Monday, 27 January 2014

'Hai Madhan' - Where are you?

I hope everyone knows who's Madhan. A famous cartoonist and also worked in few films and in some TV shows. His most noticeable work in movies is he penned dialogues for Anbe Sivam and also appeared as himself in that movie. Also, author of many books like Vanthargal Vandrargal, Ke Mu Ke Pe, Manithanukkul Oru Mirugam. He is mostly known for his work with Vikatan, both in Anandha Vikatan and Junior Vikatan.

I have been reading Vikatan ever since my school days when it was 5 Rs back then and now it's 20. One of the constant section in Vikatan for many years was Madhan's 'Hai Madhan' where he answers reader's queries on any topic and his cartoon. I thought it will go on and on. Suddenly there was some misunderstanding between Madhan and Vikatan so Vikatan stopped 'Hai Madhan' and his cartoons. I thought they will sort it out soon and he will be back, but it's been years now and they haven't sorted out. Or at least I expected him to continue his work from some other magazine, but he didn't do that also.

'Hai Madhan' is one of the best section in Anandha Vikatan, where he answers to reader's questions on any topic. It was informative, interesting and very funny as well. He gives good answers on almost any field and get to know many things every week. There won't be stupid questions like, which heroine looks good in saree? Who is in your dreams currently?, which is default in Kumudham's Arasu Bathilgal section every week. It was the best for many years and I won't miss this section at least even if I don't read the whole book some weeks. I miss this in Vikatan very much, which most of the regular readers will do I guess. And, his cartoons on current affairs was always funny and expresses his view clearly. He will nail the situation every week perfectly.

Classic :)
Both Vikatan and Kumudham claim that they are the number one Tamil weekly. For me Vikatan is the best compared to Kumudham because of their contents like Hai Madhan and its paper quality. Vikatan haven't found any replacement for Madhan yet and I don't think they can. They replaced his cartoon with a picture and funny comment and no one answers reader's questions now, which is a default section in every Tamil weekly. He was part of Vikatan for more than 30 years I hope Vikatan brings him back soon.

I don't know what Madhan is doing now. I don't see him in any TV shows or in any other magazines. I can't find him in any social networks as well. So 'Hai Madhan' where are you? Get back in action in some form. Miss your funny answers and cartoons.

One More :)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

நிலா நிழல் - சுஜாதா

Hero :)
This is a story about a boy turning into a man with cricket, father-son relationship, love in the background. I remember starting to read this novel so many years before when I was in school just because of the picture in the cover. It was a picture of a batsman in whites. But, I might have read maximum of five to six pages and don't even remember the title after that or didn't even realize I was reading Sujatha's book. After many years when I started "reading books" really I bought this book, this time the cover was different didn't have a cricketer on it, but never mind the author is Sujatha.

Small town boy Mugundh, wants to be a cricketer and his father hates it very much. He wants him to just study, get a job and be like his brother. Mugundth was happy to be selected in his college team and wants to go to Bombay for a tournament, obviously his father didn't accept. So Mugundh lies and travels to Bombay with the help of his sister. He falls in love (or infatuation) with a girl in his relative's home in Bombay, where she initially just uses him. What happens in Bombay, whether his father found out and how did this Bombay trip transform his life is the story as usual narrated in Sujatha style.

Sujatha brings the game in front of your eyes, right from the practice sessions to the actual matches. He explains about in-swinger, out-swinger, slog, edges, partnerships, etc. He brings each and every match live with his words. Mugundh being hero of this story helps his team win some matches in the tournament, who was obviously the man of the tournament. It was much like Chennai 600028 movie with the perfect mix of cricket, love, friendship.

The book is less than 150 pages I guess. If you start you will finish it one sitting. It was interesting even though it isn't a thriller. Only at few places will make us think what's going to happen next, like when his father visits his relative's house in Mumbai where Mugundh is staying, otherwise it's a feel good book. Those who love Sujatha and Cricket, like me,  this book is a perfect combination. I really enjoyed this book, which was one of the best non Ganesh-Vasanth Sujatha book.

பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - கல்கி

After completing a great Choza experience with Udayar, this is the next novel I have started reading for three reasons. 1. I have heard a lot about this novel since my school days and wanted to read this. 2. After Udayar I wanted to live in Choza dynasty again, I didn't want to go out. 3. There was some rumors that Maniratnam is making a movie based on this novel. I had enough reasons to start reading this epic novel. This novel also, as usual bought by my uncle many years back.

This novel is highly praised by whoever have read it. So, I had a lot of expectation before reading. It lives up to all the hype and expectations and gave me even more than I expected. Kalki brings that time period in front of your eyes right from the first page, which will make you fall in love with those beautiful places. This book is like a prequel to Udayar, before my hero, Raja Raja Chozan, becomes a king, when he was still called as Arul Mozhi Varman.

The main characters of this book are Vallavarayan Vanthiyathevan (hero), Arul Mozhi Varman (Raja Raja Chozan), Kunthavai (Arul Mozhi's sister), Aazhwarkadiyan, Poongulazhi, Pazhuvettairs and Nandhini. And, many more character plays some important roles.

This book is a real thriller. It's basic plot is how Arul Mozhi got the throne after beating all the odds against him and also Karikalan's murder. And, it was very difficult to find out the assassin. It's up to the reader to decide the killer after reading the explanations of that incident. Each and every scene was like a screenplay of a movie. I had many Goosebumps while reading this novel, like when Arul Mozhi Varman's character was first introduced in Sri Lanka, then a boat getting caught in a cyclone in mid sea, etc. 

Nandhini is the negative character in this novel. You will love her as much as you hate her. She is my favorite character from the novel. I had imagined a beautiful lady in my mind while reading her part, beauty with a brain. Vanthiyathevan, even though he is the hero, most of times he will do stupid things and get caught. He takes life simple and doesn't complicate things much.

It has little love stories of, Vanthiyathevan and Kunthavai, Vanathi and Arul Mozhi Varman, Karikalan and Nandhini, Poonkuzhali and Sendhan Amuthan. Sendhan Amuthan character was a real surprise at the end.

My love to Arul Mozhi Varman increased further after finishing this. And, book reading has become a habit when I finished this. This is the absolute bestsellers of Tamil Novel even now. It was written some sixty years ago and it's still considered one of the best novels of all time and remains as a favorite novel for people of many generations.

You may not have the habit of reading books, but you must try reading this in your lifetime. You must live with Kalki's Vanthiyathevan, Kunthavai, Arul Mozhi, Nandhini once. I don't think anyone will make this as a movie. Right from MGR its every filmmakers dream. In my opinion, making Ponniyin Selvan as a movie and to satisfy all the people who have read it of all the generation is not only difficult, it's impossible ;). I hope someone proves me wrong.

I wish I could time travel and go to Raja Raja Chozan's period.

யவன ராணி - சாண்டில்யன்


Have you read or heard about this masterpiece, Yavana Rani, from Sandilyan? I have read a quite a few books of Sandilyan like Kadal Pura, Raja Perigai, Raja Thilagam, Raja Muthirai, Jala Deepam, but this is his best work according to me. This book takes place in the great Karikala Chozan's period. Ilanchezhiyan, a Choza chief commander is the hero of this novel.

The main characters in this book are Ilanchezhiyan (hero), Hippalaas (Greek soldier under Ilanchezhiyan), Brahmananda (a monk who helps the hero), Yavana Rani, Poovazhagi (Ilanchezhiyan's lover), Karikala Chozan.

Sandilayan doesn't take much time to get into the story. The story starts right from the first page, where Ilanchezian finds Yavana Rani at the seashore of Poompuhar, which was Choza's fort once. His life changes completely from that point. Tiberius, a Yavana leader, who plans to bring Poompuhar in his control and rule under this Yavana Rani is the main antagonist. He is as good as Ilanchezhiyan. Ilanchezhiyan escapes from Greek soldiers by taking the Yavani Rani as his hostage, imagine that scene from Gillli :). And, he runs and runs and runs, the story too moves as fast as it could.

This story travels to Arabia. Ilanchezian was poisoned and sent in a ship, we get to know about a king of that land and Ilanchezian is caught there with all other thieves. He manages to escape with the help of that king's adopted child. He comes back to Tamilnadu with that girl. Ilanchezian rescues Karikalan, Sandilyan also explains why he is called 'Kari'Kalan, must be fictional. Then, he plans for a big war against the Karikala Chozan enemies. He helps Karikala Chozan to get his throne. After that, he returns to Poompuhar to destroy Tiberius after almost some years.

Ilanchezhiyan was already in love with a girl Poovazhagi, but Yavani Rani also falls for him. Yavani Rani's love only will save Ilanchezhiyan. Ilanchezhiyan will form a very good war strategy for Karikala Chozan. Those sequences will be too good. He lets us imagine the battlefield exactly with his words. Sandilyan also provided historical facts every now and then with its source.

After reading, as usual I thought about how it will be if it's made into a movie. I had Vikram in my mind for Ilanchezhiyan, Anushka for Poovazhagi, later after watching Madharasapattinam Amy for Yavana Rani. This cast came together, but for a different movie. And, Vikram started a movie Karikalan which was stalled. I was disappointed since its director mentioned Yavana Rani book in one of his interview for Karikala Chozan's history.

Sandilyan has a formula like some movie directors. His books will have at least a minimum of two main female leads, an old wise man who constantly advises the hero. And, the hero will do some things which will look stupid until he explains his plan himself. These are must in most of the Sandilyan novels I have read. So after reading few novels I was little bored with Sandilyan, but my first book of his, Yavana Rani, is really too good. I have read many historical novels of Sandilyan than Kalki.

This book is a must read for all those love historical fiction. This will be as good as Ponniyin Selvan, but shorter than it. It has many twist and turns and it never let the pace down at any point. You will get completely involved in the story and love Yavana Rani and Ilanchezhiyan.