Today is Padhinettam Peruku…


The day when my all-time favourite tamil novel opens …

Ponniyin Selvan” reined in my imagination 10 years ago. It took me one week to finish. I wanted to read the five-volume, almost 3,000-paged novel in one breath. It was simply magnificent!

My tamil is only class 5-pass. That was debilitating. The story was hurtling forward. And I was a lips-moving-kinda-reader bordering on the read-aloud s.l.o.w.

But the book took me along. On horseback. In a boat. In the palace. On a tree. I was there in the Chola period; sharing elbow room with Vandiyathevan and the others. I knew their quirks. I marvelled at their greatness. And there were more than 100 principal characters.

Sometimes I wondered who was that shortish bespectacled lady who kept appearing off and on… *apparently it was my ma, telling me to eat*


28 responses »

  1. blogeswari: lemon rice — today’s spl @ my place

    chumi: Lol!

    mft: reign, reign go away; kalki reined in my imagination — only kalki’s imagination reigned πŸ™‚

  2. Lemon rice at my place too with cheppenkezhangu fry πŸ™‚ And Ponniyin Selvan IS magnificient – doesn’t lose s a bit of its charm even after several re-reads.

  3. mniamma: looks like its neo-delurker vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaram! and cheppankazhangu fry is amazingly s.l.o.w to make no? just like my tamil reading skills(!) but the taste, i guess, was superb!

    meira: sokay there are translations …

  4. i have nothing to do with tamil. but wont mind a translation of such a magical read!

    and if not ROTFL, its a smile you leave on my face! πŸ™‚

  5. I picked up Ponniyin Selvan last year, but havent started reading yet.. May be I’ll start on a Pethinettam peruku πŸ™‚

    Iam guessing this is not the novel whose main characters were Bhuvana and Arvind? My uncle was a huge fan of that novel and named his son Arvind and his niece Bhuvana. Cute, I thought πŸ™‚

  6. oh you brought back my own memories of reading that book with the same passion and would love to read it again some day. My older sis actually named her child after the wise man in the book. Ironically, I had the same proficiency in tamil as you when I read that book πŸ™‚

  7. Abha: do read it, you’ll be enchanted. for life.

    PrintLover: ooh. you revealed your Tam-ness. so much good taste in decor and still a tam! My sacred lambadi lungi!
    About P.S.: You just have to read the first three or four chapters, you can’t stop, even if you want to.

    Chox: trust you to be lingering near the foodie talk:-)
    cheppangkizhangu is colocasia; if my screen name weren’t MiM, it would be cheppangkizhangu fry.

    sands: the wisest man was alwarku adiyaan. surely, that’s not his name. this is amazing!

    AJ: the MMMiM shook off firstborn to make this.

  8. One whole week of a head full of hundred characters and other times….i lived, live for that bliss…

    my mom used to bring her book to the dinner table. poor thing had to stop when her xerox copy did the same. no more reading at the meals- infact i thinki have forgotten the skill of breaking the roti and dipping in the daal without looking up from the page.

  9. ah, neither of you had the irritating habit of keeping them face down, the spine ready to split?
    the father- the non-reader- would keep berating. and we would keep ignoring.

    hey do you ever visit bombay? i think this back and forth would be fun over a glass of piping hot rasam

  10. sur: but cold-feet can be gotten over, no?
    but never in Mumbai. i hate it there. KL? considering you already speak 80 per cent Malay?

  11. bombay crowds cold feet- you sweat, and loose all sensation of cold feet after a some good bombay train stomping. not to fear.

    whereas my 80% knowledge of malay and poor income as independent filmmaker makes it impossible to board a plane destined for KL.

  12. Yes, Yes, proud Tam here. I thought I already revealed that.

    And cousin Arvind was named after “Kurinji Malar”‘s protagonist and not Ponniyin Selvan as I’d wrongly assumed.

  13. sur: mebbe astro malaysia will fund your forthcomin’ film: just shoot them a proposal; *hidden adv: your malay repertoire*

    sands: y’ know iwas holding my breath till you clarified that!… *phew* I was imagining an alwarkadiyan toddling in the world

  14. Pingback: The son of Ponni – Reflections…

  15. a million different people: you are only 20? *breaks down and cries*

    that is so YOUNG???

    that is unimaginably freaking young!

    a 20-year-old is reading my blog …
    now i have really seen everything.

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