'IRANGANI' take 2
The star stidded launch of the Sinhala translation:
Deepthi (Nilmini Tennakoon) does a selfie with Sudu Achchi
Sinhala translation of 'Irangani ..... as told to Kumar de Silva', the
life and times of Sri Lanka's iconic actress Irangani Roxana Serasinghe
was launched last weekend at the Expographics Bookstore in Pelawatte
amid a large gathering of her colleagues from the film industry,
friends, well-wishers and the media.
This handsome limited edition volume from Samaranayake Publishers and
translated into Sinhala by Udayasiri Wickremaratne is a vivid
autobiography of the life of this legendary and much-loved stage, screen
and television actress.
It takes readers from her carefree childhood days sailing down the
Gurugoda Oya on paaruwas and the peace and quiet of Moodugomuwa, off
Ruwanwella from the Christmases and the Vesaks of her early years at the
Mideeniya Walauwwa from her school days at St. Bridget's Convent where
she remembers "wearing a hat with a veil to school", and later Bishop's
College and its animated hostel life where the girls "used to eat
anything and everything at midnight feasts", to her dare-devil escapades
at University when her sister Kamini and she "rode bicycles when good
Sinhala girls were not supposed ride'.
This limited edition volume also takes readers to her foray onto the
stage first at University and then at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, through
her two marriages, to Prof. S.B. Dissanayake and then to Winston
Serasinghe, to life in Bristol and London, to her two sons Ravi and
Ranjith, to 'Ruk Rekaganno', her voluntary service organisation which
takes the message of conservation to grass roots Sri Lanka, to the big
screen and her portfolio of death-defying experiences, to the little
screen where she doesn't quite enjoy "acting to somebody's (off-camera)
hand", and now to a premature semi-retirement at Epitamulla in Pitakotte.
Doo Daruwo cast on stage with Sudu Aachchi
"I consider it a singular honour that Mrs. Serasinghe consented to my
playing the role of ghost writer in this project", says well-known media
personality Kumar de Silva. "As ghost writer, I also find myself landed
in a strange dilemma in that this book is both mine and also not mine.
There's a very fine line that divides these two situations which I
constantly kept crossing, in what I now consider both a richly
fulfilling and totally humbling experience. In retrospect, the both of
us had our unforgettable moments these past two years, collaborating on
this story, which I modestly hope, will soon end up as a collector's
item. The English version is almost totally sold out and I'm confident
that this Sinhala translation will follow suit".
"When Kumar offered me the opportunity to be the publisher of Mrs.
Serasinghe's biography, I knew instantly that I had been offered the
chance to publish a literary gem that will be greatly appreciated by
many Sri Lankans.
It is certain to be one of those books which will find a permanent
space in the bookshelf of every house it finds its way to. I'm confident
that both the English and Sinhala versions will be handed down to the
next generation as a cherished possession by booklovers", says the
publisher Ranjith Samaranayake. Despite more than well over half a
century's fame and unbroken popularity with generations of Sri Lankans,
Irangani Serasinghe is still the 'village girl' at heart as she
seamlessly combines charm and simplicity with sheer graciousness and
"The village was an extremely quiet place. Now it is an entirely
different story, sadly, with the sound of traffic and people. Right
through my life and even to this day, silence became, and still is, a
very important part of my life. I have looked for this kind of peace and
silence all my life. Unfortunately I cannot find it anywhere today", she
says in her autobiography.
Handing the first copy of the Book to Mrs. Irangani
Translator Udayasiri Wickremaratne, Kumar and Yashoda