Different Worlds: Upali Mahaliyana’s Novel

Upali Mahaliyana’s Introductory Note

This is NOT my autobiography.  Although Ajith, the main Character in this novel, shares the times and a part of his background with me, he is a completely different person who had a very different character and a life to mine.  His family has absolutely no resemblance to mine.

This is NOT a biographical novel either.  Although Ajith binds the story together, it is not just his story.

Instead, it is a story of changing lifestyles, values and attitudes of Sri Lankan society over different times and different environments, demonstrated through five generations of the same family.  It covers an era from the early part of the twentieth century to the present times and a geographical area from a rural village in Sri Lanka, through a provincial city and the capital city into the Sri Lankan diaspora in the world.

It is a family story that is comprised of four distinct stories but with inter-links making it one overall novel.  It is the story of a once prominent family in a rural village, fallen on hard times and struggling to feed itself, but jealously guarding the vestiges of their family prestige at any cost.  It is the story of an ambitious boy who breaks the shackles of the village and goes to the big city, looking for adventure and a career.  It is the story of another boy who had no notable attributes but, through sheer luck, finds himself in the right places and meets the right people at the right time to become a successful professional in a different country.  It is also the story of a new overseas-born and raised generation with their own variations of love, career, disaster and happiness.

It is up to you, The Reader, to gauge to what extent I have succeeded in presenting this story.  I would be very grateful for your feedback, be it positive or negative.  It will be very useful to me in my future works.  I would especially like to hear from you if a particular storyline, character, chapter or even a passage touched you in any way.  I promise that I will personally respond to each and every piece of correspondence.

All characters and incidents in this book originate from my own imagination.  None of them is based on an actual incident or a real person.  Any resemblance to a living or deceased person is purely accidental.

Upali Mahaliyana,…. 115, Burns Road, Wahroonga, NSW 2076, Australia ….. Email: umahaliyana@gmail.com

2017  Godage & Sons, ….. ISBN  978-955-30-8624-2.


Author’s Note. 2

Book 1 – Chapter 1 – Arachchi Gedara. 1

Book 2 – Chapter 1 – End of an Era. 32

Book 2 – Chapter 2 – The Elephant in the Room.. 36

Book 2 – Chapter 3 – Somasiri’s Passing. 40

Book 2 – Chapter 4 – Making of a ‘Gentleman’ 50

Book 2 – Chapter 5 – The Civil Servant 60

Book 2 – Chapter 6 – Wedding Bells. 61

Book 2 – Chapter 7 – Raising Three Families. 71

Akbar-Nell Hall and the Engineering Faculty, Peradeniya University

Book 3 – Chapter 1 – Return to Auckland. 76

Book 3 – Chapter 2 – A Child of Nature. 78

Book 3 – Chapter 3 – Family Surendra. 99

Book 3 – Chapter 4 – Frustrations. 141

Book 3 – Chapter 5 – Third Time Lucky?. 148

Book 3 – Chapter 6 – Surprises. 161

Book 3 – Chapter 7 – Greener Pastures. 177

Book 3 – Chapter 8 – A New Country Beckons. 184

Book 4 – Chapter 1 – Leaving the Nest 196

Book 4 – Chapter 2 – An Innocent Romance. 198

Book 4 – Chapter 3 – Uncharted Waters. 222

Book 4 – Chapter 4 – More than a Storm in this Teacup. 231

Book 4 – Chapter 5 – Towards Calmer Waters. 277

Book 4 – Chapter 6 – A New Baby. 284

Book 4 – Chapter 7 – Coming Home. 293




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