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A Reverie

A Reverie

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Published by Niluka Gunawardena
Leeda Wijewardena's auto- biography
Leeda Wijewardena's auto- biography

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Published by: Niluka Gunawardena on Sep 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/05/2011

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A Reverie
byLeeda Wijewardena
 
I
Foreword
My sisters and I grew up with achchi. She was first and foremost achchi, thenEnglish teacher and at times Doctor (who gave us a sip of Brandy when we weresick!). Before I read A Reverie, I saw her as one person – a loving grandmother. Inow see has as a child full of wonder, a mischievous student, a defiant youngwoman and much more. I am certain that others who know her will also see herwith new eyes upon reading A Reverie. Although customs, fashions and modes of transport may change, achchi’s candid stories made me realize that the dreams,relationships, fears and aspirations of each passing generation remain the same.A Reverie breathes new life in to a family whose memories were shelved away indust laden albums. I feel a deep connection to the vibrant characters in achchi’sbook, of which many are my ancestors. She masterfully threads out personas,places, encounters and dialogues to create a rich tapestry of personal and familyhistory. Such a backdrop really helps ‘third generation’ readers like my sisters andI to understand who we are and where we belong.Achchi’s prose and style flows gently and easily like a river. In addition to thenarrative, the subject and style of the book also reflect changes that took place inher life during the time of writing. This makes A Reverie especially beautiful andcompelling. I am extremely thankful to achchi for sharing her life in such anintimate and uninhibited way.This book is by and about one of the most influential and beloved people in mylife. Reading it only confirmed my love for her and showed me new ways of relating to her. It enabled me to see the world through achchi’s eyes and tomarvel at the beauty and innocence of that world.Anyone who reads this book will ‘fall in love’ with my grandmother. My sistersand I are glad that our children will read about the adventures, antics andmusings of a wonderful little girl and fall in love with achchi in the years to come...Niluka , Menaka and Anushka
 
II
Acknowledgments
Publishing A Reverie has been a collective labour of love.Chandani and Senaka Samarasinghe lovingly contributed a familytree for this book. It’s part of a laudable initiative to map out theconstellation of our ancestry. Damitha Silva undertook the last-minute, herculean task of transforming that family tree from asprawling hand written diagram to the crisp digitized versionfeatured this book.Chandra Silva and Rajendra Kumar contributed several pricelessphotographs to enliven and adorn this book.Many others contributed their time and effort to type-setting,proof- reading, editing, layout and printing. This book would notbe in your hands today if it weren’t for their heartfelt endeavors.

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