I haven't read much in Tamil, but Sujatha and Kalki are the only two authors I cherish in Tamil, whose books would go into my dream library, so that I can revisit them from time to time.
He was only 72. that doesn't look too old for me. Consider this, he wrote dialogues for a teenage movie like Boys just a few years ago, surely, several more years of writing was left in him.
To me, his death looks like a mistake to be corrected.
Why is every one talking about his Cinema works? His Pen work for the paper medium even from the very few I have read was so much superior to the celluloid ones. I don't know if they were Master literary pieces(from language point of view) but they were interesting slices from real life. Here is from the few I have read...
Srirangathu devathaigal or an adolescent Swami's account. Srirangam of 50's didn't seem very different from the small town I lived in the late 80's and early 90's. I bet quite a few people have such stories to tell. If only they could do it as well as Sujatha did..
- Sujatha's blog in the print media much before blogs came into Vogue. He was a man of varied interests & the series reflected that. The only reason I subscribed to Vikatan on the web and eagerly waited for the magazine every thursday. The series stopped abruptly couple of months ago. At that time, I remember wondering about his health, the inevitable..sigh.
Vanathu pochi vettai
Completely written from the Protoganist view. I mean what she saw was what we saw. We had only as much information to evaluate or peek into characters as she could. And she was not somebody who was very intuitive about life & its vagaries.
As somebody with not much aspirations in life, she would tell you how she had no qualms in carrying on upper middle class regular housewife activities - "Verumane nail polish kondu, shopping poi varavathil, enaku ondrum Pirachanai ellai. Those descriptions, the dialogues - you know with slight wit, slight irreverence yet simple- did it for me. I know I don't do even a wee bit of justice to his writing.
Arjun, on the other hand, was the husband whose motto was to get 36 lakhs before he was 36. A financial wizard without much of moral scruples, he manages the 36 lakhs by 28. In the preface of the book, Sujatha mentions quite a lot of people wrote in saying Arjun disturbed them a lot. We never get to see what drove to do the things he did. Probably Sujspan met someone like Arjun(there are quite a few of them, right?) and decided to see what an innocent soul like the heroine would do in his world. Marital treachery is not something I can take, so I left the book @ home in India.
I must have read quite a few others. Pookkutty( a children's book in tamil - probably a rarity), a Q & A series on science/technology in Junior Vikatan(the magazine was taboo in my house, still is!) and even a story about a man working undercover for RAW. Thank god, finally, a spy from RAW! I kept reading about CIA and KGB in english fiction and couldn't help wonder why I never read about my country's equivalent to them. I mean, in reality RAW might/might not be doing anything as adventurous as CIA but who cares.
That's another thing about Sujatha, the various genres he covered. Sci fi, relationships, technology, crime, religion...
En eniya eyinthra - a futuristic sci-fi made into a T.V serial. The T.V serial was well made. I never got to read the book. If I had read the book, I probably wouldn't enjoyed the T.V series. You know, the cardinal rule, Books on celluloid conversion lose 75% of their original essence. Sujatha himself mentions in his writings that seeing his books being destroyed in films was the reason he took to screenplay.
But if you have enjoyed his Film work, may be a peek into writersujatha would be good. He won't scary with jumbo word works for sure. May be I should take this opportunity to read more of his work too.
Ps: That website is a good one. Even if you are not able to download after the paying the money, you can send an email and they will send the pdf version. The only problem is, it offers very little of his works.