Rama and Ravana at the Altar of Hanuman : On Tamils, Tamil Literature & Tamil Culture
Some published work on specifically Tamil topics has not been included in this volume, for, it occurred to the author, further research on the subject would have been necessary. On the other hand, in an essay like "The Exotic in Aesthetics", a certain amount of the discussion though seemingly alien to the subject matter of this publication leads by argument to the introduction of the treatment of Tamil proverbs and Tamil classical poetry. The review on the re-construction of Borobudur finds its place here for, at the time of its creation, Tamil know-how and culture reigned in the Indonesian archipelago.
The author does not wish to lay claim to being a Tamil scholar or Tamilologist. He is more than aware that he has no genuine competence which could be diligently exercised in the vast and abundant field of Tamil studies. De bon gré, he has
produced these pieces by his own autodidactic effort and ventures to hope he might have shed some critical light on some Tamil topics, beliefs, and ways of life.
He feels however that the distinguishing feature introduced in this particular mode of academic publication is the section, "Commentary via fiction" or rather "fictionalised comment". Fiction as a receptacle for ideas and concepts in no way diminishes academic rigour; if anything, it enhances receptivity, makes palatable what is normally dry and difficult.
Of one thing though he is certain. As a Tamil, he cannot be discouraged from venturing further in the field of Tamil studies.