I dedicate this, my first literary creation, to the memory of three people who have played crucial roles in my young and formative years:
- my mother Madhuram, who nourished me with love and her favourite mythological, as well as folk stories. She greatly kindled my imagination and interest for literature.
- my father Kuppuswami, a great music-lover who cultivated my taste in music.
- Comrade Jeeva, who gave me a place in the Tamil poets’ symposium for the first time at Coimbatore and inspired me through his literary orations.
This is the first Tamil novel of Siddharthan, published in the year 1991. The novel is set in the backdrop of the Tamil Sangam period (2 BCE – 2CE). There are several historical novels in Tamil, based on the lives of Emperors or the aristocracy. The author had an intense wish to write about regular folk set in ancient times. What did their lives look like? The characters in this novel are the nomadic, creative artists called Paanars (musicians) and Viraliars (dancers). It depicts not only the social life of these people, but also the different landscapes they travel through, namely Kurinji (mountains), Mullai (forest), Marudham (fertile plains), Neidal (Coastal areas), and Paalai (desert), while weaving a love story between the dancer Panmozhi and Kaarvannan, an emissary of the Chozha King Perunarkilli.
Our friend, artist Chandru has created the cover illustration and drawings inside, giving a feel of the theme and period of the novel.
The original Tamil version of this book has been well received and acclaimed by prominent writers and literary critics, including Professor Venugopalan, who writes under the pseudonym Naganandi, and Mr. Jayakanthan. Mr. Pon Kothandaraman (Por-ko) former Vice chancellor of Madras University released the book and highly praised the literary nuances.
Author Siddharthan has made a rough translation of this novel himself to English, which has been refined by his daughter. With four volumes of Samrat Ashoka in English, we have completed 50 titles from our publishing house. We are proud that Yaadum Oorey in English is the 51st title in the 25th year of our publication. This novel has been reprinted thrice and the English version would be the fourth one.
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— A. T. Ruckmani, Panmozhi Pathippagam