Interviewed  by M Bhaskar Sai, News Today, May 17, 2008
Charu Nivedita. For those with an ear (and heart) to the Tamil literary world, the name is both famous and infamous, depending upon the perspective.Tamil literary aficionados are not sure whether Charu, as he is generally called, is an avant garde post-modernist writer or merely an enfant terrible literary poser.
But make no mistake, Charu elicits extreme emotions. His words and ideas `raw and laced with brutal honesty ‘ are something that the coy Tamil literary world has hardly seen.Charu courts controversies not just as a writer, but also as a person. Literary meets involving him have ended in fisticuffs.Charu, to be fair to him, doesn’t hold anything back. There are no holy cows for him. There are no shibboleths for him. And that is why his words carry an extra force, and that is why he has a tendency to get under people’s skin. Charu’s writings frequently exhibit his dissatisfied subaltern lifestyle.Surrounded by an image that he is tough and aggressive, he often writes about sex and some baser instincts of human beings more with fervour than with feeling.

In person, Charu, however, exudes a charm and grace that you will not credit him if you were acquainted him only through his writings.

In a recent interview to News Today, the fair, handsome and brawny writer opened his heart about many things.


How will you describe the Tamil literary world?

To be frank, there are no takers for serious writings these days. Not alone writers, but the number of readers too are shrinking. At a time when we are celebrities in nearby Kerala, many in Tamilnadu can’t even recognise our names, not to talk about our faces. But I can find at least 15 good writers whose works are of world class.

How do you rate yourself?

Certainly I am one of the 15. I can say that my works can be understood by laymen whereas the writings of some people are not so. To put it simple, I can compare myself with film director Shankar, whose movies are straight, simple and massive as well.

But why this enmity and mudslinging among writers?

We have no personal reasons to fight for. It is nothing but a heated debate of ideologies. Though Jeyamohan and myself are in opposite camps when it comes to opinions, we never took the conflict to personal levels. After all, we are colleagues and not born-enemies.

Why are you and your works always controversial?

I am a mirror. And I just reflect things. What you see in me is your own face. Everything I write and speak is what I see and feel in my life.

Do you accept the allegation there is an overdose of sex in your works?

Yes. I write sex. But I pen it without crossing the limit. Sex in my writings is like bedroom in a house. It’s just a part. Nothing more than that.

About blogs and other online writings…

I too run a website charuonline.com, which is popular among Tamil readers all over the world. It is nothing but an extension of paperwork, a boon of technology and a medium to reach manifold audience.

How do you think that the urge for reading could be developed among people?

The government, which is striving hard for the cause of cinema, can also do its bit to promote writings. It should come forward to conduct periodical meetings with writers in educational institutions. Also, media should spread an interest for reading. No English paper here is encouraging Tamil writer. News Today is the first daily to approach me for an interview. It is high time that a widespread awareness is created. And it should be inculcated in a way to make people feel reading as a worthy entertainment.

Your colleagues like S Ramakrishnan and Jeyamohan have entered into film world as dialogue writers. Do you have any such plans?

Yes. Many filmmakers from Malayalam industry are inviting me to contribute to their films. If everything goes right, you can see my name in the titles of some Malluwood flicks.