Tag Archive | Sri Lanka

Musically yours, from Jaffna

It is an  old article  about a youngster from Jaffna. Hope he reaches his endeavors in due course.

SRINIVASA RAMANUJAM The Hindu Chennai, January 27, 2016


Meet Sri Lanka-based 21-year-old Thuvarakan, whose covers of Tamil songs are gaining popularity on social media.

In all his music videos, T. Thuvarakan is a picture of concentration. Playing two keyboards simultaneously, his fingers deftly search for the right note, not missing them even on one occasion. A big fan of Tamil film music, the 21-year-old’s most recent videos are that of hit Kollywood songs, including ‘Thalli Pogathey’ (Achcham Enbadhu Madamaiyada), ‘Thangamey’ (Naanum Rowdy Dhaan) and ‘Aaluma Doluma’ (Vedalam).

What’s so special, you might ask. Thuvarakan is doing all this in his nondescript room at Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where he was born and lived through three civil wars — in 1995, 2000 and 2006. And, he can play a dozen instruments, including the mridangam, tabla, morsing, violin and guitar. “Jaffna is famous for its culture. But due to the conflict, musicians here do not have access to technology like our counterparts in the Indian film industry. Of late though, the signs are encouraging; people are trying to produce their own albums and short films,” he says.

His passion for music started when he was just three. His father, a singer, was his inspiration at that time. “I started listening to Tamil film songs in my childhood. My father, who is also my first music guru, taught me the popular ‘Kanne Kalaimaane’ song,” he recalls in an e-mail interview. Soon, Thuvarakan was enrolled for mridangam classes, an instrument in which he showed promise.

In 2012, even as he struggled with his studies, he formed a music band called Vaanavil. Consisting of 18 members, the band plays Carnatic, English, Tamil and Sinhala songs. The reach of the band might be restricted, but Thuvarakan seems to be making use of social media to get noticed. “In Jaffna, we have very less media support; they do not give priority to Tamil musicians,” he writes. “We are dependent on social media to reach our talent to the world. It also helps us get exposed to different styles of music.”

After finishing his Ordinary Level Exam, Thuvarakan got a chance to use social media to his advantage. His first independent release was a song he composed for his school cricket match. Buoyed by the appreciation he received, Thuvarakan did a cover version of the ‘Yaendi’ song from Puli and uploaded it. “I got a lot of positive feedback for that,” he says. Soon, he was working on other covers of songs from hit Tamil films. The youngster, who considers Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman, as his role models, dreams of becoming a composer in the Indian music industry someday. “I will finish my university education in four years and then shift to Chennai to make my dreams come true,” he says.

Check out his work at facebook.com/T.Thuvarakan

A great moment for the photographer!

There are times that you have to be at the right time at the right place!

Here is a photo captured by an Aus-Lankan while touring in Sri Lanka. One of the infants of the monkey is enjoying a drink from his mum while the other is having a cuddle.

Daljit Raj Chelliah a keen photographer captured this moment at the top of the cave- temple hills of Dambulla (தம்புளை) located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.

The cave temple is archeologically conspicuous land mark of Sri Lanka  whose inhabitants dates back to the third Century BC.  During 10 -12 CE Dambulla was ruled by the Viceroy of Raja-Raja Cholan of Tamil Nadu.


dambulla rock temple

Family time! (Photo credit: Daljit Raj Chelliah)

Lovely bunch of coconuts as treat (WPC : Treat)

The photo was taken few years ago at Hikkaduwa beach in Sri Lanka.  On a hot summer day king coconut water is heavenly. The coconut water is  sweet and healthy and a wonderful re-hydrant.

King Coconut is native to Sri Lanka and referred as  “Sev -izhanheer” in Tamil and Thembilli in Sinhala.

King coconut water - A Heavenly Thirst Quencher

King coconut water – A Heavenly Thirst Quencher

At this  juncture, lets reminisce an old song “I got a  lovely bunch of coconuts” composed in 1944 by Fred Heatherton. The re-make of the song in 1950, sung by the vocalist Merv Griffin with the Freddy Martin and his Orchestra  was in top 10 hit in the USA and sold 3 million copies. Hope you will enjoy the number as I did.

This entry In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Treat.”

Blurred Sigiriya Fresco Painting – (WPC: Blur)

The photo  below was taken  nearly five years ago when we visited Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Tourists were allowed to take photos in the fresco caves but without using flash and I have ended up with a blurred shot.

Even after all these years do I wanted to delete the photo? Of course not! Because this shot is the only image I have of that particular painting until I visit the site again (Wishful thinking).

Blurred Fresco painting at Sigiriya caves , Sri Lanka (2011)

Blurred Fresco painting at Sigiriya caves , Sri Lanka (2011)

This photo is in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Blur.”

Keerimalai Kerni – WPC : Humanity

“Keerimalai- Kerni”
Keerimalai Hot springs, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

"Keerimalai- Kerni" Keerimalai hotsprings, jaffna Sri Lanka

The above  shot  was taken  two years ago at  Keerimalai – Kerni  (hot springs), Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

The  hot spring pool  is a  very well known historical site in Jaffna. The springs are separated for each gender and this picture  captures the open-men-well area. The picture shows a typical day at the hot springs when public enjoys a dip.

The  wall adjacent to the ocean was open until Tsunami in 2004. Unfortunately Tsunami waves took away few lives while they were bathing in this pool. Since then the a wall has been added as a safety measure (beige colour wall)


The great soul  Mahathma Gandhi said:

“You must not lose faith in humanity.

Humanity is an ocean.,

If a few drops of the ocean are  dirty,

the ocean does not become dirty


This photo is an entry for the daily post photo challenge:


The WAVE- Ninth Anniversary of the Asian Tsunami 2004

2004 Indian ocean tsunami map

Today is the ninth anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami catastrophe which took away the lives of nearly 2.3 million.

A tremor of magnitude  9  was occurred 30 kilo meters below the seafloor when the Indian plate was thrust on to the Burma plate. This in turn  raised the sea floor by several meters. The energy released by this tremor  was estimated to the equivalent of 23000 Hiroshima sized bombs!

Most affected countries by the tsunami  were around the Indian Ocean basin including Indonesian Islands, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Maldives and Malaysia. East coast of African continent, Somalia  was also affected by this disaster.

Many of the affected countries have remembered their loved ones on the coasts of Indian Ocean today. Tsunami has left many of the survivors to pick up the pieces of their lives without their loved ones.


Related articles:

1. Facts & Figures of tsunami

2. Tsunami Anniversary


Some Extinct Tamil Proverbs in connection with Dance

Bharathanatyam and the worldwide web

Disclaimer: Before you jump to any conclusion, read till the end of this post. My intentions are to give a glimpse of the past.

Recently, I came across a book titled “A classified collection of Tamizh proverbs” by Reverend Herman Jensen [1, 2]. This book was published in 1897. Yes, that’s long time back! In total there are 3644 proverbs cataloged, classified on various subjects numbering to about 300.

Reverend Herman Jensen was part of the Danish Missionary in Madras presidency. He arrived in 1887 and worked in Arcot, Ranipet, and Sallasapet (?) [3].  He left back to Denmark by 1899 [4]. In the preface, he identifies what Indians do in a regular conversation.

I had already perceived that the Indians could hardly tell a story without introducing some proverbs into it.

Hmmm….I am going to observe that in others from now on. 🙂

Proverbs give an insight into the…

View original post 1,101 more words

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

Week day mornings are busier at our house hold. Weekends are much

relaxed but the most enjoyable mornings to cherish would be during holidays.

The scene  below, was cptured by my daughter on a morning at Chittering Valley,

WA, Australia while on a farm stay.  One could see the sheep grazing behind the

chalets on an autumn morning.

Autumn Morning at a farm in Chittering Valley

Autumn Morning at a farm in Chittering Valley

Two songs came to my mind when I checked  this weeks  Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!.

The first one was the 16th century British folk song “Early one morning” – which I

learnt at my Primary school back in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

The first four lines of the song:

Early one morning,

As the sun was rising,

 I heard a maid sing,

In the valley below……

One may query the choice of song taught in a Sub-Continental country. The fact

is that Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was a British colony for nearly 150 years!

Below is the You -Tube link for the traditional song sung by Sarah Brightman .

The second song was sung by Louis Armstrong “What a wonderful world” in the

movie ‘Good morning Vietnam’. The song was originally recorded in the late

Nineteen Sixties and later it was featured in the Eighties in the movie.


Some of the interesting entries:

1. Beautiful reflections on a fog morning –Sama pictures – The photo experiment

2. Pebbles the cat on Blissful Blog

3. Books before breakfast 

4. New start of the day

5. Mystical

6. Gazing-daisy

7.  Hold on

8. Carefree morning

9. My cyber house rules

10. Rathlin Island

World Elephant Day – August 12 2013

On behalf of the  World Elephant Day 2013, I have re-blogged one of my post from February 2013. The elephant photos were taken in Sri Lanka in 2011 . It was my first WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Unique shower time.


 Weekly photo challenge-Unique shower time!

Bath time! (Photo: Alfiet2011)

Elephants’ are fascinating animals. This photo was taken in December 2011 while the gentle giants having their daily bath. It was captured from the balcony of the cafe at the Elephant Orphanage,  Pinnawella, Sri Lanka.

“By a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant with a hair” – A Persian Proverb


Rub-a-dub-dub-shower time!

Rub-a-dub-dub-shower time!



Mother & calf

Mother & calf

Skeleton of  an elephant

Skeleton of an elephant

Weekly photo challenge-Unique shower time!.

Related articles:


WPC: Fresh – Pineapples

For this week’s Weekly photo challenge I would like to share the photos taken in Sri Lanka few years ago. Road side fruit vendors would slice the fresh pineapple to bite -size and add salt, sugar or spice to the taste of buyers.

Fresh pineapples  for sale

Fresh pineapples for sale

We were lucky enough to pick  a fresh fruit and  made salted and spiced with chilli powder – and they were  yummy indeed.

Fresh pineapple being sliced. (photos ; alfietDec2011)

Fresh pineapple being sliced. (photos ; alfietDec2011)

There are many street-side vendors on the way from Colombo to Jaffna.

For other entries please click: Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh.