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Starting Monday 3rd December, I’ll serialise the first three chapters of my forthcoming literary historical novel Song of the Ankle Rings.

Each post is a quick read of up to three minutes. To maintain the momentum and interest, I’ll post these short reads on Mondays and Fridays right up to the book release in January/February 2019.

I welcome you to read and hope to receive your valuable comments.

Book cover mockup

Preamble:

Song of the Ankle Rings, an adaptation of Silappatikaram, is the tale of Kannagi, a virtuous Tamil maiden, her merchant husband Kovalan, and his courtesan mistress, Madhavi.

An epic from South India, it takes place at about the end of the last of the three Sangam periods, 3rd century B.C.E. to the 4th century C.E. known as Tamilakam, the Tamil Age, presided over by three celebrated kingdoms: Cheran, Cholan and Pandyan – present day Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Telangana, and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Silappatikaram, though well proclaimed within India and among the South Indian diaspora, is unknown to the world at large. 

A ground-breaking epic of its time, the protagonist is Kannagi, arguably a female first in ancient Indian literature, and symbiotic of the esteem womanhood enjoyed in the ancient Tamil world.

Song of the Ankle Rings – Blurb:

Kannagi, a chaste woman born during the glorious age of the three Tamil kingdoms – Cheran, Cholan, and Pandyan – renowned for their just rule, when men were honourable and women virtuous, marries Kovalan, scion of a merchant prince.

Societal norms smoother Kannagi’s verve and beneath her calm she struggles with private demons and her husband’s adultery with Madhavi, a courtesan but also a budding feminist.

Madhavi questions Kovalan’s morals and infuriates him. But realising his errors he returns a pauper to Kannagi, who takes him back and gives him her ankle rings to rebuild his wealth.

Kovalan travels to a neighbouring kingdom and, arrested and found guilty of grand larceny of that queen’s ankle ring—which is identical to Kannagi’s—faces the executioner’s blade.

Kannagi, outraged but determined that society’s strictures will no longer stifle her, crosses her threshold unescorted, an unheard of conduct by a chaste woman. But she is all alone in a foreign land, has to get past the palace guards, and confront their upright king.

Kannagi races to Kovalan’s rescue to fulfil her destiny, not knowing whether she will be late for his salvation or early for her vengeance.

Thank you for sharing your comments,

Eric

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018 ***

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