Not so Funny

I truly wish if we had a translation of Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy in native language. But still I wonder how our readers will embrace such writing especially with its homosexual elements and also who will dare to translate a book which include number of other controversial themes. Right now my concern is on the applicability of what book has to offer on ethnic conflict and 1983 riots which took place before our generations’ presence, which seems to be forgotten intentionally by preceding generations. The way Selvadurai has presented the reader, most probably first hand experiences of him, on destruction of the state at that dark period should be retold amongst today’s youth who has been blinded by opportunists. Especially the last chapter Riot Journal: An Epilogue, will help them not only to understand how that massacre was executed with the patronage of throne but also to realize how it affected generations of people till today.

Selvadurai was introduced to me by “the blog writer” of Sri Lankan blogosphere, Taboo. I cannot recall a memory about this author before it was mentioned in Taboo’s blog. Now I can see the similarities between what they wrote. He was mostly referring to the next novel by Selvadurai after Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens. The name was in my mind for a long time, but did not come across with a hard copy at bookstores. Honestly few other books topped in my to-read list so I was not so keen to find this particular book. Selvadurai came to my mind again following a random Facebook post on the launching of his new book, The Hungry Ghosts. I could not attend the launching due to many reasons. But this time I did not let him slip away, found a soft copy to be occupied with just after end semester exams. I could not resist the craving to share some of my flooding thoughts right after reading, hoping that it will urge someone else to read few hundreds of pages, something that person will never regret.