Monday, August 23, 2010

Tamil writers and Spirits

The idea for this post came to me when tasting Glen Fiddich for the first time. It felt profound, as does any thought while under the influence of alcohol.

First come the Beer writers - with lots of fizz, bubbly and gregarious. They are fun to have on a hot summer afternoon and don't tax you much. Kalki is the doyen of this kind of writers, like Kingfisher (I am sticking only to Indian beers). Then there are Rajeshkumars of the world, godawful but they sell a lot. Like Haywards 5000.

The IMFL (Indian made Foreigh Liquors) writers - pretending to be the real stuff, falling short and found out after repeated tasting. I put Balakumaran, Stella Bruce and others in this category.

The Toddy writers - Nanjil Nadan and Ki Rajaranayanan are my choices. They are honest and their earthly flavor leaves you wanting more.

The Blended Scotch whiskey writers - they are influenced and inspired by a variety of sources, but the final mix has their indelible stamp. Sujata makes this category his own.

The Single Malt writers - each one has a unique taste, and they aren't easy to like. They require the consumer to put in efforts to appreciate their quality. They are to be taken in small sips. Let their taste linger and engulf your being and they will take you to another level. I will put Pudumai Pithan, Thi Ja, La Sa Ra, Sundara Ramaswamy (his two novels and poems alone), Jeyamohan, Pa Singaram (he wrote one and a half novels, but that was enough for him to top this category).

Where does that leave my favorite writer Asoka Mithran? He is like the finest of vodkas, colorless, odorless, transparent but he pulls you into his orbit without you even recognising it. You start noticing the black humor, the irony, the satire - all done without any dazzle.

P.S. - I haven't included Charu Nivedita, S Ramakrishnan and many others as I haven't read much of their fiction. This is a list of those writers whom I have read.


Anonymous said...

Not related to this post Chen...U might be interested in this link


D.N.A. said...

A toast to the post! In my opinion has to be up there for it's ground breaking idea.

Comparing Haywards to Rajeshkumar is a little unfair to Haywards. A fizz-less soda would have been more appropriate.

frissko said...

Love the novelty of the idea!!...Although i don't know enough to critique your judgement..

But Haywards 5000 is good beer man...UB just made KF grow on everyone by enforcing it's omnipresence!...

Anonymous said...

asokamithran is gin -- clear and even perversely drinkable for adolescents, but smelly and nauseating for grown ups. ahem!

puthumaipiththan is only scotch on his bad i.e. sentimental days, like those horrible stories about widows writhing with lust. on his good days, he is black tea with bacardi, satisfyingly bitter with subtle kick.

ambai is is a bloody mary with absolut peppar, kind of homey and familiar yet makign the tongue bristle.

bharatiar is mango margaritas, embarassingly delicious though we pretend only girls like that sort of thing.

Chenthil said...

Thanks Ashok. I knew of Dr. Jayabarathan through Thinnai website. I used to copy tamil classics text from but they have closed now.

DNA - Cheers. To each his own. Having drunk nothing but Haywards 5000 for three years I am biased against it.

Frissko - There is no hard and fast rule. Whom I think of as Single Malt might be IMFL for some one else. But the idea has potential. Beer and IMFL drinkers laugh at Snobbish Single Malt drinkers while the single malt ones look down at others condescendigly. Such Fun.

Anon - We differ on AM. Nauseating for adults? That is unfair to him.

You are spot on with Ambai, bloody mary she is. I haven't drunk much of rum, so stuck to the drinks I have had.

Bharathi IS delicious. You are a man/woman after my own tastes. This idea can be developed into a full fledged catalogue of cocktails.

N Kalyan Raman said...

This may interest you:

swami said...

No jayakanthan?

Vettipullai said...

Never ever thought someone would be able to blend in booze with books... and I stumbled upon this site and Me liking..... Have bookmarked it and will venture in more... Grand post.. keep it up dude...

Anonymous said...

What a way to compare! Nevertheless, I couldn't but agree with most of it.

Yegammai Subramanian