CHENNAI: With just week’s left for the release of Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, Madras Talkies on Friday took to their official Twitter handle to wish Kalki Krishnamurthy on his 123rd birth anniversary and said, "Writer. Visionary. Literary Game Changer! It's Kalki's 123rd Birthday & we thank him for #PonniyinSelvan & characters that have stayed with us!" (sic).
On his special day, let’s take a look at what we know about the iconic writer.
Life of Kalki:
Ramaswamy Krishnamurthy was born on 9 September 1899 in Puthamangalam, near Manalmedu, in Mayiladuthurai district. Krishnamurthy's father was Ramaswamy Aiyar, an accountant in Puttamangalam village in the old Tanjore district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. He began his primary education in his village school and later attended Municipal High School in Mayavaram.
Krishnamurthy started writing fiction stories in Navaskthi in 1923, where he worked as a sub-editor. He was working under the tutelage of Thiru Vi Ka when he published his first book in 1927. He started working with C Rajagopalachari in Thiruchengode in Gandhi Ashram.
The release of a postage stamp in honour of Kalki was among the highlights of the centenary celebrations. Government of Tamil Nadu announced the nationalisation of Kalki's works, this will enable publishers to come out with reprints of his works.
Kalki Krishnamuthy received the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award conferred on him by The Indian Fine Arts Society in 1953.
Writings of the visionary:
Kalki's writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novellas, 5 novels, 3 historical romances, editorial and political writings and hundreds of film and music reviews.
Some of his famous works include Ponniyin Selvan, Sivagamiyin Sapatham, Parthiban Kanavu.
Kalki and Ponniyin Selvan:
The historical fiction that talks about Ponniyin Selvan aka Arulmozhi Varman of the Chola dynasty was first published as a series in Kalki, a Tamil magazine. It was later released as a book in 1955 as 5 parts.
Even today, the novel has a large number of audience for its plot, narration and its characters.