Monday's post about Surender Mohan Pathak's The Sixty-Five Lakh Heist led to a nice note from Rakesh Khanna of Blaft Publications about a truly prolific author.
Rajesh Kumar is said to have written more than 1,500 short novels and 2,000 stories. Here are some snippets from an article about “the superstar of the Tamil pulp fiction industry”:
"The classic Tamil pulp novel runs between 100 pages and 150 pages and is printed on cheap paper as a monthly magazine. ... The flavours of this genre are uniformly sensational but otherwise eclectic. They can include the science-fiction thrillers—more fiction than science—of Kumar, the romances of Ramani Chandran, the detective knockabouts of Pattukottai Prabhakar and Suba, the religious tales of Indira Soundara Rajan and the social dramas of Pushpa Thangadorai.And, perhaps most interesting:
“`But many authors have, of late, shifted to writing for films and television,' Kumar says. `Not me, though. I’m allergic to cinema, and I don’t want to move to Chennai. Plus, I find these movie producers highly immoral people.'”
"For those treading water financially, a teashop will even act as an informal lending library, charging Rs2 to take a book home for a day or two.Imagine that: Popular books at affordable prices in handy formats where readers can find them. Radical!
"It is heartening that people who cannot afford a Rs15 novel are still willing to put down Rs2 to read, and Kumar takes no little pride in that fact. `It was us writers who made sure that there were books hanging from shop ceilings instead of shampoo sachets,' he says. We led people to read, he preens ..."
© Peter Rozovsky 2010