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Devan (R. Mahadevan) (8 September 1913 - 5 May 1957) was one of the greatest of twentieth century Tamil writers, known for his witty and humorous stories. Many people think of him as the 'Wodehouse' of Tamil writings.

Devan was a competent and accomplished writer, who used several interesting and varied techniques in fiction writing. From travelogues to recipes, from detective stories to social dramas, he has written them all.

Early life

Devan was born in 1913 at Thiruvidaimarudur in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India, where he did his schooling. He came to Kumbakonam Government College to complete his B.A. degree. He worked as a school teacher for a year, before joining the popular Tamil weekly magazine, Ananda Vikatan in 1933. Devan's first foray into the world of writing was through the humorous short story "Mister Rajamani", written when he was in his twenties.

Life as an Editor

Devan started as a Sub-Editor at Ananda Vikatan in 1933. After Kalki Krishnamurthy left Vikatan, worked as Managing Editor from 1942 to 1957.

During this time, he wrote about 20 serials, more than 500 stories, articles and travelogues. A common feature in all his works was his gentle sense of humour. He was a very popular writer and stories abound of how, when a new issue of Ananda Vikatan came out, everyone in the family would fight to get hold of the copy first.

Devan worked under famous writers like Kalki Krishnamurthy and S. S. Vasan. It was his wish that his stories get...
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