He stood for freshness. He kept reinventing his choice of words. His narrative style was always breezy.
When many writers of his generation were trying to dazzle us with their prose, his style was almost conversational. He cut down needless sentiments like குபுக்கென்று அழுதான் (the exact words used by Ra. Ki. Rangarajan in yesterday's meeting).
He constantly engaged the reader - pointing out a new poet, latest developments in technology, a rare bengali movie, explaining classical tamil literature. His interests became the interests of his readers there by expanding their horizons.
He was an idol to many a young person. Anybody who could turn a phrase liked to think of himself as a writer. But our social set up doesn't allow some one to try and be a full time writer. Hence the would be writer decides to have a day job and write in his spare time (which invariably is not spare). He wishes to succeed in his day job as well as writing. And the towering example of such a succesful multi faceted personality was Sujatha.
He was a writer who knew his limitations and worked within it.
Every reader of his felt that Sujatha was talking to him and only to him. That kind of empathy with the readers is very rare to find.
If one phrase could define him it would be mass influencer. He was given a platform by the main stream tamil media for almost 40 years, and he used it judiciously. The crowded auditorium full of his fans on a Sunday afternoon was proof of the impact he had on Tamilnadu.
I was there for the first one hour of his condolence meeting. I accept that you should not talk ill of the dead. But that doesn't mean you have to be so cloying to the point of making the audience wonder what would Sujatha have thought about his condolence meeting. Calling him the greatest modern prose writer in Tamil after Bharathi was stretching the limit too far. The man himself probably would have said "இப்படியெல்லாம் பேசுவார்கள் என்று முன்னமே தெரிந்திருந்தால் நான் செத்திருக்க மாட்டேன்”.