Monday, February 3, 2014
They were all there, in name. Except two, all the others were well known to readers of Tamizh literature. The exceptions were a Bharat Ratna whose funeral in December 2013 was attended by the heads of 89 countries - chances are anyone who can read any language knows him - and the other has been credited with bringing the reading habit back to millions of children around the world. The others were Va Suba Manikkanar, Maa Rasa Manikkar, Kavingar Vaali, Tamizhvaanan, Ma Po Si and Mu Mu Ismail.
Madiba was the only (real-life) non-Tamizh-literary person to have a lane named after him at the recently concluded Chennai Book Fair. Harry Potter was the only fictional character to have a similar honour. Books can transport you in to imaginary lands; but they are not the only ones. Book fairs can also get you to walk along lanes that mostly do not exist anywhere but in the imagination!