28 October, 2020

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‘Every Time I Write, I Think Of My Land’

Poet-author Theepachelvan on living through the war in Sri Lanka and its impact on his writing.

Theepachelvan, christened Balenndram Pratheepan, is the author of 11 books, including five collections of poems, three of articles, one compendium of short stories of people from the war-scarred land, and one anthology of poems by Eelam poets.

His most recent book, Pray for My Land, is a collection of poems translated into English. Born in 1983, his writings bear the imprint of the war on the life of a young boy who cowered as IPKF tanks moved past, of a child who only saw the most unpleasant and gory images life could offer.

Read more in the Hindu

Theepachelvan

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    One’s inner feelings, largely in moments of imposed sorrow, brings forth thoughts of a varied nature. When the slaves from Africa were brought to America in the beginning, their tears and cries of anguish being cut away from their family and own land and expressed in their own often unintelligible language, became that important aspect of the American music scene – the Blues. In Tamil it is Oppari – the expression of sorrow of those lost and the good they did while alive.

    Theepachelvan yearns for his family, his parents, his siblings but is involuntarily in a land and environment he wishes he could be away from. But he is a prisoner of fate. He sees his land his people being obliterated from the map in a world we are asked to believe is just,
    humane and contains neighbours who will come out with that hopeful right to protect instrument. But all he sees around his darkness.

    It is youth like him – vulnerable for recruitment to violence and anarchy. The memories of 1971, 1976 and 1988/89 are still with us. Because hope and all that is good in man is drained out of them. We visited this scene years ago. Memories of 1971, 1976, 1988-89 and 2009 are still fresh. It is best to create a world for him and for all of us that is reasonable and just – both in word and deed. That is the challenge not merely to the governing – but to society in its entirety.

    Senguttuvan

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    Best of luck with your publication. Just a piece of advice, Hindu is not the best Journal to publish your sentiments. Thanks.

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