Pages of a literary heart | Daily News


Pages of a literary heart

I went to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu in Southern India on three nights visit and returned on Saturday morning- sleepless nights in a hotel in Paandy Bazaar area where there were no bathing facilities. They charged 1300 in Indian rupees each night to sleep for two nights with food available outside in a vegetarian restaurant. For easily digestive purposes, I had only idly and vade for breakfast and rasam rice for lunch. I savoured idly for the night once more. They were undoubtedly delicious for me. But it is more expensive than what we get in Colombo vegetarian restaurants. A black cup of coffee cost more than decoction milk coffee. If you convert in our currency the cost is two and a half more.

For a change, I preferred to travel by the Indian national carrier, Air India. Here too they served vegetarian snacks.

I must tell you this. Both here and there the Security people though pleasant, ransacked my bags to check whether I was carrying contraband goods and firearms.

The purpose of the visit was to collect the second edition of my collection of articles in my newly published and a printed book called Gleanings. The book published by Latha Ramakrishnan under her Anaamika Alphabets is priced at Lankan Rupees 800 and it has 100 pages.

The first three subjects deal with a vital necessity for Translation. This is followed by an article on the growth process of the English Language.

The next set of articles is on Lankan English writing, drama, poetry, and novel. They are very short and journalistic in form. Those featured are Regi Siriwardena, Jean Arasanayagam, Kamala Wijeratne, Dilantha Gunawardena and Latha Ramakrishnan, plus Lankan born foreign Tamil Writers Jasmin Keneddy, Maalini Maala and Arul Subramanian, Rajakavi Raheel and KS Sivakumaran.

The publisher’s note is worth reading the agony involved in the publication of a book.

Here she is:

“With a lot of zest and fervour author pens, a book- fiction or non -fiction and it is followed by the strenuous search for a prospective publisher. After all the related travails and traumas, when at last the book gets published the writer feels immensely relieved and elated. But then starts the eternal wait for someone to write a review – if not elaborate, at least a brief one, on his / her work. This ‘someone’ should be one who cares enough to not only read but introduce the volume to other prospective readers, giving glimpses of the work’s merits and demerits, critically evaluating the work. If this someone happens to be very subjective and prejudiced – that’s all.

Thankfully, the articles of the author of this book are written in a gentle and unbiased manner, highlighting the salient features of the books introduced by him. He does mention the lapses and shortcomings in the work concerned and also of the general climate prevailing in Sri Lanka and other parts of the world in Literary Writing in English and in the field of translation, but he does it in a composed and objective manner.

A one who writes in Tamil also, I wish his critical writings in Tamil on Tamil Literary Scene too get published (maybe, there are already there).

I thank KS Sivakumaran, the author of this book for giving me the opportunity of publishing the second edition of this prestigious volume through my smack but sincere initiative called Anarmikaa Alphabets.”

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