Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Harmony to Non Existence [Malathie Kalpana Ambrose]




















From Harmony to Non Existence

You are the sweetest melody soaring 
Making ripples in the air
Filling the still auditorium
Yes…. you
The simple truth of pure existence!
 
Waves over waves over waves
Like a beautiful river flowing
And then becoming tranquil
 
Stirring amidst the vivid colours of a ceremonial marvel
You embrace my self, ever so gently
Moving over me
 
Reverberant clusters of musical notes
Giving birth to the most beautiful melody
Awakening every particle of my being
Defining my self
Mesmerizing me
 
Lying in the heavenly ambience
That is surrounding me
Slowly, I melt
Dissolving into that bliss
 
The enchanting river of beauty
Soaked me, and dissolved me
Transforming me into a totally different entity
Breaking into tiny particles
Again and again
I feel myself diffusing
All over the universe
 
Leaving the auditorium
I enter the blissful paradise
Melting away along the horizon
With you and within you
 
Mixed with the infinite harmony
That crystallizes in a breath
Yet; dispersed through the universe
I become tranquil
Feeling everything
Seeing everything
 
Endless feelings emerge
Penetrating myself
 
Who can say you don’t exist
Here you are!
Yes, I can feel you
Deeply and magically
Playing within the same melody
Carrying the same rhythm
Carrying the same beat
 
Dissolved in a sigh
The strings weep
Releasing the pain
With each and every stroke of the bow
Caressing my existence
Embracing my body
 
In between the cello stings
I am being born again
Unconsciously
My breathing stops
I start drifting into non existence
 
And at that moment
I am born again between the strings
From now on
I exist in a parallel blissful universe
Born from the most beautiful music
 
I am the dulcet tones
I feel the true beauty within
Seeing myself in that existence
And the existence is found within me
 
And, you …..
You are…taking me to the eternity
Lingering warm, in my breath
 
Then
In the next moment
In between the cello strings The non existing me
Come to life!


*Written at a theater in the middle of a cello symphony.

By : Malathie Kalpana Ambrose
[Translated by : Manel Fernando]


මාධුර්යයෙන් නොපැවැත්මට...

රඟහල සිසාරා
මේ  රළ නගන
ස්වර මාධූර්යය ඔබය...
සුගාමය... සත්තාව මය

නදියක්ව රැළි ලමින්
යළිදු නිසසල වෙමින්
උත්සවාකාරී ආශ්චර්යයක
වර්ණයන් මැද කළතමින්
මා වෙළයි...
මා සිසාරා ගලයි...

නිම්නාද ස්වර පන්ති
සියොළඟෙහි ඉසියුම්ම
අණු පවා අවදි කොට
මුසපත් කර...
වර නගයි....

හාත්පස ඉපදෙන
සුයාමයෙහි වැතිරෙමි...
ඒ තුළ ට වැගිරෙමි...

සෞන්දර්ය  නදී තෙම
මා තෙමා දිය කොට
වෙනස් ශක්ති ප්‍රභවයක් බවට හරවා ඇත...
මම බිඳී ,
යළි යළිදු ක්ෂුද්‍ර වී
විශ්වය පුරා විසිරෙමි...

රඟහලෙන් සුයාමයට පිවිසෙමි....
ඔබ සමග
ඔබ තුළ
දිය විය හැකි
දිගන්තය අස වැතිරෙමි....

හුස්මකට කැටි වන
සක්වල පුරා විසිරෙන
අනන්ත වූ මාධුර්යය හා මුසු ව
නිශ්චල වෙමි...
සියල්ල හඟිමි
සියල්ල දකිමි...
අපරිමිත හැඟුම් සෙන්
නොහිම් සර හා මුසුව
මා සිරුර විනිවිදියි...

ඔබ නොපවතීයයි කාට නම් කිව හැකිද...?
මෙන්න , ඔබ මෙතැන
ගැඹුරක්ව මිහිරක්ව
අණුවක්ව මුසු වෙමින්
එකම ලයකට
එකම රිද්මයකට
එකම තනුවක් තුළ වැයෙමින්

තත් මැදී
ඉන් රිදී
වේදනා ඉපදෙමින්...
මා පැවැත්ම ස්පර්ශ කොට
සිරුරත වෙළාගෙන
සුසුම් වල කැළතී

චෙලෝවෙහි තත් අතර පණ ලබා
මම ම වී ඉපදෙමින්

නොදැනීම
මා සුසුම් නැවතී
නොපවතින්නට පටන් ගනිමි...

එසැණින්,
චෙලෝ තත් අතර මා පණ ලබයි...
මෙතැන් සිට මා පවතින්නේ
ස්වර මාධුර්යයයෙන් සුනිශ්පන්න වූ
සමාන්තර සුගායනීය
සක්වලකය

ස්වර යනු මම ය
මා තුළ සොඳුරු සත්තාව ද
සත්තාව තුළ මා ද වෙයි...
ඔබ 
විශ්වයෙහි අනන්තය අස
මා සතපවා
මා සුසුම් හා මුසුවෙයි...

එසැණින්,
චෙලෝ තත් අතර
නොපවතින මා පණ ලබයි...

_______________________________
 *Cello සංධ්වනියක් මැද රඟහලක දී ලියැවූණි.

-මාලතී කල්පනා ඇම්බ්‍රෝස්-

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This enormous City [By: Manjula Wediwardena]
















This enormous City

When I return to the den by nightfall
My only refuge is darkness
Being tired of cold winter
My wilted eyes are welled with tears

The city, enormous ; yet unfamiliar to me
Sends in sadness; just the sadness
When loneliness echoes
My heart still is longing for home

Petals, strewn all over the street
By the rain, which is still young
So magical; brings out the poet in me
An instinct, follows me through the sansara

Just a smoke to calm and soothe my mind
Not the smile of my sweet love, by my side
Even the poem becomes painful, now I realize
Oh… such a heart ache, is this life?

Next to my window, in the cemetery nearby
Wandering are the dreams of night
Slowly, I will release my weeps and sighs
To drift among the tombstones white

 Trying so hard to hold tight
The last leaf of an aging tree, lost its fight
Blown away in the wind, gusting wild
Disappearing into the stormy night

Even when my pillow is sleepy
To stay awake through the night
My dream that couldn’t close its’ eyes
Looking for wings; ready to take a flight!

මේ විසල් නගරය

ගුහාවට රෑ වෙලා එනකොට
මුවාවට ගණ අඳුර පමණය
විඩාවට පත්වෙලා සිසිරය
මලානික නෙත් පුරා කඳුළු ය

නන්නාඳුනන විසල් නගරය
සන්තාපයම එවයි කුටියට
නින්නාද නැඟෙන විට තනිකම
මං තාම හදවතින් ගෙදර ය

මල්පාර පුරා මල් විසිරුව
වර්ෂාව ඔව් තවම තරුණය
සංසාර පුරුද්දට අවනත ව
කල් නෑර කවි ගෙතෙන අරුමය

දුමක් මිස හිත නිවා සනහන
පෙමක් නැත හිත ගාව හිනැහෙන
දුකක් බව දැනෙන විට කවියද
කෙතෙක් නම් රිදෙන්නෙද හදවත

සුසානෙකි කවුළුවට අත ළග
නිශාචර සිහිනයන් ඇවිදින
සුධාවල සොහොන් කොත් අතරට
මුදාළම් ඉකිබිඳින සරතැස

තලතුනා තුරෙක තුරු මුදුනක
හිස ඔබා සැඟවෙන්න නොහැකිව
ගිළිහුණා අවසාන කොළයද
තටු සළා ආ රුදුරු සුළඟට

රෑ පුරාවෙම සිටින අවදිව
මාවුලාවට පවා වෙහෙසය
ඇහැ පියා ගනු නොහෙන සිහිනය
ඇහැරිලා පියාපත් සොය සොය

By: Manjula Wediwardena
Translated By: Manel Fernando

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Colombo Breezes.......... [By: Samodh Thaveesha]

















Colombo Breezes..........

Colombo breezes.....
Coming from everywhere
Blow haplessly about

Colombo breezes.....
Coming from overseas
Far-away distant countries

Colombo breezes.....
Coming so cool
And fresh,fade away

Colombo breezes.....
Rest in grand hotels
Blow the heat away

Colombo breezes.....
Stagger through the streets
Struggling to get away

Colombo breezes.....
Blow around the town
Slaking a thirst away

Those Colombo breezes..................
Oh...! they wither away!


By: Samodh Thaveesha

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SOOKIRI | K Jayathilaka| The Living Icon of Sinhala literature - [Dr. Ruwan M. Jayathunga | වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම්. ජයතුංග]



Endowed Sri Lankan writer K Jayathilaka is one of the pioneers of Sinhalese realistic novel. As a creative writer, he exhibited his talents since early 1960 s. his novels and short stories represent the ironical social perspectives and had a profound impact on Sinhalese literature. K Jayathilaka demonstrated talents that could be compared to that of the greatest literary genius Martin Wickramasinghe.

He wrote a wide range of literature from novels to short stories as well as children’s literature. K Jayathilaka has authored nearly 12 children’s books and he added some of his childhood experiences to these books. His autobiography that narrates his childhood – Punchi Palle Gasavena reminds us the first book of an autobiographical trilogy by Maxim Gorky – Deistva (childhood).


In Punchi Palle Gasavena autobiography Jayathilaka expresses some of the social injustices that he experienced as a child.

The children’s books of K Jayathilaka vibrantly describe the relationship between the environment and the child. His children’s books enhance the stable concepts as well as mental reasoning and magical beliefs in children. His books especially Irunu Balla (Torn Cat), Oralosuwa (Timepiece) help the children to recognize logical relationships in elements and improve the ability to view things from the perspective of others. These books are truly facilitating children to use logic in the concrete operational stage. (As the Child Psychologist Jean Piaget stated, by the concrete operational stage, children are able to use logic and this ability can be improved by the external support.)

As a shot storyteller, K Jayathilaka proved his talents enormously. His short stories were influenced by Anton Chekhov, Edgar Allen Poe, and probably by Joseph Conrad. In his astonishing, work Punaruppattiya - a collection of short stories Jayathilaka recounts numerous characters that can be found in the contemporary society. However, some of the characters were no exception to the rule and have unique characteristics. One of the characters that was portrayed in Punaruppattiya was a desolate man in a rural village named Mudumaya.

Mudumaya was a cynical character who had voyeuristic impulses. He was excommunicated from the village and led a secluded life. Mudumaya had gifted artistic talents no one had ever known. His paintings were discovered many years after his death and revived by the experts. They found incomparable artistic attributes in his paintings. Posthumously Mudumaya was named as Pandit Mardamana.

Jayathilaka broadly wrote about the ethnic harmony. His short story "Mee Ambha" (Mango) describes the friendship between a Sinhalese boy and a Tamil boy who found a common ground not via the language but with the help of a mango tree. Through some of his writings, he conveyed the message of co existence. The metaphors that were used in Issaraha Ballano (those who look foreword) recounts similarities in the North and the South and emphasizes the fact that both Sinhalese and Tamil people could live without a conflict.

As a novelist, K. Jayathilaka exposed the social dynamics in the Western province. K Jayathilaka ’s famous novel -Charita Tunak analyses there brothers who bore three different characters. Born to a lethargic gambling farmer, three brothers and their sister struggled to survive. The eldest son Isa realized the family hardships and tried to find a way out by becoming a hardworking farmer. His efforts were ridiculed by his father who took no effort to work energetically. The parents and the neighbors demotivated Issa when he tried to cultivate a massive land named Kokilana. But he was determined in his plan and eventually cultivates the Kokilana. Then he was accepted as an effortful farmer and gained respect.

The main character - Isa ’s personality has some similarities with the Chinese farmer Wang Lung – the character that was created by Pearl S. Buck in her Pulitzer Prize wining novel - The Good Earth. Isa and Wang Lung were hard working farmers and both had ties with the land. K Jayathilaka had portrayed the character of Isa as an introverted self-punishing and egoless character. But Wang Lung was an extrovert who was energized by being around other people.

Isa was disappointed in his second brother Sana who was a drunken vagrant. Sana’s resentment towards Isa was destructive and a number of times Sana took revenge from Isa by harming his crops. Sana was an aggressive and a disrespectful person with a lot of negative characteristics. Sana could be described as the opposite pole of Isa.

Sana had a drastic impact following the negative parental style attributed by his father. Sana’s unhealthy life style (gambling, drinking and quarreling with the villagers) were the results of vicarious learning. Debra Umberson of the University of Michigan more scientifically explains this phenomenon thus.

The effects of marital and parental status on mortality are usually attributed to the positive effects of social integration or social support. The mechanisms by which social support or integration is linked to health outcomes, however, remain largely unexplored. One mechanism may involve health behaviors; the family relationships of marriage and parenting may provide external regulation and facilitate self-regulation of health behaviors, which can affect health. (Family status and health behaviors: Social control as a dimension of social integration D. Umberson - Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1987 – JSTOR )

The third character Ranjith is more convoluted and profound. As a young child, he realized the consequences of poverty that was hounded by his family. The education was his escape route. His got his freeing through the free education system that was introduced by the education reformer C.W.W. Kannangara. After becoming a teacher Ranjith’s ambition grows and he buys land and consented to an arrange marriage that offered him a large dowry. At the end of the novel the readers come to a conclusion that Ranjith was a self-centered egoistic character powerful than Isa who had the strength to confront Sana.

K Jayathilaka s conflict-ridden novel Rajapaksa Valavva describes the inferiority complexes of an administrative officer who was oppressed by the village cast system. In Rajapaksa Valavva K Jayathilaka deals with a taboo subject that was not deeply touched by Martin Wicramasinghe , G.B Senanayaka or other great novelists.

Kamalsiri who was banished by the village cast system witnessed the harassments caused to his family. His primary education was disrupted following cast related violence. This incident gave him an opportunity to enter a Catholic school in Colombo. In the Colombo school, he does not face any cast problem but other social issues like poverty, intensely troubled him.

The youth who were suppressed by the village cast system during Kamalasir ’s era launched a revolution to change the society. But Kamlasiri had far more goals in his life and never became a part of it. However, in a way he became a rebel and supported the movement that dealt with the acquisition of the Catholic schools. After the acquisition, he became disappointed when he realized that the new system did not serve his educational purposes. When most of the fine teachers of the college joined private, education institutes, his education was partially disrupted. Kamalsiri had no money to pay for private tuition. Therefore, he could not peruse science subjects and compelled to do art subjects for his university entrance.

Kamalsiri’s cast issue emerged again when he entered the university. His first love ended unexpectedly when his girl friend came to know about his family background. After the university education, Kamalasiri becomes an administrative officer. Although he becomes a senior government officer, in his entire professional life, he struggles with this cast issue. His inferiority complexes affect his professional judgments and Kamlsiri narrates his unpleasant experiences in the following manner.

When someone visits our house, my father insists me to come out and talk to him. Often these visitors are Grama Niladaries or petty government officers who are insignificant elements in the administration. When I am at the office these characters are shivering and have extreme fear to reach me. But in the village everything has turned topsy-turvy. The cast becomes the key factor – the element of respect.

Kamalsiri hates the village life pattern and his native community. He decided not to visit his sister’s wedding in order to avoid the relatives and friends. More and more he becomes a remote character disconnected from the rest of the family and the village.

The real hero of this novel is unseen. Kamalasiri’s father -the laundry man who underwent immense humiliations, harassments and oppression, never became a slave to the system. He challenged the system as a silent protester. He raised his son to disintegrate the village cast system by giving him a high education and a higher social position. But Kamalsiri never lived up to the old man’s expectations. Kamalsiri who had no such a spirit as the old man, used numerous defense mechanisms when a cast related issue emerged.

Rajapaksa Valavva represents several episodes of the Sri Lankan social history. The end of the semi feudalism, rise of the new business class connected with the political power, and the children of the free education who became the administrative class of the country.

K. Jayathilaka reveals the plight of the children of the free education via Kamalasiri’s character. Most of these children came from the village schools. They were studious and hardworking. After finishing their higher education, most of them joined the government service and started living in big cities. They gradually adapted to the city life. But for people like Kamalasiri who were cast conscious, their origin and roots troubled immensely. Some took deliberate measures to hide their past social strata that drastically affected their personality. They could not function as their predecessors who had the command and control. The government officers like Kamalasiri made the public service dishonorable by licking the boots of politicians.

K Jayathilaka profoundly analyses the rural family dynamics in his two novels, Punchirala and Punchiralage Maranaya that illustrate the destiny of a hardworking farmer who had spent his entire life on children and eventually dies as a disappointed man. Punchirala who was an over protective father raised his children with utter financial difficulties. For Punchirala raising his children Nandana and Suvimalee was a some form of emotional investment for the future, but he does not receive the expected results. Punchirala suffered old aged depression and died as a disenchanted man.

In these two novels, Jayathilaka shows us the naked realities of the Sri Lankan villages that are filled with sarcasm and jealousy. Although many novelists portrayed the rural villages as unspoiled naïve and romantic places these two novels, reflect the actuality of the Sri Lankan village life.

K Jayathilaka discusses the inner psyche of an aged man in his novel "Mahallekuge Prema Katavak". This novel exemplifies the repressed sensual desires of an old man who was physically and emotionally touched by a young girl. The old man’s life instincts were active for a little period and then the death instinct becomes more prominent. The outlawed relationship ends with a fatal outcome.

The novel "Mahallekuge Prema Katavak" reminds us the relationship between Pablo Picasso and the beautiful young girl named Jacqueline Roque. K Jayathilaka vividly describes the psychological conflict of the old man when he was trapped in an unorthodox relationship with a young girl.

The age disparity in sexual relationships has been discussed in the Jathaka stories as well as in Vladimir Nabokove ’s famous novel Lolita. Jayathilaka ’s novel "Mahallekuge Prema Katavak" may have had certain degree of influence by Vladimir Nabokove ’s Lolita – a girl who was the object of desire of an old man.

K Jayathilaka is a gifted author who has contributed a vast amount of publications to the Sinhala literature. His creative writing represents an important hallmark in Sinhala novel and short stories.


Dr. Ruwan M. Jayathunga | වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම්. ජයතුංග

Thursday, September 2, 2010

PARIWARTHANA KAVI | Gurov’s Letter - [Rathna Sri Wijesinghe | රත්න ශ්‍රී විජේසිංහ]



The night is covered
With the Moon water showers
As it owns,
Each and every petal of the flowers
Even the tiniest branchlet
Is ready for the Spring
Anna Sergeyevna,
Here we are with empty hands....

If you know…..,
Even if the things are so unknown
There should be a pathway
To sniff and proceed…

Someone might have bought
The next winter as well
If you know Anna Sergeyevna,
How precious you are
Under this splendid sky….

Even the smallest ant
When goes along with mother,
It belongs to her.
So, can you please tell me
How long is this night
that doesn’t give a birth
Even to a star ….
The breathless darkness
Will it die in its deep sleep?
When will you bring back
The kiss you kept with me
before you left in such a hurry
releasing my fingers….?

The first snow drop
That falls in to tomorrow morning
Will be reserved by you
for me……
Yet,
knowing that..
I will never get it…
Anna Sergeyevna!

-[Sal gaha yata- 1996]


ගුරොෆ්ගේ ලියුම

සඳ වතුර වසින රැය
හැම මල් පෙත්තක්ම
අයිති කරගෙන
පුංචි ම අතු රිකිල්ලත්
සූදානම් වසන්තයට
ඇනා සර්ගයෙව්නා,
අප කිසිවක් නැතිව

ඔබ දන්නවා නම්
මොකවත්ම නොදැන සිටියත්
ඉව කර කර යන්නටත්
පාරක් තියෙන්නට ඔනෑ

ඊළඟ ශීත ඍතුවත්
කවුරුන් හෝ මිළට ගෙන ඇති
දන්නවා නම් ඔබ
ඇනා සර්ගයෙව්නා,
කෙතරම් වටිනවා ද මට
ලස්සනම අහස යට ඔබ

කුඩාම කුහුඹුවාත්
අම්මා එක්ක යන විට
ඌ ඇයටයි අයිති.
ඉතිං මට කියන්න,
කෙතරම් දිගු ද මේ රැය
තරුවක් වත් නූපදින?
හුස්ම නොවැටෙන කළුවර
මිය යාවිද නින්දෙන් ම?

අතැඟිලි ලිහාගෙන
යන්ට සැරසි කඩිමුඩියේ ම
ඔබ මා ළඟ තබා ගිය
අවසාන හාදුව
ගෙන යන්නේ කවදා ද?

හෙට උදෑසන වැටෙන
පළමුවන හිම කැටය
වෙන් කර තබාවි ඔබ මට
දැන දැනම,
කවදාත්ම නොලැබෙනා බව
ඇනා සර්ගයෙව්නා.

[සල් ගහ යට- 1996]

Rathna Sri Wijesinghe | රත්න ශ්‍රී විජේසිංහ
පරිවර්තනය - Malathie Kalpana Ambrose | මාලතී කල්පනා ඇම්බ්‍රෝස්

POTH BOONDIYA | 'Bucolic Poems Written in the City' - [Upul Gamage | උපුල් ගමගේ]



Chinthaka Ranasinghe as a bright one in the new generation of Sinhalese poets has won quite a name among them. He introduced himself as a literary critic first, but his ability as a poet has produced three books of poetry so far. The foremost line of his identity that can be recognized through his writings is extreme social consciousness, which disturbs in a way his work as a poet.

His arrival as a poet through “Katussakuge Malagama (Death of a lizard)” in collaboration with Tharanga Ranasinghe presented some memorable poetic thoughts, but the second collection of poems (Kalayak Thisse Liyu Kavi) that he wrote alone did not take us into that far in terms of poetic quality in them. Similarly, through the latest arrival also he has not been able to supersede his first work by himself.


Chinthaka’s poems hint at some sort of protest he would like to direct against social issues that he himself cannot tolerate. His poems have captured several significant thematic areas.

Some of his remarkable poetic thoughts are resonating in my mind and heart. For example, read these lines:

“Hela Basa Manaram
Hela Resa Manaram
Molaya Tibenam
Demalath Manaram”

“Sinhalese is winsome, the race of Sinhalese too winsome, even if you have brains, Tamil too winsome”

is the meaning of this Sinhala poem. These lines with a rhyming pattern alarms us toward social inequity by questioning the thinking pattern of majority people. Even in the new book he does not have limits in using the language and he is very free to present his experiences, but it creates a critical and bitter environment for the parties who are subject to his critique. Some of his most personalized thematic areas are immature and emotionally charged efforts.

One poem in his new collection (“Mevan Viyaulen Nithi Kal Gevanemi”- living with a confused state of mind) enchanted me with his mind's eye. Before starting this remarkable piece of thought, he quotes from one of Nandasena Rathnapla’s poems and this poem implies the maze that he came across with the birth of his daughter. In a way this is a very feudal thought, but it occurs in his mind as an inevitable stream of thought, often which we cannot keep away from. This is also a tragedy that is faced by Asian fathers every now and then.

In memory of Anna Andreevna Akhmatova he has written a poem but to a certain extent it has become a phony effort which cannot be expected from a poet like Chinthaka. To sum up, Chinthaka has associated Sinhala literature broadly and he has a vast language scope that has been acquired from classical Sinhala. Besides his social awareness could contribute a lot to shape up his poetic thoughts if they are driven towards commonest directions rather than individual pinpoints.


Upul Gamage | උපුල් ගමගේ