Poetry: For Mel

On Sunday, the morning 2nd February 2104 while many people in Colombo were lounging enjoying a Sunday morning or hurrying to the next Colomboscope event - finance journalist Mel Gunasekara was found killed at her home. I have good friends who knew her well, and although I didn't share that privilege having known this bright, wonderful woman I felt shaken.  This poem is a catharsis in a way, and my attempt to make sense of this act of violence towards someone who by all accounts was a wonderful human being. When we will change from being a nation of the dead and mourned to one of the alive and celebrated?

Its a plea I extend to so many of our generation - come back, stay, be here. Sri Lanka needs you, your home needs you, for if not it is the next generation that pays for our sins in this twisted act of fate.

RIP Mel 

For Mel

It’s strange to feel kinship with someone you have never met
It’s stranger when that kinship is formed by tragedy
Your death

I have perused the pictures shared by mutual friends
Read your words
Sacrificed bandwidth to hear your voice

And the chills only grow deeper
As I view your life standing on its edges
Detached yet connected

Close my eyes and imagine your fear
Your anger
Your indelible mark left on hearts
Your dreams
Your hopes
Your life

You have become a statement
Your life dissected by others
I wonder how you would have seen this

How do we see what others will see of us
Once we are no more?
Once our life is left in the hands of others?
Do we just become pawns in someone else's game?

And I try and make sense of my own life
Through what fragments are left of your own
Of your life


Thank you for writing and sharing this - sincere and powerful. You spoke for me, too. I always find verse takes over where prose fails. But Mel's sudden departure has numbed me so much that I can't even be very coherent...
Thank you so much for those kind words - its means so much that someone who actually knew Mel is able to draw a voice from this
Jeevani Fernando said…
I don't know you either and yet we connect, thanks unfortunately to an unnecessary tragedy. Beautifully said Sharanya.
Thank you so much for your kind words Jeevani

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