Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

Aubrey Collette’s Satirical Work — An Appreciation

Neville Weeraratne, being Chapter IX in his opus, entitled Collette’s Cullings. The satirist’s fine line”

COLLETTE: Cartoon comment in the Observer following a ‘43 Group exhibition.

Everybody enjoyed Aubrey Collette’s work though he would not have satisfied every political aspiration. You turned to him for your reading of the day, originally in the Times of Ceylon, later in the Observer, and then as ‘Spur’ in a series he did for the Daily News as well. He gave a sharp edge to his drawing which, indeed, was capable of cutting deeply but never maliciously. Collette had the rare and splendid gift of observation: to remember a foible, to swiftly size up a characteristic, and enjoy having summed up the hapless one who had fortuitously wandered into his sights. To have been noticed by Collette was itself honour enough, and those who had been so distinguished by a portrait, as in Collette’s 1954 FACES – a collection of seventy-three pastel studies – soon bought them up, more for the immortality it conferred on them than for the fear of what their enemies might make of the caricatures. Collette very simply had the gift of showing some how others saw them, bestowing upon them the poet’s wish. You might have rejected these insights as subjective had you not yourself been drawn inevitably into the process of assessing the subject.

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Overseeing Cricket: Galle Fort and Its Charm

International Cricket at Galle from the Fort ramparts 

Photo by David Colin-Thome and Dilmah Cricket Network

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Galle Fort and Cricket Grounds: Overviews and ‘Ancient’ Views

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The Moonstone that graced a Garden in Sussex …. and then Sold for $767,000

An Item in ba-bamail edited by Natalia J.

Bronwyn Hickmott took a beautiful garden paver from her late parents’ home and installed it at her own home in Devon, England. In an interview with BBC, Bronwyn said she had been fascinated with the beautiful detailing and the curious shapes of the stone ever since she was a child, which is exactly why she decided to keep it. Little did she know, the curious stone was one of the only seven existing Sri Lankan Sandakada Pahana, which are temple moonstones that date all the way back to the late Anuradhapura Period (10-11th century).

The Moon-stone found at the entrance of Uda Viharaya of Ridhi Vihara Sri Lanka Image Source: Reddit

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“Bridge over the River Kwai”: In Appreciation of Ian Watt’s Fictional Tale

Tony Donaldson, with underlining emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The essay “Bridges over the Kwai,” written by Ian Watt, a prisoner of war on the Burma-Siam railway in WW2, provides a perspective on the book and film from the perspective of an insider. It is well-known that Pierre Boulle’s The Bridge over the River Kwai was fictional, but here Watt suggests Boulle’s narrative had some basis in fact. Thus, a worthy read for those interested in the book, evaluations of the film, or WW2 history.

 

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Epitaphs for War Heroes: The Kranji War Memorial in Singapore

Athanasios Tsakonas has produced a book on the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore entitled In Honour of War Heroes: Colin St Clair Oakes and the Design of Kranji War Memorial ….

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Charting Anagarika Dharmapala’s Many Pursuits

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, reviewing  Bhadrajee S. Hewage’s book A NAME FOR EVERY CHAPTER: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism”

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.

Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”

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World Shaking Moments and “Bivva Neda Vadakaha Sudiya”

Senaka Weeraratne

In 1955, the Solar Eclipse caused quite a commotion among people in Sri Lanka resulting in speculation on a range of outcomes. Some offered a Syrup (Paniya) called ‘Vada Kaha Sudiya’ claiming a potency to turn a darker coloured skin into a fairer skin colour. Hundreds of women jumped at this offer and placing faith in the claim (like snake oil) rushed to take the drink, drank the syrup and fell ill. Some died.

Extraordinary times produce unusual personalities and unusual concoctions. Like the Dhammika Paniya now offering a cure for COVID – 19.

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Swinging Christmas in Olde Ceylon

 Roel Raymond, in The Roar, 31, December 2017, where the title runs thus: “Christmas In Ceylon In The ’50’s: Swing Bands And Grand Galas”

History records social transformation. It is through the lens of historical narrative that we see the ages and eras of the past and learn of the people, places, and events that made an impact. Documented history throws a light on the customs and rituals of people as they wend their way through time, leaving their mark on a particular epoch. In the 1950’s, Ceylon has just gained independence from the British Raj, the fruits of which were yet to be seen. Many of the cultural influences of the British were still apparent, including speaking the English language, clothing styles, and partaking in English customs and holidays.

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Dhammika Thera’s History of Bodh Gaya

S. Dhammika

The town of Bodh Gaya in the north Indian state of Bihar is the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and the most sacred place in the Buddhist world. For over 2000 years pilgrims have made their way to Bodh Gaya from every corner of Asia, often leaving records of their visit in inscriptions, memoirs, travelogues and even graffiti. Using these and other sources the book chronicles the place’s long and fascinating history. It recounts the magnificent ceremonies that once took place there, the saints and scholars associated with it and the various legends that grew up around it. Including previously overlooked information it also challenges the popular belief that Bodh Gaya was destroyed at the end on the 12th century and was forgotten and unvisited by Buddhist pilgrims for the next 700 years. This book should prove to be of interest to Indologists and social historians as well as to Buddhists.

Catalogue No.  BP630s  Language:  English
Publisher:  Buddhist Publication Society………

e-mail: bps@bps.lk.……….Tel:  .94 81 2237283 …. Fax: +94 81 2223679

Type: Book  Category:
ISBN:  978-955-24-0433-7  (2018)  (Paperback)
Pages:  146   Size: 145 x 226 mm

Price: $4.00     Rs. 225

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