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Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:24 pm [PST]
Self Published Books
Footprints in Obscurity
Book Author : Pramudith D Rupasinghe
Book Publisher : Partridge India
Synopsis By : Pramudith D Rupasinghe
Synopsis Date : 2016-05-16
Synopsis Time : 00:24:39

FIRST, THIS BOOK TAKES the reader on a journey through the process of unlearning what one learns before having to experience something first-hand, breaking down the rock walls of prejudice, melting iron hard stereotypes that one would acquire from very childhood, how one would develop his own prejudices and stereotypes in one’s own experience of individuals, societies, countries, and regions. A dynamic process of learning and unlearning enriches the life of one; probably the experience could be bitter but the learning is a wealth gained as a result of it. Second, the conflicts of cultures imposed by cultural norms and dimensions influence one to judge others. What is bad and what is good for one would not be the same to another who is from another culture. Therefore, during the journey, a lot of relativism and comparisons were made from the standpoint of a Sri Lankan or most specifically
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from the culture in which he grew up, which could look more like an ethnocentric viewpoint to the rest of world. But it was not, as it has been used intentionally as the pre- existing viewpoint which is the ‘raw’ state against which the reader sees the transformation of the traveller, or the author, at the end of the book in the ‘Journey of No Return’, where the ‘final product’ of the story, ‘footprints in obscurity’, comprising two dozens of pages to unfold before the reader.
Third, the inspirations that the author has gotten from the ‘free-time stories’ of his father serve as the ‘energy’ that pushes him in the form of a ‘dream’ to determine when to take risks to live and research in abundance under high risk. The moral persuasion is the third point, that it is his unconscious obligation to his father to pay him back with unique real-life experiences of discovery following the paths of his stories. But the clarity of what and how to do it was a challenge that remained in ‘obscurity’ when the initial trip was being planned. The third chapter, ‘Embracing Darkness’, explains that it was a decision influenced by the urge of a ‘dream’ to walk into the perceived ‘obscurity’. In the meantime, most of the stages, especially the trip to ‘Uganda’, ‘Congo’, and ‘Sierra-Leone’ were merely risky advances where he could have lost his life, which were ‘footsteps in obscurity’ in its real sense. In addition to everything mentioned above, the global perception, especially of those who live in other parts of world, on Africa is often associated with ‘obscurity’, which had not been neglected here but serves as an eye opener, not as a label. Finally, in terms of ‘footprints of obscurity’, in the context of this book’s core interface for ‘dreams’ of ‘childhood’, it came into being, inspired by the ‘free-time stories’ to flow as ‘dreams’ that are ‘real’, unlike
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‘daydreams’, which are seen in ‘obscurity’ and most often are ‘realised’ in ‘obscurity’ even though one has to steer with full consciousness.
Fourth, ‘footprints in obscurity’ does not have a face of merely a ‘novel’, not a fiction at all as the story is built on the author’s real and first-hand experiences, a narration of an interconnected series of stories that are presented through true incidents and individuals despite the pseudonyms that are used to maintain the confidentiality of individuals who supported the story with information. The key element of the book is its simple language, which aims to offer clarity of the story at its maximum possibility, not only to native English speakers but also for whose mother tongue is not English. In brief, the style and the modality of the book are simple and nonfiction which is a human experience not a scientific study, that’s where the reader would have a long and wide space for his or her opinions, to agree or to disagree, and to learn and to unlearn and have his or her own imaginary experience in the process of reading. Simultaneously, facts, mostly in liaise of certain events and individuals, are presented supplementary to the story not only to make it a leisure reading but also to add some educative aspects into it. Hence, ‘footprints in obscurity’ is an all-in-one type of writing which is pretty unconventional and unique.
Pushing the reader back and forth in the story, breaking the monotony of narration, sometimes changing the tone or the rhythm of the story, shifting from narration to presenting facts, or vice versa, the author makes diversity and enriches the experience of ‘reading’. Use of easy-to-understand expressions and proverbs carefully picking subjects from
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different cultures, yet making them simple enough to be universally understood, ‘footprints of obscurity’ simply is an irresistible universal experience to the reader. The tone stored in words utilised maintains the vibration of emotions like a ‘roller coaster’, at a time intense fear, horror, or terror dominates the story, and the next moment, it is full of curiosity, then a transition to humour and calming sensations, the reader is allowed to experience a multitude of human feelings in one single story, which is quite endemic to ‘footprints in obscurity’. Besides stimulating humanity not merely in the form of superficial sympathy, profound empathy is another element found in the book.
Then, three core beliefs dominate throughout the reading, ‘Endurance’ in terms of making one’s ‘dream’ a reality, which is the first core belief that runs in the theme. ‘Negatives’ are the stepping stones for ‘Positive’ change, and ‘Negatives’ should be discussed and be brought to the surface to see the ‘Positives’ hidden underneath the ‘Negatives’, which are linked to the surface story of the book, and the reader is persuaded to use his/her ‘critical thinking’ to discover the ‘Positives’ which are latent. The third and final belief is a realisation at the very end of the author’s stay in Sub-Saharan Africa and his travelling in all regions of the continent that ‘inevitable transformation’ that one would be subjected to through one’s veritable experience, which is more individual and unique than collective or generic, which is the final product of conscious or unconscious ‘learning’ and ‘unlearning’.
Reasonable effort has been taken in the book for highlighting the pit-holes, gaps, and challenges at the level of attitudes, lifestyle, and governance in Africa, although a
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sounding loud ‘Negative’ aimed at ‘Positive’ reflection (the logic of the author to first see the ‘Negativity’, ‘Obscure side’ of the continent to pave the way forward to the ‘Positivity’ of the story which is not found in pages but in the mind of the reader) gives some reality-based clues to novices who are inspired to work in Africa. However, the book does not cover every country in detail, but in a nutshell, key areas from North to South, East to West, have been touched, making the story a ‘holistic experience’ in Africa.
Finally, a boy, who was longing to discover the imaginary world he dreamt of while listening to his father’s ‘free-time stories’, reaches the final destination of his childhood dreams, breaking frontiers and jumping over diverse hurdles, and makes it his own primary experience which he presents in its ‘raw form’ to the world. ‘A dream comes true’ demands a lot of ‘tolerance’ and ‘effort’, and along the path, there are a lot of ‘snares’, ‘traps’, and ‘challenges’ which often appear superior to one’s ‘courage’ and ‘coping’, but ‘mindfulness’ and ‘endurance’ would suffice to defy them all and see the ‘dream’ realised. The final realisation is that when turned back, there is a rich life that has been lived along the way full of extraordinary experiences accumulated which stand like a line of candles, along the way to the future, giving light at each footstep that one takes. One has not to follow the ‘footprints in obscurity’ anymore, as the experience of walking in ‘obscurity’ has already lighted the pathway for the future. One needs to see the darkness of ‘obscurity’ to see the light of one’s life. 

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