Good Old Days - 3
From the world of tamil comics I moved on to Tamil Novels. Tamil Novels became a part of my life. I Started reading Tamil Novels with Rani Muthu. I used to borrow this book from one of my neighbour. There used to be a lot of stories by Sujatha then. Ganesh and Vasanth used to be the heroes. And then my dad joined adyar district libraries and he brought Sankarlal stories by Tamilvanan. The name of the Novels used to be Hong Kongil Sankarlal. Thailandil Sankar lal. I remember Sankarlal used to drink lot off "Thenir". I became a fan of Tamilvanan, Sankarlal and Thenir.
And then opened another door to the world of Tamil Novels. My dad brought Ularatha Ratham by Rajesh Kumar (My dad never used to read these books). The plot is a haunting bungalow rented by a new family. I couldnt put the book down. Rajesh Kumar replaced Tamilvanan from my mind. I started searching for Rajesh kumar books like anything and started reading. This led me to Suba (Suresh, Bala) and Patukottai Prabhakar (PKP). Those days all that was in my mind was Vivek, Rubala, GokulNath from Rajesh Kumars, Naren, Vaij, John Sundar, Dass from Suba and Bharath, suseela from PKP. Vaij and Suseela occupied the mind more than those days tamil heroines.
Coimbatore and Ooty used to feature in most of Rajesh kumars novels. The design of the covers of these novels used to be a favorite topic among the readers.
My thirst for these was novels were quenched by my dad bringing books from library and another neighbour of mine who had a huge collection of Crime novel (Only Rajesh Kumar), Ungal Junior (Aathma Suba and PKP), Super Novel (Only Suba) and there was another seperate novel for PKP (I forgot the name).
In Crime novel published by a person named Asokan there used to be coimbatoorilirundu trunkal where the author Rajesh kumar speaks to the audience. He used to reveal the name of his next novel in this section.
Ungal Junior used to have a funny cartoon character called Aathma whose only job is to drool over girls.
I used to read those books in my bed, toilet, train, bus, while eating, while listening to radio, while watching tv. I couldnt live without them. Then I joined a local lending library which had a huge collection of these novels. I used to read Malaimathi from Kumudam publishers as well. Tamil novels, tamil novels, tamil novels that was all that was there in my mind.
Whenever i used to travel by train to my native i used to buy some novel. Though I never read them as gazing out of the trains window used to interest me more than reading books.
When I used to be a at my native place I started buying second hand tamil novels.
There were also other crime authors like Rajendra kumar, Saruprabha sundar, Pushpa thangadurai. Rajendra kumars Aavi Raajiyam came as sequels as well. Though I was not an avid fan of these authors I used to read theirs as well.
I used to look at those reading thick english fiction and used to wonder when you get so much in your mother tongue why bother about books in foreign language. Then one day all changed.