Poetic words woven into stories
Divi Im Nimnaya
Author: Ravindu Mahendra
Dayawansa Jayakody Publication
The first thought that strikes you when you have read a few pages of
this short story collection is the beauty of the language. The poetic
yet simple terms envelops the reader, making him or her pause to indulge
in the language patterns as well as in the story.
Reading aloud you can almost feel the drama unfolding. The joy, pain
and sorrow of each character are laced in every word, uniting you with
the characters. This together with ordinary incidents told in the most
extraordinary fashion makes up Ravindu Mahendra’s maiden short story
collection Divi Im Nimnaya Ravindu’s work is not limited to a certain
time zone or a society but is universal and timeless.
The opening story is a heart wrenching cry of a man who had been
blamed for a crime which he had not committed. Amply titled Thetha
Layaka Kathava you realise that the only element of sympathy the
protagonist gets is from the wall that hears his pitiful monologues and
witnesses his sorrow. The story takes a form similar to a fable when we
are told that the man who is to be hanged left his handprint on the wall
and decades later no one was able to erase the print from the wall.
Moving onto the second story we get a youth who thoroughly refuses to
join a terrorist movement. His beliefs are so strong and embedded into
his soul that he takes fate into his hands when he finds that he has no
means of escape. From Ivan’s shattered life we move onto to Jeewa’s
world. Hers is by no means a perfect life but she has invaluable things
to be thankful for and this had moulded her personality and thoughts to
look at the brighter aspects of matters. Her unwavering determination is
an example not only to her husband Padmal but to the readers too. She
does not even crumple at the moment of death but takes action when she
is faced with the most desperate situation.
Employed in the UK, there is no doubt that the author’s environment
had a great impact on his writing yet local readers will feel very much
at home with the opinions and emotions of the characters. This slim book
is made up of 14 short stories.
This is a book that any short story lover should strive to possess
and any literature enthusiast would enjoy reading.
- Ruwini Jayawardana