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my journey through ponniyin selvan புது வெள்ளம், சுழற்காற்று

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my journey through ponniyin selvan புது வெள்ளம், சுழற்காற்று

i have completed two parts, all in tamil. part 1 புது வெள்ளம் part 2 சுழற்காற்று

here are some thoughts..

- kalki wrote awesome novel; i last read it in my teens, one high school summer, and floated in the memory of that experience for 45 years of good feel. reading it now, after so long, it still thrills me, with a few goose bumps as icing on the top

- today, when i read the language, which is only 60 years old, reads a little quaint; me now more used to the tamil of chennai dinamalar dinakaran, and ofcourse (what else) tamil cinema! some of the words are sooo, for want of better word, to me a pattar, sounds so thanjavur brahminish. no insult meant here, but many many ja, ou...and so on

- the whole novel reads easy, and feels like it just happened just yesterday; though it took place over 1000 years ago; the wars in sri lanka, could be repeatition of the tigers - now i know where they got the tiger name and emblem from ie cholas

- the spread of buddhism in tamil nadu. though no mention is made of jainism so far. fascinating how widespread a religion, completely disappeared from tamil life. wonder how that happened? so many buddhist sangas, all gone without trace, including their edifices

- the hero vandhya devan - i could imagine myself anyday to be him - handsome, bumbling, innocent, idealistic, daring and above all, loyal. yes, that's me alright ;)

- the characters of the two leading ladies kundhavai and nandhini are so well brought out - and tales woven over their interactions and passions very very chastely yet suggestive

- food, that very important ingredient. here kalki's brahmin sentiments override, probably what was reality. the truth is tamils are an overwhelming meat eating tribe (bar the brahmins and some saivite groups afaik); all we read here is koottanchoru to feed the troops, and none of the game which tamil cuisine of ancient lore is famous for

- the role of the castes as we know them now. even kalki does not 'caste' them; they are just groups like vanniars, nattaars, - each one of them in different part of tamil country; so far, the priests are understood to be brahmins, but one of them has risen to the level of minister.

- it is clear who the rulers are - the tamil warrior tribes and echoes of that past, even per kalki, is heard in the names, practices and folklore of today's tamil castes; a while ago, i referred to a thanjavur village where the widow married the husband's brother - the reason being this village supplied soldiers to cholas, and hence there was a high male mortality; only quick remarriage would provide more babies ie more soldiers and mothers...and to this day the practice is continued

- the landscape of tamil nadu and sri lanka and the seas inbetween is described par excellence; i almost felt that i could drink the water of veeranarayana lake (the infamous scandal ridden veeraanam of today)

- the arabs are there - trading horses and a precursor to the future invasion of their faith over india

- the history of this novel is all about south india and sri lanka. the north exists, is awared of but not part of the daily life or culture; the northernmost tibes of interests are the chalukyas and rashtrakutas..and no further

- ship building - the tamils excelled in this and built ships that sailed all over the south east asian seas. one only has to read the novel to get the feeling of resurgent pride in an ancient culture, kingdoms and language..

- the most thrilling part was downloading the whole novel in pdf form into my laptop, and savouring it for hours together. at 30,000 feet above the ground.

- and so the journey moves on to கொலை வாள்

thank you.
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Sri.Kunjuppu, Greetings.

This novel is one of the novels I read during my primary school years. Mrs. R walks around with the whole novel loaded in her USB too. She cherishes nice bits again and again whenever she feels like it.

I have to do the same Kunjuppu sir, just love the style of writing.. Yeah you do feel like it was yesterday that it all happened and remember the portrayal of all of them, and I wished I had those kayal vizhi of the heroine.. not that I am complaining about my eyes, but the passion also shown in Partibhan kanavu.. beautiful.. thanks for sharing your thoughts and reminding me to read it again.. :)
Best wishes!

Bushu :)
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