Thursday, May 10, 2012

Naming a Legend

Although there is no "real" place in India called "Ponnivala," we have chosen to use this poetic name to refer to our retelling of this ancient Tamil epic. But how did we arrive at this title?

Traditionally our story is known by the name "The Elder Brothers' Story," which refers to the brothers Ponnar and Shankar, who are the elder brothers of a third triplet: their sister Tangal. The story, however, is vast, and includes the history of the land in which these hero-brothers were born, and their lineage from the founding of their family line with their grandparents Kolatta and Aryanacci.

"Ponnivala" is our unique way of shortening the Tamil word Ponnivalanadu to make it more accessible to English speakers. Deep in the interior of Tamilnadu lies a plain called Kongunadu, through which the Kaveri River flows. Because Ponni is another poetic name for this beautiful river, we've translated the meaning as "The Land Where The Golden Kaveri River Flows."

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