Inspirational episodes from real life
“The heart-shaped leaf wafted gently down form the tree,
slowly drifted towards the head bowed in contemplation, swirled
around and lay atop the flowers in his hands.
“I knew then, I knew without a shadow of doubt how it would
be, I knew. I shall win.”
It was the Presidential Race of 2005.”
biography or an autobiography may inspire a person to take up new
challenges and to encounter and overcome new adversaries. For me the
reading through the pages of the book titled ‘Mahinda’ written by the
young poetess Mutu Padmakumara (Sarasavi 2010) happened to be an
adventure retraversed after a long period.
use the term ‘retraversed’ especially to denote that it’s also a journey
to my days as a young teacher shifting from place to place meeting new
people and facing new events. Incidentally the protagonist, the
incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was known to me at that time. The
most adventurous role in his life is unknown though some of the
socio-cultural trends sensitively captured in the pages of this work
kindle a bright light into my own past.
Making of a statesman
The biography traces several significant episodes in the making of a
statesman - from his childhood days in a culturally-rooted village with
utmost parental care. Nevertheless the protagonist is also depicted as
someone with an identity of his own as against his mates in both village
The gradual shifting of the focal experiences in his life is
visualized in terms of verbal pictures akin to a screenplay of a film. A
quite a lot human scenes are drawn from the drama of real life. From the
hometown in the downtown the parents want him to enter into a better
recognized college for a better education for a better future. But
Mahinda is adamant that he should live on his own accord and not be
disturbed by external forces.
Thus he is shown as an independent person with a sense of pride about
the actions he should take. He shows leadership even from his childhood
days engaging in games and social activities. This sense of freewill
remains a steadfast mission even when he enters a college in Colombo,
and then there in search of employment in a university library.
One cardinal character in this narrative is our good old friend
Professor Epasinghe who too is depicted as a great supporter to the
protagonist. Their firm links as bosom friends - one older and the other
younger - makes us feel that inspirational characters can do wonders
unbelievable. But yet they happen in various ways.
D. A. Rajapaksa, protagonist’s father, is also shown as inspiring,
when he helped mould the changing face of the young and budding
politician in Mahinda Rajapaksa. I find that the series of episodes in
the life structure of father and son, and mother and son, are deeply
rooted to our own soil. Thus the protagonist emerges as a rooted son of
the soil who would dare face any material turbulence. He does it, and we
are convinced of the tracing of the same, through the page-moving saga.
While being engaged in the parliamentary politics he takes up legal
studies. This he fulfills with the companionship of another contemporary
There too he struggles forth to get for the examination by answering
the questions in his mother tongue Sinhala. With reluctance the order
comes as a variation to the existing pattern, breaking grounds for a
galaxy of young would be lawyers.
These are 12 brief chapters written with utmost care and with a
sensitive vision of a biographer.
This I felt on reading is the type of biography the younger
generation in our country read to gauge where they are and what
standpoint they should take to be firmer on the soil unwavered by alien
The photographs included and the appendices add an array of
supplementary features that lift the value of the work. It is said that
everything we need to learn and interpret is always there before us; we
just have to look around us with respect and dedication.
This biography meticulously planned brings back to us the message of
observation with respect and dedication. Hope ‘Mahinda’ will break new
grounds in the reading world at home as well as abroad.