The Road From Elephant Pass Kindle Ñ The Road Kindle


The Road From Elephant Pass An Army Officer s routine assignment to pick up a woman informant near Jaffna turns into a nightmare when the LTTE launches a massive attack on the peninsula and the camp at Elephant Pass Then the two adversaries are forced to escape together through the rebel held Wanni and later, cross the abandoned Wilpattu National Park on foot The constant external dangers and their enforced dependence on each other, gradually erodes their enmity and distrust But when they finally reach Colombo, Wasantha An Army Officer s routine assignment to pick up a woman informant near Jaffna turns into a nightmare when the LTTE launches a massive attack on the peninsula and the camp at Elephant Pass Then the two adversaries are forced to escape together through the rebel held Wanni and later, cross the abandoned Wilpattu National Park on foot The constant external dangers and their enforced dependence on each other, gradually erodes their enmity and distrust But when they finally reach Colombo, Wasantha is confronted with a shocking revelation Comparing with the previous novel, The Far Spent Day , I liked this one better The characterization was farbetter in projecting Captain Wasantha and Kamala, a female LTTE cadre, a seeming informer Nihal de Silva handles the problem of terrorism in a manner of a true novelist by presenting opposed views through these two main characters by showing the ground realities of the war However a problem I had was him using Sinhala and translating certain dialogues to show that those characters are speaking Sinhala, I always find the whole thing absurd and time wasting and as in The Far Spent Day I wasn t crazy about his language and didn t liked the internal monologues I also found that the protagonist, Captain Wasantha is bit of a male chauvinist, and I wonder why he was portrayed like that since the only other character is a female who happens to be an enemy I couldn t understand what the author was looking to achieve through it Still, I m giving 4 stars for this one If he just shut up about the birds and re thought the end, this book could ve been quite something. This is a book about civil war and reaching across the bloodlines of that war it s a book about making a desperate journey through jungle it s a book about birds and animals and plants it s a book about Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka, the teardrop shed by the Indian subcontinent, is a land that was drenched in tears for the 25 years of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE Estimates suggest that over 150,000 people, military and civilian, were killed This is a book about civil war and reaching across the bloodlines of that war it s a book about making a desperate journey through jungle it s a book about birds and animals and plants it s a book about Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka, the teardrop shed by the Indian subcontinent, is a land that was drenched in tears for the 25 years of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE Estimates suggest that over 150,000 people, military and civilian, were killed during the war The war was essentially fought over the Tigers demand for a separate Tamil state Eelam within Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lanka government s refusal to countenance such an idea.My father is Sri Lankan Unusually, his mother was Sinhala the majority and predominantly Buddhist part of the population and his father was Tamil the minority Hindu section of the country, who mainly live in the north and east of the country Even back when my grandparents were married and this was a long time ago, around 1916 , such marriages were rare and faced much hostility My grandmother s parents, who were high caste Sinhala, largely cut off contact with their daughter after her marriage my father only met his grandparents once.Under British colonial rule, these tensions were subsumed but when Ceylon gained independence on 4 February 1948, the Sinhala majority moved towards asserting their political control of the country, most notably by making Sinhala the state language Since Tamil is not just a different language but uses a different script, this effectively threw many Tamils out of work.Tamil separatist organisations began to spring up, of which the most important was the one organized by Velupillai Prabhakaran that became the LTTE As attacks mounted, from both sides, the political tension worsened until full scale civil war broke out in 1983 The war continued for 25 years, with the Tigers for much of that time controlling huge tracts of Sri Lanka in a parallel administration A ruthlessly efficient organisation, the Tigers were the first group to develop the use of suicide bombers, and using them assassinated two heads of state Rajiv Gandhi of India and Ranasinghe Premadasa, president of Sri Lanka.This book was written in 2000, when it seemed the war would never end The author, Nihal de Silva, examines the justifications and reasons for the war through his two main characters a captain in the Sri Lankan army and a female cadre of the Tigers The captain, Wasantha, is detailed with the job of conveying Kamala, a Tiger cadre turned informer, to Colombo so she can pass on vital information But when the Tigers attack, the mis matched pair are forced to go to ground, and then attempt to make their way south on foot, marching through the no man s land of Wilpattu National Park.The depiction of the arid scrub of the north, a land pockmarked by the reservoirs dug by the ancient kings of Sri Lanka to irrigate the land, is excellent and the author s knowledge of the flora and fauna shines through The description of rural Sri Lanka, as the couple make their way through dirt poor villages and abandoned tracks, is among the best I ve read And while Wasantha and Kamala head south, hunted by predators both human and animal, the author skillfully presents both sides of the conflict through their interaction.The ending, when it comes, is tense, and shocking It s the ending appropriate to a land still at war without apparent end But, in the end, there was an end The Sri Lankan army, reorganised and rejuvenated, drove the Tigers into smaller and smaller pockets of territory and eventually destroyed the leadership, but at the price of many civilian lives.Nihal de Silva did not live to see the war s ending He was killed by a landmine while visiting his beloved Wilpattu National Park, the scene of so much of this work The Road From Elephant Pass is his memorial, and it s an eloquent one A great geographical tour of the northern part of war torn Sri Lanka Silva paints the land and its denizens brilliantly I found the relationship between the male and female leads to be a bit stilted and the translation from Sinhala to English a bit repetitive but certainly Silva s courage, for which he later lost his life in the same region due to a land mine explosion, is clear I am not sure any other writer would want to venture where he dared to go. This book made me realizeabout the three decades of war we had in our country It was touching and beautifully written, and to this day made me wonder about the ending. I read this text as an A L text and well, watched the movie too I m rather sorry that we had to torment ourselves with it and I m seriously beginning to doubt Chandram Ratnam s efforts as a filmmaker I don t really know about his body of work anyway, being a Colombo kid so I m not in a position to judge As for the author, all I ve read except for this was The Ginirella Conspiracy , which I enjoyed somewhatthan this particular book.As for the movie, well I have one thing to say It colo I read this text as an A L text and well, watched the movie too I m rather sorry that we had to torment ourselves with it and I m seriously beginning to doubt Chandram Ratnam s efforts as a filmmaker I don t really know about his body of work anyway, being a Colombo kid so I m not in a position to judge As for the author, all I ve read except for this was The Ginirella Conspiracy , which I enjoyed somewhatthan this particular book.As for the movie, well I have one thing to say It colored my view of Sri Lankan cinema for methat being said, sorry for jumping in so rudely but I do agree with some of the things the rest of us here say and think The writer has had a fair bit of experience in the wild as a naturalist and an avid explorer and it shows throughout the book, which kind of bogs it down at times We could hardly get over Wasantha s little internal dialogues, which were interesting but sadly broke the pace of the story a few times However it s quite a winning read in terms of it being a travelogue and survival guide with the impressive descriptions of the wildness of northern Sri Lanka and the constant bettering of the quality of the food in the primary protagonist s eyes This gastronomic tour starts with a bit of dry rations and evil smelling onion fry and ends well with a lovely bit of steaming rice and curry I did admire the captain towards the middle and the end when he became obsessed with protecting Kamala from those deserters And it s quite understandable that the author would include touches of Sinhala and Tamil in retrospect It feels as if he s writing for an international audience, but it s not really excusable I don t recommend this as a read to everyone, but to those who d like to know about wartime Sri Lanka, it s a must see what caught me was the climax of the romance of wasantha n valeithan who begin the journey as incipient lovers.one would not believe that there s romance in this novel on account of the antagonistic attitude both returns equally at the very begining only to witness the awesome intimacy gradually brew between the two parties who seemed poles apart towards the end of the novel.how wasantha becomes the rightful heir to kamala s body with the determined killing of sexual enemies one by one at the what caught me was the climax of the romance of wasantha n valeithan who begin the journey as incipient lovers.one would not believe that there s romance in this novel on account of the antagonistic attitude both returns equally at the very begining only to witness the awesome intimacy gradually brew between the two parties who seemed poles apart towards the end of the novel.how wasantha becomes the rightful heir to kamala s body with the determined killing of sexual enemies one by one at the critical juncture where kamala became a victim of deserters who was going to use her merely for their sexual gratification is simply adorable.it s quite interesting how nihal de silva unfolds humanism in conflict situation he has been able to prove that peace is a possible target through this wonderful escapade beacuse sinhalese and tamils have many common grounds within themselves reagardless of the ethnicity to get along with each other.the lengthy descriptions on birds,though tedious they are except for wild life enthusiasts unlike myself P ,consequently bring in unity in the text ,provide evidences for such common stances The Road From Elephant Pass won theGratiaen Prize for creative writing in English for its moving story, for its constant feel of real life, for its consistency of narrative momentum, for its descriptive power, for its dramatic use of dialogue to define social context, capture character psychology, and trace the development of a relationship, for its convincing demonstration that resolution of conflict and reconciliation of differences are feasible through mutual experience and regard, and last though not least, for its eminently civilized handling of the last degree of intimacy between a man and a woman Another Great piece of writing by Nihal De Silva, story flows interestingly followed by curiosity Use of local variations of English is appreciable Sometimes I felt that the story sets itself far from the believability but it s not something to think much about, after all this is a fiction.Use of this book as a part of reconciliation process between Sinhalese and Tamils makes this muchthan just another book. First of all, I can understand why this book won the Gratian Though, I believe it was the English version that won and I was gifted the Sinhala translation That is not to say the Sinhala translation is lesser But considering it is not the Author who translated, I don t think it is fair to judge the English version based on the Sinhala translation Maybe the Author gave the final nod to it or not But still, I feel it is unfair So this review is for the Sinhala Translation only.Second of all, First of all, I can understand why this book won the Gratian Though, I believe it was the English version that won and I was gifted the Sinhala translation That is not to say the Sinhala translation is lesser But considering it is not the Author who translated, I don t think it is fair to judge the English version based on the Sinhala translation Maybe the Author gave the final nod to it or not But still, I feel it is unfair So this review is for the Sinhala Translation only.Second of all, it has been ages since I read a Sinhala book Another something I have come to regret But it also means that this review is based on my subjective feeling of how the story is conveyed to me Not as something general.The problem is that the flow of the Sinhala words in this kind of story put me off It felt as if it went against everything I was taught when I started writing Which, itself, has influenced how I read and what I love So it is possible that the rules of English books do not apply for Sinhala books.The thing is that the heavy words and descriptive sentences somehow managed to remove the tension and suspense that should have been there Not that there were not moments that I did not feel them But it felt either rushed or dragged out that they felt loss to me.The ending felt good but there were things that seemed to have been left out Twists that were thrown, and little things that were thrown at the reader seemed to disappear without any further thought given

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