Corruption of innocence
FICTION: A creative writer can mould his material culled from
various everyday social sources and events with the view to express a
readable narrative. But this narrative can only be meant to express
feelings devoid of any superior point of view or guiding principle.
Then the reader is left only with a mere narrative which is perhaps
readable for threshold interest for the sake of reading. The advent of a
new novelist with a social vision and readability is a welcome variant
to the existing pattern. This is a notable factor in the field of
creative communication as all art is concerned with the penetrating
factors to the heart of life.
When I started reading Jayantha Kalupahanaâ€™s latest novel Gini Gath
Tharaka (The Burnt Stars, an author publication, 2007), I felt that the
work is quite readable in the first count and packed with insights to
life and meant to make an understanding of the inner nature of certain
social factors of politics in its vibrant inner nature.
The humans reduce themselves to the slavery level unimaginable to
reach the uppermost strata of gains and profits interlinked with other
factors like pseudo religious dealings. Even the common misunderstanding
of the religion is brought to the forefront.
Then comes the irritable factors of drug dealing interspersed with
violence, sex and luxuries resultant in unlawful turbulences that
eventually follow such maladjustments. Kalupahana is alert to the
underlying factors about some salient socio-cultural factors:
parent-child relations and about the upper-middle class people with a
The authorâ€™s three main characters are Vasalasuriya, a rich parent
possessing traditional links with political gains, Vihanga, the formerâ€™s
son sent to a leading school where he mixes with his fellow friends with
political backgrounds with greed to earn more and more power with
bodyguards at their beck and call.
Third character is a woman named Tanya, the sexy woman who seduces
the innocent adolescent Vihanga; the woman becomes known to him through
a friend of his, resulting a tug-of-war between the two friends over the
woman. The adolescent madly falls in love with her, neglecting his
entire academic workload.
Tanya, however, is also shown as a person in isolation challenged by
other socio factors such as money and prostitution which is kept away
from the lovelorn youth Vihanga.
She is shown as a close associate of some of the political figures
with whom she retains good relationships in order to pursue her
nefarious activities of drug trafficking.
She is also engaged in a double game where she entices the mind of
Vihanga and attempts to win him for her sexual gains. But Tanya cannot
continue the game for ever as she ends up somewhere as events unfold,
with AIDS taking over Vihanga.
With the initial signs of the syndrome coming into the scene, the
social relations his parents have cultivated so far are diverted for
bringing their child back to the sanity of life anticipated. The
inevitable result is for him to get treatment from a foreign strand
where he is not abandoned but made to be with his well-to-do parents.
Twisting and expressing the central experience of the turbulences
into a more serene mood where the realistic and humane frame of
parent-child link so far is regained to its pristine position as
anticipated by any human being.
This then is a short novel with a rounded plot on one side, and an
analysis of the agonies encountered by individuals due to their own
faults as victims of circumstances on the other side.
The writer is skilled in the presentation of facts related to the web
of underground activities of the tramps and vagabonds, thugs and
hooligans helping the reader understand the danger of such circles
elevating them to a higher plane of thinking without making a mere
fragment of a narrative.
The work is crafted with an eye open to social evils that emerge as
inevitable episodes in oneâ€™s life. The chapters are short and packed
with more dialogues, fantasies, monologues above the conventional
It looks as if the author who is on the staff of a daily Sinhala
newspaper had gained much social analysis from his investigative outlook
or realistic frame of mind rather than from the cerebral fictional
outlook, attempting to churn out another fictional work.