The Poeticinsurrectionist Strap: Everest Arachchige
He is a revolutionist in his own way. He rebels with his words and profoundly creates an unaccustomed poem to address the unaddressed. His poetry doesn't merely satisfy your poetic neurones yet it creates an inerasable scar which creates a long lasting effect. His poetry is stochastic, tendentious and vicious. He writes against what is believed as untrue and behests us to see through the curtains of traditions and norms. Kukavi: as its name sounds, isn't a mere collection of conventional poetry as you read daily, it is a roadmap which steers you to see the unseen with opened eyes.
Q: Let's begin with your book. Why was it named as Kukavi (Non-poems)?
A. Well, all throughout my journey I have been questioning: "What is poetry?". Various people, various books gave me many reasons, yet none of those was able to quench my thirst. Kukavi was born suddenly as an outburst of all deep hidden emotions and I couldn't have found any better name to name my anthology. Hence, simply it was baptised as "Kukavi". If I further elaborate, in the context of Sri Lanka: Poetry has been canonised as a supreme state of art in the mainstream genres of literature where any changes would be considered as a violation or rather as an impurification. Over the years, the severity of this condition hasn't gotten any better and its impact could be seen in every nook and corner of overall ideology. In such a context, my effort was put more into researching on different aisles of poetry and it finally paved me the way. As we all know, poetry generates as a result of an emotional turmoil, and accordingly the structure, phrases and language are decided. Hence the name "Kukavi" was consciously placed in order to open the eyes of people who blindly follow the pre notion,
pointless rules of literature.
HithuwiliWalata..............(To my beloved Satan)
(Another accusation, yet a question. In here, you have not been highlighted as a person, yet have been enforced the feelings...)
Q: In your book: To my beloved Satan; Haven't you too tried to influence the ideology of general public?
A. Exactly, and I do believe it should be done plus we all are accountable to do so as well. In a society where there are many ideologies, making an impactful change in one's mind is critical. Irrespective of its impact, if we take about the hidden intentions of these changes, it is hardly possible to find a plausible answer assist the change. This could be viewed in different perspectives, yet as far as I believe: The influence which we make is directly affects to the thought process of general public. Hence it must be done consciously with a long term vision. As an example, if we take ISIS and its impact to our world, it clearly reflects the ideologies of various religions institutions and its gruesome political agendas. Humanity has been violated and it has come to a point to question the validity of "development" as a nation in overall sense. The mythological concepts which are being taught and persuaded have destructed human thought process and eventually driving the whole world into a hazard.
Irrespective of any religious connotations, I believe Satan as radical thought provoker who questioned the tragedy lies in the tradition and order. It opened up the eyes of Adam and Eve and it was place where change begun. As an artist, I believe it is our duty to be the change makers in this society and it is really nice to hear my message have been embraced by the readers sincerely than it was expected.
Wedhanthaya – Quranaya
Thripitakaya – Bibalaya
(It is a mess when WedhaGrantha, Quran, Thripitakaya and Bible get mixed up and startreproducing)
Q: When the religions get mixed and reproduce different ideologies, what would be the final impact?
A. It is quite easy to assume that the world would be a better place when all the religions get mixed up,yet it isn't the truth. When all the restrictions and narrow-mindedness get united, how can a world be a better place. This is the tragedy we all are facing daily yet none of us has been able to articulate this fact and address it efficiently and effectively. All round-table discussions have not gone beyond the circle and in such a context expecting a change is highly doubtful. If we take Lord Buddha as an example, the concepts of Buddhism wererecognized by himself after making a huge sacrifice. Though this process of preparation is important, will it be catered to youngsters only by enforcing them to attend Sunday schools? When societies are run by undisciplined clergy, it is hardly possible to find betterment via religious avenue. When virtues are used for gaining undue advantages the entire belief system collapses and faith would no longer exist. These must be critically questioned and all pointless drama which eventually would not yield any benefit to either party must be eliminated from the system. Yet it is impossible because we are bound by many man made rules and regulations. Having said that one must also understand the impact of cascading effect of negativity. As a poet I am facing these issues and inevitably my poetry addresses these issues. As artists we cannot make change happen overnight and change could be made individually. Hence the final impact wouldn't get any better.
Q: One of the critics has recognised religious inter-textual re presentation as one of the major characteristics of Kukavi, and you have been appreciated for being audacious and bold in pointing out the facts, yet he reductants to appreciate the progress of the project. Isn't this ironical?
A. This has been the tragedy or the trap where we have been entangled for many years. This has been the answerfor which all of us have been craving. Though it sometimes sounds nonsensical, the reality is much darker and messier. Yes, I do believe there should be a change, but who would be the change? Who would take the initiative to implement? These questions still remain unanswered. Hence it has inevitably become a round-table topic which do not have any value after the gathering. This has been the process and this is what we should abolish.
We are a nation who has been betrayed by politicians over and over again. As a result, our dreams have brought us shame, so we are no longer persuaded to dreaming. This is common feature in almost all social structures in today's context. From top to bottom – The word "Change" has become a mere word to grab the attention. Neither it has empowered nor discouraged the general public to make better decisions. Though itis pathetic in every sense, how can we clap from one hand? Society must understand this reality and join in hands with us to make the change.
"Burannata Bari Nisa
BallakunowanaNisaawen...." (IeeniyaWiplawaadiyaku (No)woo Pawata – Pg 38)
(Since I cannot bark, I hoot, because I am not a dog either...)
Q: If so, are you a revolutionist or not?
A. This exactly showcases the pathetic situation of us who as artists face daily basis. This society neither facilitate us to become revolutionists nor the conventionalists. This leads us to be neutral as well as drives us to be hot blooded. Striking a balance has been the top most difficult task. In such a context what matters the most is to understand what is our role in seeking the truth and standing for it rather labelling ourselves as revolutionists or conventionalists.
Q: One of the famous thought provokers of our time, has mentioned that your poetry represents the exception of traditional poetry and they neither are sweeter nor universal in terms of today's ideology. What are your thoughts?
A. Well, it has many meanings. Firstly, I would like to question the universal impact of poetry and its judgement criteria. This is pure irrelevant and perhaps sound irrational because universality is subject to differ accordingly. On the other hand, it is a duty of thought provokers, critics to unite the reader and writer through his creativity. I do believe that as their duty. Bringing societal issues into discussion and collaboratively find answers are the mediators' job role whereas writers could only be a source of help. Hence I don't see any point. Secondly, I would like to link this with the previous question. This as an extension of previous condition where none takes the responsibility to drive us for the change. Yet I do believe that my poetry is an exception to the general mainstream poetry and I consider it as an opportunity to reach the audience with a different touch of taste to transpire my vision as a poet.
NewathaUthpaththiyamaeyi........" (Maranaya – Pg 50)
(Killing the language either knowingly or unknowingly are two different scenarios, yet the death is indeed a resurrection)
Q: Throughout all of your poems, you softly, tenderly sometimes brutally kill the tradition. What do you expect from such an exercise?
A. What I expect is quite evident. "Change" is what I do expect. A reliable, sustainable and truthful change is what we all crave for. My way and style might be different to others, but my purpose wouldn't be changed. I do stand by my policies and rest is irrelevant. Whether it intentional or unintentional, if it is meant to be killed, it will be killed, because I do believe every end is a pathway for new beginning. That new beginning could lead us a far way and it is our duty to foster and facilitate such change. That is all I do expect from everything.
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