Sujatha, one of the most versatile writers of contemporary Tamil literature, passed away in Appollo Hospital, Chennai on late Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 72. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
S. Rangarajan, who wrote under the pen name Sujatha, was known for his versatility in writing. He was the superstar among the world of present writers in Tamil. He had a way with words, whether it meant writing short stories, science fiction, plays, and pieces of writing on history or screenplay for films.
He played a significant role in taking information on trends in science and technology to the common man through his simple articles. An engineer, Sujatha was instrumental in designing and producing the Electronic Voting Machine, which was used first at the time of Padur by-elections (Kerala) successfully when he was working with Bharat Electronics.
His series and columns for Tamil weeklies such as Ananda Vikadan, Kumudam and Kalki were widely read and got him numerous fans in all age groups. He had drawn thousands of youngsters to Tamil literature with his modern and engaging style. He encouraged the young writers and even guided them to write in a proper way, which is a very rare phenomena in Tamil literature.
Born at Triplicane, Chennai, Sujatha had an exciting childhood at Srirangam, near Tiruchi, where he grew up under the care of his grandmother.
After his schooling at the Boys High School, Srirangam, he completed his bachelor's degree in physics at St Joseph's College, Tiruchi, where he and former president Abdul Kalam were classmates. He then did his engineering in electronics at the Madras Institute of Technology.
Many of his pieces reflected his academic background, especially those of the science fiction genre. All the same, his writing was very accessible to all kinds of readers especially adopted by most of the modern writers.
Sujatha was the only writer, who has a giant 90 feet cut out in Mount Road (Anna Salai) for two of his great novels Kanavu Thozhirsalai and Pirivom Sandhippom I&II, erected by Anada Vikadan Editor SS Balasumramaniyan.
In his career, he wrote more than 100 Novels and 200 short stories, 400 plus articles and 12 plays. He had a great interest in writing poems in his earlier days and later published a compilation of the same. Most of his colleagues called him as an 'all rounder' in Tamil.
Sujatha had started his film career with Rajinikanth-Jaishankar starrer Gayathri. It was the film based on his famous novel Gayathri. After this film, he had given his another famous novel Priya, the Rajinikanth starrer, became one of the most successful commercial cinema at that time. Karayellam Shenbagapoo, Ninaithale Inikkum, Poi Mugangal and Vanakkathukkuriya Kathaliye are some of the films based on his novels.
His famous novels Aryabatta, 24 Roopai Theevu, Anitha Ilam Manaivi and Nirwana Nagaram were taken as successful films in Kannada. In Telugu, veteran director Mouli taken his story Pathu Second Mutham, a novel based on an athlete in the name of Ashwini which was played by the renowned athlete Ashwini Nachappa.
He had written many film scripts exclusively for cinema and notable among, which was Kamal Hassan's Vikram. Later Sujatha became as a permanent script writer for Mani Rathnam and Shankar. Most of their films including Iruvar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Ayutha Azhuthu, Guru, Jeans, Muthalvan, Boys, Anniyan and the latest Blockbuster Shivaji were written by Sujatha only.
His latest ground works for Mani Rathnam's yet to be titled film, an Aishwarya-Abhishek starrer almost completed. Just a few days ago Sujatha handed over the completed script of Robot (That too based on his two novels En Iniya Iyanthira and Meendum Jeano), the never ever big project of Superstar Rajini, to director Shankar.
At that time, he told in lighter vein, "Shankar, I completed my work satisfactorily. Hereafter, there is no tension to me, even the film will become as my last one!"