Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Writer Kaliyarajan is no More

Writer Kaliyarajan, the author of the historical Tamil novel Saraboji and plenty other books on Thirukural, passed away at his home in Kovaipudhur on Wednesday morning after a prolonged illness due to renal failure. He was 81.
Born in Pudukottai in 1933, Kaliyarajan had his college education in St. Joseph College, Trichy, where former president of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the late Tamil writer Sujatha were his contemporaries. Though he later obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Andhra Pradesh, Kaliarajan developed a taste for literature and wrote a number of books under his pen name Kalaiarasu including Thirukural - Puthiya Parimanangal, Valluvarin Samayakotpaadukal, Therintha Kuralum Theriyatha Porulum, Thirumanthiram Sollum Vingnana Rakasiyangal and Siddharkalidam Irunthu Ariya Vendiya Ariya Vishayangal. Kaliyarajan’s last book, which was his Tamil translation of the celebrated French writer Guy de Maupassant’s short stories as Manam Kavarum Maapasaan Kathaikal, appeared in 2013 in two volumes.

Writer, translator and proprietor of the lending library Yaazh Noolagam,   Duraimadangan said that Kaliyarajan’s novel Saraboji portrays the life and mission of the Maratha ruler Serfoji II, who ruled the principality of Tanjore. The historical novel, unlike the works of Kalki and Sandilyan, contains rare information on the Maratha ruler’s efforts to modernize his kingdom, as how Peter the Great took great measures in modernizing Russia.

Literature and history enthusiast Perur Jayaraman, a close associate of Kaliyarajan said that the octogenarian author was not as popular as other writers in the city on account of his uncompromising principles in life and  he never claimed recognition or fame for his books.

Kaliyarajan had worked as an engineer in the Public Works Department before he switched over to teaching. He was the principal of various government-run polytechnic colleges in Karaikudi, Madurai, Ooty, Thoothukudi and Coimbatore in different periods. He is survived by his wife Sabapathi Ammal and seven sons.

B.Meenakshi Sundaram  

Link to my report in The New Indian Express: