wiki:Kalki

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Kalki (1899-1954)

Pen name of the noted Tamil novelist R. Krishnamurthy. Left school to join Gandhi’s non-co-operation agitations (1921) and was jailed several times by the British. Journalist for Navashakti, then for the famous Ananda Vikatan owned by S.S. Vasan, where he published some of his best-known stories. Scripted K. Subramanyam’s seminal Thyagabhoomi (1939), simultaneously publishing a novelised version in Ananda Vikatan with stills of the film and a racy text about ‘a thwarted woman dishing it back to her husband in later years’ (C.S. Lakshmi, 1984). His many contributions to the journal and to his own periodical, Kalki, are mainly reformist stories and Walter Scott-type historicals, largely determining the iconography of Gemini’s historicals. Apparently, M.S. Subbulakshmi used her earnings from Savithri (1941) to finance Kalki. Several of his novels were filmed, e.g. Kalvanin Kadhali (1955), Ponvayal (1954) and Parthiban Kanavu (1960). As a popular lyricist, he wrote songs for M.S. Subbulakshmi in Duncan’s Meera (1945), including the song Katrinile varum geetham. Together with writers of the famous Manikodi group (e.g. B.S. Ramaiah) and with director K. Subramanyam, Kalki is one of the pro-Congress film people in the pre-DMK Film period to call for a more responsible attitude to film and to draw attention to the medium’s political potential. His reviews of early Tamil films are collected in his book Kalaichelvam (1956).

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