Remembering Sujatha!

 Remembering Sujatha!
It was on this day (27th Feb) five years ago passed away writer Sujatha. Author of over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a slim volume of poems, he was one of the most popular writers in modern Tamil literature.
He extended his writing skills and expertise from science to movies. The first of these efforts were Gaayathri and Priya. In Priya, his fictional character Ganesh was played by Rajinikanth. Kamal Hassan’s Vikram was written by him. He penned dialogues for the movie Roja, directed by Maniratnam.

In recent times he has been associated with Mani Ratnam for Iruvar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Aayitha Ezhuthu and Shankar for Boys, Anniyan, Indian, Mudhalvan, Sivaji and Enthiran. He was also a co-producer for the banner MediaDreams, which went on to produce the critically acclaimed Bharathi, a biopic of the great Tamil poet Bhaarathiyaar.
Born in Chennai and brought up in Srirangam, he grew up to be an Electronics Engineer. Thank God for his passion towards writing that we got a gem of a writer, who could practically write on everything under the sun.

There is nothing like cuddling up on the bed with a ‘Kolayuthir kaalam’ (a thriller fiction) or learning science through ‘Yen? Edharku? Eppadi?’ or imbibing knowledge and enjoying sarcasm on a warm afternoon with ‘Katradhum Petradhum’, or living the Srirangam life along with him through ‘Srirangathu Devadhaigal’ or deciphering the inner meaning of aandal pasurams on a margazhi morning. It is a treat to the brain. He makes you think, smile, reflect, understand, laugh, cry and enjoy.His humour and satire are also well-received.

His protagonists / heroes are mostly intelligent. They are a reflection of his own self – Ganesh from ‘ganesh-vasanth’ series, Thiruchelvan(Madhavan) from the movie ‘Kannatthil Mutthamittaal’ to quote a few. They are sensible, well-read and well-bred. They make good scientists, writers , lawyers and detectives. He makes you fall in love with his characters slowly and steadily – Madhumitha of ‘Pirivom sandhipom’,Vasanth from Ganesh-vasanth series( I love him!), Sylvia, yavanika(statue)- both from the stories of the same names, the athlete from 10 second muttham, are a case in point. In fact, I have heard that his readers cried for one of his character’s (Madhumitha) death and named their daughters in her remembrance :)

Nylon kayiru, Kanavu thozhirchaalai,marina,Aaah! are some of his other famous fictional works one ought not to miss.
'Sujatha' Rangarajan

What made him a favourite among many?
His depth of knowledge, proficiency in the language, expertise in a variety of areas, the ability to connect with people through the local flavour, and his simplicity.

Some of favourite dialogues from the movies he penned:
•    ’Naan konjam nallava dhan. S-O-R-R-Y ’ and ‘En arumai pattikaade’ (Roja)
•    Kannatthil Mutthamittaal
            a.    Kid1:’Enaku bayama iruku..Bathroom varudhu’,
            b.    Kid 2:’Edhavadhu bayangarama nenachiko,seriya poidum’
        2.    ‘Avar wife ku odambu seri illa. Mana noyaali’
        3.    ‘Tharunam Appadi’
        4.    ‘Unga rendu per la yaaru amma yaaru kozhandhai ne theriyala’
•    Following from Anniyan:
        ‘Ner Vazhi Sutthu Kozhandhe’
        ‘5 kodi peru 5, 5 paisa va 5 kodi thadava thirudina?’
•    Following from Ayutha ezhuthu:
        ‘kadhal, keedhal, pattu, oviam, ellam bedroom la mudiyaradhuku. It's all related to hormones, verum organic chemistry -Testosterone, Oestrogen, Progestorone, X chromosome, Y chromosome,XY, YY.. mudinjudhu matter’
        ‘Therku Pakkam Surungiyum, Vadakku Pakkam Veengiyum iruke? Kaaranam enna? Idhu enna Boogola kolaara? boomiyoda kolaara? Illa..Poruladhaarathoda kolaaru’
        ‘Indha pakkam oru vellaikkaari, andha pakkam oru karuppi, naduvula nalavenba coaching’
•    ‘That was a good interview’ (Mudhalvan)
•    The climax of endhiran( which is an adaptation of ‘en iniya iyanthira’ by Sujatha) where Chitti dismantles itself.

These are only the few that struck our mind right now, though there will be many more which would have brought a smile on our lips. Or made us think.

It is tough to stop with this, since no words are enough to portray the respect I have for this genius ( Oh! he invented the electronic voting machine, if you did not know!) . All that I can do is only pleasantly remember him on his anniversary and pay homage through this little post.

Sujatha Sujatha
Name Sujatha
Birth Name S. Rangarajan
Pen name Sujatha
Profession Writer
Date of Birth 3 May 1935
Birth Place Triplicane, Chennai
Religion Vaishnavite Brahmin, Hindu
Nationality Indian
Mother Tongue Tamil
Profession Writer (Tamil literature), Author, Editor, Screen play writer, Scientist, Engineer, Columnist, Co-Producer
Family Wife – Sujatha Rangarajan (Postgaduate in Sociology)
Sons – Kesava prasad, Ranga prasad
Education Education - Boys High School, Srirangam
College - Bachelor’s degree in physics at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchy and Bachelor’s degree in Electronics at the MIT, Chennai.
Expired on February 27th, 2008
Death Cause Multiple organ failure at Apollo hospital, chennai
Tamil magazines he was associated with Kaniazhi, Ananda Vikatan, Junior vikatan, Kumudam, Kalki, Rani, dhinamani kadhir and Saavi
Areas of interest * Archeology
* Astrophysics
* Biotechnology
* Neuroscience
* Carnatic music
* Tamil literature
* Sociology
Debut Short story : Sivaji (1953) in Kumudam
Novel : Nylon Kayuru
Tamil Cinema : Gayathri
Screenplay & dialogues for Tamil movies * Gayathri
* Priya
* Ninaithaley Inikkum
* Karaiyellam Senbagpoo
* Vikram
* From the Heart
* Nadodi Thendra
* Roja
* Iruvar
* Uyirae
* Dil se
* Engineer
* Kannathil Muthamittal
* Ayutha Ezhuthu
* Boys
* Kandukondein Kandukondein
* Anniyan
* Indian
* Mudhalvan
* Sivaji
* Billa
* Dasavatharam
* Robot
Science * Has the ability to explain science in very simple terms.
* Used to answer science queries in Ananda vikatan.
* He introduced scientific approach and sharp intelligence in Tamil cinema.
Religious books Has written books on Vaishnavite literature
Screenplay * He entered into Tamil cinema through the movie ‘Gayathri’ which was made based on his novel ‘Gayathri’.
* He became a permanent script writer for Mani Rathnam and Shankar.
* It is said that the ‘Robot’ title of Rajini’s movie was suggested by him. He also suggested ‘Iyandiran’ and ‘Iyandira’ as titles. Also it is based on his novels ‘En Iniya Iyanthira’ and ‘Meendum Geno’.
* His ‘Karai Ellaam Shenbaga Poo’ was translated to French by the author Mrs. Madancalliany Shanmuganandan.
Dramas He wrote different dramas especially for the stage actor poornam viswanathan.
Famous classmate He and former president Abdul Kalam were classmates while studying in St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchi.
Columnist He also let people know about the excellent works of wonderful writers in Tamil like Rajanarayanan, Sundara Ramaswamy, Jayamohan, La Sa Ra, Pudhumaipithan etc., by writing about them in his columns.
Tamil fonts He worked on creating Tamil fonts for ‘Movie Magic’ for Marudhanaayagam movie.
Facts * He was brought up in Srirangam, near Tiruchi by his paternal grandmother as his father was facing frequent transfers.
* After working in civil aviation department for 14 years, he joined Bharat Electronics in Bangalore, India.
* He has contributed for educational CD-ROMs also.
Pen name While he started writing, as there was another Rangarajan (Ra.Ki) in kumudam, he used his wife’s name.
Computer Tamil PC team, a small team working under his guidance brought out easy-to-use Tamil Linux .
Biggest critic Mother-in-law
Awards * Received award from Indian National council for Science and Technology (1993)
* VASWIK Award for Electronic Voting Machine.
* Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu Government.
* MYLAPORE Academy award for doordharshan best serial “Mahan Ramanujar”.
Books Novels – 100
Short stories – 250
Science – 10
Stage Plays – 10
Has written some poems too
About him Crazy Mohan :
“He is one of the most multi-faceted writers in Tamil. His writing was terrific, consistent and extremely informative. He could write just about anything with amazing ease. Sujatha was certainly a genius.” Kamalahasan :
“He didn’t think writing as his profession. He loved it. He never felt proud of his writings. He was a down-to-earth humble person. Because of him my reading interest improved a lot”.
Personal website
His comment about his writing “I have never obtained the happiness & satisfaction again which I felt when my first short story Sivaji was published. If someone could search and give me a copy of the story, I might give them a part of my property”.
Tips for upcoming writers Read a lot: Read not only in the language you want to write but also in other languages. Put your perspective on what you read. Put your thoughts down: Don’t wait for the entire story to shape up in your mind. Put down things as you come across and then organize.
Write what you know: Develop story lines based on what you know and stretch a little through research.


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