Banker with passion in epigraphy

Abandoning passions to pursue a well paying profession for the sake of supporting family members have always been an untold perhaps least shared tale of many the professionals. But one 53-year-old banker has a different story to share, one does not need to sacrifice his or her passion for professional life instead utilise the available hours to follow your heart, it is the  message. The banker apart from aiding the dreams of his customers by providing loans has also been supporting the archaeological dreams of hundreds of epigraphy enthusiasts by imparting them epigraphy skills to read centuries old scripts found in stone tablets.

V Narayanamoorthy, a native of holy town Palani in Dindigul district began his professional career as a cashier with Indian Bank branch in Nellikuppam, Cuddalore. Since the coastal town Cuddalore has been considered among archaeologists as treasure trove to learn epigraphy, the B.Sc graduate was said to have knocked the doors of many noted epigraphists to teach him the skills of reading ancient scripts found in stone tablets that even dates back to a period prior to the estimated birth of Jesus Christ. “Since my childhood, I developed a devotion towards Tamil language. To know its origin, I started following the stone tablets and inscriptions found in temple but those scripts need specific skills to read and comprehend. Though I approached many archaeologists to teach me the reading skills, I was shown door all the times.” Narayanamoorthy told during a visit to Tiruchy for conducting free workshop on epigraphy.

After being turned down by many stalwarts in the field of archaeology, determined Narayanamoorthy with the help of scholarly articles found in libraries across Chennai, Cuddalore and Chidambaram, started amateur reading of ancient Tamil inscriptions between 1986 and 1991. “I would visit the temples in Cuddalore district and caves in Madurai during my weekends for nurturing my epigraphy skills. Such voluntary efforts paid off as desired since I mastered the skill of reading Tamili (Tamil Brahmi), Vatteluthu, and Pallava Grantha scripts over the years by practice. In five years, by correcting my mistakes I have managed to read 20-25 stone tablets in 30 minutes.” Narayanamoorthy adds with smile. After working dawn to dusk in his office desk of the bank, the Assistant manager now did not stop with mastering the epigraphy skills but went on to impart the same at free of cost for interested students by conducting workshops during weekends. 

According to the noted epigraphist, skills should be equated to bank loans as both offered on appropriate time would help people to leap a level further. “In my early days I was denied an opportunity to learn epigraphy. But now, I would like to pass the skills to younger generations at free of cost through workshops.” said, Narayanamoorthy. As his family members are disappointed with this banker for spending most of his holidays with stone tablets and enthusiastic students, Narayanamoorthy has started allotting a Sunday every month for hanging out with his 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. Sharing his future plans, the 53-year-old banker said that he would be spending his post retirement life by conducting routine classes and workshops on epigraphy and archaeology for the students approaching him from various parts of the State. 

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