Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ponniyin Selvan

Favorite of my mother's generation - and I can see why. The story is racy having appeared in a weekly and having to enthrall readers each week.

Its innocent and descriptive and great fiction. Well researched too. A very imaginative and prolific writer. Love at first sight with accompanying flowers and butterflies and gazes that cannot be broken; skirmishes at the turn of a page, forest assignations, glories of king and cities..one lives in Chola nadu.

But its the names that fascinate- the brave Vandiyedevan, the beautiful and bold Kundavai, Arulmozhi varmar, Aditha karikalar, Kanthamaran, Alzwarkadiyaan,.. they roll of the tongue so mellifluously.

Ive just finished the first book . 5 more to go .


Ravi said...

Kalki Krishnamurthy wrote this novel after years of research during which he visited Tanjore district and Ceylon(at that time). The novel sequence appeared weekly in 1950s if my memory serves me right. Those were the days when the weekly magazine Kalki, started by Sadasivam(MS Subbulaksmi's husband) and Kalki (who was the editor) was steadily gaining readers in competition with Ananda Vikatan, (owned by SS Vasan of Gemini Studio) and edited by Devan.

Kalki's style was Brahminical (it reflected his background) and the novel was woven with many strands which he superbly developed and cleverly pulled together at the end. In every page, you are reminded about the genius of this superb writer.

I read it in Mysore when it was coming out each week (asking my father meaning of words as I was about 11 then and was also reading Kannada) and read it later in one sitting of 3 days (with minimal sleep) while relaxing after my final year degree exams in engineering. Thereafter while I was visiting my uncle's home in Tanjore district, I took the opportunity to see the places Kalki mentioned in the novel.

Working in the West now and having read hundreds of English novels I can recollect the singular pleasure that novel gave me in my younger days.

Enjoy reading and please write a bit more about it after you finish.In my opinion, Kalki never exhibited that mastery of story telling even though many said his best novels came out later.

kallu said...

Thanks Ravi for that detailed response.
Its just that Kalki and his books have been so much written about that it seems that there is nothing much more for me to add.
Im so glad you enjoyed the books too and you seem to have devoured them so fast.
I guess Kalki was the master of the serialised story.He knew how to keep the interest of his reader intact.
Its different when you read it all at one go.
And yes, i want to go around looking at those places too. Did you find that satisfying? I mean were they identifiable?