He was born in Cuddalore in a Shaiva Pillai family. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tirunelveli Hindu College. In the year 1931he married Kamala and moved to the city of Chennai. His first composition was an essay "Gulabjaan Kaadhal" (Love for Gulab jamun) that was published in the magazine Gandhi. His first short story was "Aatrangarai Pillaiyaar" was published in 1934 in "Manikodi". His short stories appeared in several magazines like Kalaimakal, Jothi, Sudantira Chanku, Oozhiyan and Thamizh Mani and the annual issue of Dina Mani. He also worked as a sub editor at Oozhiyan and later at Dina Mani. Then he joined Dinasari. In 1940, his book "Pudhumaipithan Kadhaigal was published.
He also worked as a script writer in the films Avvaiyaar and Kaamavalli. He died on 5 May 1948 at Thiruvananthapuram. He wrote about hundred short stories, about hundred essays on various themes, fifteen poems, few plays and several book reviews. He wrote on new subjects and portrayed characters that were new to Tamil fiction.
Works of C. Viruthachalam
He is known for his short stories. Most of his short stories were published in magazines like Manikodi, Kalaimakal, Jothi, Sudantira Chanku, Oozhiyan, Thamizh Mani, Dina mani, Dina Sari and Nandan. Some have been posthumously published.
He translated several literary works into Tamil language. He translated 50 short stories that include the works of Moliere, Kay Boyle, Maxim Gorky, Sinclair Lewis, Ernst Toller, William Shakespeare, E. M. Delafield, William Saroyan, E. V. Lucas, Moshe Smilansky, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bret Harte, John Galsworthy, Aleksandr Kuprin, Anton Chekhov and many others.
Thiru Angila arasanga thondaradipodi azhwar vaibhavam was his first published poem. These fifteen poems were published posthumously in 1954. His poems are also witty and filled with elements of satire. Moonavarunasalamae is a well known poem composed by him.
He has also written on politics that includes Fascist Jatamuni, Gapchip Durbar, Stalinukku Theriyum and Adhikaram yarukku . These books reveal that he supported the policies of Stalin. He was the first Tamil writer to use a dialect of Tamil successfully. His characters spoke the Tirunelveli dialect. His used a mixture of colloquial and classical words. He used satire effectively while writing on complicated and serious situations.