Chennai: Veteran writer Ki Rajanarayanan, hailed as the grand old man of modern Tamil literature and winner of Sahitya Akademi award, died in Puducherry on Monday night. He was 98 and is survived by two sons.
Born in Idaiseval near Kovilpatti, Rajanarayanan popularly known as KiRa, moved to Puducherry in 1989 after his appointment as the professor of folklore of the Tamil Department of Pondicherry University.
He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores and essays. He has published over 30 books, his short story ‘Kidai’ was made into a Tamil film Orutthi in 2003 and was screened at the International Film Festival of India.
Chief Minister MK Stalin paid rich tribute and offered his condolences to the kin and readers of KiRa. “His fame will live in our hearts till the time of this land and the Karisal literature,” Stalin said in a statement.
He added that the writer will be laid to rest with full state honours. Leaders cutting across party lines have condoled the death of KiRa.
Ki Ra, the pioneer of the literary genre ‘Karisal Illakkiyam’ (the literature of the dry lands) and a master folklorist, once famously said, “I went to school only to take shelter from rain. Even then, I kept gazing at the rain”.