Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ponniyin Selvan - The First Floods

I have heard so much about the story Ponniyin Selvan from my parents, uncles, aunts and older cousins from as long as I can remember. My folks used to tell me about how they used to wait eagerly, for the weekly Kalki edition just so that they could get to the next part of the story! It was such a rage in the 1950s! Just like maybe LOST or Heroes is now in our generation. For many years, I've been curious and wanted to read it. Unfortunately, the story was written in Tamil. My Tamil reading really sucks, and hence I had given up on that idea long ago.

It was about a month ago that one of my colleagues at work mentioned that he was reading the English translation of Ponniyin Selvan. I immediately asked him for the first part. He handed it over to me a while ago. I had no clue what the story was when I started reading it. The first 10 pages were very slow, and I'd almost gave up on the story thinking its one of those rambling old epics. But, in the next 10 pages, the story picked up a feverish pace. Boy am I a sucker for grand kingdoms, empires, conspiracies, and battles. This story seemed to have it all. I think this is the book that has excited me the most after the Mahabaratha.

I woke up every morning and read the book for the last 2.5 weeks. But I've spent 3 hours for the last 3 days reading it in a feverish pace. I just could not stand the suspense and I just got done with it. Brilliant! The story is paused midway through though! I need the 2nd part of the book "The Cyclone" already! I'm having withdrawal effects!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the translation is this good...the original must be phenomenal. its too bad some of us never got to learning Tamil as well. Its a great start! post some of the other titles that may be worth checking out.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous A said...

I think I'm going to read it again! I took up membership in a library just to read the novel :-)

Go to Eloor library - T.Nagar. 500 Rs. Annual membership, and rent the books :-))))

Its well worth the read Rhapsoder!

The Tamil one is obviously pure Tamil right, and its poetically written. I had someone read it out to me, and I got totally lost in translation :-p


10:49 AM  

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