When the door bell rang one evening and outside stood a courier chappie with a packet in hand, I wondered which book this could be. It came as a pleasant surprise to find the packet contained Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Tamil novel, “Sivakamiyin Sabadham,” translated into English in four volumes by Nandini Vijayaraghavan.As some of you might know, Kalki Krishnamurthy, a multi-faceted personality was bestowed with India’s highest literary honour, the Sahitya Akademi Award. I am so happy that Nandini has brought this to a huge new non-Tamil knowing audience by her translation. This historical novel is set in 7th century South India and is about the struggle for supremacy between the Chalukya Emperor, Pulekesi II and the Pallava Emperor, Mahendra Varmar and later his son, Narasimha Varmar. Sivakami is a beautiful danseuse and the daughter of Aayanar, the foremost sculptor of the empire.
The entire story is set out in four volumes:
Volume 1: Paranjyothi’s Journey
Volume 2: The Siege of Kanchi
Volume 3: The Bikshu’s Love
Volume 4: Shattered Dream
Nandini Vijayaraghavan is a very talented lady. To know more about her and what motivated her to venture into the herculean task of making such a translation, you might like to see this post in my blog People at Work & Play when she featured in the series: “Interesting People.”
As one who is fond of history, I look forward to reading the four volumes. I am sure I would be transported to a very different world in some senses. However, even before I start reading the novel, I would venture to guess that human emotions and issues described would be pretty much those we wrestle with even today, some 14 centuries later!