Publisher: Random House India
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“God’s great, Beer’s good and People are Crazy …” by Billy Currington was what I kept on humming all day long while exploring this Ashok Ferrey fictions collection of darkly humorous tales about Sri Lankans at home & abroad, to say a canvas painted quite randomly in order to accommodate the simplest Vitamin-V for all those Fidanza to Fidanzata including Maleeshya. Got a bit confused, right??? Hold On … As Mr Arishtabotale Pereira (Mr Ashok Ferrey, as in the chapter Maleeshya) unfolds his tremendously surprising illustrations about the varied types of native Sri Lankans settled in different corners of this globe, put in different situations & circumstances, determined to go ahead for some exquisite experiences al-together for what you refer as ‘Life Goes On’.
Flicking around the variety of genres, from Italian hungriness (physiological and physical) to Somalia of elephant hair bracelets for luck & shark’s teeth necklaces to undeterred ethics of Father Cruz for saving the losing-out glory from some hypocrites of new society, we keep on travelling from Colombo to London every now & then, thanks to Mr Ferrey, and truly saying this is something not so boring as I had anticipated it to be (by its cover-page … Yes, I know but now don’t look at me like that), rather damn good.
As a reader, when you keep on moving from issues like homosexual love with a pit stop at the old castle of Patragarh to the dance classes of Brain at his fifties, you ought to be just wondering about The Jackfruit, The Moon Princess and off course the elegantly simple-n-beautiful Seedevi. Being lovers for 19 years (though not married to each-other), Lalitha & Ruwan truly made me feel that human nature is just the same round this globe and so are their requirements, doesn’t really matter the place you come from or are into.
Be it Ganesh, who is tired of his Australia-obsessed sister forcing him in & out always or Asela pondering over ‘What am I? Who am I?’ at chef-de-cabinet’s suite i.e. Class One with Distinction, what I could infer that the environment of The Ola! Ola! Club is neither desirable nor Sri Lankans do seek at-large, but only their candidly simple lifestyle rotating round Jackfruit or some skins of the loofah, chopped fine with chilli and garlic; braised the roots of the lotus in turmeric & coconut milk and fried leaves of murunga crisp like seaweed; what I say the Sri-Lankan way of living is bound to leave you craving for more. Vāsatāvan