In Books, Expert Talk, Speaking

There are a couple of reasons why I’m very excited to participate in today’s panel discussion. The first is the topic, ‘Past, Present and Future of Books‘ . It really caught my imagination.

The second are my co-panelists who have been stalwarts in their field. Sivasankari has been a household name and have heard her name ever since I was a kid. Reading her bio below made me realize her prowess in writing.

V.Sriram is a passionate historian and entrepreneur and his versatility amazes me. I have heard of V.Sriram many times but never had the opportunity to meet up with him. But I do know that he is a very close friend of Mr.S.Muthiah, who I proudly call as an inspiration and a mentor to me. Infact, it was Mr.Muthiah who recommended that I be invited to be a panelist.

The organizers have chosen the three of us to represent the three parts of the discussion. Sivasankari to talk on the past, Sriram to talk about the present and me to talk on the future. Guess our age must have something to do with it!

This panel discussion is conducted by the founders of, to mark their 2nd anniversary in association with the Madras Book Club.

Here are the details:

Date : 15th July, 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Venue: C.P.Ramaswamy Covention Centre, 1, Eldams Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 18

Sivasankari, Noted Tamil Author

Having carved a niche for herself in the Tamil literary world during the last four decades, Sivasankari’s works include more than 36 novels, 48 short novels, 150 short stories, 15 travelogues, 7 collections of articles, one talking book, 4 volumes of literary research book, 2 volumes of anthologies, and 2 biographies – of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister, and of Sri. G.D. Naidu, a pioneer in many fields.

Six of her novels have been filmed in Tamil receiving popular public acclaim for their integrity and social commitment. One story has been filmed in Kannada and Telugu each.

Her novels on Drug Abuse, Alcoholism and Old Age Problem, written after many years of research and authentic spadework, have been serialised in National and Regional television networks with tremendous public response, and SUBAH – the serial on drug menace – was adjudged as one of the mega hits of 1987

She has also anchored the most popular Talk Show NETRU, INDRU, NAALAI on varied topics of social relevance in SUN TV.

She was instrumental in setting up the RAJAJI CENTRE FOR DE-ADDICTION at the VHS Hospital, Taramani, Chennai.


V.Sriram, Noted Historian

Since 1999, Sriram has been doing considerable work on the history of Chennai and the history of Carnatic Music. He writes frequently on these subjects for The Hindu, Madras Musings and Sruti, the classical arts magazine. Sriram has authored five books so far :

• Carnatic Summer, the lives of twenty two exponents (2004) which was described as unputdownable by APJ Abdul Kalam who claimed to have read it in one night.
• The Devadasi and The Saint, the life and times of Bangalore Nagarathnamma (2007)- this won the United Nations Female Population Award for Gender Sensitivity in writing
• Semmangudi, Life and Music (2008)
• Fifty Historic Residences of Chennai (2008)
• Four Score and More, the History of the Music Academy, Madras (2009)

Sriram has just finished writing the history of the Rane Group of Companies and is now working on the 175 year history of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Sriram is a much sought after speaker on History and Fine Arts and has spoken at locations such as the India International Centre, Delhi, the Tag Centre and the Music Academy in Chennai and the Gayana Samaja in Bangalore. His talk on Chennai begins the academic year at the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Asian College of Journalism each year. His end-of-the-year talks at the Tag Centre, on the last two Sundays of December witness record attendance.

Sriram pioneered the concept of heritage walks in the city in 1999. Since then his thematic tours of the city, conducted in August and December each year are famous and much sought after. He has so far done 25 different tours of the city and his aim is to complete a 100 different heritage routes in the city.

He is now the Managing Director of HVK Systems, controlled by his family and which is the largest distributor in India for Eaton Fluid Power, a Fortune 100 Company. He is also the Chief Operations Officer and Director of Broadgate Technical Services (India) Pvt. Ltd., the group’s software company which has clients in the India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.