The Dance of Destiny A Memoir By Raja Arasa Ratnam

This 411-page work does not get bogged down. Ratnam gives enough explanation to keep his story flowing without belaboring the issue.
By: Raja Arasa Ratnam
The Dance of Destiny
The Dance of Destiny
Jan. 29, 2015 - PRLog -- The Dance of Destiny,a memoir, depicts pre-WW2 life under the British, the Japanese occupation of Malaya, and a brief post-war interlude in Singapore (before its independence) with his Anglo-Australian wife. The cross-cultural and marital relations impacting upon an impoverished young couple seeking to survive highlight the cross-currents of reality.

The preceding sections of Part 1 of the book identify the peaceful but insecure life of an immigrant family from Ceylon relating in a mutually tolerant lifestyle to a multiplicity of ethnic origins, with their varied languages and cultures; whereas life under the Japanese was one of deprivation and anxiety. The terror wrought by communist anti-Japanese was worse.

In Part 2, the author paints a detailed canvas of his persistent efforts to carve out a career against overt and sustained discrimination. Intermingled with snapshots of the slow maturation of Australia into a cosmopolitan nation is also a strand of Eastern spirituality.  This includes an explanation of the author’s concept of a nested personal destiny, akin to the nested fields of force in physics. The book also highlights the author’s highly interactive and contributory life in civil society in Australia, including holding leadership positions.

‘Have we not all observed that very young children autonomously display a sense of fairness, indeed a sense of justice, in their play, and in their relations with their parents and siblings?’  (p401 The Dance of Destiny)


This 411-page work does not get bogged down. Ratnam gives enough explanation to keep his story flowing without belaboring the issue. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 is about his life, and Part 2 focuses on his experiences with racism in Australia. However, it is not only the author's life that is interesting, but it is how his background mixed with the larger significance of events happening around him that makes this book stand out. Ratnam discusses both harmony and prejudice based on race, religion, language, and customs, providing insight for any college student of sociology, race relations (including job discrimination), history of Malaya and Australia, Hinduism, or migrant settlement policies. RECOMMENDED by the US Review of Books

‘Thus, in each life, I will paddle on the river of my personal destiny. My trajectory will be within the walls of the canyon and over the rocky impediments I had carved out during my past life.’ (p202 The Dance of Destiny)

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