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Heli Tourism

Kerala is my Second Home

Prof. Rodney Moag, an American citizen, has not yet 'seen' Kerala. But ask him about the state, and he goes eloquently on about the manifold experiences that it offers. One can hardly believe that this multi-faceted personality, who has won acclaim as a country musician, professor in linguistics and as an ace deejay, is a visually challenged individual. Prof. Moag was recently in Kerala to take part in the Pre - Parliament Summit of the Parliament of World Religions 2009, hosted by the School of Bhagavat Gita.

An admirer of oriental philosophy, Prof. Moag has a special love for Malayalam, the language of Kerala, which is described by him as a 'unique' and 'interesting' language. His long association with Malayalam began in the year 1965, and before the next year was over he had already begun his research work on the language. He even started preparing teaching materials. He has now published several learners' guides in Malayalam, most of which have crossed many editions. Prof. Moag says that it is the grammatic complexity and peculiar phonology of Malayalam that attracted him towards the language. He is also a scholar in Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German.

Prof. Moag has served as the Associate Professor of South Asian languages in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas. He retired in 2004, marking an end to his teaching career which spanned 36 years and turned to his evergreen passion: music. In music, he does not limit himself within a single role – he is a multi-instrumentalist who handles the guitar, the mandolin and the fiddle with equal ease. He is also a record producer, song writer, arranger, deejay and music historian. The intensity of his love affair with music is well expressed in his most recent album, 'Blue Grass from the Heart', which has already hit the charts.

What is the message of his music? Prof. Moag goes meditative. After a little thought he says that it is a medium for him to convey his moods and emotions. He tries to express a variety of feelings through his music – sometimes it may be the value of unconditional love, or it may be the feeling of a father who has lost his son. His aim is to touch the heart strings of his listeners, he says.

While speaking on Kerala, one can easily find a pure glitter in his inner eyes. He extends generous praise for the hygiene and communal harmony of the state and is a fan of the Dosais and Kappi (coffee) here. He also enjoys the fare offered by fascinating destinations like Thekkady and Kovalam. He simply loves the backwater cruise and the elephant safari. He says that Kerala is a land that keeps calling him back and describes it as 'my second home'.

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