Accha House & Umma House
A mixed childhood in Sri Lanka
By Asiff Hussein
In this delightful book, well known writer Asiff Hussein shares with his readers some happy pen pictures of his mixed breed childhood lived in the Sri Lanka of the 1970s and 1980s.
The Author who grew up in Colpetty had a most fascinating childhood with his siblings, enjoying the best of both worlds of their mixed Muslim Sinhalese parentage. Their adventurous parents among other things ran an auctioning business in Colombo, started a mobile food restaurant on the Galle Face Green, founded a village by the beach on the South Coast and owned a horse and a pack of ponies that raced in the cold climes of Nuwara Eliya. The Author talks of those balmy days of peace when cultures beautifully co-existed. He speaks of fairs and festivals, fasts and feasts, beliefs and customs, phobias and manias, games and pastimes and many other things that went to make his childhood a most memorable one.
What is particularly interesting about the work is the insight it gives into local Muslim and Sinhalese customs as it was traditionally practiced in those days as well as the material culture of those times – places, foods, books, movies, music, toys and fads. In other words a veritable time capsule of those times. Also interesting are the little things he shares with his readers including how to make a fire simply by mixing three commonly used items in medicine. The author has also taken great pains to bring into the narrative the lives and times of an earlier generation and their shared experiences, all in a very captivating, reader-friendly style that can appeal to any age.
Published by Neptune Publications (Pvt) Ltd 296 pages & 32 colour plates Price: Rs.1250
Available at Vijitha Yapa, Barefoot and CIS bookshop
Congratulations on the launching of your new book ‘Accha House & Umma House”!
I already started reading it and was most amused when I got to the point where you describe the fly soup and the Bishop College boarders!
I am looking forward to lending my copy to my Aunt Gita who was a former Librarian
Sharmila Gunatilleke, Principal, Bishop’s College
I just started reading your Achcha House & Umma house, very beautiful writing (reminds me a bit of “Running in the Family” by Michael Ondaatje, also got to know a lot about your background!!) – but what people don’t know is that these are the things that will make history!
Dr. Kaleel Rahman, PhD Senior Lecturer in Marketing, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing RMIT University, Melbourne
Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading it, standing up too as I did not want the Barefoot staff to know that I was being sneaky! I could relate to the book well as I also lived in Colpetty and did know some of the people mentioned in the book.
– Farzana Yusuf