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About the author
Vamanan is an Indian writer, journalist and Tamil film music historian based in Chennai. He is known especially for his documentation of the lives of Tamil film music composers, singing stars and playback singers. Vamanan was awarded the Tamil Nadu government's Kalaimamani award (2005) for his contribution to Tamil film history and won the first prize of the Government of Tamil Nadu's Tamil development department for the first volume of 'Thirai Isai Alaigal' (2000).
A veteran journalist who has worked in The Hindu, Indian Express and India Today, as film critic of Indian Express, Madras, he was respected by the foremost artistes and directors for his independent, forthright and perceptive views. He has contributed many well-received articles in the 'Times of India' and 'Dinamalar'.
Vamanan is a rare instance of a writer who is equally facile in English and Tamil. After he began writing extensively in Tamil in the 1990s, amplified anthologies of his articles on the annals of Tamil film music were brought out by a leading publishing house and received with plaudits from common Tamil readers as well as discerning ones. A reader who is a post-doctoral research guide and professor in Singapore wrote thus of Vamanan's Tamil books: "The engaging style of writing, the personal reminiscences that are related at times and the musical insights that are brought forward conjure a sublimity of thought processes that are scarcely seen in other commentaries".
With a cycle of five volumes on 'Thirai Isai Alaigal', biographies on musical greats like T.M.Sounderarajan and composer G. Ramanathan, the first ever discography in South Indian film music in 'Mellisai Mannargal Paattu Payanam', two volumes on the musical career of K.V.Mahadevan and a graphic journey with the songs of 100 lyricists from 1931 to 2000, Vamanan has single handedly achieved the monumental work of documenting the lives of Tamil film music personalities.
A director of documentaries (including, 'Atmadarshan' with cinematography by national award winning cinematographer Ashok Kumar), curator of more than twenty musical albums, a lyricist hailed as a great poet by music composer M.S.Viswanathan, an actor in Cho's serials, Vamanan has also written, tuned and sung songs, as for example, 'Paadagan, Ezhisai Paadagan'.