Wednesday, June 01, 2005


[Pic Courtesy The Hindu]

The world of Tamil blogs has seen a lot about Sujatha a.k.a Rangarajan, the popular Tamil writer, recently. A recent article(reproduced in Tamil here in Desikan's blog) the author wrote in Vikatan on account of his 70th birthday(May 3rd) triggered an emotional response, both online and in other forms of media, from his innumerable fans. In the very introspective article, he talks about memory loss as a sign of his getting ahead in years and looks back on his life so far.

I have never read a complete novel by Sujatha(or any other Tamil author, for that matter). I did start reading some of his stories like Vikram(mainly because I was attracted by the accompanying stills of a dashing Kamalhassan), a Ganesh-Vasanth tale, the science fiction tale with the robot dog (Gino??), etc. that were serialized in Kumudham or Vikatan. But I never lasted more than a few weeks (this is true of all serialized stories I tried to read).

The reason behind this is what I look for when I read rather than the quality of those stories. A book provides instant gratification as long as you are ready to keep turning the pages. If you are impatient to know the fate of a person or the outcome of a situation, you just continue reading until they are revealed. You are guaranteed to know the answers by the time you read the last page(which is why I have read more than half the pages of some books in 1 sitting). Thats what I had grown up on.

But when it came to serialized novels, the 2-3 pages of progress in the story when a new issue came out, just did not provide the kind of gratification I was looking for after a week of waiting. Not finding the answer to what I was looking for in the current issue and realizing that I have to wait a whole week for any hope of getting the answer was enough to frustrate me. There was also the issue of remembering things that happened in the past weeks, which was tough when you read more than 1 novel in the same period that the serialized novel was published. And since there was always a Hardy Boys or Alistair Maclean waiting for me at the lending library, I never had the chance to check out full Tamil novels.

But I firmly believe that its never too late to go back and discover something you missed out on the first time around. All the discussion on Sujatha made me feel like catching up on the author's writing. So over the weekend I picked up Oonjal, one of the author's early works, from the San Jose Public Library. Better late than never...


At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slight digression:

Unfortunately, the issue of patience in reading, that you have written about - I have had this problem even when
reading one big novel :-( Used to be voracious long back, but slowly the pressures of life and emergence of net/TV have killed my patience. Watching movies obviously provides a quicker gratification than books - but even that sometimes I find is'nt easy. I admire those who have maintained their reading habits over a long period of time. Its easier to do this in college, when you sit around in your hostel room all day long with nothing much to do. But later on in life, with all the usual pressures and migration to a different country and all, its difficult to keep up with book-reading, especially with the emergence of several quick reading alternatives on the net.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Desikan said...


good blog. Can I know the link in the 'The Hindu' where you got the photo ?

- desikan

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Desikan said...

i did a search and got the article ;-).
- desikan.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the main article by Desigan .. though it did something to the heart, somehow I am preparing my mind for aging for quite sometime now. It started with Sivaji's death.. my father is a big fan of Sivaji.. about 8-9 years younger to him.. When Sivaji died, I was wondering how much it would affect my father.. his literal 'idol' fading away..

Then I was thinking of deaths of some of our relatives who were of my father's age.. when such a news is heard, how would he be thinking.. All I had to do was put myself in my dad's position... It could be a bitter truth.. but thats how it is.. that made me to decide that I would keep my parents quite happy for the remaining of life.. not to bother them for anything..

So, instead of thinking about we young guys, let us worry about our parents, guys...

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

zero, yeah that sounds familiar. also remember it being serialized in the form of a cartoon strip.

vijay, u've taken some of the wind out of a planned post on watching a movie vs reading the book :-) Gratification from watching a movie may be more instant but i feel it is not as satisfying(atleast in cases where a movie is made from a book). i too was a voracious reader in india and gave it up after coming to the US. But started reading again about 8 yrs ago and i'm glad i did. would've missed out on so many good reads otherwise!

desikan, exactly what i did too. googled and picked an image :)

gp, very heartfelt. i've gone thro the same emotions u mention.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Ram C said...


You can pick up 'Karaiyellam Senbagapoo' 'Priya' 'En Iniya Eyandhira' 'Meendum Gino' and a lot others. He is one guy, whom I adore very much for his youthfulness in the stories.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Ram C said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am seeing a pattern here...I don't read as much as I used to either. I went to a different high school where they offered French so I won't have to go through 2 more years of Tamil classes (no, I don't hate Tamil; just didn't want to spend so much time on it). Even in my middle school years, I was more of the Louis L'Amour, Jack Higgins and, of course, Asterix kind of guy.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger sri said...

Though I am not a reader of big novels that is why I preferred sujatha, wo wrote short stories , I liked Kalki's stories. Kalki's way of narration especially ponniyin selvan made me read the book at a stretch. Capturing readers interest is a one of the essential attributes of a good writer.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

i have seen this dhrama enna inyia Iyandhira in my child hood. i am searching for the title song in that drama. pls if any body as send me to my


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