3 May 1935
Madras, Madras Presidency, British India
|Died||27 February 2008 (aged 72)|
|Occupation||Engineer, author, novelist, screenwriter|
(Madras Institute of Technology)
|Children||Kesava Prasad, Ranga Prasad|
Sujatha (3 May 1935 – 27 February 2008) was the allonym of the Tamil author S. Rangarajan, author of over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a slim volume of poems. He was one of the most popular authors in Tamil literature, and a regular contributor to topical columns in Tamil periodicals such as Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam and Kalki. He had a wide readership, and served for a brief period as the editor of Kumudam, and has also written screenplays and dialogues for several Tamil movies.
As an engineer, he supervised the design and production of the electronic voting machine (EVM) during his tenure at Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL), a machine which is currently used in elections throughout India. As an author he inspired many authors, including Balakumaran, Madhan, Charu Nivedita.
Penning with his wife's name, Sujatha's Tamil literary career spanned more than four decades. An engineer by profession, he was proficient in the language of technology. Widely read and knowledgeable, he presented his knowledge in simple Tamil.
His works stood out during a time when Tamil writing was dominated by social/family dramas and historical novels. His identification with the masses, and his uncanny adoption of their way of talking, behavior, mindset and slang, helped make him popular across multiple demographic segments.
His popularization of technology was one of his greatest contributions – starting with his Silicon Chip writing in Dinamani Kadhir and Yen, Yedharku, Eppadi in Junior Vikatan. At one point, his writings were appearing in numerous Tamil weeklies and journals simultaneously, including Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam, Kungumam, Kalki and Dhinamani Kadhir. Later he contributed as script/screenplay author for several Tamil movies. His notable movies included Vikram,Thiruda Thiruda, Boys and Sivaji. Most of his early novels/stories were made as movies, including Priya, Gaytri, Karaiyellam Senbagapoo and Anandha Thandavam, among others.
Brought up in Srirangam, Trichy, and having spent most of the later part of life in Bangalore, he described both places vividly in his various writings. Among his popular novels are Pirivom Sandhipom (not related to the movie of the same name), Rathham Ore Niram, and Kolaiyudhir Kaalam.
He also immortalized Ganesh-Vasanth – an imaginary advocate pair serving as the main characters in most of his detective stories. Ganesh is a level-headed, senior advocate and Vasanth is his flirtatious junior advocate. The Ganesh-Vasanth pair was based on James Hadley Chase's characters, Vic Malloy and his sidekick.
In his later days he restricted his writing to essays such as Katradhum-Petradhum. He began to spend more time reading, especially old rare Tamil literature and writings on the latest developments in information technology and computing.
Sujatha Rangarajan was born in Triplicane, Chennai but spent his childhood in Srirangam near Tiruchirapalli under the care of his paternal grandmother owing to his father's frequent transfers in his job.
He did his schooling in the Higher Secondary School for Boys, Srirangam. He attended St. Joseph's College, Trichy, where he was a friend of Abdul Kalam (who later became the President of India). Sujatha graduated in the 1954 batch with a BSc in Physics (1952–54). Later he studied engineering in Electronics from Madras Institute of Technology. His writing interests were largely inspired by the short stories and serials published in popular Tamil magazines.
Srirangathu Devathaigal (Angels of Srirangam) is a series of short stories based on incidents in Srirangam during 1940s and 50s which appeared in Ananda Vikatan. Sivaji, a minor magazine from Trichy, published a story during his student days. His first short story was published in Kumudam magazine in 1962. His Kolaiyuthir Kalam was an exciting ghost-themed novel.
He worked first in Civil Aviation Department of Government of India and later for Bharat Electronics Limited in Bangalore, India before his retirement to Chennai, India, where he lived till his last days. As an engineer, he was a forward thinker and he was the key person behind the development of the Electronic Voting Machine in India. He initiated the development of advanced word processing before the days of personal computers. He is known for coining new Tamil words for computer terms like password, file, directory, etc. These words have been adopted by many software companies of today for translating their softwares/software products to Tamil.
The works are not listed in chronological order.
- 1. Aaah – a novel based on hallucinations, which was published in Ananda Vikatan every week. Its each of the episode starts with the exclamation phrase "Aaah" and ends with "Aaah".
- 2. Pirivom Sandhippom 1 - A love story set in Tamiraparani which then travels to New York. Captures a glimpse of an NRI Tamil's life in the early 80s. This novel was later made into a film called Ananda Thandavam (film).
- 3. Pirivom Sandhippom 2
- 4. Kolayudhir Kaalam - One of the Novel where the famous duo Ganesh and Vasanth appears to solve a supernatural mystery in an Estate House. Detailed descriptions on the Hologram technology, which was a then latest technological trend were included in the story.
- 5. En Iniya Iyanthira (My Dear Machine) – A science-fiction novel in Tamil involving robots. The novel features Nila, Ravi, Mano, Jeano – a robo dog. The story is written like everything is happening in 2020 A.D.
- 6. Meendum Jeeno (Jeeno again) – a sequel to En Iniya Iyandhira
- 7. Srirangathu Dhevadhaigal (Angels of Srirangam) - a series of short stories featuring Sujatha's experiences as a boy, a youth and a man in Srirangam, depicting incidents when he was staying in his grandmother's house in Srirangam.
- 8. Karaiyellam Shenbagapoo - A mystery novel in which the male leading character travels to a village for his research on rural songs, and encounters mysterious incidents around him.
- 9. Nylon Kayiru (Nylon Rope)
- 10. Nillungal Raajaave - A science fiction masterpiece. Recent Tamil movie Maayavan is very similar to this plot.
- 11. Kanavu Thozhirchaalai - A novel based on Tamil Cinema industry and a leading Hero of 80's. (Though the character does not indicate any real persons)
- 12. Ratham Ore Niram - Set in Pre-Independence period, this novel narrates the story of young man who wants to take revenge on a British officer who killed his father. The plot is based on a true historic incident, which is called the Cawnpore Maasacre, where hundreds of British men, women and children were killed by the Indian rebellion army during the Sepoy Mutiny period.
- 13. Pesum Bommaigal
- 14. Anithaavin Kadhalgal - A family novel based on the life, love and desires of a young girl named Anitha.
- 15. Vasanth Vasanth
- 16. Computer Graamam
- 17. Nirvaana Nagaram
- 18. Vikram
- 19. Odaadhey - Suspense Thriller novel based on the incidents which a newly wedded couple, who plans for their honeymoon, face.
- 20. 24 Rubaai Theevu
- 21. Eppodhum Pen (Always a woman) – A Tamil novel influenced by Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Sex
- 22. Idhan Peyarum Kolai
- 23. Irandaavadhu Kaadhal Kadhai
- 24. Kolai Arangam - A murder mystery novel where the popular duo Ganesh and Vasanth appear to solve the mystery.
- 25. Edhaiyum Oru Murai
- 26. Anitha Ilam Manaivi – a crime story, where one of the famous duo Ganesh appears.
- 27. Yavanika - A short novel in which Ganesh and Vasanth appear to solve a stolen statue called "Yavanika"
- 28. Niramatra Vaanavil
- 29. Sorgatheevu – one of the first science fiction works in Tamil
- 30. Theendum Inbam
- 31. Aadhalinaal Kaadhal Seiveer
- 32. Pookutti
- 33. Irul varum Neram
- 34. Kaandhaloor Vasanthakumaaran Kadhai - A historic fiction that centers around Raja Raja chozhan empire
- 35. Oru Naduppagal Maranam
- 36. Priya
- 37. Vasantha Kaala Kutrangal
- 38. Pen Iyandhiram
- 39. Nila Nizhal
- 40. Aayirathil Iruvar
- 41. Aryabhatta
- 42. Padhavikkaga
- 43. Ullam Thurandhavan
- 44. Marubadiyum Ganesh
- 45. Vannathu Poochi vettai
- 46. Commissioner ku kadidham
- 47. Vidivadharkul Vaa
- 48. Thanga Mudichu
- 49. Ore Oru Dhrogam - A novel which flows in the perspective of two, a fraudulent husband and his innocent wife who does not know of his real face.
- 50. Aindhaavadhu Adhiyaayam
- 51. Sivandha Kaigal
- 52. Endraavadhu Oru Naal
- 53. Thisai Kanden Vaan Kanden
- 54. 10 Second Mutham - A novel about a young athlete girl who comes to a world sports tournament along with her uncle who is also her coach, and is obsessed with her.
- 55. Thedaadhe
- 56. Roja - Story of a police officer who strive to find an unknown rapist of a young girl.
- 57. J K
- 58. Veniyin Kaadhalan
- 59. Vaaimaye Sila Samayam Vellum
- 60. Kaagidha Sangiligal - One of the first Tamil creation that described about the Kidney failure. This is a story of a young wife strives to save her husband who suffers from Kidney failure.
- 61. Unnai Kanda Neramellam
- 62. Vaanam Ennum veedhiyile
- 63. Chinnakuyili
- 64. Moondru Kutrangal
- 65. Kaalgal - A fiction in the perspective of a man who goes to an Anglo-Indian home and meets an old man.
- 1. Marina
- 2. Gayathri
- 3. Apsara
- 4. Meendum Oru Kutram
- 5. Paadhi Raajyam
- 6. Vibareedha Kotpaadu
- 7. Nil Gavani Thaaku
- 8. Ilamayil Kol
- 9. Megathai Thurathinavan
- 10. Moondru Naal Sorgam
- 11. Virumbi Sonna Poigal
- 12. Sylvia - Novel published on Aananda vikatan every week, which portrays a stressed young girl called Sylvia, who is a daughter of a businessman. The famous duo Ganesh and Vasanth appears after a long period of time.
- 13. Merke Oru Kutram
- 14. Guruprasaadhin Kadaisi Dhinam
- 15. Virupamilla Thiruppangal
- 16. Vairangal (Diamonds)
- 17. Malai Maaligai
- 18. Jannal Malar - Novel about the life of a man, after he got released from the prison.
- 19. Meendum Oru Kutram 2
- 20. Melum Oru kutram
- 21. Thapithaal Thappillai - Story of an ordinary middle- class husband who suspect on his wife for cheating
- 22. 14 Naatkal
- 23. 6961
- 24. Maaya
- 25. Austin Illam
- 26. Jodhi
- 27. Vizhundha Natchathiram
- 28. Kai
- 29. Oriravil Oru Rayilil
- 30. Man Magan
- 31. Kalaindha Poigal
- 32. Vidhi
- 33. Manaivi Kidaithaal
- 34. Oru Sikkal Illadha Kaadhal Kadhai
- 35. Honolulu
- 36. Oru vibathin Anatomy
- 37. Paalam
- 38. Vilimbu
- 39. Ippadi Oru Maarudhal
- 1. Kadavul Vandhirundhaar
- 2. Oonjal
- 3. Bharathi Irundha Veedu
- 4. Anbulla Appa
- 5. Singamaiyangaar Peran
- 6. Dr. Narendhranin Vinodha Vazhakku
- 7. Adimaigal
- 8. Nylon Raadhaagal
- 9. Oru Prayaanam Oru kolai
- 10. Mudhal Naadagam
- 11. Prayaanam
- 12. Mandhiravaadhi
- 13. Vazhakku
- 14. Sekar
- 15. Krishna Krishna
- 16. Vandhavan
- 17. Maarudhal
- 18. Vaasal
- 19. Kadhai Kelu Penne
- 20. Idaiyan Magal
- 21. Sarala
- 22. Petti
- 23. Marumanam
- 24. Aagaayam
- 25. Muyal
NON - FICTION
- 1. En Edharku Eppadi 1 - answers to questions by readers, mostly on science
- 2. En Edharku Eppadi 2
- 3. Katradhum Petradhum 1,2,3,4
- 4. Kanayaazhiyin Kadaisi Pakkangal – a series of articles in the last pages of the magazine Kanayazhi
- 5. Thalamai Seyalagam
- 6. 60 America naatkal
- 7. Sujatha Badhilgal 1,2,3
- 8. Sujathoughts
- 9. Kadavul Irukkiraara
- 10. Kadavul - Articles that analyzes the concept of God in accordance with several kinds of religion as well as in the scientific perspective.
- 11. Sila vidhyaasangal
- 12. Kadavulgalin Pallathaakku (Composition)
- 13. Innum Sila Sindhanaigal
- 14. Thamizh andrum Indrum
- 15. Genome
- 16. Oriru Ennangal
- 17. Uyirin Ragasiyam
- 18. Paarvai 360
- 19. Thoranathu Maavilaigal
- 20. Vivaadhangal Vimarsanangal
- 21. Adutha Nootraandu (next century) - First edition July,1990, VISA publications.
- 22. Karpanaikkum Appaal
- 23. Nano Technology
- 24. Oru Vignaana Paarvaiyilirundhu
- 25. Appa Anbulla Appa
- 26. Ezhuthum Vaazhkaiyum
- 27. Chinna Chinna Katturaigal
- 28. Vaaram Oru Paasuram
- 29. Nootraandin irudhiyil Sila Sindhanaigal
- 30. 1000 kanippori vaarthaigal
- 31. Kaneer Illamal
- 32. Nijam Needhi
- 33. Sujathaavi Kelungal
- 34. Kanipporiyin Kadhai
- 35, Seidhi sollum Seyarkai kolgal
- 36. Ki Pi 2000ku appaal
- 37. Veetukul Varum Ulagam
- 38. Silicon Sillu puratchi
HOW - TO MANUALS
- 1. Thiraikkadhai ezhudhuvadhu eppadi - Book & Manual
- 2. Sirukadhai Ezhudhuvadhu eppadi
- 1. Puranaanooru
- 2. Silappadhigaaram
- 3. Haikoo
- 4. Thirukkural
- 5. Aazhwaargal - a Simple introduction to the Geniuses of first millennium
- 6. 401 Kaadhal Kavidhaigal - Kurundhogai
- 7. Brahma Sutra
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
- 1. Therndhedutha Sirukadhaigal 1,2,3 by Uyirmmai
- 2. Marma kadhaigal
- 3. Nagaram
- 4. Vignyaana sirukadhaigal
- 5. Miss Thamizh Thaaye Namaskaaram
- 6. Computere Oru Kadhai Sollu
- 7. Karuppu Gudhirai
- 8. Olai Pattasu
- 9. Aatakaaran Sirukadhaigal
- 10. Madhyamar Kadhaigal
- 11. Thoondil Kadhaigal
- 12. Meendum Thoondil Kadhaigal
- 13. Vaanathil Oru Mouna thaaragai
- 14. Sri Rangathu Kadhaigal
- 15. Anumadhi
- 16. Pudhiya Needhi kadhaigal
- 17. Nijathai thedi
- 18. Siru Sirukadhaigal
- 19. Maadhar Thammai
OTHER PROMINENT COLLECTIONS
- 1. Sujathavin Kurunovelgal 1,2,3,4,5 by Uyirmmai
- 2. Sujatha Sirukadhaigal
- 3. Sujathaavin Naadagangal - Muzhu Thoguppu by Uyirmmai
- 1. 21aam vilimbu
- 2. Innum Oru Pen
- 3. Erakkuraiya Sorgam
- 4. Neerkumizhigal
- 5. Pugaar
- 6. Rayil Punnagai
- 7. Maarudhal varum
- 8. Podhu Marathu Pudhu Mugangal
- 9. Andru Un Arugil
- 10. Kaanikkai
- 11. Hostel dhinangal
- Kolaiyuthir Kalam (roughly translated as The Autumn of Murders) – One of his famous detective novels in Tamil, that came as a series in Kumudam, featuring Ganesh and Vasanth. It was also made into a television serial and was aired by Doordarshan's Podhigai channel.
- Sujatha received an award from Government of India's National Council for Science and Technology in 1993 for making science accessible to the public through his books, magazine contributions and other media.
- VASWIK Award for Electronic Voting Machine.
- Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu Government.
- Mylapore Academy award for Doordharshan best serial "Mahan Ramanujar".
- Best Writer Award from Tamil Nadu Cinema Kalaimandram in the year of 1999.
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film - Pandavar Bhoomi (2001)
Style and influence
Sujatha was a versatile Tamil author, with several short stories, novels, poems, plays, screenplays for movies, articles on popular science and other non-fiction articles, to his credit. Sujatha wrote a number of sci-fi stories in Tamil and sought to explain science in simple terms to the layman. He would routinely answer science questions in magazines like Junior Vikatan. His science FAQ has been released as separate books called Yen Etharku Eppadi and Athisaya Ulagam by Vikatan Publications.
He worked on "Katradhum, Petradhum" in Anantha Vikatan and "Sujatha Bathilgal" in Kumudam and Kungumam.
His interests included computers, archeology, astrophysics, biotechnology, neuroscience, Carnatic music, Tamil literature, and sociology.
Contribution to films
He extended his writing skills and expertise from science to movies. The first of these efforts were Gaayathri and Priya. In Priya, his fictional character Ganesh was played by Rajinikanth. Kamal Hassan's Vikram was written by him. He penned dialogues for the movie Roja, directed by Maniratnam. In recent times he has been associated with Mani Ratnam (for Kannathil Muthamittal, Aayitha Ezhuthu, etc.), Shankar (for Indian, Mudhalvan, Boys, Sivaji: The Boss and Enthiran: The Robot) and Azhagam Perumal in Udhaya. He was also a co-producer for the banner MediaDreams, which went on to produce the critically acclaimed Bharathi, a biopic of the great Tamil poet Bhaarathiyaar.
He was working on Shankar's Enthiran before he died on 27 February 2008.
- As Writer
- Enthiran (2010)
- Ananda Thandavam (2009)
- Sivaji (2007)
- Anniyan (2005)
- Ullam Ketkumae (2005)
- Udhaya (2004)
- Kangalal Kaidhu Sei (2004)
- Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004)
- Chellame (2004)
- Boys (2003)
- Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
- 12B (2001)
- Nila Kaalam (2001)
- Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)
- Mudhalvan (1999)
- Kannedhirey Thondrinal (1998)
- Uyire (1998)
- Indian (1996)
- Roja (1992)
- Vikram (1986)
- Karaiyellam Shenbagapoo (1981)
- Ninaithale Inikkum (1979)
- Priya (1978)
- Gaayathri (1977)
- As Producer
- "Tamil writer Sujatha is dead". www.rediff.com.
- premkumar. "SUJATHA BOOKS LIST - TAMIL BOOKS ONLINE". www.tamilbooksonline.in.
- "@ NewKerala.Com News, India".