Mohamed Hanif was my first Galle Lit Fest interview ten years ago so interviewing him again was an interesting exercise. We spoke about Red Birds and journalism. I am a little less starstruck and breathy with my platitudes in this 2019 interview. Just a little.
Shankari Chandran’s Song of the Sun God is a sensitive, fast-paced read and easily a noteworthy addition to Sri Lankan English fiction. She speaks about writing about Tamil society in Sri Lanka at a particular point in time, how her work as a lawyer informed her writing and more.
A convoluted inheritance of its colonial past, Sri Lanka’s tea industry has been sculpted with increasing global competition and market volatility and is central to the country’s narrative. This is a glimpse of the man who made Ceylon Tea into a household brand.
Edit: revisiting this years later has been an exercise in self-reflection and a reminder to better critically engage with a topic. This reads as a very rose-tinted view of Lipton and doesn't deal with the violent history of tea or critically analyze its colonial implications. Sri Lanka's tea industry tends to gloss over these.
An essay on Eid in Sri Lanka and the cultural elements that have influenced the island's palate.