YAADHUM OORAE: T. Lakshmanan; Kumaran Publishers, 3(12) Meigai Vinayakar Street, Vadapalani, Chennai-600026. Rs. 190.

THE FAMILY saga of Chettiappan belonging to Nattukkottai Chettiar clan drives home the point that adaptability is the secret of success in life. In the preface, the author details many monographs on this vital section of society that inspired him to write at length this compelling biographical story. Se. Ganesalingan’s crisp foreword captures the essence of the thematic structure and kindles readers’ interest in the narrative.

Apparently the biographer believes in the adage that life is a quarry out of which we are to mould, chisel and complete a character.

The path of life from childhood through education, upbringing, job-hunt, marriage and child-rearing — one that meanders along several locations in search of better pursuits — is admirably traced.

The genealogy of Chettiars in general with the trials and tribulations undergone by those who went to eke out their livelihood in places such as Burma (now Myanmar) and Malaysia as the Second World War necessitated their return by foot; their entrepreneurial skills; religious beliefs; charitable disposition; their palatial houses; Nagarathars in the 63 Nayanmars; the noted shrines in their area; a wealth of details on Bharati; Kamban and Ilangovan festivals in Chettinad; the centre of film industry and educational institutions — all these and more are the ingredients of the book that is replete with absorbing events and anecdotes.