Kumar’s ‘Bonsoir Diaries’ reborn as an ‘Audio Book’

Saturday, 30 July 2016 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


From left: State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the launch


Jith Pieris and Angela Seneviratne


Kumar de Silva and his daughter Anarkali


Samantha de S. Wijeyeratne


Sumitra Peries


Swarna Mallawarachchi

The launch of the Audio Book of Kumar de Silva’s Bonsoir Diaries was a glittering affair at the Harold Peries Gallery recently with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera gracing the occasion as Chief Guest and Guests of Honour State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene and Ambassador for France in Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh in attendance.

Launched as part of the French Spring Festival 2016 presented by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the network of the Alliance Francaise in Sri Lanka, the App is produced by Lisn, Sri Lanka’s first-ever audiobook company (http://lisn.audio/).

Tracing Franco-Lankan relations which go as far back as 1672, Minister Samaraweera paid a glowing tribute to author Kumar de Silva, Yasmin Rajapakse and the Bonsoir Team for their pioneering efforts in those early days of television. He recalled how Bonsoir had a captive audience and took the French language and culture to the remotest parts of Sri Lanka.

“The Bonsoir archives do not exist for reasons beyond my comprehension and that’s what made me write the Bonsoir story in diary form. The book is almost entirely sold out and the next logical step was this mobile app,” Kumar said, while thanking Shanaka Mendis and the team from Lisn, Sri Lanka’s first-ever audiobook company, for this laudable project.

The author had taken great pains to plan out the ‘entertainment’ with sections of the book literally coming to life with animated readings by Samantha Wijeyeratne. 

Angela Seneviratne recalled how she once purposefully delayed the Kandy-Colombo Intercity Express by sitting on the sleepers in front of the engine, Swarna Mallawarachchi who dazzled the Cannes Film Festival in the early 1990s with her Sri Lankan mystique and charm spoke about her experience on the red carpet, Upeka Chitrasena recalled how three generations of her family once danced exclusively for the Bonsoir Cameras, while Sanjeev Jayaratnam electrified the guests with his hair-raising performance of ‘Stars’ from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.

The book is read by its author and is available on all android and iOS devices. This is possibly among the very first English books by a Sri Lankan author to be launched as an Audio Book.

Lisn is Sri Lanka’s first mobile audiobook company that is solely focused on delivering Sri Lankan literature in the audio format. Through Lisn, you can now enjoy the story of Bonsoir at your own convenience at any time and at any place. All you have to do is download the free Lisn app from the Google Play Store, choose a book, download it and start listening. It’s that simple.

Pix by Gitika Talukdar