Upon a Sleepless Isle
Dense Green forests in Yala, white-sand coasts in Trincomalee, azure waters off the South Coast, Anuradhapura's ancient temples, and cricket. Civil war, political assassinations, internally displaced communities, industrial-scale corruption. All are Sri Lanka. As are smug bureaucrats, nosy neighbours, and stray dogs with serious axes to grind. Through the eyes of Andrew...more
The citizen residing here are from diverse ...more
Upon a Sleepless Isle by Andrew Fidel Fernando is a mesmerising travelogue of the author’s experience travelling through Sri Lanka and I have to say, I cannot wait to visit there myself after reading the book.
The author has captured the essence of the streets, the people, the wildlife, the culture and little things that make a place someone’s home beautifully.
He reflects back to the people he met on his journey, on a bus or on a trishaw, the unusual conversations he shared with them, the ...more
Andrew Fidel Fernando, a well-known cricket writer, after returning back to Sri Lanka like most war-time youth, is now driven by a strong urge to quash the strangeness with his homeland. And so he goes on to pen his adventure, which surprisingly begins at a bland government office, that in his own words, "is staffed by people ...more
I fire off a slightly passive aggressive tweet.
But little did I know that Andrew ...more
After the Easter Sunday attacks, Andrew explained how, beset with corruption and infighting as it was, cricket was much more than a game to Sri Lankans. And I found myself, despite not having followed the game for years, staying up to watch the World Cup.
So I ...more
There is so much of this book I want to quote, but I fear it will be long and tedious.
Here is the one, that aptly describes my relationship to my country, the reason I am still tethered:
Setting: "while ... and I swam in the pool below Doovili Ella, forks of lightning began to split the sky, thunder filled the forest, and a million little plinks announced the arrival of a downpour..."
"Eyes closed, I wondered whether any place on the planet could be ...more
The book is wonderfully written with a good loads of humor and sarcasm. His journey has, as any reader can make out, given him a rich perspective on his nation and its social fabric. He shares his love for his nation but never did he shy away from talking about the harsh recent past of civil war and how it has shaped the society. Politics, heritage and ...more
This book broadened my perspective about our neighbouring nation and made me chuckle as the author navigates the beautiful terrain of ...more
The first thing that strikes you when you start reading, is how beautiful the writing is. The words truly paint pictures, and it's a rare joy. That's the only thing that made me plough through the first half of the book. The content was not nuanced at all, and I often wondered if this is a tourism-propaganda piece for the white man from the West. There was an exoticisation of the country sprinkled with the age-old worn nostalgia that immediately put me off.
But, towards the end of the ...more