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A melting Point pot of Mystery
- Prof. venkata ramanamurty mallajosyula
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A melting point pot of Mystery. Adventure: Prthibanís dream by Kalki. Translated from Tamil by Gita Rajan, Illustrated by Srivi, published by KATHA, New Delhi. A gripping story spanning a wide canvas, Parthipanís dream is a melting pot of a mystery romance, black magic and history. It is cast in times of the Cholas and Pallavas, and brings alive the period in its lively and intricate description of the life and times of the people, in the background is the bustling part town of Mammallapuram(now called Mahabalipuram) and the sound of stone-chipping and sculpting can almost be heard as the writer describes the dream of Narasimhaverma Pallava, the King of Kanchi. In the foreground is Woriyur where the waning Chola Kingdom is surviving on the dreams of King Parthiban. Burning with the desire to restore the CAHOLA kingdom toits past glory, Parthiban raises his flog in defiance of the powerful Pallava Ruler and refuses to pay taxes to the Pllava state. A war ensues and Parthaban looses his life on the battlefield. Enter a strange character Ė the Sivanadiar Ė a strange old man ostensibly dressed like a devotee of LORD Siva, but obviously he is a lot more than that. Parthlban dies, leaving his infant son and young wife on the care of Sivanadiar. The novel picks up the thread of the story six years after the death of Parthiban, with his son grown from a mere slip of a lad to a handsome and chivalrous young man, the pride of his fatherís kingdom. He lives his fatherís dream as does his mother Arul Mozhi. The presence of the mysterious Sivanadiar, and the dream of King Parthiban over shadow the entire novel. The adventurous Vikraman visits Mammallapuram and gets a glimpse of the beautiful Pallava Princess Kundavi. Unaware to each otherís identity, the two fall in love with each other. However the Chola Princeís identity is revealed and the wrathful Narasinhaverma, finding his enemy of his doorstep, banishes him from his kingdom. Vikraman seeks his fortune in the lonely island of Shenbaga Nadu where he is easily accepted bythe people as their ruler. Bolstered by his new status. Vikraman makes bold to regain his old territory. Black magic in the middle of thick forest, a vicious hunchbacked dwarf, and several shadowy characters from a hazy past complete the picture that is Parthipanís dream. Who is the Sivandiar? What role does he play in the story? Do Vikraman and Kundavi Devi marry in the end? To know the answers to these, you really must pick up the book. A simple and elegant style of writing, and eloquent charcoal illustrations in a folky style are highlights o the novel. A pictorial historical map, tracing the Pallava and Chola kingdoms, would have added spice to the presentation.

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