Sunday was a day of tranquility for bibliophiles who had assembled at Cioconat Lounge for Book Lovers’ Day, as they sat in a snug corner listening to poetry, excerpts from books, and personal writings.
The words read that day evoked many emotions. They were drawn mostly from personal blogs and the readers’ own writing, but also included words of wisdom by famous names such as Anne Frank.
The reading was structured almost like a poetry open mic event, except that there were a select number of people who did the reading. People who walked in for the event weren’t able to just stand up and read. In my opinion, the active participation of everyone involved would have made the event nicer. But the atmosphere, the small, cozy crowd that was present, and the readings themselves created the warm, familiar vibe that you find uniquely at literary events.
The event featured seasoned writers and speakers such as Arun Dias Bandaranayake and Lal Medawattegedara, as well as a much younger crowd of authors in their twenties, such as Grace Wickramasinghe, Tharinda de Silva, Nadeesha Paulis, Sheshadri Kottearachchi and Amalini de Sayrah. While some of these are already published authors, others have been published online. All of them are brilliant writers, and succeeded in creating vivid images with their words.
Sheshadri was the only person who read out of Anne Frank’s Diary. The excerpts she chose for her reading of the classic evoked feelings of hope, and memories of our childhood.
There was also a raw and painful reading by Nadeesha, who took us all on an emotional rollercoaster as she explored the dark, under-explored side of life. She narrated a compilation of stories of abuse, bullying and uncertainty, as seen through the victims’ eyes.
This was then tempered by Lal’s reading of his book, Playing Pillow Politics at MGK, which lightened the afternoon with its hilarity.
From gripping anecdotes of Tamil torture victims to subtle love poems, this was a Sunday afternoon spent fruitfully.
Oh. Another important thing.
There was free food. More importantly there was iced-coffee, which we like very much, thank you.