Eminent Tamil writer Devan aka R Mahadevan’s birth centenary celebrations were held here on Sunday. A biography on him titled Devan Varalaaru, which has been compiled by Charukesi, was released on the occasion.
Born and brought up in Kumbakonam, Devan worked as a teacher for a while after completing his undergraduation. His interest in writing made him take a plunge in to the world of literature. Devan’s first piece of work Mister Rajamani was published in Ananda Vikatan, when writer Kalki was the editor of the magazine. Impressed by his writing, Kalki appointed him as a sub-editor in Vikatan. Gradually, Devan rose to the post of the managing editor of the magazine.
Devan was well-known for his witty and humourous style of writing. His noted works include Thuppariyum Saambu, Justice Jagannathan, Miss Malathi, CID Chandru, Lakshmi Kadaksham and Rajathin Manoratham among others. He penned 31 books in all genres of writing, including novel, novella, short story, serials, travelogue and essays.
In memory of Devan, an endowment was started in his name and every year, the endowment organises lectures on Devan’s writings.
The endowment on Sunday organised a symposium, in which a biography on Devan was released.
During the event, well-known artist and Devan’s close aide Gopulu was honoured. Eminent personalities such as writer Ambai, journalist Tirupur Krishnan and Professor Pasupathy spoke about the writings of Devan.
“Devan’s writing was then outshined by the paintings by Gopulu. The magazines of those times published both the writings and paintings. So, readers were in for a double treat. But, now only the writings of Devan are being published. We need this kind of biography, which has anecdotes of popular persons on their interaction with Devan, to introduce the great writer to the next generations,” said Tirupur Krishnan, editor, Amudha Surabhi. Writer Ambai said, “In the stories by Devan, women were given equal space with their counterparts.”
Professor Pasupathy noted the writer’s keen interest in music.
“Devan had interest in music and that was reflected in his debut novel Mythili. His series of works spoke about social happenings in a humourous way. He was influenced by English humourist P G Wodehouse. Another major work he produced along with artist Shilpi was the serialised essays on popular temples under the title Thennattu Selvangal,” he said.