Every TV news channel had a noisy field time discussing thread bare, was Raja Raja Chozhan, the Chola Emperor who built the immortal Tanjore Temple, a Hindu? Why this sudden mushroom cloud about an Emperor’s religious leanings, that too extrapolating from a film that has made history in more ways than just cinematic? Kalki’s immortal 5-part compendium Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan, written over 70 years ago, with few attempts at filming it, has remained a seminal magnum opus literary work. Even Kamal Haasan is said to have toyed with the idea of a film based on it. After the unalloyed success of his Vikram, box office collection of Rs 600 crore, Kamal’s cinematic ego and artistic aura may have been bruised by Ponniyin Selvan-Part 1 collecting Rs 300 crore in just six days of release. The legendary filmmaker Mani Ratnam has succeeded beyond expectations. With his cinematic craft, and perhaps the only one who could bring Kalki’s classic to the screen…on a breath-taking scale of the art and architecture of the Golden Era of the Cholas, of beauteous women who powered exquisite palace intrigues, an era that still stands tall and unmatched, etched in stone in temples, an era when Hinduism showcased its finest traditions of Shaivite and Vaishnavite worship. Ponniyin Selvan will remain a spectacular pan Indian film, and a feat hard to match.