CHENNAI: Sarangapani Vaidyalingam (73), popularly known as Prabhanchan, who made many unique contributions to Tamil literature, particularly in the genre of historical fiction, passed away on Friday at a private hospital at Madhakadipattu in Villupuram district.
He is survived by three sons. His wife Pramila Rani passed away eight years ago.
Since February, he was undergoing treatment for cancer and the end came at 11.45 a.m on Friday.
Born on April 27, 1945 in Puducherry into an agricultural family, Vaidyalingam, after his schooling, received his B.Litt degree in Karanthai Tamil Sangam College in Thanjavur district. In 1970, Vaidyalingam and his fellow writers and poets launched a literary journal Vanambadi from Coimbatore and he started writing poems under the pen name Prabhancha Kavi. Later, he changed his name as Prabhanchan permanently.
Between 1980 and 1990, he worked as a journalist in Tamil journals, including Kungumam, Kumudham and Ananda Vikatan. He took whatever happened in his life in his own stride and once he declared that “I have no complaints about whatever happened in my life.” The underlying message in all his work is “The world should blossom through love.”
Writer S Ramakrishnan, one of his close associates, told Express “I feel as if I have lost my elder brother. Prabhanchan’s affection and friendship are unforgettable. He shined as an unique author in Tamil literature. When I met him at hospital recently, he was fully enthusiastic and spoke about his forthcoming works. However, Nature decided otherwise.”
Ramakrishnan recalls that Prabhanchan was unique in many ways, but what was adorable was that he always remained happy, but without money.
He radiated happiness and contentment till his last. In his early days, he wanted to become an actor but Nature groomed his as a writer. Writer and VCK general secretary D Ravikumar said “Vaanam Vasappadum is a best example how a historical novel should be written. Prabhanchan had taken utmost sincere efforts to present facts based on Anandarangam Pillai diary notes.
In most of the historical novels in Tamil, history used to be in lesser proportion than fiction. But in this novel, the proportion is otherwise - more history woven with less fiction, but in an interesting style,” he recalled.
“His sense of humour is unforgettable. All his writings reflect only love and affection. He never hurt anyone by his speech. He has encouraged many young writers during his times. PNS Pandian, a close associate of Prabhanchan till the last moments, says “He did not associate himself with religious activities. But, he was fond of devotional literature apart from Mahabharatam and Ramayanam. In his last days, he was planning to bring out a collection of stories from Srimad Bhagavatham because he saw them through the literature point of view.”
Prabhanchan’s works started coming out in print from 1961. He had authored over 300 stories and published 18 collections of short stories, 14 novels, one novelette and one collection of play. In 1982 and 1986, he received the best writer award from Tamil Nadu government. In 1986, he also received Puducherry government’s best writer award. Many of his works have been translated into English, French, Kannada and Telugu. He was honoured with Sahitya Akademi award in 1995 for a novel ‘Vaanam Vasappadum’.
An irreparable loss to Tamil literature: CM, leaders
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK president MK Stalin and leaders of many political parties and writers, on Friday, condoled the demise of veteran writer Prabhanchan.
The Chief Minister, in his message, recalled Prabhanchan’s contributions to Tamil literature and conveyed his condolences to the family members and his readers. He said Prabhanchan’s demise was an irreparable loss to the Tamil literary world.
Stalin, in his message, said, “Prabhanchan had approached the Dravidian movement in a friendly-contradictory manner but he maintained a personal bond with Kalaingnar (late M Karunanidhi)”.