Indian Director takes Sri Lanka’s Poorni centrestage
Sameet Baadkar and Poorni Rambadagalla
|By Ranee Mohamed
Sameet L. Baadkar, the celebrity
director from the Indian film
world who gave lucky audiences his creations as Jackpot and Dushman, was in Sri Lanka last week.
And walking around Sri Lanka in real life, attending to real life happenings, this director spoke enthusiastically about his latest venture — another real life film called Wind.
The wind seems to be blowing very favourably for Sri Lanka’s aspiring young actresses, with beautiful Poorni Rambadagalla being chosen to play the main role of a mentally retarded girl in this Indian film. "Poorni will be accompanying us to India to ‘get to know’ the differently abled girl, who she will portray in Wind," said Baadkar.
With the non-commercial, so true-to-life film Black bagging several awards, it is very likely that Wind will be viewed by audiences who applauded Black, which vividly portrayed the life of a visually handicapped young girl.
In this light the task before Sri Lankan born Poorni is definitely not a breeze. "I am excited about Wind, I am also thrilled to be working with a versatile director as Baadkar," said Poorni happily. Poorni from Kandy was chosen from among many others for the role.
"When I looked at her pictures, I knew that she was the one for the role. Of course we have to groom her as it is in the case of every aspiring actress. Wind will cater to the international market," said Baadkar.
Speaking of the talent in Sri Lanka, Baadkar said that he sees no difference between Indian women and Sri Lankan women. "They are both very beautiful, independent and have their own status," observed the Director.
Baadkar, who has worked with popular actresses and actors of the Hindi film world, said that in Hindi films, much of the celebrity status depends on the hero and not so much on the actress. Baadkar who has worked with Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Jackie Shroff, Eisha Deol, Saaed Khan, Gulshar Grover, Sushmita Sen, etc., said that making a film is not easy.
"Many of our actresses and actors are very talented, take Manisha Koirala, she is not just a beautiful woman, but one who can play any role. She is the only lady in India who has worked with almost every top actor, from Rajni Kanth to Amitabh Bachchan," pointed out Baadkar.
Speaking of the Indian film industry, Baadkar, the man who has been in it, and is in it said that the film world is a glamourous one. "The Indian films are loud and melodramatic when compared with English films. Indian films have everything in them — action, romance, comedy and drama. The music is very important and at most times the success of a film greatly depends on its music too," said
Baadkar is also working on his current film Mamma’s Boy, while making the initial preparations for Wind.
Directors such as Baadkar are not alone in the film world, they have many other overwhelmingly talented directors in the Indian film world to create a world of colour, music, drama and emotion. "The Indian film industry is technically sound, there is a lot of technology involved," said Baadkar.
With many Indians reaching out to the Indian film as their most important and almost only source of entertainment, the Indian film world will always be in bloom because Indian films seem to have taken the world by storm, with their love, songs and tears.
And with Sri Lankan Poorni walking into a more serious role, the wind certainly seems to be blowing our way, intermingling talent and the film world in a more realistic way.
By Risidra Mendis
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a walk in your garden and observe the wonders of nature? Not many of us would stop to think that our very own garden at home could be the ideal place to capture some of the most beautiful moments with little insects, butterflies, geckos and even a simple leaf on a tree on film.
Most of us take a trip all the way to Yala, Uda Walawe or even Kataragama to capture some unusual and rare scenes on film. But for Lester Fernando, a man with an eye for creativity, his garden at home has become the ideal place for some of the most remarkable photos he has captured.
"I was working at Air Ceylon, Air Lanka and SriLankan until 2000. But after retiring from my job I wanted to find something that would keep me occupied. Since I had an interest in photography from a very young age, I thought I should take up photography as a hobby," Fernando said.
According to Fernando, he never followed any courses in photography. "I decided to learn the art of photography on my own. I read books on the subject of photography, and started taking photographs on my own."
Fernando got his first simple camera in 1966. Since then he has been taking photographs on and off when he had the time. But since his retirement Fernando now spends most of his time taking photographs.
"Whenever I come across an unusual scene or a moment that I think would make a good photo, I just pull out my camera and click. But as time went by my experiments in taking photographs soon became more than just a hobby to me. I got hooked on taking photographs and today I do not leave the house without my camera," Fernando said.
Fernando’s photos are not confined to one subject or place. Among his photos are those taken at Wasgamuwa, Yala and Mahiyanagana among others.
For the past 10 years Fernando has been taking photographs. His photos that remained hidden within the four walls of his house until recently will now be exhibited at an exhibition to be held at the Lionel Wendt soon.
Around 70 12x18 inch mounted photos taken by Fernando in the last two years will be exhibited.
Fernando’s exhibition will be held at the Harold Peiris Gallery, Lionel Wendt Art Centre on June 2 to June 4 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Pradeep Ratnayake performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall
At the invitation of the Sri Lanka Foundation, a national non-profit foundation based in Los Angeles, California, sitar virtuoso Pradeep Ratnayake, whom some describe as the Ravi Shankar of Sri Lanka, will be performing at the world famous Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, July 22. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most prestigious venues for performing art
in the United States of America.
Recently, Ravi Shankar himself performed at the same venue to a sell-out audience. This is the first ever time a Sri Lankan artist is scheduled to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Pradeep will be accompanied by his talented Pradeepnajalee troupe consisting of Lakshman de Saram (violin), Wijeratne Ranatunga (tabla), Alston Joachim (bass guitar) and Karunaratne Bandara (percussion).
The Sri Lanka Foundation, in keeping with its mission objectives of advancing the cause of Sri Lankan culture and arts has organised this event. Pradeep performed in Los Angeles last November at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Foundation at its third Annual Sri Lanka Foundation Awards ceremony at the Globe Theatre, Universal City, California.
However, that performance was limited to a mere 30 minutes, whereas this time Pradeep is performing for 90 minutes. A very special feature this time is the inclusion of three items by famous jazz saxophonist, Eric Marienthal.
This is the first time Pradeep will perform with a Western artist, and the fusion of sitar classical music with that of the saxophone is greatly anticipated by a very appreciative audience in the greater Los Angeles area.
Executive Director, Sri Lanka Foundation, Palitha Pelpola told The Sunday Leader that in addition to Los Angeles, at least three other cities in North America are interested in hosting Ratnayake. The cities are New Jersey, Las Vegas and Toronto.
In addition to cultural concerts, the Sri Lanka Foundation is also planning to hold a Sri Lanka Day, a festival of Sri Lankan arts and crafts, music, drama, food and a beauty pageant culminating in the selection of Miss Sri Lanka/USA and Miss Teen Sri Lanka/USA. Sri Lanka Day will be held at the third Street Promenade in the City of Santa Monica on Saturday, August 26.
Santa Monica is a hub of a suburb situated only a couple of miles away from downtown Los Angeles. The Third Street Promenade boasts 40,000 foot traffic per day!
The Sri Lanka Foundation is the leading facilitator organisation in the United States, providing varied activities to the Sri Lankan domiciles in the USA.
Their most anticipated event is the Sri Lanka Foundation Awards, an event in which the foundation, through a very comprehensive process, nominations are called and the most deserving and talented Sri Lankans are recognised.
In the last three years the awards were limited to the USA domiciles only, however, due the streaming demand from Sri Lankan expatriates from all over the world the foundation is now entertaining nominations from the international Sri Lankan expatriate community.
This year the Sri Lanka Foundation Awards will be held on Saturday, November 11 at the famous Union Station in Los Angeles.
Star — An Odyssey Through Time
If one spoke about Janine Cooke many years ago, it would be necessary to use the words, model, dancer, adventurer, rebel and explorer. But today, this beautiful woman of Sri Lanka has a greater message.
Having experienced the pleasures of life and describing herself as "having got the greatest joys and pleasure from sex and travel" Cooke today stands out as being not only completely honest about life itself, but to life and to us all.
Thus, it is appropriate to celebrate Janine who has come to Sri Lanka from Sydney, having gone through life’s joys, pleasures and sorrows and then coming to a better understanding of life.
June 3 will see the launch of her book Star – An Odyssey Through Time at the Colombo Swimming Club at 6 p.m. Janine who has worked very hard on this book will give all proceeds to charity.
Newspaper articles show Janine at orphanages and with the underprivileged. It is plain to see that she who has known a glamourous life is today moved by a different tone.
In her book she writes at length about her travels to far away lands and places. The story is simple and true, funny, happy and sad.
"I believe that love, light, goodness and truth conquer all and most of all I believe in being true to myself and my spirit that guides me safely home," said Cooke.
Since 1986, Cooke traveled from Sydney where she was based to different parts of the world, fulfilling dream after dream through her determination perseverance and frugality.
"In May 2004, I celebrated my 50th birthday in my 52nd country, Tibet," says Cooke in a bid to sum up her life and its changing ways.
Cooke the model and dancer who says she had "boyfriends coming through her eyes and ears," however speaks about how she experienced a whole new change with her Kundalini life energy re-awakening which she describes as ‘both amazing and terrifying.’
Cooke says, "The experience transcended everything I had ever known and through its changing process, I evolved through extreme sexuality and extreme spirituality to a better balance between the two. I was transformed through this metamorphosis to who I am now."
Thus, Star – An Odyssey Through Time promises to be a different book because it is by a different author, an author who has know the glitz and glamour, known sexuality and reality, known high life and is moved by those living with want and sadness.
It promises light reading and it promises to take one around the world with a woman whose experiences, beauty, vivaciousness and forthrightness makes her an individual unmatched.
— Ranee Mohamed
is a teledrama that deals with the responsibilities that a woman has to face in the role of a wife and mother. This popular teledrama that revolves around a family of a father, mother and three daughters deals with the day to day problems that any normal family would have to face in their lives.
The father, Sumedha is employed at a private firm. The family lives a comfortable and happy life until the day Sumedha is diagnosed with cancer. Sumedha is forced to leave his job and the burden of taking care of the family falls on Sumedha’s wife Anoma.
Anoma’s daughters Upeksha and Nadeesha help their mother run the family by making and selling greeting cards. Meanwhile Anoma starts her own small business of making and selling seeni sambol and chutney.
Sumedha’s relatives also help Anoma and with her growing success in her business Anoma manages to purchase a plot of land and start building a house.
But just as Anoma succeeds in stabilising her family, a colleague from Sumedha’s office delivers a bundle of letters to Anoma. One letter upsets Anoma when she realises that Sumedha has had an affair with another woman, Uthpala unknown to her.
Anoma is further devastated when she discovers that Uthpala has a son by Sumedha. Anoma goes looking for Uthpala and finally finds her in a remote area. Uthpala tells Anoma that Sumedha is not at fault and gradually Anoma gets closer to Uthpala’s son, also named Sumedha who is 18 years old and looks very much like her husband.
One day Sumedha comes to Colombo and stays at Anoma’s house. He gets to know Anoma’s daughters. Meanwhile Anoma’s daughters realise that their mother is missing out on the love of a husband while they are missing out on the love of a father. But even though the daughters talk to their mother about remarrying she is reluctant to do so because of the children. However, due to the pressures of the
family Anoma decides to get married to a friend of one of Sumedha’s relatives.
The teledrama is produced by Sujatha and Ranjith Premaratne. The cast includes Ravindra Randeniya, Vasanthi Chathurani, Vijaya Nandasiri, Kusum Renu and Devika Mihirani among others.
English language: no match for gna
Chee Chee Corea was quite friendly with some policemen from Kottangchena. He needed to be, as more often than not he got into trouble, though not of a criminal nature. Here’s one he related to MullChiri, Faza the Dole and Mahen the Fernado Pulle (never could find out why they could not decide between Fernando or a Pulle). "Pranandu Pulley?" Chee chee would rib
them. "Neither pish nor powl."
Chee chee’s advice;
Try to read it like you were in school okay.
There is a sinhala letter ‘gna’ as pronounce in ‘Kompagna Veediya.’ No match in English and try to pronounce ‘gna’ as you pronounce the sinhalese letter in the early school days.
Banda was a very innocent policeman and because of his character he was always assigned to do the road patrol duties in the night shift around the Pettah vegetable market. He always feels sleepy as there is no activity in the market during his duty hours.
One day early morning he saw a bicycle approaching him with a few boxes on the back and he thought of stopping this man, at least to keep his mood.
"Navathapan. Umba koheda yanne me ude pandara?"
"Sir. Mama elovolu tikak geniyanava."
"Boru kiyanna epa Banda ralahamita."
"Mata umba visvasa neha."
"Kiyapan umbe nama."
"Mage nama Pagnasena."
Banda took his patrol duty book and tried to write the name.
He tried many times but it was not that easy for him. "Umbata vena namak nedda?"
"Hari adata palayan, heta ehema enna epa."
Banda went to the barracks and learned how to write Pagnasena thinking that it may help him one day. Next day he was on duty in the same place and he saw the same cyclist approaching him in the same way. Banda knows that there will be no problem today with this man.
Pagnasena stopped the cycle. Banda proudly took his patrol book and pen.
"Kiyapan nama, Ada umbata yanna denne neha."
"Bohoma hondai. Ethakota wasagama?"
Banda is in trouble again.
"Adata umba palayan. Heta nam mama umbawa remand karanawa." Banda spent the whole day learning how to write Agna Kondagnage. Next day again the same story. Banda got angry when he saw Pagnasena for the third day. But what to do. He thought, ‘I will teach him a lesson today.’
"Navathapan". Pagnasena stopped. "Nama?"
"Pagnasena ralahami." "Wasagama?" "Agna Kondagnage." "Hondai. Padinchiya?"
"Kompagna Veediya." Banda’s back in trouble. "Mawa kanna aapu ekek. Palayan perethaya," said Banda, chasing him away.
He spent another day without sleeping and learned to write the word. Next he went on duty very happily.
However early in the morning he saw Pagnasena coming again towards him. But he is very confident about his language skills and shouted at the man with loud commanding voice. "Navathapan yako".
"Ada umba evarai. Hire thamai navathinne"
"Ikmanata kiyapan. Mata rajakari thiyenava."
"Spagnayata pipigna petaweema."
Banda went to the station and resigned from the service.
Good Shepherd Convent being adjacent to San Bandick,Chee chee was a regular at the gates. Here’s one he heard from one of Patrick Silva’s daughters.
A man suffered a serious heart attack and had bypass surgery. He awakened to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic hospital.
As he was recovering, a nun asked how he was going to pay the bill. He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."
The nun asked if he had money in the bank.He replied, "No money in the bank."
The nun asked, "Do you have a relative who could help you?"
He said, "Just a spinster sister, who is a nun."
The nun, slightly perturbed, said, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."
The patient replied, "Then send the bill to my brother-in-law!"
Ta Ra and see ya next week,