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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Short trip up North and a haul of books

An opportunity has come for us to visit Pooneryn (in the very north of Sri Lanka) and where I very recently started a project of helping children there. It started quite successfully and I am so glad that unexpectedly we decided to go there and we are hoping to leave Thursday night. Its quite an arduous journey though distances in terms
of miles is nothing very much - the journey is tiresome, dusty and hot!

I am looking forward ever so much to meeting the children and the teachers and Principal who helped us so much with making contact with this lot of children. 13 of them lost both their parents during the war and 15 of them have lost a single parent. Several children have lost siblings as well as a parent. Trying to get them over this loss and getting back to the mainstream is not an easy job and the teachers and Principals of those schools need as much help as they can get. There are no counsellors available for these children and the only support system is the extended family which fortunately still exists in this part of the world.

On a bookish note I finally got Pope Joan (yes I know its been around for ages) but I am ever so grateful to have found a copy now. I am halfway through right now as I find it very good. I also in a rash moment today bought The Historian and picked up a second hand copy of Kazuo Ishiguro The Remains of the Day for almost nothing so it all balanced out. I owe my interest in Japanese authors to Sakura of chasing bawa who spoke so beautifully on these books that I felt that I had to start reading them! Thank you Sakura. I also got three again dusty Penguin books - Daughters in law by Henry Cecil, The Kings General by Daphne du Maurier and Ordinary Fables by E Arnot Robertson. The books by Cecil and Robertson are not those I have read about but just liked the outline of the story. Despite the trip being a working trip, I am taking several books. There is no way I can get to post about this trip till I return but I am hoping that it will be a fruitful one.

I was also very taken up by Simon's post (Savidge reads) on Neel Mukherjee's book A Life Apart.His review and thoughts are very interesting and the book has obviously had a huge impact on Simon. The fact that he has given it a ten out of ten makes it absolutely imperative that I dig this out of somewhere!!!! Hopefully being an Indian author my favourite bookshop in Chennai may probably have it. Now to find a way of getting it down.....

A good week so far.


  1. I hope you like Remains of the Day. I think it's my favourite Ishiguro so far. I have A Pale View of the Hills which I'm saving for the next Japanese Literature Challenge at the end of the year.

    And I really enjoyed The Historian although it was a tad long.

    I'm really interested in hearing about your trip up north as I haven't been since I was a child (and only to Trinco), and of course how much you managed to read!

  2. My heart goes out to those children. What tragedies! How wonderful of you to help them.

  3. I hope that your trip goes well! I am feeling rather ignorant about Sri Lanka, so I'm going straight to wikipedia after I post this comment.

    Nice haul of books too! I love getting older books that I haven't read yet!

  4. So wonderful of you to help with these children.
    Glad you got some books you wanted.

    BTW - You won Friday Pick 3/19 for Wish You Well so I need your mail intermediary info when you get a chance to e-mail me!

  5. It is so nice that you are helping these children. It was a lovely post!