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S. Ramakrishnan’s 'Sancharam' wins Sahitya Akademi award

Salem, Tamil nadu 21/02/2016: Story by SMS: S. Ramakrishnan, addressing the meeting of the Readers Circle of the Paalam the Book Meet Book Stall in Salem city on Sunday. Photo: E. Lakshmi narayanan

Salem, Tamil nadu 21/02/2016: Story by SMS: S. Ramakrishnan, addressing the meeting of the Readers Circle of the Paalam the Book Meet Book Stall in Salem city on Sunday. Photo: E. Lakshmi narayanan

Tamil writer and film script writer S. Ramakrishnan has won the Sahitya Akademi award for 2018 for his novel Sancharam , poignantly capturing the life of nagaswaram players in Karisal Bhoomi  — the arid lands — of Tamil Nadu.

The novel placed their music and struggle for a livelihood in the context of the decline in agriculture in the Karisal Bhoomi .

It is also a story about the shattered dream of a nagaswaram player Pakkiri, who wants to scale the heights of music after learning about great musicians and their music from his father.

Karukurichi P. Arunachalam, one of the greatest nagaswaram players, was born in this land and his close friend and writer Ku. Alagirisamy had written beautiful memoir — Arunguna Selvan — about him. Arunachalam also started his career as a naiyandi melam — folk form of nagaswaram music — but his talent was spotted by T.N. Rajarathinam Pillai, who agreed to keep him as disciple. The association opened new vistas in the carnatic music world. He continues to remain a role model for nagaswaram players of South Tamil Nadu.

Pakkiri and his senior in the troupe, Rathinam, have to be content with concerts at marriages and temple festivals. They play classical concerts as well as naiyandi melam as they no longer harbour any illusions about the lofty ideals they dreamt of while learning the art.

“It is only a source of survival,” Mr. Ramakrishnan, who is also a traveller, told The Hindu before the release of the novel in 2014.

Mr. Ramakrishnan has worked in Tamil movie Baba , the Rajinikanth starrer and Sandakozhi and Sandakozhi-2 with Vishal in the lead role, Dhaam Dhoom and Unnale Unnale . A film buff, who has watched great films across the world, he has written extensively about them. Mr. Ramakrishnan’s non-fiction works are equally popular. He is also a good speaker.

Writer Jayamohan said Mr. Ramakrishnan made entry as a realistic writer, who later embraced magic realism, before returning to realism.

“Though he dealt with the people and landscape portrayed by the pioneers like Ki. Rajanarayanan and Poomani, he brought into his writing the myth and archetype and established them as part of a long tradition,” Mr Jayamohan said.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 7:52:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/s-ramkrishnans-sancharam-wins-sahitya-akademi-award/article25672110.ece