He earns his living doing what he loves

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

Rajmohan sells CDs of speeches of personalities such as M. Karunanidhi

PUDUCHERRY: You can see him at every Tamil literary meet – selling recorded CDs of speeches of personalities such as M. Karunanidhi, Vaiko, Kumari Anandhan, Nanjil Sampath, Sukhi Sivam and Soloman Pappaiyah.

“I don’t sell recordings of their political speeches, only those pertaining to Tamil literature. I also don’t sell any religious CDs because I am a rationalist. Along with selling CDs I also get an opportunity to listen to the speeches of people on various topics,” says J. Rajmohan from Vriddhachalam in Cuddalore district, who was here in Puducherry recently at a function held to remember Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi.

“I fell in love with Tamil language and literature listening to great men address public meetings during the 1970s, when for about 10 years from 1975 I crisscrossed Tamil Nadu, doing nothing in particular. Though I have not had the luck to listen to Aringar Anna’s speech directly, I have heard his speeches from recordings of his son. I have sat and observed people’s way of talking and the message that they convey to the listening public,” says Mr. Rajmohan.

News in the papers is his major source of information regarding what’s happening in the literary field.

“I read Tamil newspapers on a daily basis. The Thursday Ilakiya Sangamam column in Dinamani newspaper is something that I never miss. I also have a list of annual happenings like the Kamban Vizha in Puducherry and Muththamizh Vizha in Vaniampadi, and many times organisers themselves call me to put a stall at the venue,” he says, about how he manages to be at the right place at the right time.

But, organisers of some functions don’t permit him to put up a stall on the premises, and then there are places that collect daily rentals from him.

He purchases audio cassettes and converts them into CDs at computer centres and sells them to the public.

“It was only after my marriage with Bhuvaneswari that I settled down to do some work. I have been a commercial artist painting name boards for shops. But, now with digital banners there is not much work, and so I shifted to this profession about five years ago. In the beginning I made some miss calculations and ended up with losses, but now I am quite comfortable. I am not in this for the money but I am making enough to make ends meet and also support my passion of listening to leaders and to Tamil.”

Apart from speech recordings, most of which are in VCD/ DVD format, he has CDs of songs including those of Kannadasan, Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram, Bharathi, Karisal Paadalgal and Paravai Muniamma. Lorry drivers, taxi drivers and, sometimes, even leaders buy these CDs to listen to while on long journeys, he says.

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