A six-decade-old tea shop at Karamana, a village in Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, India, is offering a unique discount of one rupee (5 fils) to the customers who order in the Sanskrit language and social media users have taken this up.
The owner of this shop, K. Mani, aged 53, said: "My respect for the language grew more when my children started learning it. They help me learn.".
Interestingly, he doesn't know Sanskrit but he is on his way to promote the language as he loves to learn it. He wants to do his bit to help the ancient language regain its glory. He sells 'uzhunnu vada' or lentil fritters, a south Indian delicacy for Rs 5 normally (24 fils) but if you order it by the name ‘Masha Vadakam’ in Sanskrit, you will get it for Rs 4 (19 fils).
Reportedly, after the COVID-19 pandemic, his business was down and with this unique discount his shop is getting popular, and he is earning pretty well. Mani plans to expand the discount to other items after assessing the response for ‘Masha Vadakam’.
His initiative is supported by the Viswa Samskritha Prathishtanam, a cultural organisation in Thiruvananthapuram, which has been active for the past two decades, aiming to make Karamana village the first Sanskrit-speaking village in the state. It is organising camps to help people learn the language. The village is gaining popularity, as it is trying to promote the language through Sanskrit signboards along the streets.
Social media users praise the efforts. Facebook user@ravikumar commented: "It's a great gesture to honour the language."
Another user @prarthiv posted: "It's important to revive the language as most of the greatest literary works to come out of India were written in Sanskrit."