A passion for the exotic
Chandra Piyadasa, a banker by profession, an artist at heart, photographer by choice, has
forever been captivated by ethereal paintings of great artists such as George Keyt; even acquiring work such as the elegant and famed painting Giving Flowers, way back in the late 1970s.
His love for art soon branched out in the direction of photography as a hobby; having owned a Yashica mat camera with which he had been toying, off and on for many years.
Having joined the Photographic Society in the year of 1977, and since progressing in his vocation as a banker, his interest in photography steadily grew and expanded into different disciplines.
He began experiments with what fascinated him most — capturing images in black and white. His images were many, capturing what interested him, constantly analysing his work and striving to acquire better and better images incessantly. Chandra’s numerous travels to many corners of the globe and his vested interest in reading avidly on his hobby; besides the many visits to exhibitions and
salons on photography spruced his perception on photography to a large extent and gave him an insight as to the creation of excellent exhibition quality work of art.
He has been inspired by legendary photographers of the calibre of Ansel Adams renowned as an advocate of ‘pure’ photography and having visited one of his exhibitions in 1992, almost gave up his passion for photography. Why? Reflecting earnestly as to —"What are we really doing?" — contemplating on present day photography never ever measuring even minutely to what this
great photographer accomplished!
His creative submissions to the national and international exhibitions of photographic art rapidly began to earn him plaudits. The Durrant, the Lorensz Andree and the Bhatt Silver Award besides the gold medals conferred for his submissions at the Asahi - Shinbun and the prizes received at the Tokyo Kochskawa Rotary are but a few of the extensive list of recognitions he has received.
The catalog of Chandra Piyadasa’s many acknowledgments continues with world recognised alliances such as the Austrian Super Circuit and then the Trienberg Super Circuit, further to the many exhibits appearing in Pakistan, India, Japan and Austria. He is proud too of his photographs being reproduced in the United States of America publication The Best Of Photographs, for two
years in succession.
Chandra’s maiden solo exhibition Visual Music unequivocally traces his interest in his cherished hobby of photography. In the early days, the humdrum images of life of the familiar peasant, captured may be for posterity yet in brilliant form of light and shade,was his staple. His interest in studio portraits with an admirable comprehension of lighting, of illumination and
shadow brings to the fore the allure of the female form; the fully clad, the semi clothed and then the several nudes!
Excellently composed fluid forms of the surreal nudes in black and white and in colour; a passion of his for many years. A few experiments with dance performances; on stage captured with the expected fluidity of movement and then the predictable minimal lighting forever preserving the ambiance of wispy movement in a shaft of spot light.
The poise of the many human forms naturally and progressively transcends for an infatuation for nature and his love for wildlife ever since his child hood. The many long and arduous journeys to and the extended hours spent in the wilds of Sri Lanka, the patience and the risks taken to capture on media the innumerable images of the animals of the wild; the elephant in a herd and then
seen protecting their young so possessively, the leopards at times in a somber mood and at times watching you in arrogance or in a stance of pouncing for a kill, the graceful birds in flight and in search of prey — glorious colour which complement their serene habitat.
What of his choice of equipment? "Nothing sophisticated; the very basic 35 mm and couple of lenses and a modest digital camera," says Chandra.
Photo artist Chandra Piyadasa has weeded a select set of 60 superb photographic images from the vast number of exposures made over the 30 plus year history of his dabbling in photography. This exhibition Visual Music is yet again in tribute to his idol Ansel Adams who once stated, ‘Listen to the music behind every photograph.’
Shyam Benegal to visit Sri Lanka
The renowned Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from the Septem-ber 24 - 27. He will deliver a public lecture on 'Secularism In Indian Cinema' at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies on Monday, September 25. A special screening of the film The Making Of The Mahatma will precede the lecture.
Shyam Benegal announced his arrival on the Indian cinema scene with his film quartet of Ankur (1974), Nishant (1974), Manthan (1975), and Bhumika (1976). All four films were narratives of India’s socio-economic scene with delineations of gender bias, domestic violence, feudal attitudes and social prejudices. His later films like Junoon (1979) and Kalayug
(1981) further established his reputation.
He is widely admired for his authentic recreation of period settings, his use of local language and idiom, and his refreshingly different use of music, which is always rooted in the cultural context of his films.
His films, which were much more than mere entertainers, provided the perfect springboard for the budding talents of actors like Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Amrish Puri in his films. The International Film Guide in 1979 ranked him as one of the five best directors of the world.
In 1986, Shyam Benegal made an epochal TV serial Bharat Ek Khoj based on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s memorable work Discovery Of India. The serial vividly portrayed 3500 years of existence of Indian civilisation as written in Nehru’s classic work.
Of his recent films, the trilogy of Mammo (1995), Sardari Begum (1996), and Zubeidaa (2000) demonstrate his recognition of the peculiar pressures imposed upon Muslim women in Indian society. In 1996 Benegal made the film The Making Of The Mahatma, the story of Mahatma Gandhi’s 21-year stay in South Africa where he perfected the tools of ahimsa and satyagraha,
his main tools of political agitation and nation building.
Shyam Benegal is now a member of parliament in India. He continues to be deeply involved in issues of social integration, social change and women’s issues. He has been awarded the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. He has also been awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan honours by the government of India.
The India-Sri Lanka Foundation (ISLF) has sponsored his visit. The ISLF is a trust set up by the governments of India and Sri Lanka in 1998 with a view to furthering bilateral co-operation in a variety of fields. The activities of the foundation are governed by a board of directors headed by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India.
The foundation provides funds for worthwhile projects in the areas of education and culture, archaeological studies, agricultural research, science and technology, health, technical training, development studies and women’s studies. Passes for the public lecture are available at the Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo 4.
During his visit to Sri Lanka he will also be conducting a workshop for young Sri Lankan film makers at the National Film Corporation, Colombo 7. Further details of the workshop are available at the office of the general manager, National Film Corporation.
All went bitter in a week
Chee Chee Corea was fond of the food that was available around Kottangchena. Dharbar, Bhagwans, Udduppi Lodge and Ambals were his favourite haunts.
Since all these were vegetarian restaurants he carried two pieces of dried fish in his pocket as his back up. Most often he would complete a full meal at a cost of 25 cents (this was in the late 1960s hullo!). On a full stomach he would regale his host with a few of his gems:
Chee Chee went to confession and said to Fr. Berra, "Bless me, father for I have sinned. Last night I was with seven different women."
The priest told him, "Take seven lemons, squeeze them into a glass and drink the juice."
"Will that cleanse me of my sins?" asked Chee Chee.
"No," replied the priest, "but it’ll wipe that silly grin off your face."
* * *
The boss tells Mulchiri, "We’ve got a vacancy. Your twin brother could fill it." "My twin brother?" replies Mulchiri.
"Yes, the one I saw at the football match yesterday while you were at your uncle’s funeral."
* * *
The pharmacist at Greenlands Pharmacy walks into his shop to find Chee Chee Corea leaning against the wall. "What’s wrong with him?" he asks his assistant. "He came in to get something for his cough," the assistant replies. "I couldn’t find the cough syrup, so I gave him a packet of laxatives."
"You can’t treat a cough with laxatives!" splutters the pharmacist.
"Yes, you can," says the assistant. "Now he’s afraid to cough."
* * *
Jansz with tattoo marks all over and in rags asks for ten bucks from Soo Nimal. Jansz says, "If I give you the money, will you buy booze?" Jansz says "no." Soo Nimal asks, "Will you gamble with it?" Again Jansz says no. "Then come home with me," Soo Nimal says. "I want my wife to see what happens to a man who doesn’t drink or
* * *
This is what Chris Toper the Amarasekara wrote in his diary on one of his visits to Colombo.
For my 56th birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing a lot of rugby with the Havelocks team 30 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservation with a personal trainer named Belinda,
who identified herself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swimwear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6 a. m.
Tough to get out of bed, but it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me.
She was something of a Greek goddess— with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile.Woo Hoo!!!!! She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobics outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout
Very inspiring, Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around.
This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.
Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air, and then she put weights on it!
My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by lying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was okay as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop.
Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered the other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by
elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other sh*t too.
Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half hour late; it took me that long to till my shoes. Belinda took me to workout with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing
machine — which I sank.
I hate that b***h Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anaemic little cheerleading b***h. If there were a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps!
And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the********* barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching 11 straight hours of the Weather Channel.
I’m having the church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year, my wife (the other b***h), will choose a gift for me that is fun —like a root canal or a vasectomy.
Ta Ra and see you next week,