A.D. Ranjith Kumara looks back

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Sri Lanka can proudly boast of the rich literature and talented writers we have produced for the nation while many of them are appreciated and well known in world literature too. However, in recent times, there had been a slight downfall or rather, dare I say, a rise in quantity and a decrease in quality when it comes to producing good books and writers.

I am not going to discuss why this happens and how we can overcome that. What I am going to tell today is about a book that was launched recently by a veteran, a book which is a gem in many ways. I may sound prejudiced but let me justify my statement.

The book in question is Kosgashandiye Kolu Getaya by the well-known veteran journalist and editor, A.D. Ranjith Kumara. The launch event of the book was held recently at the BMICH with a large gathering of veteran artists and intellects. Interesting and enlightening speeches were given by; veteran actor Raveendra Randeniya, prof. Sunil Ariyarathne, prof. Praneeth Abeysundara and veteran actor Jackson Anthony.

Well-known media personality Saman Aathaudahetti compered the programme and was able to charm the audience with his soothing voice and tone. The evening was turned into a musical moment by the soothing and mesmerising music of senior musician Navaratne Gamage and his talented team. As it was the birthday of the author Ranjith Kumara, the gathering sang the song Happy Birthday and wished him a very happy birthday.

The book, Kosgashandiye Kolu Getaya written by Ranjith Kumara, to whom an introduction is not needed, is a wonderful read. As Prof. Abeysundara said, it is an anthropological study, a book about the people and society of the writer’s time and surroundings. This book is also a journey back in time, where you can meet great personalities and study their early lives. This gives us an understanding of the society, political background, and the economic background of Sri Lanka that prevailed a few decades ago.

Anthony who has done an excessively detailed analysis of the book went on to explain in-depth the book and its content. Randeniya emotionally said that Ranjith Kumara has always been a perfect friend and in his own words, a real kalyana mithraya and a true gentleman. He also said that the veteran journalist is well known for his soothing, calm, and relaxed personality.

The book had a very appealing finish. The cover is eye-catching. What is really touching about the book cover is that the front and back cover illustrations were done by Ranjith Kumara’s loving grandsons, who are twins Nirash Damrusi Nayanajith Kumara and Nirvan Damrusi Nayanajith Kumara.

The introduction and analysis of the book and the whole event compelled me to purchase a book. I must say that the finish of the book, and the attractive cover gave me more reasons to own a book by myself. I am in the process of reading Kosgashandiye Kolu Getaya, which means embarking on an interesting and informative voyage through time, meeting some interesting personalities, including artists, actors, musicians, writers, and well know politicians.

To put it bluntly, Kosgashandiye Kolu Getaya is a book you can call, “A good book,” and it deserves a review which I am planning to compile as soon as I’m done reading the book.

By Ama H. Vanniarachchy