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Nanjil Nadan

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இந்தப் பக்கத்தை தமிழில் வாசிக்க: நாஞ்சில் நாடன்

Nanjil nadan3.jpg
Thaadagai Malai Adivarathil Oruvar

Nanjil Nadan (born December 31, 1947) is one of the important writers of modern Tamil literature. He has authored short stories, novels, poems and essays. He has been writing and giving speeches about Classical Literature. He has written about life at Nanjil Nadu. His writings, which are satirical and uses regional dialects, are well received by readers and critics alike.

Birth, Education

Nanjil Nadan receiving Sahitya Academy Award

Nanjil Nadan’s birth name is K. Subramaniam (G. Subramaniam Pillai). He was born on December 31, 1947 in Veeranarayanamangalam, Kanyakumari district to Ganapathiappillai and Saraswathi Ammal. Nanjil Nadan mentioned in an interview that his father was 'Orer Uzhavar’ (Orer Uzhavar is the name of a sangakala poet. It means a farmer who ploughs with only one ox). Ganapathiappillai used to lease land from the Brahmins living in Vadiveeswaram, Nagercoil and cultivate it. Nanjil Nadan was born with a sister and five brothers. He was the eldest of them all. Nanjil Nadan was adopted by his childless aunt (mother’s sister) at a young age and he grew up in a home in Vadiveeswaram. After his aunt had children of her own, he came back to Veeranarayanamangalam. He has always considered his aunt as his mother and her children as his own family.

Nanjil Nadan attended a government primary school in Veera Narayanamangalam from class I to V. He studied at Rachakkulam Government Middle School from class VI to class VIII and completed his schooling at Thalakudi Government High School. He received his Bachelor's degree (B.Sc. Mathematics) from S.T. Hindu College, South Travancore, Nagercoil. Historian A.K. Perumal and Professor Vedasagayakumar were his College friends. Nanjil Nadan received his Masters Degree (M.Sc. Mathematics) from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Thiruvananthapuram. During Nanjil Nadan's time studying at the Mahatma Gandhi college in Thiruvananthapuram, poet Nakulan worked as a lecturer in English at the neighbouring Mar Ivanios college.

Personal Life

Nanjil Nadan receiving Iyal Award
Nanjil Nadan with his wife and grandsons.

Even after completing his masters in mathematics, Nanjil Nadan couldn’t get a job for two years. Meanwhile he helped his father in agriculture. The landlord who had leased the land to them was in Mumbai. On his recommendation, he went to Mumbai and worked in the Mumbai District Collector's Office and in a private company. In 1973, he joined W.H. Brady in Bombay, which manufactures spare parts for weaving machines, as a helper and subsequently climbed his way as a Salesperson and later as a Sales Manager. In 1989, he was transferred to the Coimbatore branch as the Deputy Manager of Sales. He retired on 31st December 2005, as an Inventory Manager for the four states in the Southern Region. Post retirement, he temporarily ran his own company, Nanjil Agencies, as a sales agent for spare parts for weaving machines. He now lives in Coimbatore.

Nanjil Nadan was married to Sandhya (birth name - Bhagawathi) in 1979 at Tiruvanandapuram. His daughter S. Sangeetha is an Anesthesiologist (MD- Anaesthetist) and her husband R. Vivekanandan is an Orthopedician. Nanjil Nadan's son S. Ganesh works as a supervisor in a software company in Canada and is married to Srileka.

Literary Life


Nanjil Nadan, who was used to living around people, agricultural lands, rivers and village life in Nanjil Nadu, overcame his loneliness in Bombay with the help of Bombay Tamil Sangam. He got into the habit of reading books in its library. He started writing while working in Bombay Tamil Sangam as an unofficial editor. His first short story "Viradham"(fasting) was published in Na. Parthasarathy's Monthly Magazine, Deepam, in August 1975. This won the prize for 'Best Short Story’ from 'Ilakiya Sindhanai’, an organisation by P. Lakshmana Chettiyar and P. Chidambaram in Chennai. P. Lakshmana Chettiyar , who was on his way to Ahmedabad, met Nanjil Nadan in Bombay and handed him the cash prize of Rs 50/-. Kavignar Kalaikoothan and Writer Vannadasan encouraged him to write novels. His first novel, "Thalaikeezh Vigidhangal", was published in 1977 by Annam Publications. He maintained his friendship with A. Madhavan, Nagulan and Neela Padmanaban and had regular discussions with them. Nanjilnadan's novel Enpilathanai Veyilkayum was refined by Nagulan before getting published. Nanjil Nadan has mentioned that Sundara Ramaswamy’s review on the novel Thalaikeezh Vigidangal helped him to advance in literature more seriously. Nanjil Nadan's Ettuthikum Madhayaanai is a notable novel. This novel is set against the background of Mumbai Crime World.

Nanjil Nadan's Sahitya Award winning short story collection Soodiya Poo Sudarga has been translated into Malayalam and English.


Kumbamuni, a notable character in modern Tamil literature, appears in the story of Nanjil Nadan and plays a central role in many stories. (See Kumbamuni)

Classical Literature

Enkodi Chettiyar during his seventh grade, Mahadevan Pillai during his highschool, Professor Avvaiyar Azhagappan Ammaiyar during his college, and teachers like K.C. Daanu, Poet Arasu Arumugam, Dr. S. Subramaniam contributed to Nanjil Nadan’s inclination towards classical literature. When Raya Sokkalingam’s student and Kamba Ramayanam scholar R. Padmanaban was in Mumbai, Nanjil Nadan learnt Kamba Ramayanam lessons from him. Nanjil Nadan, who has taken Kamba Ramayanam study as a lifelong research, has authored many books on Kamba Ramayanam’s study and style including Amburathuli. He is also interested and trained in Sitrilakiyam. From 2012, he has taken Kamba Ramayana classes in 'Kaviya Mugaam’, which is organised in Guru Nitya Gurukul, Ooty every year by Vishnupuram Literary Circle. During the Corona period he started taking Kamba Ramayana classes on behalf of the Canada Literary Circle on the second Saturday of every month, which he continues to take even now.


Nanjil Nadan was asked to write an article for Kalachuvadu magazine by Writer Sundara Ramaswamy. On behalf of Kalachuvadu, Nanjil Nadan spoke at a conference in Nagercoil on the topic "Nanjil Naatu Vellalar vaazhkaiyil kaalam nigazhthiya maatrangal" (The changes that have taken place over time in the life of Nanjil Nadu’s Vellalars). This speech was published in the Kalachuvadu magazine as an article. Later it was published a book published by Kalachuvadu under the title " Nanjil Naatu Vellalar Vaazhkai - Kaalam Nigazhthiya Maatrangal (Life of Nanjil Nadu’s Vellalars - Changes over time). This novel is a precedent for ethnographic writing in Tamil.


Nanjil Nadan is now known as an orator of Kamba Ramayanam and Classical Literature.



  • 2002 - Nanjil Nadan’s novel Thalaikeezh Vigidangal was made into a movie named Solla Marandha Kathai.
  • 2013 - Nanjil Nadan was the scriptwriter for the movie Paradesi which was directed by Bala

Biographies, Magazines

  • 'Thadagai Malai Adivaarathil Oruvar’ is the Biography of Nanjil Nadan written by writer Jeyamohan.
  • Nanjil Nadan Special Issue - Padhaagai Online Magazine (Link)
  • The Siruvaani Vaasagar Maiyam in Coimbatore (Children Readers' Center) annually presents literary awards under the name Nanjil Nadan.

Literary Place

Nanjil Nadan Childhood Picture
Soodiya Poo Sudarga - English Translation
Soodiya Poo Sudarga - Malayalam Translation

Nanjil Nadan has a special place in Tamil Literature. For a long time, modern Tamil literature has had two traditions. Modernist novels which tell the story of an introspective and philosophical character, is one tradition. Writers such as Nakulan, Sundara Ramaswamy and A. Madhavan has followed this style of writing. Another tradition is portraying a village-based realistic life with subtle information. Hephzibah Jesudasan, Neela Padmanaban are writers who follow this tradition. Nanjil Nadan is the literary personality whose creations combined these two traditions. His characters have both existential issues and introspective journeys. His novel titles, such as Ettuthikkum Madhayaanai and Enbiladanai Veyilkaayum, have an existential hue. But the depiction of the outside world is localised, realistic, and dominated by folkloristic features. Nanjil Nadan's fictional journey consists of two time periods. The early stories majorly portrayed the opposition to exploitation and oppression, and ridiculed the falsehood nature of people. This time period can be defined as the humanitarian period. In the later period, the narrative and the depiction of life in Nanjil Nadan's stories became more philosophical. Folk deities also began to come in as characters in his stories. He began to follow a Metafiction writing style that was intertwined with traditional metaphors, folktales, and modern literary references. Nanjil Nadan has not written any novels in this genre. He continues to write in a way where the differences between a story and essay are in disarray.

The fictional world of Nanjil Nadan is set between Tamil’s ancient classical tradition and the folk tradition. It is set between modernist and realist writing. "Nanjil Nadan’s characters who are farmers belonging to higher caste with legacy, culture, familial pride; In the new spheres of time, they are struggling to see the earth slipping uncontrollably under the clutches of their plough. Nanjil Nadan writes about their struggles without any thrift in words" says Sundara Ramaswamy [1]. "The focus on hunger leads him toward humanity. He sees humans as hunger cursed beings. As sympathetic simple lives. So he forgives them endlessly. At the most he is a bit satirical and that's it. This humanity makes him more mature. He is able to attain earthly holism. This is the holism our grandmothers achieved in the kitchen by serving food." says Jeyamohan. [2]


  • 1975: Best Short Story of the Month - August , Viradham, Ilakiya Sindhanai, Chennai
  • 1977: Best Short Story of the Month - July , Vaai Kasandhadhu, Ilakiya Sindhanai, Chennai
  • 1979: Best Short Story of the Month - November , Murandu, Ilakiya Sindhanai, Chennai
  • 1986: Best Novel of the Year, Midhavai, Deiva Tamil Mandram Parisu, Mayiladudurai
  • 1986: Best Novel of the Year, Midhavai, Bombay Tamil Ezhuthalar Sangam, Bombay
  • 1993: Best Novel of the Year, (Sathuranga Kuthirai) Tamil Valarchithurai Virudhu by Tamil Nadu Government
  • 1993 - 1994: Best Novel of the Year, (Sathuranga Kuthirai), Kasthuri Srinivasan Arakattalai, Coimbatore
  • 1993: Best Novel of the Year, (Sathuranga Kuthirai) , Puthiya Paarvai - Neelamalai Tamil Sangam Parisu, Chennai
  • 1994: Best Short Story Collection, Peikottu, Lily Devasigamani Ilakkiya Parisu, Coimbatore
  • 1994: Best Short Story Collection, Peikottu, Tirupur Tamil Sangam
  • 1995: Deivangal Onaigal Aadugal Short Story, Velli Vizha Sirukathai Poti, Kolkata TamilMandram Parisu, Kolkata
  • 1999: Lifetime Literary Achievement Award, Amudhan Adigal Ilakiya Parisu
  • 2007: Nadhiyin Pizhaipandru Narumbunal Inmai, Ulaga Tamil Aasiriyar Ninaivu Parisu, Tamil Ilakiya Thottam, Canada.
  • 2009: Iyartamil Kalaignar Kalaimamani Virudhu by Tamil Nadu Iyal, Isai, Nadaga Mandram
  • 2009: Kannadasan Virudhu, Kannadasan Kazhagam, Coimbatore
  • 2010: Sahitya Academy Award, Soodiya Poo Sudarga Short Story Collection
  • 2012: Canada Ilakiya Thottathin Iyal Virudhu
  • 2022: Lifetime Achievement Award, Padaippu Media



  • Thalaikeezh Vigithangal (1977, 1983, 1996, 2001, 2008, Kaalachuvadu Publications)
  • Enbiladanai Veyil Kayum (1979, 1995, 2007, Pusthaga Digital Media)
  • Mamisapadaippu (1981, 1999, 2006, Vijaya Publications)
  • Midhavai (1986, 2002, 2008, Vijaya Publications, Natrinai Publishers)
  • Sathuranga Kuthirai (1993, 1995, 2006, Vijaya Publications)
  • Ettuthikkum Madhayaanai (1998, 1999, 2008)

Short Story Collection

  • Deivangal Aadugal Onaigal (1981)
  • Vaakku Porukkigal (1985)
  • Uppu (1990)
  • Pei Kottu (1994, 1996)
  • Prandhu (2002)
  • Soodiya Poo Sudarga (2007)
  • Khan Sahib (2010)
  • Tholkudi
  • Karangu
  • Ammai Parthirukiral

Poetry Collection

  • Manulli Paambu (2001)
  • Pachai Nayagi (2010)
  • Vazhukkupparai
  • Achamen Maanudava


  • Nanjil Nattu Vellalar Vazhkai (2003, 2004, 2008 - Kalachuvadu Publications)
  • Nanjendrum Amudhendrum Ondru (2003, 2008)
  • Nathiyin Pizhayandru Narumpunal Inmai (2006)
  • Kavalan Kaavaan Yenin (2008)
  • Theedhum Nandrum (2009)
  • Thigambaram (2010)
  • Kambanin Ambaraathuni (2014)



✅Finalised Page