Distinguished Thamizh poet, writer and speaker, Soundra Kailasam passed away in the age of 83 on October 16.
She was the grand daughter of Rathna Sabapathi of Pudupalayam, a noted philanthropist who donated generously to the Tiruchengode Gandhi Ashram founded by Rajaji at Pudupalayam. She was the wife of retired judge of the Supreme Court, P. S. Kailasam.
Married at the very young age of 15, her formal education was up to the 9th standard but that hardly stood in the way of attaining high honours right through her life, including being a member of the Senate of the Madras University, Annamalai University and the Thanjavur Tamil Varsity.
She was also a member of the State Backward Classes Commission. Among other positions were as member of the Hindu Religious Endowments Dept, Chennai and a patron of the Madras Tamil Students Association for several years.
Kailasam’s forte was in Thamizh oratory and this was at a time when few women came forward to give public speeches in the state. Her ability to combine poetry and prose gave insights into worldly issues and even while at college she gave lectures at college campuses.
She took part in several poets’ meets and seminars conducted by the Government of Tamil Nadu and All India Radio. She traveled to several nations including Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius to participate in Thamizh literary and spiritual functions. At Sri Lanka in 1988 she addressed an Islamic Students conference on the invitation of the Ministry of Muslim Religion and Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka.
As a poet she has published many books, 4 volumes of essays and a book of short stories. She was awarded the Asan Prize for Poetry in 1989 for the poetry collection, “Soundra Kailasam Kathaigal”.
Kailasam had won many awards in recognition of her literary work and community service.
She leaves behind three daughters, Dr. Vimala Ramalingam, paediatrician, Nalini Chidambaram, senior advocate and wife of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Padmini Sivasubramanian, agriculturist and a son, Dr. Sadayavel Kailasan, orthopaedic surgeon.
She lived at 24, Kasturi Rangan Road, Alwarpet. Ph: 2499 2527.
Kausalya Arvindaksham, a two decade long resident of 3rd Street, Abhiramapuram passed away on September 26 after a brave battle against cancer.
She was a familiar sight at all the Mylapore kutcheris and at the Kapaleeswarar temple where everyone knew her.
Despite her illness, she managed to attend the Warren Road Pillaiyar Koil kutcheris during the Vinayaka Chathurti celebrations,
The 48 year old Kausalya bounced back after her first bout of cancer in 2004 and could be seen buzzing around Mylapore on her Honda Activa.
Such was her energy those days that her family nicknamed her Toofan Express. At the Adyar Cancer Institute where she first underwent treatment, her cheerful demeanour was a source of inspiration for other patients and that assisted many of them to face and fight the disease, her family said.
Unfortunately she could not recover after cancer attacked her again earlier this year.
Apart from a legion of friends, relatives and well wishers she is mourned by her three children, Pavitra, a final year MBA student at VIT, Sudarshan, a second year student at Vivekananda College and Sharngam, a 12th std. student at P S Senior School. The family can be contacted at 2499 6820.
G. Ramanathan passed away at his residence on Fourth Trust Cross Street, Mandavelipakkam on Oct 9 at the age of 65 after a brief illness.
He studied at P. S. High School, Mylapore and graduated from Vivekananda College, Mylapore.
He worked for Indian Overseas Bank for about 33 years and opted for voluntary
retirement in 2001. He worked in various capacities in IOB at Ahmedabad, Rajkot,
Madras, New Delhi, Kannur and in various places in Kerala and also as Chief Officer
in the Govt.Accounts Dept at the Central Office.
He was a man of varied interests – ranging from books to sports and travel.
He had a very special attachment for his Bullet motorbike, which he considered to be a prized possession, his family said.
He was a long time resident of Mandavelipakkam. He was a life member of Kalyana
Nagar Association and Humor Club – Triplicane Chapter.
His family can be contacted at 2495 7471 / 2462 0952.