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Continued from My Indian Authors – Part I

I can list my favorite Indian authors with reasons, but each author will become a post by itself. This I don’t want to do for the fear of loosing you all. So here is my list:

Kalki: I own and have read every written work by Kalki. Ponniyin Selvan, of course, is the top of my list. Short stories, contemporary novels, historic novels – Kalki, according to me, is ‘THE KING’. He’s got humor, he’s got style, he’s got class, he’s got panache, he’s got guts.

T.Janakiraman: He was very advanced for his time. Nearly every story by T.J has a thread of what you could call, adultery going on. But he some how manages to portray it elegantly!

Devan : He is the genius who created Thupariyum Saambu (Detective Saambu). I personally think that Pink Panther is a knock off of my dear Saambu. This abishtu(nincompoop) brahmanan(brahmin), who has a massive tube light instead of a brain, decides to quit his job as a bank clerk and becomes a professional private detective. Lady luck makes things happen for Saambu and he ends up as the most sought after detective. Every week our Saambu gets his feet in to a different case, but he perseveres! Unfortunately, for me, I have not read any other works of Devan.

Saavi: The only work of Saavi I have read is Washington-il Thirumanam(A wedding in Washington). I remember reading this when I was about 9 years old. This was my first introduction to USA!

Vaasanthi: The sole reason I read Vaasanthi is because she is my mother’s favorite. There are some books of Vaasanthi I have enjoyed, but again there have been some which have eluded my simple mind! Most of her subjects are beautiful, intelligent women who belong to upper middle class, who have it all. But they start wondering if they really have it all. They tread a fine line between liberation and running wild. My description might sound very chavunistic-putting-the-women-in-her-place kind of writing, but it is not. Vaasanthi has delicately balanced real women’s liberation and the perception of women’s liberation in her books. If I am not mistaken, Kuruthu is by Vasaanthi, which talks about communal issues. It fudn it very touching. (It was a while ago, so if Kuruthu is not by Vaasanthi, some one please let me know.)

Thirukural: In school, I was prepared to cut off my limbs for escaping the Thirukural memorization. But with time, I am beginning to appreciate this book. Every time I read it, I am surprised by the management philosophies that are so relevant and so precisely expressed!

Sujatha: Can’t get enough of his Ganesh and Vasanth! He introduced me to world of sci-fi. He is master story teller, literary genius, versatile writer with a strong urge to use sexual insinuations! There are few of his works (may be Katradhum Petradhum) without double meaning dialogues. I recently found that, he was chief of the team that designed the Electronic Voting Machines that we use in India now! How cool is that?!

Ramani Chandran: This one I have a love hate relationship. Just a silly romance story, with strong male characters, who are always the masters of the relationship, sensitive women, who have to listen to the men irrespective of how sensible they are, strong insinuations of the gender pecking order of the society are characteristics of her works ! Once a few years, I read a Ramani Chnadran to get my romance dosage. Thats it for me, any more than that, I pull my hair out. Her works are a necessary evil in my life:)

R.K.Narayan: I can go on an on about him, but I don’t have to, because I know that he is close to all our hearts. Again, I own most of his books. For the amount of humor in his work, it is sad that his life has been pretty lonely. Thiswas very touching.

Other than R.K.N, I haven’t read too many english books by Indian authors. A few that have struck to my memory are Train to Pakistan by Kushwant Singh (I cannot forget this one for the rest of my life ), Difficult Daughters – Manju Kapur(I remember it for the sole reason that the novel made my blood boil, because the so-called hero, a married man, goes after another woman whom he considers his intellectual counterpart. He so easily reasons out that his present wife is for his family and social obligations and the second wife is to interact with him on HIS LEVEL. **Grinding teeth**). Twentieth Wife – Indu Sundaresan(I thought this was a very decent first attempt, but towards the last 3-4 chapters, I was loosing patience. Indu does show lots of potential.) The Glass Palace by Amitav Gosh – sorry folks, not for me. I did enjoy Inscrutable Americans – Anurag Mathur, when I was fresh off the boat in USA. But if I read it now, I am not sure if I would like it that much. Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – didn’t get most of the layers and the underlying meanings, so didn’t like it very much.