The daily yoga of writing, not speaking sustained her: N. Ram
Cultural and linguistic nuances could be captured only when authors write in their mother tongue, said noted Tamil author Indira Parthasarathy.
Addressing a function organised here on Sunday “to celebrate the munificence of writer late R. Chudamani”, who donated all her possessions to charitable organisations, Mr Parthasarathy pointed out that though Chudamani was well-versed in English, she preferred to write in Tamil.
Three organisations – Ramakrishna Mission Students' Home, Sri Ramakrishna Math Charitable Dispensary and Voluntary Health Services – were given Rs 1.5 crore each. The money came from the sale proceeds of the house of Chudamani.
Mr. Parthsarathy also described as “arrogant” the observation of Salman Rushdie that “the writing of Indian writers working in English is proving to be a stronger and more important body of work than most of what has been produced in the eighteen recognised languages of India, the so-called vernacular languages.
“Indo-Anglian writers always keep in mind readers abroad and, in the process, miss the cultural and linguistic nuances. Their writing will not evolve as naturally as that of a vernacular writer,” he said and stressed the need for learning Tamil, besides Indian languages such as Sanskrit and Hindi. Writer Ashokamitran praised the efforts of K. Bharathi, Executor, Estate of Chudamani, saying that she was able to fulfill the wishes of the later writer within six months of her demise.
N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said what sustained her over the years was “the daily yoga of writing, not speaking.”
He pointed out that Chudamani, who remained reclusive and could not go out like other writers, Graham Greene, for instance, and pick up material for writing, relied overwhelmingly on her imagination.
“In literature, the highest form of writing is that which comes out of the imagination. Creativity, philosophical ideas, progressive thoughts, shocking views and outrageous thoughts make great literature,” he added.
Seetha Ravi, former editor of Kalki, said the money had reached the most deserving organisations.
K.S. Subramanian, former director of Asian Development Bank, and a student of Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, said only a few organisations could match the Home when it came to “efficiency and effectiveness”.
Swami Satyajnanananda, secretary of the Home, Swami Dharmisthananda, in-charge-of Sri Ramakrishna Math Charitable Dispensary, and Dr S Janaki of Voluntary Health Services were present and received the cheque.
Ms Bharathi said she could not have completed her task, but for the support of friends, well-wishers and family members.