Times of India, 16.10.16



Choosing a name is like recreating a personality, as it does away with caste and religious identities, feels writer Charu Nivedita (real name Arivazhagan). Though adopted out of necessity -being a government clerk – the fictional name was a reflection of his writing. “I adopted the name of Nivedita from Swami Vivekananda’s disciple Sister Nivedita, as I was writing spiritual articles for a magazine as a teenager. The other part of my name was in remembrance of the communist revolutionary Charu Majumdar. The pseudonym stands for the rebel character and my spiritual inclination,“ says the 63-year-old who also wrote as Munniyandi to publish novels dealing with sexuality and incest.

In the years that he worked at the postal department in Chennai, the author had been reprimanded for pursuing his creative ambitions, denied increment and forced to resign in 2001. His experience of the oppressive nature of bureaucracy was documented in his book `Rasa Leela’. The author was inspired to take a female name from the renowned writer Sujatha, also a government staffer who used his wife’s name. He feels stringent bureaucracy is a reflection of society . “Tamil psyche is a bit conservative and this shows in all aspects of life.“