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Ponni's Beloved: An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan Kindle Edition
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The story is introduced to the readers by a brave, young man, who is a great fighter too, and a messenger of Aditya Chola (forgive me if I got my history wrong). Aditya Chola, heir to the throne was suspecting a conspiracy and had sent Vandiya Devan to warn the King. In his journey, Vandiya Devan meets the different characters who play a role in the conspiracies, love affairs and secrets that generally go around in such princely dynasties.
Vandiya Devan introduces us to the lives of the natives at that period of time as he walks quietly on the banks of a lake named Veeranarayana and introduces the readers to their way of life. Sumeetha Manikandan has done a fabulous job in capturing the essence of the great Tamil Literature. Though I have not read the original work, I have heard a lot about it from the Tamil side of my family. A revered literature, that is what this book is remembered as and I can understand this since, after so many years, even the translation has kept me enthralled enough to keep on turning the pages.
Many cultural appropriations have been mentioned in this text, which is typical of the thought process of the people of those times.
"But please don’t think that I am talking ill of them, the entire women race is like that. The women in your family are dark-complexioned beauties, whereas Pazhuvetarayar’s beloved is fair complexioned. That’s why they don’t like her. They are jealous...”
As you delve further into the story, such small incidents are mentioned which will help in painting the visuals of those times.
Keeping track of the names and places is a bit tough. But that can't be helped. It's the stories within stories that will fascinate you. Of betrayal, spies stories which will connect you to the thought process of that period. The fights between the followers of Shiva and the Vishnu bhakts bring out many of the philosophies followed during those times.
The conspiracy against the heir to the throne and above all the power plays makes this an interesting read. In all these stories the character of Vandiya Devan is the one experiencing all the tales.
This book is the first in the series and we will have 4 more volumes coming up (I think) I will be eager to see if Sumeetha Manikandan has been able to do justice to all the volumes.
She is very thorough in her writing, ensuring to keep the tone and era of the book intact. The language and words used reflect the historical period the original novel followed. It transports the reader back to the royal era of the Chola Kings and the opulence of the kingdoms.
I was immediately pulled into the story and its grandeur, places, kings, queens, deceit, treachery and mystery with love stories binding the characters and narration of this epic masterpiece. As the historical read, this book has it all and a lot more.
Rarely does one get a chance to read a book that is much loved across generations and Ponni’s Beloved retains the charm and intrigue to make the most discerning reader a fan.
A peek into the history to see it unfold in all its glory. Pick it for a wholesome, character driven read as you follow the journey, love and life of Vandiya Devan and The Chola Kingdom.
Pooni’s Beloved is an English translation of well-known Tamil author Kalki R Krishnanmurthy’s Pooniyin Selvan. The English translation is done by Sumeetha Manikandan.
Though I haven’t read the original work or any of Sumeetha’s previous works, still I must say this is the best translated work I have ever read. Even if it's in English, it has still retained the Tamil essence in it. Appropriate translation and significance of a festival or place or a person; is an added advantage for people who are not well versed with Tamil language.
Usually when a regional classic is translated, sometimes the originality or the essence of that literature somewhat gets lost in translation, but not in this case.
Fast paced, full of suspense and treachery, with historical background makes Pooni’s Beloved an interesting read. This book is first part of the series.
My only grudge is the abrupt end which leaves the reader high and dry.
Having read and enjoyed book one can’t wait to read the next books of the series to see what happens to our brave warrior Vandiya Devan.
Ponni's Beloved is the story of Chola Dynasty during Sundar Chola and his sons time. Though the main theme is around Chola Family like Munashi Kalki has used Vandiya Devan as the main protagonist. Vandiya Devan was sent by Aditya Karikalan to Thanjavur to deliver two important messages. The first volume (this book) is majorly concentrated on Vandiya's quest to deliver both messages successfully without getting into hands of Pazhuvetarayar brothers. Pazhuvetarayar brothers were planning the conspiracy. They were restricting Sundar Chola's interaction with his sons. Well, conspiracy didn't stop at Pazhuvetarayar brothers. Even they were also being pawned by someone. I don't want to reveal secrets in the first part. May be in next part we will discuss more about the storyline.
The reason why it took me to finish the book was Tamil names. It was really difficult to keep track of similar names. Many times I rewind pages to confirm characters.
Don't think twice just grab your copy and read it.
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