Sunday, December 30, 2018

#627 : The Storm (#2 Ponni's Beloved - An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan) By Sumeetha Manikandan : Review


Ponniyin Selvan is a critically acclaimed Tamil Novel. Set in the Chola period, the story revolves around Sundara Cholan, the emperor. Vandiya Devan, the prince of a fallen kingdom, is tasked to be a messenger by Aditya Karikalan to deliver message critical to the empire. This volume follows Vandiya Devan's journey to Sri Lanka where he meets Prince Arul Mozhi Varman who is in the middle of conquering Sri Lanka. 

The original story as such is ridiculously thrilling. The characterisation, the plot points, all of them are intense and complex that one might feel high and dry by the time they finish reading this volume.  Tamil is a very elaborate language. The original writing is known for it's wordplay, and the plot by itself is famous for its complexity and political intensity. To bring in that effect in a language which is quite limited in it's capabilities and is modern is a great feat. The translator, Sumeetha has evidently done justice to Kalki's work. 

I grew up listening to my grandfather and my mother narrating snippets from the original story as my grasp of Tamil was (and continues to be) very basic. To actually read to read the entire story with all the complexity and layering in place feels so great. The cover work needs a special mention. The Chola ship has been visualised and designed perfectly. 

In short, the book is a must read if your can't read Tamil. Beware, it will leave you wanting for more! 

Do buy the book here on Amazon
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