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Friday, 11 March 2011

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Roaming around in Melbourne

Some of you might have already climbed the tallest building in Melbourne the capital of the Victoria State in friendly Australia. I had the fortune to do so on February 12 this year with a friend and it was amazing and exhilarating to climb the Skydeck to the topmost floor that was 88 decks above ground level. It was a discovery. The building is rightly called Eureka. You get a magnificent and panoramic view of almost the whole of Melbourne which has more than 50 kilometres in radius.

In a circle in the dome one could view the metropolis even with a naked eye, but also see through a telescope fixed at regular intervals. The evening I went there had innumerable visitors from all corners of the world. And


Melbourne, the capital of Australia

more particularly the residents in Melbourne themselves took an outing for the weekend, despite the large gathering at the neighbouring football stadium.

The lift carried us to the top floor in just within 10 seconds. The flight itself was exciting. Amongst were many Chinese and Japanese. An influential and thriving Australians are of Chinese origin. I could see Caucasian husbands and Chinese wives among them. Australia’s multi-culture policy is evident there. There is harmonious integration.

I have had the experience of viewing Chicago from a similar skydeck in the night that was marvellous.

Eureka is run by Melbourne Eureka Tower Observation Deck Private Limited and the Eureka Skydeck building owners.

While in Melbourne my son and I visited and prayed at the marvelously constructed the Vishnu-Siva temple where Indians and Lankans of all faiths visited. There is a Brahmin from Yaalpaanam (Jaffna) officiating as a priest. And in yet another architectural beauty was the Sikh temple to which my friend and I visited. He also took me by both train and trams to travel to places of interest. The travelling in comfortable seats and atmosphere were pleasurable.

My friend took me in his car to meet Lanka born Australian Thamil writers like Arun Vijayarani, Chandran (Aavooraan), K S Suthagar. He also organized a book launch of an English translation of short stories written by writers in Thamil titled being alive, where yours truly reviewed it.

Prominent professionals and writers and teachers attended the function. They were also interested in knowing about me and my writing. This gave me an opportunity to brag about me my friend Murugapoopathy is a well-known writer in Thamil and an admirable social worker. He and his association of Australian Thamil Writers Forum recently hosted an International Thamil Writers Conference in Colombo. Besides, his association is funding for the education of orphaned children in Lanka. They were the victims of the three-decade catastrophe.

While in Melbourne I had the opportunity to meet a former Lake House journalist and Editor, HLD Mahindapala who knew me already. Dr Noel Nadesan took me to his residence for a chat, which was a recollection of our past acquaintance. Dr Nadesan is a notable writer in Thamil and English and Veterinary Surgeon. He is a well-known figure in social services both in Australia and Lanka.

Another colourful personality was Victor Melder who is settled in Melbourne for more than 30 years. My son and I visited his library that exclusively all the great works by Lankans. His neat library housed hundreds of books by Lankan writers and other writers who have written on Sri Lanka. Magazines, and other documents are also there.

His Library is called Victor Melder Sri Lankan Library. It is situated at 7, Benaramba Street, Broadmedows, Victoria 30470. His web site: com.www.vmsl.library.

Two other former Lankans- academic Kasinathar and engineer Mavai Nithiyananthan were interesting to talk to. The latter is also running schools in various districts in Melbourne to teach Thamil to Australian children. Kasinathan is just retired from Public Service and musing with his intellectual and philosophical meanderings.

It was memoralbs journey. What I saw in Sydney would be another chapter.

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