Nov. 30, 2012, 2:04 a.m.
"No great genius has ever been without some divine madness". Aristotle. Are doctors and psychologists trying to make out that all writers are mad or mad people are more creative, was the question which came to mind when reading the BBC report of October 16th, headlin ...
Nov. 14, 2012, 1:51 a.m.
Love into Arts
As I listened to the presentation, I felt proud to be a Sri Lankan when the speaker introduced himself as a Sufi Buddhist monk. This was at the International Sufi Festival held in Amritsar, the 'Ocean of Nectar'. It was indeed sweet nectar, the city itself, the Golden ...
Nov. 5, 2012, 1:44 a.m.
One author, One book
Some authors write only one book in their life time. Some of them shoot to stardom with that one book. The first author that comes to mind is one of those short listed for the first ever Swarna Pusthaka Award in 2007. The book was 'Kindura Gosin Vatunai Pura Mad ...
Nov. 5, 2012, 1:42 a.m.
Homo unius libri
It is claimed that Saint Thomas Aquinas used the phrase, "hominem unius libri timeo" ( "I fear the man of a single book"). Another version of his statement is that "a man who has thoroughly mastered one good book can be dangerous as an opponent". The Christian theol ...
Oct. 29, 2012, 1:29 a.m.
Mountain of All Faiths
Kuragala, in the central hills of Sri Lanka, near Balangoda in the Sabaragamuwa Province, has been considered a Holy Mountain, probably long before the dawn of established religions, and today by all faiths, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islam. This is the ...
Oct. 15, 2012, 1:34 a.m.
The image was of an open book over a flame, defying the flame and remaining unscathed. A closer look showed the book to be the Holy Qur'an. The image could be interpreted in many different ways. Fire has been worshipped by man, probably ever since he discovered it. And ...
Oct. 12, 2012, 12:23 a.m.
The Solitary Vice
The literary month is over and we are into the Reading Month. We continue to celebrate a literary month and a reading month, two full months, 61 days, dedicated for reading, even though the reading habit has fast declined over the past few decades. Other countries ...
Oct. 3, 2012, 2:22 a.m.
The beast in us
Prof. J. B. Disanayaka, in his most recent book, 'Encyclopaedia of Sinhala Language and Culture', says "Language is thus what separates man from Beast", but language has not helped man to kill or even suppress the beast in him. Did language make man a beast or did th ...
Sept. 13, 2012, 7:58 a.m.
I didn't bring my C.V.
Date of birth -
G.C.E. O/L five, three
A/L bio one C, Two S
any job will do
One hundred thousand square pegs
vying for half a dozen round holes
keeps on turning out
thousands more of square pegs
no one bothers to tell him
all the holes ...
Sept. 5, 2012, 8:59 a.m.
Man likes to believe that he is the only intelligent animal on earth who has developed language as a means to communicate with each other. Monkey lip-smacking, which requires rapid, controlled movements of the tongue, lips and jaw, may be tied to the emergence of s ...
Aug. 30, 2012, 7:36 a.m.
Murder of Khayyam
Idries Shah had said about Rumi, that his "technique prevented those who were incapable of using the material on a higher level from experimenting effectively with it, allowing those who want poetry to select poetry, giving entertainment to people who want stories; stimulating the ...
Aug. 24, 2012, 2:16 a.m.
Healthcare in Ancient Sri Lanka
Our behet oruwa, (herbal bath) I believe, is the best symbol for our ancient healthcare system in Sri Lanka and this cultural treasure from Medirigiriya shows how we treat our ancient traditions.
Ancient healthcare as a subject has to go back to pre-historic times. He ...
Aug. 21, 2012, 11:56 a.m.
adam & eve
'Is that an island over there?' Mayura asked the waiter.
'That's the Pigeon Island'
'Why? Do you have a lot of pigeons on the island?' Manori wanted to know.
'There had been many pigeons in the past, but not any more' the waiter replied.
'Who is there on the island?'
'No one. It is a very ...
Aug. 21, 2012, 6:42 a.m.
As long ago as 1719, Daniel Defoe reminded us through Robinson Crusoe, that people should compare their condition with those that are worse. Nanda Malini in her song about crying for sandals till she saw a person without feet, tells us about it, but unfortunately, ...
Aug. 8, 2012, 2:43 p.m.
Many Languages, One Literature
Listening to Namita Gokhale, the Member-Secretary of Indian Literature Abroad, the thought came to me that we are far behind India, when it comes to promoting Sri Lankan Literature Abroad. The irony is that our publishers are unable to find distributor ...
Aug. 1, 2012, 12:41 a.m.
Iccha for Anicca or
Desire for Impermanence
"Bhikkhus, a certain foolish man learns the prose sections, prose and verse sections, the answers and explanation expositions, stanzas, solemn utterances, thus said sections, birth stories, wonderful things, a series of questions and answe ...
July 18, 2012, 12:04 a.m.
Reading for the Earth
Reading for the Earth is a campaign launched by the Earth Day Network to help increase environmental literacy among young readers.
"I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues...Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get b ...
July 13, 2012, 2:49 a.m.
The Battle between Gyna and Homo sapiens
Leonard Shlain, a vascular surgeon by profession, used the term Gyna sapiens for the female of Homo sapiens, in his 2003 book 'Sex, Time & Power'. He says that Gyna sapiens rose to the challenge of evolution 150,000 years ago, from Homo erect ...
July 4, 2012, 12:37 a.m.
"The cultural ideal in literature, theatre, painting, music, dress, food, conversation, etiquette and so on was now drawn from the colonizer's world. The new literacy thus tried to transform India into a cultural province of the colonial metropolis and neo-literat ...
June 22, 2012, 12:58 a.m.
To commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Cultural Center, Colombo, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and The Center for Contemporary Indian Studies, University of Colombo had organized a one-day sem ...
June 13, 2012, 3:30 a.m.
There was a small group discourse at the Press Council office recently on 'Siyavas Dekak Sisara', Padma Edirisinghe's autobiographical sketch, with Dr. Leel Gunasekara as the guest speaker. The book is a narrative of her life story from her childhood, passing through ...
June 6, 2012, 7:02 a.m.
The Cultural Divide
Jayantha Aravinda made a presentation on 'Music of the Theatre, Then and Now', during the monthly discourse organized by Samskrti. He was accompanied by the well known vocalist Indeevari Ariyasinghe, whose golden voice we have heard often over the SLBC, and Chand ...
June 1, 2012, 2:04 a.m.
From Takshashila to MOOC
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have announced a new non-profit partnership, edX, to offer free online courses. MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses are already available from Stanford, Princeton, Michigen-Ann Arbour and Penn un ...
May 23, 2012, 1:54 a.m.
"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read", wrote Mark Twain. Yet the man who can read but does not, considers himself superior to someone who cannot read. That is Literate Chauvinism, which extends to Linguistic Chauvinism, when "m ...
May 18, 2012, 1:19 a.m.
Museums in my pocket daya dissanayake
Google has partnered with the Israel Museum to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them available online. These scrolls, dating back to the time of the birth of Christianity, had to be locked up in the museum due to their fragility. Till now only a few schola ...
May 16, 2012, 11:53 p.m.
All Roads Lead to Eco-destruction
Creative Placemaking has come to Nuwara Eliya, brining vast improvements to the town, specially around Lake Gregory and all roads did lead to Nuwara Eliya, this 'season' too. The little town was bursting at its seams. A cultural tradition inherited from the 'White m ...
May 2, 2012, 1:45 a.m.
The Draft of a Draft
"White Killer Whale Adult spotted for the first time in wild". On April 23rd, BBC reported a sighting of a white whale, off the coast of eastern Russia. The article concludes, "The most famous white whale, though, is the fictional sperm whale that drove Captain Ahab to his event ...
April 29, 2012, 2:15 p.m.
eco-enemy and tsunami
"Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" was the title suggested by Philip Merilees to Edward Lorenz for a talk Lorenz was to present to the American Association for the Advancment of Science in 1972. The story goes, that Lor ...
April 29, 2012, 1:12 a.m.
Say NO to Rotten Flesh
This is Wesak. The day symbolizing Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Nirvana. Today is a day we could contemplate on Ahimsa, and why there should be a need for the rotting flesh of animals and fish in our diet, which leads to direct or indirect violation of th ...
April 13, 2012, 5:01 a.m.
The tragedy of Humanity has always been due to ignoring the Cassandras among us and their warnings. Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein considered Cassandra as representing the human moral conscience whose main task is to issue warnings, while Apollo represents the des ...
April 4, 2012, 12:27 a.m.
Dr. Michael Glock uses the term 'Pseudologia fantastica' to mean 'Truer illusions, where stories are invented and tall tales are told. Such fictional narratives are also called 'Munchausen syndrome', after the fictional Baron and his stories. Gilbert K. Cheste ...
April 3, 2012, 9:09 a.m.
woman is to nature what man is to culture
The thought that 'Women is to Nature what Man is to Culture', was mentioned by Vandana Shukla, writer, poet and journalist from Chandigarh, at the 2012 SAARC Literary Festival. She was participating in a panel discussion on Environment and F ...
March 28, 2012, 12:28 a.m.
Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), the Apex body of SAARC, held the annual SAARC Festival of Literature in Lucknow, India, from March 16th to 19th. FOSWAL, the brain-child of Ajeet Cour, continues to be nursed by her and her daughter Arpana Cour. It was during the turb ...
March 21, 2012, 1:22 p.m.
Ravana has come back to life. Just as he had been claimed to have ten heads, he has been re-created in as many forms. The latest reincarnation in the 'Ravana Meheyuma' (Ravana Mission) is by Susitha Ruwan, a doctor at Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital. It is a futuristic thriller with a ...
March 14, 2012, 12:27 p.m.
Nature as Vishvakarma
As I was seated on the beach at Unawatuna on the South Coast, my mind went back to an evening many years ago, on the beach near the border of the Yala sanctuary. I recalled seeing before me a true work of art. Today it reminded me that nature is the greatest cr ...
March 6, 2012, 11:21 p.m.
In 1865 Mark Twain wrote the 'Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County'. A few years later he wrote another story with a longer title, 'The Jumping Frog in English, Then in French, and then Clawed Back Into a Civilized Language Once More by Patient, Unrem ...
March 6, 2012, 11:20 p.m.
A Man with a Heart
Michael Stern Hart was born in Tacoma, Washington, on March 8th 1947. Tomorrow is his 65th birth anniversary.
On July 4th, 1971, he had typed the text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence into his computer and transmitted it to about 100 other users on the Univ ...
Feb. 21, 2012, 11:32 p.m.
A musical night in silence
I had the good fortune to enjoy a musical night in silence, in a calm and serene corner of Battaramulla. For a tone deaf person like me to enjoy a musical night, it has to be something out of the ordinary. At least it was, to me, even though for music lovers in our country ...
Feb. 15, 2012, 3:56 a.m.
One day in the year 1809, a missing person advertisement appeared in several New York newspapers seeking information of a historian named Diedrich Knickerbocker. A hotel placed an advertisement that if Mr. Knickerbocker did not turn up to settle his bill, the hotel owner would ...
Feb. 8, 2012, 12:35 p.m.
Opening of the Vilpattu sanctuary has brought the Kuveni legend back to us, and we find even a place called 'Kuveni Nuwara' near Tabbova.
Despite the myth of the Mahavamsa, most of us believe that Kuveni was real, just as much as Ravana was real. We believe they lived in our country long ago ...
Feb. 4, 2012, 12:53 a.m.
Independence of Language
True independence can be achieved only when we become “language independent”. In order to escape from Linguistic Colonialism we should aim to build new bridges for a trilingual Sri Lanka
Man can be truly "Independent" only when he has Independence in communicating with all m ...
Feb. 1, 2012, 12:52 a.m.
The painting was on the wall in the house of the Kurukkal of Maviddapuram kovil. A painting which had survived the ravages of the war, because the Kurukkal family held it as a precious and sacred object. It was a portrait of the poet Thiruvalluvar.
The 1330 couplets ...
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:36 a.m.
Another side of Urban Arts
The Independence Square has been converted into one good example of Urban Arts or Creative Placemaking, as I wrote about a few weeks ago. Enjoying the luxury of a few minutes at the new-look Independence Square however reminded me of the inequality in our society and that ...
Jan. 18, 2012, 1:43 a.m.
A Halo for Sekara
36 years ago on the January 14th, one of the greatest "artists" in our country passed away. I use the term artist not because he was just a painter, but because he created music by his paintings, paintings by his poems and lyrics, symphonies by his novels, short stories, children's ...
Jan. 15, 2012, 1:15 p.m.
'Two Fathoms Deep' Samuel Clemens While readers are on waiting lists for the print edition I had the good fortune to download the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' onto my Kindle and start reading. It cost me only $ 4.99. If and when the printed edition comes to Sri Lanka, it would cost a few thousand r ...
Jan. 4, 2012, 5:46 a.m.
Poetic License and Religious Tolerance
Among all religions, the tolerance displayed by the Christian Church regarding the poetic license used by writers, artists and film makers about the Gospels and Jesus Christ stands out as an example to all other religious institutions. More research has been do ...