Avagraha symbol used to indicate prodelision of an अ a in many Indian languages as shown below. It is usually transliterated with a symbol which looks like the letter 's' in roman script, as in the Sanskrit philosophical expression शिवोऽहम् Śivo ’ham (Śivaḥ aham) , which is a sandhi of (शिव: + अहम्) ‘I am Shiva’. The avagraha is also used for prolonging vowel sounds in modern languages, for example Hindi माँऽऽऽ! for ‘Mãããã!’ when calling to one’s mother, or when transliterating foreign words in instant messaging, for example, coOol can be transliterated as कूऽल .
The character is also sometimes used as a symbol to denote long or heavy syllables, in metrical poetry. For example, the syllables in the word छंदः chandaḥ ‘metre’ (in nominative) can be denoted as "ऽ ऽ", meaning two long syllables. (Cf. other notations in entry "Systems of scansion".)