Monday, January 3, 2011

Where is "Ponniyin Selvan"?

Yet another year has born without any additions to it (except for the number called ‘age’ that all of us like to forget about). This year is going to be big, no… huge for me (actually, make it bold, capital letters preferably Red color). I am getting married in 26 days. There is all this tension – no, not about life after marriage, but about the arrangements for the wedding. I am probably one of the few morons that thinks the wedding is the tough part, not the marriage. Is it that I don’t like dressing up? Oh hell no… I love dressing up. But when it comes to my own wedding, not so much.

What is it that makes me feel no matter how much effort I put in getting dressed up for my own wedding, I won’t look good enough? What is it that makes me so low on self-confidence (especially when I need it the most)? Why is it that I am unable to relax even for a minute? Is it normal for all brides-to-be? Oh wait, the very word ‘bride’ gets me all worked up.

Here I am on a lazy Sunday afternoon at Garuda Mall sipping Iced Tea after some leisurely shopping at Crossword for books. By the way, did you know Crossword does not have a single Indian Language book (at least at their branch at Garuda)? Disgusting is what it is! I would have been happy if I had spotted at least one Kannada book (not that I was expecting to see a Tamil book) – I am sure there are a lot of classics in Kannada as well.I am devastated by such a big bookstore’s not having a single Indian Language boo. Just to make sure, I asked a sales girl, “Do you have any Indian language books?”

She replied, “You mean Indian authors, ma’am?” As if I was being silly.

“No, I mean Indian languages – like Tamil or Kannada.”

She gave me a weird smile as if I was asking for 1kg of onions at her bookstore to mean “whoever reads such crap!”

If such high-end bookstores whose target buyers are from the younger generation don’t have our own classics on their book-shelves, it means only two things.

- Our younger generation does not buy Indian language books.

- The bookstores don’t encourage them to.

Back in the good old days in Chennai, Landmark had a separate section for Regional language books – they had Tamil, Telugu and even Malayalam work (if I remember correctly). I cannot even begin to fathom the idea of my son/daughter growing up in a place that mocks our culture; a place where “Ponniyin Selvan” is not on the book-shelves of major bookstores. I am stocking up my own library with Tamil classics collection from now on so that by the time my son/daughter is old enough to read and write he/she doesn’t have to roam around the town searching for good books (and come back dejected and discouraged to read anything). Appreciation of one’s mother tongue is most important for any child’s growth.

But thanks to this episode, I had forgotten all about my nervousness and the wedding for a short while. Now that I have poured my angst out to my mom, my sister and my friend (through phone) and my dad (through thoughts) and wrote it out on paper (yes, I wrote this using paper and pen – a million dollar experience that I bought for less than 50 rupees) – my wedding-related jitters are back on. From what sari to wear to what to accessorize it with to what I would do with my unruly hair – it is all coming back to me.

Before the world closes in on me, I should escape to a different world by opening one of the four books I just bought – that would help me stay in control of my nerves. Or so I think!


  1. Hey All the best for your married life. And, after this post i am sure a big % of your gift would be Kalki's novels (with lotsa repetitions).

  2. @Chan
    Thank you! No other gift is better for sure. :-)

  3. Hi, wish you a very Happy New Year!!

    Like you mentioned, not many bookstores hold a regional collection. You should try Landmark though coz i recently picked by "Sundaragandam" and "Oru Veedu Oru Manidhan Oru Ulagam" by Jayakandhan.
    Although Vairamuthu's kavidhaigal was prominently displayed, unsurprisingly couldnt find any tamil books in the 'Landmark Recommends' section.

    I think its a great thought to collect good books for the next of luck to your efforts!

  4. @celebrate ur FREEdom
    Thank you! And a very Happy New Year to you and your family.
    I have started building my own library with my favorite books. ;-)

  5. Actually was googling to find Nandhini's father in Ponniyin selvan. Hope nobody has got a clear answer for it.


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