R. Mahadevan (மஹாதேவன்) was a well known Tamil writer, and Devan (தேவன்) was his pen name. He lived in the early 20th century (1913-1957) and served as an editor in the Tamil weekly ‘Anantha Vikatan’ (ஆனந்த விகடன்). He had written many fictions and essays during this tenure, and some of them include ‘Thuppariyum sambu’ (துப்பறியும் சாம்பு), Miss janaki (மிஸ் ஜானகி), CID Chandru (சி.ஐ.டி சந்துரு), Rajathin manoratham (ராஜத்தின் மனோரதம்), Rajamani (ராஜாமணி), Mythili (மைதிலி), and Mr Vedanthan (மிஸ்டர் வேதாந்தம்) to name a few. His writing was very popular and laced with humor, mostly clean and situational. The characters in his stories were down to earth with the flaws and idiosyncrasies that we often find in people. Devan presented the characters, even the negative ones, in the most endearing manner.
My father had a collection of Devan’s books, which I enjoyed reading during the school holidays. In the recently held Chennai book fair, I came across some of Devan’s titles by the publisher, Alliance Company and promptly bought them. I had a good time reading these books, especially Miss Janaki, my all time favorite. Present day younger generation is not predisposed to reading, more so in the native languages. I believe, good Tamil books such as these, may help inculcate reading habit in Tamil speaking youngsters.
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