Category Archives: #Guest Post

Guest Post by Author Sumeetha Manikandan


Hello Friends,

So today, I have the honour of hosting


Author Sumeetha Manikandan.

She has penned –


Having read the English translation of first part out of five volumes of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan thanks to the efforts of Sumeetha Manikandan and having loved it ( Do read my review of the book HERE ), I was curious to know how Sumeetha came to take up this particular book for translation and what was her experience throughout this cumbersome process.


This is what she had to say:


“It has been an eventful journey so far. This project began ten plus years ago and I abandoned it thinking that I was no good. I got the confidence to revisit the project only after I had published two books and got reasonably good reviews for both. That and the encouragement of my readers who followed the translation avidly made me resume the project. I am grateful to Author Venketesh Ramakrishnan for encouraging me to continue this project. Even then, I just wanted to publish the chapters as a blog but requests started pouring in from many readers. They wanted to read the whole thing as a book.

Translating any literature is a tough prospect, more so than writing an original novel. Here you are working on strict parameters that have already been laid out. This is especially true for a classic novel like Ponniyin Selvan. The story, characters, their personalities, the plot – they have all been fleshed out, discussed and dissected for many years now. One cannot take any liberties there.

Humour was the most challenging aspect of this novel. It runs through the novel like a jugular vein. Try translating any vernacular joke or humorous situation into English and if you can make the audience at least smile at your efforts then you have done a good job.

Language is another feature of this project that I had to be very careful with. It needs to be formal and yet neutral. It can’t be too archaic nor it can be too modern. It had to be just right. Each word needed to be selected carefully lest it had modern connotations or associations.

One aspect of this project that I thoroughly enjoyed was presenting the pictures of different places, temples and landmarks that are mentioned in Ponniyin Selvan in my blog. It was a fascinating exercise that my readers and I enjoyed. I am still writing the fourth volume of the book and I have one more volume to finish. I hope to finish them by this year and release them as books.

More than anybody else, I owe a lot to Kalki Krishnamurthy because it was thanks to Ponniyin Selvan that I started writing and discovered that I could write!”

Well, let’s wish Sumeetha all the very best in her onward journey as an author as well as translator.

Thank you Sumeetha both for sharing your views and ‘Ponni’s Beloved.’ Eagerly looking forward to reading the translation of future volumes of the book. An Appeal: Don’t keep us waiting for long. 🙂