Birth centenary of writer being celebrated
N. Chidambara Subramanian, whose birth centenary is being celebrated, was one of the writers of Manikodi, a magazine that set the benchmark for modern Tamil literary tradition in the 1930s.
A well-read man steeped in tradition and idealism, he had delved deep into western and Tamil literary classics. In a way, he was an unlikely Manikodi writer, a trait that was vividly captured by writer Ashokamitran on the occasion of his centenary celebration on Friday.
“There was an aura around Manikodi writers and their idealism. But, in the case of many writers, the idealism was at the expense of their families. Their family suffered and many a writer was not taken seriously even by their children. Chidambara Subramanian was an exception. He saw to it that his family was well taken care of and his children received good education,” Ashokamitran said.
Chidambara Subramanian, an auditor by training, worked for Vahini Studios as general manager for 25 years. A native of Sivaganga district, he started writing at the age of 25 and his works were published in all popular magazines.
Ashokamitran, who played a role in getting Chidambara Subramanian’s novel Mannil Theriyuthu Vaanam published by Vasagar Vattam, spoke about the late writer’s first novel Idhayanaadham, a story about a youth, presumably alluding to S.G. Kittappa, who fervently pursues classical music but loses his voice.
Long before T. Janakiraman’s novel Moha Mul, an epic on music and love in a pure Tanjorean dialect, made waves in Tamil literary world, Chidambara Subramanian’s Idhayanaadham remained a treat to music lovers and readers. The author’s reverence for Saint Thiyagaraja, one of the Carnatic music trinity, resulted in the novel.
Writer Indira Parthasarathy said unlike other Manikodi writers such as Pudumaipithan and Mouni, Chidambara Subramanian never experimented with his style, though he had acquired great knowledge about western literature though voracious reading. “His narration was simple and did not deviate from tradition.”
Writer and film director Bharathi Krishnakumar, who spoke about the novel Mannil Theriyuthu Vaanam, said Chidambara Subramanian did not try to impress his reader through his knowledge of world and Tamil literature. “You can notice his scholarship as you go through his writings. But it is not contrived. He writes in a simple language, which is very difficult to handle.”
Judge of the Madras High Court R.S. Ramanathan released the books of Chidambara Subramanian. A charitable trust was inaugurated on the occasion.