In This Chapter

The Old House

Authored by: Sunethra Rajakarunanayake

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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In a not often found humorous vein, this is a story of nostalgia, and though stained with the romantic hue usually given to such stories, some issues captured here – the changes in the city landscape , the lessening of the grace of houses and the appreciation of trees, the links between neighbours – are things that all Sri Lankans living in towns and cities have seen. That some things never change is also implied – interethnic marriages were not encouraged then as now. Just like she had no hope with her Burgher boyfriend, her granddaughter had no hope of being accepted with a Tamil one. The difference was that while the rather lovable, once fun-loving, broadminded woman succumbed and married without love to a Sinhala, the granddaughter chose to take matters onto her own hands, implying perhaps that women have more choice now than then. The leaving and the decrease of Burghers in Sri Lanka after Independence, and the present sense of exclusivist nationalism (in the character of the son-in-law) are also hinted at here. This a short story from the collection ‘Alandara’ (Stories of Love). 1

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