Reading with Music [“මළගිය ඇත්තෝ”]

Yesterday I was reading a 'novel', for the second time, which one of the most famous novels in Sri Lankan literature history, written in 1959 by professor Sarathchandra; actually it’s rather a great one for me because it reflects some of my experience being living outside in another country too. How can I say the name of the novel? It’s simply the “Dead People”! In Sinhalese its name is ‘Malagiya Aththo’[“මළගිය ඇත්තෝ”], ‘Malagiya’ means dead, and ‘Aththo’ means people, or beings. So this novel is not basically centering its theme into an ideology of death or whatever the consequences of being dying or something similar to 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' etc, but it spiraling around an human axis which one of the most passive protagonist I have ever come across called ‘Devendora Sung’. The story simply develops around DS who was practicing painting and start his life as a Buddhist monk and so and so. After completing many foreign traveling and some painting exhibitions in abroad, he decided to stay in Japan for a period of his life to achieve some of the skills of traditional painting in Japan. During his stay in Japan he encounters some passionate relationship with somewhat ignorant but very humanistic girl named Noriko. There relationship never well defined and no indication of an affair of love but this entanglement make both so sensitive towards their goals of life and end up the story in a partial tragedy by shifting DS back to his own country remaining both unmarried and helpless.

This tale of an isolated man being alone with his painting tools, starts to live in another country and finding some passion to investigate his inner mysteries is represented in very much poetical language. One of the most influential constituent of the novel is to get some awareness of Japanese tradition and its culture, remarkably fabricated. Most of the spiral arms of Japanese culture are depicted through the pursuance of DS’s inner ambition to find his style in his artistic vision drives the reader to another depth of Japanese arts and culture through his observations. I like this human affair as well as the cultural paradigms emerges into one another through the text is very much unique in the context of Sri Lankan literature.

If you really interested in Malagiya Aththo’s complete understanding of character progression and their fate, you have to read the second part of the novel came in 1965 as 'Malawunge Avurudu da' ['මළවුන්ගේ අවුරුදු දා' 'the dead people’s new year day'] which was written in the Noriko’s perspective, will solve the mystic affairs that made Devandora’s sources and reasons of his internal conflicts of being in 'love'. 

By the way Sepal Amarasinghe has published a critical book on the subject of reading this novel as a recommended book for the Advanced Level students for their examination and another similar book by Widura Abeynayake and some other literary critics too.

These reviews and critical essays are very much helpful to get into the nucleus of the ‘Malagiya Aththo’; is helpful to dig into most perspectives of reading a novel in modern context.

I was reading this novel while listening to some Japanese music made my reading a pleasurable by synchronizing music with text. That experience is very much cinematic and I used some music of ‘Secrets of Zen’ album and some other ‘Ensemble Nipponia-Traditional Japanese Vocal & Instrumental Music’ album with Kabuki backing themes very nicely marching with the contents of the novel incidentally. Most of the time these mystified lovers, Devendora Sung and Noriko are spending their time together in coffee shops listening Japanese music and watching kabuki in opera halls.

Sometimes I think music playing in background will heighten the reading pleasure of some novels mostly poetical ones. I can remember the best novel ‘Baththalangunduwa’ which was won the title by year 2008, by Manjula Wediwardena is the most poetical novel we experienced reading for the last decade in Sri Lankan literary history, I used ‘Bambaru Ewith’ cinema theme music to play in the background to get into the deep contextual singularity of the ‘Baththalangunduwa’ while I was reading it for the third time. Both the movie and the novel fixed their geographical anchor and context into the coastal life of fishermen and so and so. You can hear the breeze of the sea while you are imagining the portrayed architecture of the characters in textual form in the coastal arena is the mystifying thing here.

This nature of cinematic effect due to background music will be there in most of the English novels too which I came across. “The mysterious flame of Queen Loana” by Umberto Echo is another mysterious novel I can mention here with some classical Italian instrumental music in the background to enhance its reading pleasure such as I used to.

By theory there must be some sort of genre of music each novel can be read in keeping playing background is, mostly, very personal experience and rely on judgment.

[thanking for the image source ]

Life of Pi with pizza

Life of Pi

The riot of flowers is incessant.
[Page 16, Life of Pi]

Here I am reading aloud a little paragraph out of 'life of Pi' that made my day a colorful sky, since it painted many unusual shades in my mind just after searching in Google images for those unheard flowers I cam across in 'Life of Pi'!

You must imagine a hot and humid place, bathed in sunshine and bright colors. The riot of flowers is incessant. There are trees, shrubs, and climbing plants in profusion-Peepuls, Gulmohurs, flames of the forest, red silk cottons, jacarandas, mangoes, jackfruits and many others that would remain unknown to you if they didn’t have neat labels at their feet. There are benches. On these benches you see men sleeping, stretched out, or couples sitting, young couples, who steal glances at each other shyly and whose hands flutter in the air, happening to touch.

Again I want to picturise this scenery of Profusion: The property of being extremely abundant, flowers.

Peepuls: Fig tree of India noted for great size and longevity; lacks the prop roots of the banyan; regarded as sacred by Buddhists

Jacarandas: An important Brazilian timber tree yielding a heavy hard dark-colored wood streaked with black

Gulmohurs: Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant from the Fabaceae family, noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. Often grown as an ornamental tree and given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant, it is also known as Gulmohar (Hindi and Urdu), KrishnachuRa (Bengali), Malinche, and Tabachine[1], and one of several named the Flame tree. The species was previously placed in a genus Poinciana, named for Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas.

If I say the true reason behind buying this book ,Life of Pi, was to read about the diachronic/historic evolution or the history of Pi which is denoting the Greek letter [symbol here; oops, i cant insert it here!], the mathematical constant and so and so. Because that was the time I was crazy to read about the history of mathematics and many other relative disciplines of mathematics.

Suddenly I saw this book very near to the shelves of science and mathematics at the Book World –Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall. So I suddenly grab it with The Last Theorem, hence now I am reading about an Indian who came across lot of swimming, oh it isn’t bad though this involves a tiger too. I want to finish this as soon as possible to write something about Life of Pi.
The Last Theorem
Yes, Amidst: In the middle of reading of a book, will make me so intense feeling of words and colors.

Though further, I found the movie Pi too. If you want to see Pi, then be prepared to get a headache of numbers! For sure it is a psychological thriller merged with number theories that got life with a supercomputer and human called here in the movie as Max Cohen. So have some “Believing that the number and the headaches are linked, Max tries to concentrate on the number through the pain” kind of experience! Never mind, movie doesn’t do any good with mathematics, believe me! ;)

Anyway do you know how 'Pizza' got its name? 

Pizza is cylinder but it’s a flat cylinder. Lets follow usual notation of geometry and find the volume of such thick cylinder having a radius of z and height of a.

Volume =pi*radius squared*height
Volume of Pizza=pi*z*z*a=pizza so it’s mathematical!

useless vs useful [The message was 'I don't care']

A big sorry, coz I couldn’t update this for a long long time as I was out of my access to net perhaps looks like a small lie that could have used to 'Suture' the situation, hope nobody will take that too much serious.:)

What I am going to write at the beginning must be something totally useless. Sometimes totally useless matters will become totally useful at the end. Though the politicians [Sri Lankan politicians; may be they are very special type of… who knows?] usually ignore the public during their successful times i.e. just after an election and getting all the heavenly empowers sake of state duty, they will experience a sudden quantum jump in their day to day life into a sarcastic life called politically nurtured nature. But after few years once the election comes they have enormous value again on the voters. So the useless matter will become a critical important matter. Hence the proof is done. Just these all crap is useless to write here and waste my time and your time and space here in my blog which I could use to copy and paste another joke instead writing about Sri Lankan politics.

Yesterday Wimal Weerawansha was appearing in the late night news bulleting, though many new ministers and faces were giving speeches on educational reforming in the parliament so and so. Sajith Premadasa was explaining the situations of the government schools of Hambanthota District and his point was that many schools were under threat of closing and bla bla. This was very factual presentation and it was real threat to the newly government policies which are about to deliver no sooner or later to reform the whole structure suiting the private sector to invest on the 'business of education'. Through this catastrophic reforming many hidden and unforeseen agendas to come to the stage without any of the public awareness, is a fact that apparently true. So the situation is very smoggy, but public is keeping eye on the matter. Nonetheless the point here is how Wimal Weerawansha decode the Sajith Premadasa’s involvement at this crucial matter is. As per Wimal this involvement into the debate is just because Sajith wants to brake through his idle status in the parliament and show his apparently dynamic nature to compete to the leadership of the UNP. UNP is nowadays in a deep shit about their leadership after having defeated one and half dozens of elections since under the leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe, though the activists trying their full capacity to make a change and keeping the potential leadership toward Sajith Premadasa who was the son of one of the best/worst[this binary oppositions are related each other in a form of Mobius tape!] president Ranasinghe Premadasa in Sri Lanka.

Anyway Wimal’s words are worth enough to remake the thinking of himself as he was expecting certain things in political space from Rajapaksha Regiment through the presidential election acting as a Trojan fighter disseminating many crucial dramas to make the public opinion drastically positive towards the Rajapakshas while making up his image suitable to plant the seed to become the prime minister ship [hopefully] publishing his speeches in an abnormal hardbound expensive looking book. I personally purchased this 'book' and it was the very first one I have seen through printing age of Sri Lanka, every page on offset with shining and dense.

 For thousand rupees it is something showing the 'ego' of a symbolic madness, otherwise it is nothing. Here we should go back to Slavoj Zizek to re-read this message comes through an abnormal book. What it could be meant by really?

“There was one occasion when one of the top people in the Slovenian Communist Party gave a speech to us Young Communists, emphasizing that we should all read both volumes of Das Kapital and that we should all follow in our lives the fourth thesis of Feuerbach: you shouldn't only interpret the world, you should change it. Of course he paraphrased this thesis in a very vulgar way - for example, 'let's not just talk and philosophize, let's do some work' Then of course I approached him afterwards and asked him : 'Don't you know that there are three volumes of Das Kapital by Marx, and that this is thesis 1 1 , not thesis 4 ? ' And I got a marvelous answer: 'I know, but that was my message, it doesn't matter who knows this.' This is a wonderful example of how it functions. The message was this indifference. The message was 'I don't care'”

Slavoj Zizek
Conversations with Zizek
Slavoj Zizek and Glyn Daly

So its time to music, this is a very nice song, I first came through the movie Lost Highway by David Lynch. I was never known into David Bowie , pardon from the serious Bowie fans coz my context is Sri Lankan, so I knew all the time the top chart delivers for the last may be ten twenty years, more or less dumb on the western music other than ABBA or Boney Ms… lets go to I’m deranged.

I'm Deranged lyrics

Funny how secrets travel
I'd start to believe
if I were to bleed
Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high
Cruise me blond
Cruise me babe
A blond belief beyond beyond beyond
No return No return

I'm deranged
Deranged my love
I'm deranged down down down
So cruise me babe cruise me baby

And the rain sets in
It's the angel-man
I'm deranged

Cruise me cruise me cruise me babe

The clutch of life and the fist of love
Over your head
Big deal Salaam
Be real deranged Salaam
Before we reel
I'm deranged

[CHORUS (two times)]

Cruise me cruise me cruise me babe

I'm deranged

What makes me here to merge this song into this Wimal Weerawansha’s matter, coz he is also the one 'deranged' in his dreams as per me.

In Lost Highway the things are fabricated in a surface of a Mobius strip and this is the idea suggested by one of the best psychoanalytical review I have ever gone through about Lost Highway is from Bernd Herzogenrath, other voices website. Here you can go through from this link.

Ok this is from Voice of Enigma, my favorite music since I listen to this in early 90s.

"The Rivers Of Belief"

Take me back to the rivers of belief
Take me back to the rivers of belief
my friend
I look inside my heart
I look inside my soul
I promise you
I will return
And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal
silence covered the sky
Take me back to the rivers of belief
Take me back to the rivers of belief
my friend
I look inside my heart
I look inside my soul
I'm reaching out for you
Lets hope one day
We'll rest in peace
on my rivers of belief

Can I suggest the "The Rivers Of Belief" should be re-engineered to make the real sense here "The Reverse Of Belief"!!!