‘In Tamil we don’t say goodbye. Only, I will go and come back.’
S. Shakthidharan’s extraordinary multilingual play Counting and Cracking traverses countries and decades to bring us an epic tale of family, love and politics.
On the banks of a river in Sydney, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother so she can be at peace with her ancestors. Into the water go the particles of one life, but unknown to Siddharta, Radha still holds onto the ashes of her beloved grandfather, brought with her when she left Sri Lanka 21 years before. And so begins a story that spirals out across Australia and Sri Lanka, taking in four generations of a family and their connection to a country that continues to give them equal measures of sorrow and joy.
It is an exhilarating, moving and necessary tribute to people of all backgrounds who are forced to live in exile and build a new home from the heart up.
‘A story of survival and hope, of human connectedness, and our deep desire to understand three things – our history, our identity and what "home" means to us.’ — Community response.
To read some responses to the first production of Counting and Cracking from members of the Sri Lankan community, visit the Kurinji website: