Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reflections: Ponniyin Selvan (Vol.5a) - The Pinnacle of Sacrifice

Thoughts on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

Volume 5 is actually split into two parts. In this first part of the finale, the conspirators finally attack, some ignorant characters have their “eyes opened”, and they unite with the “good” forces. Some mishaps and attacks are thwarted, some are implemented, and chaos breaks out. It’s up to the grand finale to now wrap things up. Although I realize who will be crowned, there are still numerous other concerns about other sub-plots, because I am hopelessly invested in the characters. Will there be an unacceptable tragedy? Or a tragical sacrifice, as the title suggests? Is the sacrifice over? What will be the losses and the costs? Which characters will emerge successful?

I know this is partly fiction, yet, it is heartening to read about the strong filial bonds that were respected and upheld. I can never get past the callousness of the Mughal dynasty - how sons, fathers and brothers treated each other inhumanely to seek the throne. It’s nice to know that the Chozha men at least stuck together and battled their common foes. None of the men seem to have had the greed and lust for the throne, especially at the cost of their own family. They were ambitious no doubt, but morality and conscience still hovered in the background. The story explicates many such morals on loyalty, friendship and love. And of course, the Tamil women are glorified sky high for their sacrifices and chastity, some of which are obviously a little irrelevant and unnecessary.

In addition, the questions raised in the previous book - on the moral responsibilities of a King etc, are addressed through Buddhist tenets. One needs to be as practical as possible with the knowledge that we can’t control everything. The greatest moral imperative is service to humanity in every form possible. As long as the heart and mind are in their right places, and we embrace tolerance and love, and seek to serve and help humanity, our moral duty upholds.

Finally, one of the major climaxes that featured in this volume was a little unsatisfactory, because I couldn’t fully comprehend the characters’ motivations and ruses. It seemed like the smart people in it could have handled it better. Perhaps it was meant to be so convoluted and the final book will clarify it for me.

However, the most unfortunate thing is - I don’t have the final book yet to put an end to these questions and looming suspense! How cruel. Now I have to twiddle my thumbs and wait. Or I could go on with my life and give myself some sleep, and feed the poor souls at home (which include my fishies). So, until then I will give this space and myself a breather. 


SecondSight said...

Nee, where are you? I'm waiting for the last one! Don't let silly exams take you away from the important stuff ;)

Neeraja said...

Done! ;)