Director Bharathiraja with Kabilan Vairamuthu
Director Bharathiraja with Kabilan Vairamuthu

Aagol is a visual experience in textual format: Kabilan Vairamuthu

The novel is an historical fiction that lays on the backdrop of the Perungamanallur massacre that happened exactly 102 years ago.

CHENNAI: Kabilan Vairamuthu’s fourth novel Aagol was launched a few days ago by veteran director Bharathiraja. The novel is an historical fiction that lays on the backdrop of the Perungamanallur massacre that happened exactly 102 years ago. “The British in the 1930s imposed the Criminal Tribes Act in Perungamanallur in Madurai district. People fought against it. Sixteen of them where shot.

“This incident is known as the Jallianwala Bagh of the south. So I started off with an intense research as I have to weave a thread out of real incidents and it has to be authentic right? I spoke to a lot of people about the law, how it evolved,” begins the writer.

Kabilan Vairamuthu
Kabilan Vairamuthu

The story travels from future to the past and Kabilan keeps the suspense for his readers. “It starts off with data being hacked in 2030 across the world and what happens in India and how the journey takes a high profile cyber security team to Perungamanallur,” he says as we get intrigued. “But I don’t want to divulge more as you will be in for a ride when you read the novel. The story travels back and forth with its own twists and turns,” Kabilan laughs as he cuts off the suspense part of it.

As we wonder what Aagol is, he says, “Aagol is a second century word. When two kings are at war, one of the clans steals cattle from the other. Hence, we are talking about data theft here, I chose to name this as Aagol. In fact, if Money Heist was made in Tamil, Aagol would have been the right word.”

Still from back cover of novel Aagol
Still from back cover of novel Aagol

Writing a story that is set in two different time periods comes with its own challenges. “Of course. The most challenging part was to write the part that was set in 2030. I have to do extensive study on big data and related algorithms. The dialect changes and there are conversations that take place between people from the future and the past. Both of them do not understand each other’s Tamil,” he laughs.

As we hear him out, we tell him that this would have been a perfect script for the big screen. “Well, Aagol is already a visual experience in textual format. And I have registered the story so I hope that it becomes a film sometime in the future. Digital feudalism and criminal tribe act are interconnected. These topics need to be discussed in all forms of media. Aagol is definitely a big screen story. But my immediate curiosity is towards start working on the part two of Aagol. I have laid the foundation for the sequel in this first part. I am looking forward to continue developing my characters further,” he says.

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