One has to take a mirror and look at one’s own life to fathom and appreciate this book. Vinita wrote her words while sitting on a wheel chair; being fed by a tube and talking to people through a computer voice where she made limited conversation with friends who came to visit.
I know the Go Slowly Lovely Moon well, as I worked with Vinita from the inception to the completion of this ‘hard to believe’ fairy tale of how she fought to do what she wanted to do: to write a book.
This is not simply a work of literature. No, not by any imaginable standard. Yes there is a story and there is fact and humour twined with a simple family life of a simple woman. That is the narrative part; visible and readable and able to stand with the best on a book stand.
But the meat of the matter is much more as it is a clear cut testimony of someone’s courage and unconquered spirit, something which Vinita has displayed clearly to us whilst defining from the very first page how strong the human spirit could be when embroiled with trials that would beat or smite lesser beings.
When she says that she can now watch a raindrop fall or see a white cloud move across a clear blue sky and enjoy the squirrels frolicking on trees, she certainly is tallying her blessings and is teaching us how to do so, too.
The book may not receive literary accolades, or make the short lists in awards, for Vinita to be counted among the literate. But anyone who reads Go Slowly Lovely Moon would get a clear-cut lesson in life, of things that matter and of things that would leave lasting marks in anyone’s soul and mind.
The pages run in fast-train fashion in Vinita’s world, from her roots in India to her years in Sri Lanka, which became her home when soul partner Sarath wooed her in marriage more than a quarter century ago. She talks of the ups and downs in one and the same breath and lays it all bare in naked truth. There isn’t a sigh in the book; there isn’t a tear nor a moment of ‘why me?’ regret. The pages roll in humour, love, family banter and the deep appreciation Vinita has of life itself, dressed both in veils and rags as the years roll, telling us all what it is to wake each morning and be happy that “I have the gift of this day.”
That’s all I need to say about Go Slowly Lovely Moon. I cannot quantify her courage nor qualify to write in judgement of such a momentous feat. When someone in Vinita’s shoes takes life by the throat and dictates her own terms and makes her stubborn decision and writes her own book, I can only stand and applaud. Yes! Author Vinita, I am cheering Go Slowly Lovely Moon; I am cheering loud and clear.
Read the book my friends, if not anything else, Vinita Piyaratna would teach you some incredibly important lessons on how to count your blessings.
As the renowned Bradman Weerakoon says, “I have never been more privileged in writing a foreword than for this book. The story of the most courageous woman I have ever met.”
Thank you Bradman Sir, you certainly hit a six there.
The book will be available at Rs. 500. The sale proceeds will be for people in need.
Let the moon go slow; the need is in each of us to look and appreciate. Thank you Vinita, for showing us a way.
— Capt Elmo Jayawardena