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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 Kalupahana’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 dual life.

Traditional links

The author’s three main characters are Vasalasuriya, a rich parent possessing traditional links with political gains, Vihanga, the former’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.

Central experience

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 one’s life. The chapters are short and packed with more dialogues, fantasies, monologues above the conventional authorial descriptions.

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.

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