(Last Updated on : 02-02-2013)
V.V.S. Iyer, also known as V.V.S. Aiyar, was a prominent author and an Indian freedom fighter from Tamil Nadu
. He is regarded as the father of modern Tamil
short story. V.V.S. Iyer also translated Tirukkural
and Ramavatharam by Kambar into English. He was also the teacher of Vanchinathan and a close friend to the Tamil poet Cuppiramaniya Paratiyar. He played an active role in the militant struggle for Indian independence. Later Iyer went into exile in Puducherry
, when a warrant was issued for his arrest from the British colonial government for his revolutionary activities. V.V.S. Iyer provided great contributions to Tamil literature
in the middle of his political struggles for independence of the nation.
Early Life of V.V.S. Iyer
V.V.S. Iyer was born as Varahaneri Venkatesa Subramaniam Iyer on April 2, 1881, in a Brahmin family in the region of Varahaneri in Tiruchi. He completed his graduation with B.A in History, Politics and Latin from St. Joseph's College. Iyer studied Law profession and passed the Pleader examination from the University of Madras
in the year 1902. Later he practiced as a Junior Lawyer or Pleader in the District courts of Tiruchi. In 1907, V.V.S. Iyer went to London and got admitted to Lincoln's Inn in order to become a Barrister at Law. He met with Indian revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
at the India House in London. It was after this time he became an activist in the Indian freedom struggle.
Literary Works of V.V.S. Iyer
V.V.S. Iyer or Varahaneri Venkatesa Subramaniam Iyer wanted to expand the body of works in the genre short story in Tamil literature following the tradition established by western short story writers. Iyer was amongst the foremost Tamil writers to compose excellent short stories giving adequate notice to form, which is of supreme significance. The various short stories written by V.V.S. Iyer are compiled and collected in the anthology titled Mahkaiyarkkaraciyin Katal Mutaliya Kataikal.
One of the popular short stories named Kujattankarai Aracamaram Conna Katai included in the collection portrays the grave miscalculation of a woman who commits suicide on meagre mistrust and doubt that her husband will leave her in order to live with another woman. This tragic story is described in a manner that will give rise to feelings of sympathy and pity in the hearts of readers. The renowned Tamil short story writer has also translated one of the short stories composed by Rabindranath Tagore
in Bengali into Tamil, titled Kapulivala.
The type of short stories that were written in Tamil prior to the advent of V.V.S. Iyer could not be considered as short stories in the proper sense of the word. These works rather resembled works of a biographical narration with an amusing ending. But Iyer incorporated various aspects into his short stories and he projected a facet of life, an incident, a human quality, an idea, an emotion, any side of a problem with insight and perspicuity through his works. Thus V.V.S. Iyer (Varahaneri Venkatesa Subramaniam Iyer) was indeed the father of modern short story in Tamil literature.