'Karuvala Gedera' brings out the
conflict between changing lifestyles
'Karuvala Gedara' (House of Shadows), the well loved novel by Martin Wickremasinghe that looks into the life-style of a village in the south of Sri Lanka a few decades ago is now being telecast over ITN every Sunday at 8 pm starting from March 9. The 30 episode series, telecast would take viewers back to the time of Mathara Hamine, Nanda and Piyal, to the tradition-rich social fabric of the southern part of the island, to the changing patterns of life and culture of the villagers and to the beautiful nature of the southern coast including the Koggala Oya.
The screenplay for Karuvala Gedera is written by veteran filmmaker and script writer, Tissa Abeysekera and directed by Sudath Rohana who has done a large number of teledramas including 'Avindu Andura', 'Katu Imbula', 'Ambu Daruwo' and 'Wikumsiha Kathandara' based on Martin Wickramasinghe's short stories. Cinematography is by K.A. Dharmasena, art direction by Eheliyagoda Somathilake and music direction by Navarathna Gamage. The star-studded cast includes Janak Premalal, Chandani Seneviratne, Semini Iddamalgoda, Roshan Pilapitiya, Chathurika Peries, Prageeth Rathnayake, Amitha Weerasinghe and Nadee Chandrasekara, Buddhadasa Withanarachchi and several other accomplished actors in support roles.
In the story, Theethan, a village fisherman builds a new house in front of his small dark home 'Karuvala Gedera' with the money that his wife Rathu Hami has saved with great effort. The transfer of their lives from 'Karuvala Gedara' to the newly built modern house brings much more changes than the building itself when Theethan decides to bring a new wife Podihamine to his new home to bear him a child. Rathu Hami who does not have the luck of producing children however treats Podhhamine's two children with great care, and Sirimal and Nimal grow up with the love and care of two mothers.
Sirimal studies well and moves to town to build his career as an attorney while Nimal who has a contrasting personality to his elder brother quits school but starts his own businesses and becomes popular in the village.
The story brings out the conflict between the simple folk lifestyle of the village and the urban lifestyle that is influenced by a colonial mentality. It also illustrates the complications that a villager would go through with urbanization and feel abandoned and alone.
"This teledrama will shed new light on the lives of people who have lost the sense of their values and traditions due to the colonial influences" said director Sudath Rohana. Speaking about his selection of 'Kaluwara Gedara', Sudath Rohana said by writing this novel Martin Wickremasinghe tried to analyse and exa mine the unique identity of our nation. "Several decades ago, he foresaw present society which gives commercial value to everything and anything," the director said.
The teledrama was filmed in locations around Galle, Matara, Dikwella, Kalutara and Colombo. However director Sudath Rohana expressed his concern over the lack of support by the state for such a nationally important task. "It was disheartening to see the lack support and cooperation by the Sri Lanka Railway Department, despite necessary approval being obtained from the Ministry and other relevant authorities," said the well known director.
The teledrama is sponsored by Perlwite Laundry Soap, one of the leading products of Swadeshi Industrial Works Ltd. which had earlier sponsored teledramas like 'Mahathala Hatana' by Anura Madhawa Jayasekera, 'Saradiel' by Sudath Rohana and 'Bopath Sakkiya' by Sathischandra Edirisinghe.