An insightful meeting with seventy-three-year-old Ivan in Ukraine inspired Pramudith D. Rupasinghe to pen down this Biographical Historical Fiction named Bayan. The book is an exquisite amalgamation of history, human sentiments, music, and philosophy. In over seventy years, Ivan — the protagonist — has witnessed, suffered, and enjoyed numerous ebbs and flows of the circumstances. As a result, he holds not only an ocean of memories but also a treasure of wisdom and awe-inspiring experiences. Living a life of solitude, accompanied by only a bayan, he plays and sings melodies reminiscent of the days long gone. Then, in a turn of events, a stranger enters his house and stays as a guest with him for a few days. What begins as a cultural and philosophical monologue eventually turns into a walk down a memory lane that was too personal and too emotional.
It amazes me how poetry transcends form and shape. When we say poetic, we don’t necessarily refer to written poems. By Wordsworth’s definition of poetry, “spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions”, poetry could be anything: your clothing, your house, your perfume, or anything materialistic or spiritual, worldly or imaginary can be poetic. All we need to have is an eye for beauty and the heart to appreciate it.