Thoughts - Unique aspects of PS
  • Just thought I could summarize some of the unique features of PS as
    compared to other historic novels written in Tamil -

    * Most of the novels have a big invasion or fighting between 2
    kingdoms as their climax. The entire novel will be moving towards
    this event and the author would have supported one side - portraying
    the other as the evil force. Kalki's own SS is no exception to this.

    But PS is different in this respect - to a careful observer it will
    be evident that the novel does'nt have a climax on its own ! Kalki
    felt that the renunciation of Crown by Arulmizhi was his climax
    (refer his conclusion to the novel) - to many readers it is the
    murder of Aditya - but to me it is neither or both. That is why when
    you finish the novel, you always suffer from a sort of
    dissatisfaction - no other novel can give this feeling - that too at
    the end of 5th volume !

    * Most of the novels have a King or a prince as its hero – but in
    a small, insignificant and noble warrior (Vandhiyathevan) becomes a
    hero. It is interesting to note that Kalki actually wanted Arulmozhi
    to be recognized as a hero in his novel – the name Ponniyin
    selvan is
    derived from him – but an `all perfect' figure he
    portrayed only
    helped to distance readers from Arulmizhi. Moreover the chronology of
    events was also in favour of Vandhiyathevan. It is interesting to
    compare Vandhiyathevan with Paranjothi – who is a character in SS
    Ponnan of Parthiban Kanavu. In SS Paranjothi character is used to
    introduce many characters in the Novel – but the real hero is
    Narasimhavarman. It is certain that Kalki wanted to adopt a similar
    technique but somehow Vandhiyathevan triumphed over his own creator !

    * Usually such long historic stories have to portray some breaks in
    timeline (invariably). For example, in SS the last part happens after
    a gap of 9 years. But PS portrays events continuously for a period of
    6 months. If you trace back carefully, you can actually find out who
    was doing what for almost every day – for a period of 6 months.

    * Probably its portrayal of simultaneous happenings in many many
    places is unique to Tamil historic novel genere. At some point of
    time, he will be detailing different events happening in Srilanka,
    Tanjore, Pazhaiyarai, Kudanthai and Kadambur – and yet –
    with master
    craftsmanship – will link them in a very logical order – as
    move by…

    * Its characterization of people is a well discussed and well
    researched topic

    * This is probably the only novel in which we see almost all kinds of
    love between human beings portrayed –
    - Vandhiyathevan and Kundhavai who are in love with each other since
    their first sight.
    - Poonguzhali's love for Arulmozhi and her compromise to marry
    - Arulmozhi's interest in Poonguzhali and his compromise to marry
    - Vanathi's love towords Arulmizhi
    - Amudhan's love towords Poonguzhali
    - Nandhini's love towords Aditya and her revenge
    - Aditya's love towords Nandhini
    - Parthibendhran's love towords Nandhini
    - Pazhuvettaraiyar's interest in Nandhini
    - Manimekalai's love towords Vandhiyathevan

    Initially I thought of categorizing them (like one sided love, two
    sided love etc) but I find that it is difficult to do – given the
    wide spectrum of relationship kalki portrays

    * PS is perhaps the only novel in which the story is not entirely
    dominated by Hero. Sometimes I think PS has different heros at
    different points of time…
    - In Pallipadai events (Part I) Azvarkadiyan sounds like a hero
    - In Nilavarai and many other occations, ofcourse
    Vandhiyathevan dominates
    - In Part II Arulmozhi dominates in many occasions
    - Sendhan amudhan surprisingly dominates certain portains in
    Part IV and V (During Mandakini escape from Pallakku, when he becomes
    royal heir etc)
    - During the aftermath of floods (Part IV), Pazhuvettaraiyar
    certainly becomes a hero for a chapter or two
    Thus it is close to real life in which different people become heros
    at different points of time.

    * Surprise ! PS seems to have no villains ! (or rather everybody seem
    to have enough justifications) Nandhini might sound like a villi but
    after reading her childhood we understand that there are enough
    reasons behind her abhorrence. Ravidasan ? Soman sambavan ? Remember
    they had vowed to give their life in case they fail to protect their
    leader. But instead they choose to live and take revenge. They
    undergo so many troubles to achieve their goal. Considering the
    cruelty of Pandiya's murder – this can be understood.
    In other words, the negative forces are also portrayed with possible
    realism a writer can bestow upon his characters.

    I initially though of writing a small mail – but this is close to
    becoming an article. I can write many things like this….and yet
    not able to fully portray the heights and depths of this greatest
    historic novel ever written.

    Your comments are welcome.
  • Hi all!
    Recent mails(or articles!)were really good.Since
    preparing for exams,few days back I decided not
    involve much in the discussions.But I realize,I can
    resist anything but PS!
    Gokul,all you have summarized is acceptable by any PS
    fan.The novel attracted me because of the
    charecterisation.No one is evil and Kalki explains
    each one's charater from the positive side.
    And he explains the story day by day.That's why PS is
    made a megaserial I suppose!
    I wish to add few points to the summary like,
    -It's a very 'decent'writing that we can suggest even
    a child to read PS.Not only PS but all his works.In
    Chandilyan and other historic novel writers we can
    find an 'importance' given to romance.
    -the "mudivurai" by kaliki-I've never seen any
    mudivurai after climax(2 climaxes!)except in PS.But
    without that everyone would feel incompletion.
    (I still wonder why Kalki had to give such a pitious
    end to Manimekalai.)
    -Aurlmollivarmar's plans for tamilnadu.He made his
    dreams come true.That creates hope that we can
    succeed.Whenever I see Tanjore temple,I remember only
    PS & it's like a sign of hope.
    -Kaliki made me feel,If I had been Chola Kingdom...
    -AV respect for elders-his father,Sembiyanmadevi,his
    sister,even Pazhuvetyars..that greatly impressed
    me!Present generation has to learn many things from

    About Veerapandiyan can never be Nandhini's father...
    I accept everything.Madhuranthakan is sure Nandhini's
    twin brother.He becomes the heir of Pandiyan.why
    anyone who is not a son of Veerapandian should be made
    his heir?That's my onle doubt!


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