The more things you try, the more things you’ll like: Radha

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna


“Try a little bit of everything, because you don’t know if you’ll like it. The more things you try, the more things you’ll like. I thought that I wouldn’t like curd but I really love it now,” said nine-year-old Anuradha Kumari, who is a talented drummer with a special interest in Sri Lankan traditional drums. Fondly called Radha, she dreams of becoming a chef one day. She is also a budding artist who doesn’t really like to colour much. She likes her drawings black and white.

The following is what the creative Radha shared with Little Stars:

Radha, tell us more about yourself.

My name is Anuradha Kumari and I am nine years old. My Amma is Yasodhara Pathanjali and my Thaththi is Ruki de Silva. My sister is Indumathi and she is six years old. We love watching movies and playing our spy game called “Waffle”. We are both home-schooled and we have two dogs called Woofy and Kukka.


Tell us more about Woofy and Kukka.

We love to pet Woofy and Kukka; they are father and son, and we spend a lot of time in the garden with them. Kukka loves to hunt and tries to kill animals that come into our garden, like thalagoyas and birds, so we save them.


Why is painting your hobby?

My Amma is an artist so we always painted with her since we were little. She loves colour but I like black and white drawings. I don’t really like to colour my drawings. I draw very detailed drawings of robots, dinosaurs, pirates, and costumes. My sister and I are actually publishing our own book of drawings this year.


What is your favourite thing, place, or person to draw?

Definitely mythical, made-up animals; particularly, flying ones.


Tell us how you got interested in drumming. What types of drums do you play?

When I was four, I saw a Kandyan dancing and drumming show at Earl’s Regency Hotel in Kandy, and I really loved it. Since that day, I asked Amma to get me a drum. I used to play on a plastic bucket before I got my first drum, and my grandmother thought it sounded like temple drums. I started learning Kandyan drumming properly when I was six, with the geta beraya and then the thammattama this year. I love all Sri Lankan drums, but then again, I think I love any drum.


Do you find it difficult to learn how to play the traditional drums? 

No! It’s easy to learn. But you have to practise a lot and sometimes your hands hurt. If you keep practising and drumming all the time, you get used to it and better at it. Also, my teacher is very nice and she lets me take breaks when I need to. She’s very friendly.


What is your fondest memory while practising Kandyan dancing?

I love the Nai Adi Wannama; I love a lot of the steps we learn. Also, dancing on stage with my sister Indumathi and my friends from dance class was amazing.


Since when have you been interested in Sri Lankan stage singing? 

I have been singing Sri Lankan stage songs since I was about three years old. My favourite songs are from the Sinhabahu, Nari Baena, and Dikthala Kaalagola dramas. I love to sing them with my Thaththi, and we do funny dances too.


You said you have a special interest in history and myths. If you are to interest our readers with a historical fact, what would that be?

I love learning about King Kashyapa and the story of Sigiriya. I also love facts about dinosaurs and animals. Did you know that one Argentinosaurus weighs the same as 17 African elephants?


Can you recommend five books to our readers? 

Hath Pana by Kumaratunga Munidasa, because it’s really funny. Winnie the Pooh (the Sinhala translation) is amazing and interesting. The stories of Mahadana Muththa have a lot of interesting and funny things happening. The Guinness Book of Records, because it’s full of weird and creepy facts. Tikiri Baba, because my Amma wrote about me in it!


You mentioned you want to become a chef. Why do you want to become a chef?

Because I love cooking and I want to learn about new foods. Amma, Nangi, Thaththi, and I all cook together a lot and it’s so much fun. We are also starting a new cooking show on Amma’s Instagram next week. My favourite food that I can cook is parippu. I hope one day I can be a chef at a restaurant.


Have you tried making any new dishes at home?

Amma and I made an alukehel frittata the other day, which was very tasty. Also, we make a lot of strange salads that we love.


Do you have any tips for someone who wants to experiment with food?

Try a little bit of everything, because you don’t know if you’ll like it. The more things you try, the more things you’ll like. I thought that I wouldn’t like curd, but I really love it now.