanakya Neetis were simply superb . But then one thing that always troubled us during the exam time was to by heart those grammers with 'Streeling' ,'Puling' and 'Napunsakling'. It was one of the funniest things as well with really weird phonetics like 'hey rama..hey ramo, hey rama' etc etc. Haha
Though Sanskrit is the base for all Indian languages, it did not pick up for the mainsteam usage and ended up in India only as a 'cool' third language where marks can be scored easily.
Well, but the Indians in US think differently. A group of Sanskrit lovers from the University of Maryland have launched a Sanskrit fan club called UMD Sanskritam. And they are trying to encourage people from learning and using Sanskrit by adding lot of fun to the learning process. They are using the popular Bollywood a lot for this. They recently did a small play where they enacted a scene from Sholay (the Gabbar Singh scene) with all the dialogues in Sanskrit:). They also transalated the song 'Aati Kya Khanadala' in Sanskrit and all these was very well enjoyed and appreciated by Audience. Some of the videos can be found here
Naresh Cuntoor, member of UMD-Sanskritam says, “Our aim is to promote this kind of learning where you don’t emphasize grammar but the conversational aspect of Sanskrit.”.
So learn Sanskrit but without 'Ramaha, Ramo , Rama' ;)
They have launched their new website www.speaksanskrit.org which now has around 600 memebers.
So may be it's time we start speaking sanskrit.
'Kathamapi Kim Bhashye twam bhaashitaha'? LOL