The popular Sinhala tele drama Sapumali screened on ITN Sri Lanka sometime back was a production of ‘Olu Creations’.

‘Olu Creations’ has won the reputation of producing many popular standard Sinhala tele dramas in Sri Lanka. Sapumali was produced and co-directed by Manjula Kumari, one of the most popular talented actresses in Sri Lanka. Sapumali was a drama acclaimed by many for its modest storyline and appealing presentation.    

Manjula Kumari performed a childlike saintly character in the story, as the main actress. She was a perfect model of humanism throughout the storyline. The morale of the story was very profound: that is, evil is defeated and conquered by virtue, good intentions and good deeds all the time, and that evil cannot exist eternally and finally retribution would follow. Sapumali reached the pinnacle of admiration and popularity, touching hearts and minds of all viewers.

A glimpse of the story – Flashback

Young Ehela is of a rich family. His father is a lawyer and an owner of a massive company. Ehela is fed up of hustle and bustle of city life. He becomes interested in a life type of countryside. With these thoughts he is motivated to find a calming place far away from the city to spend time and reorganize his lifestyle. He begins an adventurous journey on information received to spot an ancestry mansion in a distant village in the countryside. He drives along valleys, jungle paths, thickets and finally finds himself in an ambient beautiful village.

What he encounters first is an exciting moment. He sees a little girl running across the road carelessly with a bunch of flowers!! He breaks his car and rescues the little girl. What he spots next is very strange, a young girl looking excited with the incident. Ehala rebukes them for their carelessness.

Ehala finds the estate he came in search of. He meets the caretaker of this estate who is known as Sirimewan. The estate is known as Nilmalpalassa. Sirimewan has been living in this mansion for long years with his wife Sepali and daughter Sapumali. Ehala tells Sirimewan the purpose of his visit and makes queries about the estate and the mansion. Ehala is taken around the property and inside the mansion by Sirimewan.  

In the quiet ambiance, Ehala suddenly sees an image looming up, and disappearing in a trice!! The image appeared, was vaguely familiar, but was not fathomable. Pleased with the mansion and its surroundings, Ehela decides to own the land and the mansion. With this decision, Sirimewan and Sepali trouble themselves with the feeling that they would have to leave the onetime owned estate now, as it will belong to an unknown landowner soon.  

Ranabahu, Ehala’s father, agrees to Ehala’s wish and buys this estate for him. Ehala visits Nilamalapalassa as its owner. Suddenly he sees someone familiar inside the house and is stunned with a flashback!! Eahala immediately remembers the girl he rebuked on the way in his first visit to the village. Ehala learns that she is the daughter of Sirimewan and she is Sapumali!! This memory haunts him.   

Ehala frequents his newly bought estate. Sirimewan and Sepali feel inferior as they are not caretakers any longer. Ehala is impressed about Sirimewan’s and Sepali’s receptiveness and concern. He requests them to remain in the estate as before and move about with their usual schedules, without feeling inferior. This call becomes a relief to Sirimewan and Sepali. Ehala enjoys their hospitality to the full in his visits to Nilmalpalassa and is overwhelmed by their generosity. Ehala sees Sapumali whenever he visits Nilmalpalassa. He is attracted towards her cheerfulness and innocence.  

Sapumali is innocent and playful. These qualities fascinate Ehala. He observes Sapumali’s movements and begins to like her. He fantasizes Sapumali’s charming outlook and her receptiveness.  A villain in the village keeps an eye on the mansion and its estate. He and his son, Senadi are interested in the affairs of the mansion. Senadi is notorious and rowdy. He is watchful about Sapumali and her movements. He is after Sapumali and panics her with threats all the time. Because of this, clashes occur between Senadi and Sirimewan.

One day Sapumali meets Ehala secretly and pleads him on behalf of her parents that they are helpless, and not to send them away from Nilmalpalassa. All these incidents move Ehala to like Sapumali more and more. He reflects on Sapumali’s innocence and humbleness.     

Senadi learns that Nilmalpalassa now is owned by Ehala. He becomes envious and furious and draws a plan to defame Sapumali’s family and Nilmalpalassa. He spreads rumors that Nilmalpalassa is going to be converted into a tourist hotel, which will ruin the village’s serenity in future.

His attempts do not become successful because Sirimewan and Sepali are regarded for their sincerity by villagers.   

Ehala ironically expresses his affection to Sapumali whenever he talks to her. Sapumali develops a reverential affection towards Ehala. Sepali senses an evolving relationship between Sapumali and Ehala. She warns Sapumali to be cautious, recalling her own fate, as to how they lost the ownership of Nilmalpalassa, due to her disobedience to parents. Ehala gradually learns that this mansion and its estate had once belonged to Sepali’s father, but had been sold by him to an outsider because of Sepali’s disobedient marriage, thus making Sirimewan and Sepali just caretakers of the estate.

Minoli is Ehala’s cousin sister. She works in Ehala’s father, Ranabahu’s companies. She shows an interest in Ehala, but plays a double game. She is continuing a relationship with a crafty married man, Vinod, ignorant of his status.  His ambition is to entice Minoli, and engage in scams. Minoli is trapped in his plans. He spies Ehala’s movements and visits Nilmalpalassa posing himself as a businessman.  Unexpectedly Vinod meets Senadi and befriends him.  Vinod learns the enmity between Senadi and Sirimewan’s family and turns that to his advantage. They together make plots to revenge Sapumali and her parents and also to destroy Ehala.

Ehala and Sapumali meet and pledge their affection to each other. Ehala assures his fidelity to Sapumali and promises that he would not abandon her and what he wanted was to reorganize his life in a far distant place from the city. Sepali does not approve this relationship, fearing the consequences. One fine day Ehala makes a surprised visit to Nilmalpalassa and legally writes the mansion and the estate to Sapumali’s name, handing its ownership to Sapumali. Sirimewan and Sepali are surprised with Ehala’s decision. Eahala deeply shares his intention in writing the property in Sapumali’s name.  

Ranabahu becomes suspicious about Ehala’s engagements and judges that there is a mysterious reason in Ehala’s transactions with Nilmalapalassa. Ehala’s mother tries to pacify matters, defending his innocence. Sepali and Sirimewan realize Ehala’s genuineness and show their indebtedness to Ehala for his generosity and virtually approve his engagement with Sapumali.  

Vinod and Senadi understand that the ownership of Nilmalpalassa mansion is in name of Sapumali now. Furious Vinod and Senadi conspire to murder Ehala one night. Ehala is given a bogus message by rivals about a mayhem at Nilmalpalassa. Ehala rushes to the scene and realizes the falsehood of the information.  He leaves Nilmalpalassa at night to reach home. The gangsters trap him on the way and attack, and hurl his vehicle over a precipice. The vehicle engulfs with fire. Ehala is surprisingly saved. Following the incident, Ehala loses his memory.  After a series of events, a therapist discovers that the method to revive Ehala’s memory is to resident him at Nilmalmalassa to recall the past events. Ehala comes to Nilmalpalassa, with lost memory. He is unable to remember what happened.  

Sapumali devotes herself to revive Ehala’s memory. Vinod and Senadi realize that Ehala escaped their plot. Vinod goes about with his plans. Suddenly he is knocked down by a vehicle and becomes handicapped.

Minoli learns that Vinod was married and had deceived her. Shuddered with shame and frustration, she goes abroad.  Senadi looks for Vinod and hears about his calamity. Senadi is suspicious that Ehala will one day realize who his adversaries were. Fearing that they would be caught for the crime committed, he draws a plan to enter Nilmalpalassa at a night and abduct Ehala and push him to the river to close up the crime. Senadi enters the mansion at night and tries to fetch Ehala outside. In a thrash, Ehala’s memory revives. He recognizes Senadi, and throttles his neck!!  Senadi narrowly escapes and flees to the woods. Vinod and Senadi are arrested by Police. Sirimewan and Sepali leave Nilmalpalassa and go to another village. Ehala intends to go abroad, but comes in search of Sapumali, his betrothed, where the story concludes.                   

Sapumali was well scripted. People were drawn towards Sapumali because of its contextual storyline. Suraj Mapa and Manjula Kumari played the main roles in Sapumali. Suraj Mapa Manjula Kumari fixture was absolutely successful in the drama. Other pivotal roles were played by Chithra Warakagoda, Denuwana Senadi, Kumara Thirimadura, Kamal Deshapriya, Jayangani Dikkumbura, Sumith Rathnayake, and many others.

It is worth commenting on the excellent music compositions of the music director. The background music has been composed well to color up and enrich the depth of scenes, highlighting the external and internal emotions of each character, which made the drama so vibrant and dynamic.
Anton Narangoda
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2020-06-07 00:57

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