Sulochana Dissanayake: Pulling on the Strings
Activists / Actors / Puppeteers / Series: Prized Possesion

Sulochana Dissanayake: Pulling on the Strings

Sulochana Dissanayake lives in a crowded house. There’s an elephant on her porch and the decapitated head of a giant on her dining room table. There’s a herd of animals – a zebra, chimpanzee, a ‘gangster’ penguin and another, smaller elephant – and a host of characters right out of Sri Lankan folklore (old Mahadanamutta … Continue reading

Prasad Pereira: Mad about the Movies
Actors / Filmmakers / Series: Prized Possesion

Prasad Pereira: Mad about the Movies

One imagines that somewhere on Prasad Pereira’s list of life’s essentials, you’d find ‘watching movies’ noted down just under ‘air,’ ‘water,’ and ‘food.’ “I’ve always been mad about cinema since I was really, really young and film making is very important to me,” he says, “it’s more than a career, it’s one of those things … Continue reading

Yasmine Gooneratne: Writing Under the Gaze of Her Saraswati
Series: Prized Possesion / Writers

Yasmine Gooneratne: Writing Under the Gaze of Her Saraswati

Bowing before Saraswati for a few minutes at the start of every school term, Hindu schoolchildren in India pray for her blessing on their books and their efforts. Lankan writer Yasmine Gooneratne asks much the same of the goddess, though in her case, she is actually writing the books themselves. “There was a point in my … Continue reading

Shehara Liyanage: Inheriting Memories
Series: Prized Possesion / Singers

Shehara Liyanage: Inheriting Memories

Like so many little girls, 10-year-old Shehara Liyanage was fascinated by her mother’s wardrobe. Shey longed to be properly grown up and inside that cupboard were all the props she needed to pretend she already was: outsize heels to totter around in, make-up to be inexpertly slathered on and beautiful sarees to wind around herself. “It … Continue reading

Comedians / Magicians / Series: Prized Possesion

Jay Jay: Seeing is Believing

Don’t call Jay Jay a magician – he’d rather be known as an illusionist. (He considers the latter designation the “more classy” of the two.) Whatever you dub him, it doesn’t make what Jay Jay accomplishes any less clever – employing suggestion and misdirection, artifice and guile he convinces you to believe, however briefly, in … Continue reading