The name Sri Lanka conjures two images. One is of an island of incredible beauty, a tropical paradise of golden beaches, mist-shrouded mountains carpeted with tea fields, and 2000-year-old cities and archaeological monuments, a land of apparent peace and tranquility. The other is of a brutal thirty-year civil war, an island riven with death, destruction, and racial divides.
Here is a story that belongs to neither of those images, a story of a boy growing up in Sri Lanka in the midst of all that beauty and in the run-up to those bitter times. It paints a picture at once familiar and unexpected, with storytelling that is revealing, deeply personal, funny, and sometimes emotional.
This story was written as a gift from a father who grew up in Sri Lanka to a son who grew up in Canada. In a time where young minds are often spent immersed in virtual worlds and long conversations between parents and children are a thing of the past, how does history get passed on from generation to generation? Here is one father’s attempt to deal with this challenge and record his family history for his son and posterity before it is lost to the shifting sands of time.
For Sri Lankan readers, it is a tale that will bring back memories and nostalgia. For non–Sri Lankans, it is a tale that you will not expect, that will surprise and charm you.
About the author
Sunil Tantirige is an Engineer who grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives and works in Toronto, Canada. This is his first attempt at storytelling.