Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coward Of The Big Country

I've got completed another two movies of Gregory Peck's movie marathon. "The Gunfighter" (1950) and "The Big Country" (1958). Gunman was not a big deal, but I guess I have something to talk about " The Big Country ", because I felt that there is some link; a similarity; between my all time another favorite hit by Kenny Rogers', " The coward of the county". Kenny..! I have talked about his "20 years ago" in a previous post.



Big country was a Western classic. About cowboys, horses, drink and Guns. And also, the dessert, water, ranches and sunny hot days. I'm seriously wonder how those country folks could live there without trees. And dust all over with wind. And specially how they wearing those heavy cloths all day with that kind of a temperature. 

I guess it's the same environment that we have with our Nuwara Kala Viya area. But thanks to our ancient Kings and officers and people, we have our own man made water reservoir system that still can be used in those areas without only depending on natural resources. So I guess we do not see that dull brownish sunny look which have captured by the camera lenses in big country there, on our country. We still have the stocks of blue and green into some extent. But if we don't get much careful, the stocks would be soon get over and it would first hit on rajarata nuwara kala Viya area.

I have never been able to spend my time to breathe the breeze of Nuwara kalawiya till it get sunken into my lungs, heart and brain yet. You can never do that by just only spending few hours in there, because most of us spending most of those hours around ruins and lakes. But I have got this precious book which says most of the things about Nuwara kalawiya and its people and the life of its 80s; the tragic days. "Vav bandi rajjaye sawaariyak" by Edmund Jayasuriya. If you can read it by heart then you can certainly feel the colorful breeze to somewhat extent. 



Okay, now back to the big country and county coward. Gregory Peck aka McKay was a newcomer to this county. He's gonna marry the county's high class leader Major Terrill's daughter, Patricia, who he met in the city. County is divided into two sides, Poor class and High class. Poor side lives like savages, beyond a canyon. They are uneducated, but work to the word. They have a leader too, Hannassey. Straight, proud and powerful. But his son and son's two other companions are high nuisance to the whole county. Peck's fiancée have a wonderful teacher friend who has not taken any side of them. She inherited a water way land, which they called "muddy", from her grandfather who was always the peacemaker between the two sides. Muddy was what each sides are fighting for but she is not selling it to any of the sides but offer both of the sides to use the water very willingly. 



So for our McKay, on his first day to the county, he met with the Hannassey boys and had some trouble in front of his girl. He take it as a joke and nothing else. But she take it as serious harassment and her farther too. Major got a obedient servant foreman youth called Leech.  Leech has a eye on Patricia. Major and Leech and their clan ran after the Hannassey boys. As they were no where to find, they do some damage to the Hennessey's area. And that's where fight start to go out of the limits. 



Leech was a strong man. He doesn't like the intervention of McKay to the county. Specially because of Patricia. He always try to bring up McKay into a fight to show he is the strongest one here and to show McKay was not belongs here as well as to show Patricia McKay was not suitable for her. But our McKay has a different personality. He repeatedly refuses to go with fights when he was invited. When Leech challenged him to ride on a troublesome horse called Old Thunder in front of others, he refused. But secretly with a lot of hard effort he do it. Only the horse worker Ramon sees this, but McKay kept it as a secret between him. 



With this repeated refusals to prove his manhood, everyone in the household sees him as a coward, including Patricia. But McKay do not need to prove his manhood to others. His principle was to prove it to himself alone. He do not care what other people think about him, because of his thinking, he is not responsible for what people thinks, but what he is. This theory is only understood by the teacher friend Julie. He wanted to buy the "Muddy" from her to develop and live in there with Patricia. And also wanted to keep the same policy about the water, unrestricted access to the water for both sides. Julie agrees. But Patricia had other plans about the land like as her father. So the engagement breaks off.


Before that McKay alonely goes on a journey around the big country. He was repeatedly advised he would get lost. But he was not considered it. He had a plan in his mind no one knew. It was the journey to persuade Julie to sell the land for him. After the talking with Julie, he was little bit late to be back home. So a search party goes with Leech thinking he was lost. But McKay came back all in one piece and told the search party he was never in danger. Affairs between Leech and McKay suddenly goes to the top with a quarrel for making all the trouble. McKay didn't need a fight. He refuses the fight in front of Pat and others, making her all disappointed. Early next morning, before anyone was awake, McKay calls Leech for the fight to settle the quarrel. No one was presented to witness it, as it was too much early and held in a barren land. It was ended up both being exhausted. It was a draw. At the end McKay asked Leech what was they proved by this fight. This makes Leech's understanding of McKay into a whole new level. He started to respect him for his thoughts.



At the end....... Well it's up to you. Check it out what happened to the Mckay and Julie. It's up to you to find out, did he ever fight again to prove his manhood.



Well don't you think the story is same like the song of Kenny Rodger's "Coward of the County" released in 1979. McKay being relived again with Tommy. I was get into know this song was inspired for a TV movie with the same title. And Kenny was acting as the uncle as the song says. The plot of the movie is true to the song lyrics.

Anyway, enjoy and feel the similarity...




Everyone considered him the coward of the county
He'd never stood one single time to prove the county wrong.
His mama named him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow,Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong.
He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prison;
I took care of Tommy, 'cause he was my brother's son.
I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy,
"Son my life is over, but yours has just begun".
[Chorus]
"Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can.
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand,
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man."
There's someone for everyone, and Tommy's love was Becky.
In her arms he didn't have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was working, the Gatlin boys came calling
They took turns at Becky, n'there was three of them).
Tommy opened up the door, and saw Becky crying.
The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand.
He reached above the fireplace, and took down his daddy's picture.
As the tears fell on his daddy's face, he heard these words again:
[Chorus]
The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroom;
One of them got up and met him half way cross the floor.
When Tommy turned around they said, "Hey look! old yeller's leaving,"
But you could've heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door.
Twenty years of crawling were bottled up inside him.
He wasn't holding nothing back he let 'em have it all.
When Tommy left the bar room, not a Gatlin boy was standing.
He said, "This one's for Becky, as he watched the last one fall. (And I heard him say, )
"I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you've done
I walk away from trouble when I can
Now please don't think I'm weak, I didn't turn the other cheek,
And papa, I should hope you understand
Sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man".
Everyone considered him the coward of the county.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Elephant Walk to a Digital Book Archive

It was all started by from a moment when a school batch mate of mine was publishing a FB request for a clue on getting the book called "Elephant Walk" written by Robert Standish in 1949. According to her there was a Sinhala translation as "Ali Paara" (අලි පාර) but she wanted the English one.




Elephant Walk..... Hmmm... I felt it like a familiar name. Not because of "Elephant Pass" (අලිමංකඩ) in Jaffna but for the name itself; Elephant Walk.



Yes! it was the movie I heard of sometime back. The Hollywood movie filmed in Sri Lanka, aka Ceylon in 1954. I never had watched it fully before and never had learnt that there was a popular book among the Sri Lankan community and the film was based on it. I just have seen only few clips here and there, totally because of the reputation it had as a story happened in Ceylon, nothing else. It is wrong to say that I was much eager to watch it, but it was somewhere in the waiting list, totally due to the reasons I mentioned earlier; the film locations are in Ceylon and film was about something in Ceylon.



So after this, the priority was increased for the movie in the waiting list; told my friend that there is a movie on it; she was interested; told her where to find it; and there I was watching it too.

I don't think the whole story heavily got my attention, but should say a big budget and lot of effort clearly visible on it. I'm still wondering how they managed to handle such a large herd of elephants. Specially on the scenes when elephants invaded into the bungalow while hero and heroine escaping from the tragedy. And also it should be a high cost in doing the estate scenes with local people managing the cholera incident. And I don't know whether they had actually built that large mansion.




When talking about the story of the movie it was mainly about pride, according to my opinion. The story targets on describing the pride in two perspectives; pride of a man and pride of an elephant. I still don't know whether the movie and the book are exactly the same. According to the plot of the movie, [SPOILER ALERT!!!] it starts with John Wiley who was a tea planter, bringing his newly wedded bride to his home at Elephant Walk, Ceylon from England. I don't know where that place Elephant Walk is in Sri Lanka, because I have too much doubts about the place. It should be a place where it has tea plantations, should be wild as elephants are hanging around, and should be a place that can go to Polonnaruwa and come back in a horse ride within a day. I seriously wonder what that place could be. The Bungalow at Elephant Walk was built on a elephant walk by his farther; Tom Wiley; as to symbolize his pride and dignity. The local elephants are always showing the violent resistance for invading their territory. His farther is dead by now and his grave is also in the garden. Due to his faithful servant Appuhami (played by an Burmese actor), Tom Wiley is still ruling the place from his grave. All the traditions and living styles are still in place without a change as Tom Wiley's days. The new bride Ruth, doesn't like the way things happening around and both Appuhamy and John doesn't like she messing around with the traditions of the house. So the love between John and Ruth is fading gradually. With the unpleasant atmosphere in the house, the relentless behavior of her husband that she is seeing now and fearing that he is becoming like his father, as what she heard from the rumors about his father, the distance among her and him is getting widen. The plantation manager who works under John is Dick Carver. She feels he is a pleasant, attractive, smart and different among the friends of her husband, who are all drunken heads like as John.



As she was the only white woman in the whole district , she is getting closer to him day by day. One day after a fight, when she loosen her patience with John, she drove away with Dick to go to the Colombo, planning to go to England. But the road was blocked due to the cholera outbreak news on that day in the estate. I guess this atmosphere gives much color to the John Wiley character played by Peter Finch. Even though the John is a crazy drunken head, from this moment it shows how he cared about the estate, its local people and how responsible he is for his work. He is no longer that careless drunken head. And here you can see Peter Finch is carrying a little local kiddo to protect him from the disease. Lucky little kiddo!! Now hearing the news, Ruth and Dick came back to the bungalow and give their fullest support to overcome the cholera spread. Whatever the arguments Ruth having with John, she gives all what she can do for the local people. By seeing how hard she works for his master's estate and the people, Appuhami beginning to respect her. By seeing how hard worker and responsible man John is like as she knew him before in England, Ruth beginning to forget the arguments. When the cholera outbreak is getting over, John tells both Ruth and Dick that they can leave, without looking a glance at them, meaning that he no longer care about Ruth. So Dick and Ruth decided to leave even though she have a little hesitation to leave John. Before moving out Ruth takes a nap in the bungalow finally after the long hard days and the only servant in the bungalow was Appuhami. Locals are busy with recovering from the cholera outbreak and both John and Dick are gone help them. As there is no one to be alert about the elephants, those fierce animals invade into the Bungalow in hostile manner and no one to stop them this time. When hearing the news of elephants stampede towards bungalow, the first person who looks whereabouts of Ruth is John and hearing that she is in bungalow, the first person who went there is John. Meaning that he still cares about Ruth, and hidden it under his arrogant behavior all these days. Finally he rescued her. But Appuhami getting killed by 'the' elephant on the grave of his master.



So that's how the things getting along. As I said earlier the movie was about something in Ceylon and it was filmed in Ceylon. So the major cast came into Ceylon in 50s for the shooting [1], and the actress who came to Ceylon to play the role of Ruth was Vivien Leigh, but you would not see her as Ruth in the film. It was originally planned as a husband and wife film with Leigh and her husband Olivier. But Olivier was unable to commit for this film as he had other work to do. So Peter Finch was selected as John. After few days on location shooting with Leigh and the cast in Ceylon successfully, she was suffered with mental breakdown [2] and was unable to continue with the film and eventually dropped out. The character Ruth was then replaced by Elizabeth Taylor and most of the scenes filmed on Leigh in Ceylon have to be drop out. The scenes that can be changed into Liz under studio environment with technical effects were only used. So if anyone thinks that Liz came to Sri Lanka for the Elephant Walk, then it's untrue. All work done with Liz happened in a studio [5]. The budget was increased due to the Leigh's problem and the replacement work and most of the nice shots done in Ceylon with Leigh were utterly wasted.



Reference
[1]: Vernon Corea Tribute Blog. (2013, Aug) Tag Archives Elephant Walk [Online]. Available:  https://vernoncorea.wordpress.com/tag/elephant-walk/ [Accessed October, 2016]
Vernon Corea was a legendary Radio Ceylon/SLBC and BBC Broadcaster. This blog contains more information with images about the movies filmed on Ceylon. Here is another link for information on films where locations were used as Ceylon. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/110522/Plus/plus_01.html  written by Richard Boyle, a well known British writer  who has much taste on Sri Lanka like as Arthur C. Clarke.

[2]: Richard Boyle, The Sunday Times Plus. (2012, Aug) Vivien Leigh: How Elephant Walk lost its star in Ceylon [Online]. Available: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120805/plus/vivien-leigh-how-elephant-walk-lost-its-star-in-ceylon-7808.html  [Accessed October, 2016]
Was the reason behind behavior of Leigh is Devil Dancing? Whoa!!

[3]: Nalaka Gunawardane, Ground Views. (2011, May) Elephant Walk revisited: Mixing Tea, Jumbos and Monsoons [Online] Available: http://groundviews.org/2011/05/24/elephant-walk-revisited-mixing-tea-jumbos-and-monsoons/ [Accessed October, 2016]
Nalaka Gunawardane was a well known journalist who have easy access to every kind of modern tastes such like science, technology, inventions, movies, literature, politics, civilization....arr.... etc. written this review with the support of Richard Boyle. It's a good review with the background information.

[4]: Ceylon Memory Project. (2013, Aug) Devan de Mel Collection [Online] Available: http://threeblindmen.photoshelter.com/gallery/Devan-de-Mel-Collection/G0000cvedJngsQ.o/C0000ho.zxgezp.w [Accessed October, 2016]
Ceylon Memory Project looks like a digital archive of old photographs of Ceylon from family albums up to the year 1972. This Collection include some photographs of Peter Finch and Vivien Leigh when they are at Copacabana Night Club, Colombo with this De Mel Family. Bevis Bawa is also can be seen on them.

[5]: Greg Philip, A Lost Film, (2013, May) Elephant Walk [Online] Available: http://www.alostfilm.com/2013/05/elephant-walk.html [Accessed October, 2016]
This site includes the images of scenes of Leigh and how it was replaced by Liz with studio recreation.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So that was the story about the production. But the big story for me is not that. As I was wondering, what could be this place, the first idea came through was "Elephant Pass". But elephants in Jaffna? (Whoa!! Never thought about that before) Seriously! How could that be possible? How does Elephant Pass got it's name when there are no elephants in Jaffna? Those are the questions in my mind and here is what I found in the Internet sphere.





"It was the Dutch who gave it this curious name. Elephant Pass is the name given to the causeway spanning the shallow lagoon that separates the Jaffna peninsula from the rest of the island. During the time when Sri Lanka was under Dutch occupation, elephants were exported from Karaitivu, one of the islands lying off the Jaffna peninsula and an annual sale of elephants was also held in Jaffna. Elephants caught in other parts of the country were driven into the Jaffna peninsula, across this lagoon, which was later bridged and given the name Elephant Pass. Elephants no longer traverse this stretch but the fanciful name still remains."

- Explore Sri Lanka : Northward Bound: Elephant Pass -

Ref : http://exploresrilanka.lk/2011/04/northward-bound-elephant-pass/



So it cannot be Elephant Pass. This Elephant Pass is not a natural elephant pass.

Then I looked at the filming locations.

Ratmalana Airport, Colombo for the airport scene
Kiri Vihara, Polonnaruwa for the temple ruin scenes
Hantana, Kandy for the tea plantation scenes
Sigiriya, Matale for the jungle and elephant scenes

How funny, three separated places.

Then I went on searching whether the book is a true story or a fiction. But I wasn't able to find much about that or about the author. Only found out the name Robert Standish was the pen name used by the author Digby George Gerahty. Also I was unable to find anything about his relationship with the Ceylon. According to the article on Sri Lankan Airlines Magazine [6], it says something like this:


"in 1952 Paramount Pictures purchased the rights of Elephant Walk, a novel by Robert Standish published in 1948. It's an example of the literary genre generated by coffee and tea cultivation in Ceylon, "the plantation drama", which began with William Knighton's Forest Life in Ceylon (1854) and continues to this day. The story is partly based on fact; a history of the Careys, a 19th Century pioneering British coffee-planting family. However, the business collapsed when St George Carey died aged just 28. [6]"





William Knighton's (විලියම් නයිටන්) Forest Life in Ceylon... hmm... That name caught my eye. Then I went on finding this book and; OMG!!! where I was lead into! A huge collection of digitized book archive; for the books now in public domain. I knew that there were so many projects on creating publicly accessible digital libraries majorly in Europe and USA for the books now in the public domain to download freely as ebooks, but never had that idea it would contain books about Sri Lanka aka Ceylon.


If you have heard of the wayback machine, then it is the same place. Their digitized book collection was another initiative to preserve knowledge and literature.



The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials; including web sites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, images, and nearly three million public-domain books

So here our focus is on the Internet Archive Text Archive collection. It includes digitized books and special collections from various libraries and cultural heritage institutions from around the world. When checking the books about Ceylon, I had often seen the name of University of California as the library contributor. With the support of scanning centers all around the world and financial support by many libraries and foundations it has the largest collection than any other project had. I have seen many times the name of MSN (Microsoft) as the sponsor for many books that I randomly checked on Ceylon. (But later MSN gone out of the project without any contractual restriction and donated most of their technologies). Google is also became a contributor after public users began uploading their Google books. Likewise this one got many backing from various institutions both academical and technological.

If you are a good navigator on the Internet, know all the tactics on searching, know how what keywords to use, this archive is a good place for you. Because it allows community input as well. But for the authenticity, I guess it's better to stick with reputed collections such like American Libraries, California Digital Library, University of Toronto - Robarts Library..etc. The importance of this is, you don't need to know the name or author of the book. If you want to read about a certain field of Ceylon, you can look for a categorizing topic as below.


As Sri Lanka doesn't took seriously, this kind of an initiative, for public to access the books now in public domain, freely without needing of creating any user accounts, we can satisfy at least from this. I saw a silent Sri Lankan but a high academic profile Dr. Kavan Ratnatunga who alone did the digitization on http://lakdiva.org/ with the collaboration of Project Gutenberg, contributing the free access for people on what he have.

Most societies place importance on preserving artifacts of their culture and heritage. Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures. Our culture now produces more and more artifacts in digital form. The Archive's mission is to help preserve those artifacts and create an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars.

Preservation is important. That's what we can give for future generation as highlighted in the above quote. With this I remembers a certain documentary I watched sometime back about burning of Jaffna Public Library called "Burning Memories". It was happened 1981 and documentary was created in 2008 when 4th Eelam war is taking place. Whatever the wounds documentary is talking about, which one is right or which one is correct, it will gives you the thought, the preservation is important.


Reference
[6]: Richard Boyle, Serendib - The Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines (2013, June) Elephant Walk: Gold Movie Of A Golden Era [Online] Available: http://serendib.btoptions.lk/article.php?issue=42&id=1063 [Accessed October, 2016]


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Book and Two Songs

The main grounds of writing this post is a wonderful cause. "I just finished reading the 845 pages of රණ මඟ ඔස්සේ නන්දිකඩාල් (Road to Nandikadal #R2NK)". If you are asking, Ohoo Not!! I'm not came here to comment on the book. Here, I just want to highlight the 4 verses that appears on the beginning and the end of the book that really touched me most of all. It was so soothing feeling to listen to that four verses at the end of the last page, after struggling with other pages for some time; a week or two. And also I'm here to share with you a wonderful history of another song that I was direct into when listening to that 4 verses.

The four verses...

"අවසන් හුස්ම පොද නොබියව හෙළන්නට
සිවු රියනේ හිත සතුටින් නිදන්නට
මිනිසකු විලස ඉපදුණු පල දකින්නට
පුළුවනි මරණ මංචකයේ වුවද මට"

I never heard of this song in the time of my generation on TV or even on Radio. Seems like it was highly popularized on those days but not mine days. So I was curios to know what was that song which included this four gentle verses sung by Abeywardane Balasooriya and written by Sunil Ariyaratne. Luckily I was able to find it in the Internet sphere and here is the original with the old taste. Music by Victor Ratnayake.

"ජීවිතය දෙස ආපසු හැරී බලන ගොවියෙකුගේ ජීවන චාරිකාව සහ ඔහුගේ උදාර සිතුවිලි "


අවසන් හුස්ම පොද නොබියව හෙළන්නට
සිවු රියනේ හිත සතුටින් නිදන්නට
මිනිසකු විලස ඉපදුණු පල දකින්නට
පුළුවනි මරණ මංචකයේ වුවද මට

දහදිය දිය උනේ නෑ මාලිගාවල
කඳුළැලි වැටුනෙ නෑ නිවටුන් දෙපාමුල
ගත හැඩි දැඩි උනේ ළඳුවල කැලෑ වල
කරගැට මතු උණේ නගුලට උදැල්ලට

මහ කෙත් රණ බිමට වැද ගෙන උදලු කෙටී
මේ රළු පොළොව ජය ලැබුවෙමි වැතිර වැටී
ඒ ජය මට නොවෙයි නුඹටයි ඉපිද නැතී
අද මා මළත් හෙට මා උන් සුවඳ ඇතී

පද රචනය : සුනිල් ආරියරත්න
තනුව සහ සංගීතය : වික්ටර් රත්නායක
ගායනය : අබේවර්ධන බාලසූරිය

Well... Most of the verses are general in kind and can be applicable for each and every human being, but if you take the whole song, it was a song about noble thoughts of a upright farmer who lead a honorable life. Eventhough the book was about soldiers, war and the sacrifice they make; being a farmer and being a soldier, no big difference. There is a great saying as "If you ate today, thank a farmer. If you ate in peace, thank a soldier." (I have seen often, the Indian people are highly using this quote to build up that Indian attitude) So with a small little bit of modification for the two verses "කරගැට මතු උණේ නගුලට උදැල්ලට" and "මහ කෙත් රණ බිමට වැද ගෙන උදලු කෙටී" accordingly, this is a perfect one for them; the gallant soldiers who lead a noble life.

By the way, if you take a farmer in these days, I don't think that they could ever say "දහදිය දිය උනේ නෑ මාලිගාවල" or "කඳුළැලි වැටුනෙ නෑ නිවටුන් දෙපාමුල" in this economy. Because there is no Gamaraala (ගමරාළ) culture or Gama Gedara (ගම ගෙදර) culture nowadays, which maintained a respectable position among the community those days; the days we had an agricultural economy; the days we live as an agricultural society. Gamaraala (ගමරාළ) is just only in children's books I guess and I'm even doubt that too. Just think the perception of Gamaraala (ගමරාළ) and the perception of farmer (ගොවි මහතා) you have in your mind.

Before moving onto the next song, I want to say thank you for the author Major General Kamal Gunaratne thousand times for including those four verses of this song on the book, which I never heard before in my life, more than writing the book. It was deeply touched the depth.

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Okay, now for the next song. It was a somewhat popular one in our time too if you are a radio listener. But I don't think I had ever watched it in a TV channel, but there might be a possibility of playing it in ITN or SLRC in our time. Mahiyangane Rankotha Vaasanaawan. This one was appeared on YouTube along with our precious previously mentioned four verses.



මහියංගණේ රන් කොත වාසනාවන් 
මහවැලි ගඟේ දියවර වාසනාවන් තුන්යම දුටුව සිහිනය වාසනාවන් බාල නඟෝ නුඹ මට වාසනාවන් ඉර බාරයි ඉර වට යන ගිරවුන්ට  සඳ බාරයි සඳ වට යන සාවුන්ට  මල බාරයි මල වට යන බමරුන්ට  නුඹ බාරයි මතු මතුවත් නගෝ මට මහියංගණේ රන් කොත….. ඉරගල නුවර ඉරගල පවතිනා තුරු  සඳගල නුවර සඳගල පවතිනා තුරු අපහද බැඳුණු සෙනෙහස මල් පිපෙන තුරු  මේ ගඟ ගලනු ඇත දුක සැප දෙකම හුරු මහියංගණේ රන් කොත…..

පද රචනය : සුනිල් සරත් පෙරේරා
තනුව සහ සංගීතය : සරත් ප්‍රනාන්දු
ගායනය : 
පියසිරි විජේරත්න

Lyrics: Sunil Sarath Perera (Not Sure)
Music: Sarath Fernando (Not Sure)
Singer: Piyasiri Wijeratne

This one was the original with the old taste. I have seen another one with the year 1992 with somewhat quality music. But I think old one can touch your heart more than that 1992 one.

Piyasiri Wijeratne

I may have heard it few times on radio and it was always a loved and touched piece of music. I guess it was really because of the both music and Piyasiri Wijeratne's voice. As it was such a long time I was not heard of it, I just click for it to play and went to put a 'like' and accidentally saw a wonderful comment. The commentator was saying it was a song from a television drama during Mahaweli project time. It was like I was saying amazingly "What??" So there after I was in my mission of finding the history of the song and here is what I found from the Internet sphere.

It seems like this was a modified song. The verses were taken from our traditional poetry related with sacred tooth relic in Temple of Tooth, Kandy. Ref: http://www.lakehouse.lk/budusarana/2007/08/28/PrintPage.asp?REF=fea05

"ගද්‍ය පද්‍ය කලාව තුළ දළදා සාහිත්‍යයත් බිහිවිය. පාලි දාඨාවංශය, දළදා සිරිත, දළදා පූජාවලිය , දළදා කාව්‍යය, දළදා සතකය, දළදා චතුර, ඒ සඳහා නිදසුන් කීපයකි. කවියන් හා උගතුන්ගේ ගෞරවයට පාත‍්‍ර වූ වස්තුවක් වූවාසේම නූතන ගීතයට ද වස්තු බීජයක් බවට පත්ව තිබේ.

ඉරගල නුවර ඉරගල පවතිනා තුරු
සඳගල නුවර සඳගල පවතිනා තුරු
මැද මහනුවර රන්කොත පවතිනා තුරු
දින ලා යන්ට නොදෙනෙමි දිවි තිබෙන තුරු

ඉර බාරයි ඉර වට යන ගිරවුන්ට
සඳ බාරයි සඳ වට යන සාවුන්ට
මල බාරයි මල වට යන බඹරුන්ට
අපි බාරයි සිරි දළදා සමිඳුන්ට"

Commentators were not sure about the name of the television drama, So I came up with few names according to the clues I got.

Surely it should be a drama done by Tissa Abeysekara for Mahaweli Authority during the time Gamini Dissanayake was the Mahaweli Minister. Mahaweli was the largest project for the country those days and needed much campaigning and Tissa Abeysekara was commissioned to create dramas on this flavor to build up this Mahaweli culture. I guess he was never a political party praiser. Anyway in my time, I think I never saw a TV drama flavoring for a government project, even for the war. It was always just programs, clips, songs and rarely one or two one-act-plays (ඒකාංගික ටෙලි නාට්‍ය). When you look at the civilization perspective, there is a wonderful sensation when politics becomes a history; a lot to learn.

According to the following reference, name of this drama should be "Mahaweli Sihinaya" (මහවැලි සිහිනය).
Ref: http://archives.dinamina.lk/baddaramalla/?sid=article&dt=2013/09/17&id=2013/09/17/b1309175

But I was unable to find this type of a name in Tissa Abeysekara's teledrama list or anywhere else. But found these three saying that Tissa Abeysekara done them for Mahaweli Authority around 1985. "Dolos Mahe Gangaawa" (දොළොස්මහේ ගංගාව), "Gangawa Tharanaya" (ගංගාවතරණය), "Thunkal Sihinaya" (තුන්කල් සිහිනය). According to facts, all three of them written by Sugath Vatagedara and "Dolos Mahe Gangaawa" was a 12 episode teledrama series and "Thunkal Sihinaya" and "Gangawa Tharanaya" was one-act-plays. I'm not sure really because I have seen none of them or heard none of them before.
According to facts "Dolosmahe Gangawa" was a teledrama depicted the life of well reputed Dimbulagala Seelalankara Thera. "Thunkal Sihinaya" story was based on a conflict between the new settlers and original settlers of the Mahaweli Project.

And also a one commentator has saying the storyline was about a middle aged Mahaweli Officer who was secretly in love with a young village girl. He never expressed his love and she gets married to a another young man. According to another commentator the story was based on a 'Mahaweli Scholarship' and another one fadedly reminds that cast was Sanath Gunathilaka & Nadeeka Gunasekara. 

Well actually I have no idea of the name or the storyline of the drama this song "Mahiyangane Rankotha Vaasanaawan" contained. But one thing for sure, it was about Mahaweli, because likewise there were many teledramas televised those days based on this theme. Hope if you can help me.

A book and two Songs. The moment for the day.