Gouthama neelambaran

Gouthama neelambaran
Eminent Journalist & Novelist rendering unprecedented service for more than forty years in Tamil literary world
                                                                                                                      - Dheepa Vijayasankar
Having born in a very orthodox & extremely poor Tamil Sivachariyar community, in a very small village down south near Virudhachalam, Gouthama neelambaran was gifted with provoking forward thoughts & spiritual thoughts. At the same time worried about the ignorance and character defects in the community. Like Buddha walked away his royal life to seek enlightenment, he Ran away from Home at the age of 13 to seek answers for his questions and reached chennai.
Continued his life for many years in the roadside platform and marina beach, hesitating to Beg, he took up odd & petty jobs to earn and push every day with rich poetic thoughts and vast thirst to seek knowledge.
With no basic education foundation, and yet due to his affinity towards Tamil Language, he spent his life seeking the knowledge on Tamil language by spending several days of time in District center libraries for book reading. Though he was not getting food for his body, he was constantly feeding food for his brain & mind, which was constantly asking for more, more & more.
He taught himself all the world Great History, Tamil history & Tamil Language, entered in to the printing press jobs first and then to journalism and continued his life from late 1960’s to till few years back as "Proof reader" and sub-editor roles in magazines.
His Guru is Eminent Tamil Novelist Thiru Na Parthasarathy fondly called as Na.Pa in literature field. He had started his journalist job in the magazine run by Thiru Na Parthasarathy. The magazine name is “Deepam”. His association with Na.Pa was the breaking point in his life and he learned the nuances of “Novel writing” from Na Pa. He proudly calls himself as a Disciple of “Na Pa”.
His contributions to Tamil literature started from 1970 with his first story published on Tamil daily Swadesmitran. The story name is "Buddharin Punnagai" (The smile of Buddha).
Subsequent days in his life was spent with meager income. Got married in 1975 to a sweet and humble lady Akilandeswari. She is from an even more orthodox family, but spent her entire life respecting her husband’s ideologies, which were completely opposite to the orthodox principles, sacrificing many customs that needs to be followed in a typical orthodox family. This had even resulted in broken relationship with many other family members and sort of isolating his family from the rest. Yet she continued to support him. She is a gem of a person, who was supporting him all along in their 40 years of married life.
Gouthama Neelambaran continued his contribution to Tamil literature, his fame was growing, but as usual the writer gets nothing in terms of remuneration. All those stories which were running to several hundred pages will yield just a few hundreds or thousands rarely.
He had worked in various famous Tamil Journals like Deepam, Idhayam Pesugiradhu, Gnana Bhoomi, Mayan, Ananda Vikatan, Kungumam, Muththaram and Kunguma Chimizh for over 40 years and retired. His work consists of more than hundred short stories, poems, articles, Historical Novels & Historical Plays which has been broadcasted in “All India Radio” and telecasted in Chennai Doordarshan TV Channel.
His works on Historical Novels has been well acclaimed by mass Tamil Literary readers in India & Abroad. Some of his significant works in Historical Novels are as follows,
Sethu Banthanam, Chozha Vengai, Raja Ganganam, Mohini Kottai, Vijaya Nandhini, Masidoniya Maaveeran, Nila Mutram. Driven by his interest toward “Gautama Buddha” he had penned down the detailed Life History of Buddha which was published in “Muththaram Tamil Weekly” as weekly episodes for nearly 3 ½ years. This work was later compiled & published as a book “BuddharPiran”.
Gouthama Neelambaran – From his Son Mr. Vijayashankar’s view
I remember my childhood days which were mostly spent in a slum, surrounded with filth and very unhygienic place, Till I completed my 12th standard. But inside my home it was like a temple & library filled with books, books & books. Those were all my father’s collections of valuable reference materials, very old books from 1950s all covering world histories and world literatures. In this temple, like a bright supreme light my father will sit on the floor and write his works, with no proper amenities like table/chair. He always writes on “one side” paper which he collects meticulously from the used and waste papers found in office, as he don’t have money to buy paper. He will write on the unprinted blank side of those junk papers!!! And all those junk papers get transformed in to poetically rich works and historical novels of my father and those were the source of income to our family. The stories that he had penned down in those junk papers are his master pieces and Epics to Tamil Literature.”
My father struggled a lot to give education to me. He always wanted to give the best to me till date. With whatever money he could get, he strived to put me in an English medium in a private school, though it’s a very small & less equipped school. His only aim and expectation on me is that I should complete a basic college degree and get English knowledge and learn type writing. He was planning to get a job to me in the English daily “The Hindu”. He was so worried that he couldn’t get English knowledge and proper education, which would have helped him to reach much greater heights in life.
During my college start, at the year of 1994, when I wanted to get in to computer field and wanted to join NIIT, the course fee was 28,000/-, my father’s monthly income was RS 1350/- He has no idea of that field and he trusted my decision. He used to tell that he will pledge himself and do whatever he can to make me enter that field, but told me that anytime I have to stop the course due to lack of money. I said ok and preferred the EMI option for that course… Just because of joining late by 1 day the course fee of 28,000 was revised to 38,750 in NIIT which was a shock to us. He managed to get 10,000/- as down payment and put me in the course, but no source of money to continue the next month EMI.
His greatest asset was his friends across the globe who always respected him and appreciated his contribution to Tamil literature. Through one such Good friend NcMohandoss (NCM) he got introduced to Mr Ramesh (S/o of Dr R Krishnamoorthy of “Dinamalar” management team, a popular Tamil Daily News paper) Dinamalar management had showered their love and respect to my father by giving continuous opportunities to write children stories, historical series novels in Dinamalar. These stories came in the Weekly Dinamalar supplemental editions like Siruvar Malar & Varamalar. My father wrote many children series stories and historical series stories. Those were his master pieces. Every month the cheque will come for that month stories to my father from Dinamalar in a “timely” manner and he will give cheque to me every month for my NIIT Payment. We had no hope for the stability of this income, but Dinamalar management had supported and encouraged my father to write continuously, which helped to meet my fees.
During the same time my father had also got in touch with a Malaysian Tamil Magazine name “Vanambadi”. Vanambadi management had also supported by publishing lot of my father’s work which provides an additional source of income to our family and spread my father’s name in international Tamil Population. During those days my father was working in “Kungumam publications” a leading Tamil weekly in sub editorial section and this job had also helped to get the monthly income without break. Without these crucial incomes for my father, I would be no one today and I would certainly have not reached my current stage and those were the days my fate and future were being written word by word by my father’s hard work.
I have to certainly thank a lot of such good persons, publications and magazines that had helped my Father and it would certainly mandate me to write a lengthy book of those incidents and experience.
I’m a very average student with little exposure to world and a very introvert person and I don’t even have 0.1% of the courage that my father had, to face life. With god’s grace, my father’s painful efforts and support through his friends I was able to complete my studies and start my career and come to this stage in my life.
His friends and his knowledge are the only greatest assets he had in this material world. Though my father was very poor in economy, he is a treasure when it comes to Knowledge, world history, Tamil culture, Tamil History, spiritual knowledge etc. There is no topic that he is not aware about history & literature in world. He would have gathered all those knowledge from multiple sources, books, articles and he will collate, summarize and narrate them in a very simple and easy manner to me. He will give another version, which is his views about it and it will be an extremely Radical thought that no one would have ever imagined.
Even from my age of 5, he is used to talk for several hours in a day about all the world history, literature and spiritual facts. He used to tell how I should not behave, how I should behave in every aspect of life. Seeing this everyone else used to say that I will not even remember a single line of it in my future and I will not be able to comprehend it. For that he used to say, that he is sowing seeds for the future and watering it, the result WILL come only in future, so he cannot stop watering it now.
He used to tell me at my age of 8 to read Khalil Gibrans work "The prophet", he had quoted multiple times about Khalil Gibrans poem on children which goes like "Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness"..
He will tell that is bringing me up like what was told by Khalil Gibran.....
I don't know who Khalil Gibran was at that age, and i learn about that great revolutionary Poet, painter, writer, philosopher, theologian from Lebanon during my age of 25 and i could recollect what my father told at my age of 8.
He used to tell that he wants to brought me up like a sculptor sculpting a beautiful statue.. Even the sculptorhas to hit the stone for sculpting, but my father had never hit me or scolded me ever. He sculpted me by speaking to me for hours, days, months and years from my childhood to shape me up. I clearly remember every one of those words and topics my father was sharing with me from my childhood and yes those were the words which helped to shape me up. I was an empty vessel and he poured his knowledge in to me.. Vessel has no value, the knowledge has infinite value!!!

My father had walked along with so many giants in the Tamil Literature industry and after his retirement from the journalist job, was recently holding a position in the Potramarai Trust – a noble trust which honors Tamil Literature and writers. This position was so close to his heart and he was actively participating in the events for the past few years.

He kept reading books till his last breath, my home is filled with books, which I don’t know how I am going to preserve. I learned the habit of book reading only from him. When I used to share about my interest in Physics, Einstein’s relativity, about Brian Greene’s elegant universe book etc, I was shocked to hear about the four fundamental forces from him. I know his un paralleled knowledge in literature, but I never expected him to know those topics in “science” which even I could understand only, several years after finishing my college. He was speaking to me for hours on time dilation, time warps, light year and explained about how the related truths are hidden in philosophy and preaching etc. That was the day I was stunned and speechless to know how vast his knowledge. My ego and perception about knowledge was destroyed and rewritten on that day. It was some time in year 2004.

Few golden rules that he taught me, which he followed as his principles….
• Never go with foolish/blind orthodox beliefs, at the same never be ignorant of your roots and culture. Trust in God for sure and don’t follow the blind beliefs, search for the truth diligently and God will help you to attain the truth.
• Respect everyone in life, elders, young ones, especially Women, poor peoples; people who are in low economic/prestige status in life. On this point, he had given me tons and tons of examples of how to respect.
• Help others always, in which ever small ways you can, if you don’t have the required money, at least give them guidance and show them the path, refer them to others who can help them in some way.
• Don’t hurt anyone badly, even unknowingly. Don’t hesitate to ask forgiveness if you have done such one my mistake...
• Be brave and be courage by virtue of your knowledge, try to learn the inner truths in any topics or areas of your interest.
• Never be arrogant or proud, be humble always.
• Love the life every moment, appreciate the inner beauty in everything/everyone, try to think poetically and artistically. He had also written one poem in Tamil which goes like “inside every ugly faced people, a beautiful soul is crying/longing for love”. He had also written a short story on this theme called “Manuda Dharisanam” which was cherished as the most elegant story by many readers, touching very intricate facts about humble souls in this world, who were perceived as ugly/foul people by others, just because of their external appearance.

Till his last breath, he lived a very simple and humble life. He won’t have any costly things/gadgets with him, he wears a very ordinary dress material, footwear which he only buys from the local shops for very low price and he always not allow me to buy good branded ones for him. But he always wants me to have good things in my life.