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Awaiting the dawn

by Gautama Nathan 

Posted: 07 September 2004
Word Count: 187
Summary: An historical fiction that is set in the backdrop of British Colonial India and the post independent period in Sri Lanka and the ongoing ethnic conflict. This is a story of two families that traces its roots going back to three generations.

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Awaiting The Dawn
by Gautama Nathan
Set mostly in the trouble torn island nation of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, this story is about two families from totally different ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have been living side by side in the metropolis of Colombo, since long before the racial strife and the civil war broke out.
Elmo De Silva, the honest and upright Sinhala police Superintendent, his wife Marla, and their two little children Travis and Larry constitute the perfect picture of a happy family. Their immediate neighbours, the Tamil family of a former tea estate owner named Rajasekar and his wife Kasthuri, together with their five grown up children, experience a series of emotional upheavals that reveal the diverse character traits, strengths, and weaknesses of each family member. The friendship and closeness of these two families are put to the test, and transcends all barriers, as their trials and tribulations unfold against a backdrop of historical events, like the Communists Insurgents attempt to overthrow the government of Sri Lanka in 1971, the racial riots of July 1983, and the continuing civil ethnic unrest.

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Gautama Nathan at 21:03 on 12 September 2004  Report this post
In the novel "Awaiting the Dawn" we are introduced to De Silva family, Elmo, Marla, Travis, and Larry. They are good caring and loving people. Little Travis becomes very close to his new neighbor Kasthuri and looks up to her as a mother. The author describes his characters in detail, so that you can actually picture in your minds what these people may have looked like. He then goes on to explain what the “red pottu” the Indian women wear on their foreheads means. I found the way that the author described the “red pottu” in his story to little Travis was interesting, informative, and humorous, all at the same time. The author goes on to tell the readers about certain types of trees that grow in Sri-Lanka that bear some delicious fruits. As the story progresses you are introduced to two evil characters Elsie, who is Elmo’s stepmother and Claudia, Elmo’s half sister. Elsie and Claudia cause all kinds of disruption and turmoil in the De Silva family, but even then, Elmo responds to them in a humane way. Elmo had a cook whose name was Ramani. Elmo's children hated Ramani's cooking, and the way the children described the food she cooked was very humorous.
At a very young age Travis discovers his hidden talents as a writer and later on in life that talent becomes a big asset to him. The story then revolves around Kasthuri’s family members and the various roles they play in her life. Rajeskar, Kasthuri’s husband, had a hard childhood, and things went really sour for him from the time he was a young boy until his teen years. Then just as things started to go good for him he runs into some bad luck that turned his life upside down, as a result of which, Rajesekar starts doing bad things and treats people badly too, namely his wife Kasthuri who was much younger than he and was married to him against her will. Rajesekar mistreats his whole family, but towards the end sees his erring ways, and tries to make amends.
The story goes on to tell how the lives of each family member in the De Silva and the Rajesekar family had to face tribulations and triumphs. Though all of the family members of both families had to endure the hardships in their lives such as financial disparities, racial and political riots, and physical suffering, in the end the ones that remained, came together in victory and in love. They found their ultimate peace in one form or the other. It is a story that goes through a timeline and tells of historical events that actually took place during those particular times, and the individuals that were involved in those events. The story also deals with issues related to different cultural beliefs. It vividly describes how inhumane men can be when things don’t go their way, and how they can be so barbaric as to commit horrendous violent acts of mutilation and murder.
Some of the characters in the story, I found to be very selfish and others I found to be very selfless. Sister Veronica, Kasthuri, and all the De Silva family members were among the ones that I found to be the most selfless. Therefore, they were my favorite characters throughout this story. My emotions were moved by the characters and events in “Awaiting the dawn.” I was so drawn into this story, and felt so much a part of it that I laughed at the humorous events, and cried at the tragic events. My heart shared the joys of victorious triumphs, and felt the sorrow of great losses for these characters. In conclusion, it is in my opinion that the author Gautama Nathan, is nothing short of brilliant as a writer in bringing "Awaiting the Dawn" to life. He is an outstanding writer and I highly recommend this book to anyone.
By Cynthia B. Shaver
P.O. Box 1161 Roanoke, Alabama 36274 (334) 863-5655

Gautama Nathan at 01:41 on 04 October 2004  Report this post
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“I have always been disturbed at the brutalization, torture, and murder of Tamil political prisoners at the hands of extremely evil beings in Sri-Lanka. With his vivid imagination and exceptional writing skills author Gautama Nathan has brought the July 1983 prison victims to life in full light. Superb writing! His writing style is gripping and unique, not only in the West, but in Sri Lanka as well. "Awaiting the dawn" is a masterpiece saga.
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Name: Anthoney – Mahadeva Sunderaraju.
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Author Gautama Nathan brings three bygone writing legends to life
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I could compare the style of storytelling, especially in the way in which author Gautama Nathan handles his characters and the settings they exist in…. to the styles of three famous (now dead) authors… Ernest Hemmingway, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. Author Gautama Nathan has written an excellent story!
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Name: James C. Harwood.
Personal information: Author of “Mild case of death” Here After Novels, a series of science fiction.

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Great plot combined with unique narration style.
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When I read a story, if I find the characters seem to lack emotions, I lose interest. Also if the writing style is dead I lost interest. This was not the case with “Awaiting the dawn” by Gautama Nathan. I enjoyed reading the story, sentence by sentence, just for the writing style alone. It is a believable and interesting story, and informative as well. I learned a lot about the history of Sri Lanka and all about the trouble and tragic disorder it has experienced in the last few decades. The unique word usage of the author Gautama Nathan is very unusual in that giving the narrator’s voice an idiom peculiar to the part of the world where the story is really taking place. It is one of the charms of this book.

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