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Aishwarya Rai played the role of Nandini, a pivotal character in the second part of the epic Tamil novel “Ponniyin Selvan” written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.


Nandini is the wife of the prime minister of the Chola kingdom, Periya Pazhuvettarayar. She is a woman of great beauty, intelligence and cunning. She is ambitious and manipulative and uses her charms to control those around her, including her husband. Nandini’s character is pivotal to the plot of the second part of the story. She is instrumental in setting the stage for the political turmoil that is about to unfold in the Chola kingdom. She is also responsible for the breakdown of the relationship between the two main characters of the story, Vandiyathevan and Princess Kundavai.


Nandini’s character is portrayed as a master manipulator who is able to turn the tide of events in her favour. She is not above using deceit and treachery to achieve her goals. Her cunning nature is highlighted in the scene where she manipulates the young prince Arulmozhi Varman, the future king of the Chola kingdom, into signing a document that would give her husband the power to control the kingdom.


However, as the story progresses, Nandini’s character begins to show signs of vulnerability. Her past is revealed, and it is shown that she was a victim of circumstance. She is shown to have been forced into marrying Periya Pazhuvettarayar, who was much older than her and was already married. Her struggles with her marriage and her longing for love and affection are also portrayed.


In the climax of the story, Nandini’s true nature is revealed, and she is forced to confront her demons. She realizes the error of her ways and attempts to make amends for her actions. Her character arc is one of redemption and self-discovery.



Overall, Aishwarya Rai’s portrayal of Nandini was exemplary. She brought to life the complex character of Nandini, with all her flaws and strengths. Her performance was nuanced and powerful, and she was able to convey the emotions and motivations of the character with great skill. Her performance in “Ponniyin Selvan” is widely regarded as one of her best.