Indian Books
Followers0 followers 522 #hashtags
Trending Reviews Popular
None
Admirable novel
This is not a review of the 1959 Sahitya Academy award winning Malayalam novel, but a humble effort to express the beauty of imagination, realism and literature penned by one of the most reverred contemporary Malayalam writers, Sri. M.T Vasudevan Nair. My failure to do justice to the work is accepted and would request others also to excuse me, if anything is wrong in the content below.

Before getting into the novel, need to mention that Nalukettu does not mean stone courtyard as some translations suggest. “Nalu” is four(4) and “kettu” is knot/tie/joint in Malayalam. Nalukettu refers to the traditional carpentry construction style where the wooden roof truss of tile thatched buildings are joined at their 4 vertices of a square structure. The join is done without the use of any bonding agent. The style of construction was widely prevalent in Kerala, till wood became a precious commodity and security of the large open courtyard in the middle started posing threats of security. Well, the point is that it’s not “stone courtyard”, but “four joins”.

Appunni, the protagonist, lives through his childhood, teenage and being a successful man. Whilst there are so many aspects about the novel that would strike each reader, the phases of life Appunni goes through and the way the reader is taken through him coming to age and understanding the world and life is the underlying current that runs strong through out the length of the story. The story also gives a great view into the socio economic conditions and dominant nature of the family heads at the time. Reading the story from another era, another generation is a look back at how much the same society has evolved. The same issues at that era no longer exist, but we have different, more complex social issues that has taken their place with improved socio economic and civic conditions. The basic premise of a joint family itself has got almost wiped out of the state.

Appunni’s father, Konthunni Nair was a fearless, self made and respected man in the village who was killed through treachery by his business partner. He was considered a rebel by the ultra orthodox community and his acts of mingling with people of different castes without any respect to the prevalent restrictions. Appunni’s mother belonged to the wealthy Nair family (Tharavadu), which is the Nalukettu in the story. They married against the wish of her family and hence was considered not part of the family any more. That would mean, Appunni also to be no longer part of the larger family. After Konthunni Nair’s death, mom and son are poverty stricken the once wealthy lady now has to work at the backyard of other houses to run her own. Portrayal of how much ego and false prestige ruled over humanitarian values even when it was closest family in question.

Appunni was good in studies and would start going to high school. As he enters his teenage, he gets annoyed at the growing closeness between his mother and Sankaran Nair, an aide at his mother’s work place. This provokes him to leave the home and go to the Tharavadu, where the head of the family (Valiammama) once kicked him out during a family event. Despite the inhuman treatment, he sticks on there and continues his education amidst the hardships. He earned scholarships more than enough to cover his education and expenses. All these days, his grudge towards his mother who has gone to live with another man keeps growing.

During this phase, the family itself goes through lot of unrest and demands of division of wealth. Uninterested and fed up of everything, he continues to focus on clearing the 10th standard, so that he can earn a job and get out from there. He faced difficulty in paying the exam fees of 15 rupees. Finally his close friend, Mohammed arranges the amount. It’s only after paying the fee that he comes to know that it was his mother who gave the money to Mohammed. Furious, but he had no choice, but to accept it. Clearing the exams in flying colours, Appunni is in the lookout for a job. He receives a letter from his Father’s old business partner, Seythali, the same man who poisoned and killed his father for money. Seythali asked him to come to Wayanad, where he can arrange a job for Appunni. He quickly packs up and leaves the bounds of his village. Appunni joins the tea estate and works his way up through 5 years to become a field surveyor.

Without any prior plans he goes back to his village, with lot of cash and unseen lifestyle for the villagers. A number of people come to meet him now that he’s got a deep pocket, only to listen to his verbal abuse. The Tharavadu is in sad state of affairs and the building itself is mortgaged for loan. The then head of the family (Valiyammama), who denounced Appunni all through his stay there had no much choice, but to beg to Appunni to help regain the Nalukettu, paying off the debt. Appunni buys the house with lion share of his savings through all these years and brings back his Mother and Sankaran nair to stay there. He no more has the grudge. Appunni has grown to become a man who understands all the events that happened in his life and treat each one to it’s merit.

Never explicit, the way evolution of Appunni’s thought process is portrayed from being a boy to a man who’s been through the hardships is admirable. There are so many more characters and undercurrents that explains the time and nature of the age in which the events take place.
Too long by now, closing off with the knowledge that I might have done sole injustice to the creative genius, but if one person picks up and reads the novel after reading this, I’d consider that Mission accomplished.
Originally posted on http://bit.ly/2dfsJRz
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
8.2
It is undoubtedly a novel that Malayalam literature is proud of.
My analysis of M.T.Vasudevan Nair's 'NAALUKETTU'
"One day I'll meet him...I'll seek revenge on him. I'll squeeze his neck and ask him: 'Isn't it you, isn't it you who did that...'" These words enunciated by Appunni mark the beginning of Naalukettu, one of the milestone novels in Malayalam. Written by M.T.Vasudevan Nair, a versatile writer in Malayalam literature, the novel enables the readers to decipher the hidden rule of shadows in one's life. The story revolves around Appunni, who is the quasi divine figure. The author has made a wonderful depiction of the events in his life on the socio-political backdrop of Kerala. The plot is taking place at a time when casteism and feudalism were having a deep impact on the lives of the people.

Appunni, being born to Kondunny Nair and Parukkutty, undergoes pathetic experiences in life. One of the major causes for this issue was his mother's expulsion from her ancestral home; another being his father's untimely death. In the beginning, we obtain a sudden impression that Saithalikkutty, who killed his father is a villain. Simultaneously we are able to change this. Through Muthachi, Appunni knows about the ancestral home and later, visits the same. Even though he gets insulted by most of his relatives, his grandmother always expressed her deep love for him. The relation between Appunni and Ammini turns incestuous.

The story gains momentum when Appunni visits his ancestral home and a major twist comes when he leaves his own home suspecting his mother. A heart-touching scene which reflects the basic element of mother-son relationship is when she sends him money to pay his examination fees. Again, a profound student-teacher relationship is visible when his master offers him money to go to his workplace.

Naalukettu is about Appunni and his journey of life. It is a novel which turns to a true history of the lives of the people.
Originally posted on http://bit.ly/2dfnK3C
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
The book might end up in the best seller list,but for me it's just average stuff
Ravi Subramanian is one of the few Indian authors whom I love reading. Almost all his published works till date have been fast paced banking thrillers. 'The Best Seller She Wrote' is his first attempt at romantic intrigue and after finishing this book in just one sitting,I can confidently say that his attempt change over diversion is only moderately successful.The book has it's moments for sure but it has it's own share of flaws as well.

Aditya Kapoor is the king of mass market paperbacks.His career as a banking professional is equally successful.His wife is the georgeous,superbly talented,IIM educated Maya who is into social work.Kapoor chances upon Shreya Kaushik during one of his usual interactive sessions with the college students and what starts off as a bitter relationship soon transforms into fanship and eventually(and quite expectedly) to love.

Coming to the positives,the language used is quite simple and conversational.There are enough twists and turns happening at regular intervals making the readers hooked to the proceedings.Though at the heart of it, the book is nothing but a typical bollywoodish cliched triangular love tale, it's the setting and the intelligent execution by Ravi which makes this work an okay read. Ravi Subramanian has tried to touch upon (albeit topically) some of the unethical practices prevailing in the Indian publishing Industry. Aditya Kapoor's character(the IIM trained 'rockstar banker-turned-author', guess who!) is quite well written and the reader can feel the pain and tension which he was going through.There aren't too many unnecessary supporting characters(this book review is sounding more like a movie review,I know,but then,this novel is also more like the screenplay of a Bollywood blockbuster!) but the few which are there are pivotal in taking the story forward.The tale feels semi-autobiographical at times.There are references to real-life authors(Ashwin Sanghi,James patterson,Wendy Doniger and Ravi Subramanian himself) and personalities(Nita Ambani,Nirav Sanghavi of blogadda) incidents.

On the downside,the book suffers from pacing issues at times. At 390+ pages,'The best seller...' is quite lengthy and somewhere towards the middle,it drags a bit. Another issue which I have with this work is regarding the 'sex scenes'. The sex scenes are quite graphic and badly written.As one of the characters in this book herself says,Sex scenes if badly written are a big turn off.The book cover also is not that much appealing and only managed to give a mushy feel to it.The character of Shreya is a bit confusing.You never get to know whether she was actually in love with Aditya or was it only her ulterior motive which drove her into the tumultuous relationship with Kapoor.There aren't too many unnecessary supporting characters(this book review is sounding more like a movie review,I know,but then,this novel is also more like the screenplay of a Bollywood blockbuster!) but the few which are there are pivotal in taking the story forward.The romance(Aditya-Shreya) is half baked and apart from the poorly written sex scenes there is nothing much which depicts the intensity of Aditya's liking/love towards Shreya.
Originally posted in http://nikhimenon.blogspot.in/2015/12/book-reviewthe-best-seller-she-wrote-by.html
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
5.0
A good book
Ruchita Misra’s ‘I Do! Do I?’ is her follow up to her ‘The Ineligible Bachelors’ which apparently became a ‘National Best-Seller’ .The In-eligible Bachelors was an okay work and though it pretended itself to be a satirical take on Indian Marriages, the book was nothing but pure-unadulterated desi chick-lit. ‘I Do! Do I? is kind of a sequel to ‘TIB’ and traces the events happening in Kasturi Shukla’s life after her marriage has been fixed with Dr Purva Dixit. To give credit where it’s due, I sort of enjoyed the first 170+ pages or so (of this 300+ page book), but after that, the book started getting repetitive with the jokes falling flat, the female protagonist behaving more and more stupid and nothing much really happening in the story line.The climax chase and the supposedly hilarious finale is nothing new and is only what we have seen in a dozen rom-com Bollywood flicks.Ruchita’s writing is plain,with a few hilarious one-liners here and there and the book is clearly aimed at those urban readers who just want to read a generic light,desi chick-lit.I’m giving it a 2.5 out of 5. It’s not as boring as ‘One Indian Girl’, but not that great either.
Originally posted in http://nikhimenon.blogspot.in/2016/11/ultra-short-reviewi-do-do-i.html
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
8.4
The credit goes to the Author only.
I have read many of the Balakumaran Novels "Irumbu kuthiraigal" like that but i am impressed by the novel 'UDAIYAR' very much.
This novel is in six parts. Each and every part of the novel will drag us to the cholas period. He has written the novel in such a superb manner no one can turn his face from the novel. If we take the book in hands we wont leave it down until we finish.
During the reading we can see the chola kingdoms ruling, the beauty of dancing, the method of art the culture of the people. When i am reading that book i imagine actor Shivaji as Rajaraja cholan. He brought that character in the front of our eyes.
Many character name we not even heard about Mr. Bala introduced them through this novel. Small characters also he brought to our notice and gave important. The strain that rajaraja cholan had to build the big temple in Thanjavur the way the author explained is very embrasing. We can not imagine how the Big temple is constructed without any JCB and all machines. From this book only i came to know the method of construction of Big temple.After each and every time I went to Thanjavur i have never failed to give a visit to the Big temple.
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
8.2
Overall, a good sequel to a great novel.
The plot is set in Rajaraja Chola's period, who has been in power for around 16 years after Uttama chola.
The story revolves around Rajaraja's ambitious and visionary plan to build a big temple for Lord Shiva. The politics,economy and mindset of different sects of people about the temple are clearly explained. The enemies(Ravidasan's kins) conspire to take a revenge on Rajaraja for exiling their family.
Having read ponniyin selvan, one could find distinct differences in the portrayal of some of the characters. For instance, Aditya Karikalan is shown to be more ruthless than in PS. His death is explained from a different vantage point.
Brahmarayar and karuvur thevar are new main characters who were not there in Ponniyin selvan. I wonder how such prominent figures did not feature in PS.
The non linear narration of the events about karikalan, rajaraja's early life, Uttama chola's rule etc, made the story more interesting.
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
9.0
A must read for historic novel lovers.
This is a kind of book that will kinder your reading habit even if u r a non-reader.
it takes you back to the time of raja raja cholan
i was amazed by the way the author takes us back in time. i really felt like travelling in a time machine for a long time even after finishing reading. this book is awesome.
you can see in the begining that the author follows the footprints of kalki but slowly he drags us into his own narrative style.
i was in tears towards the end. thats the kind of impact it creates in the reader. you will feel as if you have lived in that period.
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
பொன்னியின் செல்வன் ஒரு கற்பனைப் புதினம். ஆழ்வார்க்கடியான், நந்தினி, சேந்தன் அமுதன் போன்றவை கற்பனைப் பாத்திரங்கள். இதில் சேந்தன் அமுதன் அரியணை ஏறும்வரையிலான சம்பவங்கள் மட்டுமே கூறப்பட்டுள்ளன, சில பல கற்பனைச் சம்வங்களோடு. இவ்வாறு கூறுவதால் கல்கியைக் குறைத்து மதிப்பிடுகிறேன் என்று தவறாக எண்ணிவிட வேண்டாம். எள்முனையளவும் எனக்கு அத்தகைய நோக்கம் கிடையாது.
உடையார், ராஜராஜ சோழனின் வாழ்வை வேறு தளத்தில் அலசுகிறது. ராஜராஜரின் வாழ்வில் நிகழ்ந்த முக்கியமான சம்பவங்களான தேவார மீட்பு, பெரிய கோயிலைக் கட்டுவித்தல், அதிமுக்கியமாக அவருடைய அந்திமக் காலம் ஆகியவை பொன்னியின் செல்வனில் கூறப்படவில்லை. அந்தக் குறையை உடையார் போக்குகிறது. மேலும் ராஜராஜர் நிகழ்த்திய முக்கியமான யுத்தங்களைப் பற்றியும், அவருடைய காலத்தில் இருந்த சமூகத்தின் அமைப்பையும் பற்றி உடையார் அலசுகிறது. பொன்னியின் செல்வன் நூல் ராஜராஜரை ஒரு காதல் இளைஞனாக (சாக்லேட் பாய்), பிள்ளைக் குறும்புகள் மாறாத ஒரு இளைஞனாக மட்டுமே காட்டுகிறது. முதிர்ந்த அறிவுடன் ஒரு மகத்தான தியாகத்தைச் செய்யும் மகோன்னதத்துடன் அந்த பாத்திரம் முடிவுக்கு வந்துவிடுகிறது.
உடையாரில் அவருடைய காதல் வாழ்வு மட்டுமல்லாது அவருடைய மணவாழ்வும் விவரிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. அவருடைய முதிர் பருவத்தில் பஞ்சவன் மாதேவிக்கும் அவருக்கும் இடையே நிலவிய அனுக்கமான காதல் வாழ்வு பொன்னியின் செல்வனில் விவரிக்கப்பட்ட அருண்மொழிக்கும் வானதிக்கும் இடையிலான காதல் வாழ்வைப் போன்றே சுவைபடக் கூறப் பட்டுள்ளது. தமிழகத்தில் நிகழ்த்த இயலாத மகோன்னதங்களை நிகழ்த்திக் காட்டிய ராஜராஜரின் வாழ்வை கல்வெட்டு மற்றும் தாமிரப் பட்டய ஆதாரங்களைக் கொண்டு எழுதப்பட்ட ஒரு வரலாற்றுக் காவியம் உடையார்.
ராஜராஜரைத் தவிரவும், பெரிய கோயில் என்ற கலை அதிசயத்தின் கட்டுமானக் காலத்தில் அதற்கு உறுதுணையாக இருந்த பலருடைய வாழ்வையும் விவரிக்கிற நூலாகவும் உடையார் விளங்குகிறது.
உளியின் ஓசை என்ற திரைப்படம் கூட பெரிய கோயிலின் கட்டுமானத்தில் பங்கெடுத்துக் கொண்ட ஒரு சிற்பின் வாழ்க்கைச் சம்பவங்களை அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டவையே.
பொன்னியின் செல்வனைப் போலவே உடையாரும் வாசிப்பிற்குகந்த ஒரு நல்ல நூல் என்பதே இதன் வாயிலாக நான் கூற விழைவது.
- ஒரு இணையதளத்தில் படித்தது
Like dislike 1 DisLike
None
9.2
Marvel history must read Udayar
Having read Ponniyin Selvan, you would be searching for more historical novels to quench your aspirations to know more about Chola Empire and Emperor Raja Raja Chola The Great.. This is the book for it.. A sequel to Ponniyin Selvan and Balakumaran takes you even more closely to Raja Raja Chola..
After reading the book, i really felt proud for being a Tamilian.Its a very good book to know our traditions,architectural skills,how advanced the people and the society were given the time the temple was built.
Brahmarayar and karuvur thevar are new main characters who were not there in Ponniyin selvan. I wonder how such prominent figures did not feature in Ponniyin Selvan.
Overall, a good sequel to a great novel. "MUST READ after Ponniyin
Selvan".
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
9.2
Must read for Tamilian !
A well-researched historical novel on the Cholas that will take you on an epic journey through the construction of Brihadeeshwara temple in Tanjore.
Balakumaran with his slew of characters, some well-thought and some haphazard, gives a story that tells the tale of an emperor who undertook a mammoth venture and turned the fortunes of his empire, both culturally and economically. Balakumaran's research on the empire's reign is amazing and it reflects in the vast compass of the work, which apart from the central subject of the novel, deals with human emotions, class divides, technology, culture, and religion among other things. The author's love for the Cholas becomes very evident as one reads through the volumes.
Though the narration is two-paced, the slower chapters let you indulge in your own fantasies of the past.
Overall, a great read which with a faster narration and lesser digressions would have been a epic like Ponniyin Selvan. If Ponniyin Selvan gets a 5, this one gets 4.5.
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
Telugu comedy novels by Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham. Used to watch this serial in TV in my childhood. So humorous...
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
Classic book for tamil literature lovers.
kadal pura is a historical novel written by chandilyan and the story based on ancient Tamil Chola Dynasty.It tells how Karunagara pallavan succeeded his challenge against Kalinga, how he saved chola people from the pirates of the sea using the ship built by him ie. Kadal pura and how he married his love Manjal azhagi and how he became a king of Thondaiman. Very intersting to read.
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
Greatness of Rajaraja Chola's period.
"Udayar" is Tamil novel written by Balakumaran which consists of six volumes.This novel deals with the building of the Tanjore Temple, depicting in detail the mindset of the people, Rajaraja chola's courtiers and relatives. It also throws some light on the significance of the various innovations that were done during the building of the temple. If you want to know more emperor Raja Raja Chola The Great this is the book for it. Spending time to read this book is really worthable.
Like dislike DisLike
None
9.2
can we rate Ramayana ,can we rate Mahabaratha ...similarly we cant rate" PONNIYIN SELVAN "
Excellent I am not even a worthy person to write a review about the greatest historical novel I have ever read in both tamizh and english put together. For those who are curious to know the premise, it is basically about the life of a great chola(kingdom in south india circa. 1000 AD) king 'Raja Raja Chola' before he ascended the throne. It is narrated by a Vandhiya thevan who is also one of the protagonist. The story takes place during the time of political instability in the chola kingdom or to put it precisely the time before they discover about the impending threats to the kingdom.
There are a lot of cultural references in this book about the various religions that existed during that period. The most interesting part is the fight between a vaishnavite priest and shivites. The first two volumes of the book have a very fast
pace with spying, flashbacks, intros, love etc.
The story toggles between Tamilagam and Sri lanka. And author has beautifully and vividly illustrated the places like dhanushkoti, northern parts of srilanka, thanjavur, and places near karaikal. I guess some of the places exists even today.
Well, I would run out of time if I keep talking about this book. I would say people who are interested in reading historical novels will definitely like this book.
1 Like dislike DisLike
None
8.0
IF YOU READ THIS STORY YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTERS AND  THE PLOT.BEST NOVEL EVER.
I just wanted to share my happiness of the book to the world comprising of individuals who always wanted to read this book and never find time. May be this could be a push to you guys. If that happens I’ll be more than happy.
I’m a satisfied person now. Having read an epic novel which spans about 2500 pages that too in Tamil gives me that satisfaction. Thanks to this one book I got the pleasure of reading a language which
I’ve almost stopped reading of late.
I am little worried that there hasn't been a movie so far based on the novel. I wish the novel is soon made into a TV/film series.
3 Likes dislike DisLike
None
9.2
It’s a journey that you would never forget
Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy was written in early last century. And to this day, it remains the most popular classic book ever written in Tamil. And you can guess my level of obsession with it, when you know that I ‘learnt’ to read tamil, just so that I can read this book.
They say it is difficult to review books that we really like. And I do believe it is true. I wouldn’t call this a review. This is merely a tribute, to one of the greatest writers of Tamil Literature.
‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is set during last years of King Sundara Chozha’s reign (957–970 CE), the father of the great Chola king, Raja Raja Chozhan. The book is named after Raja Raja Chozhan. ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ was one of the titular names by which he was lovingly called by his subjects. Though the book bears the king’s name, he is not the hero of this epic.
The story begins with the appearance of a young soldier, who rides in with his horse, right into our hearts. Vandiya Devan, is a penniless young soldier, whose antecedents once ruled the Chola empire. The first part of ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ chronicles his adventures, derring do’s, narrow escapes, fatal attractions and finally a journey all the way to Sri Lanka.
Vandiya Devan is on his way to the capital Thanjavur, bearing messages from the Crown Prince, Aditya Karikalan to the King and to Princess Kundavai who lives in Pazhaiarai. Enroute to Thanjavur, he stays in his friend’s palace, only to discover a plot against the Crown Prince and he is determined to warn the King about it.
Rich descriptions, poetic yet simple narrative, fantastic characterizations, unforgettable dialogues, I could just go on… Kalki’s powerful words brings the world of Chola kingdom alive, complete with its intrigues, mysteries, love and age-old code of soldier’s honour and duty.
Like dislike DisLike
None
9.4
Top 5 book one must read in tamil.
Ponniyin Selvan is one of the best books I have ever read, it is easily there on my top 5. There are so many great things about this book that I don't even know where to start. It is an exemplary historical fiction, has a great story, and most importantly, has great characters. The story of the book is basically about Raja Raja Chola, who was also known as Ponniyin Selvan (hence the title of the book), before he was king, and all the circumstances that led to him becoming the king. One of the highlights of this book, according to me, is the character portrayals. All the characters are deep and very relatable, even if the story is set in the 10th century. This book is a definite must read.
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
9.2
This is the best novel I have ever read in Tamil
This is the best novel I have ever read in Tamil. The plot, the setting and the characters take us to a mesmerizing travel through the ancient India and Sri Lanka. It keeps us spellobound and hooked to the book. To people who have thoughts about reading this novel, I must warn you ,once you pick the 1st volume, you are never going to lay your thoughts on anything else untill you finish off the 5th volume. Be prepared to be not trapped by this awesome novel and axed by your employer/school.
2 Likes dislike DisLike
None
9.0
THERE CAN NEVER BE ANOTHER PONNIYIN SELVAN AND SIVAKHAMIYIN SABADAM
Beleive me, I never stopped reading in between for the entire 5 volumes. So for I read Ponniyin Selvan nearly for 10 times!. My desire is that I have to forget the story to read it and sink into old Chola period afresh everytime.
I read PS when I was studying 6th Standard at Govt. High school Vedanthangal. My teachers used to complain to my parents that “This boy is bringing story books and Ambulimama to the school and splois other co-students!" :).
The love on PS and almost all other Kalki’s novels lead me ultimate land up with “Perumazhaippulavar’s ” Uraigal (Explanations) on Sanga Ilakkiyangal (Especially Kalithogai).
1 Like dislike 1 DisLike
None
8.8
A Must Read in Tamil.
First Historical novel, which drag me to the Tamil novel reading world. It is rated one of my best, which I have completed at my age of 13, along with many Sandilyan's novels.
2 Likes dislike DisLike