“There are 42,194 letters in 1,330 Thirukkural. I did this is to create awareness on the classic Tamil language text. I have also written the 1,330 couplets from Thirukkural along with the number of letters on 1,330 popsicle sticks to pay a unique tribute to Thiruvalluvar. My wife Vincy Clara helped me in writing the kurals on popsicle sticks. People write kurals in various mediums like palm leaves, etc, and I wanted to do it more creatively and chose ice sticks. Another reason for choosing ice sticks is that I can mention the number of letters on each stick and it will be easy to know the number of letters accurately, which is not known or recorded yet. It took almost two months to complete the writing,” Lucas tells DT Next.
In this process, the 31-year-old also found out the shortest and longest Thirukkural. “Out of 1,330 kurals, 833rd kural and 1,304th kural are the shortest with accurately 23 letters each. Likewise, 957th kural and 1,246th kural are the longest with 39 letters each,” he says proudly.
Lucas, who works in Bengaluru, has also written a book on Thirukkural titled Monography on the Masterpiece of Literature in 2018 and did a thesis. “I have many coin collections (Rs 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5) with a depiction of Thiruvalluvar and also collected more than 100 short videos taken from Tamil movies with Thirukkural reference to spread awareness about Thiruvalluvar and Thirukkural among cinema audience and Tamil illiterate,” Lucas remarks.
In 2020, he got an invitation from International Thirukkural Foundation Mauritius for a virtual event that had been organised in association with the Mauritius-based International Association of Tamil Diaspora and SRM Institute of Science and Technology. “It was an online event where children between the age group of 7 and 13 can submit one Thirukkural and its meaning in a video or audio format. I taught kurals to seven students and they were so happy to learn it.”
An ardent Thiruvalluvar admirer, Lucas wanted the government to set up an academy for teaching Thirukkural to children.