I read Chembaruththi after more than a decade. The book is still gripping; parts of it are still so intense that I had to stop reading; and, still, days after reading the book, Chattanathan and Bhuvana keep popping up in my thoughts (as I noted a while back)!
One of the reasons, I think I enjoy Chembaruththi is the way Thi Jaa describes birds, flowers and scenery. The other is the fidelity with which he reproduces the speeches of his different characters. But the most important reason, I believe, is that in a few sentences Thi Jaa brings up his characters to life on the pages of the book — I read a couple of sentences and I feel as if I had known that person for ages!
A great novel and I am lucky that I can read it in the original and enjoy!