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BY cgBalu

06/01 Direct Link
Vanthiyadevan - is Vallavariyar Vanthiyadevan. Whenever I hear this name, I feel good. I always get a picture of this man riding on his horse, riding along the banks of river cauvery. A very confident man. He is the confidential aide of Aditya Karikalan, who is now stationed at Kanchipuram along with his maternal grandfather and another friend Parthibendran. Vanthiyathevan is carrying two letters from Aditya Karikalan. One letter is to be handed over to Kundavai, Karikalan’s sister at Pazhaiyaarai and another to Sundara Cholan at Tanjavur. He is on an important mission and travelling on the banks of flowing Cauvery.
06/02 Direct Link
Arul Mozhidevan - we meet him at Srilanka first, Author Kalki introduces him to us at the 30th chapter of the second book ‘Swirl wind’ He is called ‘Darling of Ponni’ (Ponniyin Selvan) as a lady saves him from drowning in the Cauvery river when he was young. It was not easy for Vandhiyadevan to meet him on his second mission where he carries a letter from Arul Mozhi devan’s elder sister Kundavai. The content of the letter was instructions from his ‘Akka’ to return back to India to Chola Nadu. Arul Mozhi and Vanthiya devan are friends through deceptive fights.
06/03 Direct Link
He is identified with a stick in his hand. He is Azhwarkadian -- servant to Vishnu devotees. What do you call a spy who spies spies? Azhwarkadian is also called Tirumalai Whenever he comes into the story, there will be a fight between vaishnavites (who worship Vishnu) and saivites. (Those who worship Shiva) His weapon is his club and even manages to escape from an angry Elephant at Srilanka. He reports to Anirudhar , the respected Minister of chola Kingdom. Tirumalai and vanthiyedevan cross each other several times. Their tiffs are always hilarious. Both of them are very loyal to their masters.
06/04 Direct Link
A verteran and staunch devotee of Vishnu and close friend of the chola emperor Sundara Cholar is Anbil Anirudha bramha Rayar. We first meet him at Rameshwaram. Arul mozhi varmar is at the present Srilanka (Ezham in the historical novel Ponniyin Selvan) fighting with Lankan kings and trying to expand the Chola empire. Anirudhar , is holding meeting with merchants and aşk them for supply of groceries for the army at Eezham. Anirudhar knows a deep dark secret of chola emperor. The situation is an internal conflict at the chola kingdom. Anirudhar has got responsibility to set right the political turmoil.
06/05 Direct Link

Sundara Cholar - the Chola Emperor is bedridden and is kept in a sort of house arrest by the Pazhuvettairs at Tanjavur palce.

Sundara Cholar got the kingdom by chance, as his grandfather Paranthakar chose him to ascend the throne as the rightful heirs died in battles. 

Sundara cholar is the son of  king Arinjiyer.

Arinjiyer's elder brother is Kandarathitha cholar. 

We have some interesting stories about Kandarathitha Cholar and his wife Sembian Mahadevi. Their son Mathuranthakan has got plenty to play in this story.

Sundara cholar, was missing for some years, and was stranded at an Island near Sri Lanka. 

06/06 Direct Link

The eldest son of Sundara Cholar is Adithya Karikalar. 

His character is created as angry and eccentric in nature.

He loved ‘Nandini’

He killed the Pandia king in a cruel and violent way, in spite of Nandini’s pleading.

He chopped King Pandian’s head and carried the head like a trophy.

Nandini requested Karikalar to spare Pandian.

Why is Karikalar so eccentric?

Who is Nandini to Karikalar?

Sister?

Nandini is taking vengeance on Karikalar.

The entire story of Ponniyin Selvan is how Nandini plans to kill Karikalar.

At ‘Kadambur’ Karikalar is killed while meeting Nandini.

Karikalar was killed by whom?  

06/07 Direct Link
In Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan, no character is a waste character. Each character has its contribution to the heavily knit historical Novel. Kandarathithar wanted to become a staunch devotee of Siva. He did not marry for a long time. He, gave away the kingdom to Aniruthar, his brother, who unfortunately dies in a battle. Later he married Sembian Mahadevi. who gives him a son named Madhurantakan. Sembian Mahadevi gives company to Kanarathithar in worshipping Shiva. They decided to bring Mathuranthakan in their path and bring him up as a religious man than a king. As the story moves Mathuranthakan’s character changes.
06/08 Direct Link
We don’t see much of an influence in the character of Madhuranthakan in the beginning. We are told in the beginning that Madhuranthakar is the son of Kantarathithar and Sembian Madevi and he is brought up in a pious atmosphere learning all the literature praising Lord Shiva. The group of small kings who are given the title ‘Ariars’ are planning to make Madhuranthakan the next king of Chola kingdom. The ‘Ariars’ clan led by Pazhuveteriar, Sambuvariar etc., meet at Kadambur. To this secret meeting Madhuranthakan is brought in a closed palanquin. Spies Vanthiyadevan and Tirumalai come to know about this.
06/09 Direct Link
The elder Pazhuvettair Ariars, is the respect given to small king and officers in the Chola kingdom. The pazhuvur officers are called Pazhuvettairs. The elder and younger Pazhuvettairs play a big role in the Novel. The elder Pazhuvettair is a strong old man. He has faced 24 battles and 64 valiant scars decorate his body. He is very loyal to Chola kings, but circumstances makes him to marry young Nandini and he is deceived to a large extent. Nandini lovingly and cunningly uses him to take revenge on Karikalan. Karikalan kills her lover Veera Pandian. Pandian was her sweet heart?
06/10 Direct Link
The younger brother in the pazhuvettarayar clan is called Kalanthakan. The pazhuvettarayar brothers are very loyal to the chola kings. They have vowed to protect the chola kings, even if they die. Though fate or circumstances made the pazhuvettarayar brothers to go against the chola king, they realise as the story moves, their plight and come back to their loyalty. Kalki very well describes their loyalty to chola kingdom on various occasions. Chinna pazhuvettarayar is the senathipathi of Tanjavur fort and he does the safegaurd to his best. Kalanthkan tries to counsel the big pazhuvettarayar about Nandini and her friends.
06/11 Direct Link
A very pious character in the story ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is Sendhan amudan. We first meet him, when Vanthiyadevan tries to enter Thanjavur with Nandini’s ring with a palm tree emblem as his credential. Sendan amuthan’s mother is deaf and dumb. Only we see his less fortune, but he is always in good humor and is blissful singing songs in praise of Lord Shiva. He is not perturbed when he is put into jail for helping Vanthiyadevan in escaping from the fortress. He believed in Vanthiyathevan. He loved his uncle’s daughter Poonguzhali. Pious thoughts come when we think about Sendan Amudan.
06/12 Direct Link
Kandanmaran is Vanthiyadevan’s good friend. Good friend, till he is duped by Nandini and makes him believe that Vanthiyadevan stabbed him in the back while coming out from the underground passage of the jail in Thanjavur fort. Vanthiyadevan while coming to his first mission of handing over letters to Kundavai and Sundara Cholar meets Kandan Maran at Kadambur. Kadambur is the place where the first meeting of conspiracy against cholas took place. Kadambur is also the place where the conspiracy yields to the killing of Karikalar. Kandan Maran has a sister named Manimekalai The story about this friendship is awesome.
06/13 Direct Link
Kodumbalur Boodhi Vikrama Kesari is another loyal person to the Chola dynasty. His younger brother becomes a martyr while fighting king Mahindan of Lanka. His daughter is Vanathi. Vanadhi loves Arul Mozhi devar and their romance is well described by Kalki. In the beginning, we see him at Eezham. He is the thalapathi of the army at Eezham, fighting king Mahindan. The scenes where the conspiracy attains climax and when Arul mozhi devar enters Thanjavur fort, the role of Poodhi Vikrama Kesari is very laudable and interesting. Poodhi Vikrama Kesari is awestruck by the courage of Vanathi - his niece during this situation.
06/14 Direct Link
Pinkapani - person who is holding the weapon (bow) . Pinkapani is the son of the Medic. He, first accompanies Vanthiyadevan to Kodikkarai in the pretext of searching herbs for the ailing Sundara Cholan. Both of them actually take this journey, mainly to drop Vanthiyadevan at Kodikkarai for onward journey to Ezham to meet Arul Mozhi. He starts hating Vandiadevan, for he becoming more friendly with Poongkuzhali. The hatred develops throughout the story and there is a duel, when Pinkapani wants to reveal that Vanthiyadevan is a spy. The jail scenes where comedy of errors happen between Vanthiyadevan and Pinkapani are splendid.
06/15 Direct Link
Theveraalan (alias Parameswaran), Idumbankkari, Ravidasan, Soman Sambavan, Revadasa Kiramavithan: Antagonists of the novel. These guys are dedicated lot in the story who want to avenge the killing of Pandian. They help Nandini in the plans to kill Adhithya Karikalar and topple the Chola dynasty. Nandini helps them in providing money from the treasury of Chola kingdom. Ravidasan comes throughout the story and is very active in execution of plans. Ravidasan is called the mandiravathi. Kalki’s wit and down to earth facts about superstition and magic cultures are fantastic and reading these scenes makes our heart very light. Owl- whistle- Ravidasan.
06/16 Direct Link
Sambuvariar, is the nasty character in the novel, Ponniyin Selvan. He is not loyal to anything and is self centred. In the scene, when Karikalar is killed, Sambuvariar realises the mess he and his son Kandan Maran are in. He knows very well, that he cannot blame Vanthiyadevan, as the irate Kandamaran utters. He is worried that such an incident happened in his place. He is very angry when his daughter Manimakalai is also found at the place where the grotesque incident happened. His presence of mind is to be appreciated in handling his son and daughter at that scene.
06/17 Direct Link
Malayaman is the oldest man in the novel. He is older than Pazhuvetriar. He is described as a man of 80, whereas Pazhuvettriar is a strong man of 64. He is the maternal grandfather of Karikalar, Kundavai and Arul Mozhi Devar. His chit chat with youngsters Karikalar and Parthiepan at the seashore is awesome. The youngsters tease him, yet he speaks to them confidently and with lots of punch. When he reaches Kadambur and learns that grandson Karikalar is killed we admire his courage and anger. Thirukovalur Malaiyaman alias Milaadudaiyar: This character is an inspirational character for valour and courage.
06/18 Direct Link
Karutthiruman, was actually introduced when Sendndan Amudan was jailed at the underground cellar of Thanjavur, for helping the spy Vanthiyadevan to escape. Sendan Amudan teaches him the devaram song. Karuthiruman was introduced as looney. In his cell, he used to blabber about the missing Pandia crown and treasure which is hidden at Srilanka. We forget about him in the second, third and fourth parts of the novel. Karia Tirumal, turned as Karutiruman becomes an important character in the last part of the novel. He knows the secret about Madhuranthakan. The suspense in the novel is well kept. Wait, till end.
06/19 Direct Link
Thiyaaga Vitankar: Father of Poonkuzhali and in-charge of the light house in Kodikkarai. He is the younger brother of Mandakini Devi and Vaani Ammal. Kudandhai chodidhar: He first lives near Kudandhai and later comes to Thirviaru, when his house is flooded. Several turning points take place in the story when this character enters into the story. Murugaian: He is the son of Thiyaga Vitakakar. His wife is Raakkammal, who is a helping hand to the Pandian group consisting of Ravidasan and others. Murugaian helps Arulmozhi Varmar in travel to Tanjavur from Nagapattinam. Buddha head Bikshu takes care of Arulmozhi.
06/20 Direct Link
This novel Ponniyin Selvan has got wonderful information about saiva, vaishnava and Buddhist cultures. The author has very candidly invoked quotations from these scriptures along with his narration. These gems are embedded in the novel without giving us the feeling that they are quotations. The religious pious thoughts flow along with the story. There are Buddha bikshus from Srilanka who offer crown to Arul Mozhi and the Buddha monk of Nagapattinam Sudamani Vihar, who takes care of Ponniyin Selvan who got the infectious fever. We have also got Isana Sivabhatar, (saivate) brother of Tirumalai (vaishnavite) who helps Vanthiyadevan in guise.
06/21 Direct Link
There is a particular chapter in this novel where the author compares two beautiful ladies to moon. They are Nandini and Kundavai. Nandini decorates her hair like Andal, a bun on the left side. As Kalki describes the beauty of these women, I do have a crush for Nandini. Nandini is a complex character. Adithya Karikalar loves her. Nandini’s parentage is the suspense in the novel. Kandamaran and Parthibendran love her. They are ready to help her in her well planned tricks. She marries old man Periya Pazhu vettariar, to kill Adithya Karikalar. She reserves a soft spot for Vanthiyadevan.
06/22 Direct Link
Kalki creates vivid and unique pictures of all the female characters in the epic. Kundavai is beautiful. She is a strong elder sister and commands her younger brother Arulmozhi. When the deaf and dumb woman comes to save Sundara Cholar, Kundavai beautifies her, concealing her wretched look. We find all the girly talks with Kundavai as she has fun with Vanadhi and other friends. Her love towards Vanthiyadevan and his love towards Kundavai is very romantic. The scenes, where Vanadhi and Kundavai visit the Kudanthai jyothidar are hilarious and the scenes when they get caught in the floods are thrilling.
06/23 Direct Link
I liked poonguzhali running. How fast she runs! I liked her singing. Her solitary song has a sad tinge. She sings: Even when the ocean is silent, why the mind is troubled? Arulmozhi varmar calls her 'Samudra Kumari' meaning 'ocean baby' She helps Vanthiyadevan to cross the ocean. She has a crush on Arul mozhi devar. Yet, she understands the feelings of Sendan Amudan. Poonguzhali is very active. She knows all the sand dunes at Kodikkarai. She shows Vandiadevan her lovers, kollivaipisasu (methane gas burning). A smart and independent woman Poonguzhali is and her appearances in the novel are thrilling.
06/24 Direct Link
Vanadhi is Kumdavai's best friend. She is from Kodumbalur family. Her father died in a war with valour. Since, she did not have parents, she was taken care by Kundavai. She is introduced as shy and frightened girl. Vanadhi will swoon at any moment and this trait is made fun of by her friends and Kundavai. This swooning habit vanishes through an interesting episode. Vanadhi loves Arul mozhi. Once, very eager to see him, she undertakes a solo journey to Nagapattinam. Kundavai intersects her journey. She faints. Vanadhi, is lifted by an elephant's trunk and gently placed atop the elephant.
06/25 Direct Link
Is there any scene where all the four young women come together? I don't think so. Three girls do come together.
Kundavai, Vanadhi and Manimegalai.
Manimegalai and Nandini.
We see Manimegalai, daughter of Sambuvarriar and sister of Kandanmaran in the last scenes of Ponniyin Selvan more.
The scene where Manimegalai sings at a lake location is very romantic, thrilling and fabulous.
Manimegalai's appearance is of course in the first part of the novel, when Kandanmaran wanted Vanthiyadevan to marry her.
When Vanthiyadevan jumps into the hunting room, Manimegalai and Vanthiyadevan see through a mirror. It is a classic scene.
06/26 Direct Link
Imagine the plight of people who can’t speak and hear. Think genesis of a family who have children who are deaf and dumb. Form a mental image of a strong active loving and an adventurous lady. She is Mandakini. When Kalki presents her, I think we first meet her at Ezham. She very smartly helps Arulmozhi Devar when Ravidasan and co. try to kill him. Her agility is to be admired. Kalki, presents the scenes of she taking the spear to her body, which was intended to kill Sundara Chola. She loved Sundara Chola. She was deceived by Pandia king?
06/27 Direct Link
Poongkuzhali has got two athais. Two aunts. One is Mandakini and the other one is Vani. Kalki calls her Vaniammal. She is the mother of Sendan Amudan. Both of them serve ‘Thirukulathar’ temple. Sembian Mahadevi - the mother of Madhuranthakan helps them in providing funds to this service. Vaniammal is also deaf and dumb and I admire the ability of Sendhan Amudan and Poongkuzhali to have conversations with her. Vaniammal gives treatments to two wounded people as the story moves. First, Vandhiyadevan brings Kandamaran. Second, Tirumalai brings wounded Vanthiyadevan to their house. She uses medicinal leaves to cure their deadly wounds.
06/28 Direct Link
Chembiyan Maadevi alias Periya Piratti: She is the wife of Gandaraditya and mother of Utthama Chola. A Shaivite devotee who donates a lot to build many temples for Lord Shiva across the Chola empire. She was very strict in not making her son the emperor, which was also the wish of her husband. Chembiyan Mahadevi has a strong reason for this. Kalki maintains the suspense of the situation and is revealed at the last chapters of the novel. Whether speaking with Sundara cholar or with her son Chembian Mahadevi is very discreet and humble. Her pious thoughts and deeds- great
06/29 Direct Link
Vanavan Mahadevi: Empress of the Chola empire. Chief queen, wife and caretaker of Sundara Chola. Mother of all his children. Daughter of Thirukovalur Malaiyamaan. She comes in very few scenes. When the attempt is made to kill Sundara Chola by the Pandia helpers, she was present in the scene. Was it Vanavan Mahadevi who told to Kundavai to decorate the dumb queen to hide her rugged look? Another female character of this novel is Rakkammal,who is an antagonist. She helps the Pandian helpers to travel to Ezham to an attempt to kill Arulmozhi Devar. She also gives another try.
06/30 Direct Link
There and there, this month ends. I made an attempt to describe the characters of the history novel, ‘Ponni’s beloved’ created by Kalki some seventy years ago. I was enjoying a podcast where a lady is narrating the entire story with modern language. Some 203 episodes have past. In the podcast the duplicate ‘Madhuranthakan’ is killed by Kandamaran thinking that he is Vanthiyadevan. Vanthiyadevan is now actually hurt by Pinkapani and taking treatment at Sendan Amudan’s house. I have finished the entire book by listening to another elaborate reading of the book by another set of artists. Ponniyin Selvan month!