Ardent fans of the valiant Arulmozhi Varman, the powerful Kundhavai Piratti and Vanar warrior Vallavarayan Vandhiyathevan from Kalki’s classic Ponniyin Selvan can now listen to them, in English.
The characters that came to life in Kalki R. Krishnamurthy’s magnum opus, now have a voice in English, thanks to popular actor Amit Bhargav, who has vocalised them in an audiobook, reading from author Pavithra Srinivasan’s English translation.
The first volume, Fresh Floods: Ponniyin Selvan, is now available as an audiobook on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.
15 hours long
“The audiobook was Amit’s idea. The first volume is 15 hours long. Though there is no change in the text, I edited the book fully before he did the voice acting,” said Ms. Srinivasan.
She has also translated other books such as Sivakamiyin Sabadham, Amish Tripathi’s The Shiva Trilogy and Jeffrey Archer’s A Twist in the Tale.
“Explanations and hidden meanings at the end of the chapters have been improved. It is a very different experience to hear my words as an audio file. His voice modulation is amazing. Currently, work is on to do the audiobook of the second volume,” she said.
Ms. Srinivasan, the author of Yester Tales, Swords and Shadows, I, Harshavardhana and Back to the BCs, is presently translating the fourth volume of Ponniyin Selvan into English.
“When I came to Chennai and was asking people what I can read if I am to learn Tamil, almost everyone mentioned Kalki’s work. So I got the book, but it was very difficult for me to understand. Then I got Pavithra’s translation and read both the books side by side to understand the meaning,” Mr. Bhargav said. “Though it was a laborious process, I was smitten by the book — its story, the characters, their mannerisms, the locations and the descriptions,” he said.
He added that this was his way of “producing” Kalki’s book, since there have been many attempts to make a movie out of it.