Sujatha and Science Fiction

sujatha's science fiction
[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!!

18 thoughts on “Sujatha and Science Fiction

  1. hi

    can you tell me where i can get this “Kadavul Irukkirara? ” book in chennai, it is available in the market….

  2. hi

    can you tell me where i can get this “Kadavul Irukkirara? ” book in chennai, it is available in the market….

  3. Ramanth, No idea why he said it. Haven’t read many pudumai pithan shortstories. Even I had replied to sujatha that I had read Kalki but not this pudumai pithan story.

    Any idea why it shouldn’t be in this genre.

  4. lazy,
    its actually when Sujatha left from Chennai to Bangalore and his bird’s eye view caught the colourful plastic kodams in line in chennai and when he reached Bangalore he noticed trees/plants on roadsides being watered by a tanker… and then he wrote ” Kadavule… Arai Mani Nerathil Ithanai Paarapatchama”….. what attracted me so much to this anecdote is the fact even all of us observe so many incidents like this in day to day life, but i guess it takes Chaplin kind of creativity and humor sense to put across a sorrowful state in a witty way…. which undoubtedly Sujatha possesses….

  5. Also I think some of the Sujatha stories you ahve talked about are available online for a price at Sulekhs.com as e-books.( for NRIs might be easier than getting it from India)

    You can trust sujatha to be the first one to use the new technology!

  6. Sujatha is not wrong as far as the ‘internal consistency’ is considered. But scientific facts cannot be ignored altogether. Great sci-fi authors such as Assimov and Arthur C Clarke based their books on well known and established scientific facts. But then again, one can come up with something like ‘The Hitch hiker’s guide to the galaxy’ by ignoring science. (For instance, the author Douglas Adams, says the best propellant for a space craft is ‘bad news’!)

  7. Kirthika,
    Douglas Adams is one hell of a dude. Love him always like his h2g2!!

    Sujatha tells that to inspire/encourage the budding writers to write science fiction. To a certain it’s ok to ignore facts and that’s why we call it fiction. That nullifies the issue of ignoring a fact

  8. kadandha irandu aandugalaga bangalore vaasi
    ovvoru muraiyum banglore to chennai drive seeiyum bodhu
    i think aloud god how can u do this to us!!!
    (hehehe innoru sujata ;-))
    esp the 1st yr i moved was during peak summer
    chennaiyil fan pottum thalaiyil irundhu aavi parkkum alavu veyyil
    and here in bangalore with power cuts there was no need for a fan
    used to wake up every morning and stand in my balcony just to soak in the little bit of sun which we get….
    nicchaiyamaga paarapatcham dhan

  9. Dear suresh kumar,
    “Kadavul Irukkirara? ” may be available in “uyirmei” publication. (not sure) The publisher is Poet Manushyaputhran.

    if your want i have a collected version of that when it is published in tamil magazine “vinnayagan” u can Xerox it.

    bye

    manibarathi@mailcity.com

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