[Source – Asokamithran caricature by Ananthapadmanaban in Vikatan]
This is MY Blog.
Vote MY Site.
This is MY Photoblog.
Go here to read MY REVIEW.
Go there to read MY THOUGHTS on that book.
I’ve blogged about it, Go here to read MY POST.
It sucks. Sorry to be so harsh but the moment I read such sentences, I’m terribly put-off. Now, before you dig deep into this blog and find out such an usage, I agree that it’s been done in this blog too. Long back but not anymore. Even if you don’t ask me why, here’s why.
It’s a sheer brag. Though it sounded like a normal usage to me, I’ve moved from that thinking, some time back. When ? That’s when I started reading Ashokamitran. Atleast three years back. To quote[not verbatim] Ashokamitran, To say something as my creation or my writing seems very egotistic and very violent. Violent ? While reading this sentence, I paused there for a moement, trying to make sense of what he said. Honestly, I’ve always felt bad when stars and writers and celebrities brag egotistically about themselves. When someone could define this brag as being violent, it stayed with me, deep within. I began to consciously avoid the such I – My brags. Even during pressing situations, I’ve tried and minimize it.
There’ a way to avoid such bragging posts. Lets say, there is this review that I penned on Shankar’s Sivaji and it got published in Hindu. How would I say that on the blog ? The usual way – I wrote a review on MY blog here and that got re-printed in Hindu. The Ashokamitran way – The review which was posted here was also published in Hindu here. The ‘I’ and the ‘My’ could be avoided and you would be humble in saying that. Personally, I have to say it has changed the way I look at things. I have to be stop here abruptly as this is not a self-development blog.
The reason to brag(!!) about this here is certainly not to detail on this quality of mine. It’s about Ashokamitran. His writings are far superior and much simpler than many Tamil writers. There are no word plays, no confusing language and no beating around the bush. His writing is so simple that even a long time Tamil literary reader would doubt if there is anything special about his writings. That’s his speciality. Such simplistic usage of language is also evident in Ashokamitran’s columns.
His protagonists aren’t heroes. They are common people like you and me. They don’t even stand out because they are common. Just common-common. To explain this better, let’s take another favorite writer, Sujatha. If Sujatha writes about a common man, by his genius descriptions, the common man loses his commonality and becomes special. Not with Ashokamitran. The common man from Ashokamitran’s pen is just common and there is nothing to much to describe his commonness. Nor he writes about some great hero from the history books. His characters live in this world and all that Ashokamitran does is to describe them with simple words and place them in a situation. This situation is never as critical as the kalinga war. Its just another common situation like drinking water or going to a movie. That’s where Ashokamitran pauses to throw light on this incident. He shows us the minds and the hearts and the lives of the people from such trivial situations. The result, truly astonishing and over-powering. He has touched the grey areas of the middle class lives that no one else has ever thought to write about. Ashokamitran is not to be confused with Aathavan who is on a slightly different league. Ashokamitran’s protagonists are usually the helpless and cowardish middle class. Imagine Kamal in Mahanadhi, who hopelessly losses his kids in the river of life. Think about Raj Kiran in Thavamai Thavamirindhu who is blinks dispiritedly for being unable buy new clothes for his kids on the Diwali eve. These are some of ideal backdrops in Ashokamitran’s shortstories.
Ashokamitran till date hasn’t had a magnum opus. Cause there can never a magnum opus for a simplistic writer like him. Even the most popular ones like Thanner and Pathinetavathu Atchakkodu are written for being common novels and not an epic.
Ashokamitran is such a funny speaker that he would come to stage as the last person and win over the bored crowd. The last time, I got a chance to meet Ashokamithran was during Uyirmmai Publishers’ function. He spoke in a hearty manner about trying to rope 500 copies of Kanaiyazhi together and posting it across the nation. Even during the Ashokamitran 50 function, he was very humorous. You could listen to that recording on Badri’s blog.
If you are starter in Tamil literature start with Ashokamitran for you will come back a full circle to Ashokamitran. This writer’s writer has something for all of us to learn and imbibe. Being simple.