No other regional variation of Tamil language has been subjected to as much ridicule as Madras Tamil ” a dialect with inflections that make it sound rude, while it's actually intimate.Late thinker-comedian N.S. Krishnan would have the audience of â€˜Kindanar Charithiram in stitches whenever he mimicked rickshaw pullers vying with one another to get a customer.Critics of Madras Tamil, probably, missed the other side of tharmamiku Chennai (the city filled with values of dharma), as described by Ramalinga Vallalar, the author of Thirvarutpa, a spiritual work in praise of the grace of god.The city has been a citadel of Tamil scholars, especially in places like Choolai, Egmore, Thambu Chetty Street, Lingi Chetti Street and areas around Pachiyappa's School, in what was then known as the old black town.Vallalar lived in Chennai for 33 years on Veerasami Pillai Street in Seven Wells. He moved here with his family from south Arcot district to eke out a livelihood, after his father died.
He penned the bulk of his work while living here and left for Vadalur after he was disillusioned with thettiley mikuntha Chennai(a city filled with vices).Now researchers have secured photographs of Vallalar's disciples who were instrumental in publishing Thiruvarutpa. P. Kamalakannan, a retired government employee, and a researcher on siddhars, has succeeded in collecting the photos of Irukkam Rathina Mudaliar, Sivanandapuram Selvaraya Mudaliar and Puduvai Royal Hotel Velu Mudaliar. Kikiti Somasundaram Chettiyar of Mylapore and Velu Mudaliar rendered financial assistance to the publication.The disciple who actually persuaded Vallalar, who was not interested in publishing his works, to print his seminal work of Thirvarutpa was Rathina Mudaliar, a native of Irukkam, a small hamlet near Pulicat, now north of Chennai.He lived near his residence on Veerasami Street.
P. Saravanan, the author of Arutpa-Marutpa and Kantana Thirattu, says it was Rathina Mudaliar who threatened to go on a fast so that Vallalar would consent to publishing his works. The first volumes were published in 1867. Another person who worked closely with Rathina Mudaliar was Sivanandapuram Selvaraya Mudaliar. Both Rathina Mudaliar and Selvaraya Mudaliar decided to publish Vallalar's works along with Thozhuvur Velayuda Mudaliar, the principal student of Vallalar, after a few persons printed his works with numerous errors. Now the State government is holding parleys with the owners of Vallalar's house to convert it into a memorial after CPI (M) whip K. Balakrishnan made a request to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.