Theepachelvan, christened Balenndram Pratheepan, is the author of 11 books, including five collections of poems, three of articles, one compendium of short stories of people from the war-scarred land, and one anthology of poems by Eelam poets.
His most recent book, Pray for My Land, is a collection of poems translated into English. Born in 1983, his writings bear the imprint of the war on the life of a young boy who cowered as IPKF tanks moved past, of a child who only saw the most unpleasant and gory images life could offer.
In Kilinochchi Central College, University of Jaffna, where he pursued a degree in Tamil literature, he was a student leader braving threats to his life and constantly under scrutiny of the Sri Lankan military forces. His poems echo with the hopelessness of the situation that people like him were thrown into. His writings have won him recognition from the Sri Lankan Press Association and more recently from the Tamil literary magazine Kanaiyazhi. He is currently in Chennai pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and communication at the University of Madras. Excerpts from an interview: