Entries Tagged 'සටහන් / Notes' ↓

There are stupid questions

I had two questions
About a flower
Name? “It’s a Lilac”
The color?
I didn’t ask.

You insist
“The next question?”
Would it bring peace to you if I asked
Or would it be just stupid or for the sake of us; our harmonic progression,
Should we discuss how flowers get color from pigments.

When the first had answered all other questions; we must stop pretending; leave room for thinking.

So, “I stood / Among them, but not of them; in a shroud /
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts.”

Then I remember that he (Lord Byron) also said:
“There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio.
The answer to each is the same.
Only love.”

දෙහි:සුවඳ, රස සහ කටු- සවෘත රුවක් බඳු කාන්තා ආත්මය, තැනින් තැනින් සිදුරු කොට කාන්දු කරවන නිමැවුමක්

2012-04-09 13.56.20

හිමාලි ගේ ‘දෙහි’ එක හුස්මට කියැවූවෙමි. වින්දෙමි. සවෘත රූපයක් බඳු කාන්තා ආත්මය, හදවත, තැනින් තැනින් සිදුරු කොට කාන්දු වෙන්න සලසන අපූරු නිමැවුමකි ඒ. මෙය සරල රොමාන්තික ශෛලියකින් ලියැවී ඇත. නමුදු ඊට එහා ගිය සියුම් පුද්ගල චරිත නිරීක්ෂණ ඔස්සේ දිග හැරෙන මනෝභාවයන් හා දේශපාලනය අපට ඒත්තු ගැන්වෙන්න දෙන හැටි නිර්මාණශීලීත්වය මුහුවුණු මනා සංයමයකින් යුක්තය. භෞතික පරිසර තුනක් ඔස්සේ දිග හැරෙන මෙම කතාව හා එහි ඇතුළතින් දිවෙන තවත් කතා, හිමාලි මෙන්ම විදේශගතව සිටින මා හට වඩාත් සමීප අත්දැකීම් ලෙස දැණුනි.

ඇය විටෙක පිරිමියෙකු සේ කතාවේ එන පිරිමි චරිත උත්තම පුරුෂයෙන් ලිහා දමයි. එය කෙතරම් සාර්ථක උපක්‍රමයක් වී දැයි සිතෙන්නේ, ඒ ඒ චරිත හැසිරෙන ආකාරය, සිතන පතන ආකාරය තුළ කිසිම ආගන්තුක බවක් මට නොදැණුන නිසාය. 2012 දී එළි දුටු මේ කෘතිය හිමාලි ලියන්නට ඇත්තේ විදේශගතව සිටින අතරතුරදී ම යැයි මම අනුමාන කරමි. නමුත්, උපන් බිමෙන් රැගෙන ආ මතක වස්තුව ඉතා සුරැකීව තබා ගෙන අර පරිස්සමින් යොදාගෙන ලියා ඇති අයුරු මනරම්ය. මව්බිම් අතැර එන බොහෝ අයගෙන් නොදැනෙන්නට සීරුවට ගිලිහී යන ඒ මතකයන් හමුවේ, හිමාලි විදේශගතව සම්පාදනය කරන මේ කෘතිය කියවද්දී ඒ තුළ කිසිම ආගන්තුක බවක් මට නොදැණුනි. ඒ අතින් ඈ ඉතා සාර්ථක යැයි මට හැඟේ.

ඇගේ ලිවීම ගැන කියනවා නම්, මේ ලියැවිල්ල තුළ නොබියව ඈ සිය පෑන මෙහෙයවයි. සාම්ප්‍රදායික සවෘත ගැහැනියට මුළු ගැන්වෙන්න ඉඩ නොදී මුළු මනින් විවර කොට අපට පෙන්වයි. ඈ පෙළන ලජ්ජාව අතු පතු ගා දමයි. ඈ විවෘතව ලියයි. බොරු කාන්තා සුචරිතවාදය නොතකා, ඈට එල්ලවිය හැකි තර්ජන ගර්ජන නොතකා සෑම විටමම ඇත්තම ලියන්න උත්සාහ ගනියි. හිමාලිගේ ඒ නිර්භය ලක්ෂණ තුළ ඒ ඒ චරිත වල පුද්ගල ආත්මයන්ට, වඩා සාධාරණව අප හමුවේ නිරාවරණය වන්නට ඈ ඉඩ ප්‍රස්ථා සලසයි. භාෂාව ගැන කියනවා නම්, සරල වූවද ඈටම අනන්‍ය වූ ස්වරූපයකින් සුඛ නම්‍යව ගලා යයි.

‘දෙහි’ තුළ මා සිත් නොගත් තැනක් කියනවා නම්, කතාවේ අන්තිමේ යසීමා රහස් පරීක්ෂක වරියක් කිරීම සම්බන්ධව මම පෞද්ගලිකව සතුටු නැත. යසීමාට යසීමා ලෙසම ඉන්න හැරියා නම් වඩා හොඳ යැයි සිතුණි. ඊට අමතරව කියන්නට තරම් වරදක් මම නොදුටුවෙමි. ඉහත කිව්වේ මගේ ඉතාම පෞද්ගලික මතයක් නිසා ඔබට එය වීසිකර දැමිය හැක.

පොදුවේ ගත් කල මෙයට මා කැමති අතර, කතාවේ එන සියලුම චරිත වල හැසිරීම ඔවුන්ගේ නාමික සිරස්තල යටතේ වෙන වෙනම ලියා දැක්වූවද සෑම පරිච්ඡේදයකින්ම විග්‍රහ වන්නේ සුහානිවය. එනම් කතාවේ කතා නායිකාවයි. එය සාර්ථක උපක්‍රමයකි.

මේ පොත මට ඉතා සමීපව දැනෙන්න තවත් හේතුවක් වුණේ සමහර තැනක ලියා ඇති හිමාලිගේ අත්දැකීමක් ඒ අයුරින්ම මගේත් පෞද්ගලික අත්දැකීමක් ලෙස මාගේ නිර්මාණවලට යොදාගෙන තිබූ අවස්ථා තිබුණු බැවිනි. මට දැණුනු ඒ සමීප බව පෙන්වීමට පමණක් ඒ ඒ තැන් මාගේ නිර්මාණයකින් කොටසකුත් සමඟ මෙහි උපුටා දක්වමි.

උදා :

“දන්නවද ඇයි කියල හුඟක් සිංහල මිනිස්සුන්ගේ ගෙවල්වල දෙහි ගස් හදන්නේ කියල. ඒ මිනිස්සු ලෝකෙට කියාගන්න බැරි දේවල් කටු තියෙන ගස්වලට කියනවා. රෑට දකින නපුරු හීන, හිතේ තියෙන රහස්. හැම එකම පපු ඇතුළේ හිර කරන් ඉන්න අමාරු නිසා. මට කටු ගහක් වත් නෑ. ඔක්කොම ඇතුළේ ලොක් කරගෙන” ( දෙහි, 22 පිටුව )

දෙහි ගහයි මමයි

ඉස්සර නම් රෑට දකින නපුරු හීන හැම
පාන්දරම දෙහි ගහ ළඟ දිගහරිනව මම
දැන්නම් ඇඳ ළඟට එන්න කඳුළු හීන නැතුවා
බිඳුණු හිතක මල් පීදෙන කවියක් නුඹ ගෙතුවා
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ඉස්සර මෙන් ආයෙත් දෙහි ගහ ළඟටම යන්නම්
කොළ හැලිච්ච ගහටම මං මගෙ දුක පවසන්නම්

( බඹරු එළපු දැල්, 2004, නිරාෂ ගුණසේකර, 34 පිටුව )

ඉහත සාරාංශ කළ සංකල්පය ඔස්සේම මුළු කතාවම දිග හැරෙන අතර, පොතේ නම ‘දෙහි’ වන්නේ ද ඒ අනුවය.

“ගමන යන මග ඇති තරම් සොඳුරු දේ තිබියදී ගමනාන්තයට නොඉවසිල්ලෙන් පියැඹීම පිස්සුවකි. නමුත් රමේෂ් සිතුවේ වෙනස් ආකාරයකටයි. ( දෙහි, 108 පිටුව )

දිවි මහරු සතුට

මිතුර, නුඹ බිණූවද
හැරී නොබලා වහා දිව ගොස්
ඉතා සුරැකිව ගන්න ඕනැයි
පාර අග මිණි මංජුසාවේ
දඹ රනක් වන්
දිවි මහරු සතුට…

මේ නිල්ල අතරමග හීගඩුවෙ
සීතළම දිය ඉරක
මීරිතම රොනවුලක නතර වී
කිසිදු කොළහල නැතිව
බිඳක් කල් මරන්නම්…

දුර ඈත කඳු පෙතක
හිස සිඹින නල රැළක
නුරාබර තතට කන් යොමන්නම්
නුබ සරන සියොතුනගෙ
රටා හෙවණලි මැදින් ඇදෙන්නම්…
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.
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පිය මිතුර, ඔබ සිතයි නම් තවම
ජීවිතේ මාවතේ
දිනිය යුතු සතුට යනු
පියෙන් පිය පසු කරන්
ගමනාන්තය කෙළක
හමුවනා දෙයක් නම්…!

( සුදු කතක් හා මධුවිතක්, 2014, නිරාෂ ගුණසේකර, 70 පිටුව )

හිමාලිට, නිර්මාණකරණයේ දිගටම යෙදෙමින් වඩාත් සාර්ථක නිර්මාණ වලින් අප හමුවට යළිත් එන්නැයි පතමින් මෙතැනින් නතරවෙමි. ජය!
නිරාෂ ගුණසේකර

Anumpama Godakanda wants to know what I think about her poetry. October 2014

Posted on facebook March 20, 2015 at 9:09pm

I read Anumpama Godakanda’s poetry collection several times hoping to figure out the message she intends to deliver to the audience with her verses. But as Jim Morrison said “Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything, it just ticks off the possibilities. Open all doors. You can walk through any one that suits you” and Anupama Godakanda’s poetry appeals to me because they don’t lament-at all! Even when she talks about her lonesomeness or the lonesome in general it doesn’t sound like a sad song. Instead it is a song of acceptance of the reality while opening a door for a broad view but not an invitation into a private life.

Godakanda’s poetry covers a sociopolitical aspect with a strong standpoint and she shows that she knows what she is talking about. It seems that she is not ready to take the best next seat behind male writers in the country but she is eager to discuss and let her views be discussed while she sits at the front. In some of her poetry she seems she takes things a little personal and also she under-estimates her reader because she tries to explain some things too much instead of letting the reader to ‘just google’ it. However, I find it in a positive way because I feel Godakanda’s enthusiasm does not want any reader to feel left alone. Since her poetry is published already online we already get to witness the way readers criticize her work constructively and also based on emotional connection. Perhaps that’s what Jim Morrison told about opening doors with poetry to suit each and every one.

Somehow Godakanda has already begun to build a platform and be exposed in the literary world though she has not yet published in the printed form. Godakanda may have studied creative writing and may be following the tips and tricks by experts, such as keeping it to the simplest style while letting the deepest thoughts be understood without the help of a dictionary, explanations or any other foot note. Perhaps she is a naturally blessed with an non complex yet lucid way of leaving words fall free and run towards their destination like small creeks, or like streams that flow without a loud roaring but which, in the end, feed the vast ocean. Her poetry is inspired by good reads but relates to timely discussable topics leaving an image of a brave, strong, creative writer instead of being a feminist or any other activist.

Godakanda, does not have the habit of writing a poem on every flower, moon, or a dew drop she comes across on her way to work. She wants the readers to know the mature woman is like any other mature man sees the world: not through a tunnel. Because of the same reason Anupama Godakanda’s poetry collection is a remarkable read though they remain intimate and close to her heart.

Where did you come from? Ashes? Dust?

Yesterday I was driving towards Edison on Woodbridge Avenue. Just before the Rabi Jacob Joseph School, a big family size car turned left to enter Silver Lake Avenue, misjudging the distance and the speed of my car going straight. Of course, she was texting. I was driving at a reasonable speed. I managed to stop avoiding the deadly crash. I also thank sharp driving skills of a taxi driver that I learned from my husband. No, he doesn’t drive a taxi. He loves flying small aircraft for fun. He is not a rich man either. But very brown, curry loving, educated, hardworking professional who pays his taxes in America. He fixes the brakes of my car too. And yesterday was the luckiest break; I’ve got in my life. It was a miracle that the other car didn’t hit the side of my car where my daughter was sitting down. We were frightened. It was ‘Marana baya’, fear of death. The woman driver was shaking her head, telling me things, gesturing with her hands as if it was my fault. Her phone screen was still blinking. She was a big size, white woman wearing thick rimmed spectacles. I didn’t see any passengers in her big SUV. I rolled my window shutter down and told her it was my green light and she was supposed to give me way before turning left. I tried to make her understand that it wasn’t my fault. She asked “you want to yell, you want to yell now?” I told her “No. I’m shocked, shaken and I have two children in the car.” She said “fuck off,” and used a lot more profanity. As we lived in Australia for several years, hearing the word fuck is not a big deal. My son learned that word on a trip to see the New Year’s fireworks show. I remember almost everyone in the train was saying fuck as if it is the Aussie way of saying happy New Year.

However, I got mad at the woman. I raised my voice and kept telling her that it was my right of way, explaining the road rules to her in my Australian, Sri Lankan, American mix accent. But I tried to mind my grammar hoping she will understand clearly. She kept cursing. In between her screams she checked her phone. Maybe she texted to. Then, before getting back into the car she said: “GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM.” I yelled back: “YOU TOO! GO BACK!” She got off the car. She said that she is an American and I have to go back to where I came from. I asked three times: “Are you a native?” I was angry and I was loud but I didn’t use filthy words. In situations like this, it is facts, figures, knowledge and better argumentation skills that come to us. Yes, where I came from trained me to use my brain as we don’t have tails anymore. I was born and raised in Sri Lanka. That’s why I look Indian. And I am supposed to look that way. And that’s why she wanted me to go back. She kept cursing racist remarks in front of my Children. I have a daughter who wants to join NASA one day with a dream to be the first American woman to go to Mars if it’s possible for a human to go to Mars and my son wants to be a senator. He says he can do a better service to the American people unlike current congress passing bills approving things like Yellow Stone Park oil lines. Before leaving the scene I told the woman that I am a better American because at least I follow road rules.

After coming home I started preparing alms giving/heel daane for the local Buddhist temple to be taken at next day breakfast. I pour a glass of wine to get into a better mood to concentrate on my Maitri which is a way of sending out good vibes to the world. Drinking and preparing daane is little odd, but fantastic. As we are taught I tried to use the food preparation as my mode of meditation. I tried to develop maitri even towards that woman and also ‘Bodu Bala Sena,’ the racist group who tried to hurt minority Muslim people in Sri Lanka. I tried to feel better. Took a wash and joined my husband reading news in bed.

“(Reuters) – Six people were killed and more than a dozen injured when a crowded New York commuter train struck a car stalled on the tracks near suburban White Plains during rush hour on Tuesday evening, in what officials said was the railroad’s deadliest accident (2/3/15.)”

It is believed a woman driver tried to pass the rail gate before it shut down, but her Jeep was stuck on the rail tracks and hit the train causing a fire. Perhaps she misjudged the distance and the speed and everything else. I don’t know if the victims of the crash were brown, yellow, black, white or red. New York is a cosmopolitan city full of humans. I only feel the feelings of tired people wanting to go home after work and of their loved ones waiting for them. Maybe they are all white people whose ancestors came to Plymouth in Mayflower or in other boats to Ellis Island. But my heart aches for them without racial discrimination. Even I’m brown I know every life matters. Where I come from taught me the life of a human is the hardest to obtain yet that life is fragile as a dew drop on the tip of a blade of grass. Now this woman driver and the other five people are not going anywhere they wanted to go. Perhaps they have gone back to where they came from. Ashes to ash. Dust to dust. We all die. So we all have to live. We all make mistakes like misjudging distances and speed. But some are deadly. It’s just like racism. We might not even get a chance to learn, understand or apologize.

We must drive safely. Unfortunately, if we meet with accidents, we need to make sure if everyone is ok. We need to help each other. We need to call the cops, even though sometimes cops racially profile and discriminate innocent people. We are intelligent humans. We all should hope to live a life with no regrets.

Let them be home, where the heart is.

illegal-immigrant-sign
Though ‘hada gaththu pela dalaa kohe yannada’ is a cliche we all know home is where the heart is and we mean it when we say we cannot leave our homes. Yet as in Milton Mallawarachchi’s song people leave parents, children, wives and husbands behind just to earn enough, just to build a home for the loved ones and for their ‘mathu dhiyuna,’ a better life. Some go through legal avenues but some do not. I’ve seen them, met them and sometimes even had conversations with them.

It is true that the horror stories are not exaggerated of illegal migrants who look for not only ‘mille soya’ in the western world, but also looking for Dinar, Dirham, or Riyal in places like Middle East, where there is no forgiveness for illegality. Sometimes, journey of hope ends the life. It is also true that there are families living in the west who couldn’t attend the funerals of their parents because if they leave, they cannot come back to where they earn living. There are men saying how the boat was shot by the border patrol when they just saw the land of Italy and also there are women who gamble lives to repeatedly enter Dubai with the help of ‘gurami pannannan,’ the human traffickers, under false identities in fake passports.

Now I too don’t live in the place where I used to call home. After leaving Sri Lanka as a young adult I’ve met all different people while living in Australia and USA and I’ve learned a lot from them. I’ve matured with life experiences. Sometimes I think of old memories. I remember how we, cousins roamed around looking for trees full of fruits to throw stones at, fish to catch and release. We even laughed out loud at the local cemeteries. On one of those adventures we found out fake passports altered and laid for the ink to be dry out on a large mat in one backyard. Someone was helping people to get out but as children we didn’t see what it was. Then later when we first migrated to Australia as skilled migrants we often had to face difficulties because we faced prejudice or were misunderstood for illegal Sri Lankan immigrants. But as we were raised to be free spirited and open minded, my husband and I have become people who can understand the harsh lives of illegal immigrants instead of looking at them wrongfully. Because, no matter how sophisticated social lives we try to live, as taught in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is not that difficult for us to know the difference between wants and needs and what is more important than the other. So I can tell you about a lot of emigrations such as from Asia to Australia, From Latin America to USA and Canada, bankrupt European countries to other European countries, etc. You will understand.

While Sinhalese, Tamils, Burghers and Muslims from Sri Lanka who truly feared for lives, fled to places where they can feel secure, there were people who tried to seek light using the the darkness of 83 black July, making it an opportunity to go to foreign countries for nothing but economic reasons but hiding themselves under the label of political asylum seekers wishing the war would never end and it will be there salvation. But we all know that while a strange group of people feed the war, terrorists and the separation there are innocent ordinary people who just miss home wanting to come home. They are not inhuman. In America, the illegal immigrant labor force slaving themselves at low wages has both negative and positive impacts on the economy. I remember some time ago, Australia taking illegal immigrants as a burden. Perhaps some laws have changed but the living conditions of illegal immigrant have always been dreadful everywhere in the world.

If there is time, money and will my family could go to Sri Lanka every summer holidays or anytime but the nostalgia that we feel for our home is something bigger than as described in Amaradeva’s ‘re duru rata me’ song. Then imagine how bad that feeling is for an illegal immigrant or a political asylum seeker who has no assurance that he can ever come home. Can you empathize with them? When US congress is threatening to deport illegal immigrants, President Barack Obama vows he will use his executive powers to reform the immigration laws. And if the first black American president used his executive powers to extend the time of an innocent man’s term instead of lengthening his presidential term, I will bow in front of that man for eternity.

If you wonder why I suddenly talk about illegal immigrants, let me clear that with you. Suddenly, just before the presidential election in Sri Lanka the process of dual citizenship suspended for a long time is opened. Without scrutinizing the subtle political agenda behind it I cannot criticize the actions. But I know the new process is only making way to people who are already able to travel in between countries without problems. I doubt if people who fled for true political reasons or those who left hoping to earn a buck will not benefit from this or not. Some say “Now all Tamils will line up claiming their properties.” I like to tell them this: Yes. Those who left everything for the sake of being alive should come back home. They should come back to kiss the ground that once kissed their feet as children while roaming around the homestead just like I did. Everywhere in this world, every poor man, woman who had to leave home to earn a buck should be able to come home one day. If we work towards such freedom for them, we will be remembered in history as humans. And they will all be home, where the heart is.