Desa.Mangayarkkarasi, a well-known orator of religious literature in Tamil. Her exposure to Tirukkural began at the tender age of three even before she learnt Tamil. Mangayarkkarasi attributes this to the fact that her mother Bakkiyalakshmi had written the script for the play, ‘Tiruvalluvar' as dictated by her father when she had conceived her.
Since she born there, she call herself a typical Madurai girl. Taking Mangayarkkarasi along with him to Variar's discourses was his habit. Variar normally attracted audience of all ages.
She was captivated by his declamation and always longed to listen to him. Her father made seated besides Variar Swami on stage and that exposure was tremendous for her. More than reading,she says, "what I listened to got embedded in my memory easily. It was during his discourse on Ramayanam at the Aadi Veedhi, Madurai, where thousands had turned up that he announced". Today, you will be able to see her speak, and asked me to speak. It was an impromptu arangetram. I never expected it. All that she knew at that time was Tiruvalluvar and Tirukkural. Seeing a six-year old talk undaunted on stage sent the crowd into raptures".
Desa. Mangayarkkarasi grasped the nuances of Kamba Ramayanam, Villi Bharatham and Kanda Puranam gradually from Variar Swami. Soon she became popular in Madurai and its surroundings, for Variar gave her enough opportunities to speak at his discourses.
Till date she follows Variar Swami's advice like any faithful student. ‘Never under estimate your audience. Learn to respect the stage. Words of literature should flow from memory without referring to books on stage.' Although she started giving lectures independently, she continued to be part of Variar Sawmi's lectures. To keep abreast of happenings around, reading newspapers and magazines is part of her routine. This apart, she reads religious texts which help her to clear doubts of rasikas who throng the dais after her performances.
Her lectures stress on women empowerment. She seamlessly blends these topics in her lecture and says, “Planting as many trees as possible will benefit the future generation.” Her concern is genuine. Her husband, a software engineer, is a great support. She revers Madura Travels' V.K.T. Balan who arranged her maiden trip to Sri Lanka by merely listening to her audio cassette when she was just 13. Ever since, she has been regularly travelling to many countries where people are eager to know more about the treasures of Tamil literature. DesaMangayarkkarasi wants the youth to preserve the art for posterity.