Intertwining Pathways in Past Lanka Time …. A Tale. A Tale

Synopsis by the Publishers

In the month of 11 in the year 2048 of the Buddhist era, how many people knew that the South of Lanka would face a deadly cyclone which would change the entire history of the country. The lion race came to know of the year 1505 of the Christian era only then. The life of ten-year-old Hethu who lived on the coastline of the South changed in the same way as everybody else’s life. The life of 10-year-old Juan who worked on the Portuguese ship “Maria Helena” also changed on the same day. Their lives became intertwined with that of a monk named Rahula who lived in a Vihare in Kotte. Destiny brought them together in a strange way. It is through their meeting that the thoughts and knowledge of the realities of life changed each one of them. They see God and man in different ways. “Balakotu and Nauka ” is a new kind of novel.

BOOK DETAILS   … බලකොටු සහ නෞකා  Balakotu Saha Nauka

Price: Rs.585.00  ……….  Rs.650.00
Author: Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilaka – භද්‍රජි මහින්ද ජයතිලක

Publisher: Sarasavi Publishers

Book Code: 3107046 ……………. ISBN: 9789553107046

Book Review by Ananda Markalandaබලකොටු-සහ-නව්කා-book-review-by-ananda-markalanda/

Dom Lourenço, son of the Portuguese viceroy in India, was sailing his galleon off the island’s southwest coast when storms forced him to seek shelter. These strange foreigners, who in reality were dressed in armor, ate bread, drank red wine and brandished firearms, had arrived at the settlement later known as Galle.

By 1500 trade in the Indian Ocean was dominated by Arab, Indian, Malay, and Chinese merchants, who together used various seafaring craft to transport a spectrum of cargo, from spices to elephants. In the early 16th century this new European force, in the form of sailing ships with mounted cannons, arrived in the Indian Ocean. Their vessels, with their firepower and capacity for high speeds, helped implement a policy of control that began to undermine the region’s long-standing, relatively open trade competition. By establishing the sea route round the Cape, Portugal undercut the Venetian over land trade with its profusion of middlemen. The new route is firmly secured for Portugal by the activities to secure their ability to trade, the Portuguese seized ports and built fortifications on shores along their route to the East chasing Moors from the trade. Portugal had men with a sense of ardor and aggression and an attraction to military escapades. In 1521 three sons of Vijayabahu, the reigning king of Kotte, put their father to death and partitioned the kingdom among them. The oldest of the brothers, Bhuvanaika Bahu, ruled at Kotte, and the two others set up independent kingdoms at Sitawake and Rayigama. Mayadunne, the king of Sitawake, was an ambitious and able ruler who sought to expand his frontiers at the expense of his brother at Kotte. Bhuvanaika Bahu could not resist the temptation of seeking Portuguese assistance, and the Portuguese were eager to help him.

Award winning writer Bhadraji Jayatilaka’s book (බලකොටු සහ නව්කා ) Forts & Ships explores the Portuguese influence in Sri Lanka in this period with an emphasis on connections, interactions and adaptations and conversions. Throughout the book, Jayatilaka brings Ceylon to life. Its people, their customs, the land itself. The author allows the people of Ceylon to speak. Women, men, lords, ladies and courtesans. And there are a smattering of Moor traders who fear the arrival of Portuguese and what it means for their trade and future and economic monopoly on the island. බලකොටු සහ නව්කා is an eye-opening window into the world of Buddhist dominated Ceylon during the Kotte period encompassing the level of intrigue and plots among rulers. It capturers reader’s imagination as Bhadraji describes scenes in a very detailed and engaging way thru characters and history. His writing style is so captivating. …………….. Ananda Markalanda …  Jan 2017

Book Review by Entertainer …….. 17, 2019  ………………………

Definitely one of the finest historic novels I have read. The author, Mr. Bhadraji Mahinda Jayathiaka has done a tremendous work by creating this amazing story. It also shows how creative and how dexterous he is. Obviously, he has a very good knowledge about the history of our country, Sri Lanka. But using that knowledge  and putting it into a epic novel is a very difficult task. One must need a very high level of imaginative  power to achieve it.

Badraji Mahinda Jayathilaka who now lives in the US  is a talented and clever Sri Lankan. He has displayed his skills   in many different areas. He is a talented novelist, a song writer, an actor, one who is well known in art circles and who has a variety of other interests.

“Balakotu and Nauka” is a historical novel which highlights his story telling capabilities. Although it is not the best historical novel I have read, I greatly appreciate the simple manner in which the story has been presented. The author  has been successful in presenting a series of historical occurrences making use of fictional characters in a manner which holds the attention of the reader.

It is rarely that a person acquires the ability to weave and present a story. Only a few can do so in a manner that attracts the readers. I consider Bhadraji Mahinda Jayathilake a talented person because he has this skill and has proved it in no uncertain terms.

Book Review by Nilakshi Bandara in Sinhala & Translated here by Computer ………………..

The book is unique among those written by Mr. Bhadraji Mahinda Jayathilaka and has won the Golden Book Awards and Godage Awards. In terms of the content, the reader will understand the social changes that took place in Sri Lanka between 1505 and 1550 AD. The religious revival of the Portuguese has been very well documented. In the same way, the way in which the Portuguese dealt with the Kingdom of Kotte, how they were involved in the government system, has been described here. The way the Portuguese spread their religion and tried to enter the political scene of Sri Lanka, the political upheavals that took place in the Sri Lankan society, how Juan El Cabral and others behaved when they came to Sri Lanka, the girl Mali and her child , Ana Lucia, and their life thereafter is portrayed in the story in a very impressive way. The reader will note that the author has thoroughly studied that era. Castles and Ships can be described as a wonderful work that combines love, romance and horror. “Realising the situation , Juan thought that people are the same everywhere in the world. Lust for power, lust for wealth, immorality – all of them are not rare among the priests and the kings. .” (Page 425) Lives of poor people like Mali suffer in the midst of love, power and turmoil. Here people will do anything to get what they want. There is no division between power, politics, love and lust. They sacrifice their own lives for others.  The author has used the events that took place in Sri Lankan history. The statue of Dharmapala, King Vijayabahu, was brought to Goa and baptized. This is a very important book for the exploration of Sri Lankan history and literature, and the conflicts between Sri Lankan culture and Portuguese culture , Politics and the economy are very vividly illustrated, and many words that have been added to the Sri Lankan Hela language from Portugal can be studied through this book.

Book Review by Naleendra Weerapitiya in Sinhala  …………………….බලකොටු-සහ-නෞකා-භද්‍රජි-මහ/

A NOTE …. This presentation was facilitated by KK De Silva, my old aloysian colleagure-in-arms who dwells now somewhere around metropolitan Colombo

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