Ramaswamy, Sundara (1931–2005) By Venkatachalapathy, A.R.
Sundara Ramaswamy spent his early boyhood in Kottayam, Kerala. After his family’s return to Nagercoil in 1939 he lived there until his death. Nagercoil is at the cultural intersection of Tamilnadu and Kerala. This bilingual milieu is central to his writing, and he is one of the few Indian writers who are widely regarded in two linguistic cultures as their own.
Sundara Ramaswamy grew up ‘half-knowing’ Malayalam, Sanskrit, and English. An attack of juvenile arthritis saw him barely reach school final. He did not learn Tamil until he was 18. Sundara Ramaswamy was introduced to most Malayalam writers ‘at the first signs of the dawn of modernism in Malayalam literature’.