Tamil translations of Coimbatore Collector’s Malayalam books are published at the Coimbatore Book Festival

Collector Dr GS Sameeran IAS, author of Malayalam books on literary personalities, talks about Tamil translations of his books to be published at Coimbatore Book Festival

Collector Dr GS Sameeran IAS, author of Malayalam books on literary personalities, talks about Tamil translations of his books to be published at Coimbatore Book Festival

malayalam movie Oridathoru Phayalvaan, a cult classic, told the story of the rise to fame and fall of a small-town wrestler, winning awards at numerous international film festivals. It was written and directed by P Padmarajan who is known for his contributions to Malayalam literature and cinema.

Coimbatore District Collector Dr. GS Sameeran, IAS discusses Padmarajan’s films and literary works in his book in Malayalam which has now been translated into Tamil as Padmarajan Gandharvano Manithano. It was recently published at the ongoing Coimbatore Book Festival.

Padmarajan’s first director Peruvazhiyambalam which was released in 1979 based on his novel of the same name fictionalized a certain type of masculinity that and how people fear and adore at the same time. In Kallan Pavithran, which tells the story of a petty thief (played by Nedumudi Venu) and his life-changing episode of theft, Padmarajan forces the audience to redefine the word ‘thief’. “I make a comparison with Satyajit Ray’s The Apu trilogy and connect the common thread of these three films,” says Sameeran, who also wrote a biography on Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, a poet and writer who penned the songs, screenplay and the story of balance, the first Malayalam talkie that had 26 songs. The book is now out in Tamil as Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai.

“Both are from Muthukulam village in Alleppey district. As I am also from the same village, I was naturally drawn to their work. I wrote the book on Padmarajan in 2006 while still a medical student in Thiruvananthapuram. It’s more of an expression of protest where I address that while his films were celebrated, his literary persona was eclipsed. Although he excelled at both, he is more of a writer than an accidental filmmaker.

Book cover

Book cover

Some of Padmarajan’s latest films, in particular Thoovanthumbikal, Namakku PaarkaanMunthiriThopugal, Innale and Koodevide became so popular that his literary contributions went unnoticed, says the author, adding that the filmmaker was one of the youngest writers to win the Sahitya Akademi Sahitya AcademyAward for his novel NakshathrangaleKaaval.

“I looked into his short stories, his novels and his short stories and I watched all his films. My research was over. I approach the dynamic between the writer and the filmmaker, his rural and urban stories, his men and his women. I also provided in-depth insight into its characters, background, and backgrounds.

Sameeran also interacted with the filmmaker’s family members. “I analyzed his work from the perspective of how Muthukulam inspired him. I tried to shed light on his portrait of women, men and their conflicts. I could relate to the characters in his movies, like most of his iconic characters like Thakara (played by Prathan Pothen), Sivanpillai master and Chellappan asari are living characters in my village. I interviewed and interacted with them during the writing of the book. Many PhD students referred me to my book for their thesis on Padmarajan.

Sameeran’s second book, a biography of MuthukulamRaghavanpillai, published in 2013, highlights one of the first comedians in Malayalam cinema. “He came long before Adoor Bhasi and acted in more than 70 films and wrote more than 50 screenplays, including films and dramas. He was a literary figure, a great comedian and an actor who died in an unfortunate situation. in Kodambakkam with no one by his side. I attended a memorial lecture on Raghavan Pillai and that was the starting point for writing the book. His contributions are immense in films and literature.

Book cover

Book cover

The biography which is partly fictional highlights his contributions to the introduction of new age drama in Malayalam. “He brought real characters into the drama. He also wrote political dramas in the late 1920s and 1930s. He was a revolutionary and some of his works were banned in Travancore. Many ignore this part of the story and identify it, no one knows. Everyone identifies as a comedian.

Talking about Tamil translation, Sameeran says that Mr. Velayutham, founder of Vijaya Publications, offered to translate his books into Tamil after listening to his speech on Muthukulam at an event. “I spoke of my days at vayanasala (public library) run by a librarian who earned his living as a hairdresser, my village and my two books.

“Books give insight into history,” says Velayutham. While Tamil scholar M Subramani translated his book on Padmarajan, Kurunji Velan who runs the quarterly magazine Thisai Ettum worked on the second book. “Everyone associates movies with Kodambakkam, but we should also know the history of other states. For young people today, filmmaking is so easy with digital cameras and animation. They should know how it all started, maybe with balancethe first Malayalam talkie made by Salem’s Modern Theatres.

About Marcia G. Hussain

Check Also

New books commemorate Uttlesford servicemen who died in World War II

A new book pays tribute to 57 men from Uttlesford who died on active service …