Book Review: Heart Chakra

by Pat Jayatileke

(June 29, Kandy, Sri Lanka Guardian) This story unfolds in the background of the significant events Sri Lanka went through in the 80s ,90s and the 2000s. Those were tumultuous times indeed with the JVP uprising, the ethnic conflict of July 1983, the migrations that took place to flee the situation here, the rise of the LTTE and the atrocities perpetrated by this rebel organization ; also the efforts made by the State to solve these issues.The authors have brought out these events beautifully with anecdotal references. Perhaps the impact of the Internet on society could have been brought in. The Internet made transmission of news so fast that it made distortion of news possible which had a negative impact on the country. In the midst of all these problems here was a young man Rohan who was trying to carve out a life for him. The story encapsulates the typical human condition with its existentialist problems. It is the story of a young man who is enmeshed in all these problems and his search of happiness He flees the country in search of peace He is so affected by all these events that he even needed psychotherapy to get back to normalcy. The story is appropriately called Heart Chakra – the centre of one’s being which is the vortex of human emotions – sometimes in conflict and sometimes in harmony. The authors have successfully brought out Rohan’s attempt to cope with them.

The life of the Sri Lankans in Toronto especially that of the “significant minority” the Tamils and their interactions with each other have been brought out clearly. Readers get am insight into the multi cultural nature of Toronto society, brought about by recent migrations from all over the world. The authors have successfully brought out the agony and the ecstasy of normal human relationships in this set up.

This story could easily lend itself into a movie. It could be quite educational – bringing out the life and times of the last 4 decades both in Sri Lanka and Canada. Because of its historic value the yet unborn generations can benefit by it. Congratulations to the authors for a job well done!