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The Ripple Effect Cover


What better way to deal with a marital crisis than move to the largest island in the Inner Hebrides and indulge in Scotland’s most famous beverage? 

Sam Benson’s mid-life crisis continues after his binge and he pours his love and attention into a motorbike made by the same company that manufactures the ultimate driving machine. 

While topping up his new love with high grade synthetic Italian engine oil, he is horrified to find an olive stone lurking in his can of oil. Nothing could contribute more perfectly to bringing on an existential crisis and Sam decides to ride to Milan and return the offending olive stone to its owners.

In what could be a galaxy away, poverty provokes a crisis of a different sort and Rohan gambles on greener pastures, leveraging whatever monies his parents can rustle up by trusting in people smugglers to deliver him to the promised land for the rural fisher-folk of Lanka’s north-west coast. 

Leaving behind family and loved ones but carrying their hopes and dreams, he flies towards a brighter future. The crossing is a success but Rohan is abandoned and left to his own devices in the bustling city of Milan.

As fate would have it, the two men’s paths meet for the briefest of moments in the most unexpected way. Desperate times calls for desperate measures and Rohan, at the end of his options, commits larceny without thinking it through. His victims give chase, the neighbourhood joins in, Police sirens sound close by and in an unfamiliar city, Rohan panics when he finds himself back where he started. He leaps across the road just as Sam Benson guns his motorbike engine… As Rohan’s life force ebbs away, he presses an envelope whose address is in an unfamiliar script into Sam Benson’s hand. 


By Gavin Major

Perera-Hussein Publishing House, Rs. 1,200

Available in all bookshops from Barefoot to Vijitha Yapa and


The victims of Rohan’s crime are grateful to Sam for intercepting what they term a criminal, but Sam is overcome with remorse and guilt at being the inadvertent instrument of fate in this accidental drama. Disgusted by their mercenary attitude and lack of sympathy, Sam seeks help to decipher the script on the envelope, and when he does, decides to ride to Lanka and confront or comfort the boy’s parents. 

Along the way, Sam loses his passport, finds himself, subsumes his own identity, is spontaneously helped by strangers, does good deeds, blends in to the best of his ability with his surroundings and the people of the countries he travels through and full of angst, lands in Lanka’s west coast as planned. 

Reflective of each little life experience, the people he meets and the situations he finds himself in, Sam subtly exposes us to his spiritual growth and fulfilment. He learns to embrace difference, takes pleasure in helping others whenever he can and lets life wash over him in its pastel shades. Having shed existential and other crises he realises that in the end, it doesn’t matter.

(Sam Perera is a partner of the Perera-Hussein Publishing House, which publishes culturally relevant stories by emerging and established Lankan and regional authors – for a primarily Lankan audience. Ph books are available everywhere books are sold and through