“THARU PIRI RE” TELECAST OVER SIYATHA TV ON 6th May (SATURDAY) -A SPORADIC IMMACULATE TELEVISION SPECTACLE- WITH SIX DAUGHTERS OF LEGENDS
All Sri Lankan television channels over each weekend telecast chat programs inviting artistes in several fields with the theme becoming been more or less identical. When the artistes are constantly invited there is obviously a poor viewer audience as the faces are common who speak what they have already spoken and sing the same songs which obviously not in favour of viewer attraction. Deviating from this under a comprehensive nonconformity ‘Siyatha’ television on the 6th May the day after the Vesak Full moon day in the week end program ‘Tharu Piri Re” presented by Rangana of Hiru, Swarnavahini fame in the competent ‘chat field’ for over two decades in a complete different concept had invited six daughters of legendary vocalists, musicians and lyricists. Accordingly daughters Rupashika Ranatunga,Subani Amaradewa,Manjula Ratnayake,Anuradha Nandasiri, Janani Pieirs and Saranga Ranasinghe were invited to represent the legendary fathers Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga,Pandit Amaradewa,Dr Victor Ratnayake,Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri, Visharada Amarasiri Peiris and Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe repectively. The musical Banking was by music maestro Manoj Peiris with his orchestra which could provide music for any song even not rehearsed. It was revealed that the fathers of all daughters have had close links with each other in their personal lives to unprecedented tall elevations which were to some extent not surfaced fully owing to the time barrier restraint in our television media.
At the beginning after the presenter introduced all daughters of the legends who were asked to say in a word or two how each would describe the respective fathers. Comments were made as “My whole world”,” Undying God”, ‘Pleasant human Being’,’Sundara Manushayek”,”Belongs to the whole World”,”As word defines he is a typical individual”, “My Weeraya”.Of course all daughters are and were dearly loved by the respective fathers.
All songs sung were Buddhist related and patriotic songs of these legends sung to precision by the related daughters all in their forties. The first song was “Mage Ratata Dalada Himi Sevanai” of Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri was sung by daughter Anuradha Nandasiri beautifully harmonized by all.
It was very evident that the producer and the presenter of the program had done ‘homework’. Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga had been very strict with daughter Rupashika in regard to her getting involved in love affairs. One boy she had seen at the same bus halt who travels in the same bus. Sans her knowledge the interested guy was used to follow her after alighting from the bus.This boy had been sending her pleading love affairs which had been read only by the father only not shown her had asked her to whom are you writing love affairs though she had not written. The boy had in one letter added he was the skipper of the school cricket team having sent photos of his awards. Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga had shown them to wife Amara Ranatunga who in turn had shown to Rupashika.To coincide with this appropriately Rangana invited Anuradha to sing ‘Dangakara Oya Belma” which was not in the play list. Here Rangana praised the efficiency of Manoj Peiris and his orchestra. Thereafter Rupashika Ranatunga sang her father’s song ‘Mal Pipila’ once again flawlessly;
The mother had felt very sorry ,but this had not prolonged any further. Once Amara Ranatunga had travelled overseas to India for studies purposes in year 1985.During her absence a cook lady had been arranged. On a day the aid had gone home which had forced Rupashika to cook for father.She had tried to cook ’fried rice’ though she has had no clue on cooking. Had imagined she could cook ‘fried rice’ had washed the rice had kept the required water level in the rice cooker, had chopped all vegetables that were available including ‘beetroot’ in large portions and switched on the rice cooker staying by the side until the required time for the rice was cooked. She had opened the lid to see the whole thing in ‘RED” as she had used a lot of beetroot thinking it was too needed for the ‘fried rice’.When father came for lunch she had told she had cooked ,had served. When the father came to the table to consume she had watched behind a wall. Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga had consumed all with difficulty but not commented though the entire rice was red coloured. Many talk that this would have made ‘fried rice’ taboo for him.
Janani Peiris when asked about her school days at Lindsay Girls School Kollupitiya she added it was usual for her mother or grand mother to come to pick her up. When father Visharada Amarasiri Pieris comes to take her he used to comb her hair as the duo leaves the gate, more often she is taken to SLBC where he was employed. Janani also quipped that father used to buy her “kada thoru” which delights her, hence she likes when father comes to pick her.When asked about the presents Janani had received from father she said while she was a student in the university of Visual and Performing Arts , she was presented with a ‘Harmonium” which she treasures and still uses. Jayani could sing her father’s songs very well ,she sang the songs ‘Budu Sihila Galala”, “Hantaneta Payana Sanda, “Mama Apple Malak Wage” which she loves. She also sang the song “Landune” requested by the presenter as the lyrics of the song by Ranbanda Seneviratne were very eloquent, the music was by Dr Premasiri Khemadasa.
Manjula Ratnayake had been born on 8th of July two years after the birth of elder brother Jayantha also was born on the identical day 8th of August.They have had some neighbouring friends at Rodrigo Avenue Nawala,the Rideemaliyadde sisters who never failed to bring a lovely birthday cake on this day.It had been always her mother Chithra Ratnayake who used to buy both presents on this special day.But when the duo turned 20 and 18 on the 08.08.1988 the father Dr Victor Ratnayake had taken the initiative to organise a birthday party inviting many musical friends , neighbours. It was said on that day father had taken the Jayantha to shops to buy clothing the first time he had done so owing to his normal busy schedules over the years. It was also commented by Manjula that Dr Victor Ratnayake from her small days recollecting the father arranging trips to Kataragama ,Anuradhapura etc each time the school holidays began. He had continued in the same vein even up to recently requesting the four families to join in the trips along with the kids.After his ‘Sa’ was completed in year 2012 he had organised a family show “Ira Handa Tharu” with the participation of all siblings and the children. Manjula recollected that her youngest son was then only four years old. It was reminisced that her father having observed the talents of his grandchildren had proposed separate events for them included in the variety show.
Manjula also sang to precision her father Dr Victor Ratnayake’s song ‘Miyuri Kalpana” and ‘Siri Bo Meda”’ the lyrics were of Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe with the backing of the music orchestra of Manoj Peiris.Manjula Ratnayake also revealed that his father Dr Victor Ratnayake and Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri was born on the same day 18th February 1942.But a clarification was made by Anuradha Nandasiri that her father Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri had been born in his Gothatuwa home itself on the 15th February but the registration was made only on the 18th February 1942.In this context Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri is elder to Dr Victor Ratnayake by three days. The duo too had been close friends had visited Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri in his last days had been holding hands and did not wish to go back wanted to come the next day too.Aunradha added that he was the funeral house, Kanatta and at the seven days alms giving.
Manjula Ratnayake sang her father’s song “Sirimabo Wenda’ well again to delight everyone, the lyrics of the song was by Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe.
Talking about Birthdays Saranga Ranasinghe added being the eldest daughter father Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe the legendary lyricist had made it a point to celebrate her birthday yearly leaving his work aside inviting many colleague artistes like Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri , Pandit Amaradewa, Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga, etc Dr Victor Ratnayake etc.During the program Rupashika Ranatunga reminisced once when the birthday cake was delayed to be cut she was tempted to pluck a rose from cake.When she did Saranga in about her age four years had run to mother “Inna mama ammata Kiyannam”.Saranga did confess that on each birthday for the immense love Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe had to the daughter Saranga was in the habit of posing to a camera while carrying her.She reminisced that it had taken place until she was an adult.
At this stage Rupashika sang her father’s song “Mal PIPILA “ song again to meticulousness to delight everyone to the music of Manoj Peiris and his orchestra.It was disclosed that the friendship of Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe and Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri had been terrific, the duo had been contacting over the phone daily in the morning prior to formers demise seven years ago. It is told that Saranga’s had been named by Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri.It was a huge disappointment to Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri his demise had quipped now with whom he could talk as it was huge void, had even written a verse reminiscing the long standing friendship. During the seven days almsgiving od Sangeeth Nipun someone had quipped that the duo may meet on the long journey to sansara. The friendship had been so strong that even before the hall and other formalities were arranged for Saranga’s wedding the friend duo had decided that Anuradha Nandasiri will have to be her bridesmaid.
Subani Amaradeva has inherited singing skills from father Pandit Amaradeva sang initially to precision the song “Pawela Nilwalawe” emulating father. As she sang the song very impressively the presenter Rangana wanted her husband to come forward and to sing it as a duet.Thereafter a Jothipala duet was sung by the duo.Rangana in a friendly way told him to stay erect at home as a strong husband not to shiver. Disclosed that her father Pandit Amaradewa was not al conversant in common issues like marketing ,purchasing needs for the household. Once he had wanted to purchase a comfortable bed for his loving daughter Subani, had gone to the Arpico Showroom and ordered a bed.When the bed was delivered it had been a ‘hospital bed” which after good giggle been returned to the Arpico.Pandit Amaradewa never was able to select even vegetables though he had confessed he could manage. Many times, the driver had returned inedible raw vegetables he had purchased. As all father’s Subani too received close attention by her father.She added was used to wetting the bed in the nights. When the mother scolds her father used to come in the dead night carry heron his shoulders to the washroom to freshen her.Pandit Amardeva had been the closest to Subani among the inmates at home.She quipped that mother beats her which her father disliked.
Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri had loved his only daughter Anuradha to unprecedented tall elevations. He never wanted to see her crying did not allow anyone to hurt her. Anuradha used to eat a lot of chocolates as all who visit the family bring her chocolates , did not like brushing her teeth as once to the tooth brush she had hurt her teeth. Every morning her Punchi Sakunthala and mother tries to brush her teeth.She used to run everywhere and take cover from her father.Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri never liked her to shed tears.During this time when she was about four years old her father had left to UK for two months for some musical work.One advise he had given was not to make her cry trying to brush her teeth to which the home folks had to abide.By the time father returned from UK her teeth had not been in good shape.Anuradha also said father calls her ‘PUTHE” while Manoj was called as ‘PUTHA.
When Anuradha was very young Sangeeth Nipun had organised his show ‘Do Anuradha”. When on stage when he sings ‘Doo Anuradha” song compiled by Lyricist Gunasena Galappaththi she used to run towards the stage she quipped. But later on Anuradha had sung this song with Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri during his “Doo Anuradha” recital a coincidence indeed.
It was revealed during the program that Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri and Dr Dayaratne Ranatunga, once before marriage there had been a serious love affair between him and fiancé’ Amara Ranatunga.While the latter was teaching in Meegoda government school Dayaratne Ranatunga used to go to meet her but was very scared of her father who was a very strict disciplinarian did not endorse love affairs. Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri had been the ‘spy’.Once he had been spying outside the school premises when Amara’s father had emerged had asked when he was smoking a cigarette ‘you are the spy’ had threatened him then Sangeeth Nipun had retaliated saying he would hit backe and ran out of the premises from where he was guarding. Later, in the University of Visual and Performing Arts both had been in the tutorial staff before becoming the chancellor of the same university in the later years.
Rupashika Ranatunga is also a capable singer when she sang initially ‘Mal Pipila: then ‘Kiri Kawadi Hina’ to the applause of all and again to the music backing of Manoj Peiris and his orchestra.
At the residences of both Dr Ajantha Ransinghe and Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri there had been a habit of raring cats for the sheer love of them for years, still the practice is ongoing having a number of cats as pets.The pets have been given a name to identify some so advanced names as “Dinindu Pehasara”,”Krishna Induwara”,’Payena Sanda”,Capsu Gayashan” , ‘Akee Menurangi’, ‘Sadev Dulshi’, ‘Chukthi’.,”Suki’ , ’Chutie 2″,”Bihiranthi” ( as she is deaf),’ Malki’_etc. The cat names of Saranga are long while that of Anuradha are of one word. It was revealed by Anuradha that she returned after her husband’s tenure in UK she had brought a cat from there too. It was revealed that even Manoj Pieirs rare nine cats feeding them daily and even outside dogs who follow him ,to them Manoj even buys buns and yoghurt which is known to many.
Towards the end the presenter wanted to sing the duet of Pandit Amaradewa and Sangeeth Nipun Sanath Nandasiri “ Jagathananda Maha Kaarunika song by the daughters dop Subani Amaradewa and Anuradha Nandasiri, the lyricist is currently unknown. At this juncture the presenter wanted Janani to sing a few lines of ‘ Mama Apple Malak” song of her father .
Before the conclusion of the program Subani Amardewa reminisced the penultimate day in the life of her father Pandit Amaradwa who was ailing had consultant a physician and bought medicines worth of Rupees twenty five thousand. As he was very lazy to intake food with the greatest difficulty as usual she fed him a mouthful of food, when she felt a flower loke smell emancipated from his mouth had told Subani to embrace him tightly which she remembers very well.Pandit Amaradewa calls Subani ‘Babiya’ whom he treated like his mother so caring always wanted to embrace her.
Saranga quipped an incident in year 1984 when the book “Pahan Doren” was launched Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe had made an ‘offering” to Saranga in the Preface of this book which she read for the first time during this program which was in very highly worded Sinhalese which was to Saranga Predeepani Ranasinghe which she says is the second most valuable tribute to her.The first one was the song “Sirimaboweda” dedicated to her quipped Saranga. The presenter confessed all Fathers and daughters be blessed with ‘Pahan Doren’ After thanking all daughters of the legends the final song ‘Api Okkoma Rajawaru Okkoma Wesiyo” of Dr Victor Ratnayake was sung by Manjula Ratnayake harmonised by the rest. All participated daughters thanked the producer of ‘THARU PIRI RE” and presenter Rangana de Silva for producing such an unique program felicitating six legends ( three deceased) which had hitherto not telecast in any television channel in the annals of our television history . Subani Amaradewa added this was the best television program she had ever participated .All other producers of television channels should emulate Siyatha TV to give the viewers a worthy program of this calibre.All readers if appreciate contact the write Sunil Thenabadu on e mail firstname.lastname@example.org and on whatsapp 0061444533242…This program could be viewed in the internet if browsed ‘Tharu Priri Re’ of Siyatha TV of 06.05.23…