Simon Nawagaththegama’s literary resurrection | Daily News


Simon Nawagaththegama’s literary resurrection

Nawagaththegama, a rural area in the Puttalam District, is not unfamiliar to enthusiasts of Sinhala literature. Undoubtedly, Simon Nawagaththegama (1940-2005) who has done a great service for the sake of Sinhala literature as a creative writer and a dramatist deserves this due credit. He was able to capture the heart of his native area through his literary work. Wimalarathane Kumaragama (1919-1962) was the other litterateur who did the same, though he was not born in the Wanni area; his medium was poetry. Amongst these artistes, Sugath Somaweera is the only lyricist whom we can identify with the Nawagaththegama’ mark’. He was born in the Diwulwewa village in Nawagaththegama Divisional Secretariat. This article will briefly discuss his ideological stand and literary practice.

Sugath Somaweera entered the field of art music as a lyricist, publishing a song album in 2000. In 2002, for the first time, a reputed vocalist sang a lyric by him - Sadhu Mal Pipuna Polowe It was sung by TM Jayarathne and composed by MR Choolasinghe for the Prema Paradise song album. By now, Somaweera was able to publish two collections of his lyrics as books by the name of Wasantaya Mage Nowei (2015) and Dæn itin Samuganna (2019). And also, he has published two song albums by the name of Kandulu Diyawara (2016) and Jivita Uyana (2018). Recently he launched his second collection of lyrics.

These are the main points of his life as a lyricist. When studying his lyrics from then to today, the influence and essence of the Nawagaththegama rural area is one of his identifiable ideological stands. How it is formed is discussed below.

The soul of Somaweera’s artistic tradition could be attributed to his mother who fought with poverty without his father. Connoisseurs who have studied and worked with his songs will undoubtedly agree with this notion. Somaweera’s point of view revolves around his mother. This is the lens through which he looks at the world. The love that he learned from his mother is one that has no conditions and expects nothing in return. This can be seen in many of his songs.

Even when the heart keeps burning with the agony of parting, Somaweera has been able to wish for a better future for his lover and he cannot hate. He gets this great strength not only from his mother but also from his native area. Though spring is the most pleasant season of the year, Somaweera who lived in the Wanni area is more familiar with summer. That is a secret of his exemplary love. He has the strength to tolerate any-pain in the summer. This ideological stand is inherited to him.

Somaweera always tries to locate himself in the milieu of his childhood. Thus all knowledge that he uses to build up his creations is based on his own experiences derived from sense. Therefore he can be regarded as an empiricist. Every symbol, simile, metaphor are also founded by him from his village, surrounded by scrubs.

Somaweera brings the greatness of a teacher to the spotlight, using symbols, similes and metaphors found within his eyesight. He builds the great career of the teacher with the setting sun over the forest, cranes - looking for water and paddy fields. In the last chorus, he shows an exemplary carefulness and affection, clearly shown in the mentioned lyric. Somaweera can symbolize everything in his milieu to express deep meaning. This is a feature of his poetry.

Sugath Somaweera has always been particularly sensitive to the essence of his native area like Simon Nawagaththegama. Thus we can capture his ideological stand, literary practice and the Nawagaththegama Mark in the field of Sinhalese art song.

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