of an illustrious era
By Ramesh Uvais
Sinhala cinema's grand old lady, Kalshoori Denawaka Hamine
is no more. But the roles she portrayed in more than 300 films and
teledramas will linger in our memories for generations.
Meraya Denawaka, born in Gampaha on February 20, 1906 having started
her career as a teacher serving in all parts of the country took
to acting when she was almost 60. In her illustrious film career
spanning almost four decades, she played significant roles in Sath
Samudura for which she created history by bagging the Best Actress
award in 1967.
gold in several other films like Thunmang Handiya, Arunata Pera,
Desa Nisa, Sagarayak Meda, Matara Achchi and Deveni Gamana and several
tele serials including the long-running Kopikade. Having worked
with stars of all shapes and sizes, she bagged almost all prestigious
awards including the Sarasawiya, Deepashika, OCIC, Presidential
With no dreams
of ever becoming an actress, quite amazingly, Denawaka Anty as she
was lovingly known had never seen a single movie before making her
debut in films.
She amply proved
that acting cannot be taught but has to come from within. And her
natural knack for acting brought her loads of roles, both positive
her film chapter in G.D.L. Perera's Sama, she acted even in her
late ages until illness sidelined her from the world of glamour
and glitter. However, she was always in touch with the happenings
in the glamour world.
The only actress,
perhaps who never used glycerine in crying scenes Denawaka Anty
had her fair share of tears in real life too. Having lost her husband
just four years after marriage and left alone with her only daughter,
Denawaka Anty overcame all obstacles in life through sheer hand
work and determination.
When we interviewed
her a few months ago, she was leading a somewhat isolated life with
her daughter in Pannipitiya. She was hurt that only a handful of
her filmworld colleagues at least called to inquire about her health.
She was even then talking of the hundreds of children and grandchildren
she had in reel-life. It's a pity that there was hardly anybody
who came to see their celluloid grandma when she really needed a
caring word and gentle hug. That happiness alone could have perhaps
extended her lifespan by at least a few more years.
In a country
famous for carcass worshipping, her funeral saw a large gathering
but the country should learn to express their gratitude to senior
artistes well while they are alive rather than shed whatever tears
after they are dead and gone.
The void created
by H. R. Jothipala is a fine example. Though he carried the tag
of being a pavement singer in his long career, today the Sinhala
cinema is still not able to find a replacement for him even after
15 years of his demise. Today, there are many feeble and helpless
artistes like Mabel Blythe, Haroon Lantra, Henry Jayasena, Piyadasa
Wijekoon and Laticia Peiris who have to depend on a meagre income
to keep their home fires burning and looking after their health.
Will the authorities at least now help such senior artistes who
did yeoman service to the country's arts, while they are alive rather
than pay huge tributes after they are gone?
'Unduwap Asiriya' at Le Kandyan
Experience a real festive atmosphere 'Unduwap Asiriya' from
December 23 to 31 at Le Kandyan. A delicious dinner buffet at Rasawasala
Restaurant will be on from December 23 will include special preparations
such as 'BBQ Night', 'Seethala Unduwap Rathriya', 'X'mas Buffet',
'Pasta Night', 'Pera Aparadiga Rasamusuwa', Baaratha Raathriya',
'Chef's Night' and 'Dambane Raathriya'. The '31st Night' with entertainment
called 'Duruthu Udanaya' will offer loads of complimentary gifts
and prizes including airline tickets, weekend vouchers and lot more
for the revellers.
Club in Kandy, Le Garage is also geared for special theme nights
from December 23 onwards such as 'Millennium Fever', 'Merry X'mas',
'Santa vs DJ', 'Nostalgic Night', 'Ladies' Night', 'Banker's Night',
'Guys Night', 'Arabian Night' and 'Break Dawn 2002' on December
31 with the Yes FM DJ crew together with hi-tech sound and lighting
system. The Tickets are priced at Rs.1,500/- (dinner and dance)
on December 31.
City ready for festive bashes
By Sanath Weerasuriya
Team at Taj Rooftop
Christmas and New year will come in a grand scale this year for
Most of the
City Hotels and restaurants are planning to have big bashes in grand
style to welcome the year 2003.
menu will be on offer for Christmas Eve Dinner at California Grill.
A candle-lit dinner on the rooftop with music by Ananda Dabare will
be one of the romantic Christmas Eve Dinners in town.
glass of wine and a piece of Christmas cake will be there for everyone.
The tickets are priced at Rs. 4200/=
First Night extavaganza at the lobby will be on with dance music
of Ecstasy and DJ music by Music Entertainment. The compere for
the evening will be Clifford Richard. Ticket are priced at Rs. 3,800/-
per adult and Rs. 2,000/- per kid.
The main ballroom
dance will come alive with Cascades and DJ music by MARZ and K-Jay.
The Sound and lighting for this event will be by Infinight Entertainment.
the night away into the dawn of 2003" is priced as Rs. 2,500/-
Christmas incentives begin at Taj Samudra on December 24 .
At the Ports
all traditional Christmas goodies including Roast Turkey in Cranberry
Sauce and a lovely plum pudding will be available for the Christmas.
The romantic candlelight dinner at the poolside with an affirmation
that you will be derive the most out of Christmas Eve.for Rs. 1250/=
meat selection of Steak & Grill House depends on our gusty chefs
who can't help but be full of passion and afflatus. On offer is
a five-course special set menu including a lot of mouth- watering
steaks, grills and desserts. The music will be live jazz and Country
. That's not all on offer. A complimentary rose for each lady and
chocolates to take home.
are priced at Rs.2950/= nett
Since the Mix
is synonymous with quality beverages, revellers will find a wide
selection of special cocktails and an extra-special snacks menu.
Sri Lanka's globe trotting band Friends, will rock the dance floor.
The DJ will make sure you don't have a moment to rest the feet.
The New Year's
Grand Dance at the North Lawn come alive with Friends and Dream
Team will play for the Rooftop dance.
X'Mas Eve Sumptuous Spread will be on at the Summerfields Cafe
with an elegant backdrop to an unforgettable start to this year's
The tickets are priced at Rs. 1,500.-Per person
Trimmings", X'Mas Day festive Brunch too will come alive at
the Summerfields Cafe for Rs. 1,200.-per person.
Be a part of
the excitement and celebration as Sri Lanka greets 2003- the countdown
will be on at the Golden Ball Dinner Dance with " In Harmony".
Also Gold FM DJ's too will be in action at the King's Court.
are at Rs. 4000.- per person.
The popular band "Sohan and the X' Periments" with
Desmond Silva will be the main attraction at the Grand Dinner Dance
at the main ballroom.
New comer 'Tribe'
will come alive at the Main lobby of Lanka Oberoi for the New Year's
Eve Dinner Dance.
The band 'Rajive and The Clan' and 'Kings' will be the centre
of attraction at this year's 'Blast Thru' Dinner Dance at the Holiday
'Freak Out' with Asiri at Clancy's on December 31 New Year's
Eve Dinner Dance.