Ananda Vikatan is considered as the pioneer of Tamil Magazines and read by people of all ages. Being an ardent and regular reader of Vikatan for years, I would love to pen down my experiences with Vikatan now and then. I loved reading from cover to cover without missing a single word. When I was in college, I used to purchase on the day of its issue and read it fully before my roomies. I have regretted for not being in the age when great writers like Jeyakanthan, Sujatha, Kalki and all were budding writers in Vikatan. If I know about these authors and their works, it’s Vikatan that introduced them to me. I became a gr8 fan of Sujatha only through Vikatan. I loved his aticles (esp Katradhum Petradhum) without which I felt Viktan is incomplete. I considered its Film reviews very genuine and watch films according to the marks given by Vikatan team. Poems of Vairamuthu (Kallikkaattu Idhigaasam and Karuvaachi Kaaviyam) and Vaali (Avadhara Purushan, Pandavar Bhoomi) are classics. I cannot forget Thabu Shankar’s romantic poems too. I was very much eager to become a Student Journalist in Vikatan. Unfortunately, the wish didnt become true. Vikatan maintained a classic dignity and a higher standard than its counterpart Kumudham (I never consider the trash Kungumam nor compare it with Vikatan). If I write or something or know something about writing, it’s only because of Vikatan. I have only one friend Sathya (Coincidentally today is his B’day) with whom I share about the Vikatan articles (apart from my mom). I never missed R.Parthiban’s “Chummaa“, Prakash Raj’s “Solladhadhum Unmai“, Bala’s “Ivandhan Bala“, Selvaraghavan’s “Kana Kaanum Kalangal“, Cheran’s “Touring Talkies“. I got a gr8 chance to read my contemporary writer S.Ramakrishnan’s amazing articles “Thunai Ezhuthu” and “Kadha Vilasam“. Since I was in Kolkata, where Tamil magazines are very rare, I missed many episodes of his “Desaandhiri” and Chezhiyan’s “Ulaga Cinema“. I have to buy the whole books from Vikatan Prasuram
But nowadays Vikatan loses its standard every week. Especially after the sad demise of Sujatha for whom Vikatan was selling like a hot cake. Even after his death, it published some of his old stories and essays. Madhan’s Q&A part (Hi Madhan) is no way different from Kumudham‘s “Arasu Badhilgal“. The reviews are biased and the marks given to some crap movies are not at all deserved. Vikatan became more commercial after it changes its size from small to big. Only the size and prize became big but the substance got degraded. It started concentrating more on glamour, glitz, advertisements. After the launch of Vikatan Talkies, it started promoting its home production movies like Shiva Manasula Shakthi and Valmiki like Sun Pictures’ Film promotion in Sun Network.
I have never seen any glamourous stills of heroines on the cover of Vikatan. I was shocked to see Rakhi Sawant on the Front Cover recently. The morphing of Actress Sneha’s photo in a Bikini outfit is the most sleaziest thing in VIkatan so far. Lot of advts, uninteresting stories by amateur writers, improper movie reviews, cheap gossips, etc. make me hate Vikatan. Many stopped buying it not only for its high prize but also for its low standard. All the masala stuff we get more sleazier in Kumudham for just Rs.10. No need to spend Rs.15. The 3 things that make me buy Vikatan are “Pokkisham Vikatan” (Few pages of Vikatan’s past issues), Oru Kanavin Isai (Biography of A.R Rahman) and S.Ramakrishnan’s Siridhu Velicham. I liked the recent article “Ennai Sedhukkiya 7 Natkal” but it’s missing now.
Charu Niveditha’s interview in this week’s issue (dated 23.09.2009) made me write this post. Yuck Charu! It made me compare Sujatha’s writings to Bhagyaraj movies and Charu’s to SJ Surya/Simbhu Movies.
What happened to you Mr.Vikatan? It’s not your cup of tea. Why are you struggling like an Art House director who makes masala movies with Item numbers just for not getting loss. You have almost lost many of your die-hard readers and the name earned by your previous generation. Gnani has already shifted his O Pakkangal to Kumudham. Please dont let S.Ramakrishnan also go. Grab him as he’s the key writer now (Like Sujatha was). You will lose more if you continue this. I wish you to go back to your previous form and maintain the Class. It’s a humble request from an ardent reader.
P.S: It’s the time for Vikatan Deepavali Malar. I’m gonna buy this year as I missed the last 3 yrs. I hope it would be having a Sujatha’s article or an article on Sujatha, Kamalhaasan- 50. I also expect some of my other fav writers works in 2009 Issue. Let’s see whether it’s upto my expectation.