24 October, 2017

Kamalini Selvarajan – A Child Of A Lesser God!

By Sharmini Serasinghe

 

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

 

Kamalini my dearest friend

your smile and the magic of the aura,

that radiates around your vibrant self

always lit up the darkest of times

 

Though in your new world of the unknown

you no longer know me

yet you greet me with that charming smile

you gave so freely to friends and foe

in better times

 

And so, it breaks my heart to know

you don’t know me, once your friend, anymore

in this strange new world

your God has made for you!”

 

Forgive me my friend

but understand your God

I do not

 

He took away your soul

and left me a living shell

 

Did he not find one

more worthy of his wrath?

 

(Sharmini)

 

Kamalini Selvarajan, my friend and colleague at Rupavahini- Sri Lanka’s national Television, has been diagnosed with Dementia!

Kamalini is an iconic TV personality and film star. She was, and is still loved by all, irrespective of caste, creed or race.

Kamalini

Kamalini

She is best known for her role as an Indian teacher in the film ‘Ordinary Magic’ and ‘Komaligal’- the Sri Lankan Tamil film, where Kamalini acted with her late husband SillaiyurSelvarajan, as lovers.

The following testimony was sent to me by her family:

“It’s three o’clock in the afternoon. My sister Kamalini is sitting on a sofa staring at the TV watching ‘Tom and Jerry’ without any emotions or reactions to what she sees.

While I tidy up her room, she asks when she will have lunch. Is this the seventh time she has asked this question today? Eighth? I’ve lost count. Yet I take a deep breath, repeat silently to myself to be patient, and try to smile as I remind her that she had her lunch just over an hour ago.

She smiles back, and her eyes gaze vacantly, once again, at her surroundings. I don’t know what she is thinking, it is hard to tell. Kamalini is now sixty years of age. She is quiet, subdued and thinks I’m her ‘Aunty’. She no longer knows who she is or where she is!

Kamalini is a graduate in Mass Communication from the University of Kelaniya, and hails from an affluent family of highly qualified professionals.

Alas, disaster struck when a cub-reporter from a local newspaper, with no knowledge of Dementia, visited Kamalini at the apartment where she lives with her son. Posing off as a computer professional and part time translator, he had inquired after Kamalini’s health and financial situation.

This journalist then went on to air his ‘views’ in a newspaper article violating journalistic ethics, falsely claiming that Kamalini’s condition had been caused by her sudden dismissal from her employment at a TV station.

His false story goes on to claim that if sufficient money was spent, Kamalini’s condition could be treated. He then goes a step further, claiming that Kamalini’s son was not in a position to work full time as he has to look after his mother.

KamaliniSimilar comments were made by journalists of other media, without verifying facts, perhaps with the hope of creating sensationalism.

Some opportunists who were quick to grab this chance to make a fast buck, started collecting ‘donations’ in Kamalini’s name, not only in Sri Lanka but also overseas, such as UK, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Norway and the Middle East.

But as far as the real story goes……..

Kamalini’s housing loan is paid through a standing order at her bank by her family members, and is not in arrears. All meals for both mother and son are provided, and costs incurred thereof, are met by Kamalini’s family members.

In addition cash is also provided to the son, to meet expenses such as utility payments and other incidental expenses. Clothing is also provided on a regular basis. The total monthly expenses in this regard are borne by her brothers and sister.

Kamalini’s family members wish to inform all those concerned about her welfare, that she is presently under expert professional care, with those possessing decades of experience in treating patients with Dementia.

The monthly cost of care alone is approximately Rs 164,814/-, excluding the cost of medication.

For obvious reasons, her family members do not wish Kamalini to have any visitors, until satisfactory recovery is observed.

Whilst appreciating the concern to assist Kamalini, we her family members are of the view, that she requires complete rest, which will ultimately pave the way for her stability.

Any fund-raising activities with dishonest motives, both locally and overseas must be discouraged in toto.

We her family, hereby request friends, well-wishers and relatives, not to be misled by rumours, and therefore be cautious in falling prey, to nefarious fund raising attempts.

Sincere well-wishers are requested instead, to make their contributions, only to Mrs Kamalini Selvarajan’s current account number (039010001955) with Hatton National Bank, Bambalapitiya Branch, and to no one else.”

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Latest comments

  • 1
    0

    Dear Sach,
    As the family members of Kamalini it is our duty to clarify the situation.
    Kamalini’s son confirms that whatever statements he has made had been misquoted by the drama team with whom his mother was not willing to work with and the gossip journalists with whom she had no interactions or communication. The family members and the son have been trying to contact the drama team who described themselves as media representatives since this Gossip write up appeared. Her son even requested for the e-mail addresses from the “Jana Karaliya” local drama team and who has been party created the sensation and to find out why he was misquoted.Her son has also been trying to contact Sarasaviya with out any success. It is wrong and unreasonable to blame Sharmini who has been trying to help her friend. Sharmini has only written the poem and all other texts are from the statements made by the family members. The family members love the media and will be delighted to meet the Drama team and the gossip journalist to clarify the misunderstanding they have. We shall also be pleased to have the contact details of the person who posted this comment.We beg from you Please, Please ,Please don’t be a hindrance to our forward march.

    • 0
      0

      I do not wish to be any of a hindrance to your march, what i wanted to say was blaming the media sites is unwarranted. May be the media has changed the story but as I understand the drama team and the local journalists did that to HELP HER. I just pointed out that fact.

      If those gossip sites didnt talk about kamalini,Shamini would not be writing this here. It was these sites that brought the mass’s attention to Kamalini’s condition. Obviously they might have sensationalised her story to create more sympathy. That is not correct but not bad as Shamini tries to show.

      Go to the sites and read the comments to understand how these sites created sympathy in the hearts of the readers there many wanted to help her.

      what i wanting is bashing these sites is unwarranted though the srong stories need to be corrected.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Such,

        1)Thanks for accepting the truth that a certain section of the media has changed the story.

        2)You are wrong in saying that Sharmini would not be writing on this matter if not for the gossip site. Kamalini is Sharmini’s dearest friend and You may not be aware that Sharmini with the family members of kamalini visited Kamalini and commented as follows-

        …………………………………………………………

        To all those who have helped and are still helping my friend Kamalini Selvarajan suffering from Alzheimer’s,

        I visited Kamalini yesterday, together with her family. She recognised me instantly, but didn’t know my name, or how she knew me. As suggested by a friend, I took her a teddy bear, and left it on her bed. I spoke to Kamalini, as I would, to a very young child (that is how she is now- a little girl).

        She listened to me, looked up at my face and rewarded me with her usual charming smile. I knew she had related to my words, or the sound of my voice. It took a lot out of me, not to burst into tears, as I was told, since Kamalini has Alzheimer’s, she will never return, to who and what she was before.

        When it was time for us to leave her, she clung to my arm, and dragged me back indoors, and refused to let me go. I cannot begin to describe, the pain I felt, at having to leave her. My heart goes out to Kamalini’s family of one sister, two brothers and their families.In this regard, she is truly blessed. Their love for their ‘Akka’ knows no bounds. And they are caring for her, in the best facility in Sri Lanka,for such patients, money can buy. As affluent as they are, money is not an issue for them.

        But I feel they too, must be helped, to help Kamalini. After all they too, have their own families and responsibilities. I thank all those of you who have helped so far, for your magnanimity not only in cash, but in words and deeds, and above all, for your humaneness. It would do us all well, to remember, that Alzheimer’s is no respecter of person, caste, creed, religion or race! We are all equally vulnerable, but we may not all have, Kamalini’s good fortune, in the support of a loving family and others who care for her.

        Warm regards to you all, Sharmini

        …………………………………………………………

        4)Thanks once again for accepting that the gossip site created sensation.

        3)However, It is foolish to believe that Gossips sites creates sympathy.Are you trying to say that the following comments appeared in the gossip site has created sympathy???

        …………………………………………………………

        1)හට් තිලක් · 7 weeks ago

        මම වගේ හට් කුලියට දුන්න නම් ඔය කිසි කරදරයක් නැහැනේ

        මොඩ ආතල්

        2)මචන්, නිකන් මොඩ ආතල් දෙන්න එපා හෙම වෙලේම. කෙනෙක් අසරන වෙලා ඉන්න වෙලවට.

        kbb

        3)Umba wage nariyoth innawane kage hari karadareka unath kamak naa ellila athal denna hadana.

        Ambilimama

        4)mona jathikayek unath api pidiya uththanta pudanna oni, ape ratata behiuna wadagath kanthawakda me Amma katath adarsamatn , thoge atadeka rail pillata tiyanna oni

        chinthaka

        5)ane tho wage muusalayek

        …………………………………………………………

        *finally We maintain that Sharmini is correct in her statements.

        *If you still believe that gossip sites creates sympathy please speak to the family members of Kamalini and write another gossip in the gossip site and create sensation.

        *In this way you could contribute positively towards a worthy cause rather than continuing to be an “arm chair” critique.

        *Grow up you little child ….. Grow up……………… Politicians and the country needs the votes of humans of your caliber.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Sharmini,

    The money will be in Kamalinis account some time this week under reference “Mahes.”

    Kind regards
    Kali

  • 2
    0

    To all those commenting above, I visited Kamalini yesterday, together with her family. She recognised me instantly, but didn’t know my name, or how she knew me. As suggested my Mr. Neville Nanayakkara, I took her a teddy bear, and left it on her bed. As suggested by Mr. Carl Freud, I spoke to Kamalini, as I would, to a very young child (that is how she is now- a little girl). She listened to me, looked up at my face and rewarded me with her charming smile. I knew she had related to my words, or the sound of my voice.It took a lot out of me, not to burst into tears, as I was told, that Kamalini has Alzheimer’s, and she will never return, to who and what she was before. When it was time for us to leave her, she clung to my arm, and dragged me back indoors, and refused to let me go. I cannot begin to describe, the pain I felt, at having to leave her.
    My heart goes out to Kamalini’s family of one sister, two brothers and their families.In this regard, she is truly blessed. Their love for their ‘Akka’ knows no bounds. And they are caring for her, in the best facility in Sri Lanka,for such patients, money can buy.As affluent as they are, money is not an issue for them. But I feel they too, must be helped, to help Kamalini. After all they too, have their own families and responsibilities.
    I thank all those commenting above and others, for their magnanimity not only in cash, but in words and deeds, and above all, for their humaneness.
    It would do us all well, to remember, that Alzheimer’s is no respecter of person, caste, creed, religion or race!
    We are all equally vulnerable, but we may not all have, Kamalini’s good fortune, in the support of a loving family and others.

    With warm regards to you all,
    Sharmini

  • 2
    0

    I just came across in the CT the piece by Sharmini Serasinghe on Kamalini Selvarajan. I am shocked and saddened to learn about her affliction with Dementia.

    I was close with Sillayaoor Selvarajan during my Colombo days and before he was married to Kamalini. Sillayaoor Selvarajan was a self- made prolific writer –excellent poet, critic, and broadcaster -a man with many and varied literary talents. After his marriage to Kamalini, they were a husband- wife team contributing immensely to broadcasting, theatre and cinema.

    I was able to meet Kamalini only twice—once with her husband Selvarajan and again once after he had passed away. She was with her son Athisayan who was very small then. When I met her she had the care and consideration to return to me a few of my manuscripts that I had given to Selvarajan for his perusal which, buried amongst his numerous writings and literary works, she had fetched and kept it for me. She also gave me his books most of which were published posthumously and for which she had taken a lot of interest and effort.

    Only about a month back, I wrote a review of a Tamil play staged in London which was a transcreation of Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’. In that review I had made reference to Sillayoor Selvarajan on his transcreation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in poetic format which was broadcast by SLBC. I had thought—-now on hindsight, ironically– when it was published in the Sunday edition of Thinakural in Sri Lanka, it may be that Kamalini would be reading it. Alas, little did I know then that Kamalini is not in a position to read it!

    Coincidentally, it was only recently, I read her husband Sillayoor Selvarasan’s book in Tamil on the History of the Growth of Tamil Novels in Sri Lanka, with a preface by Mr. M. Kanapathipillai, who, if I am not mistaken, is Kamalini’s father. It was first published in 2007 and republished again as a second edition by Kamalini in 2009. So I assume she must have the affliction of dementia only recently.

    —Dementia for Kamalini??–a person who would have had her mind and brain constantly active due to the very nature of her involvement in varied literary works, broadcasting and theatre!!!

    I am arranging to send £50 to her account—more as a token of my expression of my admiration and respect for her and the much valued memory treasure of my association with Sillayaoor Selvarajan, as I find no other way to express it otherwise.

    There could be only a little consolation –that Kamalini has friends of the like of Sharmini Serasinghe and a loving and cultured family to be around her at this most difficult time.

    Oh! If only Kamalini could read this!—Oh! The impermanence of life!!—Oh! The Cruelty of Destiny!

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