By Roshan Abeysinghe
My association with Ranjan Mellawa dates back to the late 90's when I met him as a Senior Executive of a leading bank. Even then Ranjan's first love was cricket and he would spend countless hours discussing the subject.
However, I never knew that well his craze for the game until he joined Ragama CC and eventually became the Secretary. His passion, the craze and desire to follow and love the game of cricket is amply demonstrated in his book Winds Behind The Willows. I was fascinated to read his experience as a fan watching six World Cups and sharing the glory of Sri Lanka and its achievements in the field of cricket.
The book is a must read for any cricket fan as it has broken away from the traditional story of describing a person or game and has shown us a completely different picture in cricket.
His honesty and forthrightness has been amply demonstrated in this book where he has not been afraid to be honest with some of his closest friends, including me, which has to be commended.
Besides his cricketing experience as a fan what impressed me most about this book is the very high standard of writing where the English language has been beautifully used poetically to describe what he wants to get across to the reader.
I honestly feel that Winds Behind The Willows has unlocked another side of Ranjan and has shown us that he has great versatility in him. The book is a must read for any cricket fan as it has broken away from the traditional story of describing a person or game and has shown us a completely different picture in cricket.
It portrays a well-earned return (literally) for the almost ten thousand hours of work and commitment towards finishing this gigantic task which even carries grass clippings from the hallowed Lord's turf. The book also shows and confirms what I always thought Ranjan to be and that is a perfectionist.
He was exactly that in whatever he did in life and the book Winds Behind The Willows is no different from my assumption of him and that is to be the purist he is.
(Marketing professional Roshan Abeysinghe is one of the few Sri Lankan faces in the commentary box in international cricket. A popular figure among local cricket fans, Roshan is also the longstanding president of “Ragama Cricket Club”, a leading Sri Lankan first-class cricket club.)
Winds Behind The Willows is available from here at a specially discounted price of Rs 2,880.