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Intro : Varadhan
Date: Fri Mar 24 1995 - 22:42:21 PST

hi all,

I am Varadhan. I have joined this list yesterday. This is an intro
about me. I came to the United States in Aug 1993. I came here to do a 
Masters in Industrial Engg. from Iowa State University. I completed my 
B.E. in Mechanical Engg. from Crescent Engg. College, Madras. 

My name is Srinivasa Varadhan. (Srinivasa because Srinivasar is our
'kula theivam' and I was born in the nakshathiram thiruvONam.. Varadhan
because we are from Kanchipuram). I come from a very othodox family.
I can trace back my lineage to Thirumalai Anandanpillai (he is the
father of AlarmElmangai, the wife of ThiruvEngadamudayaan). Thirumalai
Anandanpillai is my last name. I will post a small writeup about
Thirumalai Anandanpillai later. My hometown is Kanchipuram. I lived for
13 years there before I moved to Salem. My grandfather lived in
Kanchipuram when we were in Salem. So, we visited him almost every month
and we were in Kanchipuram during all the major festivals like
Deepavali, Pongal etc.. For a person from Kanchipuram, major festivals
also  mean the following : Brahmotsavam during vaikaasi month, the
thirunakshatirams of ramanujar, ManavAla Maamunigal, Nammazhvaar and
various other utsavams in the temple. 

My grandfather is responsible for what I am today..He was a tutor and
taught me the basics of mathematics and physics along with Shakespeare,
Milton, Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son and Speeches of Winston 
Churchill among other things. He was also deeply religious and taught me
sanskrit, vishnu sahasranaamam and around 1000 divya paasurams of the
dhivya prabhandam. My schedule used to be around 2 hours a day with
sahasranaamam, dhivya prabhandam and sanskrit texts like saakuntalam.
Another hour or so was spent on English literature and another half hour
or so in World history (especially the Second World war etc..) and
geography. He was a kind of 'local dhaada'. I never used to go to school
till my fourth standard or so..still used to get through because my
grandfather taught me everything taught in school anyway. After we went
to Salem, I did not get much of teaching in most of what my grandfather 
taught me on a regular basis. So, a lot of things that I knew are kind
of not very sharp now. 

My interest in vaishnavism was always there. But for some reason, it
surfaced on a big scale after I came to the US. I spent a lot of time
last year brushing up what I learnt from my grandfather. Now, I am
trying to continue from there.

I hope that the intro was not boring.

P.S. : Being from Kanchipuram, I have witnessed (and
taken part in) a lot of vadakalai vs. thenkalai fights there. If it is
appropriate, I will post some of the fights here (though the issues
involved in them had nothing to do with philosophy whatsoever). I am
adding this as an afterthought after following the vadakalai-thenkalai
thread on soc.culture.tamil :-)