I was friendly with Secretary of Head of Medical Faculty ....
Sanath Gunathilaka unfolds past love affair

      With popular actor who leads a solitary life his past love affairs are unfolded and with that, old stars of the cinema too will be able to reminisce their past.
Why has this handsome actor who stood out in the world of artistes and politics has been unable to get married?
    He has explained information about this topic to a weekend newspaper. This interesting news which was not exposed so far has been revealed by him in the following manner:
 Milton Mallawaarachchi sings the song 'kumari obe sinahawe mulawe'. We embarked in the dialogue starting from that point.
  This melodious song .... for whom did you write this song? Though its meaning was simple, Sanath answered the question ..... taking a deep breath. A sense of seriousness was mixed with his smile.  
                                                                                                                          When you ask about this, I don't want to hide anything. That song is a fascinating song. The song speaks about a love affair that blossomed ....then disappears ..... and once again blossoms.
 I told Milton aiyya that there is separation and death in all his songs. Some affairs begin to blossom and then fade away. so include a song sung about that in the next cassette. Then Milton aiyya said, "It's you who has experience about it .... so you write about it yourself". I was taken to his home almost by force and he made me write it. I know why you ask me about it .... but you know very well that she doesn't belong to me. You will now write about these things. I'll tell. Wemust think about her also. Therefore I'm not going to tell the name of the person about whom I wrote it.

                                                                                                                            When you say 'she' is it regarding that famous person? Is it this person whom you refer to when the names of Gamini - Malini and Vijaya - Malini are mentioned? In that case you must either say 'yes' or 'no'.

Don't ask like that .... because at the beginning itself I told you that won't tell lies.
  You were a handsome young man during your schoolgoing days. You embarked on a vocation as a tuition master. Before you stepped into the cinema at a tender age .... if we speak about your experiences with love? As soon as we approached that subject, Sanath Gunathilaka once again casually seated himself on the chair.
        My mother and father both lived a good married life. Their marriage had culminated as a result of a proposal. Though it was so, they lived with great attachment to each other. I was born after 12 or 14 years after their marriage. We had a big age-gap .... as such we had a respectable and honourable attachment. Father was an attorney-at-Law while mother was a teacher. Therefore we had no chance for any external romantic affairs at all. My first love affair was with a daughter of another teacher who was in younger sister's school and was also very attached to our family. Actually the first influence came from that side. I didn't even try to think about it ..... because I thought that these things were not agreeable. I was at that time about 16 years old. After about 3 months later, there started an opposition from home about this affair .... like a world war. Finally we gave up the affair. That was the first love.

                                                                                                                              Before you embarked on the cinema, about how many love affairs did you have?

   You ask me this question like asking someone who had the most number of love affairs in the world. There are enough of them in the cinema who have a larger number of affairs than mine and those who don't. In my case, mainly there were only two. One went on quite seriously. I had a love affair with the Secretary of the Head of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Peradeniya. It went very far. But our home-people refused to give any consent to it. They were resting on the opinion that such things should be done at the right time closing in upon marriage and to refrain from those during the time of studies. I think they thought that my marriage too should take place on the same lines as theirs ..... because they had a strong attachment, irrespective whether it was a love affair or not. There are so many such marriages in the country.
     The father of one of my friends died and I attended the funeral. There I saw how that mother stroked the dead body of her husband and how she stood beside him. I heard about what the people in the village said about the couple ... and then the married life of my own mother and father came to my mind. That was at the funeral of the father of Hemantha Randunuge, a colleague of yours in the media. There are such elders still among us.  

 Both my mother and father are still the blessings I have. They have been buried in the same tomb. It is still they who look after me. I visit that tomb ... and go and worship them. I feel ... that more than when they were living, it is now that they look after me. But they never gave me a chance for my initial love affairs.
 I'm not a university scholar. She also was not a medical student. But there are enough of handsome students in the Medical Faculty .... so she could have found one if she wanted .... she wouldn't want a tuition master like me. So what I did those days was to get friendly with medical students.I gave them things like 'aggala' which my mother used to make. I found boarding-houses for them from our area. Doctors like Athula Kahandaliyanage and Sarath Paranawithana are still my friends. What I told them when I became friends with them was, 'you catch any fish you like .... sparing my fish'. Those days Peradeniya was very wonderful. We had the opportunity of walking along Lover's Lane in the University. I got that opportunity without being a University student .. and she too because I was so close to the boys of that campus. Because of that my mother and father could not find this out .. because we used to meet at the University. Not that I'm underestimating her but it was she who put a stop to it.
      She later held a Secretarial post at a government media institution. At that time I was the Media Advisor to the President. Then I happened to meet her frequently ... but no such affair developed between the two of us. Now she is married ... her children also are married. 

                                                                                                                                      You come to the cinema. Then the time was ripe for you. In the silver screen you act with actresses. During that beginning period ..... did any love affairs develop?

                                                                                                                                       You of course know that my home-people had no liking at all for my cinema-life. Whether it be actors or actresses, technical hands ... whoever it is .... they all got a visitor's treatment. My mother finally thought that it is good if I get involved with somebody in the Field. In such a case ... and not how I say ... if I had a connection with an actress as you think ... it was the same blessings of my mother and father which was available for me. Don't ask names and addresses, but they got better treatment than me. When told that they're coming home ... my father would go to town and bring some special kind of fruits. Actresses eat fruits no.
                                                                                                                                 Everybody knows what you are doing. (When we ask questions, Sanath interferes. It may be that it is a protest he shows about that name coming out from his own mouth). He speaks about his interference as follows:

 Is it because of that separation that you felt that you are living a lonely life today?
 That may be ... I'm not a cad who keeps affairs with a dozen or more girls as some people think. I've got a younger sister ... I had a mother. I saw the attachment between mother and father. I further saw that in the case of Lester- Sumithra. Then I saw something like that between Anton - Chandrika Siriwardena. That was my prejudgment about marriage. The thought that ... is this what happened after being this much honest? keeps coming into my mind when that love broke off.

                                                                                                                           If I'm hurt in a small way ... my return is double. I don't know whether this stopped because of things like that ... or I don't know whether it happened because of my karma. Whatever it is, there are so many instances when a marriage when marriage was just about to take place and then stopped. But that is to me .... let good befall them!

                                                                                                                             Like some people say, I didn't stop halfway through. Nobody can say that I did so. I can confirm that with facts ... but neither will I ever talk about that.

                                                                                                                              What you say is that she went away ... and disappeared ... was it she who left you?                 
                                                                                                                               Not only leaving ... when there is an affair, it's not going to be a stereo-type of thing .... it increases and decreases. In such instances I get more hurt ... thinking why did she have to do a thing like this?
 Nobody can talk ill of me. I say that as a challenge. If someone can come and tell me that I'm wrong ... I'm saying ... if you can, say so.
  Have you loved any other actresses after she left you all by yourself? (With that question, Sanath smiles and gets restless).
                                                                                                                                  Why do you say 'she?'           
                                                                                                                                   What we mean is that popular 'she' whom the whole country knows about.
Why do you want to give it priority? Don't drag an innocent child into this.

                                                                                                                                     Have you loved cinema actresses ... beyond the screen?
                                                                                                                                       Won't give an answer to that. Do what they presume. I still act with those children. I love those children. I'm looking forward to acting with them in the future. Though some say that they can't act with me now .... I know that they'll act with me in the future.   

                                                                                                                                                                                 When we questioned him about his solitary life, he lost his temper in a charming way. That anger he displays to us by thinning his voice and by giving his reply with a smile.  What is there in your horoscope about your marriage?
                                                                                                                                      The horoscope says that a marriage will take place ... but that it'll be delayed. What they say is that at first glance I would marry someone who is not suitable for me. That means ... that on first sight it'll be someone who is very much younger to me .. where the race is different ... religion is different. So, whenever something crops up where no stability can be seen ... I take some care.

 There were rumours that you also have made connections with famous people and prominent characters in the country. That means that Venus had taken a prominent position in the horoscope?                                      
                                                                                                                                       How can that be a love affair connection? That is a duty-bound connection no .... a professional connection no. When we function on a professional level, something called a trust develops. On that trust a lot of things are discussed. Those are State secrets. I won't say anything more than that. I may be having Venus well-positioned .... but those who make stories will be having Rahu (Dragon's Head) even better positioned.

                                                                                                                                        Are you thinking of leading a bachelor-life throughout your life? Or are you still having ideas about marriage?
                                                                                                                                        I saw recently Prof.Sunil Ariyaratna saying that he rejects marriage. I'm not there. That means not that I'm looking forward .... oh dear ... somebody will come and marry me ..... but opportunities for marriage are plenty.  

                                                                                                                                         These days do you have a love affair going?                                                                                                                                          Yet ... I can't say it sure is a love affair .... there's an understanding .... don't ask beyond that.              

                                                                                                                                         Like your horoscope says, is it something unsuitable at first sight?
                                                                                                                                         Yes ... an unstable one.                                
                                                                                                                                         Wherever you go .... after asking routine things and about the cinema ... the next thing they ask is whether you're getting married ... or when you're getting married. That means everybody has understood that you have been leading a bachelor's life for such a long time.What do you think about bachelor-life?
                                                                                                                                         Not that way ..... there is a truth in saying that life is not complete. I stand on the premise that, that truth should not go wrong. Whatever it is, I believe that I won't go wrong. But I of course get food from buried hands. 

                                                                                                                                         By this time Sanath Gunathilaka must be feeling Aravinda in Viragaya much more ... isn't it?
                                                                                                                                         I have much more critical opinions about Aravinda now, than in the past. If I have to die like Aravinda ... as an unmarried man ... I won't be sad. But I don't want to be an Aravinda.    

                                                                                                                                          Did Aravinda love Bathee? Was there such an idea in Bathee about Aravinda?
                                                                                                                                          Aravinda has had big ideas about Bathee. He asks about it from Sarojini whom he associated very intimately and loved in his life ... like, 'what do youthink about the affair I had with Bathee .... do you believe in what the villagers said about it'? Then Sarojini says 'no ... I won't believe those'. Then Aravinda himself confesses .... 'I got jealous when Bathee was friendly with the driver'. Then Sarojini says that it was justified. Then Aravinda himself says, 'how can that be justified ... Bathee is not a daughter of mine ... what does it matter to me if she goes with anybody? Aravinda had thought that, apart from he casting looks on Bathee with merciful feelings and with affection, that there was some sort of love ... that there was some sort of satisfaction and that he likes her being close to him in some way.

                                                                                                                                          Do you think that there was a similar love in Bathee towards Aravinda? 
                                                                                                                                          Sanath answered that question in a simple way. Sanath's opinion is that though Aravinda is not a loser, he does not want to become an Aravinda. Aravinda is a character of Sanath on the silver screen. Bathee too is the same. When together with Sanath in the hermitage all alone, one wonders whether Aravinda is the true character of Sanath's life. Just as one begins to think so ... Aravinda of Viragaya begins to surface ... but Bathee appears and disappears. Bathee who loved the driver, has disappeared. Aravinda has died ... embracing loneliness.

                                                                                                                                           Leaving Aravinda who surfaced through Sanath, we once again looked at Sanath. He brought to memory thelast line which he wrote for Milton Mallawaarachchi:    
  'Apage pethum vimane wenweela ekwune ...                                                       
 Bhavayen bhave pethu apage adare nisa kaale langaa wuna,
Aaye wedana niva ..... '

Divaina newspaper narration -- Ositha Aththanayaka
Photos                                     -- Nishan S. Priyantha  
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