Sam Arni’s discussion with Anirudh Kanisetti covered an array of topics from the world of the Sangam period to the various contexts in which Sangam literature was used. Ancient South India had flourishing trade links with ancient Rome, and this is extensively explored in the world of The Prince. The Sangam period also saw elaborate ceremonial warfare and innovative new traditions emerging, which reflected the unique culture of the time, and went on to form the basis from which much of later South Indian culture evolved, said Sam. A series of historical anecdotes from the time were discussed, as were quotes from a selection of Sangam poetry.
Synopsis of The Prince:
The famous dancer Madhavi is at the court of the Chera king for a grand performance. The king’s first son, Shenguttuvan – the crown prince of the Cheras – is getting ready for his engagement to a Velir princess. There is celebration in the air.
But when an astrologer predicts that the second son Uthiyan is destined to be greater than his elder brother, the Chera court erupts in chaos. The courtiers begin to play the brothers against each other. Life becomes dangerous for Uthiyan and the prince is forced to flee his home in the garb of a monk.
On the perilous journey rife with assassins and conspirators, he is joined by others who seek refuge at the just court of the Pandya king. But darkness is descending on the ancient city of Madurai. Warriors from the west, the single-minded and ruthless Kalabhras, have set out to conquer the prosperous Pandya capital and change the face of Tamilaham. Tormented by rage and lust, beset by betrayal and terror, Uthiyan is forced to choose a side in a conflict that is certain to end in bloody violence.