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13 July 1954
Vadugapatti, Theni, Tamil Nadu, India
Vairamuthu (Vairamuthu Ramaswamy ) is a Tamil poet, lyricist and author. He is a recipient of various awards including the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, and Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel “Kallikattu Ithikasam” as well as a seven-time winner of the National Film Awards.
Early life and education
Entry into Literary arena
While working at the Tamil Nadu Official Language Commission, he wrote his first anthology of poems. He entered the film industry as a lyricist in 1980 with film director P. Bharathirajain his film Nizhalgal. Vairamuthu has written over 7,500 film lyrics till date.
He has also penned over 37 books in four decades commencing in the year 1972 with ‘Vaikarai Megangal’ (Clouds at Dawn) to ‘Vairamuthu Sirukathaigal ’ (The Short Stories of Vairamuthu) in 2015.
Notable works include Kallikkattu Ithikasam, Karuvachi Kaaviym ,Moondram Ulagapor and many others numbering to 37. He has also introduced some foreign poets and their works to Tamil in his Ella Nadhiyilum En Odum. Some of his works are translated into Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The trend continues as hundreds of his film lyrics and translated into Hindi.
- Kallikkattu Ithikasam (The Saga of the Drylands)
Kallikkattu Ithikasam depicts the story of people of a village who have turned refugees in the independent India. In 1950s when Vaigai dam was constructed in Madurai District, 14 villages were vacated for creating the water catchment area. This novel narrates the tearful story of those refugees who lost their land under the water. The author is a child who was born to one such family and had lived through the misery in his childhood. The story portrays the tears, blood and pain of the villagers whose families were crushed as a result of modernization. The soul of the novel echoes the truth behind the values of the agrarian India and the virtues of farmers which is eternal.
- Karuvachi Kaaviym: (The Epic of Karuvachi)
Karuvachi Kaviyam spins around a vulnerable Indian village woman who has been enslaved by the illiterate male chauvinistic community.
- Poems of Vairamuthu
The core of Vairamuthu’s poetry portrays his pleading to the human to be a naturist, and pointing to the incredible truth that fire is fire until it burns, Earth is Earth until it spins and Man is man until he struggles.
- Moondram Ulagapor (3rd World War)
The struggle of the Indian agrarian community due to globalization, liberalisation and global warming is depicted in this novel in the farmer’s dialectical language. This novel is a prophecy on the suicides of farmers five years before it had happened. The author was heartbroken when the poverty-stricken farmers who were unable to feed their families due to failure of monsoon, severe drought conditions, debt and despair, committed suicide.
An anthology of his poems was translated in English titled ‘A drop in search of the ocean’ and in Hindi titled ‘Bindhu Sindhu Ki Our’ in 2003.
Besides his poems many other works have also been translated into several languages viz., English, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Russian, and Norwegian.
Awards and recognition
- Civilian Honours
|2003||Padmashri||India's fourth highest civilian honour||For Distinguished Services in Literature and Education|
|2014||Padmabhushan||India's third highest civilian honour||For Distinguished Services in Literature and Education|
- National Film Award
|1986||Mudhal Mariyathai||All Songs|
|1993||Roja||"Chinna Chinna Aasai"|
|1995||Karuththamma, Pavithra||"Poralae Ponnuthayi" (Film: Karuthamma), "Uyirum Neeye" (Film: Pavithra)|
|2000||Sangamam||"Mudhal Murai Killipparthaein"|
|2003||Kannathil Muthamittal||"Oru theivam thantha Poovey"|
|2011||Thenmerku Paruvakaatru||"Kallikkaattil Perandha Thaayae"|
|2017||Dharma Durai||"Entha Pakkam"|
- State level awards
|1981||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||"Vizhiyil Vizhundu", "Kadhal Oviyam"||Alaigal Oivathillai|
|1990||Kalaimamani||–||–||Awarded by the Government of Tamil Nadu|
|1995||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||"Poralae Ponnuthayi"||Karuththamma|
|1996||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||"Oruvan Oruvan", "Kannaalanae"||Muthu, Bombay|
|2000||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||"Mudhal Murai Killipparthaein"||Sangamam|
|2005||Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist||"Oh Sukumari"||Anniyan|
|2005||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||"Oh Sukumari", "Iyengaaru Veetu"||Anniyan|
|2008||Tamil Nadu State Film Award||All Songs||Periyar|
|2010||Vijay Award||All Songs||Thenmerku Paruvakaatru|
|2011||Vijay Award||All Songs||"Sara Sara",||Vaagai Sooda Va|
|2011||Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist||"Sara Sara"||Vaagai Sooda Vaa|
|2012||Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist||"Para Para"||Neerparavai|
|2015||SIIMA Award for Best Lyricist||"Malargal Kettaen"||Oh Kadhal Kanmani|