Hardly anyone has addressed him by his real name in the last forty years.
The moniker itself is not particularly a nice one; at least on the face value!
For those who are unaware of the origin story, the nickname ‘Sarpaya’ could subconsciously translate to a semblance or a quirk of the man – or perhaps even the cogent pungency of his literary sting!
‘Controversial’ is the most frequently used adjective when describing him by the majority of the Sri Lankan media.
It was a short story he wrote nearly 40 yrs ago, titled ‘In combat with a serpent’ that gave him the moniker. As an absolute novice and a raw youngster he used ‘stream of consciousness’ in conjunction with ‘magical realism’ and packaged them within a transgressive context to give us one of the best pieces of writing in Sinhala literature.
Today, K K Saman Kumara is a semi recluse; apparently giving the finishing touches to a novel he has been compiling over the last five years.
I shot this image in April 2023 at his small humble abode in Padukka when I visited Sir Lanka.