At 29, language ‘happens’ to Chinmay Vijay Dharurkar, the way poetry ‘comes’ to poets; he knows nine languages.
He has translated Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Ferdinand de Saussure into his mother tongue Marathi. If you ask him how many languages he knows, he will say nine – he can read, write and converse in Marathi, Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Telugu, Bangla, Gujarati, Urdu and Persian. After which he will add that besides these, he has an elementary knowledge of Kannada, Arabic, Konkani and German.
At 29, language ‘happens’ to Chinmay Vijay Dharurkar, the way poetry ‘comes’ to poets. “It was pretty late in Class 9 I realised that I have a flair for languages,” he says. Living in Aurangabad, where Urdu was commonly sighted on bill boards, prompted him to learn the Urdu script. Meanwhile, he realised that to understand Urdu better one needs to understand the meanings of Perso-Arabic words and he started learning Persian. As he went deeper into Persian, he realised that it was full of Arabic words and got introduced to elementary Arabic word-formation rules.
The trajectory of learning Urdu, Persian and Arabic that began when Chinmay was in Class 9, lasted until his Bachelor of Arts days.