July 27, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Ticketless Travel: Love – A Sri Lankan Story by Dilantha Gunawardana

2 min read

This essay by Dilantha Gunawardana depicts the love for the country and a beautiful ode to poetry and poetry-art.

What do Sri Lankans love? A good cricket match with power hitting, a Papare band playing those favorite Baila hits, food that include Lamprais, Jaffna crab curry, spicy Kottu, flavorsome Biryani, tasty Wattalappam, a helping of Papadum from open banquets and fresh frying pans, and of course, a lasting and honest peace, inculcated by respect for diversity, and a ballot for inclusivity. Peace can be fickle to say the least as we are still in our metamorphic years from the wounds of war, and pain can be a very subjective experience that knows no nepenthe.

We are still embarking on love, shattering not champagne bottles but clay pots filled with toddy (Ra). You only have to visit the retail giant called “Odel” to see throngs of advertising on walls and signboards that showcase “LUV Sri Lanka”, giving us an epiphany that love too is undergoing a gradual change. The classical sense of LOVE is now LUV, more inclusive than ever before. You only need to count the number of people from all backgrounds that have read the novel “Funny Boy” and look forward to seeing the movie “Funny Boy”, out in cinemas in 2020, and directed by the avant-garde director Deepa Mehta. I share with you here a poem called “Funny Boy”, a story from a modern world, where symmetry is seen through the same lens as asymmetry, and polar portmanteaus are equal to palindromes. Destiny never did ask for a gender.   

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