Irony, sarcasm and Jayakanthan

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Jayakanthan Cartoon

Most people in Tamilnadu, must have never heard of Tamil writer Jayakanthan. But the one who knows him very well can identify his unique persona of irony and sarcasm among all other Tamil writers.

Though I have not read his books (which I will do soon), I have seen his documentary on Youtube. I must say, only that documentary videos slowly pulled me on to Tamil Literature.

Here, let me share some of the sarcastic comments from Jayakanthan, which I read recently.

Apart from writing books, Jayakanthan has also directed three notable Tamil films in his life. On one such event of composing background music for a film, Jayakanthan asked the music composer to include birds song on a certain scene. The music composer got puzzled and asked, “I see no birds on this scene, then why do you ask to include birds song in it?”. Jayakanthan replied, “You have used Violin for the background score, but did you see any Violin in the film?”.


The other sarcastic moment is when, an acclaimed Tamil film actor (I don’t know who is it), shaved his head completely to act in a certain play. The following week Tamil weekly magazines praised the actors dedication and affection towards the drama industry, in an era where people shifted to watch movies than plays. This came into the ears of Jayakanthan, which made him to write an article questioning everyone, “Yes, I see a great dedication in the actor, but I am wondering if he was offered to play a Muslim character will he do a sunnath too?”.

Jayakantha characteristic is child like, which is why his reply flashes harsh on foolish assumptions.

After directing three films, he gave up direction. When asked Why? He replied, “I know World Cinema, but I do not know Cinema’s World!”.

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