Breaking News is a collection of nine short stories. It is of mixed genre. Four of the stories fall into the “living under the threat of terrorism” genre or category. The Sri Lankan government was locked in a war against terrorism for 30 years and most of the time people lived in fear of being attacked. It was like living in a 9/11 scenario for 30 years. The four stories set in different parts of the country and portraying the lives of people in various social milieu and ethnic background depicts life during these turbulent times. Six of the stories are told from the woman’s perspective or have women as central characters.
Missing Pieces is about a young soldier who steps on a landmine during the first few days of his life in the army. He loses a leg but he also loses hope for the future.
The Boarder is about two women, Mrs. Kaluarachchi who runs a boarding house in the capital Colombo, for young girls, and Selvi, a suicide bomber from the Tamil terrorist controlled north. Mrs. Kaluarachchi has no idea that the girl she takes pity on is really there to destroy lives.
Photographs in her Mind is about Engamma a mother of two sons living in Tamil terrorist controlled areas. She loses her sons when Tamil terrorists drag them away to enlist in their army.
Sepalika is based on a true life incident I heard about many years ago. The story is narrated by a young boy living in a border village who loses his baby sister when the Tamil terrorists ravage their village.
Like Driftwood on the Kelani is the only story that talks about disappearance during the Marxist JVP troubles of the late 1980s that took the lives of many young people.
The other stories are lighthearted and humorous stories about the strange and crazy things people sometimes get into.
Man from the East is about a young girl looking for a suitable husband and the social attitudes towards an unmarried woman.
Breaking News the title story is about the life of a bored young woman living in the suburbs of Colombo who suddenly gets upset when she learns of the death of the Marxist JVP leader. The reason for her getting upset is not because he is dead but because the photograph of him in the papers looks different.
Boy from Wellawatte is about a young boy who goes to the UK for studies and on returning home during his summer break cannot seem to remember any of the local languages.
Emerald Silk is about a young woman’s angst about living in the west and her final break out of the shell to return home.