A historical song from a historical movie (dedicated to J R Jayawardena - the forum member)

  • 7 May 2007 11:14:35 GMT

    JRJayawardena,

    Few thoughts.

    [I have no idea what had happened to the film as I remember I watched this film in the early 1980s on Television (the full film).]

    I do not think you have watched this on TV in early 1980s only few films were shown on TV and I do not think they showed `Ranmuthuduva`. If so, I would not have missed it. I am sure of that.

    Perhaps you have seen it in 1978 when they screened it at New Olympia. That was where I saw it.

    [`mey werala nethi wuudaata siduwei sinhalayage malagama` ]

    You do not have to take these things literarily. These were written in a different time and should be taken in the right context. For example, Mahagamasekera wrote ` Me Sinhala apage ratai...` (in 1960s I think) but that does not mean he rejected the Sri Lankan identity.

    As for Chandraratne Manavasinghe, I have more things to tell. We have a personal connection. (Prefer not to elaborate)

    I have even visited the funeral of Manavasinghe`s wife about ten years ago. Then Prabhath Manavasinghe, his son, died under tragic circumstances few years back, but we could not go for the funeral.

    Manavasinghe was one of the most creative writers of out times. Amazing how he has played with the language.

    Their house is known as `Vapi Mekhala`. Vapi = tank. He thus named the house because it was like a `mekhala` (as in `mani-mekhala`) to the Boralesgamuwa tank. His eldest daughter is named as `Girija`, because the mother looked like a huge rock before she was born. (so fat!)

    Lets discuss his works in some other thread. (I plan to post another song of his soon)

    .

  • 7 May 2007 11:25:16 GMT

    All,

    If I remember correctly, Manavasinghe wrote two more songs for the same movie.

    The first one was `Paaramitha bala puritha pujitha Buddha divakarayano - Vesak poho dina dinu seka lova, Buddha divakarayano...` (The movie starts with this song while the hero and his two friends go to see the Vesak pandals)

    The second was `Pipee pipee renu natana vane malaka heppila, varen varen hulang podak ape angeth gevila` sung by the hero (Gamini Fonseka) and his gang at the beach.

    There was one scene on the movie a `pusari` drops from a very tall rock to the sea. This was filmed at Swami Rock in Trinco using a dummy. Arthur C Clarke writes that was the costliest 30 second scene in the entire movie.

    BTW, Clarke writes one whole chapter about this movie in one of his books. I had it, but lost somewhere.

    .

  • 7 May 2007 11:44:12 GMT

    Shakti,

    [You do not have to take these things literarily. These were written in a different time and should be taken in the right context. For example, Mahagamasekera wrote ` Me Sinhala apage ratai...` (in 1960s I think) but that does not mean he rejected the Sri Lankan identity.

    ]

    No, I am not trying to generalise that. Its something that comes naturally with passion for your country than specifically for race. For instance the word `Thun Helaya` doesn`t mean only 3 Sinhela but all helas, which are all kinds of people from the 3 areas of Lanka.

    Mahagama had the similar views like `Mey Sinhala apage ratai` but I feel its sad that this song is not broadcast over the radio due to the present sensitive nature. I believe when `mey sinhala apage ratai` was written for `Gatawarayo` if I remember it didn`t intend to segregate Tamil identity but just as a sign of language medium which is Sinhalese to disseminate its content.

    Now with the ethnic tension is high and everything is taken of paramount heights anything related to `Sinhala` is classified as a segregation of non-Sinhalese. This is somewhat puerile thinking from the outset. I believe this is called inferiority complex. Why cannot the authorities take measures to broadcast any patriotic song without second thoughts.

    Obviously in any race you have patriotic feelings and that doesn`t mean they have to be chopped & changed. To be honest I have not heard songs like `mey sinhala`, `Loken uthum rata`, `Sinhala jaya geetha handata`. May be all those songs have the word `Sinhala` thus is tabboo to use in the media.

    In UK, you have all races which have their unique respect the English, The Scotts and The Welsh, so why can`t we think the same than not playing the patriotic songs etc. Is it a problem? or is just a perception of fearing barrage of criticism?

    JRJ

  • 7 May 2007 11:54:31 GMT

    JRJayawardena,

    It is just a question what identity you put first. Do you want to put Sinhalese identity or Sri Lankan identity first?

    I prefer to call myself a Sri Lankan. That does NOT mean I do not want to be called a Sinhalese, but my Sri Lankan identity always take priority over my Sinhalese identity.

    If every race and every community is going to promote their own racial/communal/religious identities over a common Sri Lankan identity before long the land will be divided into so many smaller pieces. We have seen the damage cause by that so we do not want that to happen anymore.

    Especially the majority of any country should be careful not to promote their racial identity too much.

    In Singapore, it is a criminal offence to promote ethnic identities over national Singaporean identity.

    In India, it is not an offence, but people rarely do that.

    .

  • 7 May 2007 12:09:41 GMT

    Shakti,

    I consider my self as a Sri Lankan to begin with, because I was born and brought up in Sri Lanka to Sri Lankan parents. For me Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers or even any other race in Lanka doesn`t mean much as long as they are one kind of people under Mother Lanka.

    I have not traced my family tree to start with because I believe in equanimity so even if I find my grand parents were to have burgher mix or ducth mix that would not bother me. I am a flexible bloke. I do what I best can do for my self and the people. For me race is something you acquire once you come out to the world till then they all have same thing. So why would someone bother about race?

    My question to you on why the authorities would not play those songs was not answered by you. Perhaps you are not sure about it either.

    For me I feel the authorities are taking a very narrow stance on such issues and obviously for political mileage.

    JRJ

  • 7 May 2007 12:51:07 GMT

    JRJ,

    [My question to you on why the authorities would not play those songs was not answered by you.]

    I guess you directed this question to the wrong person. I have not banned these songs and it is not fair for you to expect me to justify that action.

    I have nothing against those songs as long as they are taken in the correct context, and there is no trend to ban the opposite.

    I believe in free market. As long as it is free, market itself will take care of these issues. We do not need regulators.

    .

  • 8 May 2007 03:52:11 GMT

    Gents, no hidden agendas or conspiracies, but I have lately heard that Nanda M was 18 yo when she sang her first. I also know that she is older than Sunil A. She must have born around 1943/44.

    Cheers.

    Mucha

    PS: Just found this on the web.

    [Nanda Malini born on August 23, 1943 as Mirihana Arachchige Nanda Perera in Lewanduwa, Aluthgama.]

    .

  • 8 May 2007 05:01:57 GMT

    Shakti,

    [Directed by (if I remember correctly) by Mike Wilson and produced by three friends Mike Wilson, Arthur C Clarke and cant remember the last name]

    I think the other guy is Rodney Jonklass. He is the one who captured the underwater scenes but not sure whether he was involved in the production as well.

    Thanks for posting this. We used to sing this as schoolboys, especially when going on a trip.

  • 8 May 2007 05:17:43 GMT

    Bonggo,

    Thanks for reminding me. How dare could I forget this guy?

    [He is the one who captured the underwater scenes but not sure whether he was involved in the production as well.]

    Yes, he was very much involved in the production. In fact, he played a role too. He was the other villain diver. (who gets killed by Gamini in the film)

    If I remember correctly it was Rodney Jonklass who wrote `Vaalampuri`, later made to a movie, the second Sinhala movie with underwater scenes.

    (His daughter Indira too later played the leading role in Dharmasiri Bandaranaike`s `Thunveni Yamaya`.)

    Arthur C Clarke was not involved in the production as he was out of the country for some reason. But Clarke was not a stranger to Sinhala Cinema. He played the role of Leonard Woolf in Beddegama and also wrote an article about the experience titled `Who is afraid of Leonard Woolf??

    Clarke`s friend and land lord Hector (can remember the surname) played the role of ?Renga? - the villain in Ranmuthduva.

    Should not also forget Shesha Palihakkara, who played the role of the second friend of the hero and who goes to find a saw when the heroine was tangled to a rock.

    .

  • 8 May 2007 09:28:33 GMT

    Shakti,

    [If I remember correctly it was Rodney Jonklass who wrote `Vaalampuri`, later made to a movie, the second Sinhala movie with underwater scenes]

    Yes it was a colour film too, starring Vijaya Kumaratunga. Rodney Jonklass filmed the underwater sceneries. The movie in general has a beautiful setting.

    It was the story about a Sinhala woman who gives birth to a fair skinned child. The husband suspects that she had an affair with an Englishman but she was innocent.

    [Should not also forget Shesha Palihakkara, who played the role of the second friend of the hero and who goes to find a saw when the heroine was tangled to a rock]

    Shesha was a director too wasn`t he?