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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Great Mordern Lives: Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born on 30 December, 1865. There were three things behind Kipling's success. First was, he was very good at story-telling. Second, he appeared in the English literary pause between the end of the great Victorian novel. Third, his way of writing was appealing to the public. Rudyard once wrote a novel called 'The Light That Failed' which was a failure. From then on Kipling never attempted to write a full length novel.

Rudyard Kipling received many awards and prizes. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1926, he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of literature. The universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, McGill, Paris, Strasbough and Athens conferred degrees upon him.

He died on 18 January, 1936. His books are still read and being praised. Rudyard Kipling was a very good craftsman and a writer with his own style.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ponniyin Selvan: The Cyclone

Ponniyin Selvan
Image by mlanghans via Flickr

Title: Ponniyin Selvan: The Cyclone

Author: Kalki R. Krishnamurthy

Main Characters: VallvarayanVandiyathevan, Poonkuzhali, Parthibendran, Adhitha Karikalar, ArulmozhiVarman(Ponniyin Selvan), ParanthakaSundaraChozhar, KundavaiDevi(IlayaPirati), MadhuranthakaDevar, Kandaradithar, Nandini(PazhuvoorRani), ChinnaPazhuvetaraiyar, PeriyaPazhuvetaraiyar, KudanthaiJosiyar, Malayaman, SendhanAmuthan, KandanMaran, Manimekhalai, AzhvarkadiyanNambi(Thirumalai), EasanaBhattar and Sambuvaraiyar

Whom I like and why: I like Vallavarayan Vandiyathevan very much. He is a warrior from the royal but impoverished Vana clan. His ancestors had ruled TamilNadu for 300 years. Vandiyathevan serves the Chozha empire now. He is a friend and emissary of the crown prince Adhitha Karikalan. Vandiyathevan is famous for his valour. He brings back Arulmozhivarmar from Eezham to Nagapattinam as instructed by the IlayaPirati.

Whom I dislike and why: I dislike Nandini, the Pazhuvoor rani. As KundavaiDevi says Nandini is a venomous she-devil, an enchantress and a poisonous cobra. She wants to marry Adhitha Karikalan so that she can become the Empress of Chozha kingdom. She asks Adhithan to imprison his father SundaraChozhar and make her the Empress. She tries to separate Vandiyathevan from Adhithan.

Setting/Theme of the story: Vandiyathevan goes across the sea to Eezham with the help of a boat-girl named Poonkuzhali. She also helps him escape many dangers. She once saves him from getting caught in the Pazhuvettaraiyars' hands again. Vandiyathevan finds Prince Arulmozhivarmar in Eezham and hands over the scroll addressed to the prince from KundavaiDevi. At the same time, AzhvarKadiyanNambi delivers a scroll to the Prince from AniruddhaBhramayar of Anbil. After a few days, Parthibendra Pallavan also gives a scroll to Ponniyin Selvan from Adhitha Karikalan. The Prince becomes confused. Kundavai has asked Arulmozhivarman to come to Pazhayarai at once. The Prime Minister has asked Ponniyin Selvan to stay at Eezham for some more time. Prince's brother Karikalan has asked him to come to Kanchi at once. While the Prince is thinking whom he should listen to there is news that the Emperor wants Ponniyin Selvan arrested. Ponniyin Selvan thinks he has to follow his father's orders and goes in the ship of Parthibendran. Meanwhile Vandiyathevan gets caught in the ship of a few Arabs. He pushes the Arabs into the sea. While they are all travelling a cyclone hits and Vandiyathevan's ship catches fire. Ponniyin Selvan jumps into the sea from the other ship in order to save Vandiyathevan. Vandiyathevan is rescued from the burning ship but both the Prince and Vandiyathevan get caught in the cyclone. When Ponniyin Selvan and Vandiyathevan start to loose hope in surviving the cyclone, Poonkuzhali rows to them and saves them in her boat. She takes them back to safety. 

This is the end of part 2. Stay tuned.
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Harry Potter Vs Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Image via Wikipedia
English: Created by modifying this image Itali...
Image via Wikipedia
Even if Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are two different series of stories by two different authors, I could find some similarities in them.

In Percy Jackson, Percy is like Harry from Harry Potter. Annabeth is like Hermione and Grover is like Ronald Weasley. Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts is like Chiron who trains Half-bloods to become heroes.

The villain in Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, is just like the evil Lord of the Titans, Kronos. Voldemort initially takes the form of Quirrel's head while Kronos takes the form of Luke.

Harry is a wizard while Percy is a demi-god. Harry and other wizards go to "Hogwarts" while the Half-bloods like Percy go to "Camp Half-blood". While Wizards fight with wands, Demi-gods fight with swords. Hogwarts has a game on its own called "Quidditch" while Camp Half-blood has "Capture-the-flag".

I hope you see the many similarities between these two completely different series. Please feel free to share if you have some more.
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

How Prince Arulmozhivarman Got The Name 'Ponniyin Selvan'

ParanthakaSundaraChozhar and his family used to cruise on the River Ponni in their Royal boat. One day, when they went on one of the boat rides, Arulmozhivarman fell into the Ponni river and disappeared. Everybody searched everywhere but could not find the young boy. Then suddenly, a young woman came from the middle of the river and held the child, Arulmozhivarman, aloft. Thus, from that time, the child was also called  Ponniyin Selvan, dear to the Ponni River.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1: The First Floods

Ponniyin Selvan
Image via Wikipedia
I am currently reading the English version of Kalki R. Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan translated by C. V. Karthik Narayanan and published by MACMILLAN India Ltd.

The original was first serialised in Tamizh 1950-54 in the magazine Kalki.

The First Floods is the first part of Ponniyin Selvan series.

Main Characters: VallvarayanVandiyathevan, Parthibendran, Adhitha Karikalar, ArulmozhiVarman(Ponniyin Selvan), ParanthakaSundaraChozhar, KundavaiDevi(IlayaPirati), MadhuranthakaDevar, Kandaradithar, Nandini(PazhuvoorRani), ChinnaPazhuvetaraiyar, PeriyaPazhuvetaraiyar, KudanthaiJosiyar, Malayaman, SendhanAmuthan, KandanMaran, Manimekhalai, AzhvarkadiyanNambi(Thirumalai), EasanaBhattar and Sambuvaraiyar

Story: VallavarayanVandiyathevan of the Vana clan who serves AdithaKarikalan, the crown prince goes to deliver two important scrolls from Adithan. One is addressed to ParanthakaSundaraChozhar who is the ruling emperor and the other is to KundavaiDevi, daughter of the emperor and also called as the IlayaPirati. On his way to SundaraChozhar's palace at Thanjavur, he settles the disputes between AzhvarkadiyanNambi and EasanaBhattar on whether Vishnu or Shiva is supreme. Then Vandhiyathevan gets trapped in PeriyaPazhuvetaraiyar's, the prince of Pazhuvoor, hands. He somehow gives the scroll to SundaraChozhar. The scroll invites SundaraChozhar, Adithan's father, who lives under the influence of the Pazhuvetraiyars' to come and live in the golden palace built by Adithan for his father. Then Vandiyathevan escapes from Thanjavur and goes to meet IlayaPirati in Pazhayarai. He delivers the message safely to KundavaiDevi. KundavaiDevi gives him another message to be taken to prince ArulmozhiVarman in Eezham(Lanka). This is the end of first part.

Parthibendran is a friend of AdithaKarikalan. MadhuranthakaThevar is the son of Kandaradithar. Kandaradithar and SundaraChozhar are brothers. Nandini is PeriyaPazhuvetaraiyar's wife and doesnt like KundavaiDevi, the IlayaPirati because she is SundaraChozhar's daughter and adored more. KundanthaiJosiyar predicts that ArulmozhiVarman will rule all the three worlds as per his horoscope. SendhanAmuthan helps VandiyaThevan during his journey to Pazhayarai. KandanMaran is a friend of VandiyaThevan. Manimekhalai is KandanMaran's sister. Sambuvaraiyar is father of KandanMaran and Manimekhalai.

I like the setting and theme of the story. I like the story and continuing reading other parts of Ponniyin Selvan. Stay tuned for the rest.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Hobbit

Dustcover of the first edition of The Hobbit, ...
Image via Wikipedia
Title: The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkein
Main Characters: Mr. Bilbo Baggins, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Ori, Nori, Dori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofor, Bombur, Fili, Kili, Gandalf, Bard, Beorn, Smaug, Elrond, Gollum and Bad Goblins.
Description of one of the main characters: Fili and Kili are the youngest dwarfs who went with Thorin. They are brave. They have sharp eyes. But unfortunately Fili and Kili die during the battle with the Bad Goblins.
Whom I like and Why: I like Thorin. He is the son of Thor, son of Tharain. He is really brave. He tries to get back the gold of his father, Thor from the great giant dragon, Smaug. At last, he too dies during the battle with the Goblins.
Whom I dislike and Why: I dislike Bilbo Baggins as he is such a coward. He is the reason for the war with the goblins and Thorin's death. But still he does not have the courage to accept his mistake.
Setting/Theme of the story: A cowardly Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is called by the great wizard, Gandalf, to accompany Thorin and his company in an adventure. Twelve of them Thorin, Oin, Gloin, Kili, Fili, Bifur, Bofor, Bombur, Ori, Nori, Dori and Balin set on an adventure to capture the gold of Thor from the dragon Smaug. They have exciting thrills during their adventure and at last, they kill the dragon and get back the treasure. But Fili, Kili and Thorin die during the battle with the Bad Goblins. Bilbo Baggins is blamed for their death but Bilbo gets a fair share of the treasure for accompanying them in the adventure.
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Bilbo Baggins answers all tricky riddles of Gollum and saves Thorin and company.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Image via Wikipedia
The Dawn Treader as featured in the 2010 film ...

Title: The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
Author: C.S. Lewis
Main Characters: Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, Aslan, Drinian, Reepicheep, Ramandu and The invisible men.
Description of one of the main characters: Reepicheep is a very brave Narnian mouse. It can talk. It goes bravely to the end of the world and reaches Aslan's world. It is very loyal to Caspian. It is a very adventurous mouse.
Whom I like and why: I like Caspian. He is brave and generous. He is kind to people of his kingdom. He is a fair and just king. He is a good friend of Edmund, Lucy and Eustace. He is very patient. Caspian is Aslan's favourite king of Narnia.
Whom I dislike and why: I dislike Eustace Scrubb as he is very silly. He is very selfish. He is not very brave. Eustace does not adjust with anyone. He is the cousin of Edmund and Lucy.
Setting/Theme of the story: Lucy and Edmund are sent to their cousin's house to spend the holiday. In Lucy's room there is a picture of a ship sailing. Suddenly all three of them, Eustace, Edmund and Lucy, go into the land of Narnia through the picture. They find themselves in the ship of Caspian, the Dawn Treader. They all sail to the east where the world ends. They go to look at the end of the world. They have many adventures like meeting all the invisible men of an island. They go to Ramandu's island and leave Reepicheep to go further east. Drinian, the captain of the Dawn Treader brings the three children back to Lucy's room safely.
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Caspian and the others in the ship escape from the governor of the lone-islands.
Different ending: Prince Caspian and the others find Aslan's world. It is near the sun. It is bright and beautiful. Aslan gives it to Eustace who rules it wisely.
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