Oru puliya marathin kathai | Sundara Ramaswamy

Oru puliya marathin kathai (Tale of a Tamarind Tree)
Author – Sundara Ramaswamy
Publisher – kalachuvadu 20th Edition.
Reserve your copy at Connemara, Chennai
Reserve your copy at NLB, Singapore

puliyamarathil kathai

All of us are playing our characters in our life. Life is mixure of ups and downs, sweet and sour. Such a short life, but  the emotions, fluctuations, vengeance we have is endless. We have our own mouna-sakshi, silent spectator. A tamarind tree located in a junction of a town is such a mouna-sakshi. This story is soft spoken societal criticism .

Damodara aasan is a older man who portrays the story of the village in the pre-independence and independence period. His story portrays a peaceful, backward village of India. Later, the younger generation takes lead and run the political and commercial entities of the same town.

puliyamarathin kathai

Such a peaceful village, how is it changed after independence – is the story background. What do we loose because of development? How the political, commercial, selfish thoughts influence the society.

Tamarind tree is a symbol of what we loose, because of development, as Writer Jeyamohan says.

They cut down all the trees, to develop a park. Children of economically backward classes, had full freedom in the trees. They used to jump and play after leaving their cattles in the empty fields. But the same children lost all their freedom, after the park is created. They are in queue to play in the children’s play area of that park. We could see the intolerance due to class diversity.

The story also shows how someone’s political wish was transformed as a communal issue. How media persons are accompanying such nasty thoughts. They story was written long back. Still it is applicable for 2017!

Damodara aasan, Abdul Khadar, Accountant of Khadar, Dhamu, Isakki, Joseph, Kadalai thatha are some of the beautiful characters, portrayed in this story. How many characters we could see!

This is a litmus test for our society.

Kratham | Jeyamohan

Kratham is the 12nd novel in the Venmurasu series, the modern rewriting effort of ancient epic Mahabharata by Tamil writer Jeyamohan. This portrays the spiritual journey of Arjuna, to get mighty weapons and  from the directional forces.

This journey has connection with the previous novel Kandeepam. After he lost his one-to-one fight with Krishna, the king of Dwaraka, Arjuna scared to taste the bitter of defeat and vengeance concealed in their invaluable friendship. So he starts his journey to search and equip himself with mighty arms and spiritual wisdom to win Krishna.

The entire novel talks about Arjuna alone. Journey of Arjuna is not new to Venmurasu readers. He had his journey earlier to north eastern states of Modern India. He loved and married Ulupi and Chitrangkatha during the same.


But this journey is of a different kind, as Arjuna is much more matured now. It has been delineated as a journey of wisdom, truth and spiritual thoughts.

The storytellers are few travellers, those who are searching for their own way of spiritual life. Their conversations and controversies are endless – The wit, philosophy, vision are enjoyable, though I couldn’t understand many! Arjuna’s journeys were told as flashbacks, performances of traditional poets. Jymini, Sandan, Vysambayanan and Ukran – every one of these travelers are spinning this novel as a tasteful philosophical feast.

Arjuna tries to win the Gods of all directions to get their mighty arms. He approaches Gupera of the north, Yama of south, Varuna of west and Indra of east. Though it looks simple, Jeyamohan’s fiction brings spectacular visuals in our mind.

Arjuna’s meeting with Gupera is such a tasty laughter for the reader. I was literally smiling during my morning commute.

Varuna is hidden inside a dead sea (salt lake of Jordan?). Arjuna’s travel is so hectic in this desert. While reading this episode, you would be thirsty and long for a rain.

His meeting with Indra is like a dream on top of Indrakila mountain. Indran’s vengeance on Krishnan and his Narayana veda, Bali’s connection with Ramayana are interesting branches of Mahabharata epid, has come out well with Jeyamohan’s fantasy writing.

Volare Digital Camera

After getting the weapons and mantra from all directional drivers, Arjuna lost again to Kinnara God aka Krishna in the land of Kinnara Janya. He felt depressed, as all his efforts did not get him what he wanted. As directed by Kinnara Janya priest, he was directed towards Kailaya to get Pasupada.

Arjuna recognises Shiva and surrenders to him. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma, 19th century.

Arjuna recognises Shiva and surrenders to him. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma, 19th century.

Again, another interesting fiction – Arjuna’s meeting with Kaalan (Lord Shiva) and Kaali (mother parvathi) of Jeyamohan’s fiction. This dalliant and charming episode portrays the love between them, their parenthood towards Arjuna, Komban (Ganapathi) and Kumaran (Murugan). Kailaya episode was so charming. It was beautifully narrated in all it’s kind.

I am helpless to understand the philosophical conversations fully. But that doesn’t force a lazy reader like me to get away from this.