शुक्रवासरे रैल्-याने यदा उपविशन्ती आसम् तदा इदं पोस्ट् लेखितुम् आरब्धं मया। अग्रिमं किं लिखामीति चिन्तायां निमग्ना च अभवम्। तस्मिन् समये पूर्वतनप्रयाणमेकं स्मरणे आगतम्। वर्षेभ्यः पूर्वम् दशाधिकजनैः सह अहं उडुपीक्षेत्रम् अगच्छम्। वयं त्रीणि मित्राणि मद्रपुरीतः अगच्छाम। उडुपीक्षेत्रे अस्माकं निवासः तत्रस्थजनानां गृहे आसीत्। प्रत्येकस्मिन् गृहे भिन्नप्रदेशीयाः एव भवितव्या इति व्यवस्था कृता। तदाशयश्च सर्वे मातृभाषायां मा भाषयेयुरिति, अपि च, संस्कृते भाषणं कुर्युः। तस्मात् संस्कृतभाषणकौशल्यं प्रवर्धेत इति व्यवस्थापकानाम् आशा।
Conversing in Sanskrit has always been prevalent among scholars and those attending "vidvat sadas". With a global reach in mind, Speak Sanskrit movement began sometime in 1981. In 1993/1994 there was an All India Sanskrit Students Conference (?) in Udupi. Three of us from Queen Marys College joined a group of about 10-15 people from various parts of Madras and went to the place. We learnt that the whole town was quite geared up to organize the conference and contributed in their own way.
Living arrangements had been made at the houses of locals. In an effort to promote conversation in Sanskrit, girls from different states were put up together in one house. Other than Sanskrit (and English) we had no common language. This forced us to practise talking in Sanskrit.
The whole exercise made me realise that learning a language and conversing are very different. Thinking in the language is the toughest part. You know the words. You can think and write. But speaking? That involves a different process alltogether. Studying the techniques of a language improves the quality of your conversation but does nothing to improve the speed of conversation.
To use the oft-quoted proverb - Practise makes perfect.