Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mumbai Tamil Poems

Tamil poetry

Before talking about Tamil poems in Mumbai, I would like to give small background

About the tamil society in the city. In my previous paper tamil fiction in Mumbai, I gave brief history of tamil society , their readers, magazines, writings, their translation works,

Marketing, book releasing all that. That everything is very much applicable to poems also.

We have 65 tamil associations. 15 lacs tamil people are living in mumbai and its suburban area. Mumbai municipal schools have tamil medium upto 7th standard.

We have 3 tamil daily news papers, two weeklies and one quarterly magazine for literature. Our daily newspapers also have half pages full of tamil Mumbaikars poems at least weekly twice.

In the first stage, the tamil poets in Mumbai were born in the theatre. For the drama and theatre the songs took main role. Hence at that time mostly the scriptwriter himself sometime wrote songs, sometime others songs were used in his drama ..

This Mumbai tamil drama group reached small group of audience and the poets names also not recorded anywhere.


Every public meeting even today also has one section of poem reading.

One team leader will be there to contact the section, he introduced the other poets that also a part of his poems.. the topics will be given and the other poets came and started reading their poems in front of the audience in the Mike. Many times the audience support will decide the future of the poet. So more important will be given to the presentation style . Many poets even their poems were good and if they were poor in the presentation then the people will ignore them. This condition is still going on.

These poems were called kaviyarana kavithaikaL.

These kaviyaranga poems are really poems or not?

It is still a debate. I don’t want to enter into that debate. But we have to accept that this stages and poem readings introduced many tamil poets.

The actual Mumbai tamil poet period started from 1970. poet kalaikoothan was the first poet in Mumbai. He was working in Mahendra and Mahendra. His real name was vadivelu. Dr. V C Kulandaiswamy, the vice chancellor of Anna university said,

“kalaikoothan has many dimensions. He deals with ease and understanding varied themes as politics, economics, sociology, literature and religion and on every topic he chooses to write, he expresses himself boldly rather bluntly and with a sincerity that is transparent and commanding.”

His masterpiece was POONGOTHAI, a minor epic. It was the story of Poongothai. She was introduced as a virtuous woman like our Bharathiya Naari, and she was lured into losing her chastity by a villain character. Yet, the hero, Bhoopalan came forward to marry her. The story ends as tragedy because of poonkothai’s suicide before marriage.

This epic was selected as a material in BA university level. Times of India, hindu, free press journal and many tamil magazines had given their review for this book.

And one most important one.. this was the first book and only one book till today

Which got the second edition in Mumbai.

First edition 1976 and second edition at 1988.

Here, I personally wanted to add my review to this particular epic.

By giving the tragedy end to his epic, actually what did the poet trying to say?

A virtuous woman should not live after her chastity was lured. Shc cannot enter into the happy marriage life? Revolution, freedom of woman, rationalism … all that is just to say that the hero was ready to marry her .. only that much? Dravidian movements and the great feminist periyar E V Ramaswamy Nayakar thought of woman studies teaching this as a revolution? This was totally a wrong understanding of Dravidian movements feminism thoughts.

This was my own review on his writings at 2002.

At that time why this view was not given. I really don’t understand what was the reason.

Prof.Dr. Na. Sanjeevi compared him with mahakavi Bharathi and Bharathithaasan.

His poem ‘ MANITHANAI NAAN THEDUKIREN’ - searching of a man was compared with poet T S Eliot’s ‘The hollow men’ and Alexander Pope’s

‘The essay on man’. His poem about the Mumbai tamil society was the best one

which portrait the picture of Mumbai tamil people.

He was the only poet to whom an ad-hoc association called “APOET” was formed by prof S Kandasamy of Bombay tamil sangam to raise funds for his publication.

In his interview with times of India, he was very proudly said,

‘it is more exciting to emerge as a poet from non-tamil maharashtra rather than to a court poet of a political party in Tamil Nadu”.

Next the poet M.Durairasu. he was working in Tata co and his collection of poem is

‘Neruppu malarkaL’ – 1994.

His voice was different from others. He was the first poet from mumbai who raised his voice for a woman who was not able to become a mother. In tamil , for these ladies we have one special word - Maladi..

There is no masculine gender for this particular word.

In his poem the wife is asking to her husband and the society many questions about this issue.

>> we don’t have a child

it is whose fault?

You named me ‘Maladi”

Then What you are?

your law and justice

Not same to you and me?..

Next poet Rajagai Nilavan. His book ‘ kariyerum alaikaL’ was the collection of his poems. He was the first poet who wrote about the pollution of this Mumbai city.

How the pollution is affecting the ozone layer and etc.

He wrote few haikoos also.

One more poet Aralvaai Periyayaa . he was influenced by communist school of thoughts. His first book was released when he was at mumbai. His collection of poems.

After he left mumbai, he participated in poetry competition of kumudam , a weekly magazine and he won first prize. And that poem is about Asia’s biggest slum – the dharavi. He became well known after that.

others I have attached a list. The poets and his books. Nothing new or special to add except the names of the books.

The dalith movement and the dalith literature born in Maharashtra.

Mumbai tamil society also influenced by dalith movements and Dr.Ambedkar’s thoughts. But for Mumbai tamil society the dalith literature is not yet developed .

Last myself, puthiyamaadhavi.

Two books – both were collection of poems

Suryapayanam- at 2000 & Hey Raam at 2003

Some of my poems were translated into Malayalam.

four poems from Surya Payanam were selected by Sahitya Akademi , Chennai

Anthology of Contemporary Tamil Poetry by Women poets- KANAVUM VIDIYUM.

Poem “ANKINKUENAATHAPADI’ is selected as the best poem by Poovarasu Kalai Ilakiya Mantram, German at Jan 2005.

My poems from my second book HEY RAAM were broadcasted by the internet radio service .

Hey Raam .. (the title of my book.. this is the that poem..)

(Ref poem No.1)

Mumbai , the city has the highest working class woman.. as a woman - a mother and daughter .. this is my poem

(Ref poem No:2)

This is my poem about the Power of GOD…

(Ref poem No:3)

This is my poem about Indian freedom

(Ref poem :4)

Mumbai and its suburban electric trains.. Mumbai life is running on this railway tracks.

And when I was at dombivli, the central railway at 1990 .. I wrote about my train life as a poem.. (ref poem No: 5)

My long poem “ poraliyin payanam’ – the journey of the revolunist..

It is mini story . a story of a woman, a low caste working woman, how she and her husband happily married and living one day two community people in the village had a fight against each other in the issue of the temple pooja. Who has the right to give the first offer to god in the pooja? Then their huts were fired. Police came. This lady was the eyewitness of the culprits. She went and report to the police station. But the political influence and power were against this low caste people. One night the police took her to the police station and harassed her to change her statement and in front of her husband she was gang raped by the policemen. She was thrown out of the station with her husband at

That night and her husband felt that as a husband he can not saved her dignity he died with that conscious she carried her husband body into the temple and removed the sari of devi and tore it into two pieces. One she put in the dead body with the other she covered herself.. and she was walking alone to fight against the castetism. Her aim is casteless society..

Mathiyalaganm Gunaa, & Bharathi Mani are well known for their modern poems in

Mumbai circle.

Mumbai poets do not have publishers and no hopes for selling market. They don’t have a

Particular shop to sell their books. Tamil Nadu is not aware of many poets name and their works. With all this hardship many new faces are coming everyday in the poerty circle

With dreams.

We hope Pukar can guide us for the better future।

--------------------------- seminar on 07may05 – >>


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