An Evening with the Tamil Writers

[Click the pic for a bigger image]
[From left : Manushya Puthiran, Indra Parthasarathy, Ashokamithiran, Sujatha, Jeyamohan & Mahendran]

What would it be to have a handful of Tamil greats in a meeting? Joy. A cherish able evening. So that’s exactly what I had, last Saturday on Uyirmmai’s first anniversary.

With more than a handful of writers felicitating the function, it was a book lover’s delight to have them on the same dais. The handful included Ashokamithran, Indra Parthasarathy, Sujatha, Jeya Mohan, S. Ramakrishnan and Mahendran. Having read nearly everyone’s writings, having been hugely influenced by writers like Sujatha and Indra Parthasarathy, I was glued to the seats as they spoke for more than 2 hours.

Manushya Puthiran‘s Uyirmmai publishers, as said in earlier posts, are doing a great job of publishing some great books of yester years of Sujatha and Aadhavan. For the last year, they are also publishing a monthly magazine called Uyirmmai. As this Uyirmmai gets completed a year, the magazine is now available online with the help of Sify.

The total audience included mostly reporters of small magazines, prolific writers, voracious readers and a few bloggers. I have to put myself in both a blogger and a bookworm shoe. One in a leg. Excuse me, for that silly joke. Chenthil, another blogger and a huge book lover, reviewer was also present. Coffeehouse Ramnath was with me clicking fabulous portraits of Ashokamithran. I did manage a click snaps too. We also had few Tamil bloggers like Desikan, Rajini Ramki (who resembles Rajini), Suvadu Shankar and Maraththadi Chitran. Usha, a familiar Ambalam chat invader was also present and she also clicked a pic with Sujatha as he was leaving.

Sujatha, who clicked open the dot com, though not exactly the dot com because of connectivity issues, spoke about the alternative news sources like blogs and he remarked that just like how he used to write handwritten magazines during his Srirangam days, people are simulating such magazines on the net called blogs. Also he comically discussed about his RDX information searches on the net and how it led to a highly dangerous shopping zone. For a Sujatha fan, I was expecting a little more of his speech while he just touched upon the continuous fights between the popular magazines and small magazines.

Indra Parthasarathy, the Kurudhi Punal writer, was to the point, very disciplined in his speech and kicked off the debate of the contemporary issue in running a small magazine. For people who are unaware of IP, he writes from Delhi and his political novels are very popular, his Kurudhi Punal being my favorite. Probably, it’s from here Kamalhassan was inspired by the title.

Ashokamithran, the writer’s writer as I prefer to call him was like an old man, seemed to be unaware of what’s going on around him. But as he came to talk, he out proved my thoughts and just went on to make the audience burst into laughter with this experience of running the famous Tamil magazine, Kanayazhi. His detailed note on How to tie a bundle of 500 magazines without letting loose? was nostalgic and very comical. Full points, Sir.

S. Ramakrishnan, known for his recent weekly column called Thunaiyezhuthu in Ananda Vikatan, put forth thoughtful points on the existing state of Tamil literature. He also advocated a document/site/place where an author and his works can be track backed. He said that there is absolutely no place existing where the entire author’s work in Tamil can be tracked fully.

Jeyamohan, the most aggressive/prolific writer of contemporary Tamil literature scene was positive throughout his talk. He said even though small magazines are places where good and bad writing were bred, small magazines play an important role in reflecting the society.

After the meet, I did ask Ashokamithran to pose a pic along with me. Also, I did walk up to S.Ramakrishnan and said that his bashing of Aayitha Ezhuthu on his Atcharam blog was a a little harsh. He replied that since the media was appreciating AE for what it was, he wanted to spotlight the original inspiration, Amores Perros.

Jeyamohan, who seemed rather aggressive in his writing, was very soft. I did manage to talk with him extensively about blogs and the bridge they build for a writer with his readers. I persuaded him and asked him to just contact any blogger or Sify for advice and it would be done with pride. Jeyamohan had his reservation about writing on the net and said that he felt bloggers usually come from a comfortable background of life and their writing always reflected the better side of life. He also added that the writing on the net has to be more aggressive. As I explained him the architecture of blogs, the flexibility in posting, he seemed a little convinced. And in future, if he creates a blog for himself, give me a big round of applause.

To have a function with such a cast is a rarity and I didn’t carry the pity of missing it this time. Thanks to deskian who introduced me to the familiar faces in the literary circle. Catch some more pictures on my lazygeek photoblog.