Melody Of The Mahaveli

Melody Of The Mahaveli

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Author: S. Vaithialingam
Translator: Sellathamby Sriskandarajah
Publisher: Discovery Book Palace
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Language: English
Published on: 2022
Book Format: Paperback
Category: Short Story, Translation
Subject: Eezham


“It is important here to record that I was overwhelmed when ?Mr Sriskandarajah asked me to write a foreword for his translations of S.Vaithialingam’s short stories in Tamil. A pioneer of short stories in Sri Lanka, Mr Vaithialingam also embodies the organic relationship between Indian and Sri Lankan Tamils. The current edition in English is enriched by the addition of Vaithialingam’s very first story, Paal Kanchi (Rice gruel). It was first published in Tamil Nadu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy in Ananda ?Vikatan in 1940...

These short stories capture a country that was called Ceylon, and the one that has changed profoundly. The focus of Vaithialingam’s creativity is truly agham (அகம்), or the interior without any political overtones. ?The documentation of the bygone era, through its rich and varied human ?experiences, gives us a clue as to why many Sri Lankan Tamils are living in exile. Through this anthology in translation, we retrieve some elements of what they have lost for ever. The cheerful past, replete with some form of privilege or the other is not nostalgic, but a grim reminder of the poignancy of loss...

One of the difficult tasks in literature is translation, as there can never be a perfect translation. It is inevitable that some elements will be lost. But what we gain is immense. It is the only tool we have for meaningful dialogue with others. It helps to break our silos. It pushes the narrative boundaries of the language so that it never gets ossified in any narrow ghetto...

Sriskandarajah’s translation manages to reduce the loss and enhances the gains... Sriskandarajah has managed to elegantly render many of the cultural particularities of the Jaffna Peninsula for a wider English-speaking readers”

A.S Panneerselvan
Reader’s Editor of The Hindu

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