Aathavan and Kathaavilaasam

[Pic : vikatan]

S. Ramakrishnan’s Kathaavilaasam may not be as sensational as his previous series, Thunnaiezhuthu, that he wrote for Vikatan. But Kathaavilaasam is important. For Ramakrishnan tries to throw to throw light on the great but not-so-well-known tamil writers, every week after week. This effort is infact very noble than Thunnaiezhuthu or any of his previous works.

Ramakrishnan first starts off with a true-life experience(there is little fiction involved here) and then draws a parallel between his experience and a writer’s story. All this being fine, the information about the writer gets shortened to a caricature and a paragraph. A much aspiring column would be to detail the writer’s work and dissect them very closely. I do understand by writing too much about the writer and his stories, Ramakrishnan may not able to sustain an audience for this weekly column. The majority of the readers are philistines and are not very anxious to know about a writer as much as they aspire to know about Namitha’s love affairs. It’s a pity state-of-affairs here with the tamil magazines.

Last week, Aathavan featured in Kathaavilaasam. Aathavan known for his path breaking Enn Peyar Ramseshan, writes just about the urban youth’s mind. At times he provokes you, makes you laugh at yourself and also feel upset about the ‘real’ you. If Mani Ratnam made movies about the upper middle class, Aathavan, much before him[in 1970s] made stories for/on them. I recently read his Kaakitha Malargal offlate and fell in love with his writings. Aathavan died in a river floods when he went to Sriungeri alongwith his friend. If only he had lived longer to cross the millenium, I am sure he must have made stories that would reflect us like mirrors. He is probably one of the three tamil writers whom I wanted to bring back alive. The first two being Bharati and Kalki.

This week, the writer in Kathaavilaasam is Ashokamithran.

4 responses to “Aathavan and Kathaavilaasam”

  1. kdot Avatar

    yes..athavan is a brilliant writer.i could relate almost everything.i guess kizaku pathipagam is going to bring out whole lot of books,short stories,nadagams by athavan(other than enn peyar .. and kaakia malargal which r published by uyirmai). they have relased their first book–” iravuku munn varuvadhu maalai” ,which is also athavans first book.the book was fabulous.

    but LG , athavan was often criticised for writing “negative” stuff. wat do u think abt that?


  2. Chenthil Avatar

    Well kdot, he wrote in the 1960s and 70s when Indian scenario was not very positive. The dreams of independent India had died and a cynicism crept into the thinking and this is what is reflected in his writings.


  3. Lazy Geek Avatar

    Kdot, As Chenthil rightly pointed out, in 60s and 70s there was a lot of cynicism in tha ir and that’s perfectly reflected in Aathavan’s rightings.

    Only because of that he is a great writer. As they say a writer should register the contemporary society, Aathavan didn’t do anything but to register the middle class mentalities which existed both in Delhi and in Chennai.


  4. kdot Avatar

    yea… but one of his short stories “meethchiyai thedi” in the book “”eravuku munn varuvadhu maalai” was extremely positive .

    and one random trivia…sujatha wrote a letter to some publisher asking him to publish athavan’s first novel.


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