[Pic : hindu.com]
On an internet chat session with Writer Sujatha, the discussion went over to science fiction and my obvious response was that Bharathi was one of the earliest tamil science fiction writers of the last century. His science fiction poem[as I prefer to call it] Bharatha Desamendru popularly known as Sindhu Nathi Inisai, was written with a lot of forethought.
Sujatha replied that the pioneers of science fiction in Tamil were Kalki and Puthumai Pithan. Kalki’s Mohinitheevu and Puthumai Pithan’s Kadavulum Kandasaamy Pillayum could be identified as the intial science fiction stories. But even after decades after these stories, it was Sujatha who made science fiction as genre in tamil books. Having written science fiction novels including Enn Iniya Iyandira and Meendum Geno, he has also written many science fiction short stories at various occasions for various magazines.
Manushya Puthiran’s Uyirmmai Publishers have released a collection of Sujatha’s science fiction shortstories during earlier this year. I have to say that the shortstory Thimala is one of my favorite shortstory of Sujatha after his all-time best Nagaram. However Thimala is a science fiction and is included in this collection.
Even if an author is ignorant of scientific facts, as long as he observes “internal consistency”, if it obeys social and structural rules within the plot, the story will be accepted, says Sujatha. He invites greater exploration of this genre which flouts tradition and invites a re-evaluation of old-fashioned viewpoints. This is a passage from a good review of this Sujatha’s Vingnana Chirukathaigal written by Prema Srinivasan, can be read here in The Hindu or a reproduction of this in Desikan’s blog here.
On an another note, last week, I did buy one of Sujatha’s best written analysis called Kadavul Irukiraara ? which was serialised in a fortnightly called Vin Naayagan. I vaguely remember that Madhan was also involved in the effort of this magazine. The magazine has been stopped now and I was one of the regular readers of Vin Naayagan for this amazing column of Sujatha. This is now available as a book.
On another note, his Junior Vikatan column Yen ? Yetharkku Yeppadi ? – Part II and Vikatan column Katrathum Petrathum – Part II have just been released by Vikatan publication. A must read/buy if you a Sujatha fanatic.
This anecdote of Sujatha sums up his witty and serious social sense. Thanks to Latha for passing on that. When his flight took off from Bangalore, he could see water allover from a bird’s eye view and just after half hour while it was landing in Chennai, he could see just empty buckets in a queues, waiting for water. So he wrote Arai Manikkul Ithanai Paarapathchamaa. WOW!!