I know its a silly title to the post. But it has to be this way like Sujatha’s last week’s Katrathum Petrathum in Vikatan. Just as how Sujatha can easily describe toughest things with a sublime humor and practised ease. Sujatha in his weekly column, enunciates the issues of ageing and memory loss. More to it, without any pretence, he talks about the idea of death from the perspective of a rapidly ageing man. All this and more on the event of his 71th birthday. If you had missed the print edition, Desikan has published this Vikatan column, here.
Just like Desikan, it sent shockers to me. Not just me but many others who had commented about this in the previous post marking the Birthday of Sujatha. While describing memory loss, Sujatha describes about his evergreen memory with respect to nicest times of his life. His memory loss pertains to mostly petty things like, Who’s the girl who acted alongwith Rajini in Padayappa ? or What would you call an Aandhai in English ?. Did you just say, Ramya Krishnan or Owl to yourself now. I did. Then you are testing your memory to see if you have any memory packet loss.
In Srirangathu Devadhaigal, when Sujatha describes the world of Srirangam and the minute details as he enjoyed in his childhood, I’ve wondered if he had an elephant’s memory. The way he had recollected the pillars of Kamba Mandapam in the temple of Srirangam was immaculate. When I had been to Srirangam few years back, I went to the temple alone, in the wee hours of a calm day, to feel the pillars of Kamba mandapam and to relive the experience of Sujatha.
Now after a decade, when I read ageing brings acute memory loss to a your favorite writer whose memory you thought was robust, gives a selfish shock. The fact that you will also become soon like that. I’ve seen many old people reading the obituary columns as their first serving, in morning newspapers. I never knew it had an inner meaning as suggested by Sujatha. Above all this, Sujatha talks about Progressive Compromises. A term which anyone of us who has lived life can relate to. Probably its one of most abstract theories of life told in the most simple words.
Whatsoever, the column has all the fans and non-fans of Sujatha very upset. Many of them have left messages on Sujatha’s posts that they pray for his longevity. Even more, in this week’s column Sujatha had published a small poem that Crazy Mohan had sent to console Sujatha. BTW, here’s an interesting email of questions, that Latha had sent me.
….. Fyi, i still havent finished reading Kadavul Irukirara. But read Eppozhudhum Penn for the nth time. Man, sometimes I wonder if he ever transformed into a girl for a while and then got back to being a guy.
I must have read his article in this week vikatan n number of times. The emotions my face registered during the read must have given a freudian student enough to write 100 thesis. How does he manage to say so many things so very simply and in so little words. Enna memory ?! How can he quote so many people, at the right time, right place with the right facts. Only some people can grow younger every year and with such grace. I am 20ish now and when I see 16/17 year olds I feel I have grown old and trust me guru, I cant relate to most of their thoughts and opinions. I sometimes dont even approve of the latest fashion, the trend, the ‘take-it-easy’ attitude and how does this man, all by himself, keep track of everything thats happening/been happening for the past few decades. Enakku enna threiyuma kekkanum Sujatha kitte, if ever I meet him, I wanna ask him if he had time to check who his son’s friends were in school ? Did he ever get time to play cricket/carrom/chess with his children? Did he fight with his wife for less salt in sambhar ? Did he have misunderstandings with neighbours ? How did he manage office politics ? Parents meeting attend panni irukara? Theatre poi movie paarpara ille thiruttu vcd-ya? Thaligai panna theriyuma? Pondattikku kitchenle help pannuvara? Perumal sevikkumbodhu slokam solluvara? Beram pesi kaaikari vaangi irukkara ? Autokaaranoda sandai pottu irukara? Sight Adichirukara? Vasanth character avara ille vera yaaravadha?. Evalo questions. I just wanna know if he ever lived like a normal human being ?
Any answers, Sujatha !!
P.S : Sujatha Replied. Purpose of this blogpost met. Comments closed for you-know-why 😉
12 responses to “Sujatha forgets Ramya Krishnan”
incredible thoughts for an incredible man…
“Progressive Compromises”. I love these words ever since i read this.Aptly explained and promptly pointed out by You.
You know what, En appa inga vanthapothu
Daily Washington Postla Obituaries column oru nal vidama padipar, edukkunnu en mara mandaiku puriyala ippo dhan Sujathavoda column padikarapothu purinchadu
very simple, heartfelt write-up, lazy…I think you should send it to him…he’ll defn. appreciate it.
Crazy’s poem was terrific. a right way to console. Also, in last week’s column, the way Sujatha discovered the age of another person in the beach, while walking.. was a roll-out laughter.
What I say here may sound funny to some people but think about how your own grandparents lived a better quality of life than what we (even in the midst of many modern so-called “conveniences”) are living:
One of the important things that happens in old age is memory loss. Although not entirely preventable, some of the more debilitating versions of it (like Alzheimers) can be either avoided or postponed. What did our elders do? They did not know science not did they need explanations with proof or have to check CNN.com for any health reports vetted by the specialists 🙂
They followed a lifestyle that first of all was simple, avoiding most stresses and “being regular” in their daily routine. One of the daily routines was “chanting”. They used to chant some Samskrit mantra or thamizh paa(suram) by rote. It was not necessary to know the meaning because for one thing when you know the meaning, you can appreciate something but again a part of your brain is diverted to that aspect whereas simple repeating by rote by itself was “jogging the memory cells” which they were not aware of, but still practised.
They say “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. Our enn kanitham was also based on this idea of using our known “ALU” (like in a CPU :-)). If our forefathers did not do math in their head (they could have used an abacus even if they did not have a calculator), they would have again not been using that part of their brain, but use they did. And now we have a whole generation that grows up with these aids (and of course AIDS :-)).
Coming to my point of use vs. lose just as muscles and other organs are made active by exercise and physical jogging, saying a stotra is a mental chanting. Doing this regularly kept their brains active and in a position to remember other things. Short term memory loss happens to people in all age-groups but the young just do not think about it or worry about it. Vallaarai keerai was also a good panacea for supplying oxygen to the brain cells so that they would always be rejuvenated. Shirsasana and Sarvangasana combined with Kapalabhati also kept the blood flowing to these areas which otherwise do not have the advantage of gravity to direct the blood to them.
So, there is no point in worrying now that these things will affect us when we are at that age. Actually this should make us think about what we are not doing in our daily life now to prevent or delay the onset of some of these geriatric problems.
kaeLvigaLai nee kaetkiraaya alladhu naan kaetkattuma? 🙂
check this one out. its a new movie by a journalist from chennai.
It was shccking to read his recent article in vikatan.
Sujatha is the best Tamil writer! Definitely! His sense of humour is so great! His dialogues in Aayitha Ezhutu were top notch too!!
Every time you write abt sujatha, I feel like I might have missed the best of this tamil versatile writer of my time. I have read his popular short story like bali, idathu orathil?? and a few others.
That said could you suggest his best stories/columns and if I can get these as a collection. I ma leaving for india soon and I plan to keep my eyes open to find sujatha’s books.
Rarely I answer blog references One of the greatest pleasures in wriring is perceptive readers like you are reading every line and its echo is loud and clear
It was a general essay I wrote on turning seventy It had a global response The purpose is not to scare people about growing old and dying but to inspire a sense of urgency in whatever one wants to pursue in life and in its wake revise and simplify the targets