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The little boy with a bag of stones

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A three year old was sitting beside the doctor’s table, outside the labor room. He was surprisingly calm and quiet. He seemed to enjoy the tea we had given him while his mother delivered her fourth child. He had no father or any known relative to take care of them. His mother was a psychiatric patient on regular follow up and treatment. He didn’t trouble us at all and never asked where his mom was. This little one was wearing the same old clothes that he wore when he came here few months back (We had seen him with the mother on her previous two admissions) and this mom, didn’t have any clothes for her new born either. The little fellow had a brown paper bag, which had stones, bottle caps and other junk, probably he picked up while coming to the hospital. These were his toys. These people collected the single use, plastic water bottles from us because it was the nearest thing to a toy they knew. They filled them with stones and pebbles to create rattles for babies. The nurse returned

A day like yesterday !

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We all gasped and held our breath,praying and pleading, calling those we knew, with pounding hearts while watching the live streams of mobs attacking the peaceful protesters in Galle face Sri Lanka yesterday the 9th of May 2022.  When the mobs who came to support the Prime minister yelling out slogans asking him to stay in power, started attacking the peaceful protesters, the workers from workplaces around the area came to the Galle face grounds to protect their fellow protesters. It was breathtaking to see how health workers ran towards the protesting grounds from the National hospital Sri Lanka, which was a few kilometers away. The health workers dressed in scrubs, whites, manual workers in their jumpsuits, and office workers, lawyers in their attire filled the space and chased the mobs away. Sri Lanka has always been a nation with gratitude and hospitality. When the war ended, they treated the leading politicians with so much gratitude that some even worshiped them. Sinc

HEALING NOTES OF A MEDICAL DOCTOR

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Daily news article by Prof. Sunanda Mahendra In a war-torn society, nothing looks bright. Humans are driven to poverty and grave need, inclusive of medical care. But with changes in a post war situation, certain social factors are lightened up. Medical care too is registered to reach a certain degree of restoration. With a strange vein of luck, I came across a collection of human notes. It is a collection recorded by a young medical doctor sent to serve in a government hospital in north. As was recorded in her blog, these notes are denoted by a broad titled ‘The Other One’ or the ‘The Other End’, and titled in English as ‘a doctor’s heart sutra’. The notes from the blog have come down now as a book packed with human interest stories, written by Dr Bodhini Samaratunga (Thatcher Publishers 2014). In the first episode you come across how this doctor is posted to a particular hospital without Tamil language skills. But as the events unveil, the reader feels that the narrator has the inner

A&K lit Fest memories ! from 2019

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Back in the post war era, when i wrote the blog anithkona, in my native language (Sinhala) anonymously , beneath the wanni sky, I never imagined that I would sit leisurely and discuss what we went through with an audience in south.  Mine and Vetrichelvi's, (a writer from mannar), pathways crossed once during the post war era when there were no two sides but a bunch of internally and externally displaced people...lost in their own world of chaos, trying to find their destiny !  This discussion panel took place at the AK lit festival on oct 20th 2019, vetri, myself along with Prashani (the author of asiri's quest which unweils her magical writing wrapping up mythical creatures of our traditions and culture.) And Smriti moderating the panel.

Oh the 15th

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October 15th brings back many memories from the past.  I remember a mom from wanni the north of Sri Lanka who was super excited to have her caesarian section on a 15 th.  When I asked her why she requested it to fall on 15th I heard the weirdest reason I've ever heard. "Doctor, we believe in birth number luck...6 is a good number for a girl, she will be pretty, fair and have a nice comfortable family life too, you see, When you add 1 and 5 it's number 6" she said. " Aha... I'm 2 and 4, so I'm a number 6 too." I said.  "Your face says it all doctor."  I burst into a laugh in my mind of course, while examining her, for this was something ridiculous to hear.  "Will you do my c section...the child will be fairer then"  "Oh it doesn't work like that Amma, fairness isn't contagious. Let's wish for good health, bravery and strength. I hope your daughter will grow up to become an independent, strong woman, and most of al

Mandala for life....

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When ever I'm free from routine mundane workload, I used to sit, draw or create designs and patterns. Drawing has been my hobby since childhood . No one beleives me when I say that I have never studied art as a subject during school years. I chose to study kandyan dancing (traditional dancing of hill country of sri lanka) And kandyan drumming instead. I continued drawing what ever came to my mind, even though I had no aim or potential to excel in arts. When I was 18 years old, my neighbour, a relative, who is also a teacher introduced me to his mother who was going to the national art gallery on week ends to draw.  Back then i was a teenager who was highly enthusiastic to draw what ever came to my mind. I preferred black and white painted art and one of the senior artists at the ar gallery who was a  tutor as well told me that i should keep up with this unique style of mine, which was more into modern art. I did not understood anything back then as i had no

She is my kind of a super hero !

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She is my kind of a super hero ! It was some where in 2001 when i first met her for real.. but before that i have only seen her and known her from her books. She was one of the key writer's who filled the children's world during a time when there were no television or digital facilities. Her stories took me on splendid journeys since i was a child and i am sure she is the one of those key creators who planted the creative seed in me. Even though I used to draw i never studied art as a subject. I used to draw on any paper and even on walls of my house.  Anuradh Ekanayake aiya, having seen my paintings, urged me to go to national art gallery with his mom who was a painter there. From there onwards... some where in 2001 -2002 i went to national art gallery every saturday and started my training. Even though i was physically there among the other artists who drew various kinds of historical art my mind always wandered to the kids section where all the kids flock around this tiny la

From Thanamalwila to Europe

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My 2 cents on Thanamalvila Kollek - තණමල්විල කොල්ලෙක් From Thanamalwila to Europe Having heard about this momentous heart stopper drama from many friends, I started watching the missed episodes from youtube and soon became a fan of it. The story line a friend summed up in a few words made me wonder how it can be of any interest as it was about a timid guy from a village called Thanamalwila who ends up in europe. I, myself who had studied and worked in Europe for a considerable time, have met several youth from rural villages of south and north. They all carried a story of their struggles on the path to find comfort in a European country. That struggle was never easy. The word "thanamalvila" at once, brings up its popularity for a plant which everyone knew about but never spoke out in the open. "Thanamalwila kollek" which "happened" for real on television, have made a huge impact on this and silently created a mark for the society to remember th