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Updated: July 9, 2010 01:44 IST

Kulothungan turns 81 next week

T. Ramakrishnan
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V.C. Kulandaisamy.
V.C. Kulandaisamy.

Kulothungan was not even 20 when his first poem on the glory of Tamil was published in a magazine. That was nearly 60 years ago.

Since then, he has produced 11 collections of Tamil poems. Besides, he has written numerous articles in Tamil and English.

Kulothungan, whose poetry has followed established Tamil traditions, is not a Tamil scholar by qualification.

Basically, he is a hydrologist. But, even from the early days, he has been having a deep interest for Tamil language. For intermediate, he could have joined St. Joseph College or National College, two reputed institutions in Tiruchi. But, he chose Municipal College, Salem, because Deveneya Pavanar was a Tamil teacher there.

The poet, whose original name is V.C. Kulandaiswamy, went on to pursue his studies in technology and hydrology in IIT, Kharagpur, and the University of Illinois, United States. But, his passion for Tamil and Tamil literature continues irrespective of his profession. He points out that this does not mean that he was indifferent to his core area.

Kulothungan, who will turn 81 next week, says that the emphasis of his works is on humanity and its greatness.

“God is a mystery. The expanding universe is also a mystery. But, the greater mystery is man and his mind. One thing whose potential has not yet been fully understood is the potential of human mind,” he says. His recent writings include a work of poetry, called “Manuda Yatirai” (Journey of Man). This work, published in three volumes, deals with three broad areas – society, science and spiritualism.

“Kulothungan has carved a niche for himself in traditional Tamil poetry,” says Tirupur Krishnan, Tamil writer and journalist, adding that the poet writes in a spotless language despite not being trained in Tamil formally.

B.S. Raghavan, former civil servant, says that Kulothungan, through his works, has dealt with social, economical and developmental issues, without any bias, in a manner that is mellifluous and pregnant with social commitment and conscience.

It is in recognition of the poet's contributions to Tamil literature that a seminar will be held in the city on Saturday and Sunday. Different aspects of his works will be discussed. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President, will inaugurate the seminar at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here on Saturday evening.

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