Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

‘King Poet’ Kannadasan at 80

Random Thoughts (part 1) by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 28, 2017 Kavi Arasu [King Poet] Kannadasan’s 80th birthday passed by on June 24, 2017.  While serializing the biography of his contemporary MGR in this website, I have long wondered how their friendship, cooperation, conflict and rivalry in both cinema and politics, stimulated their creativity.  Both… Read more »

A Birth Centenary Biography on MGR

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 28, 2017   Book Review: R. Kannan, MGR – A Life, Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana, 2017, 495 pages, 599 Indian rupees.  The influence of movie stars as popular heroes has been a theme of academic study in America since the second half of last century. For… Read more »

Why I Write? – A Sequel

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 2, 2017 Two weeks ago, when I visited Tokyo, I bought an old copy of ‘The Journals of Sylvia Plath’, originally published 35 years ago in 1982.  Due to her suicide death in 1963, at the age of 30, the short life of poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) has fascinated me…. Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 38

Testimony of producer K.N. Vasu by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 25, 2017 Part 37 Front Note: I apologize to the readers, for the six month interruption, in continuing this series. Main reason was semi-retirement related loss of my own office room, and its after-effects.  Second reason was the assumption of an editor-in-chief position of a… Read more »

Onomastics of Tamil Personal Names – Part 2

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 22, 2017 More than a year has passed, since part 1 in this series was posted on February 23, 2016. [see,] I pick up the thread again now. In mid-1990s, I received an inquiry letter from Prof. Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson (1928-2000), soliciting the recognized names of literati and intellectuals… Read more »

Saiva Temples in the Jaffna Region

During my last visit to Jaffna in March 2004, I had the good fortune to meet Prof. Arunasalam Sanmugadas and his wife Manonmani Sanmugadas. When both of them were living in Tokyo, 30 years ago (circa late 1980s, while carrying out their collaborative research with Prof. Susumu Ohno, on the linguistic and cultural links between… Read more »

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2016

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 15, 2017 This year marks the tenth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007), which falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the list of news-making individuals in South Asia for the year 2016. Ten awards have been chosen. Unfortunately, I could choose only ten humor… Read more »

Memoriam: Dr. Alvapillai Vijayaragavan (1932-2016)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 6, 2017 ‘Better late than never’ has been one of my working mantras. So, I pen this memoriam to one of one of my benefactors and big fans of my writing, Dr. Alvapillai Vijayaragavan, a neurosurgeon of repute among Eelam Tamil doctors. Though a kin and living in Colombo, as… Read more »

Jayalalitha Leveled by an LTTE Fan

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 17, 2016 Recent death of Jayalalitha Jayaram (1948-2016), the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, generated quite a quota of elegies for her services to the cause of Eelam Tamils. These elegies noticeably hid one ugliest contribution of what Jayalalitha and her coterie did in April 2002. This was, after the… Read more »

Fidel Castro and Prabhakaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 4, 2016 Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro bid adieu to millions of his fans, supporters and adversaries on November 25, 2016. Castro had thousands of fans, even in Sri Lanka. Certainly, I was one of them. He had charisma, which many of his political contemporaries (like Richard Nixon or Junius Jayewardene)… Read more »

An English Biography on Jayalalitha by Vaasanthi

by Sachi Sri Kantha Book Review: Amma – Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen, by Vaasanthi, Juggernaut Books, New Delhi, 2016, 175 pages. At last, a short English biography on actress-politician Jayalalitha, the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India, had appeared. The author Vaasanthi, is a noted Tamil woman novelist. Despite the… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 37

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 23, 2016 Part 36 Front Note by Sachi Through the courtesy of Mr. R. Kannan, fellow MGR biographer and friend, early this month, I received a copy of the 263 page book authored by journalist Sudhangan, who had published a book with a title, ‘Suddachu – Suddachu’ [I’ve Shot! I’ve… Read more »

Polymath Charles Santiapillai (1944-2014) Remembered

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 30, 2016 Charles Santiapillai, a brilliant Tamil zoologist of our generation, died on October 29, 2014. It is a pity that I came to know about his death only early this year. Quite a few appreciations about his career and character did appear in a few journals (listed at the… Read more »

15th Anniversary and Future Hopes

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 11, 2016 The fifteenth Anniversary passed by silently last month. Only three living individuals know about it. One is me. Other two are, Nadesan Satyendra (the founder editor of now defunct Tamil Nation website) and Dr. Rajan Sriskandarajah (the founder editor of sangam website). As 15 years had passed, I… Read more »

In Memoriam: Kurumbasiddy R. Kanagaratnam

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 23, 2016 The news that I read from the TamilNet about the death of Mr. Kurumbasiddy R. Kanagaratnam [] on June 22nd, saddened me. During my Peradeniya sojourn period (1977-1981), I had met this gentleman and was strongly influenced by his dedication to preserving the print documents which had been… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 36

Part 35 by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 18, 2016 Front Note by Sachi Uploading of the complete text of the first 32 chapters of series in the Research Gate site ( last February, under the title ‘Minimum Guarantee Ramachandran: A Life in Cinema and Politics’ has garnered 452 reads up to now. I appreciate the… Read more »

Muhammad Ali: The Man and His Message to Tamils

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 9, 2016 Boxing champion Muhammad Ali meant different things to different people – to Americans and non-Americans, to Blacks and non-Blacks, to sportsmen and non-sportsmen, to journalists and non-journalists, to Muslims and non-Muslims, to Vietnam war participants and Vietnam war opponents. There are no boxing champions among the Tamils. But,… Read more »

Quo Vadis Karunanidhi?

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 28, 2016 In the recently concluded 2016 general election to the Tamil Nadu State Assembly, the DMK party leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi (b. 1924) lost his chance to topple Jayalalitha (the AIADMK leader), his bete noire for the past quarter century. He will reach 92 in June 3rd. When 2021 comes… Read more »

Tamil Culture and Trade in the Past

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 25, 2016 Book Review: Tamil Trade and Cultural Exchange, by N. Parameswaran, self published, printed at The Print Shoppe, Duraisamy Naicken Street, Chennai, 2005, 170 pp. ISBN 0-646-44934-6.  Though this book was published in 2005, I review it after 11 years for Sangam site readers for two reasons. First, the… Read more »

Coverage of Prabhakaran in the ‘New York Times’

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 6, 2016 May 5, 1976 marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). As an unusual tribute to the genius of Prabhakaran, I made an attempt to scan, how many times Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954-2009) made it to the New York Times. This has not… Read more »