Audio, Video, Disco

Audio, Video, Disco - Latin for "I hear, I see, I learn"

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Devan, humorist par excellence

Devan, who was editor of Ananda Vikatan for many years, was a great humorist. He admired P.G.Wodehouse, and his books like 'Kalyani' and 'Miss Janaki' are packed with hilarious incidents, reminding one of Wodehouse's Blandings Castle stories.His Mallari Rao stories remind one of PGW's Mulliner stories. Most of the Mallari Rao stories are set in Maharashtra.'Miss Janaki' has beautiful descriptions of the Tiruchendur temple, and someone planning to travel to Tiruchendur would find the descriptions of the town of Tiruchendur and of the temple interesting. Although many of his stories are now available, many are yet to be published. One hopes they will soon be made available to Devan fans. Devan has always been staple diet for me. It was my father who initiated me into the delights of the Devan stories, and my father's library includes the old Ananda Vikatans, in which Devan's stories first appeared, accompanied by illustrations by Gopulu. The illustrations are every bit as fascinating as the stories themselves.
Devan was a mathematician turned humorist.He was a devoted husband, and when his wife Raji, died at the age of twenty-four, Devan was heartbroken.He was only thirty then. His 'Adhisaya Dampathigal' (the ideal couple) stories constituted his tribute to his happy marriage. He stopped writing the 'Adhisaya Dampathigal' stories when Raji died.He adored children, and his Chinna Kannan stories show his yearning for children. He did not marry for ten years after Raji's death. He married again at the age of forty, but had no children through that marriage either. He died at the age of forty-four.


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